It wasn't until I became a parent that I began to notice the vast innate differences between men and women. They're so apparent it's really become a bit laughable. For example, when Madelyn isn't feeling well I essentially don't sleep. I'm running into her room every few minutes to make sure she's ok, sitting in her room just to watch her sleep, generally sitting on the edge of my seat until she gets up and I know she's ok. Matt sleeps. He sleeps all night, like a sweet little exhausted baby. And in the morning when I talk about how much I was up, he has no recollection of such activity. I worry every single second. Matt worries, but not in the way that inhibits his everyday activity like, ahem, her mother (let's not forget our little ER visit of late).
I stress, and for a naturally low-stress person this is a new feeling for me. I stress about having a clean house, having food for us to eat, doing my job well enough that I exceed my boss' expectations, looking like a cute mom and not a frumpy mom mess, teaching Madelyn every little thing she needs to know, and no matter how much Matt does I always feel like I'm doing everything. I think this is the burden of being a women. We always put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else ever will. And men just go on living like normal. They don't feel the need to constantly be doing something, accomplishing something, teaching, balancing, and the list goes on and on. It's not their fault, it's genetic! I truly believe that. Matt is an awesome husband, he helps me with everything around the house, he is an amazing father to Madelyn, anyone who knows him could easily give you a testament to how lucky I am to have him, yet the "burden" of parenting and all that it entails will always fall on the mother and in one respect, he may be in a lose-lose situation (yikes!)
Another example, I make a to-do list every single day. Sometimes more than one. Right now I have a "normal" list, a "Christmas" list, and a "house" list. Oh, and a list for Matt, since men don't tend to make such organized demands upon themselves ;) He thinks I'm crazy. And that I could singlehandly revive the paper industry with such lists.
Truth be told, it can be hard to be the best wife and best mom you can be and also take time to be the best You possible. Logically being the best version of yourself will allow you to give your best to your husband and children, but sometimes there just aren't enough hours in the day! Some days I feel like I have it all under control. I do yoga, dinner is ready, Madelyn is bathed, read to and smiling up at me. And other days I run in from work, eat a piece of toast for dinner, and just try to do everything I can before Matt and I crash into bed, sleeping (sometimes snoring) within minutes). Maybe the secret is to give in and stop trying to have it all under control, and just accept that I have no control. And be extra sweet to Matt because it's not his fault he's not a raging organized overly-controlling maniac like I am. And pray...for both of us :)