For many men fatherhood today is just as big of a role as motherhood. Modern men don’t walk in the door from work to a hot meal, shiny faced children and a perfectly presented wife to silently hear his struggles without burdening him with any of her own. They are hands on, they often parent unassisted, either as the stay at home parent, single parents or caring for the children alone during the time their partners are at work at night or on weekends. Like motherhood the true challenges of fatherhood are often glossed over and mens role in parenting is also often down played; Dads babysitting again? No, he is actually parenting. I am the primary stay at home parent in our family but when I’m at work my husband is the stay at home parent and does everything I would be doing.
When I decided to create this series, I knew I needed to include a male perspective to the parenting challenge but I worried about finding a nan who would feel confident to share his story with me and all of you. Then my friend and colleague M published this article in his new blog and I didn’t need to search any further. So, with his permission, I share with you today M’s story of his parenting challenge.
RAW AND HONEST
From the author of
You may notice that every second week I have a slum in posting blogs. This week just so happens to coincide with the week where I look after my smalls.
I’m not going to lie to you or put up same fancy facade that indicates to you that I’m some kind of super human and make you all feel bad about not doing better yourself.
It’s not easy. Being a single parent sucks. Further more not having any support during this week sucks. Having to say goodbye to one family one week and my other family the other week really truly sucks.
I work full time and whilst my job isn’t heavily physical it is a brain fryer.
I basically over analyse everything, whilst on the surface I wear my smile suit and seem to come up with solutions quite quickly, inside I’m thinking through every possible scenario and trying to work out the most equitable, effective and efficient result. This is so very taxing and it doesn’t stop at the office.
I wear my emotions on my sleeve and unlike most “blokes” i’m not simply limited to anger and happiness. Because of this I find it hard in these times to relate to those who I know don’t understand or feel comfortable with this. I distance myself not because I need to be but because i don’t want to inconvenience anyone.
My house is a mess and my yard is long past due for a mow. By the time the weekend hits the washing has piled up and generally keeps me grounded until I manage to hit an acceptable amount washed and dried.
I feel like I have been playing catch up and I strive to get ahead.
As a parent I have absolutely no idea what i’m doing.
I’m strong but I’m not impervious.
I find that I don’t have any time for me and that maybe I have lost me trying to hold everything together. I feel guilty for taking time out for me or at least I’m made to feel guilty. Habitually now I just won’t make the effort for me time to avoid feeling guilty.
I have found part of me again through my cooking, something that can be mine but also be shared at the end.
More me time includes my new business venture into becoming a Thermomix consultant. If I can help others on their journey it makes me feel better about my own journey. Financially I currently live hand to mouth despite working a full-time job. Hoping that whilst not overly financially motivated in the consultancy gig it can allow me the ability to afford to save. Work on living again. Be able to afford to take my family on holidays. Be able to afford to buy a newer car (currently 17 years young).
I work too hard to just pay bills and die.
I give everything my everything and maybe this is my shortfall.
So apologies if I’m not consistently blogging but when I can I will. P.s. this also classes as me time and yes I do feel guilty for taking the time to do this.
If the struggle is real for you too I just want you to know that it is ok to feel like that, we are only human. We don’t need to pretend that we are coping when we aren’t.
I struggle with asking for help not because I don’t think I need it but because I don’t feel like I can ask for it most of the time. I sit back quietly hoping that it is offered but it never is. So when I do ask for something it is usually 6 months after I needed it and I have been working up the courage to ask.
You can always ask for my help if you need it.
Not all is lost and miserable in my world and most of the time I’m pretty good. I have my three wonderful children and my amazing partner. I work with a bunch of great people. I love my family and friends to bits and would do just about anything for anyone.
Look forward to see where you are heading, strive for that goal and only look back to remind yourself how far you have come.