I love you… I hate you
07 08 2013 • Tanya Kazeminy Mackay
I love you, I hate you.
As with many of my posts, I am putting down on paper a conversation I have had with hundreds of women over the years. It started with my personal experience and has grown into a theory that resonates with so many that I think it is worth sharing with you.
There is this lovely window in time when you are pregnant and it can be one of the most romantic points in a relationship. The two of you are this amazing team and you are totally full of dreams and wonder… and really it is perfection. You hold hands and discuss names and talk about how life will be when you are three.
This dream sequence continues once your baby is in your arms – albeit a more tired, distracted version. Then very abruptly, approximately two to four weeks after you have given birth, you will begin to hate your partner. He will not be able to do one single thing right (no matter how hard he does or doesn’t try) and you will alternate between fury and despair at his total inability to step up and do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done.
It is like night and day, and it is sooooo weird to experience it.
In order to understand this transformation, we need to realise two things:
1. We are never closer to our basic beast instincts than when we are a mother.
We are so animal as brand new mamas. That may sound strange, but c’mon we actually make milk in our bodies to feed our children – it doesn’t get much more beast than that. But beyond that, we smell our babies deeply and instinctively to know how they are, our hearing becomes supersonic, you can hear a whimper from two floors away, and we become as protective as a lioness. Don’t ever get in between a bear and her cub. The same is true for a human mama and her baby. In this time, when our animal instincts are upon us like a rampage (and before we have had time to get used to them), we can actually view the beloved father of our beloved baby as an outsider, almost as a threat. So, as much as you want, crave and need the help – he doesn’t do it the way you would and you feel that your baby might be damaged by this inferior handling.
Not all the time, luckily! There are many times when the sight of them together melts your beastly heart and brings you to tears with love and beauty. But some of the time, enough of the time to make it tough, you just want your baby in your grasp where you can smell them and protect them as a mother lioness should.
With time, you will come to totally respect the father’s perspective. You will come to understand, that yours is not the only way. Their fatherly approach is just as valid and just as important as yours. But it takes a little time, we’re talking months….but hang in there, you will get there.
2. Ultimately, it is the mother that is responsible for the bulk of our babies care.
It might just be that in your life, you and your partner have lived a 50/50 existence. You may have both earned money, both been responsible for cooking, caring for the house, getting the stuff done that needed to be done. If so, it can be a major shock when you come to the conclusion that once you have a baby, equality is gone. It is pretty much predetermined, genetically, that you will shoulder the bulk of the responsibility. And the deepest truth is, you will want to (see number one above), but it will take you a while to realise that. And until you do, you will be so pissed off at the injustice of it, and obviously the recipient of your fury will be the man that is letting you down.
This too shall pass, and one day you will accept that – this is just the way it is – and once you do wholeheartedly accept this, peace will gently return to your double bed.
Now I am not saying that everyone will experience this, nor am I saying that this is the only truth. But I am saying that it resonates with enough of us that it is worth being aware of. And perhaps, just perhaps, if you know it is coming and you know it is normal, you will be able to see the pattern emerge. And in that recognition, it will be easier to steer through. And maybe, just maybe (depending on how tired you are or how hormonal) you may even be able to laugh about it a bit.
So hang in there, it will all be fine!
Ps, I tell a lot of new daddies this and they are really appreciative of the insight, but I will leave it up to you if you want to share or not!
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