Tag Archives: parenting

Dragon Mamas revisited

It’s been over a week since my original post Dragon Mamas? A Dad’s Perspective where I suggested that perhaps I needed to mull over this topic in a calm, measured way and come back with a considered response. I was afraid if I responded immediately, I would just fly off the handle so I gave you the polite holding statement. Now that I’ve let it simmer, I’m ready to step firmly off that handle because even after a few days I still feel the same…

…it’s an outrageous, offensive, misogynistic thing to say really, isn’t it? That a lot of women turn into dragons after they’ve had children.

Copyright Mind The Baby

I know women who are dragons, who went on to have children, and are in fact still dragons but that’s not the same thing.

I know women who were dragons, who mellowed considerably in motherhood.

I know women who had babies, and then got a terrible shock when they discovered that their partner thought that his life could stay the same and she would have to adapt to all the life changes having a baby brings by herself.

I know men who refuse to help their partners with childcare in the evenings when they come in from work because they believe they are entitled to “a rest” after a hard day in the office. In fact I feel sorry for these particular men because their babies’ childhoods are disappearing before their eyes (or behind their backs, as the case may be) and they’re missing out on such joy. I also wonder what kind of relationship these men expect to have with their children as they move into adulthood and will they be surprised when friction arises?

I know a huge number of loving, involved, nurturing men who are passionate partners and fathers.

I know that being a mother is one of the most incredible things that a woman can experience, if it’s an experience she wants, but I also think it’s possibly one of the loneliest jobs in the world. Because no one else in your child’s life thinks like a mama, do they?

Mothers sense danger first. Mothers wake when their babies wake. Mothers whose babies are sleeping through the night for the first time, or the first time in ages, sometimes lie awake with their minds working on overdrive, planning, thinking, worrying, when they really should be sleeping too. Mothers walk the floors with their upset or sick small babies for hours into the night so that their partners can rest for work the next day. Mothers hold and soothe and feed their babies in the dark knowing they have to be up for work themselves in an hour or two. Mothers wash and clean and cook and fold and vacuum and iron and study up when they should pause and rest, even for a minute. Sometimes – maybe not often, maybe all the time – mothers are exhausted.

Dragon slayers, don’t belittle your partners behind their backs. Don’t ask yourself why you think the woman you love’s behaviour has changed.

Ask her. She might tell you.

Listen to her.

Do I sound angry? That’s because I am. It’s always more complicated than that. “She turned into a dragon when she had her babies”. Give me a break.

Dragon Mamas? A Dad’s perspective

I met an old friend today who I haven’t seen for the best part of a decade.  He has gotten married and had two babies with another on the way since the last time we met.  He was waxing lyrical about the joy of being a father and how it has changed his life and perspective utterly and he said a few things that struck a chord with me.  Maybe two chords – one harmonic and one inharmonic.  The first thing he said was he wonders what he was afraid of all this time.  He had been terrified for years of becoming a father to the point where he considered returning to singledom at one point when it looked like there might a chisler on the horizon (false alarm).  I find  this totally understandable.  I think if you’re not there, you’re totally not there when it comes to thinking about having children.  For me, it was like a switch: not even slightly interested in children to all about babies!

The second thing he said was that he was so lucky to be married to the beautiful, wonderful wife and mother that he was.  Because all of his mates’ wives turned into dragons after they had their children.

Hmmmm.

I need to think about this a little bit more.  It’s not the first time I’ve heard something like this but it’s the first time I’ve heard it since becoming a mother.  It’s funny, when you’re busy trying to make babies and have babies, the husband/wife father/mother dynamic is something that never crosses your mind.  That is until your baby arrives and everyone’s life changes forever and those relationships change forever too.  Suddenly there’s this whole other element of having a baby that never blipped on your radar.  And apparently some men experience dragon mamas.  I don’t know what to make of this or whose perspective to take it from.  I think I’m going to park it for now, have a mull and maybe come back to it at a later stage.  Anyone have any thoughts on the concept of dragon mamas or otherwise?