Thank you for being awesome during the labour. It was wonderful to have you there even if you felt like you didn’t really do anything. I didn’t really want to hold your hand or talk to you or watch tv beside you but that not doing anything with you except “being” with you was a great help. And then you were physically there so I could push against you which was also a relief. While it lasted. I know you tried as hard as you could to keep it together when you saw the blood from my tear and you desperately didn’t want to pass out. You did end up on the floor with two midwives attending you to my one but you have to admit, it is a funny story…
Thank you for tag-teaming with me. I know you have been tired and frustrated and worried this month but all those times when you took our daughter so I could take a much needed nap were greatly appreciated. And all those times when you told me I was doing a good job made me feel a little better. You may think that she doesn’t like you very much sometimes or that you’re not being a good dad but all I have to do is look at the two of you together to know that neither is the case. Whenever she has her “rubbish” hours when she doesn’t want to eat or sleep, you can take her and put her on your chest for “daddy cuddles” and she will eventually relax and go to sleep. I know it sometimes takes a while but I guarantee that you can offer her a steady comfort which ultimately relaxes her that I cannot.
Thank you for helping more around the house. Whilst I was in hospital, you made sure that the house was cleaned ready for Genibean and I to come home. Since we have been home, you have tidied more than usual and helped out with the washing up and also bringing the clothes in on occasion. I have a sneaking suspicion that the ant infestation might be just as much of a motivating factor as your desire to help out the mother of your newborn child but I’ll take what I can get.
Thank you for Christmas. Firstly for my present because I know that you think spending that much money on sunglasses is ridiculous but you agreed to it because I wanted them and you wanted to make me happy. And on Christmas day, you were there for me when I was upset and you kept your mouth shut when it was necessary to not make a bigger deal out of a situation that could have been handled better than it was. Who knew I would get that worked up about our four-legged friend being uninvited to my family’s Christmas? I let it go in the end but I do wish that everyone had been straight from the beginning because by the end of the month, I had heard three alternate reasons as to what the issue was with us bringing the fourth member of our family.
Thank you for your patience and forbearance. I know that large groups of people and also the constant presence of people and things to do wears you down. Despite public opinion, you are an introvert at heart and this month has been one thing after another. Not only has it been a huge change for our home and our family, it has also been a change of which others want to be a part. Genibean was born on the 3rd and since coming home on the 8th, I could count on one hand the number of days that we didn’t have guests or some sort of social engagement. And for a couple who previously could count the number of social engagements per month on one hand, this is a massive change. I know you haven’t always wanted to stay or even go places that we have been so I just wanted to say that I noticed.
Thank you for being a terrific dad. I always thought you would be and even if you don’t believe me, I still want to tell you that you’re doing a great job. You have been really quiet a couple of times this month and you eventually told me it was because you’d look at me handling this new situation and think that I totally had all my shit together but feel that you did not. You’d think I was breezing through this significant change in our lives with no difficulty whatsoever whilst you were floundering by comparison. I need you to know however that I am no more sailing through than you are sinking. I don’t know what I’m doing other than what feels right at the time. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and I don’t know if we’ll ever feel like we’re on top of things again but I know that we love each other and we love her and we will always try to be the best “us” that we can. So as long as we keep loving and trying, things will probably work out. For all of us.
So all up, it’s been a really busy month for us. Full of ups and downs that we’ve had to navigate our way through. At the beginning, Genibean was born which was awesome, then you got something contagious which meant you shouldn’t be anywhere near her which was awful (I told you that if you didn’t look after yourself it would all catch with you!). We got to share our new arrival with lots of family and friends which was fun but we were stretched a little thin in hindsight which wasn’t so much fun as it turned out. We also have a terrific little girl that we wouldn’t swap for all the world but we have joined the ranks of the parents who truly understand the sentiment behind the picture book “Go the f*** to sleep”. Now I’m waiting to see what next month has in store for us.
I must admit, I am a little anxious as to how I will go when day in and day out it is just the little one and I. Even though you may not have physically been doing much this month (you don’t have boobs after all), you have always been there if and when I needed and you have been company. I had a taste of what it will be like when you had a couple of day shifts at the cafe but we haven’t exactly established a routine yet so each day can bring something totally different. I know that you won’t be far away though and you’ll be wishing you were home with us because we are even more of a family now. One with a house and a dog and a kid and everything. Thank you for sharing all of this with me.
Your Loving Wife
* Photo taken at this years Sculptures By The Sea