I think Dads can often get a bad wrap these days, especially on social media. I am a part of many Mummy forums and Facebook groups and the feeds are regularly filled with endless complaints about ‘disinterested fathers’, ‘lazy husbands’ etc. So yesterday when MY husband practically pushed me out the door to go and get my hair cut and coloured while he stayed at home with the kids, yes plural – a 3 week old and a 15 month old, I was feeling quite smug. Grateful. And smug. To top it off I was wearing an outfit completely free from athletic gear or pajamas, heck I even had on make-up including red lips, look at me go!
My smugness started to fade however when I started talking to the girls at the salon, all of whom still expected me to be pregnant (rightly so) and were surprised to hear of Alexander’s early arrival 3 weeks ago. Rather than sharing my joy of escaping for 2 hours of me time however, I was met with disbelief and perhaps disapproval that I was in fact present for my appointment and that aside from slamming down the free lattes, I was still a somewhat functioning human being despite having just given birth. So with my smugness fading, some new but all too familiar feelings started taking its place. Guilt and uncertainty.
Should I not be leaving my son so early? Is it unfair to expect my husband to brave the kids alone despite the fact that I do it everyday? Should I be ‘struggling’ a bit more? Is it wrong to enjoy the freedom bottle feeding allows? Oh the mum guilt never ends. Or does it? Just as the guilt was about to ruin my glorious morning, I got a text from my husband saying both babies were asleep and he was going to take a nap too. Immediately, in all my husbands capable-ness my guilt started to dissolve.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days when we don’t have our s*** together and days when it is COMPLETELY clear to anyone with eyes that we are a family with 2 kids under 2, that we are sleep deprived and overwhelmed but yesterday, when somehow we had our act together and I was faced with a choice of feeling guilty or smug, I chose smug!