Just Wondering, How Does Your Partner Show Up?

Parenthood can sometimes feel like a lopsided proposal.

You know, women–or, in the case of same-sex couples, the birth mother–can feel like she bears the burden of childcare during the baby years. This is due in large part to biology, and the simple fact that babies are designed to know–and want–their mamas. In fact, research has also shown that babies are so attuned to their moms that they recognize her scent, voice and even her look within days. (Look at you being all incredible, Mother Nature.)

And call me a masochist, or maybe just plain wimpy, but I’m still willingly getting up with the baby when she wakes at night. It’s usually only once or twice. Her waking is due, I’m certain, in large part to the fact that I’m still nursing. And besides being exhausted on the regular, I’m actually okay with it. You know, last baby and all…

So to make up for the fact that she wants nothing to do with any other human being at nighttime other than mama (frustrating and yet so endearingly sweet), Andrew has found the biggest way to step up and help me feel half-human again during the day. And it’s just by doing this one thing: He wakes up in the morning with the baby and allows me to get an extra hour of sleep.

It may not sound like much, but I will tell you, when the sound of her little cooing comes across the monitor at 6 or 6:30 and I am still feeling like the only survivor of the Zombie Apocalypse, it is the hugest relief knowing that I have a partner who doesn’t think twice about swooping in to take care of her, and in turn, take care of me. (Also, little known Mom Math Fact: 1 minute of sleep=1,000 “feels like” minutes for moms, because #bonedeepexhaustion and all.)

And it’s proof that partners can be as big of a part of the caretaking routine, even when it feels like you’re shouldering most of the burden.

Thanks, honey.

What little ways does your partner step up to help you with your kids? Do you have any routines in place that help you get more rest?

Sonni Abatta is a wife, a mom of three and a writer who runs this Orlando lifestyle and mom blog, and – despite the frequency with which she seems to do it – someone who does not actually enjoy writing about herself in the third person.

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