Why Men Can't Be Moms (A Father's Thoughts)

A big biological DUH... Of course men can't be moms. We lack the necessary Dos Equis (XX) sex chromosome, the reproductive organs to bear children and the ability to not utter phrases like "watch this" or "what could go wrong" before our actions. But please spare me the cynicism and understand that I mean this in a completely cerebral manner.

Let me explain where I'm going with this.

Krista sent me a message today that details the random thoughts going through a woman's/mother's head on a daily hourly minutely (it's a word) basis. You can read the article here, but if you don't have the time and you're a woman, it's probably on a similar scale to the thoughts going through your head for the last 5 minutes up until you read this sentence. Men, you won't understand (and never will) so just read the article.

After I read the article, I politely said to Krista, "that was pretty good." She replied with "I know, and it is so true. You know what I mean?" You can imagine the look on my face as I responded with the confidence of a freshman on the first day of high school, "Of course honey, I know exactly what you mean." Little did she know that I had no idea. Not a clue. I hardly have that many thoughts going through my head in an entire day, and I'd guess that half of those are because she reminds I need to complete one of the tasks on her list so she can stop worrying about it. 

If we're being honest here, my rudimentary thoughts are still in the first paragraph above and how good a Dos Equis sounds right about now (and how I wish Krista would go to the store to get some already and stop talking about the grocery list. It's like she doesn't even think about these things ;-). But seriously, back to that first paragraph... bear children. If bear were a noun in this instance, we would be talking about cubs... and man do the Cubs stink. I can't help but take delight in the misery of my friends who cheer for those "Lovable Losers." Speaking of losers, I need to start getting in shape. 30 is right around the corner and I'm ... 

And there in lies the difference between men and women, mothers and fathers. Women's thoughts eventually populate in a manner that reflects the needs of others and men tend to find their wandering minds in a state of self-centered exploration. I can't say for certain that this is the case for all spouses, but I am certainly able to block out certain factors and let my wife take sole responsibility of head household worrier, especially for our kids. It's no one's fault (Krista may beg to differ), but she is naturally more concerned for the well-being of our children on a daily basis. It's ingrained in her DNA, perhaps because she physically provided everything for our little ones inside of her for the better part of a year. She has felt their every move since conception. She hasn't been able to forget for one second that her main purpose in life now is their protection, growth and development.

Me? I could honestly go to work and forget that we were even pregnant with Briggy or Kerigan for extended bouts of time. I would be dumbfounded when I received emotional calls from Krista about how the world was going to end because we didn't have salsa for the tortilla chips or enough size 2 diapers. I had to stop putting her on speaker phone because my co-workers were concerned that I was talking to a mental patient. "It's going to be okay sweetie, the baby won't hate us because we didn't finish the shelving in the nursery a month early. Of course I'm just as upset as you that McDonald's breakfast ends at 10:30, we should definitely call the corporate office and complain..." These kinds of things become normal conversation when you have a little canteloupe (or whatever other fruit size your baby is supposed to be that week) sucking the energy, rationale and emotions out of you. That may be why moms have such a connection and always will. Babies put their moms body's through hell so they might experience a glimpse of heaven when they finally get to meet them.

For men, that is when reality sets in. The birth of your child is that first real 'oh crap' moment when the doubts flood in and that fight or flight mentality kicks on. You continue to assure your wife everything is going to be okay and in your mind you start questioning whether that is true because everything is a first time experience for you too. Fatherhood is a funny thing in that it assesses how manly you really are while the testing criteria is how well you can provide for God's most precious little creatures. Being a father is the most exhilarating and difficult thing I have ever been asked to do, but I'm glad I was chosen.

I don't like to take a back seat in my kid's lives. I love hearing about every new accomplishment and funny thing they did when I wasn't with them. I love seeing them think, play, learn, interact, succeed and even fail. I enjoy every second of it. But if they solely depended on me, they'd probably have a few more bruises and a little less sense. I'd like to think that if child rearing were all on my shoulders, I could develop into some kind of super mom/dad combo akin to the likes of how certain senses evolve when one sense is no longer available. If I were to ever have to watch my rambunctious little babies by myself for more than a few days, you would probably find me looking like Kevin McCallister post after-shave. It's intimidating to even consider but I could probably make due. I just don't think I could ever be as good at it as my wife and a lot of moms are. They drink the green juice, stop the villains and rarely get the recognition they deserve.

So from the bottom of this father's heart, thank you Krista and to all of the mothers that spend countless and thankless hours worrying about the well-being of their kids. Hopefully your kids grow to understand just how much thought and effort you have put in to the person they will become, and are ever grateful. There are many times since having my kids that I have been overwhelmed with appreciation for my mom (dad too) and everything she has done for me and my brothers. Other times, I think back on how badly I behaved and wonder why she didn't leave me at the Grand Canyon with Joe Dirt.

P.S. I should have written this as my gift for Mother's Day, then I wouldn't have had to spend so much time making that collectible coffee mug and coordinating the purchase of that purse... See what I mean about only thinking about myself (shaking my head). I will do another post detailing my love and relationship with Briggy and KerBear, dependent upon the quality of gifts they get me for Father's Day!

And now what you've been waiting for and probably skipped over this incessant rambling to see... Cute Baby Pictures!!

- Ryan

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