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My wife and I welcomed our second child (my third) to the world a little over a week ago. We’ve both got time off from work, so we’ve been at home, caring for our little boy. My wife’s breastfeeding and our son is quite attached to her. He falls asleep much easier on her than he does on me, and she does a great job of calming him down. This makes me immensely happy!
Side note: my wife suffered from pretty bad postpartum depression with our first son, and this time around (so far, at least) she’s having a much better experience. As such, she’s spending a lot of time bonding with our baby. That means I take care of a lot of the “getting shit done in the outside world.”
Okay, back to the story. A few days ago I was going to the store to pick up a few things and she asked me to get some extra thick pads (you know, she just had a baby and things happen down there…things most men can’t even conceive of, nor do they want to).
Now, I’m not one of those guys who’s all like “I’m not going to be seen buying pads, meeeeeehhhhh…testosterone.” I consider myself a modern man. Dudemesticated, if you will.
Am I huge fan of venturing into the feminine hygiene section of the store? Truthfully, I could do without it. It’s not even because of anything related to being seen there, or purchasing the actual products. It’s just so overwhelming.
Semi-sorta absorbent and kind of light but not too light
So, anyway, I buy what we both thought would work well — ultra absorbency, regular length pads. Upon opening the package, however, my wife quickly discovered that these were less a pad and more a disposable “undergarment”. If we ever suffer from incontinence we’ll be all set, though!
The next day, I was off to the store again and she asked me to get her some pads. Of course I would do it but I kicked up a bit of a fake fuss. I joked that I was getting myself some cake, as a reward for making another trek into the abyss (I love me some cake). That’s when my wife hit me with a line she knew would shut me up:
“If it makes you feel any better, I have stitches in my asshole.”
Man, I love my wife! We laughed our asses off. Nothing like a little episiotomy humor to lighten the mood. She asked if I’d rather trade, and I promptly stopped my quasi-complaining and went on my merry way.
The extra bit of perspective was perfect. Is the first bit after the birth of a child difficult? Of course it is. But do men have the right to complain about much of anything? That Depends® (see what I did there?), but in general the woman is going to have a much more difficult road ahead.
Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of those “stitches in the asshole” so I don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. She just carried the baby for 40 weeks, birthed him, is serving as a source of food, is doing much of the soothing, and overall is just doing a tremendous job of handling all of it.
So, fellas: If she asks you to get her some damn pads from the store, you do it! Smile, nod and bring some snacks. You might be there a while!
Nick Simard is happily married and the proud father of 3 boys. His writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, and he blogs regularly at dudemesticated.com.