If I knew then what I know now

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It’s time to give the daddy’s a break. I know, I know, that doesn’t sound like me. A lot of you are aware that I have some bitterness with fathers. And to clear the air, I do not have “Daddy Issues”, well I do but they have nothing to do with MY dad. My dad has always been an amazing example. He is 27 years sober, and he is saving the world one addict at a time. He was a single dad until I was 7 years old, and he worked his ass off. While I do not agree with many of his parenting decisions, I know from the bottom of my heart that he ALWAYS did what his heart told him was right.

That being said, yes I have issues. I actually have a lot of issues that we may or may not get into, but for now I want to make some things right within myself, by letting it out… in a healthy way, so no I’m not going to vent. Over the years I have vented on this subject many times, now it’s time to make peace.

When you become a mother, something within you changes. For me it was massive. My life became about my baby girl. Breastfeeding was the best gift to Jo and to myself. At the time I did not realize that breastfeeding releases this magic hormone, the “Happy Mommy” hormone, Oxytocin, which is also a hormone that is released when you are falling in love, specifically when you are touching. So here we are brand new moms, and we are literally falling in love with our babies. When you fall in love with anyone, they can do no wrong. The world is brighter when they are there, you can handle anything. In fact, you don’t even want to be anywhere unless they are there. It is a form of insanity in my book. Think about it, you have this tiny thing, it cries a lot, which is obnoxious, it is not potty trained, and every time you change it’s diaper you can almost see dollar bills going down the diaper genie. It doesn’t even DO anything. And it is ALWAYS hungry! Yet, here we are, mothers and we can’t take our eyes off of it. We can’t put it down. we suffer through ridiculous pain (if you breastfed) and tears teaching it to latch and toughening our nipples… I for one never imagined I would have to toughen my nipples. I also had absolutely no clue how painful it is! We get up 9 times a night just to check on it, and another 6 times to feed it and change it, or we co-sleep and it’s just not comfortable, you wake up every time it needs to latch, and your paranoid you or dad is gonna roll on it. It’s pretty insane to fall in love with someone who puts you through all of that.

Now imagine being a new father. He did not get magic hormones, and he is watching you fall in love with someone else! This new thing that appeared out of nowhere! He has to deal with your consistent annoyance that he did not change the diaper, or did it wrong. He has to do all of the shopping and probably cooking because you’re so busy taking videos of a 3 day old… You no longer care when he walks through the door because you are so preoccupied by this weird color in the diaper. And all you ever talk about is milestones and how cute it is. INSANITY.

To be clear, I had my moments when I was frustrated. Unfortunately all of my frustration was directed at Baby Daddy. I never stopped to think about how he might be feeling. Maybe it would not have made a difference. I was busy being in love with my perfect beautiful baby girl. My situation is different than yours, (I hope!!!) I was incredibly bitter with my pregnancy (which was terrible) and subconsciously I blamed him. I never wanted a baby, and he did. And there I was totally loving my baby, but hating him for everything I went through.

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So I would like to take this time to say thank you to the daddies out there. It never occurred to me what you all were going through. No dad is perfect. However, some of them are pretty effing awesome! My fiance changed my negative views on dads. Granted, I still get irritated by uninvolved, detached, fathers, but he has shown me that a daddy can love to play with his kids, he can muster up nonexistent energy to get down on the floor and play ninjas or be a dragon for the kids to ride on, or throw them up in the air until his arms are falling off. He can make dinner when I am busy, do the dishes just because they are in the sink, fold the laundry I didn’t finish. I was seriously under the impression that men in general could not do dishes or laundry… or even put the clothes in the hamper for that matter! Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to find him. And I understand that the things that are important to me are not important to everyone. I know women who wait to do the dishes until their are no more clean plates! Different strokes, right?

Deciding to have a child comes with risks, the risk, and inevitability that you will change. Will he change with you? If not, I know it’s irritating, but, it’s OK. Some people are not meant to be together, but I am so thankful for my little girl. And… She wouldn’t be here if it was not for Baby Daddy, it took me a long time to understand that he can love her, too. This pricks my pride a little, but I’m going to say it, people can have different opinions, people can love differently, they can even love the same person without loving each other.

Jojo and mama with matching cozy socks
Jojo and mama with matching cozy socks

8 thoughts on “If I knew then what I know now”

  1. I may not relate to this (childless) but I read it to my co-worker (she has a 2 year old) and she loved it. She totally relates with you but her and her husband found a way to love each other and her son all at the same time. Thank you!!!

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    1. I think that you are right, I should think of a catchier title… I will marinate on this, thank you for the suggestions!
      -Justine

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