Every day since I gave birth to my youngest son only a few days over 2 years ago, I have been fighting the same battle. Due to this depression and anxiety and the weighing feeling that I will never be more than the lost soul I am today, my husband has been forced to step up his game and claim more responsibility than I have always known he could never handle. I give him so much credit…in my head. I didn’t fall in love with this guy because he’s gorgeous or had a great career path in the making or a lot of money or intelligence. Truth be told, he’s kind of a loser. He’s not very attractive physically and he really never had a bright future. I didn’t care at first. Looks are not that important; I’m fairly average myself. Career? How could I possibly judge him by his job when I was working in the fast food industry? Money? I grew up on the lower rung of middle class. We were only a few bucks above needing colorful dollars to buy food in my mother’s household. Smarts? Again, I’m average, who am I to judge? These are not things that have ever attracted me to a guy. They are nice things but to a woman who grew up how I grew up, you kind of learn that some things and people will forever be out of reach. If I had ever been pretty enough, I lacked the confidence and esteem to capture someone with money and looks.
The point is: I didn’t fall in love with him because he’s awesomely responsible and handles everything with ease. In fact, he is quite the opposite. My stroke, however, has forced him to think differently about things like our way of life, how he wants our kids to be raised and has put his mind in a frame that holds the responsibilities of what it’s like to do everything at once or on your own even when you have a spouse. I hear him complain about the kids, “I can never get a moment, every time I turn around someone is saying ‘daddy, daddy.'” and I just want to yell at him, “How do you think I felt before my stroke?” I just want to tell him: “At least your problem is that your spouse is very limited physically and though she tries, there are some things she currently just can’t do. Where as in my situation…you were just too fucking lazy to do it or help me or so busy bitching about how many hours I was working that you couldn’t clean the apartment while I was at work, or fold any laundry or take out the fucking garbage or even get dinner started.” But I keep quiet. I leave the room, I go wander around somewhere else in the house so I don’t give the impression that I am wholly ungrateful and can’t appreciate what he does or has to put up with.
When we had our youngest son, Boonshka, I wanted to do everything for him by myself but there came a point where he got bigger and harder for me to handle so I closed myself off to him. I couldn’t face it every day. Every day was the same. I’d wake up only to realize that my life as a mother was one of constant challenges and difficulties. It was bordering unbearable. And I had this newborn, this growing baby that I fought to stay alive just so I could keep him alive and I could barely look at him. Kasper had to step in, he had to take over my role as mother because I just couldn’t handle it. There is nothing deeper than that.
Now we are at a point where I have fought to inject myself into his daily life. I make his lunch and feed him his dinner; I give his nightly baths I watch cartoons with him all day. We share snacks, I change his diapers and his outfits. I play with his toys with him and sing to him. I try so very hard but there are things that I can only watch Kasper do with him because I am physically unable to do them. These things can be basic..putting on his shoes; or, they can be tragically painful for me to watch…watching Kasper lift him into the air just to make him laugh.
What irritates me the most is the moments I find where I can get a good belly laugh out of my Boonshka by getting lucky and tickling him just right and getting that smile out of him that is just for me or that reach for my face to pull me closer so we can share a mother and son moment. Every time this occurs, the few times I can find us in the perfect position with the precise timing required to create that bond a mother must form with her son, Kasper sticks his hand in and distracts my Boonshka long enough to pull his eyes away from me and next thing I know I am shuffling away with my limp and my heart shedding another valuable crumb of hope that I will form a solid relationship with my son. I don’t know how to tell Kasper to let me have my moments. It is almost as if he is jealous. What I have trouble with is that my oldest, Skas, he is daddy’s boy, too. He always has been. I never really minded because I saw it on Kasper’s face the second Skas was in his arms. I lost Skas the second he was held by his father and I accepted it. I grew up without my father, my nephews and nieces have no dads in their lives. I would never take the father of my children away from my children. It is a precious thing to have a father for your kids, one that not only wants to be there but wants to be as involved as a father as you are as a mother. But now I feel as if Kasper is trying to rob me of the very thing I tried to help him preserve. I don’t know how to convey this to him without crying or sounding like I am the one trying to do the stealing. I probably already lost this battle. I’m no longer sure why I keep trying to think this out properly.