I started to think about all the forums we have as women to communicate and learn about parenthood. There are countless magazines, tv programs, and movies centered around motherhood. The "Mommy blog" is an entire genre of web space. And of course there are the mimosa-sodden brunches and the into-the-wee-hours dinners with girlfriends over conversation about everything from "That Mom" at the preschool who bakes in her sleep; to how our breasts are never going to look the same; to how our relationships with our husbands seem to continually change.
What do our husbands have in the same vein? And, is it just me, or does it seem like they would benefit from more? Why were the two emails I received from the men who read this blog sheepish? I bet they aren't sheepish about reading Maxim.
It seems to be this great irony that, just as many of us Devis are taking lateral steps away from the rocket-ship pace of our pre-child careers, our husbands' jobs and work-related lives are moving into warp speed. The husband who isn't juggling a 10 hour day with various networking meetings, conferences, and client obligations is an exception at this point. While we the wives are slowing down, trying to learn how to "savor the moment," taking a page from all the books that tell us, yes, the first years of motherhood are difficult but blink and you'll miss them--our husbands don't seem to have time to blink. Some of my favorite moments of motherhood thus far involve sitting around with a bunch of friends and swapping stories about our kids. Like how my friend J's son is currently enrolled in a Jewish preschool and knows as much about the High Holidays as he does about Diwali. Or about how L's daughter is on a two-week strawberry-only-diet. How L's new little one's first smile was to his brother, who then proceeded to spit on him. Knowing these little nuggets constitutes part of the glue of friendship between moms, no? They are the stories I tell my husband when he asks how everybody is doing, what our friends' kids are up to.
The books, blogs, articles on fatherhood, as far as I can tell, present an anecdotal, post-modern approach to the topic. They aren't about great activities to do with your family, or, say, how to tell your son stories about your work--they are about how you can wear your rock concert tshirt and be cool while pushing the buggy, or how sex with your wife changes after a baby. There's a lot of "edge" but nothing...well...non-edgy at all. Do men always have to be snarky? My husband could probably win snarky competitions (except against me!) but he is also--in my absolutely objective and scientific estimation--the best father in the world...or at least in our household...! And I know for a fact that many of the dads I know love to talk about their kids and--quel horreur--have questions about them that, perhaps, could be answered, vetted, discussed. With other men.
Does this happen?? Should it happen?
Do we even care?
We complain about our husbands. Alot. But as far as I can tell most of us really love the guys--like really do. And sometimes I feel bad for them, collectively. Even amongst the closest groups of friends, there seems to be this extra zeal to the friendship between the women. At this point of our lives--the early motherhood years--I attribute this, at least in part, to the fact that we know so much about each other's daily lives--the minutia, the mundanity, and the wonder in between. I'm not sure our husbands can say the same. And it's easy to say that they never had friendships where they did know this level of detail. But you know what? Neither did I. Motherhood changed that and I'm wondering why fatherhood didn't.