Recently I’ve been taking Stormaggedon to playgroup. With playgroup comes your usual group of gossiping mummies. This can sometimes be an entertaining experience, listening to them bitch about their children, their jobs, but especially their husbands. Mostly their husbands. To the point where I start questioning is there anyone out there that is truly in a loving, happy and equal relationship? Because from the stuff I’ve been hearing, you’re all in loveless marriages teetering on the brink of divorce. One such story however left me with a bad taste in my mouth. One of the mothers was recounting a story of her quite close friend, of trying to convince her husband to have a fourth child. Now understandably, having a fourth child is a huge decision, one that should not be taken lightly. The physical and financial stress could be incredibly hard to cope with, and depending on how old you were and how old your other three children were, are important factors to take into account. So I can totally understand and appreciate this husband’s severe apprehension. But his caving into his reluctance was what appalled me in the end. The wife in this situation apparently gave him the ultimate “get out of jail free card” and convinced him to have a fourth by promising that he would “never have to change a dirty nappy, nor ever have to give it a feeding”. Essentially none of the “dirty” work. It was to this condition that he agreed. And now they’re happily trying……Seriously!? I sat there stunned. Did I just hear this correct? What kind of a person agrees to something like that? What kind of a person offers something like that? Ok, so I know I shouldn’t judge because I don’t know these people, nor their situation. Perhaps the husband has a very high powered and busy job and doesn’t spend much time with his current children. Perhaps the wife is a stay at home mum, who’s always seen herself as a “Mother” and has no desire to do anything else. Ok, fine, two perfectly valid lifestyle choices. But SERIOUSLY!? What if it’s not like that? What if he’s very active with the other children? What if she wants to go back to work? Saying that she will change every single dirty nappy and handle every single feeding and meal time seems impossible. You are literally tying yourself to that child for 4 or 5 years before you can even think of having a moment to yourself again. You would seriously give up ever having a coffee out with your friends, or a day at the movies, or just one afternoon to pamper yourself? And not just that, what happens if, God forbid, that child has special needs? Or you die in childbirth? That still happens even today remember. Can your husband really wash his hands of his child so easily? Nappy changes are gross and messy and feeding times can be extremely painful, but they’re still bonding experiences. I’ve watched my husband laugh with Stormy on the change table, tickling his toes and blowing raspberries on his stomach. I’ve seen him play games whilst feeding him and singing songs to distract him so he’ll actually put the food in his mouth. It might be dirty, but it’s still fun and it’s still beautiful.
In any case, like I said that couple’s choice is none of my business, and I should probably not be so judgemental of their decision. And you never know, maybe once the baby comes things will be different, and that arrangement will last all of one week before the husband starts pitching in. Maybe he’ll love it. I can only hope.
I told my husband the story and he was just as incredulous as I was. We talked about how I’d hear stories from work about other husbands who just aren’t as caring. Who’d go out or make plans and not even tell their wives, just expecting them to stay home and take care of the kids. Stories about husbands either being incredibly reluctant to help out around the house, or refusing to help altogether. Husbands who have no interest in their children and would rather watch the footy instead of read to their kids. All of these stories left him dumbfounded. He has said to me time and time again that he simply can’t understand how husbands aren’t more loving of their wives and children.
So in honour of my wonderful husbands, here are the top six things that I love about him.
- He actually helps with the housework. Yes, sometimes he grumbles about it, but then again so do I. And it’s usually because I’ve asked him to do something at the very last minute because I’ve forgotten. But then again he’ll also feel bad because he forgot himself.
- He cooks when I need him to. And he makes really good lamb chops.
- He’s always there for me. As a shoulder to cry on, as a sounding board for ideas, as a father when I need to go out. He’ll let me have the car, he always offers me the extra piece of meat first (seriously why do Coles always stock lamb chops in packs of five and chicken wings in packs of three!?). He’ll go out of his way to be home early if I need him there, or work from home if I need him there. He gives the best hugs and is always trying to convince me that I’m not a horrible person. He’ll tell me I’m a good mother, that I’m beautiful, and calm me down when I’m having an existential crisis, or thinking that the world is about to end.
- He’s always finding ways to make me happy when I’m sad. From showing me incredibly cute cat pictures to finding funny and inspirational things on the internet. Case in point, the other day I was feeling sad about not having “done” anything with my life. He immediately found this wonderful inspiring video to make me feel better. https://www.facebook.com/1745201349049293/videos/1828243630745064/
- He loves our son so much. He teaches him things and helps him to pronounce words properly. He takes him for walks and reads stories to him. He teaches him to climb (panicky look on my face), and to play with a ball. He puts him to bed when I’m not home. He sings to him. He’ll put on funny voices to make Stormy laugh. And he helps me hold Stormy down when we’re trying to wash his hair (or as Stormy like to think of it, killing him in the most horrible manner possible).
- He loves me.
So here’s to my husband. He may not be the best husband in the world. But he’s the best husband to me. And I love him.