Susan L M Goldberg How to Avoid “Crappy…

Susan L.M. Goldberg: How to Avoid “Crappy Wife, Crappy Life” Syndrome

When we set out to do the whole parenting thing, I had it in my head that I would be in charge of the baby 24/7. After all, I’d made the decision to quit my full time job and stay at home. Wasn’t our son my new career? Didn’t I have a responsibility to succeed at it? And didn’t my husband, the primary breadwinner, have to focus on his work? The expectations were realistic, the planning was not.

Fortunately, I gave into reality early on. I started waking my husband up in the middle of the night when our son refused to sleep. Now, we trade shifts juggling feedings, changings, coddlings, and house chores. I’ll take over during the day so he can take a nap. He’ll take over at night so I can get a few extra Zzz’s. There is no me versus him, there is only us, the cogs in the machine that keep the family running together.

Sure, I felt like crap about this for a few weeks. I had failed at my goal and my new job. “He’s my responsibility,” I whimpered to my husband at 4 a.m. “No,” he kindly replied, “he’s our responsibility. He belongs to both of us.” Giving into that reality has been such a relief.