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Bad Moms and Carefree Dads

July 28, 2008

After three and a half years of parenting, I’m beginning to realize that men and women generally view this whole parenting thing differently.  Women tend to be filled with shame, guilt, and resentment.  Men tend to be a bit more optimistic, able to overlook the small things, and don’t even see the chaos left in the wake of childcare.

I know that my Mom was the one who was always screaming and pretty much out of countrol with her two boys.  My Dad rarely got angry, and when he did, it was with good cause.  My Mom complained about her weight, the messy house, the inlaws, the neighbors, the family, our messy rooms, our lack of obedience, and then about 1000 things that seem so trivial now.

As she was dying, she lamented how we two boys always loved our Dad more than her, and yet she did all the work and he was always screwing around.  No, it’s not true, we didn’t love our Dad more; but he was more fun to be around!

No, it’s not true, we didn’t love our Dad more; but he was more fun to be around!

Today I came across several mommy websites that really reinforced the guilt and shame that moms tend to live in.  As if I needed any reminder, the Mom in my life, seems to really struggle with enjoying our beautiful kids.  First there was Bad Mom, and then there is the Bad Mommy Blog.  One seems to be wrestling through her angst, like my wife, the other seems to be saying: “See, I’m not so bad.  It’s not like I’ve killed my kids or turned them into child prostitutes or anything?”

I see struggling moms taking both approaches.  Dads on the other hand seem to think that they would have to work really hard to mess up their kids, while moms seem to think their very presence is ruining their kids.

I don’t know why this is.  All I know is that I wish my wife could chill a little more often.  Meanwhile, she seems to dwell on the fact that I could help out around the house a bit more often.  My kids are going to be really happy that we balanced each other out. I hope?

  1. July 29, 2008 11:24 am

    First, thanks for the link (I think? :)). Second, I will accept that I can be angsty but overall I’m letting more go…I guess you’d have to have seen/heard me at the beginning of motherhood to see how I’ve grown!

    My blog name is an attempt at irony, really. I don’t think I’m bad, and I’m pretty sure my son has gotten over believing I am, too.

    But good points. I hope we, the collective Moms, can indeed lighten up and enjoy our job(s) more.


  2. July 30, 2008 1:35 pm

    Oops! I meant no disrespect to Stephanie, I don’t think she is terribly angsty – I was just too lazy to go find another mommy blogger example.

    I really was just speaking to the general observation of angst, worry, and shame I see in many moms.

    Sorry, Stephanie, I meant NO disrespect at all.


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