Should I stay or should I go?

For those who haven’t read all my posts, please allow me to recap slightly and give you a brief synopsis of the current situation.

I am the proud father of a 7 week old boy who’s arrival in the world had come after a shock pregnancy due to my partners mis-management of contraception. If this sounds harsh then please read the rest of my blog for clarity, it’s very difficult to summarise everything I have blogged about into just a few lines.

I love my boy very much and could not imagine him not being there but it has left me with a life I didn’t chose or want and feeling like I have very little control over what is going on around me.

Over the last few days the feeling of being trapped and isolated has grown stronger and stronger, to the point that I could see no other choice but to walk out from my partner. This isn’t what I wanted, it couldn’t be further from the outcome I desired, but there were massive cracks appearing in our relationship, cracks that had probably been there before his arrival that were now opening up even further. My first instinct would always be to sit down and calmly discuss things, but as we had had no time to ourselves in the last seven weeks this didn’t seem like a viable option either and as I made my way home from work the only course I could see was to walk.

Before I get any aggressive feedback please be aware that my intention was not to leave my child high and dry, but I needed to get out of this pressure cooker and could see no other way, no one I spoke to seemed to be able to give answers, I needed a break and I was getting desperate.

When I got home I felt sick, I knew I was going to do this and there was no turning back now, I had worked myself up on the journey home and knew it had to be done.

But then a minor miracle happened.

My partner could see something was wrong as soon as she looked at me when I walked through the door and as she enquired as to what it could be I broke down, I literally stood there and sobbed my heart out, all of the frustration poured out as I told her I wasn’t happy, that I was not enjoying any part of my life, and that I needed a break, needed to see a way out of this situation.

She had clearly seen this coming, she was calm and collected and told me she would get the little one asleep and we would talk things through and one way or another everything would be ok and we would sort this. I wasn’t going to have to walk out after all!

Then the miracle part, he went straight to sleep! This boy who hadn’t slept before 10pm since the day we bought him home was now tucked up in bed before 7.30 and was snoring. Bliss! It’s amazing how these things become massive events in your day when you are introduced to parenthood. This gave us just the time we needed.

We talked for hours, I explained how I was feeling and that I couldn’t say anything before because of the immense pressure to be a perfect father and partner for her. I explained that I needed a break from the cycle of work, baby, work, baby and that for my own sanity I needed to be me, which I hadn’t done for at least the last seven weeks, probably longer.

One lesson that I have taken from our situation is that communication is key and I thought that we had done pretty well up to now at doing just that but it seems we had had a major misunderstanding which had led us to this point.

You see, because I had thrown myself straight in at the deep end from day one she thought that I had wanted to do as much as I was doing and it was all part of me taking the most active role that I could, this was cemented by me keep telling tales of another guy I work with who seems to very little since his baby come into the world.

As we both aired our feelings we slowly put together a plan for the future and she told me it was ok to need time to myself, she had been grateful for me taking over at times and giving her space so she knew how important it was.

The relief was immense and as the night carried on we felt like a couple again, huddled up on the sofa, watching tv, talking and enjoying each others company. I felt like my life was on track again.

Shame things don’t always last.

Have to leave it there for now as I’m almost at work, but anyone who follows me on twitter would see I had a tough night last night so I do need to put those feelings down later.

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9 thoughts on “Should I stay or should I go?

  1. Us dads totally can relate to your story! All we advise is to stick at it. Being a new parent is the biggest challenge you’ll ever face. One if the Dads here had packed their bags and where half way out of the door, until both him and his wife broke down on tears.
    No one said parenting was easy, but it’s the most rewarding experience any man could be part of.
    Deep breaths, refocus and remember life is a rollercoaster (corny song line, sorry).
    Keep us dads in the loop. We’re here for you bud!

  2. Darling, if it is any consolation I hated being a new mother and felt all the things that you have outlined here. I felt out of control, as if my life was over and if I was living a life that had been foisted upon me. My pregnancy was a complete shock after 20 years of happy infertility so I felt somehow obliged to go through with it (constantly being told that I carried a miracle baby didn’t help, mind). I’ve blogged a lot about what this did to my mental health but one of the worst parts was not being able to say any of this out loud to anyone (until I told my counsellor) which was incredibly isolating, especially at a time when everyone thought I should have been over the moon.

    I can honestly say that things do get better. Much better. My daughter is now four and she carries my heart with her wherever she goes. Yet the key to survival is communication. I have talked to my husband about my feelings every step of the way and while that didn’t always make for pleasant conversations it certainly meant that we were able to support each other through our struggles. I know we are stronger when united and that’s how you have to stay too (even when the baby is trying to tear you apart).

    God, I have banged on here haven’t I? I just hope it helps for you to see you are not on your own.

  3. Getting it out of your mouth keeps it form biting you in the ass. Keep talking.
    I dreamed of being a dad my whole life. Clcihe as it is, it is the greatest thing, and the hardest thing. I tell myself if it were easy it would go too fast.
    Plus ultimately I will need him to wheel me around some day!
    Mitch

  4. Being a parent can be darn isolating, whether you wanted it or not. I never had any pangs to be a mother and when I met my now husband I was honest with him from the start and much like your partner he said that he’d rather have me and no children than be without me. However, I was only 21 and although I still never had the longing when I fell pregnant at 27 (also an accident) I had adjusted to a “Maybe”.

    I can promise you that in the vast majority of cases it DOES get easier. Your son is still a newborn, it is still very early days and it is still very exhausting. Hell, my son is 2.5 now and it is still exhausting but in different ways (the incessant “What’s that?” or “Why?” questions are a different sort of tiredness!

    Something a friend told me early on is that no matter how desperate (or not) a couple may be for a child, having a child is like throwing a hand grenade into even the strongest of relationships. My husband has packed his bags a couple of times but we’ve always got through it and as a family are stronger than ever despite our current, quite dire circumstances.

    Chin up. And thank you for your honesty.

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