Try as he might my husband can never be the mommy I am
So here we are during this very weird and strange period in my marriage of nearly 14 years; strange how one might ask? Well my husband, a double board certified nephrologist and internist- who logged a cool 20 years in clinical practice is in a word no longer practicing the fine art of doctoring. And so the roles that I had imagined my husband and I would inhabit in our marriage have taken a 360 degree turn. I am digging in deep and working full-time and my husband is taking over most of the mommy roles I did when he was knee-deep in dialyzing patients at 1am on a Thursday morning. EXCEPT there is ONE BIG DIFFERENCE which my 11 year old daughter recently pointed out to me and phrased in only the way a child can when she said:” Daddy doesn’t do things the way you do”.. and oh that statement could not be more true.
Don’t get me wrong– this man can make a dinner that would rival any of mine–and when it comes to math and science homework he has me beat in that department as well. And I am grateful that my kids have the luxury of time with their dad, time that when I was 11 years old I never had with mine who I saw at 6:30 in the morning before he left for work and not until 9pm that same night when he finally came home. Despite our unique situation, and while at times I wish in the very dark recesses of my mind- that I could have married a doctor who had continued to stay in a profession he studied and toiled at for 11 years which would make us so much more financially comfortable – I also know that having him get this one on one time with our kids and truly being present in so much of their development is a gift too. That is except for the areas of parenting that he and I disagree in- which is where that comment my 11 year old made comes into play.
CASE IN POINT
During those early years when my husband was donning his white Dr. coat and heading off to the hospital at 6:30 am and I was doing the mommy carpool, last minute lunches, quick stops to pick up last minute items for school projects, etc… I was that mom who if my kid said he wanted to bring a snack that would WOW his classmates- would run to the store at 6 am and get him the snack he so desired. Whereas my husband–NOT SO MUCH. In fact this past Friday when my 7 year old son lamented that he needed a class snack that would be “EPIC” my husband said that the unsalted bag of pretzels he bought him would HAVE to suffice. And that’s where our differences lie.
My kids are currently in several after school activities two of which I take my daughter to- and work while I wait it out in a dance studio for two hours- because my husband thinks such activities are unnecessary. Were my husband at work– my kids would be enrolled in DOUBLE the after school activities. I’d want them to take advantage of every opportunity they were ready to seize– whereas my husband thinks after a full day of school- all they need is to practice the piano and settle in for the night (I’ve tried to remind him that they are not 65 year old geriatrics living in Miami Beach.. but it often falls on deaf ears).
But here we are in our sightly unconventional marriage trying to make things work, to compromise and I know part of this is acquiescing a lot of the mommy responsibilities to him- and letting him make those decisions without my interference or judgement- HARD AS IT MIGHT BE FOR ME to keep my mouth shut.
I am so curious- if there are other couples out there who have this shift in their roles as well and how you are managing to navigate this period in your marriage and family– I would love to hear from you!