This post was sparked by the status update of my old friend Amy, who recently had a baby. She said something simple like "It must be nice to be a father." I immediately knew what she meant.
Another good friend of mine who had children before me told me when I was pregnant that I should know: "At best, at absolute BEST, the division of labor is still 80/20."
Huh. Well I didn't believe her, but she was right.
Then on the weekends, it's supposed to be 50/50 but somehow it ends up that TSA has to work on the car, or do something for work, or 'help' his friend build his airstream, or whatever it is and then suddenly, weekends start to feel just like weekdays.
I think the issue isn't only about actual time, it's about the ability to have freedom. He can just call me on the way home from work and say he's going to grab a beer, whereas if I want to do that, I have to plan way in advance for a girl's night to make sure he's going to be home at a certain time, etc. Not to mention the fact that in the early days when he did that (and he didn't do it that often, to be fair) I was literally counting the minutes until he got home so he could help me, so often it would result in my flying off the postpartum handle.
Also, although TSA is a terrific diaper changer and is capable of doing everything himself, for some reason, when I'm there, he always needs help from me to do things. This is fine except that then it's not really helping. So he's not really helping me by changing his diaper and getting him dressed if I have to pick out his clothes and bring him his shoes and socks (and sometimes put them on). And he's not really doing his bedtime routine if I have to draw the bath, and dry him off, and put him in his pajamas afterward, and drain the water and pick up all the bath toys. So really, all he did was play with him in the water and make sure he didn't drown.
I'm aware that this gap was even wider back in the days when men did absolutely nothing. But I guess my irritation comes from my liberated upbringing and perhaps from the fact that I had a child much later in life. I was used to a quality of life that I will never return to (of course, by choice) whereas it feels to me that a man's quality of life only shifts slightly, and maybe only temporarily as well.
As annoyed as this makes me, I am placated easily (at least momentarily). Listening to the two of them play in the morning makes my heart sing. I don't even mind (well, not really) when TSA decides mommy's morning nap is over because it ends with a curly haired red cheeked face in mine whispering "Hi!"