Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our own harshest critic

I have spent a bunch of time discussing (or maybe whining about) my own current status as a full time stay at home mama.
I apologize.
It seems like the transition to full time caregiver is hard on lots of people. My friend Tricia's hubby Jay is going through his own catharsis of sorts as he has become as stay at home dad by accident after becoming unemployed. He's writing about it on his blog and what he has said really has made me think about our own relationship and role as parents.

Today is Father's Day, and guess what, Bry made US breakfast?
That's not a typo. Bry spent his Father's day morning in the kitchen making pancakes from scratch and heating up pork roll. Where was I? Well, first I was sleeping in a little later (as I had another migraine yesterday and that coupled with Maeve nursing at 4, wiped me out!) and then I was feeding Maeve, a task Bry can't do until she's on the cup.
I remember thinking before Mo, that my relationship with Bry would not change too much with the addition of a kid. I mean, really? The baby would hopefully have the best parts of me & him, so really how much could it change us?
I underestimated the time and energy required to be a full time stay at home mom and while our relationship was different it changed as we no longer could just go. Every decision took into account three lives versus just the two of us.
That underestimation repeated itself full-on this past January when Maeve was born.
Our time as a couple is all but non-existent. It's getting better as both girls are now down for the night by 9, but half those nights I'm toast. Thank God for our front porch where we have spent a few nights drinking wine and talking. I missed those conversations.
Bry is working long hours so his time with the girls is limited. There are moments that I am jealous of him as he walks out in the morning, in his dress clothes, off to converse with adults and pee with the door shut.
But I know, these hours make him feel like a sucky father. He is not a workhorse by choice, more by necessity. There are some people that define themselves by the career they choose and Bryan, however, is not one of these people.
Family comes first with Bry, and to be honest I am forever grateful. I know he will (and has) given up opportunities to work in higher paying, more prestigious positions, which would have required more time at the office and he did this because he likes to be with us.
If you ask him, regardless of this he still describes himself as a sucky dad. I would say that "sucky" is probably the furthest choice of adjectives I would choose to describe him.
We are, however, our own harshest critics.
He doesn't really see how Mo's eyes light up when he pulls in the driveway before dinner while she yells "DAD, DAD, DAD". I think he's forgetting how much Maeve smiles when her daddy holds her. I think he just thinks about the moments he misses while slaving away at his job. I know he doesn't realize how much I truly appreciate every meal he picks up so that I don't have to worry about cooking, or that he takes Mo up every night for her bedtime routine. It's those swim classes with Mo and trips to the bagel shop after and the silly goofy faces he makes to get Maeve to giggle that are defining himself as a good dad.
I am so thankful he works at a job that he doesn't really care for, so that I can stay here full time. I am lucky to have a husband who still tells me I'm beautiful in a spit-up covered t-shirt and my hair thrown up into a ponytail.

He's critical of what he doesn't get done, whereas I am so thankful for all that he does do for Maeve, Mo, and I. He often says he doesn't do nearly enough but honestly, without him I would be a complete and utter failure as a mother. I don't think he knows how very lost I would be without him.

So this Father's Day, I thank you Bry- as my husband, as my children's father, and as my best friend.
You are still my favorite!

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