A Team Effort

Today’s guest post comes from Laura Adams. Not only is Laura a first time mum, this is also her first ever blog post, so I’m very happy to be hosting it.

Family photo

So there I am sitting on a train, sipping a glorious morning latte and actually feeling all right about commuting to the office when – without warning – a flicker of guilt crosses my mind.

Wait, this isn’t like me. I’m one of the most selfish people I know, how can this be happening? Then it dawns on me. Oh god, I think, I’m a BAD WIFE.

My mind metaphorically curls into a ball as I recall the events of the previous night: baby wakes up, I wake, husband wakes and sweetly enquires whether there is anything he can do. I shout at him and blame HIM for EVERYTHING including waking the baby in the first place (this may, or may not, be accurate). Baby becomes more agitated, I am more agitated, husband looks wounded; no-one gets much sleep.

The next morning, I feel groggy but ok, get up and leave the house with a luxurious baby-free day in the office ahead of me.

But what’s this? I suddenly feel absolutely, penetratingly, wretchedly, terrible.

And before you say, ‘but you’ve just had a baby! This is not Victorian England – who gives a toss about HIM!’ I must admit to being blessed with a husband who is, ahem, pretty perfect.

The sci-fi fanaticism aside, he is the soulmate I secretly pined for, with a soothing, kindly temperament that makes me feel like the most adored and cared-for woman in the world. I don’t mind gushing that his influence makes me a far more easygoing, trusting, and relaxed person.

When the blue line appeared on the pregnancy test little over 14 months ago, the prospect of new life and love danced gently in his eyes… while I slumped on the sofa, stricken at the prospect of giving up wine for eight months.

And when our beautiful baby girl was born in May, I struggled through the first few weeks in a state of shock and confusion punctuated by violent mood swings. Hubby, meanwhile, tended to our every need with good humour and spirit.

It is a team effort. While I lie in bed reading a book and breastfeeding; he cleans the house from top to bottom. While the baby and I compensate for the 15 minutes we were awake during the night with a lie-in until 10am, hubby leaves the house at 6am to earn our living. When he wafts through the door at 6pm, I pass the baby to him and run myself a nice, warm, soapy bath. Thus far, it has worked out.

And yes there have been a few altercations – but hey, that’s baby blues right? A bit of harmless shouting is reasonable, right?

Perhaps not, because here I am with a sense of dread taking hold of me. At work, I am practically revered for my diplomacy skills and man management. At home, I realise, I am a MONSTER.

My mood darkens and I find myself digging out the iPhone to craft a contrite message of apology.

He accepts with the good nature and loveliness to which I am accustomed, gives me a big bear hug when I arrive home, and ushers me on to the sofa with a large glass of red and a magazine.

There is no baby to see to because he has bathed her and put her to sleep long before I arrive home.

This is my first ever blog entry and I racked my brains about what to write about. Of course there is my baby, there is ME, but it can be all too easy to forget that there is also my husband. So at a time when I spend much of my time wrapped up in ME and motherhood, I’d like to dedicate this to him. And that this monster says through sharp, gritted teeth – thank you.

13 responses

  1. He sounds like a definite keeper to me! I know my husband is always the one who gets it the worst when I’m tired or grumpy. I instantly hate myself for thinking it’s OK to take it out on him and make a silent pledge not to do it again. Of course that never happens. Luckily he’s as easygoing as yours, otherwise I don’t think he’d have stuck around! x

  2. Great post and – Oh! – this has struck a chord – especially the different personalities at work and home! I’m currently on the train wracked with guilt after my 4yo saw me throw some shoes in frustration this morning. Not something I want her to think is acceptable behaviour! She then proceeded to tell every member of staff at nursery about it …. Sigh.

  3. Awww bless. I love my husband to bits, but if I get a lie in at the weekend, he tends to think feeding the kids breakfast and keeping them alive is enough – then I get up and the house looks like we’ve been burgled with the boys are still running around in their pyjamas and bits of half-eaten toast everywhere.
    If you’ve got a man who cleans and pre-empts the jobs which need doing around the house WORSHIP HIM. He’s an absolute star xxx

  4. You are right to remember the Dads. My husband and I discussed our son’s birth yesterday and until that point I hadn’t realised how hard it had been for him and all this time he has soldiered on supporting, loving and caring. What a fantastic first post x

  5. Thanks for all your comments – it’s great to get the feedback. Trying to curb my behaviour forthwith (easier said than done!). Still, lots of brownie points after this posting… Mr A feeling very pleased with himself (and so he should!).🙂 xx

  6. With so much going on physically and mentally when you become a mother it’s no wonder that there are times when someone’s forgotten for a while, lovely and honest post Laura. Now, when are you going to start your blog ?😉

  7. First blogging entry? – well get writing some more – your writing style is lovely! Well it sounds like you are all being supportive and appreciative of each other’s efforts. But don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself losing your temper or patience – it’s so normal with the demands of a tiny baby. Lovely photo!

  8. Great post. My other half has been a star throughout pregnancy and our first year as parents.

    I’m pretty sure I’ve not really even said thank you, for the cooking, cleaning and evening wine-supplying… feeling guilty now though!

    *scurries off to find Hubby a thank you gift*

  9. Love the writing, do blog more if you get chance (keep hubby on the case with bathing and settling the baby :)). I have been horrible to my OH for the last 4 years at least, have no idea hy he’s still here…. must try harder….

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