As a new mother, if my child fussed, I dropped everything and went right to her. We would trade off eating so that someone could always be holding her (she was a very fussy infant) and I would race through my meal so that Mark could eat and I could nurse the baby if needed. No wonder it took me so long to loose the pregnancy weight, I would bolt down my food in a desperate effort to assuage the guilt of making Mark eat cold meals, never really tasting or allowing my brain to tell me my tummy had had enough.
Then I got what I thought was a brilliant idea: just get Mark to eat first! Then he’ll be the one racing through a meal and I could enjoy mine, knowing that if I had to nurse that was OK, at least my husband had already eaten his meal.
Wow was I naïve!
He would sit and enjoy his meal and I would glare at him while he took a sip, carefully wiped his mouth, nibbled on a bite and then paused to thoughtfully chew. I didn’t get it. How was he not crushed by guilt, watching me pace and jiggle a cranky and colicky baby while my food got cold? It was then that I recalled his vacant stare towards the TV as Lily fussed, not two feet away from him and my clipped bark of, “HEY, get the BABY!” I thought of my friend telling me about her two-year-old trying to get her dad’s attention, “Daddy. Daddy. Daddy! DADDY!... DEAN!” And then it hit me: men don’t think like we do. They don’t see the world with the same urgency that we do. Why is that? Seriously, this is not a rhetorical question, I want to know.
At least at this moment I am blogging while my husband is pacing with our sick infant in arms. And me? I’m trying NOT TO FEEL GUILTY!