All that stuff I don't get comes so easy to him; he doesn't even have to try

February 9, 2010

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.

the men and the boys


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit 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) 
labor support...  
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)



    Love it! T is totally "on board" also. It makes life so much easier when your husband or partner supports you in your decisions. He has always been totally supportive and sometimes he makes arguments for things and sites studies that I didn't ever KNOW about that involve attachment parenting. Plus, there isn't much sexier than a man wearing his baby.


    I LOVE men wearing their babies too! Every time we went out, Louis always wanted to wear Athena. He's also beyond supportive when it comes to breastfeeding. He's so educated on it and I love overhearing him give advice to people. Co-sleeping is the one place where we DO.NOT.MESH. Lots of arguments over Athena sleeping with me. Now that the second one is on the way I feel like freaking out.


    This sounds so much like my husband and me! I was amazed when I was pregnant and started thinking attachment parenting and he was 100% on board.


    Ooooh...this just makes me want a baby SO badly. We hung out with a good friend of DH last night who was in town with his 4 yr old...and DH is SOOOO good with her. Just makes my heart melt. Someday! It's great to hear stories from people who have very involved, supportive significant others!


    This is a beautiful post. Very well put.


    Parenting is os much easier hen your spouse is your partner, rather than your aversary.

    Dionna @Code Name: Mama

    It's definitely not "extended" - it's normal :) I prefer the term "full-term" breastfeeding myself, for that very reason.


    Your story sounds just like me! I never in a million years would have thought I'd land on this side of the crunchy continuum, but I also should have given myself more credit. I mean, I didn't even spank my dog when I was training him!

    Our partners definitely need to hear what we love about their parenting more often. I'm pretty sure about that. I'll be sharing with mine tonight :)


    Super gorgeous photos! You're lucky to have a husband who likes to wear his baby. Mine never wanted to. It was akin to holding my purse in public I think. Just not something men do. He's fabulous in other areas and of course I loved carrying my babies so I never complained, but a part of me wishes he'd been more into it. I love the sight of a man slinging his child.


    I totally know what you mean about the TIRED bickering. Ugh. Writing on this subject is really a good way to be reminded how lucky we are because sometimes that tired bickering makes me forget.
    Thanks for a heartfelt post.


    The fatigue really can eat away at your patience. And your sanity. And pretty much anything else it can get its hands on.

    Luckily, the good parts are better than the bad parts. Mostly. And I am here to tell you as a mama of a 5-year-old and an 18-month-old that the fatigue does abate. Or you get used to it, but either way. They don't always eat every 2 hours around the clock.


    Again, another beautifully written post Jamie. I knew I'd love watching G become a dad, but had no idea just how much it would melt my heart. One of my favorite things is seeing him kiss his little boy on his way to work and how excited he is to hold him when he gets home at night. Sometimes it's so hard running off of such little sleep and I do seem to have less patience lately. We're not introducing a bottle for quite some time now and so I am the only person feeding. G said that people at his work ask him, "So you're probably not sleeping so well these days, huh?" and he says, "Not really! It's crazy!" And then tells me that in reality he has been sleeping just great.

    It's been moments like this when you have to bite your tongue and sleepily try to smile. His mother told me that it's so easy to feel like one person is doing more work than the other and that can lead to unnecessary arguments. So lately I've just been trying to focus on how great G is with Henry and how much he really does help out in other ways.

    After all, I can't even imagine how helpless I would feel if I didn't have the boobs. Poor guy!!

    You are lucky to have Jon, sounds like he's a great daddy and a wonderful husband. I can tell he's just crazy about you two!!

    Kate Wicker @ Momopoly

    Thanks for the honest, beautiful post. I'm with you about your heart exploding when you see your husband interacting with your boy. Watching my man with my girls makes my heart burst, too.

    Rambling Rachel

    Babies add so much stress. We ended up having to sleep in different rooms because when I roused to breastfeed, I couldn't fall back asleep because of the snoring so I would wake him up. For some reason that made him mad. :) So we'd end up yelling/being mad at each other every night at 3 a.m. Someday soon, I will night wean and maybe he'll get his snoring fixed and we'll be snuggling in bed again.

    My husband doesn't take care of the kids the way I would, but that's OK. They need to have their own relationship, which might include "Dad doesn't brush my hair right or tie my shoes tight enough."

    What an adventure and I wouldn't want to do it without him.


    Oh Touche. There is nothing like seeing your two boys together to make your heart explode. Having a child is a maker or breaker for any relationship and it's amazing when it's the former.


    So sweet! I love those daddy and son pics. My husband has also pleasantly surprised me with how well he's taken to natural parenting concepts.

    Hobo Mama

    An item-fetching robot! That's what I need! All right, it's more what Sam needs, since I use him just the same way, and he also never complains about it.

    There's so much you've written here that reminds me of me. I'm totally the details person, too, where I can't figure out why Sam doesn't remember to get the kid's toothbrush ready, to put his jammy pants on, etc., when meanwhile he's been amusing him for two solid hours playing trucks. He does the important stuff, is what I'm saying.

    And, yes, the sleep thing does get better. But it's long while you're in the midst of it.

    P.S. I had to snag your pirate dog button. Beyond awesome.

    Joni Rae

    I love this post! Supportive, nurturing daddies are SO FANTASTIC!



    What a sweet post! It's so wonderful to see men fall right into place with being a daddy, and parenting.

    Zoey @ Good Goog

    Oh, I remember the arguments about absolutely nothing, so well!

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