It’s strange that when a mother talks about a good husband, she says things like, “He helps a lot.” I say it myself all the time. It’s strange for two reasons:
First, it is strange that somehow everything to do with raising a child falls on the mother’s shoulders, and the father just “helps” when he could be bothered. And he somehow deserves enormous credit for everything he does – whereas the much larger amount that SHE does is simply her job.
Second, it is strange that a father’s love and attention for his own child is not considered as a grand thing in its own right – it’s merely an addendum on the mother’s love and attention – as if she is the real parent, and he is not.
It is a beautiful thing that, with the exception of feeding, Louisette is mostly CJ’s responsibility during evenings and weekends. In those times, CJ is the “real” parent and I am the helper – if I volunteer to change a nappy or to run downstairs to replace the dummy in Louisette’s mouth, CJ thanks me without irony. Because in those times, it’s his job – not mine. I noticed this phenomenon the other day, and I’m so glad.
In the mornings, he gives me the gift of ten minutes – enough time to cram in breakfast and brush my teeth if I haven’t had the chance – which makes a huge difference too.
Best of all, he actually spends time with Louisette without my supervision.