19 Dec Help! Is my wife becoming a baby?
They say that not much can prepare you for being a dad. That one only becomes a Father once they can see the baby, whereas women are instinctively mothers from the day they see that urine soaked plus on a plastic stick.
If you’ve been there – you know what’s ahead, vomit, incontinence, food demands and forgetfulness – and that’s before the baby even arrives!
It was after a day of the above that I exclaimed to my wife “You’re meant to be having a baby, not becoming a baby!”
We laughed at the time and still do.
To see my highly efficient, intelligent and determined wife slowly reduced to a vomiting, emotional and needy state was a shock. But there can be no better preparation. There has been a dramatic increase of emotional and physical needs in the house and they all come from her. As her capacity is reduced I’m presented with a golden opportunity to serve, assist and grow my patience muscle (which i’ll need for the journey ahead). After-all, she’s the one who’s growing a whole human being inside her. My role is to encourage, and not expect too much.
It’s my turn to step into the arena. I can resist the change, pretend that the equilibrium of our relationship remains at its relatively blissful pre-conception state or I can respond. It’s a sad fact that 33% of domestic abuse cases start with pregnancy. Expectant Dads struggle with the increased demands on them and react violently to their life and environment changing. It’s the most disgraceful way to express stress, and the stress can be reduced by accepting that change is inevitable and planning accordingly.
The reality is I can be lazy around the house, and let my partner do more than her fair share, despite that fact her work as an Emergency Nurse is far more physically demanding than mine. This time is a gift, it’s a 9-month apprenticeship before the real work of Fatherhood begins.
In the same positon? Here’s what you can do.
- Get used to it, demands on you will increase as your family grows
- Lower your expectations of ‘you time’
- You are not a superhero, make sure you take time to rest, even if it’s a walk around the block
- Prioritise your relationship – this is the heartbeat of your new family
- Set yourself the challenge of encouragement rather than criticising
- Let your friends know you are finding home life challenging