I was and still am quite lucky – Dean managed to take two weeks off work to be at home while we figure things out with her. It’s always great to have him around, but it has been particularly helpful now. Having an extra pair of hands means that dishes get done, food gets cooked, and there’s the ability to tag out when baby stuff gets too much. We have been able to figure this whole parenting thing out together, and it’s been fantastic (in between the frustration and joy highs and lows).
I’m sure there will be more ups and downs – that’s what this journey is all about. However, I’ve loved the way that parenting already has brought us so much closer together. I already loved Dean, obviously, but watching him make faces at our little girl makes me melt. But there’s something even more that has made me feel closer to him than ever, and has made such a difference as a wife and mother.
Yesterday, even though it was an easier day with Harley and we sorta felt like we were getting the hang of things, I was still a bit overwhelmed. I was so sad and worried – did I ruin our awesome, fun-filled life that we had before? Am I terrible at doing the whole mothering thing? Will Dean start to resent and hate me? Okay, so maybe I was a lot overwhelmed. Anyway, as is my way, I told Dean that I needed a cry, so I gave him fair warning, and he pulled me close for a big hug so I could cry it out. Not only did he reassure me that I haven’t ruined everything, he said how amazed he is at how patient I am, and how lucky Harley is to have me as her mom. How did that happen? I thought patient people don’t need a big cry on day 2 of having the kid home… and yet I felt so much better afterwards. He promised me that he is here for me, to make things easier, and that we will find the rhythm that works for us.
And mostly, we have. Look, there are still times when she cries and we aren’t too sure why, but it’s become something of a checklist now. Clean her up, change her nappy, feed her, burp/cuddle her. If none of those seem to calm her down, cuddle her while walking or try another position until she passes out. We still have some times when she screams and cries and we aren’t too sure why, but mostly it’s a matter of changing her nappy, feeding her or helping her to get rid of gas. By working together, everything feels a whole lot easier, too – even if it’s just passing each other baby wipes or bottles as necessary, followed by a fist bump for the success of teamwork. It might sound silly, but it is so reassuring to know I’m not in this alone, and to still be able to be goofy with my awesome hubster.
I know in the coming weeks and months I will fall more in love with him by watching him grow as a father, but for now, he is making me so ridiculously happy by being such an amazing partner. I needed (and still need) the love and support that he is giving, and it’s making the idea of raising Harley less daunting by the day.