I. Need. More. Help.
Last night was hard for you. I asked you to watch the baby so I could go to bed early. The baby was crying. Wailing, really.
I could hear him from upstairs and my stomach knotted from the sound, wondering if I should come down there and relieve you or just shut the door so I could get some desperately needed sleep. I chose the latter.
You came into the room 20 minutes later, with the baby still frantically crying. You placed the baby in the bassinet. You gently pushed the bassinet just a few inches closer to my side of the bed, a clear gesture that you were done watching him.
I wanted to scream at you. I wanted to launch an epic fight that very moment. I had been watching the baby and the toddler all damn day. I was going to be waking up with the baby to feed him all damn night.
The least you could do is hold him for a couple of hours in the evening to I can attempt to sleep.
Just a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much to ask?
Mums, you’re not alone. Mums share the times they felt like terrible mothers below. Post continues after video.
They were excellent dads, but they weren’t expected to spend a significant amount of time changing diapers, feeding, caring, and tending to the kids.
Our mothers were the superwomen who maintained the family dynamics. Cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. Any help from dad was welcome, but unexpected.
I see us falling into these family dynamics more and more each day. My responsibility to feed the family, keep the house clean, and take care of the kids is assumed, even as I return to work.
I blame myself for most of it too. I have set the precedent that I can do it. And in truth I want to. No offence, but I’m not sure I want to know what a week’s worth of dinner would look like with you in charge.
I also see my friends and other mums doing it all, and doing it well. I know you see it, too. If they can manage it, and if our mothers did it so well for us, why can’t I?
I don’t know.
Maybe our friends are playing the part in public and secretly struggling. Maybe our mums suffered in silence for years and now, thirty years later, they simply don’t remember how hard it really was.
Or maybe, and this is something I berate myself over every single day, I’m just not as qualified for the job as everyone else. And as much as I cringe just thinking it, I’m going to say it: I need more help.
Part of me feels like a failure for even asking. I mean, you do help. You are an amazing father, and you do a great job with the kids. And besides, this should come easy to me, right? Motherly instincts, no?