I mentioned earlier that I feel bad asking my husband to help parent our child. It’s the stupidest thing, to feel guilt if she cries when he’s taking care of her. She cries for me too. She’s her own little person and we can’t necessarily control her. But for some reason I feel an intense level of pressure to make his job as simple as possible. I should probably be heaping on tons of daddy/daughter time for him right now because soon he’ll be in the throes of busy season at work. (He’s a CPA in public accounting. January-May we don’t get much quality time together.)
When I feel this guilt I sometimes think to myself, “At least I don’t live in an earlier decade where the fathers really didn’t do much to help out.” But sometimes I wonder if that was easier. The wife knew her roles were to raise the kids and keep the house together. The husband had his role to leave the house to earn money. These days we’ve got way too much pressure on women to “have it all.” So I’m supposed to do traditional mom tasks, I’m supposed to plan our menus and cook our meals, clean the house and work a full-time job. As well as various side projects that I’ve taken on: blogging, web development work for others, coaching. And my husband has the traditional man roles, work and take care of garage/yard stuff. But even that line gets blurred with me pitching in on some of the tasks, but just ask him how many times he’s cleaned the toilets in the past several years.
I just feel overwhelmed. I already had to turn down coaching Team Challenge for this next season, which depressed me but it’s also logical. I think I need to pare down for Alex’s whole first year. I can’t do everything I did before and pile on baby care, because parenting comes with a whole host of duties. It’s not just one new task, it’s about 8000 new things. Something has to give.
- I’m going to have to plan more meals that make leftovers. My hubby doesn’t care for leftovers much, but I can’t be making full meals every night of the week. Especially when his schedule is so unpredictable I never know when he’ll be home. Got any good casserole recipes that are easy to re-heat and would make leftovers, preferably ones that aren’t full of cream/dairy and tomatoes?
- No coaching this year. At least, nothing until Alex is a year old and I’ll re-evaluate. I will still make the time to get my first aid and CPR certifications renewed when they expire later this year so that I can retain my coaching certification with RRCA. But I can’t deal with the stress of coaching.
- Perhaps I need to re-think my distance running plans. I was hoping to run at least 4 half marathons this year. But right now I’m struggling to think how I’m going to get my training completed. I’ve recently read a couple of posts from other bloggers and they expressed some of those same types of feelings in regard to running and that first year of motherhood. Yes, there are some women out there that get back into the game, race halfs/fulls quickly and frequently after having a baby. But there are a good chunk of us that are just daunted at that task.
- Be more flexible with my work schedule. If I have to make up an hour or so of work after Alex goes to sleep, I’ll do that. If it enables me to get in a workout during the day and spend time with her, it’s worth it.
- Try to relax. I’ve been telling myself this for years. I honestly have no idea how to relax, I’m a very high-strung person. But I need to relax. I have a Massage Envy membership and I have a ton of pre-paid massages stored up. The trouble is that I have no idea when to use them with work and mommy-ing. Especially when my husband is away from the home for work for long hours. Perhaps instead of working after she goes to bed I should take bubble baths instead to aid relaxation.
So traditional family roles have evolved from what they used to be. And every family is unique anyway, so what may be “traditional” for one family is not for another. I just need to figure out what our “traditional” is now that we’re parents!