Sunday, May 07, 2006

Birthday Party

My wife, Jan belongs to a mommies group here in Westchester County. They met at the hospital where they all had given birth. I don't remember the circumstances of how they all met but I know it was initially at the hospital. Once the meeting was over they had decided to keep in touch. They have continued to stay in touch and still meet once a week (except during holidays) alternating where they meet. Well, the children are all reaching their first birthdays. My own daughter, Courtney had hers just two months ago but she wasn't nearly the first.

So while we were at this birthday party, I looked around and realized that nearly every father in the room worked never even taking paternity leave (which is their right under Federal Law). I was the only dad that stayed at home. I have taken on some occasional part time work but generally I'm a full-time daddy. I really hadn't clicked with any of the husbands in the group, but what was worse so of the mom's had been making jokes at my expense. Shouldn't you be carrying a purse? Are you driving a minivan yet?

At first I was a little hurt but quickly realized they weren't teasing but envious and here's why:
  • Their worried I may be a better parent than them.
  • Their husbands might not be so comfortable with me hanging around and paying attention to them and will give them a hard time.
  • They don't need to be reminded how 'hands off' their husbands are with the caregiving.
Okay, so you think its a far stretch? Could be, but maybe not.

In the meantime, I'll continue with the cooking, cleaning, laundry, mowing the lawn fixing the drippy faucet. I'm not just the caregiver, but I still function as the man of the house as well. And thankfully my wife still acts as the woman of the household when she comes home from work.


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