I seriously dont get it. You clear the table, you take the rubbish out, you vacuum and tidy and have been even known to dust from time to time. What happens to you when we pass you your children?
I’m not talking about the all round useless men. We all know a few, and ladies (or doormats) married to them, and that’s a whole different blog. Or novel really.
I’m discussing the ones who seem like fully functional males, are able to make polite and amusing conversation at a dinner party, can be given a simple list of tasks to do around the home, and yet have issues when the word offspring isnt attached to a shiny disc in a plastic case. (For readers under 15.. shiny discs called CD’s came before MP3’s.. and the offspring were a popular 90’s band. “No way right?”)
I’ve seen you in your homes, we all have. You ask 50 questions when making up a bottle of formula, in the hope you wont be asked again. You refuse to be left alone with your baby for more than the time it takes us to nip to the bathroom and back, and even then you knock on the door casually wondering what might happen if Bobby was found eating the pot plant. You wrinkle up your face when you smell a dirty nappy and pass the offending child to your better (and I do mean that) half. Because actually menfolk, well done, you’ve cracked it. Whilst you dislike this chore, we simply LOVE nappy changing.
What’s this about? Is it because you’re out of the house more? Is it because you’ve honed in on some caveman stereotype of hunter gatherer and are worried that one bath time and you’ll be at home all day while we go out and club furry animals over the head for sustenance?
Or is it expectations? All I know is what we’ve done as a couple and my own experiences. The morning after R was born, C came to visit his former wife, current hysterical zombie, in hospital, and to a chorus of “why wont he stop crying? why wont he EAT?” he changed his very first nappy. He then sat with our newborn blob (I wont say baby-it’s an insult to babies ;)) and watched him and held him while I had the best shower ever and a bowl of cornflakes which I can only assume were spiked, as they may have changed my life. He didnt get a choice is my point. Aside from the fact that he wanted to help his wife and bond with his son, if he’d have started a conversation on what jobs he was willing to take part in at that point, he would have been hit over the head with a lactation specialists useless doll, on the offchance that i’d have heard him in the first place.
By the time we got home, we were full into “figuring it out together” mode, and there (Thank G-d) we have stayed.
So I have a new tribe of women to salute, the “I’m married to a great husband/useless father” ladies. Well done indeed, but may I offer a bit of advice, from someone who knows absolutely nothing about your situation and has very little idea what she’s talking about? Leave a note with clear details, turn off your phone, and head out for the afternoon. You deserve it. Of that I am sure.