Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Back in the Olden Days...



On the weekend we ventured north to Mackay to celebrate the 21st birthday of one of B's cousins. It was great to catch up with B's extended family, but there was one thing, or rather person that was majorly pissing me off. That person was B's Grandmother... don't get me wrong, I do love her, but one this occasion I couldn't seem to do anything right. Apparently B doesn't get enough rest and relaxation and I as his wife and mother to his children need to be doing everything imaginable to make his life as easy and comfortable as possible. And me being me, I did bite. I asked her when exactly was I supposed to get any rest and relaxation. She let me know that my time would come when the kids left home, until them I lived for them and only them. No time is to be had for myself for at least the next 18 years...

This went down like a lead balloon with me and I told her is was now 2011 and that just isn't how we live anymore.

As a side note when we were having this 'conversation' B was sitting on the couch with a beer in hand watching V8's. I was holding one child and the other two were being tickled by there great grandfather... Prime example of his regular rest and relaxation if you ask me!

She of course went on to tell me how hard she had it when she was at home with her 5 children and her husband worked away. She then went on to question why I wasn't back at work yet... I don't know when I am supposed to have time to work seeing as B isn't allowed to parent his children according to her.

B is heavily involved with our day-to-day life, as he should be. I am not a 1950's housewife, we are not a 1950's family. He is welcomed home by 3 very excited kids, they are always seen AND heard. He does the majority of the bathing of children in this house AND he hung out two loads of washing today! OMG Slap me now for allowing and expecting my husband to assist in the running of the household.

B's grandmother reflects on this in stark contrast to my grandmothers (I am lucky enough to still have both my grandmothers with me) they praise his input and hands on parenting. My Nanna who we just stayed with recently in Canberra couldn't believe just how much he does do with the kids and praised him for it and told me how lucky I was. Not once did she criticise me or him for the way we share our parenting duties. She did continually compare him to my grandfather and how Pop would of never did anything like what B does. He never changed a nappy, never bathed a child, well you get the picture. She did tell me how lucky I was, but never once told me that we should change anything.

Do you get the back in the olden days type stories for your 'elders'? Are they positive stories or do you get crucified like I was over the weekend?

5 comments :

  1. I don't think that I have had an 'in the olden days' chat with either of my grandmothers, but one of them did tell me after we had a girl and then a boy that we had one of each and didn't need any more!

    I think that the whole 50s housewife thing is somewhat of a myth anyway. I am sure there were lots of involved fathers 'in the olden days'. Maybe?

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  2. My father-in-law was very hands-off parent. Children were neither seen nor heard once they started school. You needed to love them but by the time they got to school they knew you loved them and you could back away.

    I'm so glad he's not like that with the grandkids but he just doesn't know how to talk to them at all. He's very repetitive and some of the things he says are rather weird. They take what they can get though and they seem to love whatever attention he gives them.

    My dad was a shift worker but still had plenty of time to spend with us when he wasn't at work. I'm so grateful for that. Heck he even helps look after my sister's kids now she's back at work if my mum has to go out for a while. He'd rather not change nappies, but then who adores that chore? LOL.

    I'm so glad my husband is the opposite of his father. Yeah he's tired when he gets home from work but by that stage I'm pretty tired too! He showers with all 3 girls and makes sure the bedtime routine is followed. He listens to readers and runs through word lists. He snuggles with our cuddly toddler and enjoys spending time with the kids. Time to relax is when the kids are in bed.

    Oh and because I'm such a heavy sleeper, he gets up to the kids during the night. I often wake to find Miss 2 in bed with me and hubby sleeping on the spare bed. He's quite the trooper.

    He doesn't do cooking & cleaning unless specifically asked, and often his cooking contribution is just driving somewhere to get takeaway ;-) I don't mind that I need to ask him to do cooking and cleaning. I have taken them on as my responsibilities and I can be quite fussy about how things are done. That's my issue and he'd happily do more in that regard but I have a nasty habit of standing over him and telling him how to do it "right" which is very offputting. He does cope ok though when I'm bedridden or away for a weekend.

    Yes, I leave him at home on his own with the kids for one weekend a year. He coped for a week without me last year when my best friend won a trip to Japan and insisted I go with her. Sometimes I think the kids like him more than they like me!

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  3. I think i would go mad and be thrown in a padded cell if i was to do all the home duties and looking after my 3 kiddies 27/7 without a break.
    I defiantly could not live in the 1950's.

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  4. I'm sorry you copped it from B's Grandmother. I don't have any grandparents now. What I do have is a very supportive group of aunties who understand how different our circumstances and lifestyles are these days. It's not the same any more.

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  5. Thanks for the input guys.

    @silne- glad to here you have a very hands on hubby! I love that it is the norm now and not the exception.

    @Laney- that is great that you have a very supportive group of Aunts. They are worth there weight in gold!

    @Melissa- I would like to think it is a myth too!

    @Me 'N My Monkeys- Me too!

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