As I watch a young couple learn the ropes of parenting, with all the associated doubts and joys, I feel honoured to be invited in, to be a part, a useful part. So many things change when a baby arrives. There are tugs on many strings. They say that children can tear you apart, not that they would ever want to do that, and I can see how, remember how. When my little ones came along, I turned the full 180 towards them. Some fathers don’t cope well with that, being relegated to the chorus line, when once they were the star. We women do our best, but we are not perfect, nor are we superhuman. We know, in that first flash second of seeing our newborn for the first time, that here is someone we would give our lives for. We also register, to our, perhaps surprise, that where we once thought we would do the same for our man, we now know we might not – especially if the choice, a Sophie’s sort of choice, was between our child and their father.
It must show, for it causes problems, not that many of us will ever have to make that choice. It shows itself, this new allegiance in little ways, in where we spend our precious moments, which way we look first, who we listen to when voices rise in competition.
I remember it well.