Yes. I have kids and my kids are my whole world. But also, my kids are not my whole world.
I cannot speak for fathers, or men, but I feel like women who have children are put into this box of where everything they do (or don’t do) revolves around their children. And I know for a lot of women, that is the case. And I know when my kids were younger and relied on me more I used them a lot as an “excuse” to not do things I never really wanted to do to begin with.
Maybe it is because my kids are older. Because I raised them to be more self sufficient than most kids their age. But, my life does not revolve around my children.
Yes, my kids occupy a lot of what would be considered my free time. But if I don’t want to hang out in an empty parking lot at midnight after work, it has nothing to do with the fact I have to get up in the morning to get the kids off to school. These days my kids are completely capable of getting themselves up, getting ready for school and waiting for the bus. I spend school mornings I’m home these days just being the time keeper. Reminding them they have x-amount of minutes left to wait for the bus but for the most part, they get off to school without much assistance from me.
I don’t want to hang out in an empty parking lot at midnight after work because I’m tired. And I am 35 years old, not 19… why are we hanging out in empty parking lots? I don’t want to hang out in an empty parking lot at midnight after work because I do have things I want to get done the next day which does not include sleeping the morning away because I stayed out even later than I am used to going to bed. I don’t want to hang out in an empty parking lot at midnight after work because I simply don’t want to that does not sound like a good time to me.
Yes, I have kids. And my kids are my whole world. And most mornings I have to set my alarm for something they have going on on mornings I am off from work. But that does not mean every alarm I have to set has to do with my kids. For awhile last year I was setting my alarm for 4-5A just so I could get stuff done around the house. To free up time later in the day to do other things. In a few days I have to set my alarm to make sure I get my car to the dealership for it’s yearly inspection. The day after that I have to set my alarm for a trip I am taking with my sister and mother. I set alarms to make it to gym classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings. In two weeks I have to set an alarm so I can take a test I need to take in order to keep the position I have at work. There are a lot of other things to set alarms for that have nothing to do with kids. So when I question what you mean by not having to set an alarm, and your response is that it’s your day off and you don’t have kids… I’m not entirely sure what your point is.
As a women with kids, even if I wanted to, I am not allowed to make women who do not have kids (for one reason or another) feel less than because they don’t have kids. So I am not entirely sure it is okay for those same women to make a woman who has kids feel like everything they do in their entire lives is about their kids. I am supposed to respect your decision to do or not do whatever it is you are doing; but my decisions be them different than yours have to automatically be all about my kids.
All I am trying to say is that if you meet a person, a woman, who has kids do not assume that every decision she makes has anything to do with her children. Maybe she does not want to hang out after work simply because she is tired, wants to finish her book and has things to do on her one day off that have nothing to do with her children. Maybe because she is a mom, she would like to enjoy the time she gets to herself doing the things she truly enjoys.