Wednesday, January 19, 2005

How did you survive the first year of parenthood?

I have a friend who is going through what we all went through that first year of parenthood:she is torn between plotting her husband's death and taking the baby and running away. This is by no means a male bashing post. In fact if there are any men out there reading this, I hope you will comment with some helpful suggestions.
For the sake of privacy, I will call my friend Tanya. I have always liked that name so what the heck?

Tanya was complaining about her husband, uhm, let's call him Sergio. No this is not a story in Penthouse but let me have a little fun with the names, ok? So Tanya works 24 hours a week and Sergio works 40 hours a week outside the home.Their daughter, Esmeralda,is taken care of by Tanya's sister. Still, it's hard for a new mom to leave her baby and go to work no matter who is caring for the child.Tanya is stressed just because she has to work and leave her baby in someone else's care. I remember feeling that way and it is horrible.{Guilt + work= sad mom.}
One of Tanya's pet peeves is that Sergio refuses to put Esmeralda's hat on when he takes her to his sister-in-law's house. He may put the hood up but he won't put on the hat. Come on, what's the big deal, Sergio? Bundle her up!

I don't want to put words into anyone's mouth (a hot fudge sundae maybe, but not words!)but I believe Tanya said that Sergio won't put on Esmeralda's hat because Tanya told him to do it! He doesn't want to be told what to do with his baby.
Keep in mind we live in Massachusetts. It was zero degrees today. ZERO! It gets freakin' cold here. A hat is a necessity!

No matter how you look at it, the truth is, after that bundle of joy arrives, the wife looks at her husband and thinks, "Oh my G-d! This guy is a moron!!" and she is aggravated. She is sure she knows everything and her husband, if he ever had any brains, now is completely brain dead. The husband looks at his beautiful bride and thinks, "When did she become a nagging hag? Does she think I'm an idiot? I'll just tune her out and hope she goes away.......nope....still there.....damn! I think I will hide in the bathroom!"

We totally forget how much in love we were and why we got married in the first place.
That first year is all about communication: sitting down, explaining your needs, listening to your spouse's needs and figuring out what you can do for each other to make it all work for your family! If this doesn't seem practical you can do what Rich and I did, pay $125 an hour for a marriage counselor. She kept us from killing each other. I will be forever grateful for that.

So please tell me how you survived your first year of parenthood. I will print out all your comments and give them to Tanya. I am sure she will appreciate it.

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