Persian proverb says: “This too shall pass” indicating that all material conditions are temporary.
In Buddhism, one of the three marks of existence is impermanence (anicca), which too refers to the fact that all conditioned things are in a constant state of flux.
In the 60’s Bob Dylan sang that “The Times They Are a-Changin'”, and even the Starks from The Game of Thrones warn that “the winter is coming”, expressing the fact that better times (summer) are followed by a little rougher times (winter).
I don’t know if it’s the winter that’s coming, but I feel that the change is already here before our baby-girl! Some of these changes have been natural and somewhat expected. I am not that naïve that I would believe that becoming a parent doesn’t change the game, but some of these changes in our lives have got me off guard, to say the least.
Granted, life will never be the same again and there are more things that are different than I can cover here in couple of posts. However, in this post I will give you a glimpse into my life. That’s what has changed for me:
1. My life is a constant roller-coaster ride.
There’s never a dull moment. If you listen to Katy Perry’s Hot N Cold chorus, then you know what it’s like
‘Cause you’re hot then you’re cold
You’re yes then you’re no
You’re in then you’re out
You’re up then you’re down
You’re wrong when it’s right
It’s black and it’s white
If the highs and lows are not the product of my own mental mushrooming, then it’s from her hormones. And when I get lucky enough to have a smooth stretch every now and then, I know it’s only temporary, because this too shall pass!
2. The way I approach life has changed
I used to only care about my own well-being. When entering a relationship I had to learn how to factor her in as well, and now everything is about to change once again. This new situation has even affected my everyday behavior. Couple of things I do (more of) now:
- I always buckle up when driving,
- when crossing the road I always look twice,
- when I want to curse behind the wheel, I bite my lip and look in the rear-view mirror …for some reason. Fortunately there’s no baby yet.
I can’t say that I lived recklessly before, but it feels like my life has a little bigger purpose.
3. My workload has gone up
I don’t mean the workload at work. I wanted to be involved soon-to-be dad from the get-go. Having expressed that, there was no way I could have talked myself out of doing some extra chores around the house.
You see, I was raised in a household where my mom took care of the house. My step-dad knew his way around the kitchen (and so do I). When it came to doing the dishes, it was mostly on her, as were most of the other house chores. If that’s how I was brought up, then that’s what I modeled in our life. Monkey see, monkey do, right?
Before becoming pregnant, most of the chores were MJ’s turf. Not any more, because ”The Times They Are a-Changin’”, huh?! I’ve already developed my own system when doing the dishes, I do the vacuuming, I take the garbage out (this has always been my thing, but I wanted to put it out here to show myself in a better light). I still don’t like to do these things and I’m not on it 100% of the times, but I definitely do these chores more than ever before. To be honest, I don’t mind this change at all – I’d rather do the vacuuming and dishes than give birth. I guess that’s the least I can do.
4. I am secondary in our relationship.
If you ask me I would say our relationship has always been 50/50. If you were to ask MJ the same question she would say that most of the time she’s been on the backseat. I won’t go into that argument. However, for past several months, I know what it feels like to play the second fiddle to someone else. Now, she’s the leading star in this everyday soap opera that I call OUR LIFE. Pardon my French, but it sucks!
By all means, my intention is not to overshadow my pregnant wife. Not at all! It’s actually awesome too see her excited about the extra attention. I mean, the change in lifestyle is more drastic for women than men. On top of everything else, she has to go through a physical change, has to put up with all the hormonal changes, etc. So, I believe this extra support is very important for the ladies and I don’t have any objections on that front.
Let me explain what I mean by giving an example from my recent experience. We attended a Christmas Prom last weekend. Most of the other attendees were either my friends or our mutual friends and acquaintances. It was an awesome experience for her. Whenever we met someone, she got all the praise and support that she deserved. A lot of these conversations, especially with other girls were very animated and circled around her, how she looked, her health and the baby which of course is natural. At the same time, I felt like I was invisible next to her. These few times when I did get some attention from my own friends (mainly guys), they were mostly joking that my life is coming to an end. It’s just not the same, is it?
Let me make this clear – this is NOT A CRY FOR ATTENTION! It’s just how it is from my perspective. I do not seek the same attention that she gets. Honestly, I would not be OK, if someone were to come to me, rub my belly and ask in an excited, high-pitched voice “How have you been, TJ?”. This would be way too much for me!
Can’t there be a middle ground between these two extremes? I believe I too deserve some kind of positive recognition; after all I am a co-CEO in this BabyMaking Inc.
Next week, I will share what’s changed in her… stay tuned!
Bonus material! I promised you bonus material every time and today is no exception!
As my attempt to change the world, I will leave you with a tip. Next time you see a soon-to-be dad, give him an encouraging pat on the back. If he seems up for a conversation, ask him how’s he doing in this pregnancy-madness-roller-coaster?