When I gave birth to our son, my connection to him was automatic and visceral. I loved him instantly, ferociously.
Of course, during my pregnancy I did not know this would happen. I was convinced I would be one of those moms who finally bonded with her baby after 2 weeks, or 2 months. The gigantic love was therefor even more unexpected, it relentlessly filled my entire being.
I know what that feels like.
I know that eventually breastfeeding is easy and so sweet I could cry now just thinking about it. I also know what in your bones exhaustion feels like when you have not slept for fucking ever and you confirm for yourself that yes, you are not that kind of mom built for endless giving. I know what it feels like to wish you could put your baby outside in the middle of winter, and shut the fucking door to just.have.some.peace.
Know what it feels like to ask guiltlessly, for dinner to be made, or a glass of juice to be served because I’mnursingandIcan’tgetup.
I was the one having giant hormonal meltdowns and being taken care of. I was also the one responsible all the time for this little life and it was, and is, the hardest thing I have even done in my life.
I know what it feels like to be my child’s ‘favorite’ because I spend more time with him. I know the suck ass parts of that and the wonderful parts.
This is what I know.
Now that it appears that we are really going to have this baby (probably maybe while knocking on wood prayer to the deities of non-retardation), I am coming to terms with the fact that I absolutely don’t know how to be the other mother. At all. I don’t know how to be the breadwinner. I don’t know how to be the support person, the bringer of juice, the one who hands off the screaming baby to my partner to breastfeed.
I don’t know how to be good at it. S is the unbelievably almost perfect non bio mom. The role plays to her strengths, not mine. She never cares about going first or getting attention. She is generous by nature. She never notices who gets a bigger piece. She has an uncanny ability to let our son be a child. She doesn’t over analyze why he often wants me over her. When LM started getting mad at her when she got home from work, she didn’t take it personally…she mused about what was going on and realized he was mad at her for going to work instead of being with him and then talked to him about it and spent more time with him! He responded immediately.
She’s no saint, my wife, but she is really good at being this kind of mom. Her issues are with things like being too overprotective with him. She has trouble setting boundaries. Enmeshment. Among other things. I don’t need to get into her parenting challenges here, lets just say she isn’t perfect, but she is pretty fucking good at being the non-bio, working mom.
Her dream, however, is to stay at home with
her kid our next kid . If I had better earning potential I would try to give this to her, but I don’t right now, so she needs to work. I feel guilty about this. I feel guilty about a lot of things lately: that I’m not taking as good care of her as she did of me when I was pregnant (but we didn’t have a toddler), that I am staying home and she isn’t, that she would be a much better stay at home mom than I am anyway (she truly would), that I am insecure about my love for the new baby.
If I was pregnant I certainly wouldn’t want to deal with my partner wondering how much she is going to love the baby I’m carrying.
Here I am though, with a jumble of feelings. Of course I am also in love with her belly, protective, solidly knowing this is my kid too, and grateful every day to be having these problems instead of trying to conceive.
But it is messy, this lesbian baby making. And I have no one in my real life who has been through a similar situation, meaning both partners having a baby. Actually, scratch that, a nurse friend of ours was in this situation and she and her parter split up and each took custody of their bio kids! Seriously.
Biology matters and doesn’t matter at all, in equal measure. Messy indeed.