So, I’m sitting here, in front of my computer which may or may not be disgustingly dirty, and I may or may not be slightly tipsy from a margarita that I may or may not have put too much liquor in, and I’m listening to my husband be….well…fantastic. He’s been patiently paying attention to and listening to the kids for over an hour, which if added to the other couple of hours today that he’s done this is like, a lot of hours. Especially considering how much Rowan can talk. Seriously, if Rowan ever prefaces something to you with, “You know…” get comfy, y’all. Really fucking comfy.
Perhaps it’s because I am starting a full-time job tomorrow. One that has already consumed much of my time, albeit in a flurry of distracted, pieced-together, late night–early morning moments, hair-pullingly unorganized moments, but nonetheless, I will, for the first time since the kids were born, be leaving them in the care of, well, my husband. And I’m jealous.
In all fairness, John has been taking care of the kids a lot since they were born. He’s a hands-on parent, and genuine in his desire and interest in child-rearing and co-parenting. In fact, what happens tomorrow is something that he and I have been wanting to do for years. We’ve talked about that elusive job that would never turn up, allowing us to switch roles so that he could be with the kids, and bond with them the way I have. And TA-DA! Captain elusive job landed on my lap, and here we are: T minus 14 hours until we manage to reach a goal we never thought possible.
So why do I feel so shitty?
I don’t know, friends. I’m sitting here thinking that it’s not because of the job, but more because of the connection. Right now, in the other room, I can hear John shouting in a super-hero-announcer voice (seriously, there is a superhero-announcer-voice): “AH! Help! The SEA DRAGOOOOOOOOON!” and I think, “well, that’s it for me.” Because I will never, ever be a convincing enough super-hero announcer. And in the interest of keepin’ it real, I can assure you that I hate imaginary play. It’s so, like, fake.
And he’s so patient. And RIGHT! He’s right like, 98% of the time! He makes good decisions, and can answer the boys’ questions in a very succinct and not psychotic way, like I do! He’s loving, but firm and fun, too! Dear SIPNEL! I’ve married the perfect man! What was I thinking?
It seems really sudden to me, the change. And so I am frantic that it’s because I am working more. Will the boys only lean on me for comfort and softness? Can I still connect with them without annoying them? Why do I suddenly not know how to make them happy? I can hear the huff that will come in the next few years from Rowan. In fact, yesterday he actually said to me, “Oh, Mama. You bring nothing but trouble” when I accidentally broke his Lego car. And I swear to you, I felt us separating . . . and a part of me totally agreeing with him. I’m a total troublemaker.
I don’t want to be melodramatic, but I’m feeling inadequate as a mother after years of feeling pretty fucking adequate. Is it age? Natural distance? Gender? Or that John is just more awesome, and tolerant? Shouldn’t I be pleased to have a partner who is so loving with our kids? So interested? What the hell is wrong with me?
Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe it’ll pass. Maybe the foundation that I laid is perfectly aligned with what John is providing them with now. Maybe I’m just over-analyzing it all (no shit, Sherlock), and I should just trust that we know what we are doing, and that things are alright. That my kids will grow up knowing that gender doesn’t define roles. That women can do anything, and that men can, too. Maybe John will rise up out of this an even more amazing man, and finally for the first time in his life stop thinking that a piano will fall on his head if things go well. And let’s face it: maybe, just maybe, I’m drunk.