Since the day I broke my arm, there have been big changes at my house. You don’t realize how much you do until you can’t do it anymore.
Instantly, I lost the ability to pick up my daughter, at least for now. I lost the ability to hug her with both arms, to rock her to sleep, to hold her and give her a bottle. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I couldn’t change a diaper, couldn’t dress her unless she was super cooperative and couldn’t get her in and out of her car seat. Basically, I couldn’t do anything.
I had to learn to sit, perched on my chair with my arm propped up, while my husband ran the show. That was unbelievably difficult for me. I have pretty much always had the ultimate say in everything to do with Katie. It’s not that Jason wasn’t an active parent, but Katie is my turf.
At first, I tried to keep that up. I tried to direct his every move, making sure he did everything exactly the way I would. Much to his relief, I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work. Not only had Jason basically gained all the responsibilities of a single parent overnight, but now he had someone over his shoulder, constantly telling him he was doing it wrong. I had to accept that my way is not the only way to do things, even when Katie is involved. That was tough.
I wasn’t the only one who had a tough time adjusting to this. Katie was used to me being her primary caretaker. Now, she had to get most of what she needed from Jason, a fact she wasn’t too quick to accept. I couldn’t do anything but sit back and watch, broken hearted, as Katie cried, screamed and acted out because of the change. It wasn’t that she didn’t want her daddy, but she couldn’t figure out why her mommy wasn’t playing much of a part.
It only got worse a week later, when Katie got a nasty cold. She was up at all hours, wanting nothing more than to be rocked to sleep, something I desperately wanted to do, but couldn’t. I stood beside her crib and cried right along with her, as I told Jason what it was she needed.
The only thing that hurt worse than that, was watching her begin to accept that her daddy was the one who took care of her. I’ll never forget it. It was about two weeks in to my injury, and Katie fell down and bumped her head. She started crying, got up….and ran to her daddy. Ouch. Never, ever had Katie asked anyone else for comfort while I was close by.
Now that I’m getting some use back in my arm, I’ve started regaining some of my mommy duties, as well. Katie seems to be glad to have me back as both a caretaker and an active playmate, but she doesn’t hesitate to ask daddy for something if she needs it.
A couple of months ago, I would have resented that, but honestly, I think it’s a change for the better. Katie has two parents that she knows she can count on, something that will come in handy soon when there are two needy children in the house instead of just one.