I adore my husband. He is a great dad. When we moved back to Rhode Island eight years ago, I found myself barefoot and pregnant again, venting to him about every little thing nearly every single day. Something he said to me one day really put things into perspective. “Babe, I love you, but I don’t have a vagina.” If you’ve ever met my husband, you’d understand his dry sense of humor. At the time, he meant well. He was encouraging me (for financial and emotional reasons) to go back to work a few months after the baby came, and get back to being Jackie. Upon hearing this, I consumed enough chocolate to feed a small village. It helped a little, but not a lot. I didn’t really know anyone in the neighborhood yet. My son was two years old. Not a calm, quiet boy. But an active toddler with spikey blond hair who didn’t understand why his mommy was restless. I had been working full-time for many years and was dumped into domesticity when I found out I was pregnant (mid-way through my job search). Most of my dearest friends were childless at the time and now lived 3,000 miles away in Seattle, WA. Think Carrie Bradshaw meets Old Navy. Ovens weren’t meant for cooking for these women, they were a place to store magazines. And meeting for after-work cocktails was a norm. I didn’t have the time or the patience to bother explaining what it was like to get up every three hours to feed a baby. Now many of them are mommies. It didn’t take long for them to realize the inevitable – motherhood is freaking hard. After each baby was born, they would call and say, “Jackie, I don’t know how you did it! I had NO idea what you were going through!”
Now we’re all in the same raft, trying to stay afloat.