Rubbish Dads Pt 2, or Mother’s Guilt.

Strategic Incompetence

This was brought to my attention yesterday after my initial post on “Rubbish Dads…”

Simply put, men, or some men, want to do as little as possible. In order to achieve this lofty aim, they either pretend they have no clue what you’re talking about, or proceed to complete whatever the task is with such awful results that they wont be asked again.

My question remains the same, how does this work when it comes to your children? I dont mean literally how, I’ve seen many examples. I mean HOW do you actually see it through? How can you not care?

Maybe I’m a huge control freak, maybe I’m a mother, but I cannot let anything vaguely important go without my input.

When I’m out and about, and R is with a babysitter, I can’t ever fully get him off my mind. C says that’s not the case for him. Once R is asleep, or not with him, he may get the odd twinge of ‘Oh how cute my son is’ or ‘maybe i’ll go in and look at him’ but apart from that, he isnt really thinking about him. How weird. My days without my baby are full of “I wonder if he ate his lunch” and “what do I need to pack for him for our trip next weekend?”

I need to know what he’s eaten today, how well he has slept, if he did anything einstein-worthy (eg: clap in time to the music) otherwise I’m lost in my world of routines and planning and well.. being mum. Men just dont have this frame of mind. Baby isnt crying = Baby isnt hungry/tired/wet = Great. But what if he secretly IS hungry/tired/wet and you dont know it because you’re blessed with such a happy tot? Answer from the male camp.. “Er.. who cares?”

Maybe this difference is, I understand the consequences. Get supper wrong, and I’m the one blearily walking into the doorframe at 3am when someone wakes up hungry. Forget to change a nappy, I’m changing not only the nappy, but the clothes and sheets also.

Or maybe not. Maybe the menfolk have it right. From day 1, we mothers (and especially the jewish ones) spend our time doling out serious amounts of guilt to ourselves. Are we breastfeeding right? Are we weaning correctly? Is she walking on time? Am I spending enough time with him? Should I be blogging while he’s chewing on the telephone wires? 😉

Perhaps it’s all a bit too much. I’m not suggesting we move into the men’s camp altogether, or the future of civilisation may be at risk. And I’m certainly not advocating strategic incompetence. But who knows? We could learn a thing or two by shutting off from time to time and assuming that if the kid seems fine.. theyre probably fine.

Oops, I’m 7 minutes off sched for naptime, and then there’s lunch to make.. and the bag to pack…

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