It Takes Two
I have been very good friends with a beautiful woman with two grown up children. She is incredibly accomplished, she runs her own business, and she is the ultimate housewife and mother. After my daughter was born and I was swimming through the newborn haze of sleepless nights, my own husband was holding her up as a shining example of motherhood and domestic accomplishment. Apparently she stripped the walls and repainted the entire interior of her house in the first eight weeks after her daughter was born. Over-achiever!
Her husband on the other hand is accomplished, professional, well groomed, and seemingly completely hands off when it came to parenting young children (or doing any housework for that matter). When we told them we were pregnant with our first child, the gorgeous and accomplished wife was gushing and excited for us, the husband said "Sort out your nappy bag and get two of them". I'm not even sure if he said congratulations!
Completely unimpressed with his statement and his attitude, I basically ignored it. What did he know about any of it really? He had barely been involved in the rearing of his kids until they were old enough to play a team sport. I was sure that my own newly found magic mothers intuition would steer me in the right direction.
I kind of had a nappy bag ready when we brought my daughter home. There were some spare nappies, some plastic disposable bags and some wipes. There was a wrap in it, and a spare singlet. Yes, I was completely underprepared.
Every time I was racing out the door with a small child in one hand and my “nappy bag” in the other, I was taking myself into the world of disaster. The explosive poo incident in the pub, the projectile vomit incident in the supermarket, the muddy puddle incident in the park. All of them resulted in a smelly aborted outing and a frazzled mum.
My husband also felt the effects of my complete unpreparedness. He would be ready to go to some event only to have me frantically scrambling to find some extra wipes and a clean onesie to go in the bag before we left. More than once when he took my daughter out and just picked up the bag without checking it, I got a phone call saying, “there are NO nappies in the bag!” followed by a terse silence and an quiet accusing click as he disconnected.
I’m absolutely not absolving him of responsibility for checking these things before he left, but I was the at home parent, while he was out working six days a week, and once you get into the habit, it’s easy to make sure things are ready to go.
My advice, advice I intend to take myself this time around, is to organise two nappy bags. Always have one ready at the door (or at least in the same place) so that when you’re racing out to something important and you’re already late, you don’t have to stop and think about what you need to restock in the bag.
Dads are able to just pick up and run if the sudden urge takes them, and if your partner is anything like mine, it only takes the smallest difficulty, like an understocked bag, for the excuses and/ or procrastination to come out.
When you get home and after your cup of
This time, despite our differences in ideas and attitude, I will be taking his advice. What I failed to take into account was that he came from a place of experience and he came from a place of "DAD".