Babies, Husbands, and Marriage

I recently visited with a friend who *just* had a baby. Her first. After discussing all the normal new mommy topics: labor story, breastfeeding woes, baby poop…she mentioned she had no idea how much the baby would affect her marriage. All I could do was give her *the smile* and think…just wait til you have another one.

What I really wanted to say:
Just wait til you have another one. The “help” you receive now: the eager new dad who gets up in the middle of the night, changes the diaper, and brings you the baby. Sits up with you while you breastfeed. Offers to get you some water or maybe a snack. The same one who went out in the middle of the night while you were pregnant to curb your cravings or massaged your back in the last weeks of pregnancy…

The second time around. Not so much. The “helpful” new dad has now learned to sleep through anything. A train could roar through the living room and he’d be completely oblivious. If he wakes, it’s certainly not to change a diaper. Bring you water. Or get you snack. It may be to remind you that the baby is likely hungry. Because you couldn’t figure that out on your own. After all, the ONLY reason a baby cries is because he’s hungry. Which, coincidentally, if you are breastfeeding means that the Daddy “can’t do anything” anyway. At which point, you’ll be reminded that he would have totally helped if he had boobs. Right. Diaper changes you’ll be convinced are better if you do them because you are so much faster and more efficient. If you dare to test this theory, the point will be proven with the world’s s….l….o….w….e….s…..t diaper change resulting in an infuriated baby who takes ten times longer to calm down. Water. Snacks. You’ll stumble in to get them yourself and then hear a groggy voice ask if you brought enough for two. If your husband hasn’t firmly established a place outside of the “circle of trust” with the first baby, he’ll likely do so with the second.

There are, I am sure, a few couples out there who make the parenthood journey with few bumps in the road. However, I am sure there are MORE who travel over big bumps. Boulders at points. These couples, at some point in the parenthood endeavors don’t really like each other. The mommy is usually bitter. The daddy completely oblivious…because all crying means hungry- you must remember this. Here is an example of why:

Our household between the hours of 5 pm and 8pm:
5:00 – feed Jake
5:03 – explain to Ty that the high chair is no longer his. It’s the baby’s chair.
5:04 – deal with tantrum because Ty wants HIIIIIIIS chair
5: 10 – distract Ty with an episode of Little Einsteins. I now have about 23 minutes to feed Jake in a somewhat peaceful environment.
5: 16 – look at the boat on the screen after having ignored Ty’s yelling, “Moommmmmy LOOOOK, a boat.” “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMY, LOOOOOOOK a boat.”
5:17 – get up to wet a paper towel to wipe off the peas from Jake’s lap that were dropped because I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing while watching the dang boat.
5: 20 – begin thinking about what to cook Ty for dinner
5: 33 – deal with tantrum because Little Einsteins is now over
* Ty has now firmly attached himself to my last nerve*
5: 36 – clean up Jake’s face, wash his hands, and clean high chair
5: 40 – try to persuade Ty to play with his trains in the play room
5: 45 – walk up to the play room after being dragged upstairs by Ty to see his trains
6:00 – start cooking Ty’s dinner
6:30 – feed Ty
6:45 – clean up the aftermath of Ty’s dinner, wash his hands, wipe his face
6:50 – give Jake his bath
6:51 – deal with tantrum because Ty wants to play with Jake’s bath water while Jake takes a bath
*losing my mind slowly….*
7:00 – dry Jake, put on his medications, dress in pajamas
7:10 – get Jake’s bottle ready
7:11 – the husband calls to say he is shutting down his computer and heading out of the office (read: may be home in an hour)
7: 15 – attempt to get Ty to play quietly…give up and let him watch another Little Einsteins show
7:20 – take Jacob to his room to give him his bottle and put him down to bed
7:25 – try to convince Ty that now isn’t the time to YELL…”BLLLAASTOFF” and to try to be quiet
*Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific*
7:26 – try to get Jacob to calm back down and ignore the yelling coming from the other room
7:40 – finally get Jacob to finish bottle and down in his crib
7:45 – time to give Tyson his bath
7:55 – out of bath and time for pajamas
7:56 – deal with tantrum because Ty wanted to wear his RACE CAR pajamas again. They are in the wash. Convince him that the dinosaur pj’s are the way to go.
* Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific. Two year olds are terrific*
8:00 – make his milk and grab books to read
8: 05 – sit down to read books with Ty while he drinks his milk
8:20 – put Ty down to bed
8:21 – the husband walks in the door and asks…”How was your day”
*!@#$!@#$ !@#$!@#$!@# !@#$!@#$!@ !#$!@#$@*

After a brief attempt to fill him in…”Maybe Ty was hungry”
At which point I want to kick him in the shins. Are you kidding me.
* Thirty three year olds are terrific. Thirty three year olds are terrific. Thirty three year olds are terrific*

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