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"Men And Healthcare"
Article by
Julianne Harvey
Staff Writer
Gear4Guys
05/19/10

My husband is an exceptional dad. He loves our kids as much as I do, so it's like looking in a mirror when it comes to our similarities as parents. He is fun and physical with them, throwing their little bodies high in the air, and mock karate fighting, wrestling, boxing and a whole host of other ridiculous things that I would never engage in but they love playing with him. I remember feeling bad about this when my kids were really small, and one day a friend said that women have to pace themselves in order to spend all of their time with the kids. If we used up all of our physical energy in 5 minutes throwing the kids around, we'd never make it through the day, but when the dads come home from work they have that energy to give to the kids.

One thing I love about my husband's job is his work flexibility. I hate the travel, the long work hours on some days, and the inability to escape work calls and e-mails in the evenings and on weekends, but I do love that he can work from home sometimes so that I can go to work without incurring child care costs. On one such day a few weeks ago, he was working at home and I was at my office. He called me to say he didn't feel well and wanted to get checked by our doctor before he went out of town on a business trip.

Being the good wife that I am, I called the doctor to see if they could squeeze him in, as my husband is brilliant at making and receiving work phone calls, but is utterly helpless to call for a haircut, a dentist/doctor appointment, or even to order Chinese food. For some inexplicable reason, those personal calls have always been pink jobs in our household.

Luckily, there had been a cancellation at the doctor, and I called my husband to let him know. He said, "Thanks for calling the doctor." (That's the nice part. Here comes the rest.) "Should I drop the kids off at your office before I go?"

UH, NO. Emphatically, unequivocally, undeniably NO. As in, not a chance in hell.

My husband is quite smart, but when it comes to relying on me to look after the kids, he doesn't put a whole lot of thought into it. He just tends to assume that I'll take care of it, which is, in its own way, a compliment. But when I'm at work and I'm counting on him to be looking after the kids, I'm expecting him to actually look after them during the agreed-upon time frame. I politely reminded him that when I have to go to the doctor, or drop off dry cleaning, or get groceries, or meet a friend for coffee, I bring the kids. I don't call him at work and ask if I can drop them off first.

Somewhat sheepishly, my husband withdrew his request, and was prepared to take them with him to the doctor and experience just a tiny taste of what my life is like on a regular basis. But because I want him to continue to work from home and take them for me once in awhile, I called my mom who was off that day, to see if she could bond with the grandkids for 30 minutes or so while he went to the doctor.

It just goes to show that women find it hard to divert from their multi-tasking personalities, and men stick closely to their single-minded focus when it comes to work and appointments. At the end of the day, women are exhausted from looking after ourselves, our kids, our mates and our friends. If men have a chance to take one small worry from their woman's plate, please do. It will make her happier, and keep you out of the doghouse.

BIO:  Julianne Harvey has almost 12 years of marriage experience.  She writes screenplays and blogs daily at www.thedreamtowrite.blogspot.com.

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