Now, here’s the thing. I know I am a pain in the arse. I can be rebellious, defensive, overly sensitive and a back chatting feisty little cow bag.
However, I’m going to dare say it, sometimes I just want to lose my shit with you. This is something all women will feel for their other halves. Because sometimes – note only sometimes – you don’t have a clue.
Dad’s don’t have it easy. They have to deal with us hormonal nutcases, spend a large proportion of their time being moaned at as well as going to work (note this is written with my personal situation in mind – I know there are plenty of stay at home Dads). This is by no means an attack on the Dads out there. You for one, my dear husband, are an amazing father – there is no way on this earth I could ask for a better Dad to my child.
But there are times I want to beat you round the head with the Makka Pakka toy. Our lives as parents are team work but they are also incredibly different. And I don’t think I will be the first Mum to feel this. Case in point – I spend most of my days covered in some form of bodily fluid. It’s a given. The kid will get piss on me two minutes before we have to leave the house. Where we differ is this; if you were pissed on, you’d undoubtedly change, freshen up, and knowing you, attempt to have a quick shower. When I get pissed on, I usually am on a schedule where I have no choice but to, in the words of my genius friend Harriett “febreeze the fucker” and leave the house still wearing said pissy shirt. Same goes for vomit – a swift baby wipe is about all the attention it will get. Poo is where I draw the line but as you and I both know, I’ve been shit on more than once by our child and this includes the time I had to walk around the local farm park decorated with our child’s poo.
My point is, gulp, sometimes I am so jealous of you. When we had Josh both our lives changed forever. We were hit with this overwhelming all consuming love that you cannot put a price on. And this little lump of a person suddenly had complete control over our lives, even though he didn’t know it. But the envy I felt for you; you had the enjoyment of Josh arriving into the world. Your body didn’t change, you didn’t leak gallons of blood afterwards, you didn’t have nipples that were A) pain greater than the labour contractions and B) permanently at the disposal of someone else so the hopes of a shower were diminished within about 70 seconds. You got to be the proud Dad, showing off our beautiful boy to the world. Two weeks later you were back at work, and life just continued for you as it always has but with the added bonus of a beautiful mini you who you’d give your life up for in a heartbeat.
I have to be honest. My life changed a great deal more than yours. Not just the predictable body changes, sleep deprivation and being a milking machine. But I simply cannot just do the things I want to anymore. My choice in life, which you fully supported, was to stay at home and be with Josh. I don’t regret this one bit. But I have to admit, I do get jealous of your lifestyle sometimes; you can just go for a bike ride, or watch an entire movie, or go away with the lads. These things are fairly effortless for you and I do feel a bit envious. And that makes me human, not a bad person before anyone attacks me.
On the other side of the coin, I support that – I support you. You are the sole earner of our family, you provide for us, look after us and put a roof over our heads. That is something I can never thank you for enough; no amount of me cleaning to make our house look nice is going to equate to how grateful I want you to know I am.
But it doesn’t change the fact that I do still sometimes want to beat you with said Makka Pakka toy. Because you may not realise this, and although as I’ve already said it was my choice to be at home, but some days with our child are hell. That cute curly haired boy can be a strong willed demonic pain in the rear end (I’ve no idea where he gets his strong willed attitude from……). You don’t stop ALL DAY. You will make breakfast for him – it will get thrown at you. You will try to clean the kitchen, he will pull the VERY FUCKING IMPORTANT bottles of prosecco from the wine rack. It will go quiet – you’ll find him eating cat biscuits. He will do a poo that will astonish even you – when you go to change his nappy he won’t stay still and allow you to do it in the quickest time possible; he will roll, wriggle, wrestle and more often than not, put his hand in his poo. He’ll then grab at you and you somehow then have to get both of you changed (as I’ve already said, even I draw the line at poo).
You will go out in the car; he will adopt some insane super human strength and go completely stiff to prevent you from getting him in his car seat. This very public stand off will be seen by sympathetic but also highly amused neighbours (you’ll hate them and call them twats under your breath). You’ll go to the shops and have to bribe him with biscottis to not have a mental breakdown in yet another attempt at making you lose the plot in public.
There will be times you’ll think, OK I’ll put CBeebies on TV for a bit, just so I can sit and relax for 5 minutes.
Relax + One Year Old = You are fucking dreaming sunshine!
They may go into what looks like a relaxed trance when the frankly terrifying Mr Tumble makes an appearance but they will then realise they’ve not moved in 3 minutes and make up for this time by trying to put duplo in your Xbox (I hadn’t told you that yet had I…)
You make dinner – home made, full of goodness. This will go one of two ways; it’ll either be bluntly refused and he will make his point by putting the entire bowl on his head, or it will take you 90 minutes to get half the bowl down him as he attempts to feed himself. And the cat. Bath time will follow and will always culminate in an epic meltdown when you attempt to brush his teeth.
Then Daddy comes home….. it’s all smiles, running up for a cuddle, playing nicely. I don’t know why he, and I should imagine every other child out there, does this but it’s very annoying. You come home and see me; sweaty from the bath wrestle, covered in that nights spaghetti bolognaise, Mum bun fallen to the side of my head and mascara smeared down my face and wonder what on earth is wrong with me. You’ll wonder how I could possibly be a in a bad mood when I have this little bundle of cute, curly haired smiles. That’s what I mean when I say you don’t always get it.
I don’t go to work; I don’t have the pressure of meetings, deadlines, office politics, traffic. However I can say this for all Mums; you don’t stop all day – mentally, physically, emotionally. You never get a chance to switch off. That’s what you take on when you become a Mum; it’s part and parcel of this incredible and rewarding role in life. But you forget about yourself. You’re so focused on the shit storm that was their breakfast that you completely forget about having any yourself and it’s not until it’s nearly lunch time and you’ve got the shakes that you think oh yeah and reach for whatever is in sight and can be eaten in three seconds so that your toddler won’t see it. Because despite wanting none of his own food, he will ALWAYS want yours.
Parenting is a team sport. And I am so lucky that I have a husband who is a willing player, and who does a bloody good job of it. Yes you hate doing the nappies (can’t say I blame you – sometimes they actually scare me), you attempt to do wind down time but it never works because you are the tickle monster and lets face it, no one can resist seeing their kid giggle even if it is five minutes before bed time and he’s completely wound up, and you have no realisation as to why I may have bought yet another pack of vests (it’s not to waste money, we appear to have created a child that is a beast and doesn’t stop growing). No, you don’t see the shit storms, the times when I am crying because there is no cheese and the thought of putting him in the car seat to go and buy some is enough to make me take up lunchtime drinking, and somehow you have that built in ability to sleep through anything and not hear him when he’s having a 3am party/meltdown combo for an hour and a half in his cot.
But what you do do is be there. You’re there as Josh’s Dad, and as my husband. You are my biggest supporter. You help me, you encourage me. I know sometimes I am a bad tempered, ratty, irritable bitch. I know there are days when you and other men probably look at your wives and think “why can’t she be like INSERT NAME OF SUPPOSED PERFECT WIFE HERE”. Let me tell you fellas, perfect wife doesn’t exist; she is just like the rest of us, hiding in the utility room with a packet of jammy dodgers and half a glass of pinot at 5.30pm telling herself she deserves this just for making it through the day. She just covers it better than the rest of us, and most likely does so in a perfectly assembled Karen Millen outfit and blow-dried hair!
My point is, yes I moan at you, I complain at how easy your life is and how much freedom you have. I do that womanly thing of curtly saying “nothing” when you ask what’s wrong when inside I’m screaming that I’m wound up cause I’ve been puked on/judged by some other Mummy/ had a whole day without even that wonderful naptime hour with a whinging baby/ that I’m just really bloody tired. Along with babies, women are hard work; we’re complicated creatures.
We’re also kick arse heroes who brought your babies into the world through blood, sweat and tears and a distinct lack of dignity!
Bear with us.
Sam, Our house is full of love for you and from you. Xx