You’re doing such a great job!!

Last Sunday afternoon, I discovered we had very little food in the house. Someone had to duck out and replenish the stocks or we might all starve, and when I offered to quickly nip out on my own Hubby wouldn’t have a bar of it. He likened it to picking up the dog poo and said we should all go.

The excursion started well. I enjoyed the feeling of vindication when Hubby told the girls to get off the side of the trolley because their weight made it impossible to manoeuvre. This is a conversation I have at least once a week, and it makes me feel like a killjoy. It does look like fun and I enjoy a rollercoaster as much as anyone, but turning those trolleys is a killer when you add an extra forty kilos to the load. The fact that Hubby (who is strong and always up for a caper) also found it tough buoyed my spirits.


Anyway, Hubby pushed the little guy in the trolley and the two girls eventually started walking happily beside him (each clutching a giant Freddo frog which Hubby had unilaterally decided to bribe them with “just this once”). Helpful.

I was walking a few paces ahead selecting some pasta when I overheard Hubby have a brief exchange with a lady who was walking by. She didn’t realise they were with me, and she was impressed by the notion that Hubby had brought all three of his children shopping on his own. She chuckled that Hubby had his hands full and congratulated him on being such a fantastic Dad.

Now, it is true – Hubby is a wonderful Dad. And how nice of this lady to make such an observation – it always feels lovely when someone tells you you’re doing a good job. Hubby was chuffed. But I spent the rest of the shopping trip feeling a bit pissed off. I have taken all three of our kids to the supermarket about 70 times all up, and not once has anyone complimented me. Admittedly I had never considered using giant Freddos as bribery, but even so…

I was tempted to catch up to the lady in order to tell her that just the night before Hubby had asked me how to use our oven – despite us having lived in our house for six months. Six months! Of course, that would have been unfair – Hubby is travelling a lot and working very hard, so quite rightly I have been doing most of the cooking. It’s just – if anyone deserves to be recognised for a job well done at the supermarket, I think it ought to be me…

We were only halfway around Woolworths when the exchange took place but by the time we reached the checkout I was still complaining about it. Hubby merely smiled and shrugged his shoulders while I seethed about how the world is rife with double standards.

I don’t blame Hubby of course. Or even the woman in the supermarket. I have to admit, if I saw a similar Dad with kids in tow I might well think  the same thing. But why should Dads get all the congratulatory pats on the back by random strangers for everyday child rearing tasks? I’m not saying Dads don’t deserve it. I’m just saying Mums could sometimes do with pats on the back from random strangers too (and less advice, but that’s another matter)…

Sadly, I’m not sure this is going to happen anytime soon. So in the future I have decided to deploy my imagination J.D. style (see Scrubs). Next time, it will go something like this:

Supermarket stranger praises Hubby on his child wrangling abilities, and then turns to me and says: “And how about you? Gosh – you must have your hands full too! Well done! And by the way…

  • Congratulations on being Santa. Your husband may eat the biscuits and drink the beer, but we all know who agonises over which presents to buy, goes out to buy them, assembles them, and wraps them (even if this is done at midnight on the 24th). Well done you!
  • A man may have invented the polio vaccine, but polio would still be rife if we left it to the men to ensure their kids got vaccinated. Congratulations for organising every single immunisation appointment for your children. Not to mention getting all three of them added to your Medicare and MBF cards, and registering them with the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. [Hubby: “The what??”]
  • Great job ensuring your children have birthday presents to hand over when they rock up to a birthday party. Every time. That takes planning. Speaking of which, congratulations for organising everyone’s birthday celebration every year. And for not complaining when nobody remembers to make you a cake.
  • Well done on ensuring your children have underpants, pyjamas, singlets, decent shoes, a dentist, at least three different types of vegetables every night, soap free bath wash for sensitive skin, snacks every time you leave the house, water bottles, and sunscreen.
  • I love the way you read with such great expression. No-one reads “Going on a Bear Hunt” quite like you do.
  • You know what? You’re a great Mum!!”

“Why thanks!” I shall respond. “That’s so nice to hear!” And then the supermarket lady will turn into a giant Freddo frog…

What would the supermarket lady say to you?

photo credit: Andrew Xu via Photopin


17 thoughts on “You’re doing such a great job!!

  1. Great post, and so true! Moms are usually just expected to keep it all going, but when a dad does the norm it is viewed as extraordinary. It’s like they are wearing capes with a big ‘S” for super dad on their chest.

    My grocery experience: My kids are being especially loving while smothering each other which usually ends up with someone screaming because their hair got pulled or a a tap turned into a shove, etc. Elderly lady walks up to us and goes on and on about how sweet it is to see two siblings being so affectionate and loving with each other. I held my breath for 20 minutes while she went on and on. True story! P.S. the kids never did scream that day and I was able to walk away knowing I had fooled at least one person in this world into thinking I am a great mom who has it all together! 😉

    • Thank you!!
      Well done on fooling the your nice supermarket lady! If that were my kids, I think I may have had to leave the trolley where it was and get the heck out of there as quickly as possible or the ruse would definitely have been up! 🙂

  2. 9pm Sunday night…feeling knackered….ready for bed. Just got to prepare the next day kindy lunches. Not sure what to give them for afternoon tea…..notice very ripe bananas in the fruit bowl so decide on the spur of the moment to whip up a loaf of banana bread for them. After all, they love banana bread…who doesn’t love banana bread? An hour later…the banana bread has been baked, it has cooled, it has been sliced and packaged up ready for the next day. All of a sudden I was overcome by a wave of self-righteousness. Knowing it would go unappreciated by anybody else, I decided to appreciate myself. As Mr Pirate Fairy walked into the kitchen I exclaimed, “I am a wonderful mother! Who prepares fresh baked goods late on a Sunday evening?!? I am amazing, I tell you!! Is it only me who sees my amazingness??” (Or something along those lines anyway.) He gave me one of those “she’s losing the plot so I had better just smile and go along with her” looks before reminding me that Mr 4 had only that evening told me how wonderful I was. Then I remembered. As I tucked him in and kissed him goodnight, he gave me a beautiful smile and said, “You know, you are a great mummy in the summertime.” I’m not entirely sure what that means or indeed what it makes me in the spring, autumn or winter but it was said with love and I will accept it as the only kudos I need until I next whip out my baking tins late on a Sunday evening.

    • Master 4 is definitely onto something I reckon. Since the start of summer I have been in end of year holiday mode. I have been spending far less time in the kitchen and far more time hosing the kids in the front yard. I think by the kids’ reckoning at least that constitutes much better mummying… What a sweetheart Mr 4 is even though he specifically limited his compliment to summer!
      And well done on your banana bread! As a result of my wind down phase and against the advice of our dentist, I have been including store bought muesli bars in the lunch boxes lately. You were lovingly baking for your children while I was eating chocolate rocky road ice cream and watching season 1 of Episodes.
      Oh well. 🙂

    • I have just discussed the matter with Hubby who is adamant that the lady was not patronising, but rather filled with praise for his excellent parenting skills… Could he be a bit biased do you think?

  3. So well said and so true! Dads always get far more credit for everyday “mom” things, and it’s a frustrating double standard. I guess there are probably plenty of double standards that frustrate men as well though….such is life. Keep up the good work; you are appreciated!

    • Thanks Adrianne! And you’re right, of course – now that you mention it I’m sure double standards work both ways. For example, Hubby finds himself the butt of jokes quite regularly for for not being handy. I’m not handy either, and nobody has ever made fun of me (about that, at least). Perhaps the lady in the supermarket was just the universe compensating Hubby for being mocked every time anything in our house needs to be repaired…
      Thanks again!

  4. Great post. I tick every one of those boxes so a pat on the back and a super sized Freddo for me too.
    Charlotte – you may have noticed the Top 5 Christmas Wish List challenge going around blog land this week. It all started with Essentially Jess on Tuesday.
    I got nominated by Kevin of The Illiterate Infant and I’d like to tag you as one of my Top 5 bloggers. I can’t seem to find a contact address or Facebook so I’m asking you this way.
    All the best
    Brenda (Mumabulous)

    • Oh – thank you Brenda!! I’m super chuffed that you would tag me, and I would be thrilled to spread the Christmas cheer in this way.
      Hmmm…. I have a lot of thinking to do. I can think of so many things I want for Christmas – how to narrow it down??

  5. From a man’s perspective, I’ve always thought that women do get the shaft when be stay at home mothers. Some people say to my wife when she is at an activity, “Who is at home with the kids?” and she will say, “Their dad.” and they will say “Oh dad is babysitting, that is so great.” to which she will say, “No he isn’t babysitting, he is being a dad.” I think we shouldn’t get any credit for doing what stay at home women do all day everyday. Watching my kids isn’t babysitting it is just being a dad and that includes going to the grocery store with both of them, without mom. I might be in the minority, but I think you mothers are fantastic and should be praised way more than you are.

  6. Charlotte AKA JD – great post! I was at the girls dance concert tonight when the text came thru from beautiful life-partner..”what’s for dinner?” My response “tortellini or noodles”…His response, “but what will I eat?”…my response…you can imagine! In the meantime, eat the Freddos guilt free because Charlotte you do do an amazing job!!! Xo

  7. Oh my God YES! Oh I would have been enraged if it hadbeen me Charlotte! And heck yes pats on the back to me for all sorts of mundane organisational kid stuff that husband wouldn’t even know went on. Grr…

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