Sometimes, our lives get busy, and we tend to overlook things. We get into a rhythm and things get done more from rote memory than conscious decision. This doesn’t mean that those things aren’t important, or wonderful they are just easy to not give much thought to. Then a curveball comes through, and we are snapped back into the reality of our lives.
Thursday morning before my son or I woke up, my wife left to fly back up to Massachusetts for one of her best friends’ baby shower, and so I have been on sole parenting duty for two and a half days. I knew for months that it was coming, but I’ve never gone so long without a pair of helping hands with him (14-15 hours max probably) and so I was a little nervous. Would he sleep well, I had to work Thursday and Friday and needed to get some rest, and so as a pessimist I had all the possible negatives run through my head.
None happened. The last two days have been the best I’ve had with him at least since I went back to work. We’ve played, and had pizza, and he’s slept great, and got himself stuck in numerous large toys. It hasn’t been without him crying, and there have been all the lesser quality everyday baby things (i.e. Diapers) but it’s been a blast.
It reminded me that I love being a father, and I really needed to be reminded! The thing with a lot of things in our lives, is that the repetition makes us forget, and with things like fatherhood, it’s easy to forget. I never forget that I love my son, when I look at him, I feel it instantly but that is a different feeling than loving being a father. And I’ll be honest, I may only love being HIS father, maybe it’s just he’s the perfect kid for me and I’d love it less with another kid, but I love being his father, and for right now that means I love being A father.
This experience has made me realize that when things get busier in our lives, if my wife needs to go take care of things, I can definitely step up. I think I could definitely do a longer stretch of time, and that it would only make me happier.
These several days away from wife, also made me realize that I love being a husband, in addition to loving her. I love that I can hold down the fort so she can do the things she needs to, and so she can get a little bit of a rest.
(Now just in case I made it sound like I don’t do much on a normal basis, that’s not really the case. I change diapers and get up at night regularly, and I think my wife and I are split close to down the middle. Also I realize that getting pizza and not cooking probably sounds much easier than many parenting situations and I don’t for a second think this is as hard as being a single parent.)