This is my… um…running mate

“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.


My running mate –

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).


My running mate –

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?


12 thoughts on “This is my… um…running mate

  1. I love your story!

    My hubby and I have been together since I was 18 years old. We met in college, got married a year later, and had a baby a year after I graduated from college. Today we both work from home, run a business together and spend almost every day together … and when the kids aren’t in school, we are all home together all the time.

    Yeah, there are days we argue and times we disagree … but it’s funny … we’ve been married for 14 years. I’ve been with him for my entire adult life … and I think that because we were fortunate enough to find each other so early things have been easier.

    Neither of us had “our ways” of doing things yet … we were both learning and growing up as adults together. We moved out of pour parents’ houses pretty much when we got married, so we figured it out by ourselves and we did it together.

    So today, we do the same. We do everything together, we make all decisions together, and we raise our kids together … equally.


    • Aw, I love your story, too! I am always amazed by stories of young loves who stay together. I had a work-study student once whose parents raised her in a college dorm, and they were still married and still liked each other! 🙂 I hope part of the paradigm shift that we’re in is that folks stop expecting others to make them happy, I think that’s part of the gender-bashing thing. Thanks so much for stopping by and reading, and especially sharing your sweet story. xx Angela


  2. Good point, Angela! Parenting and partnering are not about which gender is better or worse, but in the best case scenario, it is about how we compliment and support each other in some pretty awesome endeavors- such as creating a nurturing, beautiful santuary where the Wild Things can grow to be as wonderful as any Gruffalo could be….


    • The Wild Things. Haha, spot on, Denise. Gender bashing is bad family karma, and, I think, it’s bad for business — there’s an increasing rejection of that, I think. I hope. Thanks for stopping by the blog, and thank you for your comment! best, Angela


  3. So true. So many rolls are gender neutral in execution and always have been, even though society and history have dictated otherwise. Parenting is one such and both mothers and fathers would benefit from remembering it. The details of execution vary greatly, but ultimately if they are cared for, fed, made safe and kept clean…all is well. Every kid needs both genders to become a whole person and to learn how to live well among others.


  4. Gender bashing is for those who have nothing smarter to say. Seriously, aren’t we passed that now? How about we be vulnerable and authentic and really say what we really mean, instead of hiding behind old adages and stereotypes? Be original, there is only one you.


  5. Gender bashing hurts everyone. And take it from someone who spent too much time as a single parent, if you have a willing, able, loving and caring partner o help you raise your kids, you aren’t going to care what gender they are as long as they can take out the trash and change a diaper. We are all in this parenting thing together!


    • Phew, that’s right, Wendi! Heck, in the newborn days I probably wouldn’t have even noticed if Cliffy replaced himself with a walking cat for a few days! 🙂 Thanks for reading, and for your comment. xx Angela


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