Men, men, men, men, manly men..

Husbands/boyfriends/Dads, they get a bad rap sometimes.

It’s easy to fault men for all the things they don’t do but fail to recognise the things they do. I love being a Mum & wife but life can be exhausting with 2 small children. I’m in a privileged position of being able to stay at home & be the centre of their world because my husband goes to work to provide shelter, food, necessities & the little luxuries, which I greatly appreciate.

Parenting isn’t a competition of who has it harder, both parents make huge sacrifices to raise a family, the working parent/s misses out on seeing the kids while he/she works long hours, the stay at home parent feels hard done by because they do the bulk of the housework/chores and looking after the kids.

Every decision comes with a side of parental guilt but we are all just trying to do our best.

We read articles from exhausted mothers saying they wish they could have a wife to help them, it’s funny because we know all the things women do, but at the same time it diminishes the contribution of the husband/father.

Men parent kids differently to mothers, they are less protective, ‘sure you can slide down that giant slippery dip I’ll wait at the bottom’, they enjoy rough-housing, their priorities are less on appearance & more on play, fathers encourage competition, challenging limits & independence, they are direct & to the point in their communication, they can be sterner in their approach to discipline & tend to worry less about what-ifs?

Fairness is the perception of equality. In reality not all things are equal & it’s hard to measure anyway. Women want a husband who shares the household chores & supports her in looking after the kids. All parenting experiences are relative to each person’s situation. Expectations on men vary from culture, country and community. If women complain men don’t do enough & how exhausting motherhood can be‪#‎firstworldproblems‬, but universally parenting is difficult not just for mothers but for fathers too. The intensity of emotional, physical & financial commitment parenting requires means we all feel overwhelmed & unappreciated sometimes.

Dads may not do the bulk of the nurturing but they provide security & stability. We need to start remembering all the ‘insteads’ rather than the nevers. They may not wash the dishes but instead they wash & clean out the car that is a bomb site from traipsing kids around all week, they may not change nappies but instead they read a story & put the kids to bed, they may not do laundry but instead they mow the lawn, clean the pool, sweep the floors or teach their kid how to ride a bike & numerous other ways they show love & bond with their kids. They probably do all the manly jobs that frankly most women have no desire to do & yet they are still sometimes derided for not contributing enough.

There is so much judgement on parents & every decision made has an opposing viewpoint, if it takes a village to raise a child isn’t it time we started recognising that men are an integral part of that village & their contribution is equally as valuable? Wouldn’t most marriages benefit from cutting each other some slack & appreciating what both parents contribute to the family dynamic rather than being on the defensive & feeling animosity towards your partner for his apparent failure to meet your expectations of what the perfect husband/father does?

There’s always 3 sides to every story, his, hers & the truth, most stories of parenting or marital disharmony start with miscommunication, not understanding what the other wants, needs, expects, if women were more direct with men about exactly what these things were then men would be less confused & life would be a whole lot simpler for everybody ❤️

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