Finding partnership in parenting

It’s hard to be unhappy with someone when you’re overwhelmed with gratitude that they exist. I was worried that our first few months of being parents would be like our first few months married: total hell. I was so worried that we fought about it all the way until the baby came.

Turns out having a baby isn’t *quite* like being newlyweds, because unlike being newlyweds, you’re united in your terror/ exhaustion/ panic/ depths of misery/ freaked-out-edness and facing the (cute) enemy together. Rather than trying to stake your claim on your part of a joint life, you’re tag-teaming to barely succeed at surviving while keeping your new kid from screaming. Empathy for someone at their wit’s end is easy to come by when  you are, quite literally, moments away from seeing the end of your own.

We survived those weeks and lived to fight (with each other) another day, but every so often I glimpse the progress we’ve made in being partners. He wants to go mountain biking and I wave him off despite our kiddo being on the verge of finally catching that darned virus that’s been going around. I’m walking around like a zombie and he sends me to bed, where I hear the (glorious) sounds of him cleaning up the kitchen while I doze.

My child is very lucky to have two parents, too. I’m the empathetic mama that brings him to bed with me because he’s feeling a little under the weather. His dad plays 80’s Dance Party (a game of their own creation) with him every morning. I remember to pack the spare clothes in his bag; Daddy takes care of paying the day care bill.

Speaking of, I finally caved and admitted that I suck at keeping our finances under control. I’m good at setting up systems but if something is “off,” (like three months of direct deposit during my maternity leave), I procrastinate the errand-running required to get it all straight. He’s taking over for the near future and I’m very excited. No, I won’t be totally hands-off, but much like I was forced to learn to delegate at work while on maternity leave, I’ve come around to the virtues of releasing control over something I’m not great at anyway.

Oh, THIS is why people say having a baby makes you grow up!

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“Mom, Dad put my onesie on backwards again. I have a wedgie.”

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4 thoughts on “Finding partnership in parenting

  1. Funny, being newlyweds was the happiest most bonding experience we’ve had yet since the baby we’ve bickered and butted heads more than ever before! It all kinda becomes a pissing contest in our house these days…Happy to hear you two are working together so well!

  2. What a great post. I’m so glad you guys are figuring it out together! I actually have not had my hands in our bill-paying since before we got engaged….. my husband is an accountant, is better at it than me (by a LONG shot) and enjoys it. Whereas, i don’t.

  3. This is my life. Isn’t it the small things that help so much. My hubs is on work travel for 2 weeks. I can barely make it. I am lucky to have the people in my life who help me. Our dog walker brought up the trash cans for me.

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