I have always known I'm a very lucky lady when it comes to my hubby. Well, maybe not always, but certainly quite often I find a moment or two to count my blessings. Like today. Horrendous though it was in many respects - and begun with a good old grump at dear hub too - I was brought back to earth and positivity somewhat by another mum having a bit of a moan about her other half. Mother of a toddler, she admitted it would be nice to have a little bit of time to herself occasionally, even an hour once a week to take the dogs out on her own like she used to, or ride her horse, or take a bath in peace...
I was half way into agreeing with her wholeheartedly when my conscience gave me a big old boot and suddenly I found myself confessing that actually my husband was very good in that way, and often took the kids to let me go to a yoga class, or have a bath/shower (at Granny's) in peace. I felt almost guilty that I had the luxury of such a wonderful husband. And there was me cursing him this morning because he had managed to wake the kids on leaving early, which meant I couldn't just roll over and go back to sleep as per usual.
And it got me to thinking. I have heard this tale oh too many times, and it is not for me to comment at all on other couple's relationships or how they divvy up their tasks and childcare, or how they look after each other. And for those single mums out there, I do admire you greatly, but this is not your chance to moan either.
I read an article in Juno just the other day about the modern mum's dilemma - that "there is little doubt that women were never meant to be home alone with a new baby or babies." In times gone by, and elsewhere in the world currently (notably "developing" countries) we had a strong peer support group of women to help us through the whole pregnancy-childbirth-childrearing process. But in the "civilised" world we have lost that, and are now expected to perform circus acts and generally be in 3 or 4 different places at once - physically, emotionally and intellectually. It's damn hard work for anyone!
The answer of course, lies within ourselves as mothers. We need to look after each other. It's all too easy for us as new (or even experienced!) mums to wallow in our own difficulties and get stuck in a negative outlook where the only apparent relief can come from having a bit of a bitch at the local mother-baby group or at the school gates.
But what if, instead, you were to reach out to another mum and say "Why don't I look after Jimmy whilst you go and do your own thing for a bit?" Or even better, get a group of you together where you can swap favours. How much better would you feel then? And who knows, if you relate this swapping of favours with your other half, s/he may feel as if they want a piece of the action too!
Feel good about yourself, get a chance to do something for yourself, and get a bit of community spirit going on!