Fatherhood was never going to be an easy ride especially being as I’m very self critical in everything I do. Whenever I’ve made mistakes in life you can rest assured the one giving me the hardest time has been yours truly, from playground football ‘mistakes’ to neglecting to check the position of an aircraft towing pin (resulting in well over £130,000 of damage) the person being the nastiest bastard was me.
You might ask how this kind of personality trait would manifest itself when it comes to parenting, and this dear reader is what compelled me to write this as it’s been bouncing around inside my head for weeks just waiting for the right moment to put fingers to touchscreen. You see as far as I can see (and understandably) the main person in N’s little life is R. Don’t get me wrong I don’t know anyone else on the planet I’d rather have the reigns when it comes to our precious little man yet at the same time I’m ever so occasionally left with an unescapable emotion. Guilt.
Guilt (noun) the fact of having committed a specified or implied offence or crime
When I typed that sentence above I must admit it reads perhaps a little harsh but there’s no escaping it that from time to time I feel guilt. N is 100% breastfed which is something I’m so proud of R for and have been from day one. From the hospital bed and her not having a clue of what she was doing (and struggling for any real help or guidance) to around four weeks with blanching nipples and pain that made her weep to where she is now. Our little man is steadily growing and filling out due to HER hard work, her eleven weeks of being at his beck and call her eleven weeks of being the one thing that calms him down when he’s in meltdown.
Maybe my guilt is caused by my overthinking things but I’ll happily admit that I’ve been in tears several times because I don’t know ‘what to do’ to calm him down. It rips at my heart when he won’t stop crying for me, inevitably R has the touch or sometimes the boob that does the trick which can leave me feeling a little lost. I’m not a control freak by any means but I like to be able to follow a fairly tight schedule or plan, some kind of structure and if there’s a ‘problem’ I like to be able to solve it. It’s what men ‘do’, isn’t it?
I’ve no doubt as time goes on and we get to weaning / food smeared all over the place I’ll miss the days of plopping N on R’s chest and watching him content in his 1,000 yard feeding stare but for now the guilt of not being able to do everything for my son will remain and will continue to baffle me.