Monday, June 2, 2014

Dad, in a room, by himself

Later on tonight, when you are all home from work/school, I want you to ask yourself an important question: Where is your husband? 

You see, the chances are pretty high that he is in a room by himself mono-tasking. Mom, on the other hand, is probably in close proximity with the children, multitasking.

When I heard Jennifer Senior say those facts during her recent TED talk, I was a little taken aback. (The rest of her talk about the current parenting crisis and the idea that parents should not be the custodians of their children's happiness is compelling.) But I was unprepared to hear that Moms still do twice as much as fathers. After all, we've made some great strides in the last few decades when it comes to parenting equality. But the numbers don't lie: Moms still do more

But that statement about Dad in a room by himself bothered me. Then I thought about my own home situation.

Let's talk about the isolated room, first. The way our house is set up now, my husband has his own office space and my desk is in a family room with my son's toys. Before we moved in, my husband repeatedly asked me if I wanted to share an office with him, but I wanted to be in the family room so I could still potentially be in the same room as my son. So, my husband is alone.

And now the mono-tasking. I have talked before about my buzz brain and my envy over my husband's ability to focus on one task at a time until he solves that problem and moves on to the next one. But part of me suspects that I've adapted my multitasking ability so that I'm able to get more stuff done in fewer hours.

My point is not to get my husband to do more things at one time or even to get him out of his office, if that is where he wants to be. Maybe he needs that space and time to unwind from work and chores. My point is to think about my own needs. Maybe I need that time and space, too. To not necessarily be at my son's reach every moment and interrupted so often that I can't finish a single task.

Watch Jennifer's TED Talk - it's worth your time and will make you think about your role in your child's happiness.

Do you or your other half have your own space in the house? Who is more likely to be in a room by him/herself in your household? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Love this post. It's so true! I feel like sometimes Moms feel like they should want to be around their kids 24/7. If they don't want that, they feel like they might be judged as a bad Mom.

  2. Thanks, Johanna. It's hard for us Moms to let go without the guilt settling in. But I think we need to give it a shot.