Updated: May 13
I’ve had hardwood floors for 20+ yrs that I’ve never mopped & rarely swept. In 30 yrs my husband has never filed taxes, paid bills, nor secured a home repair contractor. He also rarely handles car maintenance and was in MANY ways, a BETTER “mother” than I as measured by being innately predisposed towards nurture.
He has four older sisters, was raised in a home with both mother and grandmother, and helped care for his nieces when they were infants.
With that life experience, many aspects of early motherhood that I found overwhelming were as natural to him as breathing.
Very little about our marriage fits a conventional patriarchal construct of husband and wife roles, responsibilities, and duties and yet it works for us—MASTERFULLY.
I am thirty years grateful that we figured out how to BEST do us and comport ourselves accordingly, rather than twisting ourselves into pretzels striving to fit into the mold of religious, cultural and societal expectations.
Before we left town recently, he polished our hardwoods to a shine. I coordinated with our mechanic to get maintenance done on all vehicles in our absence. We returned to a sparkling house, and newly serviced cars.
And in the interim, we went away for 8 days, and laughed, giggled, cried, took silly selfies, made goofy videos, relished one other’s company and enjoyed the companionship of friends.
And we returned on Mother’s Day—which I don’t officially celebrate for reasons of my own that are nuanced, complex, and multi-layered.
And since those views have a HIGH likelihood of being misunderstood, and I have a LOW interest in explaining , I won’t bother expounding on the “why” of that choice, since it’s not point.
Be unapologetically you. Even if that doesn’t look like it does for some people, or most people, or maybe any people.
Don’t allow others (people NOR institutions) to dictate what that “should” be, or how it “should” look.
We spent a few years, in misery trying to conform, before leaning into the reality that in THIS relationship —he LIKES cleaning and organizing. Whereas, I HATE it, and am not that great at it!
Conversely, he is ABLE to keep up with bills, account numbers, passwords, and due dates—but that’s not his jam, and I’m a natural.
And who says the introverted Mom, who’s not a fan of 5 year olds to whom she didn’t give birth, has to chaperone the school field trip?
Olivia went on zero field trips and my kids were the better for it. Because Hiawatha loves kids. He was (and still is) the fun Dad who volunteered in children’s church when our kids were toddlers, and was still there when they entered college!
Joy and Peace lie in being our authentic selves. This means recognizing that OUR story does not have to fit some perceived script of “normalcy”.
Neither does yours!
Write your own script. Define your own normal. Chart your own path! Start today!