My husband is pretty darn incredible (humble brag). He does most of our housework, works full time and is the most incredible father I could ever dream of. He also makes me feel like a million bucks when I haven’t brushed my hair for 3 days and don’t know the last time I wore a bra.
I understand not all husbands are like him, and I understand in generations gone he would have probably been ridiculed for what he does around the house. But this one encounter he had a few days ago has been playing over and over in my mind.
Hubs had taken the kids for a walk to the grocery store to grab a few things. They loved the idea because they were able to catch Pokemon along the way on their tablets. Our 4-year-old is incredibly clumsy (we know it, he knows it) and is often so distracted by what he is doing or so excited that he runs into something or falls over.
Well, it happened again. Just outside the grocery store the 4-year-old bumped his head on a post. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. But he was upset, and my amazing husband was consoling him.
Then, out of nowhere, a swarm of women (okay, slight exaggeration, it was like 3) were around him, fussing over him and asking if he was okay. They were coo-ing and inspecting the bump, doing all the “motherly” things. They stayed for a few minutes until the 4-year-old had calmed down and they made sure the Hubs was okay, too.
What amazed me is this only ever happens to my husband. Not me.
If it was me with my son that day and he had bumped his head, not one other person would have come to check and make sure he (and I) were okay. No one would have offered help in calming him down or any assistance in any way. Not once ever has this happened to me. And most of the time I don’t need the extra help, but there are times when my hands are full, the grocery cart is running away or I need to juggle a few too many things and my son is the only priority. An extra set of hands or even a simple, “Are you okay?” would go a long way.
So when Hubs told me about it, I was amazed. He said it happens quite often when the 4-year-old hurts himself and he was amused at first. But now he just feels like these women don’t think he can take care of our son, because they only ever offer to help him, not me.
Now, what these women don’t know is that my husband is not only an amazing dad, but he is also a paramedic and more than qualified to take care of a simple bump and calm our son. There are even times at home when he has hurt himself where “Mummy cuddles” aren’t enough and he asks for my husband. We both console him in different ways and I love that.
But is this what it is like for all women? When did we stop helping out mothers that had their hands full and assumed because they were a mum they could handle it? And since when does being a dad mean they can’t cope when their children are hurt or upset?
So the next time you see a mother juggling 50 things at once, or looking like an extra set of hands would help, ask if she needs anything. Or even just acknowledge her and that everything is going to be okay. Don’t just offer help to the dad. The mums need it too!