Finding time to devote to my blog these days is a rare treat and yet, even when I fear words won’t come, I make them because the process of pouring my thoughts out here is so cathartic. Not to mention it feels as though I get to have a much-needed conversation with all of you! (No one told me just how much new mommyhood can be such an isolating experience.)
Pre-kids, I remember my friend Betsy telling me how much parenthood made her feel like a true partner with her husband. How they were a team through all of its ups and downs. Seven weeks into this parenting journey of my own and I just have to say now: Betsy, I totally get it.
Never for one second do I take for granted the generational shift of the past few decades—a shift that has brought more and more men like my wonderful, doting husband full force into the hands-on, day-to-day hard work of parenting. When Nick gets home from work at night, I don’t hope that he’ll help me out with changing and feeding and bathing our son. I expect it. And to think that just a handful of decades ago, such expectations might as well have been akin to a trip to the moon, well, it boggles my frazzled mind.
There was a day last week where I woke up feeling a cold coming on (sleep deprivation is like, the No. 1 path to sickness, isn’t it?) and I honestly thought, “I don’t know if I have the energy to do all of this today“. Nick woke up, took one look at me and, because I must have looked like I’d been on an all-night bender, asked, “You want me to stay home to help you today?”
Of course my reply was that typical girl nonsense of saying the exact opposite of how I truly felt: “Nooo…no, it’s OK, I’ll manage” (words mumbled while falling asleep over our son as he cooed on his activity mat). And just like that, Nick decided for me that he was staying home for the day. He shooed me to bed for four more hours and bounced our son to sleep while pacing the living room floor. I woke up feeling like a new person, ready to reprise her role as mom.
One more memory of getting through these newborn days with my husband at my side that I never want to forget: There was a night a few weeks back where Dean was being especially fussy and my thoughts had turned to entertaining dramatic notions like “He’s never going to sleep through the night and I’m going to be rocking him to bed in his college dorm room at 18!” (I’m telling you people, sleep deprivation plunges you into the most absurd conversations with yourself). Nick came into a darkened nursery, knelt by my side and, as I rocked Dean, whispered, “We’re a good team, me and you. We have made it through so many ups and downs and we’ll get through this, too. Together. You know we will, right?”
Sweetheart, of course I do. But in those moments when I forget, I want to thank you for reminding me of what a blessed woman I am to have you—and this wonderful boy we made—in my life.