No one ever talks about the resentment new moms feel towards their partners when raising a baby. Almost everyday before Imad started working from home, I hated him. I hated how he got to sleep peacefully while I had to get up numerous times during the night to breastfeed. I hated how he got to commute to work and be alone with his thoughts then subsequently interact with his potty trained and very communicative coworkers. I hated when he’d come home and ask how I was and what I did all day. Oh, I HATED that.
Then, the lockdown happened. Yusra had just turned six months. We had moved her crib back into her own room and was in the midst of adjusting to being a couple with their own bedroom again. Imad was now, all of a sudden, at home full time, working from a laptop on the couch in the living room. We had not set up a workspace yet, thinking this would be a temporary thing. I would watch as Yusra would play in front of him, occasionally pulling on his laptop charger and fussing as Imad would try to comfort her. I could tell he wasn’t getting any work done and his productivity was decreasing day by day. He asked me questions I didn’t have the answers to. Like why Yusra was fighting her naps. At the end of the day, he would tell me how exhausted he was, even though it felt like he didn’t do anything.
He was starting to understand.
Yusra learned to sit up shortly after. And then she started showing signs that she was ready to crawl. Imad and I would spend hours each day encouraging our baby to become mobile. Together. Chores were becoming more evenly divided and I was getting more help with the baby. I was getting used to talking to another adult throughout the day again. And with our friends and family in isolation, I felt like Imad and I had no excuse but to talk to each other. We’d laugh and joke around. Instead of catching each other up on our days, we’d talk about our childhood, current events, and the harmless back and forth banter we’ve done for years now. It’s like we were getting to know each other again. As husband and wife: new parent edition.
As I read about the rising divorce rates and failed relationship memes, I can’t help but be thankful. Thankful that I can’t relate. Not anymore, at least. My husband and I have a great understanding now. I always hoped my future husband wasn’t looking for his mom in me, but I realized I had been looking for my mom in a husband too. A husband that understands my needs and wants without asking. A husband that pampers me when I’m sick and makes my favourite foods just because its Sunday. Yes, it would be nice if my husband did this. But I learned if I want something from Imad, I should just ask.
We’ve heard it a thousand times. But, communication really is key. With everyone social distancing and isolating due to Covid, it’s not like I had the luxury of going over to my friend’s house to complain about my husband anymore. So, I complained about my husband — to my husband. Being stuck at home with him all day left me no choice but to stop letting things pass. I stopped making up excuses as to why he wasn’t able to help me cook or clean. I stopped waiting for him to tell me to go lie down. I just asked. It was so simple but it made such a huge change in my feelings towards him and myself. My nightly meltdowns and sob fests were becoming less frequent and I grew more confident in taking care of my daughter.
Quarantine seems impossible without Imad now. I can’t be truly grateful for Covid-19 and quarantine as many people have suffered a great ordeal due to the pandemic. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to getting to know my husband again. I am grateful for his presence in my life. I am grateful to have the most perfect co-parent. After all, its how God intended it to be. And He always has a plan.