Wife: I noticed you’ve been drinking more lately. You go straight for the fridge right when you get home, and sometimes you have 2 drinks on a weeknight.
Me: Yeah, no shit!
Bedrest is harder on husbands than you think. There, I said it.
My wife is 7 months pregnant and has been on bedrest for the last 4 months. That means that she must remain in an inverted position at all times. When she stands up, or even sits up, it puts too much pressure on her cervix. My wife’s cervix is special. It’s dynamic. Unfortunately there’s nothing hot about a dynamic cervix. It just means that it changes size, and if it gets too small the baby could come early…too early.
So there she sits, day after day, reclining on the couch in “her spot,” as our 4-year-old calls it. She does nothing but read books, watch TV, and relay commands to me and her mother and her children.
She’s not in any pain, other than the normal discomforts of growing a baby inside you (but really, how hard can that be? hee hee hee). She just can’t move, and it is frustrating psychologically to not be able to move.
I get that. I really do. Our brains are connected to our bodies and we are meant to be roaming the savannah constantly in search of food and shelter. When we can’t move, we get depressed. Every reader of this blog knows that I understand depression. So I understand it’s hard to just sit there in the same position day after day, week after week, month after month.
Remember that all that sympathy is directed at someone who basically gets to chill for months on end. It’s like when you were a little kid and you stayed home sick from school, and you watched Hunter and MacGyver all day and your mom brought you soup and crackers and waited on you hand and foot. Except you’re not sick. And you don’t feel sick.
You feel a little dynamic in your cervix region, but other than that you’re as normal as any other person.
Sounds pretty good to me!
Meanwhile, while she’s chillin’, her mother and I have to cook the food, do the laundry, mind the children, clean the house, mow the lawn, buy the groceries, and pay the bills. And what do we get for it? What is our reward for all this hard work?
Did I mention that we can’t have sex? I promised not to write about sexual matters, but I think it’s kosher just to mention that one little detail.
My point is, bedrest is hard, but not in the ways people expect. People assume the woman is in pain and that it must be difficult to stand by, helpless, as she struggles. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Bedrest is not about physical pain. Bedrest is about emotional pain.
Before bedrest came along, my wife generally took care of the house and the kids, especially during the week when I’m out before dawn and barely home to tuck them in. There are thousands of little tasks she has mastered over the last few years, and the only way she can convey this wisdom to me is to give orders. And my job is to take them.
For her, it’s a constant psychological torment of mental insanity.
For me, it’s about taking orders. Bending over and taking orders. Much less honorably than this guy, I might add:
It’s about doing what she wants, when she wants it. I know she’s right, because all those invisible little tasks and tricks and things she did to run the place when she was well – without those, things fall into chaos.
For example, make the kids go to the bathroom before they leave the house. That’s a rule. Skip it once (GOD, she’s so OVERBEARING) and you find yourself locked in a Starbucks bathroom dealing with a crying 3-year-old boy who’s soaked from the waist down, with no change of clothes.
In short, I have to do what she says. She hates giving orders and I hate receiving them. It’s a nightmare.
Oh, another thing bedrest is all about? Hosting your mother-in-law in your house for months. And god bless the woman because she is a saint. I’ve learned more about raising children from her than I thought possible. She’s an incredible organizer and cleaner and project manager, too. I couldn’t be more thankful that she’s here to help us through this.
Still, she’s living in my house. I ain’t the king of my castle no more.
I love my wife and she is a champion for the way she’s been handling this. I love her more and more each day as I watch her adapt and cope and work through her issues.
I’m just saying that husbands deserve a little more credit.
And mothers-in-law deserve the most.