I was all ready to write a post about how well Mi.Vida was handling this transition. How much better he was dealing with if this time, as compared to when Osita was born. I was all ready to write a post about how things were actually pretty good, or at least better than I expected they would be.
And then we had a talk, and now I have to write a different post.
I guess the truth is a little more complicated. Mi.Vida does seem to be doing better. He doesn’t seem as unhappy as he did when Osita was born. And while he does seem exhausted and overwhelmed, he hasn’t seemed as negative about it as he did before.
Turns out he is just hiding it better.
I’ve tried to talk to him about how things are going, how he is feeling, but usually he shuts me down and I don’t push it. I know he’s tired and he doesn’t much enjoy verbalizing these things. So when he says things are okay, that we’re okay, I try to believe him and move on.
It’s more complicated than that. Life is always more complicated, isn’t it?
I was right that he really just doesn’t want to talk about it. Actually, what he said was, “I have so little time to myself, I don’t want to spend it hashing it out with you.” And I suppose that makes sense. Usually my desire to talk about things pushes me to push him, but right now I’m just as tired as he is and if I can avoid conflict, I’m inclined to do so.
You know I must be REALLY tired if I don’t even have the energy to talk to my partner about important things.
The other reason I don’t say much is because there isn’t much to say. This time is hard. It’s going to stay hard. Then it’s going to get harder (when baby boy becomes mobile) and then, a long time from now, it will get easier. But that easier place is far away and not worth talking much about now. Right now we’re in the thick of it and we just need to move forward. I have faith that we can get through this and I guess part of me just feels like it’s not worth working on things now, because I know only time will really help to make it better.
The problem is, I worry that if we don’t work on things now, damage will be done, and time won’t be enough to improve things between us.
Mi.Vida is unhappy right now, that is clear enough, but he seems to be managing relatively well. We’re both exhausted and overwhelmed. He described it as feeling both drained and squeezed. He has no energy and no time. Without either of those things, what’s left? Not a whole hell of a lot. And that is how he’s feeling.
I guess the big difference between us is how we approach this difficult time. I’m trying to make the best of it, to accept it for what it is and not judge it as good or bad. Mi.Vida clearly judges this stage of our lives, and harshly. There are days where he swears it will never get better. When I remind him that the only constant with children is change, he reminds me that every challenge we’re facing with Osita we’ll have to face again with Monito. I remind him that every child is different and he reminds me that they all go through the same developmental stages and we just keep dancing around and around the same issues, never reaching the center.
I don’t know how to help him. I don’t know how to make it better. I asked him today, if he thought he might be at risk for PPD but he shrugged it off and assured me he was just drained and squeezed. I still wonder if it might be something bigger though. He had such a hard time when Osita was born, I wonder if we didn’t miss it then. I’d hate for him to have to suffer unnecessarily, but if he doesn’t believe he has it (and therefore won’t seek professional to treat it), what can I do?
The reality is, this is hard, really fucking hard. Osita is having a hard time with the transition, we’re strapped financially, we’re overwhelmed personally and we’re barely making ends meet in every sense. But this time is also wonderful: our son is amazing and our daughter delights us with her incredible humor and wit. Our families are helpful and our house is warm and inviting. We have so much and I refuse to look past it. I just wish I could help Mi.Vida see it too.