It started off as a simple conversation at our favorite Irish Bar, MacCracken’s. The male perspective is great and I love AFH’s writing so much. BUT- There are things that I’ve experienced that I get asked about a lot. They apply to some men/husbands/fathers (such as the not fucking sleeping for two years when you first have kids) but there’s also things that specifically happen to females. The mother guilt when you go back to work, the guilt just in general of are you doing everything for your kids that you can (and yourself. and your partner), and the fact that we are part of the Ghost Generation – get married, have kids, advertising advertising advertising while all this is going on, and then a “Fuck you, Sayonara, Good luck” and we’re instantly abandoned in this wasteland of diapers, sleep training, lack of friends, lack of family and we’re supposed to be OK with this.
But, it didn’t start this way. I was born in England, lived just outside of Toronto for my high school years and lived in the San Francisco Bay Area through my 20s. My childhood was peppered with, “We’re moving” because my father was the sole earner in our family and, when more money was offered at another company, he jumped at the chance. I got off that crazy train at 22 looking for some stability and for the most part, found it in California. But then the 2008 market crash happened and marketing positions weren’t considered “viable jobs” anymore and once again, I hitched my wagon to my parents’ and moved to Atlanta to start a new life.
I instantly saved money. That happens when you come from a place where piece-of-shit houses are selling for $650,000. I found friends. I drank heavily. And then I met my husband. It was such an inconsequential setting: a sushi restaurant, a dive bar and then hanging out in a parking lot but it was the greatest time I’d ever had in my life and I couldn’t get enough of our conversation. After, I tried to institute at least two nights a week where I would have “me time” (knowing this was THE guy) and that lasted for about two weeks. I moved in with him at eight weeks. He proposed less than five months in. Easiest question I ever had to answer.
We were each other’s rock when we realized that family buggered off and we were our last line of defense in raising two very small children and not knowing how the fuck we were going to do it mentally or financially. All of the apps that told you what theme wedding was in your budget, or what fruit your baby was currently sized at in the womb disappeared after the baby arrived. Friends who used to be around all of the time (even friends with their own children who knew what we were going through) completely disappeared. And I was left with the funniest, sweetest, hottest human being in the world to muddle through it with. And the initial pain of being alone together disappeared. We still don’t know what we’re doing with these kids but we tell them we love them every day and to be kind (things that I went years without hearing from my own family). I’ve lopped the pregnancy weight off after four fucking years (because really you can’t say it’s baby weight when that baby is now two and can ask you to put the Frozen movie on). I’ve figured out sleep training for babies and beyond (at least for now because, really this shit changes on a daily basis).
And so, AFH will cover the musings in his head from the male perspective and I’ll cover the female perspective (He’s got the video game thing covered. I’m very much a purist – Nintendo platformers mostly). Welcome to this strange, expletive-filled ride. Now we have a name. And maybe we can make you laugh when “there’s just not enough caffeine in the world after being woken up every 90 minutes by this screaming kid”. But most of all reassure you that we’re not alone.