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gender equality is a lie.

I have several thoughts about parenting and gender that I need to one day coalesce into an essay.

Basically. You think that gender equality is bad? Wait till you have a baby. I started seeing an inkling of it when I took Andy to the baby wearing meetings, and there were 80 woman and 3 men. And only one other was really participating, the others were on their phone, or looking bored.

Then Andy would be hanging out at flipside reading a birth book, and people would be like: "Oh, you're so supportive!".

He is half of the parental unit!!!

So a few days ago, I was looking at facebook, and I saw my friend Kaci (hey Kaci!) in a photo with some out of town improvisors. And I felt this twinge of jealousy. The jealousy was over that she is out and about in a social event, and she can just go out and socialize when she wanted to. And I felt trapped.

I think feeling trapped is a common feeling among new parents. But I don't like feeling it at all.

The thing that brings me one of my most consistant pleasure in life, since I was young... was being able to go out and eat my favorite food, and read a book. And I felt sad that it would be difficult for me to just go out to my fav thai place and read a book.

Then I went and felt sorry for myself.

And then, the next day, the doctor said I could drive. And I was like fuckkkk it, I'm going to go have sushi and read a book. Andy took care of the baby, while I did that, and I felt sooooooooooooooo good. I was so happy after that.

The same day we left the baby and I went to his roast and laugh so much.

And I realized, I can have a life. It's my choice to leave the baby. I love the baby so much. But I also need to keep sane.

Several of the due club women remarked that I had social engagements already! How could I leave the baby so early?!

And the answer is: A father who pulls his weight.

Since Andy shares parental care, I get to go out too! I don't understand women who say that they haven't been out and left their kid since they gave birth 2 years ago. WTF. What happened to your life, your dreams, and your goals???

I told Andy yesterday that I don't think I'll have postpartum depression! And he starts laughing. But it's true. As long as I can go to my parties once in a while, and go out and have thai food and read a book, I think I'll turn out okay.

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floppyghost
Sep. 5th, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
Go away, maybe not, but it definitely diminish with increasing age and independence. Because the more independent the kids are, the less you have to attend to them every second of the day and night.

Mine are in school now, and sufficiently independent that it's not a problem if I arrive an hour after they do some day, or if I want to go to the cinema with my wife - they don't need a babysitter, they take care of themselves just fine for a couple hours.

"I'm going to the beach in ten minutes, those who want to come make sure they're ready by then" works now, while 5 years ago I'd have spent a lot of time helping the kids getting ready, doing all the packing for them and so on. (If they're not ready, I'd just go without them. Like I said, they do fine on their own for a while)

It's true I'm still -less- "free" than childless couples are. But on the flipside, I sometimes think I enjoy these small pieces of (growing!) freedom more precisely because I've been without it for a few years.

It's a blessing that children -start- out putting huge restrictions on you, and then you gain it back step by step over the next 10-15 years. It depends on how independent your kids are I suppose, but my parents happily left me to do my own stuff for 3-7 day periods when I was 16+ so I'd say by then they had their freedom back pretty completely.

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