If you are a single parent who has happened across this article, you are my hero. Moms and Dads who carry the weight of two parents on one set of shoulders are beyond amazing and astounding. I cannot imagine what it’s like to carry that load, but you are a very powerful person.
If you are a mama with the blessing of baby’s daddy by your side, then be grateful. This one’s for you:
Have you ever noticed how mom’s get all of the attention postpartum? I took a PPD test from almost everyone— my doctor, my insurance, my son’s pediatrician. Heck, at one point I was surprised I didn’t get one from my dentist or even my mail lady. All my friends called, texted, alerted the masses, etc. to make sure I was doing well. Women I hardly knew or hadn’t spoke to in a long time reached out to me mother to mother to provide encouragement and support.…
My husband had one friend who asked how HE was doing…. One.
The ironic thing is due to some difficult healing after my birth, a lot of the initial care of our son fell on my husband. He was just as involved as I was with the exception of nursing/pumping. The only difference is he was expected to carry on with work and life as normal, while the world stopped to let me catch my breath. I didn’t realize this at the time, but looking back now I see how completely unfair this was. My husband didn’t complain, not even once. Probably in part because he’s not the complaining type, but I’m sure in some part due to the fact that there’s not as much social acceptance for him. On the other hand, I have a group of moms dedicated to listening to each other’s regular “vents” (aka: glorified whining hahaha).
The fact is most men go through very similar emotions as women after having a child. They too feel the pressure to parent well, they too feel a little lost and unsure, and they too want to know they are not alone in this new world they have been thrown into. Men in our society, like women, often wear multiple hats. They are expected to be the main provider for the home, while also helping with household duties. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. I love that my husband and I can piece together both of our work and home lives to make something that works for everyone, but my role as working mom is often validated in society while my husband’s as a working DAD practically doesn’t exist. He is seen by many as just “the one who works.” But what about when he’s late because of a poop disaster, exhausted because of those pesky sleep regressions, or showing up to those 9:00am meetings with spit up on his shirt? Those moments are just as real for him as they are for me.
So mama, if you’re blessed to have that man who’s going through that thicket with you, remember to validate his role sometimes. Ask how he’s doing, say a little thank you, and lean on each other for support and understanding. It’s a beautiful thing when you realize you are the only two people on earth who love your child the way you do. Only the two of you can understand your world, your family, and your particular needs.
“He’s going through it too” it may just not be as visible.