It’s not often I get my bonnet in a twist. well, actually that’s not true but it’s not often I write about it when i do, because much as this blog is to help M learn more about me, most of the things that wind me up he’ll hear me rant about in person or can ask me where I stand on issues he’s interested in. It’s highly likely though, that the topic of ‘parenting’ won’t ever raise it’s head and it’s important to me that M knows a few things:
1) Baba and I are partners. Simple. We were partners before you came along, and we’re partners now. We make decisions together and when we disagree we work it through to a compromise we’re both happy with. You are OUR baby boy, not mine.
2) I’m your Mum; he’s your Dad. Not because that’s how we’ve been programmed to think, or circumstances make it so, but because we’re genetically made to be. I’m a woman, he’s a man. Simple.
3) Our roles are not interchangeable. My role was to grow you in my womb; now to feed you with my milk. Nature put me in the nourishing role – to fill your tummy, keep you healthy and warm, God gave those jobs to me. When I was pregnant with you, Baba would wake arm looped round my bump containing you, preventing us falling out of bed. His role is to keep us safe, to be here with us.
4) Keeping our home is a team effort. It doesn’t matter whether it’s him folding the clothes or me buying the food, running our home and making sure we provide you with the best environment we can takes team work. There’s no gender role issue or mum/dad competition; it’s just what works best for us at whatever phase we’re in.
5) Everything we do, every decision we make is based on what we believe to be right for you. Right now, that means for me to be home and only Baba to work, but no matter where we are, or what we’re doing our focus is the same: You.
All around me right now, I see, read and hear parents questioning who works the most, whose job is hardest. It’s not a competition; it’s not a game to be won. Being parents is about fulfiling the needs of your child, or trying to at least. Some of those needs are about comfort and stability, others about independence and support, others about wisdom or advice, and some are for food, shelter and warmth. As parents, G and I each ask for Gods’ help in meeting these needs for our son – we meet them together, we meet them alone. It doesn’t matter who is cooking the rice; it’s first got to come to the home. Being a Mum or a Dad means being everything your child needs you to be to them then; being parents means doing that together.
So, my darling baby M. We won’t always get it right, Baba and I, but we’ll try our very, very best and while we’re trying our best, we’ll know the other is doing it too, and we hope you know that we’re doing that, too.