Monday, April 26, 2010

All about who?

I'm realizing more and more the differences between moms and dads and their perspectives on life with kids. The other day, I was going over the plans for the weekend with Honey, which included two Earth Day events where my moms group (Holistic Moms Network) had booths. It was shaping up to be a busy weekend, with me doing set up and breakdown of the booths both days since my co leader was with her family due to a relatives illness. While it ended up that it was calmer than that by far, I was planning and getting my head around how best to spend time with my family, keep them all from melting down, and get our booths taken care of. It was all about everyone else. My mom came down to help out, so Saturday was a breeze. Honey and I could set up sans kids, he would go back home to check on them and I'd man the booth until the first volunteer arrived. Then I'd go back for clean up later that day, again leaving the kids with mom. My mom planned on leaving Sunday morning, so it was going to be a little more complicated that day. While talking through this with Honey, I posed the idea of him bringing the kids Sunday to enjoy the event while I set up/cleaned up. His look said it all. No thanks. After a bit more discussion about the event - it was for Earth Day and there would be kids activities to do, he said "I don't care about Earth Day!". Well, yeah. But these are our kids, and it would be fun for them, and I have to go anyway, and wait a second... when did it become all about him?

An a-ha moment. I paused, and it sunk in. He thinks, "What do I like, what am I interested in doing?" then he thinks, "I bet the kids would like that too." and that's how it goes. I think, "What would the kids like? What would be great for them to experience? Where can they learn new ideas and meet interesting people?" I then consider if I will enjoy it too, and even if I won't really like it, if it is of benefit to them, I'll do it. So I likened it to reading a book for the 800th time - you are bored and really don't like doing it, but your child is totally into it so you read it again. Earth Day whatever - there's a petting zoo and some cool planting projects - we're going. It is NOT all about you. Honestly, I can't remember the last time it was all about me, and frankly it annoyed the heck out of me that he even thinks that way. It is a window into the inner workings of men and dads though, and I think it is important. In my experience, moms tend to put kids first to their own detriment, so while it is not going to be all about me anytime soon, I think I can continue to learn something from Honey about keeping myself a little higher on the list.

Turns out we only had to set up Saturday and clean up Sunday, so in the end, it was a non-issue. I wish we had spent more time at the Sunday event - it was really nicely done and there were a lot of kid activities. Alas, our day was a little full, Peanut had no nap, and all she wanted to do was look at the animals in the petting zoo anyway, so maybe it was good we only spent a short time before we had to break down the booth...

1 comment:

Thrifty Hippie Mama said...

I'm glad to hear that the festival wasn't too much work for you.
Mari does the same thing too. when I am cooking, i always make food for the kids, and then get around to eating something myself later on, if there is a chance. When he takes care of the kids, he'll wait until he's hungry to cook food, and he'll make it for himself and share with them from out of his bowl.
But I should give him some credit, he is getting a little better about realizing when they might be hungry after years of coaching :)