I am officially ready and my baby is officially ready, too. It is still moving freely within, last week we had our check and it didn't engage yet. I don't think anything changed about it so far. Well, we still have couple of weeks, so the baby can enjoy the cosiness and comfort of my womb and I can... enjoy what? Last weeks of pregnancy are demanding. I still feel good but now I am discovering things like agony with number 2 - hello piles! I am short of breath, tired, slow, unable to sleep comfortably and if people are not sensitive enough I may cry. Yes. But I am happy and proud nevertheless.
I spent a lot of time getting ready and organized and I am trying my best to organize the world around me, mainly husband. He just doesn't understand that our lives will become a chaos very soon and that whatever he can do NOW he really should do.
I am cleaning obsessively because it may be the last proper clean I will be able to do for a while. I am stacking up things, freezing food and agonizing over laundry - will husband run out of socks and shirts? He is unable to think ahead and realize that if he only has got one shirt left he needs to wash, dry and iron some. Same goes with socks and underwear. Once you take the last thing out of the drawer it is too late. How can men not realize such thing? Yet even if he does realize, the control of a washing machine is a mystery to him. It is a machine, he should love it as men do enjoy anything with displays and buttons, yet somehow it stays a big enigma to him.
I am busy preparing baby's things, making sure I have got the newborn stuff ready and somehow it annoys me that I have to think about husband in a way as if he was my first baby - a very needy one.
Yet he is great. He gives me massages and prepares himself to be my birth partner because he is the only person able to do so. I don't have a close enough friend or a family member to ask, he is my closest person. We worked as a team up until now and my pregnancy brought us even closer.
I am now on maternity leave, he is quite busy and we had the chat about his leave. At work they know when we are expecting the baby and once I go into labour he will start his leave. He asked me how long should he take? Does he even need a leave? What?
His argument was he will not be of much use to me in the first days. I will be taking care of the baby most of the time. As a man he sees the birth and the breast feeding as a thing he can not influence too much.
So I tried to explain to him again: he will be shattered, labour will be long and he will be with me. If he manages to stay through without fainting, of course. Then he will want to bond with the baby. I am having a relationship already, I feel it moving in me all the time, there is a strong connection. He feels the movements sometimes and sees my bump, but I don't think he is as much aware of the little person as I am and I think once the baby comes out (and I will get my body back! yes!) he will need his own bonding time and I will be more than happy to see it.
But that is not all. My plan is to rest and I need him to take over the house, take care of the cleaning and cooking and shopping, to make sure we have got everything we need, to communicate with the world as I don't think I will be in a rush to go out or think about the world outside (I will be on baby planet), yet obviously we will need to share the big news.
That is the one thing that worries me, the way how unaware men are about all the little things that need to be done. What I do around the house without thinking I have to ask him to do if I need his help. He will cook but he will not take the cookbook back to its shelf. He will wash the dishes but he will not clean up the kitchen counter at the same time. He will clean the cooker but not the wall behind it splattered with tomato sauce from his cooking.
He will wash the sink but leave the tops of the taps dirty although the stains from water or toothpaste are so clearly visible.
He will clean the toilet seat but not lift it and clean it from the other site.
He will take the bin out but not clean the lid if it is dirty, he just replaces the bag.
He doesn't mind to the weekly shop but he will not think about the meals in advance and prepare the shopping list, check what we need. If he takes out the last toilet roll or tube of toothpaste he will not think about adding these on the list.
And so it goes on....
That is the thing - we see things (mess) differently and approach chores differently. I see what needs to be done, he does a task (the one task he was asked to do). I will spend longer doing things because they need to be done, he will say he didn't notice. How can he not notice? Do men not see mess? Yet he is a germophobe, he washes his hands obsessively and is generally good at helping around, but he doesn't notice dirt on the bin, in the bath or in the toilet.
Husband lived alone for a while so he knows the basics, but when I ask him to do things, he does them in a way as if they were beneath him. I don't expect a man to be crazy for chores, yet why should I be? Cleaning and house work aren't my favorite things to do or a way to make myself proud, I do them because they need to be done. And I like to be organized and take pride in my work, even if it is a mundane thankless chore.
So he now understands that I want to take some time after birth, recover and get used to taking care of our baby and I wish not to worry about domestic chores. His role during his leave will not only be to enjoy his first child but also to take care of us. He understands it and agrees, yet I am freaking out. I don't want to have to keep asking him or reminding him, I just want things done for once! How will it be? Only time will tell, obviously. Nothing will stay the same, that's for sure. But I don't expect husband to finally understand and appreciate all the invisible work that goes on around the house. Whenever he does help I feel obliged to praise him, whatever I do stays unnoticed because same way he doesn't see mess he doesn't notice when things get done. Isn't it a nice thing to be born a man? Hopefully we are having a girl....