Thursday, October 07, 2004

Working Hard

I don't want this to sound bitter (because that wouldn't be true) but one thing you very quickly get used to as an expectant father is how much attention is given to the mother and how little you get. It's not that you suddenly matter any less (in fact I probably matter more now than ever), just that mother and baby are the star attraction while you are the supporting act as far as other people see it.

At the moment everyone is asking about how L is coping with everything but very few people have asked me the same question. This is perfectly understandable and I don't even mind that much but it would be nice every now and then for someone to enquire as to how I'm doing.

For the record, the last two months have been very hard on me. L has had it worse, of course, with the morning sickness, the tiredness and the physiological changes to cope with, but those have all had a knock on effect on me. While she was still suffering badly with nausea, L couldn't face actually cooking anything. About the best she could manage were meals that go straight from freezer to oven and we don't eat those very often. So, I have taken on the mantle of cook, which is fine - I like cooking. However, L has also been too tired after a long day at work to do much of anything in the evenings so I have also been doing the washing up, making lunch and all the other little bits of housework that need doing during the week. Some nights that means barely slowing down at all from the time I get home to the time I go to bed. I've also had to give L much more emotional support than normal, which is just as hard a job at times.

I'm more than willing to do all of these things. I see it is as me doing my bit. I can't take on the burdens that L has to so I'll do whatever I can to make it easier for her to shoulder them.

This reapportionment of duties has had two effects. Unsurprisingly, it has tired me out even more than normal. I really needed to rest and recuperate on holiday but that didn't really happen and I am bone-weary most of the time, now. It has also made L feel guilty that she's not able to do more, something I don't want her to feel in the slightest.

L is very aware of (and very grateful for) what I have been doing to help her and the effect it has been having on me and that's the important thing but a bit of recognition from other people might ease my burden a little.

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