Monday, January 3, 2011

Reflections of Motherhood Part 4: Joel

This probably should have been the first of my reflections. Joel has been such an AMAZING dad and husband (as usual) since the boys have arrived. From the day they were born he got right in there changing diapers, burping, putting them to bed, getting them up to feed and supporting me through the crazy transition into motherhood. Twins require more involvement than average from a dad but Joel has gone above and beyond. He stayed awake with me through all the middle-of-the-night feedings and spent several nights in our guest bed tending to them in the night so I could sleep a longer stretch. He still does that if there’s a chance they might wake up for whatever reason.

Joel loves the morning. He gets up early and does his best work then. But he’s sacrificed that extra hour or more at work to do the first feeding of the day with the boys, getting them up, dressed, changed and ready for the day. While he won’t do this forever, it is such a fun thing to watch and I appreciate the help during a busy time of day. When he gets home from work he is hands-on right away. When it was lighter in the evening, I would often sneak away for a walk when he got home while he took over. On weekends I often get to go back to bed, go out, or just do whatever I want between feedings. He is so comfortable with our boys, and the best part is that he loves it. I almost never change a diaper when he’s home. He also does their baths, washes bottles and continues to keep me company during feedings.

Last week I was supposed to go to Ottawa for my Grandma’s burial. We didn’t end up going because we were in the hospital with Caleb but the plan had been for Joel to take care of the boys for about 24 hours while I went. So many people were surprised that Joel was going to stay with the boys, which he found amusing. In his view, he’s a parent and should be able to take care of his kids. A lot of our good friends who are dads are also very involved and could do the same, but a friend did remind me the other day that that’s not the norm.

I knew Joel would be a great dad but he has blown away my expectations. He has helped me gain the confidence I need to take care of my boys while he’s at work, and eagerly jumps in when he’s home. He’s been my biggest encourager through the challenges of breast feeding and weight gain issues, the person I vent to when I’m frustrated and who I celebrate all the little milestones with. I think we make a darn good team. Okay, enough bragging for now... I love you Joel!


cheryl said...

so nice huli...and i love the new look!
it's great that joel can cover so we can have a girls night soon! love ya.

Tish said...

Good job Joel!

I had a random woman comment when I was out with my kids that she was shocked at both my husband's and my father in law's involvement with my son. She said that in her family the children are the solely the woman's responsibility. Her husband has never changed a diaper. I was shocked! It takes two to make the kids, shouldn't both parties be responsible in raising them?

I'm happy to say that my hubby can manage alone just as well as I can. He took 6 months of parental leave with our first, and did all the care while I went back to work. He's setting such a good example for our kids.