maybe someday.

A few weeks ago the bestie shared with me a sweet article about a couple who separated when their son was very young. It was a beautiful piece that gives a lot of hope to what co-parenting can look like/feel like. Read it here . . . Our Marriage Ended. Our Family Did Not.

I shared it with him, too, with the note, “Maybe someday.”

That literal someday came a lot sooner than expected when Charlie came down with his first major illness last week . . . croup.

(Spoiler alert: There will be no “zen” moment for us like the couple experiences in the article. Maybe someday. But not today.)

For two nights I dealt with a sad, sick baby. He wouldn’t sleep anywhere but on me and was up numerous times throughout the night coughing and sniffling. On the third night, his dad asked if he could come over and stay for an unscheduled overnight. Being tired and needing help, I thought why not?

Well, I ended up being on sole Charlie duty again that night, anyway. Due in part to the fact I can’t leave my sick baby’s side. Also, due in part to the fact I am not good at asking for help . . . and his dad is no better at offering up the help I need.

(Sample conversation that happened in the middle of the night after waking him up to let him know I was struggling and Charlie was really ill – Him: What can I do to help?

Me: Nothing, it’s fine, I’ve got it, I guess.

Him: Ok. You sure?

Me: Well, no. I sure could use some sleep. Can you take a shift?

Him: Ok, well I’ll go back to bed now, wake me up for the next shift. Can I at least get you a blanket for that chair right now?)

*le sigh*

So . . . third night with poor sick Charlie and now I am just utterly annoyed at baby daddy on top of being overly tired and super worried about my itty bitty.

The night wore on and so did Charlie’s cough and restlessness. Anytime I’d start to nod off in the recliner, Charlie would wake up choking and barking. I had taken him to the pediatrician earlier in the day for his cold, where I was given instructions on things to look for. Like croup.

When Charlie’s barking started, his breathing started to get labored, and I knew a trip to the ER was inevitable. I steamed up the shower and sat in there with him for 15 minutes. Did nothing. I popped his head outside in the cold air. Nothing. I really just wanted to take him in. So, I went and woke his dad up again and said, “I want to take Charlie to the ER.”

The details of the next hour are not really relevant. But, let’s just say I wanted to wring his dad’s neck about 743 times and I told him to go home because he wasn’t helping me another 744. I had seen Charlie’s illness progress first hand for three nights. I knew what it was and I knew it warranted a trip to the ER. But, He Who Shall Not Be Named didn’t have the same facts I did, so he wanted time to assess the situation for himself and ask technical questions I wasn’t in the right mindset to sit and explain running on little to no sleep. All I could do was refer him to Google while I raced around to steam the bathroom up for a second time.

Holding Charlie for 30 seconds, He Who Shall Not Be Named FINALLY got what I was saying and started getting ready to drive us to the ER.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The ER trip was honestly the most stress fee and relaxed part of the evening. Surprisingly! I am lucky to live so close to a children’s ER. They weren’t busy and got us right in. Even feeling terrible, Charlie was a total sweetheart and flashed his winning smile to all the doctors and nurses. The main doctor on call just sat and awkwardly stared at Charlie for what felt like forever because she said he had made her night. She asked if he was our first. It almost made me laugh, because to me, the tension between He Who Shall Not Be Named and I is so palpable (rather MY tension, I suppose) I couldn’t even believe someone would ask us such a “coupley” question.

Charlie, of course, indeed did have croup, which calls for a round of steroid pills and he got a sinus rinse and suction done to help him breathe. We were home in just under 1.5 hours, and Charlie was out cold in his car seat before we were even out of the hospital parking lot. On the way home He Who Shall Not Be Named mentioned the NY Times article and said, “Well, we did it. Just like that couple. You said maybe someday, but that day is already here and we were able to do it.”

I didn’t really have much to say to that. I guess his idea of successful and mine are different. On paper, yes, we did it. We went through the motions and sought care for Charlie. That was the immediate goal.

On the other hand . . . it left me emotionally drained, frustrated and hurting. On top of everything I was already feeling because I was worried and upset and exhausted because my baby wasn’t feeling well.

It’s very hard for me to picture a peaceful, closure obtained “someday” like the one described in the article. It takes time and patience and healing and when things are happening today to force us to come together . . . like the article also mentions, there is NO SPACE from the other person when you are co-parenting in order to heal. So, when does that healing happen?

Part of me wants to email the author of that article . . . ask her what she did with all of her hurt and anger and broken dreams in the meantime? At what point do I stop being a mother who feels obligated to involve her son’s father in everything and start being a person with my own emotional needs that require getting space, real space, from him? Will there ever come a day I can just look at him as simply “Charlie’s Dad” and nothing else . . . not as a person who broke my heart and stole my dreams in the blink of an eye?

Maybe someday.

Not today.

Someday.

Comments

  1. How is Charlie feeling now? Better I hope. Maybe you should email the author to see their advice. I can imagine it’s hard to not have the space for closure. Hugs!!

  2. After reading the article, I think that is a great goal to strive for, but it will take time to figure out how your new family works. You are both still adjusting to being new parents experiencing news things with Charlie each and every day. Try and be forgiving as you muddle through the dark waters. I personally believe that as time goes on it will become more clear how it will all work out just the way it should. In the meantime, I want you to know how proud I am of you! You are a superstar and should really give yourself a pat or two on the back my friend. You are dealing with all of this with such grace and poise and vulnerability. I have said it before and I will say it again, Charlie is very lucky to have you as his mom! Keep on keepin on Alison! This too shall pass….I promise! Let me know if you need me to come and babysit so you can get some much needed space. Love ya babe!

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