Did my husband lose respect for me after I gave birth?

I’ve always been the strong one, the one with the good career, fairly good salary and in many respects the wearer of the trousers. It was a role which suited me just fine, every ship needs a Captain and I wore the Captain’s hat with style and aplomb. That was until I swapped it for my Mummy hat and my husband had to help steer the ship himself.

I recently read an interesting article where a man talked about how his wife’s caesarean made her a total badass. I shared it with him and we talked a little about the traumatic birth of our son and his swift arrival via an emergency caesarean. It occurred to me that seeing me at my most vulnerable; naked and frightened, screaming for help, being cut open to have our child wrenched from my body made him see me in a different light. Did my husband lose respect for me after I gave birth?

I think before I became a Mum he saw me as strong, and I had been strong for us both, but now I had to be strong for our son first and us as a couple second. I was hormonal and weepy and I’d never been a Mum before, so everything was new and I was totally winging it, we were winging it together. I was also wrestling with undiagnosed PTSD which made me anxious, vulnerable and hyper vigilant. A storm was brewing inside me and I could no longer steer our ship effectively.

I wasn’t the high functioning girl in love with her career anymore. I was an exhausted first time mum, struggling physically and mentally. I’d made and nurtured our tiny perfect son but in the process I’d changed and I’d probably lost his respect.

He denies losing respect for me following the birth of our child, but what’s clear is that something has changed, there’s been a significant shift in our dynamic. I’m no longer able to play the role of leader and breadwinner, but instead fulfil the role of Mother and carer. To me they are equally important roles, but to others they are somehow lesser and not as deserving of respect and status.

I’d always thought that giving birth would give me a badge of honour worthy of respect. It’s a rite of passage which can be natural and beautiful, but equally it can be traumatic and bloody. Experiencing that and seeing me go through the birthing process should be worthy of respect, but it showed me up to be the vulnerable human that I am, and that changed things.


Thirteen Years

Thirteen years ago today I married the man I loved. I love him more now than I ever have, life has challenged us and we’ve survived it.

In our thirteen married years we’ve seen birth, death, poverty, riches, new jobs, old jobs, recessions, happiness, sadness, life changing surgeries, depression, confusion, change, stagnation and love. Most importantly love.

Without love who are we? Without loving someone or having someone love us back we are empty husks of people. It doesn’t matter if the thing you love is your husband, your child or a cat. Without love there is no meaning in this life.

I’ve not always loved my husband. Sometimes I’ve hated him, resented him, envied him. We’ve shouted, stamped our feet and screamed at each other. We’ve said and done hurtful things to each other. But we try never to let the sun set on an argument.

The day we married, my Mum said that he seemed to grow into a man when he slipped the ring on my finger. I’ll never forget the way he looked at me at that moment, his eyes so full of love and pride. He still looks at me like that now. Sometimes, not all the time. But he loves the bones of me and I love him right back.

He is my best friend, my lover, the father to my son, my provider, my saviour, my soulmate. I reckon life isn’t done with us yet, there’ll be more surprises round the corner, good and bad.

Life never wants to sit still, it likes hurtling along at ten thousand miles an hour. It’s a scary rollercoaster, but with him holding my hand I know I can be brave and that whatever twists and stomach churning turns we make, as long as we’re together and we love each other we’ll get through it.

So please be upstanding, raise a glass and let’s toast the Groom for putting up with me. Cheers!



How we fell in love

Our wedding

Marrying into a different culture