Parenting Advice on How To Compromise and Stay Sane
My Insensitive Husband
By the gods...there is nothing more irritating for a new mother to hear than those 2 words uttered from her husbands mouth. Everytime my husband comes home from work and flops himself down on the couch yawning, I cringe as the inevitable words are voiced...'I'm so tired honey!'
Doing dishes, making dinner, setting the table, feeding and changing the baby while refereeing a fight over who gets the computer next, all seemingly at the same time, I try to keep my voice steady and calm:
'Oh? Rough day at work sweetie?' I tinge the words with a hint of sarcasm, but for some reason, he never really picks up on it. It's probably better that way, because keeping the peace is key to keeping your sanity in an insane environment. But all the same, I wonder if he realizes just how much it annoys me? Especially on weekends when I put the baby for a nap and Christian announces pleasantly; 'Well, I'm gonna sleep while Maks sleeps OK?'
WHOA, isn't it the mother whose supposed to sleep when the baby sleeps? (not that I would anyway, and he knows that) but we DO have 2 other children who are too old for naps, so resting is out of the question for me too.
Six years ago, this situation would inevitably turned into a fight, but over the years, Christian and I have come to some realizations and A LOT of compromises. Maybe we are a little more mature now, and possibly this is stretching it, but maybe just a little smarter too.
For example, I would always be sarcastic and angry when these situations would arise and I would list the reasons why I am more tired than he is. In defense, he would fight back with the same argument, but from a different view point, and neither of us could put ourselves in eachothers shoes. So the fight was never resolved, just put on hold until the next time.
Now, when he's complaining, I use an old french expression that I've learned and love: 'T'es pas fait fort bébé!' (you weren't made tough babe). And HE, incredibly, concedes this weakness and takes the insult nonchalantly. So now it seems as if everyone wins. I am proud (foolishly proud) that my husband has just agreed that I am tougher than him, and he gets to take his nap in peace. Hmmm, maybe it is only Christian who has gotten smarter by knowing how to inflate my pride to his advantage?
Anyways, this is not the whole issue is it ladies? We most certainly ALL have the husband (not the baby) who 'sleeps throught the night' don't we? Why is it that I hear the softest whisper of my baby's breath, but Christian wouldn't move an inch if the baby was screaming bloody murder in his ear? This was another issue that heated up quickly, as almost everything does during the baby years.
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So when Christian offered to wake up with the baby one weekend, and let me get some nights with uninterrupted, blessed sleep, I gratefully and thankfully gave up my post. BUT, do you know what happened? Everytime he got up with Cidnée, I got up too! Now what, i ask, is the point of that?
It was just that I couldn't sleep through my babies cries as men are so easily able to do and so it ended up that both of us were sleep-deprived. As a mother, we are fine-tuned to our babies and so connected to their needs, that we cannot ignore even the littlest of sounds that they may make. And why not? We were the ones who carried them for 9 months. 9 MONTHS! We grew these babies, and so we are attached to them in a way that our husbands are not at this stage of their lives.
And so now, with Maksim, I have accepted my role as primary caregiver to my baby. What I know now is that these 6 months will pass in a flash and then Daddy's role will kick in just like that and he will be engaged 10-fold in the caregiving. Not to say that I don't take breaks during those 6 months, because I do, but I am less inclined to worry about missing a date night or two, because what is 6 months in the grand scheme of things? There will be other date nights, hundreds of them in the years to come, so why worry now?
But what I want to offer now to those mothers who are in the midst of the difficult first 6 month stage with their little cherubs is that believe it or not, you will mourn those 6 months with your baby and his special need JUST for you. SO just grin and bear whatever your seemingly insensitive husband has to say and remember that his time is coming soon! :)
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