Yes, we split a lot. He cooks, I will clean. He does all of the outside yard work, I vacuum inside and keep things tidy indoors. I will often deal with the baby while he takes care of the older two. But there are times, more often lately than not, that I feel like the parent who is telling everyone what to do and not do.
It might be when my older kids say to me, “Mommy, can I…?” and their father is sitting right there. Or when I was not on baby duty last night and yet still ended up waking up to screaming and had to search for my husband, who was sleeping on the couch, to have him get up and deal with it. Or when we are sitting at dinner, and one of our kids does something and instead of saying they shouldn’t do that, he encourages it ever so slightly. That is, until I glare at him or raise my eyebrows, and he quickly retracts or backpedals in order to cover his blunder.
Why is it that I always feel like I am parenting 24/7 and he isn’t? Maybe it goes back to the fact that mothers always have an instinct as to what their kids and family need at all times, or it’s in our nature to do so. Regardless, I’m sort of sick of it. Being the parent all the time is exhausting, and it often makes me look like “mean mommy”. I hate constantly reminding him what to do because I feel like a nag, and I hate being the voice of reason for everyone constantly because it looks like I’m not having any fun.
So maybe I tell the kids to “ask daddy” more often. Or I took extreme pleasure in waking him up when the baby was screaming last night (I think I made him jump a mile when I woke him up). Or maybe I ignore the kids when they are fighting so that he takes initiative in breaking up the fight for the 100th time. In any case, parenting is hard. It’s even tougher when it doesn’t feel like a partnership all the time or I feel like the constant voice of reason. There are times when mommy feels like tapping out. It’s been more often than not lately. Let’s see how the other half deals with it.