At a recent, child free wedding (not ours) we found ourselves sat at the grown up equivalent of the children’s table. That is the table of people who all have small children/are pregnant.
Obviously, as happens when you have freedom from children, the conversation quickly turned to children (including a lengthy section on ‘pooey nappies’) all of us regaling the soon to be parents with the humorous tales of parenting.
Yes, reusable nappies and cleaning with cotton wool alone are lovely ideas but once you’ve cut baby out of a shitty vest thrice, the idea of scraping out poo, soaking and putting said item in your washing machine loses its appeal pretty quickly.
Respect to those who persist!
Interestingly it is Dad to be who wants the reusable nappies, the one who will be out at work and not having to include washing nappies in his daily, baby looking after routine!
Talk then moved on to bedtime and the first few months of sleepless nights.
Now, THIS was an eye opener.
One of the dads spent six months sleeping in the spare room so that his sleep wasn’t disturbed in the night.
One dad only does night-time bum changes on a weekend but sleeps with ear plugs in on weekdays.
Another dad pops his eye mask on, drips some essential oils on his pillow and sticks his ear plugs in so as to enjoy a full nights sleep…
I was stunned.
I felt awful and I said to Rory
“Wow, you had it tough. Sorry”
See, Rory did every alternate night feed or nappy change no matter what the day.
Sometimes, if I was exhausted he would do a whole night.
Even if he had work the next day.
We just thought this was how parenting worked.
As a couple we decided to have a baby and so as a couple we did the parenting as equally as possible.
Rory believed I needed to be as well rested for my day in order to look after baby properly as much as he needed to be refreshed to go to work.
He knew that if I was exhausted my day would be difficult, baby would pick up on it and no one would have a good day.
We didn’t realise that we were an anomaly.
All of the other women around that table are strong, independent, career women –
lawyers, social workers, accountants. Of all the women around that table I was the only one without a career, the only one who doesn’t work so arguably I should be the one living the more ‘traditional’ set up of woman looks after baby while man sleeps.
Luckily, Rory doesn’t feel like he’s been done over. He doesn’t feel like he’s been conned into sleepless nights and brain meltingly tired days when he could have had bubble baths, eye masks and peaceful slumber.
Even if he does it’s a bit late now.
I’d quite like a bubblebath and a full nights sleep though.
Disclaimer, this isn’t intended to be a ‘we do it right, they do it wrong’ type post. It’s a ‘everyone does it differently and sometimes I don’t get it (especially the no snacks thing) but that’s OK’ type of post. Though clearly I’m the most right…..