Menu Join now Search

I Envied His Thirty-Two-Inch Pants

During the first month or two with a new baby, it’s easy for a new mother to bench her husband from the game. I certainly did. To some extent, it’s perfectly natural. I had given birth to Paul, I was solely responsible for feeding him, and I just couldn’t seem to tear myself away from memorizing every inch of him. I was so exhausted that, frankly, getting through that first month was more about surviving than thriving. Every day that ended without starvation or blood was a success. Jason became a decoration, albeit a handsome one. It’s possible (likely?) that I even yelled at him a few times during Paul’s infancy. I may have even tested him by leaving a newspaper in the driveway just to see how long it would take him to pick it up and throw it into the recycle bin. Several days later, I gave up and threw it away myself. I spent a few days silently, pointlessly seething over that one.

When I confessed this to a friend a few months later, she admitted that she’d done the same experiment with the same result using a stack of folded laundry left out in the hall.

I envied Jason’s quiet drive to work, his thirty-two-inch pants, and the fact that he didn’t have to time his trips to the bathroom to accommodate someone else’s eating habits. I somehow managed to ignore the fact that Paul was a product of the two of us, that Jason had become a father the very same moment that I became a mother.

As it turns out, I spent too much time underestimating Jason. I was wary of letting him take over a nighttime feeding, though I desperately needed a break. I was nervous about leaving Paul alone with Jason, though I knew a solo trip to the mall or even the grocery store would do me some good. I had devoted more time than he to learning the truth behind Paul’s various cries. When I finally did give in and went out to watch a movie on my own, I must have called Jason every ten minutes. I left instructions that covered every possible permutation of any number of possible catastrophes. I emphasized and reemphasized the importance of getting him down for a nap before he became overtired. I described the rocking rhythm that I used to get Paul to sleep. All that instruction, and you know what happened? I came home from the movie to find Paul and Jason sleeping soundly next to one another in our bed.

The truth is that Jason and I were both new initiates in the parenting club, and I needed to give him some time to get over the learning curve and to come up with his own methods for soothing and entertaining and loving Paul. When I finally gave in, I realized that giving Jason some time with our son left me refreshed and renewed. Finding them curled up to one another left me remembering why I chose Jason in the first place. Every parent deserves a partner, and I had to give Jason the chance to be mine.

More You'll Love

All the Gifts We're Buying the Guys in Our Lives This Holiday Season
10 Fitness Trackers To Help You Keep Your New Year's Resolution
5 Affordable Engagement Ring Trends That Are Going To Be Huge This Year
Saks Fifth Avenue Is Having A Sale On All The Best Travel Accessories
8 Black Friday Shopping Tips To Make The Most Out Of The Sales
15 Workout Leggings That Will Make Your New Year's Resolution More Fun
Your Dorm Room Needs This Major Urban Outfitters Home Sale
The Best Gifts Under $25 For Everyone On Your List
This Is The Affordable Kitchen Tool Your Apartment Needs