Let me start by saying that in NO WAY shape or form do I think of dads as the “lesser” parent. I know plenty of single dads (my brother included) who do an amazing job of raising children.
With that being said, to assume the Dad experience is anything like the Mom experience or vice-versa would be dumb. We see, feel, and do things differently. As much as some people want to scream that we’re all the same and should be treated the same- we’re simply not.
A man will never REALLY know what it’s like to carry a child in their stomach or know the fear of having your no-no bits exploded.
A woman (outside of surrogacy) will never REALLY know what it’s like to watch another person grow life that you helped create inside of them. Will never know what it’s like to feel your baby kick through someone else’s stomach.
A man will never know what it’s like to hear a baby cry and have your fucking boobs leak.
These differences carry on LONG after pregnancy is over. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have the terms “Mama’s boy” and “Daddy’s Girl”. The differences create completely different relationships between our children and us.
It’s. Just. Different. But I feel the need to explain it! I feel the need for my husband to understand why I am how I am when it comes to the kids! HE NEEDS TO KNOW, DAMNIT! THEY ALL DO!
So HOW- how do we women get men to understand? Wouldn’t it be nice if we just automatically knew exactly where each other were coming from so we moms could relate better to fathers, and so fathers would know that we moms aren’t JUST crazy. I swear! We aren’t! We have good reason to be as neurotic and batty as we are!
Sure, they have those weird “contraction simulators” they strap dudes to, but when it comes down to the crowning and the tearing and the pushing- there’s nothing that comes even close. We WISH there was so we could stand back and point and laugh and said “SEE! YOU SEE WHAT I WENT THROUGH?! THAT IS WHY I AM THE WAY I AM, MAN!” but that opportunity is not likely to happen. This isn’t freaky fucking Friday. Lindsay Lohan isn’t going to pop out of a bush and give you a magic fortune cookie. Well…. she might- but don’t eat it!
As much as I sat around and wracked my brain on ways to really explain it to my husband so he would stop giving me the weird eye when he came home from work because I was cursing a Lego’s mother as I tried to vacuum it up repeatedly instead of just… oh, I don’t know… bending over and picking it up? Yeah, that. I came up with nothing.
It wasn’t until I was at the back doctor earlier this week that I had a breakthrough. And not just because I had the shit cracked out of my back.
The kids had promised to behave during this appointment with the promise of a special snack afterward. They lost that special snack about 5 minutes in. I don’t know what it is about doctors offices, but kids seem to forget ALL the manners I’d so painstakingly made sure to instill in them. Gone. Poof. Suddenly I’m the mom with the unruly asshole kids who can’t sit still for 30 seconds.
I did my best to keep my cool; I don’t like to bring Badass Mean Mommy out in public unless I absolutely have to, but inside I wanted to snap. YOU TWO ARE BETTER THAN THIS! I AM NOT A SHIT MOM WITH DISOBEDIENT BRATS! CALM THE FUCK DOWN! I WILL SELL YOU ON CRAIGSLIST!
Something tells me they knew I wouldn’t unleash the fury open them with judgy eyes watching. Smart little shits.
In my best terrifying hushed mean-mom voice, I told them in no uncertain terms that if they didn’t calm the fuck down, I was going to burn all of their toys at the stake and do a dance on the ashes. Fear is a serious motivator, y’all! Fear has nothing on the doctors office. They only acted WORSE. By the time the doctor had finally come in, I’d gone into a state of maternal zen. The spinning and shrieking and general assholery could no longer get to me. I smiled at the thought of a million Legos burning. Funny what we fantasize about after having kids!
After finding the knots in my shoulders and trying to unsuccessfully turn my head, my doctor instructed me to lay on my stomach. YAY BACK POPPING TIME! I flipped over and usually we get right to the adjustment, but he paused.
“What is THAT from?”
I sit up a little and look back to where he is motioning to. He’s pointing to a bruise on the back of my leg
“I have no idea” I respond
“That’s a pretty nasty bruise not to know where it came from!”
He was right. That thing was giant and disgusting and for a while I thought my leg might fall off. I thought for a moment, and then the answer just kind of came to me
I turned around and plopped back down. My doctor didn’t say another word about it.
That was it! That was the answer! The explanation! The end of the “my wife is fucking crazy” looks!
The feeling of Motherhood is like walking around with a GIANT mystery bruise on you. It’s sensitive, and while sometimes you may not really notice it’s there, it’s always at the most surprising times that it effects you the most- and while that might make others nervous, or worried, or even anxious about this giant different about them- we’ve just accepted it as a part of life.
Now, come over here so I can sneak up behind you and kick the fuck out of your shin so you can REALLY experience motherhood!
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