Mothers Day is a lovely way for us blokes to celebrate and thank not only our mothers but the mothers of our children who, from the moment they make the transition from childless to mother-of-one seem to rise above themselves and become even more wonderful and sensible and mature, while we’re basically still standing in line waiting for our turn on the dodgems.
To us, babies are fun, inconvenient and a mystery all rolled into one relatively unresponsive bundle. We get better, of course, but our partners just seem to ‘get it’ right off the bat. We are in awe of them (the sensible fellas anyway). Of course, everything changes. The wonder is that despite a lot of the stuff you thought was really important being more difficult or even impossible to do, at least in the short term, the change is for the better.
Mostly. There’s still a few things you have to sort out if you want the transition to be a smooth one. The baby isn’t your problem, men. Here’s ten things you might want to be aware of when you bring little mini-the-two-of-you home.
1. THE WOMAN YOU LOVE.
Say ‘goodbye’ to the young, carefree girl you fell in love with, and say ‘hello’ to her mother.
2. NIGHT LIFE.
You know how when you come back from holidays and you’ve got all those fantastic memories but now the next holiday won’t roll around for what seems like a lifetime? That’s the current state of your sex life. I hope you took lots of happy snaps to look back on.
All the funny things your wife loved about you when you were courting will now be the very things she hates most about you. You’ll try your one-liners out on strangers in cafes just to make sure they still work, but meanwhile, your partner will be standing beside you rolling her eyes and all but apologising for your behaviour. “But you used to laugh at my jokes,” you’ll want to say. If you really want to make her laugh, stub your toe on the cot. I guarantee she’ll think that’s hilarious.
The lady in your life will now cry for no apparent reason and it’s all your fault (because you got her pregnant). It doesn’t matter if she just dropped a bottle of milk in the kitchen and hasn’t picked it up, you as good as did it yourself. She’s probably so exhausted she feels her time would be much better spent staring at the mess glugging out on the tiles and crying rather than bending all the way down there. You must now fix her tears with love, hugs, apologies, grovelling, kindness and understanding. Even if it kills you inside. Even if it was the last of the milk and you really badly needed a coffee. Yep, this is more important than coffee.
Yes, they look fantastic. No, you cannot touch them.
After your baby arrives you may notice some changes in your wife’s wardrobe. Chances are fashion won’t exist for her anymore beyond comfortable tracky dacks and dressing gowns. Say anything and you won’t exist anymore either. The good news is, when her energy comes back she’ll want to dress nice again. The bad news is her clothes may not fit (see 4. CRYING, apologise because it’s all your fault and up your credit limit). Of course, if you’re planning on having more than one child, you must adapt. Trust me, the more kids you have the more arousing flannel pyjamas become.
There will be days when you come home from work and she feeds you toast. Understand this – toast is a meal. And say thank you! It still took every last scrap of her give-a-shitness to burn that sucker for you.
She’s home all day now so the house should look immaculate, right? Wrong. Furthermore, although housework has always been shared equally between you, your ‘half’ of the housework will now require more than taking the wheely bin to the curb once a week. Unless it stinks or moves, doing anything other than lifting her feet to walk over it is optional for your wife until her brain wakes up again. You don’t have this excuse so grab a mop, sunshine – it’s the long stick with a wig on the end.
9. DON’T SAY THINGS LIKE THIS.
“The baby slept through!” is a phrase to avoid. Unless your partner says this, it didn’t happen. If you accidentally say it and she doesn’t immediately agree, duck and run – if she hasn’t thrown something at you it’s only because she’s looking for something heavier, sharper or with better range. “I’m so tired” is also big no no. Just to be clear, you don’t know tired.
10. THE BEST ADVICE
Although they look interchangeable, all babies are in fact different. They do things at different times. So therefore, every parent’s experience with their little loved one will be slightly different. For example, unlike your mate whose wife might complain of having to wake their baby up in the morning, your experience might be one of three night feeds broken up by banshee-like-screaming and the start of a migraine. Do not under any circumstances ask your mate for advice to pass on when you get home. Just spit in his coffee and tell your wife about it. She’ll love you for it.
This is your chance to shine, fellas. Go with the flow. Her flow. “What can I do to help?” is now the sexiest thing you can say.
A big Happy Mothers Day to all you wonderful mums – but mostly to my own dear Mummy who I’m convinced some days still thinks I’m seven (I’m in the double figures now, Mum) and my beautiful, sexy, hot to trot, rather wonderful wife, Tracey, without whom our children would suffer everything from knotty hair to a sickening over supply of cheese toasty dinners. To my mother-in-law, Nanny, who for some reason still thinks her daughter didn’t make a mistake in marrying me, and to Grandma Mac and Grandma Lawrence, for letting me love them like the grandmothers I had, but who had to leave all too soon. We love you all xxx
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