So I’m sitting here, agonizing over the stupidest thing. And it isn’t the first time.
I’ve completed 3 middle school applications for my daughter. There’s one more left to do. My husband hasn’t done any applications, though we’ve divided up other tasks involved in this delightful project.
Like many midlife moms, I share parenting with my spouse. He takes them to the orthodontist. I take them to the pediatrician. I manage the family calendar. He helps with homework and has honchoed every research project since we first explored fertility. And so on.
We agreed early on to share the middle school project, and he’s willing to do the fourth application. Yet I’m finding it almost impossible to delegate this task to dad.
Am I just another controlling mom who can’t let go and ask for help?
After years of sharing domestic duties, I’ve decided it’s often more complicated than that.
Take this little conundrum.
Shared parenting works best when you divvy up tasks according to ability. That’s why my husband helps with homework. He’s good at it. Even grade school math can make me want to cry.
However I’m a far better typist than he is. The school applications are online. If he does the fourth one, he may misspell our daughter’s name. And I love him dearly – but he might also ask me her birthdate. That prospect is so annoying that it’s almost not worth delegating the task at all.
You know the advice: let dad do it his way. After 12 years, I now accept that my husband washes the dishes in twice the time it takes me with half the soap.
But with the dishes, nothing is on the line. Here, we’re talking here about a school acceptance or rejection.
This, of course, brings us to the heart of the problem.
Let’s face it – women are amazingly competent. I’m often better at the tasks involved in raising kids than my husband is. And while that competence is a blessing, it also makes it hard to share parenting at times.
So I’m stuck. If I do the fourth application, I may feel resentful. Yet there’s real peace of mind to be had by getting this task done my way, which would be quickly and without mistakes.
Do you have difficulty delegating to dad? What are your issues? How do you resolve them? What do you do when that inner voice says it’s time to pass the baton but you fear dad may not finish the race?
Please comment here and come back to see what I decide to do!
Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com/Bill Grove
Want to learn more? Read Halving It All: How Equally Shared Parenting Works by Francine Deutsch. This helpful work is my most marked up parenting book.
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