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Home My Blog Happy Fathers Day

Happy Fathers Day

Tuesday, 01 September 2009 21:58

Wishing all you wonderful men out there a salubrious Fathers Day.  Lets tell them that we think they are wonderful and give them a kiss and they will be on top of the world.

I used to think that men and women were essentially the same.  I was a bit of a tomboy when I was growing up and had lots of boy friends.  I was reminiscing the other day with my sister about my 16th birthday party - it was such a great party.  It was a joint party with a friend of mine whose birthday was a couple of days before mine.  Well it ended up that most of her guests were girls and most of mine were boys and it was a huge success, as you can imagine.

But it was not that long ago that I came to understand that we are different.  I had read the book Relationship Rescue by Dr Phil McGraw (I know, I would have scoffed at the book too but a good friend gave it to me to read and I thought I would give it a go).  There are lots of good things in this book especially about taking responsibility for your actions, leading positively and not trying to change or fix the other person.

It was quite a revelation to realise that men and women are different - and it made me see our relationship in a whole different light.

And the differences become pretty obvious when you have children.

I think the way that our society is structured, we do expect too much from men and they do struggle with the pressure.  (I know, women are still expected to be wonder women - working, doing the majority of the housework, being the primary care giver for the children.)

Don't get me wrong, I have done my fair share of grumbling about how hopeless men are.  I can't believe I am doing this, but this blog is about not being so hard on the poor boys.

And this from the woman who would seethe when her husband came home a few minutes past 6 pm and I was expecting him home at 6 pm and had been having a hard day with a crying baby.

A good example is childbirth.  In years gone by, it was women's business and all the women in the community gathered around and helped each other.  It is great now that men are more involved and are there for the birth but I think the pendulum may have swung too far the other way.  It is a big ask of men to expect them to be at the birth and give you the support that you need.  Most men are fixers - they see a problem and they want to fix it.  So imagine putting yourself in their shoes - here is the women you love about to give birth to your child and you are expected to support her and comfort her while she is in incredible pain when all you want to do is get rid of the pain for her.  It must be so emotionally draining.

In some cultures, the mother stays in bed for the first six weeks and all the women relatives help out during that time so that the mother can enjoy this special time with her baby and not worry about anything else.  What a fantastic idea!  Compared to our paradigm of expecting to look after a newborn baby, the house, the cooking and losing all your excess weight in the first six weeks.

Having a newborn baby is such a shock to new parents.  No matter how  much preparation you have done, it is like being in a whole different world.  We often do not like to burden our mothers or friends too much, so we look more and more to our partners to give us support.  My girlfriends and I didn't help each other out at all when we had our babies - we struggled on by ourselves.  But I am sure that we all would have loved to have helped.

It is great that men are more involved in raising their children, especially when they are babies.  Most women are focused on their children and can expect their partners to be the same.  But men are hard wired differently.  Most men try to do the best job they can do but it is hard when our expectations are so high that they cannot possibly fulfil them.

So instead of complaining about all the things they do not do, let us try and give them acknowledgement for all the things they do do.  I am not saying it is easy.  Especially when you have had a hard day and they come home wondering why you are all stressed out.

And lets ask our friends for help too.  We will all be happier.

In my Mothers Day blog, I spoke about telling your mum something specific that you love about her.  So what about doing it for your dad this Fathers Day.  And to our partners - they really do not need that much - lets tell them that we think they are wonderful and I bet that will make their day.


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Comments

avatar Steve
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Mary
As a new dad swimming in work pressures and wanting more family time amid my punishing schedule, it was a breath of fresh air to read your post.
It is a two way street and I'll keep working at things but it is nice to have your kind words floating through the ether.
Steve
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avatar Mary
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Hi Steve
I'm glad you liked it. It is a juggling act and emotionally draining and hard work raising a child but it is by far the best job in the whole world. We sometimes forget the pure joy amid the daily grind.
It is too easy for resentment to creep in - much better to lighten up and realise that it is a partnership (albeit not with equal voting rights and responsibilitie s) where both parties love the product more than life itself.
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