By: Allison Norris
“How do you do it? Whenever my husband goes out of town, I think about you and can’t imagine how hard it must be for you!”
And so I answer, “I don’t know any different.”
He wakes in the middle of the night, I get up.
He needs a diaper change, I change it.
He’s hungry, I feed him.
I have to shower, he sits alone and I hope he isn’t crying.
I lay him in his crib after his bath and hope that he falls asleep soon, as it will be my long stretch of free time until I can no longer keep my eyes from closing. I do the dishes, laundry, play on facebook so that I don’t feel entirely out of the loop, turn on my tunes, and pluck my eyebrows – if I remember.
I hear how the other moms can pass off the baby when Daddy walks in the door every night. Their needs can be temporarily met while their other half is playing catch up with his offspring.
My son’s father helps whenever he is here and I get a taste of what it would be like; an extra set of hands to load the car or carry in groceries. Hopefully, some day, I’ll have those hands at the end of every day.
Until then, I’m in control, or at least I think I am. I control my wee one’s schedule, his mood, his outfits, and his hygiene. I get spurts of rest in a huge bed all to myself (until my son, who is all of 5 months old, hogs the entire thing), my new biceps are bulging, nobody argues with me about how I want things done, and there is nobody to cook dinner for… My frozen dinners are my secret pleasure - maybe this is perfect?
When we lay in bed together, every morning, he smiles at me and I remember that I am not alone. He is my teammate and my partner.
His hands are the softest to hold. We need each other and I’ll never be “single” again.
By: Sandra Peria
My husband is a type A personality; actually he’s more like an A+. From the moment he learned we were going to have a baby, he bought every book, printed out all pertinent articles online and started analyzing everything from sleep schedules to pumping, to recalls on Carter’s p.j.’s. He followed the baby’s development chapter-by-chapter, week-by-week. “Do you want to know what the baby’s doing now? It can hear, it hears noises.” “Hello baby,” I mutter. I am excited as well, of course, but tend to be a more go-with-the-flow-hope-for-the-best type of person. I am a B-.
After the birth, he kept me on a strict feeding schedule, getting up with me some nights to make sure I remember to actually feed our child. For this I will be forever indebted. He also put the baby to sleep at precisely the same time in exactly the same way every night. He’s the sleep master; three books, a lullaby (“You are my Sunshine”), and off to sleep our son went. When I am especially busy in my day, I know how lucky I am to have my man take care of things like paying the bills and organizing the children’s books tall to short, (told you he was type A) and even taking a swing at dinner, sure to have a protein, a veggie, and a carbohydrate on each plate. He follows the recipe very closely.
There is a strange thing that happens when your husband is Mr. Overachiever; it makes you feel inadequate and you start to doubt every decision you try to make. Is it time for his bottle? Should I take him out or is it too close to nap time? My husband, the dear man, would call me from work telling me it was time to put the baby down. “I was going to,” I explained, “but he needed to be changed and then he seemed hungry again so I thought…” “That’s not what we set up, honey. That’s not what we committed to doing, you can’t make up your own rules.” He is a well-meaning, lovely man, but I can’t help feeling like a complete idiot in regards to raising our child.
Sometimes I do wish I was single and it was just my son and me, battling the world together, making mistakes, doing it wrong. Staying up until midnight eating cold pizza, running around with no diapers, drinking too much juice and bouncing off the walls, putting crayons up our noses, walking in the dirt with no shoes, and then, to finish, the cardinal no-no in our house: sleeping in our bed. I wish I had the right to do it all my own way. I mean my parents screwed up; don’t I have a legacy to uphold?
I realize organization and routine are ultimately for the best, but if I were a single mom, I would love to just jump in the pool with my boy to see if he can swim.
All said, I wouldn’t change my husband or my son for the world and I love them both dearly.