Welcome to the February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners!This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month we're writing about how a co-parent has or has not supported us in our dedication to natural parenting. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
This whole parenting thing has been harder on my relationship with my husband than I expected. It's not so much that we disagree about anything, at all, but you know tired people? They're kind of cranky. Tired person + tired person = yelling at each other for no reason. The kind of bickering where hours later you have no idea why you were yelling at each other across the room about what's for dinner other than because the baby was flopping around and yelling and the dogs were running back and forth and OH GOD everything's so crazy. It's more that we grate on each other's nerves about stupid stuff than real fighting. But that's not to say that it isn't going well, it's just... different than I expected.
Other parts though, are going swimmingly. In the months before Jude was born when I was still deciding if I wanted to breastfeed, let alone have a primarily intervention-free birth, I could have never imagined that Jon would be so on board with the whole thing. He has been my biggest supporter. He is the constant fetcher of items when I'm nursing; water, the laptop, the remote. But you know, that's not all that exciting- a robot can do that. What has really blown me away has been his attitude.
My transfer into this whole new world of crunchy-version parenting was sort of unexpected. What was even more unexpected was how Jon has rolled right along with it. Beyond tolerating it, I would say that he actually likes it. Babywearing? Totally on board. Car seats are for cars. The co-sleeping- well, he's not quite as crazy about the co-sleeping. It works for us, for now. But I guess after being my Bradley coach I can cut him some slack on that. When I feel timid about nursing in public he reminds me I have nothing to be worried about. It's just a baby eating. And "extended" nursing? He declares that it should just be regular nursing because there is nothing extended about it. Baby-led weaning, it goes on and on. He has taken over my causes and embraced them with surprising fervor. Or at least he has such faith and trust in my research of the choices I'm making for our family that he doesn't even question them.
Our relationship since having a baby hasn't really changed, beyond being tired and each having a shorter fuse for irritating shenanigans. But oh, when I see him with that boy, my heart fills up about three times to exploding. When I find myself at my wits end he is there, stable and patient to take the Jude and do a silly dance. When I am exhausted and dragging he tells me jokes to keep me going. And when I see him with Jude I admire him so much, his loving voice and weird faces and secret kisses and endless patience with me and with this boy that eats every two hours. Sometimes when I find myself doubting what I'm doing, the choices I'm making, the things I'm saying feeling, he is there like a rock, unphased and unflinching. I feel weird in my own skin sometimes, trying to figure out this whole "mom" thing, and I see how easy it seems to come to him.
I don't think Jon knows how much I admire his mad parenting skillz, and why would he, when all I am able to say to him about it is, "Hey, wipe his nose! Did you turn on his nightlight? Does he need his diaper changed?" You'd think he didn't do anything, or at least didn't do it right. But that would be far from the truth. He's making dinner while I nurse, feeding the dogs, putting the wee Jude to bed. Honestly I don't mean to be ungrateful I just get so easily caught up in the little meaningless details that I forget to tell him:
You're amazing. You, and that boy, and the support that you give me. You're an incredible dad, a loving dad, and it makes my heart go pitter-patter.
I'm not a gooey gusher but oh, oh dear. It's good stuff, these two boys I have blowing raspberries at me. Oh, very good.
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
A Thank You to my Husband • (@lactatinggirl)
My Reverse Traditional Husband In the Wild • @babydust) February Carnival of Natural Parenting • (@TopHat8855)
Parenting Together • (@childbearing)
If We Had A MIllion Dollars • (@bfmom)
February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Co-Parents • (@CodeNameMama)
Natural Parenting Fathers • (@considereden)
Just Wonderful: Love and Partners and Natural Parenting • (@zoeyspeak)
All that stuff I don't get comes so easy to him • (@thegrumbles)
The Power of Having a Supportive Co-Parent • (@HappyMothering)
February Carnival of Natural Parenting: Love and partners • (@Hobo_Mama)
Love and Partners • (@myzerowaste)
What co-parent? On prams, routines, ideals, sickness, and finding my way alone. • (@brightravenmum)
Parenting With Support • (@MahoganyWayMama)
Co-Parenting Support • (@mama2mamatips)
Natural Parenting Carnival: Love and Partners • (@pchanner)
Daddy's Little Girls • (@Momopoly)
How do I love my parenting partner? Let me count the ways. • (@mamamilkers)
Interview with a Daddy
Being Supported in Natural Parenting • (@starrymom)
Moments in time: a love letter • (@RaisingBoychick)
Natural parenting converts • (@jenwestpfahl)
Breastfeeding Father • (@AmberStrocel)
A Natural Parenting Village • (@SuddnlyStyAtHme)
A Natural Dad
Love and Support From My (sometimes pantsless) Man
G-O-T-E-A-M! • (@tisworthwhile)
how we come to parenthood • (@seekingmother)