Two weeks ago my little boy had to go in to hospital to have surgery. We knew when he was born he would need it and it was fairly straightforward but still a big deal for us as parents. He was incredible. So brave and so charming to all the staff.
On the morning of the surgery I said, “the letter says only one parent can go in when he’s being put to sleep…” My husband replied, without hesitation, “yes, that will be you”.
We were in the waiting room for two and a bit hours and we got called in to see the anaesthetist, nurse and surgeon. Again, no question that I was the parent who went in.
Then it came to the time to take the little guy through to be anaesthetised, I went with him.
When he came round, they let one parent in and again, it was me.
My husband spent a heck of a lot longer sitting in the waiting room than I did that day.
The little guy has always been fairly indifferent about which parent he goes to. Over the last few weeks he’s been having a bit of a ‘mummy phase’, but he’s generally pretty happy whichever one of us he gets! I told myself that if he was in a Daddy phase I would have insisted that my husband went in, but in reality I’m not sure I would. My husband would have been perfectly able and my son would have loved to have been with him in those moments.
Often, as Mums, we ‘joke’ that we carried the babies and gave birth to them so it’s only fair. But, it’s not. Both of those things were pretty full on (understatement!) but they didn’t earn me the right to take first dibs now.
My husband did take the last big medical thing. When the little guy was born he had to be resuscitated and was whisked away to another room. My husband was asked to go and ‘connect with him’ so he sang to him whilst he was being resuscitated. I, on the other hand, was getting stitches. Lucky me. So, we joked it was my turn this time round.
I would have found it incredibly difficult to be on my own in that waiting room but equally I’m sure that my husband would have liked to be the one to go in.There is something within us that sometimes makes us ‘want our Mums’. If I’m sick, or having a bad day then I often want to talk to my Mum. And, as a Mum I now want to be there in those moments for my little one. But there is no reason really why is has to be me over my husband.
Dads get a raw deal.
I am so proud of the Dad my husband is. He is incredibly capable, he can easily do all the things I do with our little guy (sometimes better…sssh! Don’t tell him I said that). I am so grateful for his generosity and willingness to step out of the way for me to ‘mother’. When I’m tearing my hair out at my angry toddler I am grateful for my husband who goes to work full-time and allows me to get all the happy moments too. I wouldn’t want to do it. (Obviously in the actual moment I’m not particularly grateful but overall I am!)
Just because I carried our kid in my body I don’t feel I’ve earned the right to automatically be the parent who gets to be with my kid most but I am so so grateful to have a husband who is able to hold my heart and allow me be that parent when I ‘need’ to be.