So here’s the deal. I love my infant. He’s awesome. And I love love love parenting with my wife. She’s an incredible mother and we just work well together. And we worked so darn hard to have a kid. But holy wow, right now I wish I didn’t have a kid. There, I said it. And it’s okay if you feel the same. (It’s also okay if you feel wildly different. There’s no right way to be locked in a house together!)
Maybe it’s because we are relatively new parents. At less than six months into this I can still distinctly remember what my pre-child life was like. Maybe it’s because my wife and I are both military and she is getting ready to deploy to support this virus effort and I will be at home with a child who doesn’t take a bottle well with no available child care and an expectation that I be at my computer visible and teleworking eight hours a day. But honestly, this is the pits. If it were just the two of us and the dogs we would be off camping in the backwoods, we would go play sports that don’t require anyone but us and our own equipment, y’all we would be having all the horizontal tango time we could stand. But none of that is on the table.
Instead suddenly we are arguing about whether or not either of us is carrying more of the child rearing load, we can’t seem to find the balance that once came easily. We have a hard time finding activities that don’t put us in a dangerous vicinity of others, and that makes us grumpy and conflicted on how to mitigate risk. Our hearts are breaking for our friends and family who are struggling at this time. I cried all weekend about doing the shut down “wrong.” But I’m not doing it wrong, and you—the people with no kids, the people who desperately want kids, the people who had their IVF delayed because of this, the terrified pregnant folks, the parents with the charts, the people isolating alone, and the people really just loving this time—you’re doing it right too. We are all doing it the most right we can.
All of this is to say, it’s ok if it feels like it sucks right now and it’s okay if you aren’t your best self right now. I don’t have many solutions other than make sure you’re talking to your partner about your feelings. We toasted to wishing we were childless last night as our little one screamed and it finally felt… better. And hopefully soon it will get better for all of us.
For those of you with kids, how are you managing? For those of you without kids (or who were trying for kids or who are pregnant) how are you doing? And how many of you find yourself just wishing things were different… even in socially unacceptable ways?