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You Don’t Need to Be a Perfect Homemaker to Be a Great Parent

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I work nearly full-time, but I stay home with my son on Fridays while my husband goes to work. I meticulously plan every minute with schedules, lists, and contingency plans in case of meltdowns (my son’s or my own), so that everything is done by 5 PM before we start the weekend. When my husband comes home, and I sit him down to show him all the things I crossed off my list, he’s in awe.

As he should be.

I vacuumed, did the laundry, went grocery shopping, scheduled appointments, prepped dinner for us, and made organic spinach/banana pancakes our son actually ate — all with a toddler in tow.

“You’re SuperMom, ya know that?” he often says as he pours me some sparkling juice instead of wine because, oh yeah, I’m also pregnant again. I may be tired and sore from the day’s events, but I’m also proud.

I am SuperMom, I think to myself.

That feeling is fleeting, though, when my husband compares my productivity to his. With nothing but admiration, he casually mentions that when he is home with our toddler for a full day, he thinks it a miracle if we can walk through the house without a hazmat suit. That makes me wonder, if my productivity makes me SuperMom, does that mean he is not SuperDad?

Hell to the no.

It’s officially 2017, people. Can we please stop equating the word “parent” with “homemaker”? I see this line of thinking often — that mothers are somehow better parents because they do more around the house, or exert more effort into putting a creative flair on mundane tasks.

In my case, it’s simply because I’m home more. Yes, I am most certainly the better homemaker, but I am most certainly not the better parent.

I do not deserve more credit as a parent for getting the house clean while our son is awake than my husband who tidies up during nap time. I am not a better parent for making our son homemade meals from recipes I found on Pinterest than my husband who buys healthy pre-made food from the store.

I am SuperMom for the love I give my son, just as my husband is SuperDad for the same.

If I really wanted to play devil’s advocate here, though, I would argue that my husband may actually be the better parent. While I’m busy concocting the homemade Play-Dough, my husband is actually playing with our son. While I’m taking advantage of our son’s independent playtime to clean, my husband is recharging his own batteries so he isn’t worn out by 5 PM like I am. While I’m planning and listing and thinking seven steps ahead, my husband is in the moment.

But I digress.

Let me take this moment to give a shout out to dads who forgot the coupons at home again and the moms who burn the grilled cheese.
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This is not a competition; this is a call to give failed homemakers their deserved credit as parents.

So let me take this moment to give a shout out to dads who forgot the coupons at home again and the moms who burn the grilled cheese. (Every. Single. Time.)

To all the parents who have never even seen Pinterest, congratulations on not falling into the trap. Your kids are happy, healthy, and safe. That is what makes you a good parent.

And if some day they question why you didn’t make all the household cleaning supplies with organic ingredients from your garden like all the other moms, just laugh with them. Clearly they have your great sense of humor, too.

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