Monday, August 9, 2010

In Sickness and Health

First, I want to say thanks to everyone who’s called or emailed to tell me they’ve read the blog, and for all the positive feedback. Don’t be shy about leaving comments on the website, I’m keen to know what you all think. I’m a little bit later with today’s post than I planned to be because I haven’t been well. I picked up a random stomach bug over the weekend and was floored for a couple of days. I realised fairly early Sunday morning that I wouldn’t be able to take care of J and had to ask my husband to get up and give him breakfast. The little guy had woken up during a thunderstorm late Saturday night and D sat up for over an hour trying to get him back to sleep, so I felt bad asking him to get up again at 6 but he did it without complaint. He then took both J and the dog out for a walk and arranged a playdate in Tung Chung so I could sleep in peace and quiet. He went to the pharmacy and got me some medicine, did some grocery shopping and took J and the dog out again in the afternoon. He also helped with bathtime and cooked us both dinner. I couldn’t help but feel guilty all day and had to keep reminding myself that I do all that most days (well, without the dog walking if I’m going to be honest, but close enough).

When I was planning today’s post I originally wanted to take the opportunity to talk about how lucky I am to have a husband who’s such a hands-on dad. He does a great job of playing mum and I’m grateful that I could rely on him to step up and take over for a day. He made sure our son had a snack while they were out, changed three pooey nappies, and got J to nap twice during the day; it was admittedly a very decent effort indeed. At the same time I'm a bit disappointed that I had to be incapacitated for him to take over the reins. Then I got to thinking about the way we seem to acknowledge dads when they are involved and spend time with their kids but we forget about the mums that do it all day, every day. My sister-in-law told me about a friend of hers who would get quite annoyed when he’d take his kids to the park and people would come up and tell him what a good man he was for spending time with his children. He didn’t think it was fair that he got praised for doing something his wife did, without praise or acknowledgement, every day. I’m guilty of doing that myself, because it isn’t that common to see dads at the park or supermarket with bubs in tow. When I see a hands-on dad I want to encourage him to do it more often. I realise now that I’m a mum I need encouragement and praise sometimes too(and maybe a day off when I’m fit and well and able to enjoy it).

While I’m grateful for my husband’s help yesterday I want to send out a big thank you to the mums who stay up all night and get up early, cook 3 meals, play, bath, shop, work, drive, clean and love unconditionally day after day, no matter how they’re feeling or what else they have to do. So next time you see a mum out and about with her children tell her she’s doing a great job and let her know she’s appreciated. And dads out there, how about a trip to the park this weekend?

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