As I type this post I can hear the animated voices and babbles of Grant and Avalon playing upstairs.
The giggles, the stories, the laughter is what makes me feel thankful everyday for this life.
I have written many a time about my feelings for my husband, in particular to the kind of parent he is. I do not doubt that anyone reading this may be tired of my sentiments but I cannot help but express what he means to me. I have come to the realisation that part of me feels undeserving of such love and support. I don't know a definite cause to this but probably going back to feeling less than worthy and having low self esteem. I blame a hangover from my teens.
Every night, Grant bathes or showers with Avie, reads to her and helps her to sleep. This all after a full day at work. He has never once complained that he is too tired to do it, never once even asked me to do it so he can do something else. It is because he relishes that time with her, and for him, it is just the beginning of their night together.
When she was feeding constantly (up until about 12 months) I was the only one that could take care of the night-time parenting. Grant would wake and rock her back to sleep when we were sure her needs had been met. Over the past 16 months, Grant has taken over from the time he gets home at 5pm and now, through until 5am. All after being at work and studying. I have realised more and more through discussions with friends just how lucky I am to have such an attached parent as a partner.
Grant soothes her back to sleep every night when she awakens (usually 2-3 times) until 5am when she has her milky cuddles with me. She has been in her own room since her first birthday (unless of course she is unwell or distressed) and Grant gets up several times a night to accommodate her needs and to let me sleep. I hardly have the words to convey how grateful I am to him-- how in awe I am of his devotion. I have had a very hard time coping with the sleep deprivation of the past 18 months and for the last 4 months he has taken over the night-time parenting solely (except when Mama milk will only do.)
At 5am Avalon bounds into our bedroom with huge toothy smiles and rests her head on the mattress, 'Hello' she says and her and I cuddle and feed for a good hour. I love this time and have such an appreciation of it as she has gotten older. I will be terribly sad when it ends. I feel refreshed for the time I have to relax and wind down at night and ready to have an amazing day with her.
I cannot take for granted how hands on G is, how committed to our parenting philosophies he is. I have heard some women say the following about their partners:
'____ doesn't mind us co-sleeping as long as ____ and I don't go on his side of the bed'
'____ will not babywear as he doesn't think it's manly'
'I have to keep ____ quiet at night as ____ needs his sleep.'
I hope the above situations work for their entire family but to me, all it does is remind me of what I have.
Bless my attached man.
The wonderful SM says it perfectly,
"I believe a real man will put his baby first, even if he has to meet his OWN need, be that make his own dinner, iron his own clothes, share a bed with you and the baby or meet his own sexual needs."
G carries her all weekend in the Ergo, he sleeps beside her much of the night as she needs him and gladly has done since her birth. His patience is humbling (I wish I had it!) and his love for her incredible.
Let's hear it for awesome Dads... Let's hear it for unconditional partners.... and thank you again, Big Daddy, I do not or cannot tell you enough what you mean to me.