It’s easy to moan about our other halves right? Afterall, they generally get a lot of bad press. I could easily write post after post about what I have to cope with as a Mummy, whereas Ben seemingly floats through Fatherhood with ease, but is this actually true? Nope, of course not. We’re on this terrifying and thrilling roller-coaster TOGETHER. There are moments where I feel like I’ve quite literally been run over by Alton Towers’ latest attraction, and I want to scream at Ben in frustration over what I see as the injustices of Motherhood vs Fatherhood.
BUT, there have been countless times where I can openly admit that my hubby is making a bloody good job of being a brilliant Daddy to his boys.
I had over 6 hrs sleep last night, after a cruel and seemingly never ending week of only 3-4 hrs a night due to a painful infected arm (thanks goes out to my whooping cough vaccination…another perk of motherhood eh?) and a teething, unsettled, and constipated James. So, I’m striking while the iron is moderately warm, I’m reasonably buoyant and fairly refreshed!!
I found and liked this definition of a Dad:
Credit: by True Meaning July 08, 2012
I feel smug and safe in the knowledge that Ben’s ego will not be in the slightest bit inflated by this post, because I am 110% confident he’ll never read it (unless one of you tip him off). Don’t get me wrong, he’s really supported me starting this blog, and has even said I’m great at writing…high praise indeed from my man of few words!! But, when I pinged him the link across once I’d uploaded my first few posts, he explained that he’d had a quick look but didn’t really need to read it fully because he’d been there at the time and lived it!! He has a point, but it did make me laugh. You can take the man out of Yorkshire….
Currently I’m in the extremely lucky position to be able to stay at home with the boys while Ben works hard to provide for us. However, I do feel that we’ve BOTH made sacrifices to make this work. For example, I’ve completely lost my identity since becoming a mum but that’s definitely a discussion for another post.
Now, at risk of sounding like a 50’s housewife…I try to keep a nice house so that after a day at work Ben comes in to a reasonably restful environment rather than the bombsite it was a mere couple of hours before he arrived. Notice the use of the word ‘try’… anybody who has stayed at home with two or more young children will realise that this is a near impossible task. The level of mess they can create in such a short space of time is world record worthy. This is yet another reason I go out with the boys as much as possible, I definitely haven’t got the patience to tidy and clean the same room 25 times a day! And although I don’t ‘clock on’ I work bloody hard too, yet most days I don’t have anything to show for it apart from a few more grey hairs, bigger bags under my eyes and swollen ankles.
Anyway, this little gesture is my way of saying I appreciate the hubster, I can’t afford to lavish him with gifts, and being heavily pregnant I’m hardly a sex on a stick type vision to come home to, so a clean house it is!! Saying all this, Ben is pretty domesticated and like me wants a tidy house. He’ll turn his hand to cleaning, laundry, chicken husbandry and DIY without hesitation and is a pretty good cook to boot. I think we do a half decent job between us, even if I must say so myself.
When Ben gets home from work, my Mummy switch is instantly turned off for about an hour, as the boys run to the backdoor amongst cries of ‘Daddy’s home‘ and excited squeals to generally climb all over him for the next 60 minutes or so…these are the most precious hours of my life, I’m not even exaggerating (OK maybe just slightly). I get to check social media, sit down, put my feet up, and sometimes if I’m feeling wild…even paint my toenails.
Ben usually jumps straight in the shower albeit with James waiting not so patiently from the other side of the curtain, ready to pounce as soon as he gets out, and then it’s playtime with Daddy until teatime.
Daddy is the best at rough play, this is a well established fact here. Never more so now that I have a huge bump and can only just about handle James climbing up for a cuddle. Ben and the boys have their own special little games ‘baby turtle’ ‘zombie’ and ‘asleep in the jungle’ that I’ve never been privy to, and I love watching them play…preferably from a distance with a hot drink in hand!
Boys days out are a thing in our house. Something Stanley looks forward to and will happily taunt me with, in the days leading up to this special day ‘you’re not allowed to come Mummy, because you’re a girl and only boys are going‘. Ben arranges these days to ‘give me a break’ which shows he does have an understanding about how full on it is for me, but I have a sneaky feeling he secretly likes to have the boys all to himself every now and again too. They have been to an emergency vehicle museum, eaten ice-creams, and done soft play amongst other things. Boys days aside, Ben will have the boys whenever I need him to and even if I don’t…contrary to popular opinion (mostly from strangers in Aldi) he’s not babysitting, he’s not got his hands full, he’s just a parent like me and does what needs doing, when it needs doing because that’s just the way it is.
Ben is the fixer of all things. Stanley believes that nothing is truly broken or needs to be thrown away unless Daddy has had a go at fixing it first. He has lots of tools and a shed, and therefore Daddy has already been awarded superhero status by Stan!! He also comes home with exciting presents that he’s made at work, parts from a steam engine (seriously, does it get any better for a train obsessed 4 yr old?) or a big shiny bolt that can be used on Stanley’s workbench. One such ‘precious’ bolt has been taken to Nana’s house to be kept in ‘Stanley’s bedroom’ for when he has a sleepover.
Most mornings I am ‘gently roused’ from my slumber by a crying snotty James, who has seemingly set his little body’s alarm clock to go off as soon as Ben locks the backdoor on his way out…around 6.20am. But, increasingly there are mornings when both boys wake up when they hear him go downstairs. Stanley following, wanting cuddles and kisses goodbye and crying that he doesn’t want Daddy to go to work. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for Ben to then explain he has to and leave. ‘When is Daddy coming home?‘ is a question that punctuates our days so he must be doing something right eh?
Weekends are when the magic happens! I’m either given a much needed lie in after doing the night shift all week or I will get up with the boys, drink coffee sort breakfast, and dress them while Ben sleeps in. BUT, when he does come down I can skip (or currently waddle) back up the stairs to bed for an hour or two. Both are just as good and equally appreciated. Of course there are exceptions because we have plans, or when the universe despises us both we’ll have an early morning bed visit from Stanley while being serenaded by a crying James and we are forced into parenting action before 7am.
So, even though in the early hours I regularly want to smother him in his sleep usually when I’ve been up most of the night with James. And, I’m often made to feel like I’m invisible as in the evenings he completely switches off and ignores me when I’m talking to him…all I want is a bit of adult conversation after being with the boys 24/7. He’s also very much still in my bad books and far from being forgiven for not being the one to get pregnant and carry the baby this time, afterall I did the last two so it’s surely his turn?
He is however, MY bloody annoying husband, and OUR boy’s incredible Daddy and we love him very much.
He’s definitely got this Dadding thing down!!
All images are my own.