recently i’ve noticed people reacting in shock and awe when they see robb taking care of the baby. our daycare center ladies (the “misses”) think it’s great that he drops henry off in the morning and knows his ass from his elbow when it comes to hj’s care. and when robb was wearing him in a sling the other day at the mall…man, it was like robb was the pied piper and cute girls were his rats. ok, i get that men with babies and puppies are total panty droppers. that’s not what surprised me. what surprised me was that everyone was so impressed that he was handling his son and taking good care of him. he didn’t need my permission or blessing or instructions to meet henry’s needs- he just did it.
apparently even in this day and age, where most of the time both partners work full time and (allegedly) share domestic responsibilities, the children are STILL considered the mom’s job and the dad is just a trusty assistant (or not).
well, homey don’t play dat. we decided before we even started working on ‘this whole baby thing’ that we were either both all in or it wasn’t going to happen. henry isn’t my kid more than he is robb’s, so we’re both the experts (and the total flops, depending on the moment).
now…all that self-congratulatory, aren’t-we-so-progressive stuff aside, we’re struggling just like anybody with the mom/dad issues.
i had 12 uninterrupted weeks with henry 24 hrs/day. robb got 2 weeks and then had to go back to work. so he was jealous of the time we shared, naturally, and in all that time with henry, i got to know his ins and outs really well, also naturally. and i feed him, so there’s that. robb gives him a bottle now and then, but mostly all those hours spent each day with him growing fat at the teet are just him and me. so between the fact that he saw my mug most of the day for the first few months of life and that i smell like milk (you like sugar, huh? “is there sugar in *breast milk*?” yea… “then YES”), there are times that i can comfort him more easily or make him laugh sooner, etc. and it takes all of my self control to not swoop in sometimes and try to “fix” whatever it is that i see robb doing ‘wrong.’ and sometimes i fail at this. and, really, it’s not wrong, how he’s doing it, it’s just different than how i do it.
and it drives robb crazy that i’m hovering and suggesting obvious fixes and such. naturally.
and when i was on leave, i was only too happy to give robb plenty of alone time with henry at night after i’d had him all day…but now that i’m working the same hours that robb works, i want me some henry time at night, too! so we’re sort of tug-of-warring on him all the time.
and do i secretly in my dark evil little heart sometimes think to myself that i DESERVE more time with henry because i was the one who had to take the hormones that turned me into sweat soup and i was the one who was pregnant with hemorrhoids and aching feet and i was in labor for most of a day and it was my genitals that were all to’ up and my boobs are all inflated mockeries of their old selves and i have to run between cases at work all day to pump milk and i sometimes spill breast milk on my scrubs and it’s totally embarrassing and i sometimes have to wake up in the middle of the night to feel the hungry baby bird while robb sleeps peacefully???
no. i‘ve never thought that. how could you suggest that?
we’ll figure it out, but it’s been a little rough. i am very thankful i have the fella i do, because most of my guy friends with kids just write off the first 6 months of their kids’ lives because they feel useless and can’t rough house with the kids yet, so they let their wives be the main parent and they just act as parent aids.
i’m glad our ‘problem’ is that we both want to spend all of our time and energy taking perfect care of our perfect boy. this is a good ‘problem’ to have.