On the First Year, and all Thereafter

October 25th, 2016 No Comment yet

For the first couple of years after becoming mothers, most women want to annihilate their partners. I see you, I hear you, I was you. There you were, single and free, thinking your body would defy gravity forever. You met him, feel in love, traveled, danced and drank, walked down the aisle, and got pregnant. When he held baby and then your hand, you were convinced that you’d love them both forever, with the exact magnitude of that priceless moment. Spoiler alert. Hormones may as well be drugs.

A few months and very few hours of sleep later, you still love your baby in that exact way, but you no longer know who this guy in the house is. Gone is the freedom, the good times, the romance. You’ve forgotten what a cuddle, a conversation, and laughter about anything but baby’s cute smile feel like. You wish he had breasts instead of you, you wish he was on maternity leave while you got to wear normal clothes and talk to other adults all day, you wish the bundle of joy could need daddy more than you for just one moment. And you definitely don’t want this dude to touch you after you’ve had baby hanging off you forever.

Time goes by, things become a different kind of hard, baby grows, maybe even wants daddy for a minute a day. But you still resent him, because its become the norm, because you’ve keep waiting for things to go back to they way they were, and they simply are not. And while undoubtably the first years are at times unbearable and impossible for mothers, they are also so for our partners. Just in a different way. We know why we no longer want them to touch us, why everything they do can annoy us, why we just want to throw baby at them and run out the door every now and then. But they do not. You need to tell them. And it’s not even their fault.

Eventually baby becomes child, you find yourself able to do all the normal things you used to do. But most of these things you no longer want to do, their appeal has slowly faded into oblivion, and you realize you’ve been holding onto something that is no longer there. Then you look at this almost-stranger that sits next to you, remote control in hand, and suddenly see that making it through the first years of parenthood, is by far a greater memory to hold onto than any dance under the stars. No, nothing is the same again, but you’re both still there, side by side. Always, remember, that is something you did together.

(I have been stereotypical for reasons no other than to get my point across. I realize that there are exceptions to everything and everyone.)

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