Today was the first mental crash I’ve had in some time. I didn’t really see it coming, and before I knew it me and wifey were shouting at each other because I’d not taken in some dinner instructions properly and was cooking the wrong food instead of using up thing which would go off soon.
We both seemed to catch each other on a bad day, stupid little comments were said with little thought and received with too much attention.
I didn’t know how to cope, and ended up trying to politely storm out the kitchen saying “I can’t cope with this this evening”. I went up stairs and leant by the window taking deep breaths puzzling over what had just happened and what was happening – my mind was racing but going nowhere and breathing fast and panicy. I felt I had to get out of the situation as I wasn’t able to think clearly. I put my shoes on and went to leave telling wifey I needed to go for a walk. She got upset and told me not to go and not to do anything stupid like walk out in front of a car. I tried to say don’t be stupid I wouldn’t do that, she asked if I could just walk around the living room. We were both getting teary by now and I said I needed some fresh air, and how about I just go in the garden and she said ok.
I sat on some steps outside for about 15 minutes and cried and cried. I’m not sure where it was all coming from and why things had snapped this evening, but when the tears stopped, my breathing slowed and I recognised calmer thoughts in my head I started to think about going back inside. I didn’t want to face wifey as I felt I’d really upset and frustrated her, but I knew the longer I left it the worse she’d probably be feeling. Not a fun evening.
This weekend will be my second Father’s Day, but it feels like my first, for two reasons.
Reason one: This time round I’m not such a bubbling, confused, sleep depraved, anxious, cluster of flesh and bone. Last year baby was barely a month old and I was a wreck. And I didn’t feel like a dad at all, which leads me to…
Reason two: This time I actually feel like a dad, I can announce that title with pride and have some level of confidence in my ability to look after our little one and entertain her. That might sound obvious but for me, and the journey I’ve been on the last 15 months, it’s an in imaginative leap from where I was in my dark times. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever get to this point, and I’m relieved and happy that I have. I know the work has barely begun, but I at least feel my fatherhood foundations are built on much strong rock.
Last year’s Father’s Day lead to some horrible and upsetting arguments, we’re both in a much better place now, and I can’t wait until Sunday.
We’ve always tried to balance the roles and responsibilities, but in the past year this hasn’t been practically possible – I’ve had to devote more efforts into work and securing more income, and she has adjusted into a full time childminder. This imbalance often caused many arguments, with both of us feeling as if our efforts weren’t being appreciated because we were operating in such different worlds, and the stresses and exhaustion of the situation often meant we could communicate with each other properly.
We now have more in common in our everyday lives, and although it shouldn’t make a difference, it has lead to better empathy between us and is bringing us closer together.
Me and wifey had a major collision today and said some terrible things to each other.
It’s been four weeks now since baby arrived and the cumulative effect bared its teeth.
I may be past the first four weeks, but I fear tougher times are ahead.