Calling your husband Daddy
Sometimes, once we finally get our daughter down for bed, my husband and I will pour a few glasses of wine, curl up on the couch together and…look at the photos we each took of our baby that day.
Seeing my hubby as a daddy has definitely added to my vision of him, and I already had a pretty nice view. He is still that cute, punk older brother of a college buddy, that brave guy who moved to Russia with me in his early 20s, the man who cried when he saw me in my wedding dress six years ago, and the best friend who didn’t leave my side for a minute as I brought our daughter in the world last June (during a 14-hour natural childbirth, bless him!).
I’ve looked at him many times over our 11 years together, and I really do think he is the cutest wearing our daughter in the frontpack, their faces lit up with the same broad smile.
But it’s also really weird. I regularly refer to my husband as “Daddy” now, even if always in front of my daughter as a way of getting her to know his proper title. He also regularly refers to Quinn as “the love of his life,” which I couldn’t be happier about but of course I do note the slight demotion for myself.
Really, there is nothing more romantic than loving each other so much that you decide to create this little person together. But at the same time, this little person becomes the center of your lives (and sometimes your bed), and that coupled with the sleep deprivation, the piles of toys in every corner and the fact that one of you is a hormonal dervish makes for some major lovelife shifts.
We talk about it sometimes and assure each other that we have the same feelings for each other that we did before the baby was born. It’s just that we don’t have the time or the energy to act on those feelings as often as we used to. And I’m not just talking about what you think I’m talking about. I mean all the little shared moments that squeeze so easily into a day before you have a baby. Not to mention how much easier it is to be kind to one another when you don’t feel like the walking dead.
We tell each other that this is a phase, a blip in the space of our relationship, and that of course our priority now should be enjoying this magical little being while she’s here. Don’t worry, we say, all that we’ve built over the years will still be here waiting for us to come back to it. So far, it seems a sure thing that we’ll survive unscathed. But how far can you walk away from something before it’s hard to find your way back?
I bet I’m not the only new parent wrestling with this regime change in my household. There’s a lecture coming up on keeping your marriage strong through the mommy-daddy years. Maybe we’ll see you there!