It’s been a few weeks since Husband returned from deployment and we’re getting much better at reintegration. (I’ve also gained 5lbs but that’s a different story.)
Husband left when Junior was 4 months old. After that, I ran myself into the ground with a full time job, taking care of the baby, and running this blog for 213 days of solo parenting and working.
When husband finally returned, I was elated for him to be home and was secretly almost as equally happy that I had another set of hands to help with Junior.
I had grand visions that Husband would pick Junior up and immediately have the father-son bond again.
…that didn’t happen.
“Stranger-Danger!” said the tears in my baby’s eyes when his daddy tried to hold him.
“Oh, boy,” I thought. “This is going to take some time.”
I knew how my husband felt. He dreamed of that special moment too. He thought his son would leap openly into his arms. Junior’s got a mind of his own, I guess.
I think because of the “stranger-danger”, my husband tried extra hard to help out with Junior.
At first, I welcomed the extra help with open arms. But then I noticed I kept getting more frustrated. More frustrated that my husband wasn’t doing things right, or quickly enough, and Junior’s still screaming his head off.
“What could he be doing wrong?!” I thought. I told my husband exactly what to do and how to do it and when to do it. Why is this kid still upset? So I did what any mom would do, I just ended up doing the work myself. I fed him, I cleaned him up, I did playtime, I did storytime. I did bedtime.
Then I realized… it’s ME that’s messing up.
In the 7 months that my husband was gone, I developed my own routine, my own habits, my own way of doing things with Junior. My husband has a completely different personality and my son knew that. So instead of letting father and son work out their own ways of communication, I just became frustrated and took on all the parenting tasks… I “mom-blocked” my husband.
After this revelation, I knew I had to back off a little and let father and son figure out how to be… Father and Son. They needed to discover each other’s language and personality. I need to let go of some control.
No more “mom-blocking” from now on…