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January 14, 2009

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Nancy

Wow, I can so relate to this. I think I'm an MSP! My husband is an architect, and the profession requires crazy hours. He gets home (on a non-deadline night) at 9:00 at the earliest, after our 8-month old baby boy is sound asleep. And he has to travel a lot, too. I'm a working mother with a full-time job and have found it extremely difficult to shoulder as much of the parenting responsibilities as I have to. But as much as I sometimes resent being a "single" mom, I also feel sorry for my husband, missing time with his only son. I watch our baby grow older and think of the moments my husband is missing out on. I wonder if it's really possible to fully enjoy parenthood while also trying to achieve career success.

Andrea

I am an MSP too! My partner owns/runs two companies and was in the midst of a major transition when our baby was born in the fall. He sees the baby for about 15 minutes in the morning and gets home usually just as baby is going to bed. I was frustrated and resentful at first, but now I too find myself mostly feeling sorry for him as he misses out on the day-to-day changes taking place with our baby and isn't here for so many "firsts". Thankfully I am not working full-time so it has been manageable, but I have had to put my career second for the time being. Perhaps this is more a consequence of being a mom than a MSP. The major difference though to being an MSP as apposed to an SP is that there is less financial burden, and I can more easily take the time away from my career to focus on raising my child. I think something that hasn't been mentioned is that these missing parents may be working hard for what they hope will be a better future for their children, and new dads I think can be especially vulnerable to the out-dated feeling that they need to be the breadwinners for their families. It doesn't help matters that our North American workforce demands long hours as more and more the norm, and places less value than it should on family.
The key for me was to be able to admit that I needed help and to realize that it was okay for me to ask for it. In my case some outside help allows me a bit of a break and to continue working slowly towards my own career goals from home. This also helps prevent feelings of resentment from creeping back and allows for a healthy relationship with my partner.

Wenonah

I can so relate to this post! I have often felt isolated, resentful and overburdened with the care of my two boys who are 4 and 6. It has been an issue of contention between my husband and I; that he chooses to work all the time and spends so little time with us, (my view) and his need to provide for the family by spending most of his waking hours at the dealership trying to make the sale that will pay his commission based paycheck (his view). While we both have reason to our argument we have reached somewhat of a balance over the last 6 years of raising our boys.
Like the previous comment from Andrea, I too am able to work part-time but also take on all of the household and childcare responsibilities. I am grateful to have my parents nearby to turn to for company and breaks when needed. I am also thankful for the support I do get from my husband because I see how difficult it is being a single parent like my sister.
Nobody's life is perfect. We all have to do the best we can, ask for help when we need it and be there for eachother in our community. I most certainly would not have made it this far without the support of the Mom & Baby group that I joined at the Birth Center 1 month after my son was born. The other mothers in that group gave me support and solace in good times and bad.

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