There’s a lot of talk in the ‘mummy world’ about what it’s like for a woman to become ‘Mum’. How WE feel, how we change and how we cope. But what about our partners and husbands? How does becoming ‘Dad’ affect them?
I’ve been so caught up in my new mum world the past 18 months or so that I haven’t really stopped to think about how my husband was feeling.
I had a huge identity crisis when I stopped work to be home with our firstborn, because my career had always been my top priority. And yes, I knew that becoming a dad had changed my husband. However, he’s still working while I stay home with our two (19 months and 2 months). So, I guess I naively figured that because his status quo had continued he wasn’t as affected as I was.
It wasn’t until this weekend that I realised how wrong I was.
Out of the blue he mentioned that he feels like the ‘third child’. It shocked and upset me. And apparently this feeling isn’t one he's alone in experiencing. His friends, also husbands and Dads, feel similar.
I have often thought to myself about my husband “it's like having another child”, usually when picking his dirty clothes up off the floor or cleaning his beard hairs off the sink after he chose to shave literally just hours after I'd cleaned the bathroom. But, that was a joke, and one that many mums and wives make. I didn't know it was how he actually felt, albeit in a slightly different context.
I guess I got so busy looking after two kids under 18 months that I forgot to invest time in him. The lead-up to our second child being born eight weeks ago featured an interstate move, a new job for him (and much longer hours) and more work-at-home business for me. Since we have no help and have had a rough few months with both our bubs being sick we have had zero ‘us’ time. We’re a bit disconnected. But I didn’t realise he was going through an identity crisis of his own.