Everyone uses this day, and this forum, it seems, to laud the efforts and virtues of their dear husband or father. I’m not going to do that. Neither my dad nor my husband read my blog, and I already praised them on my other favorite social media outlet – the Facebook – so that all of their friends and neighbors can see how loved they are. I also called them and sent cards with adorable photos of baby B. Mission accomplished.
I want to talk about how jealous I am of fathers in the first year of a child’s life. Let’s compare the impacts of the introduction of a child into the life of a mother versus the life of a father, shall we?
- A mother gives up her extra-curricular activities, including rafting, running, mountain biking, and drinking for nine months. A father? None of the above. *
- A mother has to worry all day about whether or not she’s eaten enough iron and folic acid to secure the health and well-being of her fetus and then breastfeeding baby for the better part of two years. Father? Nah. He can still eat a Twinkie for breakfast and not feel the least bit guilty.
- A mother (often) quits work and must struggle with the difficulties of becoming an unproductive member of society. Fathers? You get to keep your day-jobs. (Debatable benefit, I understand.)
- A mother gets cracked, sore, bleeding nipples. Daddy? He just doesn’t get to touch said nipples…which he will inevitably whine about.
- A mother has to struggle to get her post-pregnancy body to fit her jeans so that she can stop wearing yoga pants and feel like a normal human being. Dad? Please, he’s had the same jeans since college.
- A mother gives up reading fiction books (’50 Shades of Grey’ is just sitting there collecting dust) so that she can read paranoia-inducing volumes of baby literature that will give conflicting advice on every subject from weaning to snotty noses to CIO. A dad will just look at mom and say, “Whatever you think we should do, honey.”
- A mother is pretty much tied to her child until breastfeeding is completed (unless you want to attempt to go an extra round with The Breast Pump, which nobody does). Hubands? They can take a five-day river trip and not be subjected to the slow, dull, suction of a plastic funnel attached to their sensitive parts.
- Do we even need to discuss childbirth? Natural or C-section, it doesn’t matter. Dads get to run out of the room and give the little squirt a bath while we lie on a table or bed and try to contemplate how our innards are ever going to recover from what just happened down there. (They don’t’ really.)
Please don’t think that I don’t appreciate my husband, because I absolutely do. And I know that the future will hold a very different balance as I go back to work, the kids go to school, and he has to talk to the boys about what kind of hellish trouble they will be in if they aren’t careful with drugs, drinking, college funds and girls. (He received a lovely gift and a delicious dinner of chicken piccata this evening – happy camper.) My darling husband is wonderful in every way and cannot help that all of these changes are inflicted upon the “fairer” sex. It’s just what we do. We are fair and frickin’ amazing.
*Unless you are my husband, in which case you had to give up drinking coffee and alcohol for a total of six months while we were undergoing fertility treatments for baby B. I had already given them up for six months before that and have yet – I repeat YET – to have an evening that included more than an appreciative sip of wine. I am a martyr.