Motherhood is something I wasn't sure I'd ever get to experience. Thanks to a lengthy list of medical issues, getting pregnant would prove to be a feat (to say the least). However, I did become "with child," as they say, and more than once. In the time since giving birth I've learned a lot, including which superheroes rule and how often my daughter expects the tooth fairy to visit (too often). If this sounds familiar, these may be signs you actually like motherhood! Yay!
The down side, of course, is that even if you love it, you might have a partner not pulling his, or her, own weight. This can make the whole parenting thing that much harder to experience, adjust to and learn from and, believe me, I feel your pain. My partner and I have been together twelve years and in the majority of that time, our children have been with us. As much as I love being a mother (and I do, don't get me wrong) there have been many circumstances in which I've all but begged for just a little more help.
Let's face it: parenting is hard and it's a lot harder if you're always flying solo, even when that solo flight takes place within a partnership. Now that I've taken a step back to appreciate all that motherhood has given me, I'm also able to see the weaknesses in my own personal, romantic relationship. It's not easy to talk about, to be sure, but in all the ways I'm giving my children the best of me, there are times my partner has only giving a portion of himself and, well, it's just not fair. If you find yourself feeling the same, here are a few signs you need your partner to step it up.
You Cook Every Meal But Once The Food's Gone, So IS The Help
When it comes to meal time, I love to experiment with different recipes that may (or may not) be to my children's tastes. More often than not, I've reduced our "meals" to basically a plate of random tidbits I know they'll eat, because why not? Though, in all the mess-making — with pots and pans, ingredients splattered all over the counter tops, and of course on my children's faces (and clothes) — it's not fun to be on my feet for whatever length of time it takes to cook said meal, only to deal with washing dishes, putting them away, wiping the table and getting everyone cleaned up after.
While it's great my partner loves my cooking, it wouldn't kill him to, you know, let me sit and eat my food before it gets cold, or even put the dishes in the dishwasher before exiting the room. Our kitchen is not a restaurant, and as much as I love cooking, I am not a 24/7 waitress.
The Laundry Doesn't Get Done Unless You're The One Doing It
Dirty clothes add up big time when you have a child and, as a result, I've come to accept that an endless pile of soiled clothes it's just part of the package. I honesty don't know how they go through so many articles because where are they going? Before my daughter even started school, she'd pile on dress-up clothes from an old trunk, somehow manage to get pudding or spaghetti all over them, and then I suddenly had mounds of laundry to do. It would be impressive if it wasn't so infuriating.
However, the only time laundry is mentioned seems to be when my partner's work clothes are all mysteriously unwearable. I'm fairly certain I'm not the only person who knows how to work a washer.
Bedtime Routines Are Sweet But Don't Have To Take Seven Hours
Bedtime is the best time. This is when snuggles are abundant and the quiet, peaceful end of day is near! Sometimes, though, a sleep routine can be time-consuming, exhausting, and all-around tedious. In the case on my four-year-old son, we take a bath, sit and read, tell a lengthy story, and recently, have added this weird intergalactic light show with the glow from his old baby monitor. The whole shebang can take upwards of an hour and with my partner working the second shift four nights a week, it's all on me and regardless of whatever else I need to get done.
So, on those days when he's off work and home, it sure would be stellar if this order of events didn't still lie solely with me as my light show performance has gotten a bit stale.
You Prefer To Live In A Clean Space But Get Tired Of Picking Up After Your Partner Because He Or She Is In An Adult
Kids are tornadoes. They come in, as Miley says, "like a wrecking ball," and they pretty much leave it that way until someone (usually mom, unfortunately) swoops in to pick it up. This isn't to say some kids, including mine, don't have chores or responsibilities where they'd be in charge of cleaning up after themselves.
In my particular case, my anxiety disorders don't allow a mess to sit for long. Unfortunately everyone in the house knows, and takes advantage, of this, including my partner. The rule should be "everyone clean because everyone lives here," but inevitably, there will be a new mess before I finish writing this sentence (there is).
Your To-Do List Has Less To Do With Your Children And More To Do With Your Partner's Errands
On any given day, my to-do list looks like a thorough bullet-point essay of who goes where and at what time, which lunch needs packed, what chores have been done and/or need attention, as well as the blocked-out time I need to work. In addition, I often have to account for things my partner throws at me (usually last minute) like the moments he leaves for work early and forgets to pay that one bill, or the situations when he didn't realize we were out of all the food so I have nothing left to cook for dinner (and I'm the only one who goes to the store).
In a perfect world, I would take care of my things, he would take care of his, and we would share all other responsibilities. Instead, I've been assigned to remind him to text his dad back "in case he forgets again."
You're Fully Invested In Play Time, Not Phone Time
Through many years of therapy, I've learned a lot about being present. It takes a lot of practice and isn't always feasible. However, I do attempt to be 100 percent there when I'm sitting down to play with my kids. Some partners, on the other hand, may have lost this necessity in translation. With technology wildly abundant, it's becoming harder and harder to have solid face time with anyone, let alone your children. And though I understand the temptation to play Clash of Clans, everyone would be happier if, while the youngest talks about his love of super heroes, maybe it could wait. Just. A. Few. Minutes.
You Don't Mind Setting Boundaries And Rules But Dn't Want To Be The Only Ruler Of Your Kingdom
Being the enforcer of all the rules is both exhilarating and tiring. I'm the Queen, hooray! On the flip side, I'm the Queen, boo. If two people can't sit down together to create, and enforce, the way of the home together, what's the point of sharing a life?
I get tired of being the "no" person while my partner is always the "yes" guy. It would be cool if, just sometimes, I could be the one to make my children's faces light up (and I don't mean from the nightly light show).
You Love Being The Go-To Guru, But Also Have An Identity Outside Of Motherhood
There's definitely a double-standard in effect when my partner is at work and all he has to focus on is his job, yet when I've carved out time to work from home on a set schedule, I'm still expected to do all the other things (such as make my son's lunch or manage everyone's time accordingly).
In the same sense, if something goes awry or advice is needed, my children will surpass my partner and interrupt whatever I'm in the middle of. Yes, it feels nice to be popular, but also, why is my time negotiable and their father's isn't?
You Love Play Time But Can't Remember The last Time You Had "Me" Time
I devote a lot to my children and can often feel drained by it when in conjunction with a full schedule. My partner seems to find enough time to peruse hilarious memes or spend an extra half an hour in the bathroom while my son literally bursts in on my (very short) bath time to "stare" at me until I'm finished.
The joys of motherhood are extremely rewarding but they'd feel even better if I could finish my meal hot, my work at the correct time, and my bath. In peace.