Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is there such a thing as equal parenting?

This is a post long overdue. I've been meaning to write about this for a long time, but I just don't have the energy to do it. Mainly because I don't want to seem like I am complaining or whining, especially after what we went through to have children. But as the due date of baby boy #2 approaches, I see myself getting scared and worried about this situation.

You see, S is a workaholic. Which means that for most of the week, B doesn't see S. S leaves before he gets up in the morning and is well in bed by the time he gets home. The funny thing is that I was always drawn to someone who had a lot of drive and ambition. Maybe it is because I was so driven back then too, therefore I seek out people like me. When we were dating, S would always work late-in the beginning of our relationship we worked at the same firm and I used to make fun of him for turning off the lights. After 5 months of dating, he moved to NYC and his hours just got worst. And it hasn't really changed since then. When we got married, it started to bother me a little bit-there were times that he would get home at 1 am and get up at 5 am and go back to the grind. Yes I know that this is the extreme-and he was working on a major project during this time. We talked about it back then and I reminded him that things needs to change once we have children, and of course his response was that he is working this hard now so that he will have the freedom and flexibility when the time comes-i.e children.

Now that we have B things are somewhat different, but not by much. He still works a lot-he is in an industry where putting in 70-80 hours a week is not unheard of--some junior people are expected to put in 100 hours a week if you can believe that!! B is at that age where he looks for daddy and realizes when he doesn't see him the entire day. He starts to whine for daddy towards the end of the day. And I know that S feels bad about it, but he keeps telling me that he is trying to do his best and it is just the nature of the industry. And since I am no longer working, I know that he feels that pressure of doing better at work-we don't have that security anymore of the double income.

A lot of times I feel like I am a single mom-especially on weekdays. It is not so bad with 1 child-unless of course you are 8 months pregnant, but I know this is temporary. But I am really scared of what it would be like when I have to juggle a newborn and a toddler. Who do you tend to first? What do you do with one child when you are bathing the other or when you are putting one to bed? How about meal times? Since they are different ages at this time they are both going to have different routines. I remember the first few weeks with B when I was so darn tired and could barely keep my eyes open and all I had to worry about was him-but now I have a toddler who is full of energy. I know that it's been done before and I know a lot of women who does it on a daily basis--come to think of it my situation is probably better since S doesn't travel that much. I have a friend whose DH is a consul ant and is on the road Monday thru Thursday--talk about big time crapiness.

When I was single, I always thought that once I got married I will find a partner in life who will share parenting with me 50/50. I figured my future husband will be this person who will be as invested in parenting as I was--who will truly take on 50% of the responsibility. I figured we would share all responsibility-but that would not be the case. Even when I was working, I still took on most of the parenting. When B was in daycare, I did the drop off and the pick up all the time. I had to re-arrange my schedule every time he was sick and had to stay home. Due to S's schedule it just wasn't possible for him to share these responsibilities. I came to realize that I had a good paying job, but at the end of the day and one of us has to quit our jobs to take care of the children, it will be me who will have to quit since I don't make nearly as much as S and I can probably find a new job quicker than him-sad but true. When I was still working and B was in daycare, weekdays were super crazy. I had to run out of the office to pick him up. Prepare his dinner, feed him, bath him and put him to bed. I felt like I was chicken without a head running around for a couple of hours.

So here I am awaiting baby #2. Scared of what lies ahead and how to do it all. I can't even imagine what life will be like if and when I decide to go back to work. As I said, I know a lot of wonderful mothers who do it, I guess I just need to dive into and figure it out. I have 2 choices, sink or swim and I am determined to swim.

I am currently 35w2d. B was born when I was 35w6d. If history repeats itself, I could possibly have this baby 4 days. I am hoping this is not the case--I am hoping and praying that this baby stays in a little longer. Cross your fingers.


Blogger electriclady said...

Oh, this is so hard. I think it's partly S's industry but partly also the difference between men and women (and who knows how much is innate and how much is society messing with us). I feel lucky that I am able to support a family with my (not very big for NYC!) salary and that my husband is willing/wanting to stay home, which means that naturally he shoulders a huge part of the childcare burden. We have as close to an equal parenting arrangement as can be, BUT it is because I consciously arrange my hours and workload so that I can leave work at 5:30 (1+ hour before any of my coworkers) and because as a detail-oriented mom, I carry a lot of the parenting details in my head--I buy food for BG, made all her baby food when she started solids, I make her doctor's appointments, I buy her clothes, know her shoe size, etc. I have a hard time believing that a man with a SAH spouse would be doing those things.

Unfortunately S works in an industry that lives on the ability of men to work very long hours because they have wives at home who take care of everything else. I know it sucks.

So I guess I don't have anything helpful to say, just big hugs. Do you have family or a doula or someone who will be around to help you in the first few weeks and months? I will come over and pitch in, just say the word! The one piece of advice I've heard from other people is that if both kids are crying at once, go to the older one, because he'll remember it and the baby won't.

Also: I meant all summer to email you about having lunch and now here you are 35 weeks pregnant--don't suppose you feel like coming into the city now, do you? ;-)

September 11, 2008 4:28 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

I don't believe there is such a thing as equal parenting. I try not to think of the inequity too often. I decided not to go back to work so I expected to shoulder more of the responsibility but it would be nice if my husband looked around every now and then and said "You're tired, go have a nap" or "You didn't get a chance today to do ...., I'll do it" Alas, it never happens.

But I am trying for number two too. I am sure you will make it work, maybe even be able to pass on tips to the rest of us.

September 12, 2008 12:35 AM  
Blogger Silver said...

As for juggling the kiddos, it all just kind of works it's way out. When I had my 2nd PG I was really worried about dealing with the Twins and a new baby but it all just kind of worked out in the end.

My husband works crazy hours but lucky for me he goes in super early (2am) and is at home by 3pm usually. He gets to see the kids every evening and I couldn't imagine having to do it by myself. Although I think us moms are and adaptable bunch and can pretty much do what we need to do when we need to do it.

You do need a break during the week. You should try to get your husband home at least one night a week and then keep trying to bump it up a little if you can manage to sneak that in!

Hugs and I hope you get it all worked out, and I hope this baby cooks a little longer than B.

September 12, 2008 12:50 AM  
OpenID unexplainthis said...

I think you need to talk to S. Explain to him that while you are ready to take on the brunt of the reponsibility for raising the children right now you do need breaks. Not only that but his children need to get to know him.

I don't know what industry he is in, so I can't really speculate on what will work for you guys. However, at some point as employee's we ALL need to take a step back and ask ourselves, "Is what I'm doing working? Am I happy? and What do I want?"

I can understand why he may feel he has to work extra hard these days but lets not discount how difficult it is going to be for YOU. Perhaps you can hire a "mommy helper"? Someone who will help take care of B or newborn while you are taking care of the other? I know women do it all the time on their own. Heck my mom took care of newborn me, 1 year old sis, and 4 year old sis alone. Get some support from neighbors, friends, and family.

I can't believe you are due so soon!!

PS- I've been lurking, sorry I haven't commented. I always mean to...

September 12, 2008 2:13 PM  
Blogger Isabel said...

You may need a helper some days. Someone to come in while you nap, or to do laundry/dishes or something.

Can S take any vacation days and take your toddler out for 4 hours while you catch up on sleep/you time?

September 13, 2008 7:12 AM  
Blogger MamaSoon said...

Hi Momo. You sound really anxious about baby's arrival. I am sorry that S has long hours and responsibilities that take him away from home. Maybe you can convince B to help you with the baby. My SIL calls on her two and 4 year old to help her and makes it sound fun by saying, 'I need a big sister helper!' the girls are excited to help. Maybe B will rock the baby while you get a nap in from time to time. LOL. Just kidding. I know you'll figure out a way to care for your children well. I think I'd be pretty overwhelmed a few days before the world I'd recently gotten a grip on was about to get a little more complicated! Will DH have some time off when the baby comes? Good luck to you. Can't wait to see a baby pic. Hmmm maybe you are on your way to hospital right now. Hugs, J

September 17, 2008 12:00 AM  
Blogger The Broken Man said...

Wow, poor you! I hope the baby stays put for a while longer, and you are able to sort this out a bit more with your husband.

The Broken Man

September 17, 2008 8:10 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home