As parents we often read stories about the wonderful prince charming, the brave knight in shining armour or the superheroes who saved the day. But what about the superheroes in our own home? Here are some of the wonderful things my brave husband did to save the day after our babies were born.
My husband was a pillar of strength
The endless amount of support he gave me helped me find strength within myself when days were hard. Endlessly offering help and support, whether a little gesture or a big one, it all helped. Some days felt overwhelming and he would listen to my worries, offer a shoulder to cry on and guidance to help me feel better. He wouldn't minimise my feelings or fix my problems, he would just be there, strong yet comforting, and that was exactly what I needed.
Cook for us
There are days where you are exhausted - physically and mentally drained. At the end one of those days, cooking can be the last thing you want to do, so when my husband took over and cooked us a meal it meant so much to me. He would make sure the food was healthy for a breastfeeding mama. To top it off, he would also make enough so I could have it for lunch the following day, which can be lifesaving during those first few months.
Offered me encouragement, guidance, and words of praise
My husband would remind me of all the things I was doing well, and make sure I knew he was appreciative. It’s so heartening being acknowledged! After I had our baby I felt unhappy with my appearance and this would impact my confidence, but my husband continually told me I was beautiful, and pointed out things he loved about me.
Gave me time at home alone
He would take our big kids out for a couple of hours, the kids would enjoy a break from being home and were often taken to the park so they could run around, get some fresh air and have fun. This was great as they could all bond together and I could relax or complete jobs around the house without a trail of mess makers following close behind.
Kept humour in our home
It can be easy to get caught up in the stress of routines and Things To Do, but being able to laugh can make the world of difference. My husband is quite the joker (it can drive me nuts!) and he managed to create moments where we could reconnect through laughter. I love the fact my husband took the time to make me smile.
Gave me a break to get some “me” time
All parents need a break or a little time to themselves, but seldom get one. You’re always placing your baby’s needs above your own and, while you’re happy to do that, it’s nice to treat yourself too. Whether it’s a coffee break, a trip to the supermarket or a couple of hours with a friend, a break is necessary. On one occasion my husband and I popped to the mall and while there, hubby surprised me by treating me to coffee, then taking our baby and sending me off to get a simple spa treatment. As a new mama, this luxury was definitely appreciated, and I felt like royalty. The tranquility was beautiful and I left feeling refreshed.
In our home we don’t do “push presents” but my husband would often treat me to little surprises after baby was born. When I say “surprises” I don’t mean big gifts, I mean the things you need done or tokens of appreciation. After 9 months with a restricted pregnancy diet, he came home with sushi: something delicious, and no need to cook! Other things he would do to surprise me were, take the kids out, cook a meal, clean up, or create an opportunity for us all to hang out and relax such as playing a movie.
Practiced understanding and tolerance
My husband was extremely tolerant and forgiving throughout the months following the birth of all our babies. There were days where the washing sat like a mountain; a haunting reflection of a never-ending to-do list, days where I was exhausted and irritable, days where I would be noticeably distracted by my own thoughts and my attention divided, I may not have completed all the chores or done a grocery shop for goodness knows how long, and despite it all, he was tolerant and accepting.
Showing affection was always nice, a hug at the end of the day, a touch of the hand or a kiss before work - keeping a level of intimacy after baby was born.
This to many, may seem like an obvious statement that doesn’t deserve to be on the list, but trust me, it does! To love someone wholeheartedly, love their flaws, their moments of weakness and through all their vulnerability is uplifting. He gave me constant love each day which is so important. To still feel loved, to still be a lover, a friend and a wife and not just a mother can fill you to the brim with happiness and peace. It’s important to know you’re still loved for who you are and remember the partnership between the two of you. When you’re giving all your love and every ounce of nurturing and care to your little person or people, to have your partner give you love and nurture you at the end of the day can do wonders for your wellbeing and toward maintaining a strong and love filled relationship.
It’s the little things, the gestures, and the companionship that can truly make all the difference and lead you down a happier and easier journey throughout parenting, together.
Rebekah Hoeft is a mama to 4 kids, Mokoiah, David, Madeline and Delilah. She shares her experiences on her blog, “Simply Six” and hopes to provide useful information, support, a good read or at least some comedic relief. Rebekah lives in Auckland, New Zealand.