I had an OBGYN appointment yesterday. She asked how things were going, and I said that I haven’t been too exhausted since Jak takes the night shift. The OBGYN was so shocked and told me, “Well, don’t tell other moms that or there will be mutiny in their house!” She was honestly astonished and said that she doesn’t know of a husband that has done that (way to go Jak!). That got me thinking though, why don’t they take the night shift? Women spend nine months creating life, and giving birth, and need time to heal after that. Men, I am sorry, but you guys have it quite easy, so why not offer doing the night shifts if it works with your schedules?
Being a parent definitely changes things, and obviously work schedules dictate who takes care of the newborn when, but if the woman is at home all day because of maternity leave, or she works online, and is taking care of the newborn all day, why would the men not offer to help out with the newborn at night so their wives can get rest?
Men, you haven’t gone through a pregnancy, labor, and the painful and wonderful experience of childbirth. A woman’s body needs to heal, especially if the birth had complications or was a c-section. Now, I don’t assume there is no man or partner out there who doesn’t take the night shift like my husband does, but I would hope that lots of men offer this, at least during the six weeks of healing. I mean, are there no gentlemen left? Chivalry can’t be dead.
I know that with my birth, I experienced lots of swelling and lots of tearing. They had to call in a second doctor to figure out how to stitch me up. And I am at five weeks, still healing (says my OBGYN). The first two weeks post birth, I was in lots of pain (crying because of it) and not able to do much, and my left leg was still slightly numb and tingly because of the way Jak held my leg, and he pinched a nerve, and my leg was giving out for the first week and a half.
Now, given that Jak just got a new job at BMW he will be waking up at 5:30 am next week and getting home two nights of the week at 10 PM (starting late January) because of his class schedule. We have started communicating about the changes that might need to happen, like me taking some nights during the week. Of course, we won’t know which nights would be best until we get there, but the point is, we have already been talking about this upcoming change and how it might affect the way we take care of Xander. Flexibility is a great quality to have when it comes to parenting, because having a plan in mind is great, but planning for possible changes and being okay with those is important as well.
Being parents means being a team and working as a team, not expecting one person to do it all. I do hope that even if the husband doesn’t take the night shift, that couples are talking about what is best for both of them regarding caring for their newborn. Parenting is a shared effort, and both people should be putting in 100%. All relationships are work, and being a parent is 24/7 and having a partner by your side helping out is amazing. It shows respect, team work, consideration and compromise.