Before my wife, Mimi, and I were married, we used to daydream about having our own children. I imagined the way I would be there for my future child and the father I would turn out to be. But when this dream faced potential reality, I encountered a task I didn’t foresee.
Fast-forward into the first year in our marriage, and Mimi would tell you her thoughts on babies had changed. We were now having sex and the reality of actually having a baby was an overwhelming thought to my wife. Getting pregnant, having morning sickness, going into labor, losing sleep, and raising a child all seemed like daunting tasks. Quite determined, she said she wasn’t ready.
It was confusing to me because whenever she saw babies and especially when she got to hold one she beamed with joy. She would get excited when we talked about raising children and even often said the words, “I can’t wait until we have our own.” I was also filled with the joy of having kids or whenever I got to wrestle with my nephews. It was clear that we both wanted children, but something was still holding Mimi from letting go.
Then one night Mimi broke down in the car. After doing some deep reflecting she said she finally faced what was holding her back: her fear of failing as a mother. Coming from a divorced family, she deeply desired to not repeat the past. She cried it out.
For any guy in this position it’s easy to feel helpless when your woman feels this way. I know I did. Voices can fill our woman’s head, telling her that she won’t be a good enough mother, and it’s our job to remind her that she will be. If she’s afraid of repeating the past, it’s our job as the man to show her that we are living a totally different life and starting a completely different family. I had to do and say these things for Mimi during this difficult time. When they say the husband is the protector, it’s not just about physically protecting her from an intruder or someone who wants to cause her bodily harm. We also have to be the protector of our woman’s heart, emotions, the truth and a rock when she is afraid. That night in the car I was there to comfort her. It was only by helping her face that fear that she started to realize that she and I will be OK if we have a child.
I remember last May, a little more than a month later, holding Mimi in our tiny bathroom. We were staring at a plastic pregnancy test. We watched as the two red lines appeared positive. After a few more minutes of realizing that those lines weren’t going away, she broke the silence, “This shit just got real.”
We laughed. We were incredibly happy and completely filled with joy. We were having a baby—our baby, in our famly and we were so ready and already loving this child inside of her. We can go back to dreaming again. Those first smiles, first steps, and first words. And I’ll be there to protect the three of us.
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