Saturday, May 06, 2006
Husbands and children
The other day, the ladies of The View were discussing how one of their producers asked time off from work to spend time with her child. Their boss was very considerate and gave her some time off. Now, one of the ladies who doesn’t have children asked, “What if I ask time off to spend time with my husband, will you give it to me?” The boss said, no, he wouldn’t.
Is it fair?
I remember I had a similar discussion with a co-worker whom I shared a cubicle with back when I was still working in the office. My children were still a lot younger then. There were times when I would be unable to report to work because one of the kids were sick and I had to stay home with them. Lisa, my co-worker, was single and she didn’t have children. She thought that it was not fair that mothers are being given consideration for these absences. Our company has very strict guidelines with absenteeism and she said that if she were the one missing all these days of work, she would be questioned. I explained to her that the days I missed work were not considered absences but were rather allocated to my vacation days. But it didn’t seem to make her feel better.
Let’s go back to that discussion on The View. Do you think it’s fair to the wife not to give time off to spend time with her husband when the boss agreed to give time off to the mother to spend time with her children?
In the 1950’s, women were expected to care for the husband. But times were different then. Women usually stayed home. Now, women are juggling among 1) husband, 2) kids and 3) work. After having kids, it’s hard to focus on the husband because you’re always tired.
I remember this husband who went on strike because he said the wife was neglecting him. The husband told the wife, “You were with me before them.” I don’t even think that’s the point.
Sometimes the husbands complain that they are being neglected. But they should realize that caring for children is a 24/7 kind of work. Perhaps if they offer help more often, that would lift some of the burden from the wives. After all, marriage and parenting is a 50-50 thing.
I am seeing quite a few men now who are being hands-on dads. Dads are changing diapers or bringing kids to soccer games. But mind you. They would change a wet diaper but not a dirty diaper. They would go to their kids’ sports games but not to doctor’s appointments. And why is the mom the one who stays home when a child is sick? Or are there dads who do?
And don’t you also think that husbands should initiate the romance? I know couples that make time for date nights. They find somebody to look after the kids so that they could go out and have time alone. I think that’s good for the relationship. But looking for a baby sitter could sometimes be a challenge in itself.
As for me, I’m not really big on dates. Although it would be nice to have that every once in a while. But what would really set me in the mood for romance is an offer to help with the chores or the children. That way I could relax. But why do husbands offer help only when they want to get some loving (if you know what I mean)? Wives need all the help they can get every time, right?
I think it was also on The View where I heard that the number 2 problem among couples is housework. Money being the number 1.
I know that there are men out there who understand the challenges women have nowadays and they do try to help. I’m not trying to bash men here, husbands and fathers in particular. Actually, I would like to hear their side.