Thursday, 16 June 2011

Just another of the many many changes!

Prior to having a baby I would continually insist, "nothing will change between myself and G Kisby. Everythings going to be the same. Everything will be just fine" - sounding slightly more desperate to hang on to our past lives by the second.

I now realise that there are loads of ways in which your relationship with your partner changes and this is no bad thing, it just takes some getting used to. 

One thing we have had to work out is deciphering our roles when at home together.

In the week childcare is my full time job, so I look forward to a bit of a break when G Kisby is around and likewise he is really keen to spend time with Mabel. But with jobs there is the question of who does them e.g I am rubbish at cleaning (still don't fully understand the problem with dusting round objects since you never see under them?) and G Kisby is OCD boy (probably cleans under things twice just in case). We used to have quite clear routines on this front (mainly G Kisby cleaned, I didn't) but now the jobs don't match our strengths (to use some work speak).

But over the months (it does take time I now realise) we have slowly established a way of sharing the childcare & jobs so we both get time with Mabel & things do still get done. Largely with the goal of then being able to all spend time as a family.

The challenge for us both I guess, has been letting go of control.
"If you could..just...perhaps...hoover under the chairs as well..."
"Step away from the hoover..."

And I am the same on the childcare front. I realised that on the one hand I am frustrated that I seem to have to ask,
"can you get her dressed whilst I have a shower"
"what do you want her to wear?"
"whatever"
Then on the other I want that decision making right back,
"Just not that" I respond when seeing Mabel in an old, slightly too small, 'kept for emergencies' babygrow.

This became all too clear (to me, G Kisby is too laid back to notice, either that or I am completely dillusional - possibly the latter) on holiday so we decided (I decided) to have a full day where G Kisby made all the 'Mabel' decisions. Don't get me wrong, he spends a lot of time with Mabel but normally I will set the routine - "feed time is xxx / bedtime shouldn't be for whipping up into a frenzy" etc. 

And only then did I realise how annoying I was & it was no wonder that he let me think I was in control (anything for an easy life / knew what he was marrying in to)
I literally had to hold my hand over my mouth:

"Er, so would you say Mabel's face is clean then...?"
"Yes. I did it when we got dressed this morning"
"Good o"

"Er, so what you up to now?"
"We are playing. What are you up to now?"
"Nothing. Just interested"
"Do you want to move away from me then..."

I realised that I want us to share Mabel decisions but then don't allow it to happen. In my defence it is hard to let go when you are the primary carer all week. To use a dull cliche, he can't be properly hands on if I don't take my 'over anti bacterialised' hands off.

So, she may not have as many nappy changes (he will kill me for writing that and rightly so, if anything I am the one who is slap dash on that front. When he gets in from work I'll hear him say as he changes her, "ooh this is a very heavy nappy Mabel" and glance briefly at me. "It was changed an hour ago" I'll snap back defensively. It wasn't, obviously)


She may not be wearing the exact clothes I would put her in.

She may get chucked in the air slightly higher than I personally think safe (don't worry this isn't in fact high - I have unreasonable health and safety boundaries. No common sense - I once asked Fee if we could put her 1 month old in a beach bag to for a walk - but strict guidelines on safety non the less).

But G Kisby is often far better than me at making the decisions (o.k maybe I don't go that far), and Mabel willl only benefit from our at times alternative parenting styles.
It was an important realisation and yet another moment of clarity in the maze of having a new baby.

Mabel had her first bedtime feed from a bottle last night as I had a lovely meal out with work friends.  Ah suddenly very aware of the benefits of letting go of that control!!!

2 comments:

  1. Hi Nelly,
    Just found you through Fee's blog, and your posts really make me laugh, you have a great style of writing! Just had a little nose around the rest of your blog too, loved the 'peter' name story! haha, have a great weekend, Jenny x

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  2. what did you search to find clip art of camp man doing housework??? (only just allowing clip art on your blog because its funny...so says the blog police!)

    I'm sure it'll soon go back to normal with G Kisby doing the housework...he'll never cope with the drop in standards.

    One of the things I can clearly remember saying is 'I've just changed it'! Probably to the health visitor!!!
    fee x
    weekend - hooray! we seeing you?

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