I took my eldest to Kindergarten today. While the emotions are ravaging my mind and soul tonight, I can’t help but exhale a bit.
He did great. He seems great. Life moves on.
So while the Mom in me grapples with time passing and children growing, the woman in me is rather pissed off.
Expectations are killing me.
As most of you know, I work.
I work like millions of Americans and like millions of other mothers and fathers.
What is making me angry, and what I can’t wrap my head around tonight, is why my parenting expectations are so much higher than my husband’s.
He works, too.
But there are special ‘clubs’ at school for Dads, catering to ‘finding opportunities for father’s to participate’ in school functions. Me? It’s just expected.
So there I was, signing up for a few volunteer positions (because if I didn’t god only knows what doom it would spell for my child or our future at a brand new school) and my husband is afforded the luxury of ‘Dads Club.’
Which, mind you, he nearly skipped signing up for because…you know…he works.
I realize there are larger things at work here like society and culture and biological predispositions…but stay with me.
As a thinking person I realize that regardless of work, I need to be involved in my child’s school. It’s not convenient. I have a million other things to do, but ‘work’ is not an excuse to get out of it.
The only thing that makes this even slightly manageable – I work from home. What about the millions of mothers who leave the house to work daily? Who punch a clock? And is my work diminished because I DO work from home?
You just work from home…you can come sell cookies and help organize the fundraiser.
Why are all these working women expected to participate, while their male counterparts are given a pass? Or a special fucking club, like if they show up they are already 10 steps ahead of any other working father on the planet.
Reminds me of the Dads (of which my husband is one) that actually change diapers and give baths and suck out snot with the bulb thingy. You’d think they had walked on water from all the praise they received for participating in their child’s life.
Every time I think we’ve made progress, I am confronted with the reality of our society expecting everything of women when it comes to raising children. Nevermind there is another capable adult in the mix.
Oh, that guy? Yes well, he works.
No one thinks anything of raising an eyebrow if I dare text on my blackberry while sitting at a school function, yet those same no ones don’t even glance when the guy in the suit gets a call during Kindergarten RoundUp and he spends 3 minutes whispering into his cell.
Obviously, he’s a guy. In a suit. It MUST be very important.
Me? Oh you know, not much at all. Just feeling like not paying attention to my child’s teacher momentarily to do something as UNimportant as reply to Barack Obama and John McCain’s staff.
It has nothing to do with gender roles or societal norms. It has everything to do with being a parent.
Which is why, at my very first PTA meeting, I just might have to ask for a MOM’s Club. You know, to find those ‘opportunities’ for involvement in my child’s education.
Or maybe I’ll just sign up for the Dad’s Club.
School’s in session.