So I recently read a long, controversial article on the importance of “horseplay” amongst dads and their children. The idea is that the time dads spend with their kids sometimes – in moms’ eyes – is not “productive” or “not involved enough or present enough.” It went on to suggest that we should allow ourselves to come to a philosophical compromise: that children do and will interact differently with moms and dads – and they should.
There are also times when children do find the “fun” in being with mom – that it’s not all about “Clean up your room and do your homework!” as the stereotype of the rigid mom used to be. We moms we need to see and feel the lesson in knowing that it’s OK to allow dads to be whatever their sons or daughters want them to be in the moment – and if that means playing on the floor, tumbling or watching television together, then as moms, we should relax into these moments and take them for what they are – simply giving our partners and our spouses that opportunity to BE with our children.
Men are sometimes put in a frustrating position of being told to spend more time with their children, but it’s not to the standards of what we moms consider “spending time with” – so men often say, “I don’t understand what you want – I am with my kids!” I myself have had these judgments on occasion – like when I see my son tackle his dad on the floor and I wonder, “What exactly is he learning?”
So I found the gold and the lesson in relaxing into moments – and allowing things to simply be and be in the present – when my husband was recently away for a long weekend. For four days/three nights, I planned to do “secret women stuff” – like camp out in the middle of the living room floor with a mud mask on and my favorite tattered pair of dumpy sweatpants that make my husband cringe when he sees them. And paint my nails and watch horrid reality shows and simply just enjoy being.
And I will admit that I eerily found myself gravitating toward some “male” behavior I once found so revolting when he’s home! For instance – the remnants of the Swiss Almond Vanilla Hagen Daaz ice cream container, which comforted me while watching Bridget Jones’ Diary: I woke up right next to it on the coffee table. No coaster or napkins gingerly placed underneath it, but right there creating an awful offense of household no-nos. I looked at it and rolled back to sleep. No urge to pick it up and scold myself or toss it into the garbage – or even cringe that it may leave a mark – but a feeling of, “Huh, so what? I’ll get it later…” That felt good to say and do!
So, we can learn from our husbands and partners that it’s OK to sometimes simply BE and not have a reason or need to justify our actions in the moment. Eckart Tolle would be proud of this milestone for women – if we can cherish the role of our husbands and enjoy all the differences that make them who they are to us and to our children.
Celebrate them and enjoy the present moment. This must be what being a MAN feels like! 🙂
Lisa St. Hill is an accomplished artist and instructor in fashion, dance and yoga with training from the Fashion Institute of Technology of NYC. A proud mother of two sons, one 22 and one 2 years old, she created the fashionable postpartum corset called My Goddess Wrap, which is featured in Connecticut ‘s largest lifestyle magazine, Serendipity.
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