This guy! My heart!
Now that sleeping training is working (praise be!) and I’m more adjusted to daycare and we are supplementing with formula (this has been a game changer since pumping has been a challenge), I am breathing out a huge sigh of relief.
And it’s opened up the space for me to look at the bigger picture. Micah got the flu again this week and I noticed I was angry about this.
First, I had to figure out why. I realized that when I was sick, we didn’t have these systems set up and I still did a lot of caretaking while feeling bad. When Micah’s sick, he’s been able to pretty much check out until he heals.
This is just one example of the inequities between male and female parenting, even in this more gender ambiguous wave we are in. It’s hard on all of us, especially women.
Despite being in a very awesome relationship with a very active co-parent, these issues still show up and when they do, I get pissed. My old pattern would be to keep my anger inside and be passive aggressive. However, I’ve learned that a big part of self-care means having difficult conversations.
Over oatmeal, I told my sick partner how I was feeling. I listened to his responses, which were valid and thankfully, not defensive. We parsed our what was out of our control - our patriarchal, work-centric culture that doesn’t value families - and what is - reevaluating our personal finances and being more direct about what we need in the moment.
After, I felt closer to Micah and inspired to keep having these talks. We probably aren’t going to change a whole system with them, but we can chip away at how these dynamics play out in our family.
Little by little, we can reinvent what it means to be truly equal parents and little by little, it might just spread outward.