For months and months and a year and more I was in charge of 90% of all night wakings because our baby is breastfed and I wear the breasts. And, if I might say, I wear them quite well.
These days she generally doesn’t eat/drink at night, so the torch of night wakings has been passed to Dave. We made this agreement during daylight hours with use of logic and it makes sense.
And yet I find myself justifying it. To myself. To Dave. To anyone who is listening, although I get the sense that no one else really cares.
I did this for the first 15 months of her life. Dave doesn’t have to go work all day long right now. We agreed to this, together, both of us. It’s fair. It’s fine. It was his idea too. We want her to get used to it for when I’m away overnight (not that I want to leave her, I don’t, but sometimes I do, but I don’t, but I do but I’m confused so please stop asking me). He wants to help. He’s a good husband. We’re an egalitarian family. I’m not making him do it. I’m a nice wife. A good mother. I work hard.
It’s hard not to hate myself for this justifying and explaining because OF COURSE IT’S FINE. It’s more than fine. It just is what it is. We are partners, she is OUR child, I deserve rest as much as Dave does.
Sometimes, when Dave gets up to calm our child in the night, I lay there trying to pretend like I’m not awake. But why does it take him so long to get dressed? And why does he need to get dressed, is this an activity that requires and shirt? And does he have to go the bathroom and take the world’s longest pee BEFORE going in to get her!? I have held in a pee for like 10 hours in the day in the past while caring for her because I put her needs before mine so much of the time. SO WHY CAN’T HE!? And in the dark of night I’m mad at him for her escalating cries while I listen to him wash his hands after said pee. The nerve.
In the light of day I know that I’m not really mad at him for failing to put his own needs behind her needs at all times. I mean, on a logical level I do think holding the pee for a few more minutes might make more sense because while he takes that horse whiz she often gets more worked up…but that might just be me micro-managing things…
On a theoretical level what I’m really upset about is the fact that I do consistently put myself last, despite knowing how cliché that is. Despite knowing that it’s not always necessary or warranted or logical. I’m pissed off because see myself throwing myself on the altar of the martyred mother even though I know better. I am mad because I blame Dave for the fact that I can guilt myself out of a bathroom break for hours on end though he’d be the first person to tell me to just taking a friggin’ pee already. These thoughts make me feel defeated, make me feel like patriarchy wins again.
So tonight I will roll over and put a pillow over my head, let my husband comfort our child because that’s what men do.