Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I'm troubled by something and just want to put it out there while I'm still troubled by it. I organize a meetup group for moms over 35, and I just got an email from one mom who told me she and her husband separated 2 weeks ago. She has a 2 year old and a newborn, both boys. I have several moms in my group who are separated or divorced, all with similar stories. Soon after their children were born, some even after the child was conceived, their husband's decided it wasn't what they wanted. This infuriates me, and probably not for the reasons you would automatically think. Yes, I know the men are probably being selfish and not wanting the responsibility and change of life that goes along with having children. But here's what really gets me. Women have lives too and they are left to completely give up and change their life when their husband decides to crap out on the relationship. I mean COMPLETELY. I think men forget that before the child is born, there are months of life-altering things going on with a pregnant woman. Our lives change when we are pregnant. We are limited. We become handicapped to a certain degree. Hell, I can't even bend over anymore. But men go about their business, same old, same old. This is all BEFORE the child is born. Never mind after. That's a change without comparison. Your world tends to stop and you have to remain constant so your children can thrive. Children need stability and consistency and security, so you have to change. You basically exist for your child. And that's a tough pill for some of us to swallow. You sort of lose your identity and become someone's mom. Some women love that and thrive on that. Some of us just need to find ourselves again within that life of being a mom. I'm not sure men realize how hard that can be, because they don't seem to do it. Their lives basically stay the same. They look the same, their bodies don't change, their clothes still fit and they can tie their shoes. Do they get less sleep after the baby is born? Probably. Is their home noisier and messier? I'm sure. But the majority of men go off to work in the morning and come home at night - how noisy and messy can that be for them? Is their wife now focusing on a helpless child who absolutely NEEDS them? I hope so. That's to be expected. That's called being a parent. I just don't get it. I don't understand how men agree to have children and then expect something different. This is parenthood. This is what it's all about. Your children become your life and soon enough, they have their own lives and you're left alone again. It's a cycle, a short amount of time, really, when you think about it. But I suppose that's too much to ask of some men - so they bail. I feel for my mom friends whose husbands have decided their life is much more important than the children they fathered. And shame on you husbands who separate under the guise of "my wife changed after the kids were born." What did you expect????