A few things happened recently: 1) Kamel and I had a big argument over baby tylenol 2) This week is Kamel’s last week at home with the baby and he is super wishing he could stay home longer (and he is wishing hardcore he could be a stay at home dad… which will most likely never ever be able to happen) 3) I talked to my mom on the way home from work yesterday about the baby heading into daycare next week and how Kamel and I are handling it very differently and then… possibly less important but still noteworthy 4) I saw an old Grey’s Anatomy episode where Dr. Baily says, “There is no right time to have children” and then she goes on and on about how they suck the life out of you but then they also give you these little joys that are actually great big joys because they are yours and yadda yadda etc etc you get the drift.
After I got off the phone with my mom yesterday there was one really clear thought that rang in my head: Bottom line, I want to live the life I want to live and that includes kids, but it isn’t all about kids, and it isn’t except-for kids and it isn’t with a caveat about kids in anyway. It is just life and it is living it in a way that squeezes every once out of it before I go.
But that comes with its own set of complications, because Kamel and I do not always agree on how to do all of that. So how do you parent with another person who is just as equally involved in the parenting AND have a loving, nurturing, non-stabby marriage?
Kamel, admittedly, is way more high strung about the baby than I am. Maybe that is not entirely accurate, I think we get worked up about different things and Kamel gets worked up about more things and the intensity with which I get worked up is probably double Kamel’s. Because I will cut someone (literally and figuratively) completely out of my life if they ever were to come between me and my kid, endanger my kid, or disrespect my house/family/child etc etc. Remember that story about the guy who slapped the kid on the plane? He was arrested, but if it had been my child I would have also been arrested for beating the living shit out of him. But I digress…
Kamel gets worked up about the baby getting sick. He wants to avoid this at all costs (at ALL costs if it were up to him… thankfully it is not just up to him otherwise we would never leave the house), even though he absolutely knows it is important for baby to 1) get sick and 2) get better and build antibodies. His anxiety over this sometimes threatens my bottom line (stated above). Because! (And this is where my biggest dislike of marriage pops up) being married to someone and having a family SOMETIMES means they can affect your life in ways you don’t like, don’t want, and generally suck. And sometimes I resent this because it means that I have to then work harder at doing the things that make me happy, sometimes I have to allow my husband to do things the way he needs to do them even if that sucks, and now sometimes I have to respect the fact that he is just as equally (and enthusiastically) a parent and sometimes he wants to do one thing and I absolutely 100% disagree but we end up doing it anyway because thems the brakes. Because that is what happens with partnership in life. Ride or die shit right there. Sometimes you have to let the other person own it, even though it is bullshit, or it is stupid, or it makes you cringe with how much you do not agree with that decision.
And it is true that there is never a good time to have kids and it is true that kids take everything you ever thought you had; all of the energy and all of the sleep and all of the extra spare minutes. But it is also true that your life doesn’t have to become unrecognizable afterwards. And it also doesn’t mean that you suddenly have this creature to place resentment/blame/your own martyrdom upon, because like any thing else – it is still up to me to advocate for my own happiness. To choose to fight my fights or to not. To spend the extra money, to spend the extra effort, to travel with baby or to not.
Daycare starts next week and that’s when real life starts. The 3 months of transition are coming to a close, next up: the rest of it. We’ve had a repreive of time off and newness, but in a few days it will officially be on. My house will be running at full steam, straight ahead… and it is going to be awesome and frustrating and Kamel and I will fight about it. And I’ll probably tell him I hate him a few times, and he’ll probably stomp around and go sit in the car when he gets really mad at me, but in the end it is only because we really really care. And for that I am grateful.