Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Hate Mother's Day

To be honest, I have little use for Father's Day as well. Romans 14:5 says that one man regards a day as special, and another man regards every day alike.

[5] One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.(NKJV)

I'm the man who regards every day alike. The only days I really care for are New Year's Eve and my birthday. I really only like New Year's Eve because it's an excuse to drink. Since I have kids, my birthday has gotten to be like, well, Father's Day. I get a card and some token present "from the kids."

Blogs today are a"twitter" (you can follow my Twitter feed here) with how great Mother's Day is, or how great it is to honor mothers. I guess as a son, I thought well enough of it, but as a husband, Mother's Day is just one more thing to screw up; one more standard to fail to meet, one more thing to forget, one more pain in the butt that no matter how hard I try, the day will end with me blowing something. Really, it's a day to honor mothers, but is it a day for women to stop being wives? I'm not saying that in a chauvinistic sense (at least I don't mean to), but this "Romeo will come on a white horse and give me a massage and take care of the kids and cook all day" mentality has GOT to stop. Yes, wives, we love to honor you, but we're just as human as you are. We can't read your minds.

I'm writing this entry from a very low point, although putting this text on my monitor is somehow making me feel better. Blogging and journaling can be helpful, I guess.

Here is my marital advice to anybody struggling: MEN AND WOMAN ARE DIFFERENT! Just because a husband does not parent the children using the exact same means and methods the mother does, he is not a failure, he is a man! Men and women are different. Period. We have different needs, different physiological responses, and we see the world through different eyes. That is supposed to be a beautiful thing, not a reason to fight. If both of you are the same, one of you is redundant. One of the thousands of things that it take for a marriage to work is to realize that. My wife and I fight over a lot of things that are not right or wrong, they are not good or bad, they are simply differences between us. When I'm driving, my concern is getting us to our destination safely and on time. Period. OK, I'm also concerned with not listening to crap on the radio, but that's just good multi-tasking. My wife notices every single yard sale sign or piece of trash on the curb that "might" be useful to our house. I keep telling her if she sees a yard sale, I will be more than happy to turn around unless our destination comes with a pressing need for arrival, but she usually just huffs and tells me to keep on driving. She expects me to see the yard sale signs. I love her, and will do anything for her, but God did not give me the ability to read yard sale signs while I'm driving. I only notice things I'm looking for, and I'm not looking for yard sales. She sees cheap clothes for the kids, I see more clutter to find a place to put in the house. I could see if more yard sales sold good books or electronics, but they don't so I just don't see them. That's just being me.

As I said, I have little use for Father's Day either. Sure, I get a card, and some form of present, and when we go out to eat or go to church I hear some half-assed "Happy Father's Day!" I still don't get to stop being a husband and father. I still don't get to expect my life or day to be any easier. I still find a way to screw everything up and get my wife mad at me.

That's my counter-point to all the "I live in a happy bubble where everything is perfect" Mother's Day blog entries and editorials and sermons out there. Bah, Humbug!

As I said, I'm at a point in life where I pretty much regard every day as alike. My alarm goes off (except for most Saturdays), I get up, take a shower, go to work or church or go about my business. Days do not differ from each other very much right now. My concerns are raising my children and trying to keep our heads above water. I just don't have much time or concern right now for anything else. I also get very little support. I often feel like I'm on my own. My wife expects me to make decisions, then sometimes seems to emasculate me for the decision I make. I get seemingly little useful feedback from her in which decision to make, but I have to pay when I make the wrong one. I'm sure I'm not the only man going through this at this point in time, or in any point in time, but women fail to understand that men often don't like to have to ask for help. When I get home from work in the evenings, the two prime choices I have are: help around the house or spend time with the kids. If I try to help around the house I'm accused of not spending enough time with the kids. If I spend time with the kids, I'm accused of not helping around the house. There is no way to win! There is no right answer. And as a man, and an engineer, that drives me freaking nuts.

I of course love my family. God blessed me with a wonderful wife, and two great boys, and hopefully someday we'll have at least one more. I recognize that this is a stage of life that every man has to face. Just like boot camp, it's miserable and hard, but will eventually end. That offers little comfort. Boot camp was 8 weeks in the Navy. How long will this last?

I'm sure this entry will do little for anybody reading this blog, but it's done wonders for me. Hopefully we'll get back to my usual writing soon.

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