*A disclaimer: The husband and I were together for eight years when Wiggles came along. This gave us a good strong foundation but also required a significant relationship adjustment. We were used to taking care of just ourselves, and the reality that there was now another human being that one of us had to take care of was not always an easy adjustment. My husband is a fantastic father and husband. He is loving, thoughtful, and engaged with our family. He is awesome and I wouldn’t want to be married to anybody else in the whole world. This is not a husband bash. But sometimes he just doesn’t know how to help….
Before we had a kid, the husband and I liked to sleep in. Greeting Saturday at 11am was not uncommon. After Wiggles entered the world, I discovered the one thing I hated more than waking up was pumping. And so I did every single night feeding.* This was my choice.
After I went back to work, I missed my time with Wiggles. I told the husband that he could sleep in each weekend. That gave me about 2-3 hours of alone time with Wiggles while he was in his best mood. I’ve got to enjoy these special moments each weekend for quite some time now; the routine is great.
Each and every weekend we have to be somewhere in the morning, I end up hating my husband by 10am. Here’s an example of how this weekend went. We needed to leave the house by 8:30.
4:30 am- Wiggles cries. I lay in bed listening to him for about 15 minutes before finally getting up, but by the time I get to his room he has fallen back asleep. Go back to bed and try to fall back asleep myself.
6:30 am- Wiggles, and therefore I, wake up for the day.
6:30-7:30 am- Nurse Wiggles, shower with Wiggles, get myself ready while keeping Wiggles entertained and relatively safe.
7:30-8:20 am- Cook breakfast. Fold laundry. Take care of dogs. Clean breakfast. Unload dishwasher. Wash dishes from night before. Pick up house. Get Wiggle’s toys, snacks, and diapers ready for a long day gone. Make bed. All while keeping Wiggles entertained.
8:20-8:28 am- Turn off lights. Lock doors. Let dogs out one last time. Leave 2 minutes early.
The husbands routine:
4:30 am- Snore.
6:30 am- Snore.
7:30 am- Wake up and get self ready in peace
8:15 am- Get gas.
8:25 am- Carry one thing out to car. Wait very impatiently and rudely in car while wife is finishing things up inside.
At approximately 8:29 our worlds collided in a fit of snootiness (both of us) and cursing (me). I was mad at the husband for not helping one bit. He was mad that I didn’t recognize his significant contribution of getting gas and carrying one thing out to the car. Not to mention his sacrifice of getting up at 7:30 on a weekend (to run a 10K he signed up for).
On the way to our destination we both sit quietly for at least the first 20 minutes, both stewing and silently wondering if being a single parent is really as hard as everyone says it is.
Eventually, we both get over it and remember the zillion reasons we love each other. We talk it over. He reminds me that if I need help I just need to ask for it. I make a mental note to get better about asking for help, but secretly worry that my request for help will be declined if it doesn’t come at a convenient time for him (which is no time in the morning). We kiss and make up and get along great until the next weekend morning we have somewhere to be and it all repeats again.
After this latest incident I have revoked his sleeping in privileges. New rule: he sleeps in Saturday, I sleep in Sunday. I can’t wait to get ready for church all by myself and not worry about packing a diaper bag before leaving the house. Tomorrow’s the first day. Don’t call me before 9am.
*Actually, the husband did two night feedings. But the first time he inexplicably put the bottle warmer in our room and brought a very upset Wiggles in to warm the bottle, completely awakening me. Mad Wiggles kicked over the bottle, the only one that was thawed, wasting my milk. I had to nurse him anyway. The second time the husband had night duty was fine, but in my mind these instances cancel each other out leaving him with zero night duty credits.