I hate that I have to even write a blog post like this, but it has come up so many times since having my daughter that I feel like I have to at this point, but “Hear Ye, Hear Ye – I am not a Single Mother!”
When we decided to start a family, one of the things that we have always said was that to the best of our ability, we will not lose ourselves just because we have children. We will still have a social life and we will still make time for each other. In part of not losing ourselves, one thing that has always been the case was that we “allow” (and I use that word very loosely) each other to have a social life outside of each other. If my husband wants to hang with his friends, I don’t have a problem with it because he may absolutely need that outlet in order to come home and be the best husband to me and vice versa. In addition we also hang with friends together with no issues. Thats what has been the best part of really marrying my best friend.
Well, now that we have a daughter, its sad that people are so used to seeing single mothers that people truly think men are incapable of caring for children. Furthermore, they act like even if you are married that the women is the only one who is to care for the child and that men “babysit” their children. It is absolutely horrible that people do not give fathers credit.
What made me get on my soapbox and say this?
Now, that maternity leave is over, I feel more comfortable taking time to have some “me” time. Do you know how many times pregnant me couldn’t take trips to Miami with my husband? Or random nights out to dinner? or just other fun things that pregnant women cannot do? I told him that I was going to start cashing in “mommy time” tickets.
As I cash in my tickets, people are starting to ask me questions like “Who is watching Gracie?” It started when I went back to work. First, I don’t get why it matters because I am no where near a child and who watches my child is a decision that me and my husband will make together… which brings me to my next point – I went out to the BET Honors and as I post pics of my night, someone asked “Who’s watching Gracie?”… my response is “I am not a single mother.”
My husband is a great husband and an even better father. He will do things to encourage me to go out when he knows it will make me happy, when I would rather choose to stay home with my daughter. But he is her father. He is not a babysitter and at times looks forward to having daddy-daughter bonding time. There have been only two times that I have been “out” without them and its only been for a few hours at most. Its already hard enough to go out because the moment that you leave, you are constantly thinking of your family. However, I know that she is ok – the same love and care that I give her, he provides to her. I don’t have to leave my house and say “now take care of my baby” and give him a list of what he needs to do because he has been there caring for her right alongside with me. Its just a shame that its not a persons first thought that when a mother is out that she is well cared for because she has more than just her mother who has her best interest at heart.
And let me say this, I shall reiterate this once more… I am a mom. That does not require me to HAVE to be home in order for me to be a good mom. A night out every so often with or without my family has no influence on whether or not I am a good mother.
So fellow moms and dads, raise your glass… here’s to us, moms! heres to the good dads! and heres to not losing ourselves in our new role.
In other words, stop asking “Who’s watching Gracie?” She is cared for by her parent or by someone we have chosen for her and nobody else needs to be involved in that decision, but thanks for your concern.