Haven Magazine - - Life - Words: An­thony Sher­ratt

Moth­ers come in all shapes and sizes and that’s never been truer in an age where women can do it all. Or at least as much as they want. The bal­ance that most women face is some­how fit­ting it all in. Es­pe­cially when work and ca­reer come into the equa­tion. Take my wife (but don’t take her far be­cause I need her to pay the bills). But se­ri­ously, my wife is an in­tense worka­holic with the ma­ter­nal in­stincts of a rock. No wait, that’s not fair - I’ve seen rocks lay next to kids for hours. I know I make fun of my wife a lot but the sim­ple fact is she doesn’t like kids too much. Well she does like them but not just for long stretches of time. She’s actually very good with them in short bursts. Some peo­ple will frown upon that or not com­pre­hend it but I know it’s ok. There isn’t one cor­rect way to be. Sim­plis­tic views of gen­ders and emo­tional ex­pec­ta­tions are grossly out­dated. And for us it’s about bal­ance. We play to our strengths to en­sure the girls get the best up­bring­ing we can give them. More im­por­tantly - and what peo­ple don’t get - is that just be­cause she strug­gles with spend­ing a lot of time with them doesn’t mean she doesn’t love them. She re­ally does. It just doesn’t man­i­fest in the same way. She mightn’t run around or throw a ball with them but she takes an in­ter­est in con­ver­sa­tion and daily recaps. She tries to read with them be­fore school. But she works very long hours - 70-hour weeks are com­mon - and she some­times comes home need­ing to un­wind. And let’s face it, of­ten the last thing you need when you’re look­ing to re­lax is a lit­tle per­son jump­ing up and down on you ask­ing a ba­jil­lion ques­tions. That’s what be­ing a team is about. Com­ple­ment­ing each other. And by com­pli­ment­ing I, of course, mean do­ing what­ever the wife says. Just jok­ing. But it isn’t ex­actly easy on her at times ei­ther. Just this morn­ing, Gypsy and I were bowl­ing and Gypsy jumped on my lap and started cov­er­ing my face in kisses. When San­dra saw this she smiled and asked for kisses too. Gypsy rolled her eyes, went over and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek be­fore scam­per­ing back to me and kiss­ing me re­peat­edly. I don’t know whether this is a case of daddy’s lit­tle girl or me be­ing the pri­mary carer but while she found it more amus­ing than hurt­ful it does high­light some of the prob­lems she faces. Re­mem­ber – she does love them even if she doesn’t al­ways relate. Be­ing a par­ent is hard. Prob­a­bly the hard­est thing any of us will ever do. Add in the pres­sures of ex­pec­ta­tions that women face to­day and you start ap­pre­ci­at­ing just how dif­fi­cult it truly is. So to all you moth­ers out there - whether you work, stay at home or mix and match – con­grat­u­la­tions on be­ing part of some­thing spe­cial. Even if you share the rock’s in­stincts.

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