A friend texted me earlier today to inform me she had a problem with my latest post. Of course I thought great, I’ve offended yet another person with my viewpoints. However, it was far from that.
The exchange follows:
“I don’t feel you ever gave Ben a chance. From what I’ve learned about your relationship with him is that you two are very much equals. As you stated, having a family truly was something you both equally worked toward and I don’t feel it was ever a consideration for you to not involve him just as much as you are. I see plenty of women do that and have opinions on how their husbands feed the child or bathe it. But, considering how much you and Ben worked together before Henry, I doubt it ever crossed your mind to not have him do things. So, giving him a change seems like the wrong phrase. It isn’t even about having a child, to me. You two actually have a healthy marriage and that’s where it lies.”
First, I couldn’t disagree with anything she has to say. From someone knowing my relationship from the outside looking in she was 100% correct in everything she said. What she doesn’t know and I didn’t clarify was there is a reason that I finally decided to let go and give Ben a chance. He’s always been a hands on dad, I never stopped that. I did control a lot of things. When I first went back to work it was up at 5am to ensure the house was clean and dinner was made. For nine months I played the role of the house wife, controlling how things were run. After months of falling asleep shortly after 7pm, I realized something had to give. Ben and I had a talk and I simply told him I couldn’t do it all. His response, let me help you. Stop trying to hang the moon and instead swing from the stars with me.
That’s exactly what I did. I stopped getting up at 5am and now lay in bed until 6am some days. Meal planning is still a priority, but I have gotten more efficient at how I get things done. A clean house is important, but I no longer fuss if it’s not done when I want too. Dishes aren’t a chore and I let Ben help or simply say “hey, do this please.” I used to feel like asking him for help after a long day was me not being a good wife. Now I know we need team work to survive. No longer do I feel defeated or like I’m not pulling my own weight when Ben does something. I feel accomplished that we can make this work together.
I would like to clarify that I never once neglected Henry while trying to do it all. He enjoyed watching and “helping” along the way. This made me realize that having a baby doesn’t stop life from going on. You can spend time with you child and do housework or the like. The work may take longer and the time may not be what some refer to as hands on, but it really works for me. You don’t have to physically be playing with your child to be spending time with them. Trying to do it all has definitely taught me that.
Watching a lot of moms try and do it all and not let their husbands take part, has helped me to see that I don’t want that life. It was exhausting. I can do it all and most days, I’d rather. That’s just who I am. It took some time to realize I can enjoy life a little more if I had some help along the way.