Thursday, 12 April 2012

I am feeling jealous of my husband (-son relationship)

This hasn't happened to me before. With my twin girls, our twin girls, well they had mother and father all the time, or two mothers as I used to say back then. Then they grew older and at some point they asked me 'Mami why does Daddy not cry but you do?' and differences between the two of us became somehow clearer as the girls started to look and demand for differences between the two of us. Anyhow, this all felt quite unproblematic and their calling us Mami/Daddy at the same time or interchangeably was just the reality that was ours.

It could well be that the reality of them being twins and being born early by caesarian impacted on my attachment style to them, in that by circumstances the attachment was perhaps loser and certainly had to be divided as I needed the help of my husband for us to survive. Loser also because the twins had and have each other. I often feel that their first attachment figure is almost their twin sister. 

But here comes along the boy - one child - and my feelings are completely different. He is mine. He was mine from the start. I gave birth to him. He wanted just me and I wanted just him and we were this wonderful unit, one big soft ball. He has grown into a strong and still almost manically explorative toddler and booby now seems a thing of the distant past. For a couple of months now he is well into Daddy, crying when he leaves and hopping up and down when he comes back home. Daddy is DADDY in capital letters and much joy is to be had from him. 

All normal and to be expected development. And yet, I feel pangs of jealousy when I see them together, enjoying each other's company, I mean really enjoying it. It's like a special bond they have that the girls have noticed long before me exclaiming 'ah the boys together'! and I go 'what do you mean the boys together????' and to their suggestions of us girls being a unit and having special girl time together I think 'what do you mean girl time?????'  

Maybe it's the separation between genders that really grates with me and only marginally the jealousy of the father-son relationship. In the past if separations (I hesitate to say segregations...) occurred I always felt I wanted to be on the boys side as that seemed infinitely more interesting and free. To be on the girls side always felt subdued and somewhat adjusted to the point of deadly boredom. As a kid I mainly hung out with boys and my best girl friend was an outdoorsy tomboy kid like me. 

So is this jealousy a gender thing? What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be a woman? And more precisely what gender roles have been assigned to us whilst growing up and how have we taken them on board? 

I have always maintained that I felt more comfortable in male company and yet becoming a mother has attuned me to a female world in a far more impactful way than I would have ever imagined. 

Clearly I am still trying to figure out for myself what it means for me to be a woman and a mother. 

Perhaps the journey is about finding my way of being without falling into the gender stereotype traps. 

I am born free to be who I want to be.