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Nov 1, 2023Liked by Cindy DiTiberio

“Dads need this, too, so that they can learn the calculus, so they aren’t stuck thinking parenting is addition and subtraction, simple presence in the house instead of a deep layer of emotional availability and scanning of needs that is the signal of a truly attuned parent.”

Oh my goodness!!!! This quote just put into words something I’ve been feeling but couldn’t quite figure out how to articulate. I’ve been so unhappy with the division of labor in our home as it pertains to mental load and invisible labor but I couldn’t quite articulate what I was feeling to my husband. It usually just came out as, “I need more help around the house,” which would result in a few extra loads of laundry being done or an offer to help with dinner or to dust. What I am looking for is in the quote above: “a deep layer of emotional availability and scanning of needs.” Thank for for this!!!! You have put words to what my heart and emotions were speaking to me for so long!!!! Now I know what to say when talking to my husband. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

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I am so glad I gave you the words you needed! I've been wrestling with this for years and just now feel like I too can articulate what feels so frustrating. Good luck and I truly hope you can find a way to even the load.

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This is the sentence that struck me, too. YES! It’s that deep layer of emotional availability and scanning of needs that makes it impossible to relax. Currently in the throes of marital counseling and I’m smack where you were in terms of wondering how I could have “crafted a different kind of motherhood” (love this way of putting it!), been a different kind of wife, maybe not cut myself into so many fragments. I’ve been doing the work of putting myself back together, of prioritizing my own wholeness. And it’s interesting how that very act of being whole has cause friction in my marriage. Whereas it’s only benefitted my relationship with my kids. :) Thank you for writing this! I truly believe every Substack about marriage and motherhood is changing the world.

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Oooh, yes to wholeness causing friction in a marriage but also really benefitting your relationship with your kids. I feel you! I'm so grateful for the conversations Substack is generating. I agree that it can help change the world.

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Nov 1, 2023Liked by Cindy DiTiberio

“Or maybe it’s so grounding that you get buried.” Wowee this is a great piece

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It was this line for me too.

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Thank yoU!

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The text from your 10 year old was beautiful. My kids are 6 and 4 and I’m starting to see glimmers of it getting easier. We read Fair Play in 2022 and started talking more about division of labor but here the day after Halloween it was VERY clear yesterday my husband and I should have had a better joint plan for the day that we discussed before 3 pm. I always advocate for me to step into their power as fathers and husbands and take ownership of caregiving tasks.

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OMG yes days like Halloween can be really hard. That makes me think that I should write a post of drafts of scripts to use on days like Halloween, when there is a day off from school, getting ready to go into the holiday season. If we don't expressly demand a more equal share of labor, I feel like the default is it all falls on us. The Magic Card in Fair Play I felt like was brilliant. Because making the magic - the tooth fairy, Santa, birthdays, Easter - is so much work!

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YES the magic is so much work! My husband has done tooth fairy which has been nice for the 4 teeth my 6 yo lost in the last year. Him taking it on mainly happened because I fell asleep the first night and said did you do this?! I call Santa the Nana Santa- I don't like Santa getting credit for my thoughtful gifts so my mom has taken on that role and I have always been conflicted about the Santa story in general/not wanting to lie when asked direct questions. But so much goes into every holiday and it feels hard to set what our minimum standards are because we don't think about how much our kids have changed and what they are expecting every year either.

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When my spouse left for work yesterday, I was still snuggling our 7 year old in bed (post Halloween, no school day) and he texted me later to say “I was so sad to leave - I’d have rather stayed in bed with you guys” - which is absolutely true and valid, but what he missed was the 2 meltdowns that happened shortly after we woke up, navigating our schedule for the “day off,” trying to clean bathrooms with everyone home, meal prep and cleanup, negotiating screen time & sibling disagreements, etc etc. The “attunement” you mentioned is such a different level of parenting and I think you are absolutely right that it begins with how we raise and socialize boys!

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Really related to and appreciated this piece! Thanks for your honest writing.

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Thank you!

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Oct 31, 2023Liked by Cindy DiTiberio

This is brave and honest writing. I feel we need to empower men. We as women can step aside and allow men to father fully. It requires that we stop enabling the unreasonable expectations on mothers.

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agree! thank you!

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I went through a 4 1/2 year divorce. People have no idea. I was suffocating in my marriage because he was literally putting it all on me. He ultimately put it all on me in the divorce. It’s worse now because I have all the financial responsibility of working, and the kids 100% but he was not invested as a husband and Father. The courts allowed him to financially ruin me in the process so I not only had to start over exhausted from a marriage that I was getting nothing from but to pour into my children has been exhausting. Our society expects women to be: full time Mothers, Full time employees, full time homemakers and yet we applaud fathers for the bare minimum and wonder why we are tapped out and resentful. I am very resentful of my ex because of comments like: “I am helping you” when it comes to picking up our kids so I can work and have meetings. My oldest will go to college next year and finding out my identity is going to be interesting as I pour more into myself. My children are a huge part of my identity. Especially when they have such an absent father.

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You might like this beautiful and candid two-part podcast on splitting the holidays; I found it interesting: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/divorce-on-planet-earth/id1439138064?i=1000460211306

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Thank you! I will totally check it out!

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