“I just can’t read that dad’s work after his comment ‘my kid is so high maintenance I think he’s a woman.'” Some bloggers I know were chatting about gender. I’m happy, frankly, that someone notices other than me.
Mommy-blaming and daddy-blaming are everywhere. It’s funny. They say.
I don’t bash my baby daddy, he’s pretty cool. But I don’t include him, either, and our gender chat brought that to my attention. I feel… a little guilty actually. The blogosphere is pulsing with strife, industries are built around it, and we all have friends who are unhappily entwined. Occasionally we all are. But overall, he’s a great dad and partner. And I should include our unlikely success story; we are the most unusual couple I know. We have been together romantically for twelve years, unmarried, and are both fine with that. “The last of the red hot hippies” I say. Before that, we worked together for a few years. We moved immediately to being a family (more on that here).
During the last election, Thing 1 (then 9) asked if we were ‘running mates’ and indeed that seems perfect. We are opposites. He is a drummer, masseuse, landscaper. I am a perpetual grad student, recently escaped from a dusty archive. We complement each other. Bad Dog Daddy has kept me from dragging the Things to the emergency room more times than I can count. And I tell him no, they are not always welcome to live with us. We balance. There is harmony, there is contention. Yep, you might have heard me say “But we women have 500 years of sexism to catch up on!” once… or twice. But that was before I started this little family project with this bad dog. We have learned that we have to speak clearly, compromise, and let go of our egos for it to work. We have surely hurt each other, but we are not trapped and we choose every day to work it out.
I think it’s time to trade gender bashing for an exercise in what we might call diversity… for extrapolating whatever oddly shaped lumpy arrangement it is that works. What do you have that works?