You can talk as much as you want about future children and how you'll raise them, but you never really know how your husband will be as a father until it happens. I could never completely picture how my husband would act toward our baby until I saw him in action during our hospital stay. I had a C-section and preeclampsia and that equaled a long hospital stay.
I wasn’t allowed out of bed for most of it, so my husband stepped in and became my hands and feet. He did everything for our daughter and me, including spoon-feeding my breakfast while I was occupied nursing (those meal trays never arrive at opportune times) and changing every one of her diapers. When we came home, it only got better. So apparently he’s rocking this whole fatherhood thing.
Here are just seven reasons I love him so much more now that I get to see him as a dad:
1. His silly voices.
I would consider my husband to have a playful personality, but nothing could prepare me for the voices and monkey dances he can do to make her laugh. And he’s the only one who can consistently do that.
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2. His affection for our daughter.
The highlight of my day is watching him come through the door and immediately go to our daughter, who widens her eyes in surprise and breaks into a huge toothless smile when she sees him. When he holds her at night and her little arms are wrapped around him, it’s a physical reminder how much he loves her.
Not once has he complained about a diaper change.
3. He thinks I’m a total badass.
I mean, I didn’t go through 17 hours of labor, but I did immediately go into active labor as a result of the preeclampsia and then endured a thick needle in my spine, my midsection spread open and a human child pulled out of me. And then I had to recover from major abdominal surgery while sleeping in one hour increments and providing the sole nutrition for our newborn. “Have I told you how awesome you are?” he’d frequently tell me when I would break down crying.
4. He doesn’t remember nursery rhymes to save his life, but he tries anyway.
There are moments when I press my ear to the nursery door, and listen as he belts out “Mary Had a Little Lamb” to her. When he starts making up words to the song, I helpfully call out the correct ones and he doesn’t even skip a beat.
5. He changes diapers without complaint.
Not once has he complained about a diaper change. Sure maybe there is the occasional shout of surprise when she pees on him or he isn’t quick enough and she manages to smear her heel in poop. But unlike some fathers I know, he's always willing to change her.
6. He encourages me to get out of the house.
He knows exactly how many ounces she takes in a bottle and only requests I have milk ready in the fridge. Then he tells me to go to Target alone. Or make dinner plans with a friend.
7. He’s the only other person who loves her as much as I do.
My husband doesn’t tear up on a daily basis as he watches her reach her milestones. He doesn’t smother her in kisses like I do, or hold her tightly to him because he thinks she could disappear. But it doesn’t make him love her any less. I see it in his face when she giggles at him, or when he tell me how their morning went together.
One day she's going to grow up and move out and suddenly it will just be the two of us again with more free time and nicer furniture. For now though, I’m looking forward to this parenting journey with him.