Stepping back and allowing Dad to step up
by Brooke Meyer, Owner Bouncing Back from Birth
For 9 long months as I grew my babe I, unconsciously, began my transition into motherhood. And although I had been teetering on the edge of becoming Mum it wasn’t until 6:48am August 6 2014, that I unlike my husband had to cross the threshold and jump - feet first, no looking down, fingers crossed into the deep unknown depths of parenthood.
This is the story of how he eventually jumped in after me, or more accurately how I gently coaxed him to the edge and then with a wicked gleeful cackle pulled him in.
But first, know that my husband fell deeply in love with our son from the moment he was born, that his support for me and us was and has always been unwavering.
So there we were, me treading the deep waters of fresh motherhood and him looking from above with love and then throwing me a baby,
For 8 hours a day eventually while he worked.
It made sense, I was the milk maker and he the money maker. It makes sense for many of us, this isn’t a criticism of ‘traditional’ family roles. But as time went on I grew tired of the questions.
He won’t settle what should I do?
Does he have a clean onsie?
Where are the wipes?
Which bag of milk should I take out of the freezer?
What time should I put him down?
Being the keeper of all knowledge was exhausting and then it dawned on me, my being a woman and a mother didn’t gift me with secret access to information. I didn’t have head start when it came to being the expert on our son, I just didn’t have a choice.
And so, at 10 weeks postpartum I returned to work – one day a week on Saturdays.
I loved being back among my amazing colleagues, getting creative, having one day of total autonomy again. It was bliss and the absolute right decision for me at that point in my journey.
And so, my darling husband on that first Saturday, me buzzing with my return to work leaned in for a goodbye kiss and as I closed the door I reached out and pulled him in. Into the deep unknown.
2 weeks in our son began refusing the bottle. But Hubby navigated that challenge and successfully got our boy back on the bottle.
He survived missed naps and teething troubles.
They had park dates and beach dates and play dates.
Secret songs and games.
Eventually, he had his own set of secret tips and tricks.
More and more during the week I could keep stepping back, letting him take charge. And as time went by we became equal experts. Together we pulled ourselves out of the deep, built a raft and captained together.
Our boy adores his adventures with Dad.
And on nights when he’s having trouble going to bed with Mum, Dad steps up.
Their laughter and games first thing in the morning makes my heart swell, the sound of our son’s hysterical laughter at some silly in joke they share is no doubt one of the reasons I’m pregnant with our second.
If you’re reading this and nodding right now Mama, take my experience as the confidence you need to step back. Your partner is capable and adaptable. Just like you.
Brooke Meyer is the founder of Bouncing Back From Birth an online retailer dedicated to Mum’s postpartum recovery and a champion for self care and body positivity. She has created one tiny dictator aged 3 and welcomes a second in command in December 2017. Happy places include the warm comforts of a nice hot bath, pillow forts & Netflix and any establishment offering coffee.
Many thanks to Chloe at Blueberry Co. for the invitation to share a piece of my journey into motherhood with you. I’d love to see you over at Bouncing Back From Birth - come say Hi! Enjoy 15% off our full range using the code ADVENTURESWITHDAD