Hi Is This Normal,

My baby girl is sick. We haven’t slept in two nights, I can’t get my work done. I hate being a woman in this society it’s just not fair. It’s not fair for woman to work the first year of a kids life and it’s a joke our country it’s a f***king joke. My husband goes to work all day with no guilt bc he’s a man nothing else is expected of him. Is it normal to feel this way?

“Co” Parenting

Dear “Co” Parenting,

You are absolutely right, mama, and what you’re feeling is totally normal and valid. It’s NOT fair. And it is a f**king joke. Motherhood is a glorious, wondrous thing, But it’s also incredibly hard. Mentally, physically, emotionally – it’s heavy. And one of the reasons it’s so heavy on our shoulders is because we’re carrying most of the weight. It’s like when a toddler wants to help move something heavy and uses their little fingers to gently grasp a corner of the object, while we’re over here straining to keep it from crushing them. We’re being crushed under the weight of this massive responsibility, but hey, we’re women! It’s our job! Even though we also have jobs and lives and interests outside of motherhood! We’re somehow just supposed to magically balance it all, flawlessly and without complaint, because we’re women. And again, this is OUR job.

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of being the only one qualified to do this! Sure, we might have a biological advantage in some areas of parenting. But aside from actual pregnancy and childbirth and breastfeeding, there’s nothing we do that our male partners can’t do, too. It doesn’t take a uterus to change a diaper, or lactating breasts to get up in the middle of the night to soothe an infant. So why is the onus on us to make this all work? Did you know that when a baby arrives, a woman’s workload increases by about 21 hours, while a man’s only goes up by about 12.5 hours? The division of labor in the home is still really inequal, and more often than not, women are the ones who suffer.

It’s absolutely a societal problem. And while we may not be able to single-handedly change these gendered parenting roles, we can absolutely start small with changes in our own homes. You don’t mention how much your husband contributes at home, but it seems clear that he benefits from this inequity. He goes to bed, sleeps all night, wakes up, and goes to work! He doesn’t have to be up all night with a sick baby and still somehow manage to perform the next day. Society may not expect more from him, but you as his partner should ABSOLUTELY expect more. It’s time to level the playing field at home, and start equalizing the division of labor between the two of you. It’s not 1950 anymore – more women are working out of the home, yet are still handling the bulk of the child care. We may be superheroes, but we are not superhuman, and our partners need to step TF up. And maybe your circumstances are such that it can’t be 50/50, that’s fine! At the very least, him understanding that the current set-up is not working for you and that you are struggling is the first step in finding a scenario that works for you both.

Putting the “Co” Back in Co-Parenting,

Is This Normal

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