Usually the subject of these blog posts is me either […]
Usually the subject of these blog posts is me either talking about the struggles and wonders of being a dad—or the amazing things my little boy does. This week, however, I want to talk about my partner.
Unfortunately, to do so, I first need to talk about me (again).
Being a parent (as we all know) is tough. There are changes to our sleep patterns, our eating patterns and our social life, which was once about late nights, hangovers and getting dressed up—but now is more about cake with a minion or some character from Frozen on it, balloons and mid-party nappy changes all in a shirt that may or may not have been washed prior to leaving the house (and, yes, of course it has sick on it). Being a parent changes our outlook on what is important. We all grow up a little more when our babies arrive despite (personally) not feeling grown up enough to be a dad!
I mean, my dad’s a dad, and he’s old!
If anyone tells you it isn’t tough, they either know something I don’t, or they are lying.
But for me—and if I was bold enough to guess, most dads—the changes stop there.
I still get up, and I go to work with the same people, in the same clothes I wore before I became a dad. When I’m out and about I still look the same, move the same, and in a lot of ways think the same. I’m still the same guy I was before Ben, but now I love a little more, worry a little more and stay at home a little more. If I’m not with my little man people do not necessarily know I am a parent.
For my partner, however, it hasn’t been the same.
She had to deal with the massive body changes that come with pregnancy, the emergency C-section that had a long healing time and has left a scar. She breastfeeds, so her body has become a fridge for our boy to feast from—and as advised she feeds on demand, any time of the night or day. She has had to put her career on hold to raise our little boy, which is isolating and lonely and sometimes boring. She’s had to replace and re-replace her wardrobe as the past year her body has been through a metamorphosis more spectacular than a caterpillar’s to a butterfly. She tends to our baby’s every need because I’m at work a lot of the time. But the most amazing thing about it all is that she does it without ever complaining or wishing it could be different.
I was thinking about these facts last night. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know my little one as much as she does because of needing to work. I’ve talked about this several times now, but what I’ve failed to mention is that my little boy is a very happy boy. Some of that will be because his mummy and daddy are happy people, and this behavior of joy is what he is learning from us. But a lot of his happiness is because—despite all of the trials and tribulations, pains, surgery, healing and tiredness my partner has felt over the past six or seven months—she has done nothing but put him first. So when I get home from a 12-hour day, and he flashes me a smile that makes my 12-hour day worthwhile—it’s because for those 12 hours that life has been normal for me, my partner has ensured he wants for nothing and feels safe, loved and cherished.
His happiness is due to the amazing work my partner does day in and day out, without any breaks or applause.
So this week I just want to say thank you to her: Thank you for your energy and love for both me and our beautiful little boy; without you he would not be so incredible.