Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fatherhood Wisdom

Take for a post on fatherhood from A Cup of Jo:

3. “My wife acted a little like she was on drugs.”
Up until you have a baby, whatever happens, you and your wife pretty much respond the same way. You're on the same wavelength. But once the baby arrives, every thing that happens, your wife has a 90-degree different take.

Joanna's highs were higher, and her lows were lower. Her general joyfulness was so high; she was starry-eyed and blissed out. On the flip side, she was more anxious. She was more inclined to take any negative thing to heart—such as Toby fussing while we changed his diaper. I figured his fussing was a small, unfortunate but inevitable thing, but it felt incredibly urgent to Joanna. She got really upset by his crying—for her, it was like an alarm clock was going off inside her. She had an extreme surge of anxiety at any possible sign of disturbance to Toby, whereas I would address his crying but it wouldn't bother me on an emotional level. I just thought, Oh, all babies cry, he'll be ok.

It's like being with someone on drugs. You're on a different plane. You look at your wife, and you have to imagine, 'What exactly are you feeling? How does the world look to you right now?' Then you have to figure out how to respond the way she would want.

Everything does come back down to earth again. Your wife no longer feels those extreme surges at both ends of the emotional spectrum and becomes more like her old self (which is a relief to her, too), and you get more acclimated and feel like your old self. By about month nine, we found ourselves settling back into our old rhythms and feeling like ourselves again (see below:).

I find this so profound and interesting. Shouldn't we view every relationship this way? "What exactly are you feeling" How does your world look to you right now?" I love how beautifully detailed Alex lays out this description of his wife's emotions and reactions compared to his. He's gently acknowledging the difference and he even touches on reaction! I'm such a fan of reactions!! They are so important.  Gah. Can you imagine the community between people who thought about their neighbor's perspective like that? I know relationships in my life would look different. Arguments would change. Doors would be opened. 

So cool.

...Oh, hey, blog.

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