Tom says this photo is his 'football coach stance'
A little while ago I went to watched a film call 'Babyhood'. Whilst there was lots of interesting topics to discuss (that I'm hoping to get round to posting about) from that film one of the points in it really hit home for me.
It was something that Carrie Longton - Co-founder of Mumsnet said about partners. How when she first became a mum it was her and her husband working as a team. How at the end of his two week paternity leave it was him showing her how to change a nappy or sooth their little one. A few months later it was a completely different story, she was snipping at him for not doing something 'right' or feeling exasperated that he didn't know something she did. It's not fair on the parent that has to return to work to miss out on all this.
I actually felt a real lump in my throat as I heard her discuss this as its something that really rings true in my experience with Tom. We were lucky enough that Tom got six weeks at home with us at the beginning, a lucky coincidence that meant paternity leave fell around Christmas holidays and saved up holiday days.
Tom was the person that kept our family going in those early days, issues with breastfeeding, exhaustion and if I'm honest, mild depression. He rocked and sang to Wilf into the early morning, he changed his nappy, carried him around in a sling, bathed him and took care of me. I remember the panic of knowing he would be returning to work and not knowing how I would cope without him.
Fast forward a month or so and all I could say was 'you're not doing it right!'. I remember vividly snarling at him when I instructed him to massage Wilf and saw he was massaging him in the wrong direction, scolding him for messing it up. I can't imagine how much that must have hurt and I know there have been so many similar instances that I have shut him out.
The first nine months or so the night duties were largely mine but there was really nothing Tom could do at the time (being that he cannot breastfeed and at the time that was our go-to sleep solution). Now however breastfeeding has almost completely lost its sleepy time magic and Wilf often fusses when he co-sleeps with me but will happily snuggle into Tom's armpit. Wilf is getting older and his bond with Tom is getting so much stronger, they can play games, run around, kick a ball. He enjoys cuddling with him, reading books. They have a bath-time routine and bedtime stories I know nothing about and am not part of. I love that they have these special moments together and that their bond is getting so strong.
I know that at times being a mum (stay at home or working) is hugely difficult/emotional/overwhelming job but I also think that not enough praise is given to dad's who also do such a fantastic job. So here's a little thank you from me x