It’s now close to 7 months of being a Dad. With all the challenges and blessings that come and go into and out of my life like the ocean’s tide I can fully agree that this IS the best time of my life. But today I came to realize that there is one aspect of being a dad that I have not yet gotten used to, and it’s bloody hard.
Am I a dad or a husband?
One thing I realized shortly after we became a family is that my wife is not my wife anymore. She’s a mother. The wife-hat was taken off (for now) and the mother-hat was put on…for a while. A long while. The same thing happened to me. I became a dad and assumed the role 100%. The last thing that came to my mind was the usual role and responsibility that came with being a husband. I can only assume it was even more so with my wife. Becoming a dad and a mother is a massive life event.
I think this is all normal behavior for a new family/dad/mom up to this point. The baby becomes the focal point in everything. All other life ceases to exist. But sometime/where down the line the wife-hat and husband-hat needs to be put on again. Or they need to merge or something. This is the crux of this post: The challenge of being a dad and a husband.
Priorities get all jumbled when a new family member enters the fray. Baby is immediately no.1 and everything else get’s bumped down the order. This means certain things get neglected. Some more than other. Even with things that may be at no.2 (ie. personal time) and no.3 (IE. spouse) may never get the same or nearly enough attention because sleep now becomes a big priority as well. Look at my example (we try to include each other in every aspect on every item on the list (just like God is part of everything and not only one part of your life on a Sunday) but we both feel we each deserve a dedicated place for attention/love/effort/quality time):
- Personal time (PC Gaming)
- Family and Friends
- Intellectual / Reading / Conversations
- Sport / Exercise
Now with baby on-board it looks like this:
- Personal time
- Family and Friends
Notice the problem? You live in the same house as your life partner, the person you utterly and completely love without actually LIVING like this is the truth. Your spouse gets zero personal/dedicated /quality time. When you do have time you’re both too tired and you end up sleeping or arguing.
Things need to normalize. They will normalize. They do normalize. But the danger is there to have neglected each other for as long as it’s taken to normalize. This may be anything from 1 month to 1 year. Eventually sleep patterns go back to normal and slowly but surely the list changes again looking close to what it used to look. Now you find yourself with your spouse at his/her normal position but an enormous time of drifting apart has happened.
Becoming a husband again after being only a dad for so long is difficult.