I woke up this morning to my four year son telling me and his father that he likes his father more than me. Being four months pregnant and hormonal I couldn’t control myself. I burst into tears. Of course I ran to the bathroom first, not wanting my son to know he’d caused me any pain. My husband later saw that I’d been crying and laughed at me.
“You think it’s FUNNY”, I snapped at him. I was in the middle of making coffee and he was making his lunch for work.
“You just get so upset and I don’t understand,” he explained. “He’s only four years old, he doesnt’ mean it.”
“No, you’re wrong”, I insisted. “A four year old will tell you exactly what’s he’s thinking.”
It’s my husband’s fault of course. He spoils my son, gives him pretty much whatever he wants. If he wants some of his coffee, my husband gives it to him. A sip of beer…SURE, why not. He saves the last sip in his bottle because my husband somehow believes it means his son will get all the girls. Chocolate, ice cream, croissants, candy, gum, and hours at the park every night after work. How can I compete with that?
I’m the disciplinarian. The one who cooks, cleans and keeps our lives in order. My husband is the fun parent. The one that takes him to the park every night, wrestles with him and plays with his cars and trains. The fact that I’ll buy him the occasional toy will make me his top choice for about a day, and then he’s back to loving his father more.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When I found out I was pregnant I read just about every book there was on parenting and I vowed to be the kind of mother who gave her child only the most nutritious foods and didn’t spoil him with unnecessary toys, junk food and television. But I forgot to insist my husband also read these books and sign an agreement that he would never parent outside these guidelines and go against my plan.
My husband and I fight about three things, my son is the number two reason we fight. With finances first, and our relationship being number three. I get angry with him that he goes against my wishes all the time. I say, “Please don’t give him that cookie first thing in the morning”, and he does it anyway. Can you blame me for not getting upset. Then my son sees me visibly getting defeated and makes a point of showing me the half eaten cookie in his mouth. Talk about rubbing it in.
The truth is the two of them love each other more and I feel slighted. I know I sound like a selfish mother, of course you want your husband to love your child more, right? I mean something would have to be really wrong if they didn’t. But here’s the thing…after four years of co-sleeping with our son, I’m ready to transition our son into his own bed and sleep next to my husband again and he is not. What does that say?
I miss my husband. It’s been four years and we have not slept next to each other in all this time. Anytime my husband and I try to lay down next to each other during the day, my son gets jealous and wedges himself between us. I can’t even steal ten minutes next to him. But it’s not just my son I’m competing with when it comes to my husband’s affections. I also have to compete with the gym and his circle of friends that he makes a point of going out with once a week. The gym is four times a week. Every time we finally have a chance to spend some time together at home when our son goes down for a nap on the weekend, my husband opts for a nap.
I miss feeling desired and attractive. It doesn’t help that I now have an ever expanding belly and am tired all the time. I’m sure it also doesn’t help that my husband has an amazing body and is six years younger than me while I am out of shape and showing my age (42).
I wanted this baby but the truth is I’m terrified. Am I going to lose my husband altogether? Is this baby also going to love him more? Will I ever be desirable again? Will i ever lose all the weight I’ve put on in the seven years we’ve been together? Will he ever stop choosing my son, the gym, his friends and sleep over me? Will my husband find another, younger woman who doesn’t walk around with a chip on her shoulder and has more energy than I do?
Only time will tell.