So, this thing happened after I gave birth to our second child. I became a nagging wife. I became that wife I never thought I would ever be, that wife that just doesn’t really like her husband. I loved him more than ever, I just stopped liking him all the time.
There were a number of reasons to justify my crazy, bitchy behaviour. Sleep deprivation, the fact that ALL of the parental duties were somehow now my responsibility and just the general feeling that while my life had been drastically uprooted and changed, his life was seemingly the exact same.
I was the one up all night feeding the baby, home all day with the toddler, doing all of the housework, kissing boo boos and singing the same songs over and over until something inside me would snap. My life was a blur of mind numbing kids books and mundane chores. Temper tantrums, snot and poopy diapers consumed way too much of my time and I was resentful. I was resentful that my husband had his work and social life and could go to the bathroom uninterrupted, while my kids whined “moooommy” ever two seconds.
I was the main parent. I was the caregiver and he was the fun dad. He would spend time playing with them, but I was the one doing all the gross, hard and boring stuff that needed to me done every.single.day. When I would ask for help, he would do it….but when he felt like it, which just fueled my fire.
I nagged. I nagged a lot. It got to the point where everything out of my mouth was “could you do this?” or “why haven’t you done that yet”? I was angry and I wanted him to have to suffer in the trenches with me. Babies and toddlers are hard. Why should he get off scott free?
Here is the thing, after three kids and ten years together, I have learned something about my husband I wish I would have known in the beginning. He is an amazing father. Like, amazing. He just wasn’t a great baby daddy. Now that my kids are older, he is becoming the main parent. My husband is the one that takes them to all of their extra curricular activities and the one that tucks them in at night. He is the one they go to for advice on school work and the one they call for when they need help fixing something. He is the one that enforces rules that I know are good for them, but can’t follow through on myself. He makes them eat healthy (while I will toss cookies at them to make them stop fighting), he makes them do chores (while I would rather do it myself then hear them complain) and he has grown up conversations with them about the importance of teamwork and responsibility (while I can’t have an adult conversation with anyone if I tried). My husband is the reason they are such smart and incredible little kids and most certainly will become responsible and happy adults.
So, while those baby and toddler years seemed like an eternity, they really went by in the blink of an eye. I wish I could go back in time and tell my stressed out, baby puke covered self to give my husband a break. To trust that, while it doesn’t seem fair or “even” right now, that he will make up for it later. The baby and toddler stage was my turn as a main parent, but he would take his and be the type of parent that I could never be.
Now, I can only hope that I did not leave a lasting dent on our relationship. I need to take extra care to build him up after years of tearing him down. I need to apologize and hope like hell that he forgives me.
If I could offer any advice to new moms out there, it would be this; Be patient with your husband. Long after your children are grown and leave the nest, it will still be just you and him. Your partner for life. You will take turns in the trenches. And while it may be your turn right now, remember, his turn will come. Treat him the way you want to be treated when you trade places!