By Melissa Meehan
A refreshingly honest letter from a new mum to her husband has gone viral on social media after she posted it on facebook, begging him for assistance.
“Dear Husband. I need. More. Help”, Celeste Erlach wrote in a post that appeared on the Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page.
She explains that the night before, exhausted, she asked her husband to watch the baby so she could go to bed early.
The baby was crying – “wailing, really” – but she desperately needed sleep so shut the door and closed her eyes.
Just 20 minutes later, with the baby frantically crying, she describes her husband bringing the baby back to her.
“You placed the baby in the bassinet and gently pushed the bassinet just a few inches closer to my side of the bed, a clear gesture that you were done watching him.”
“I wanted to scream at you, I wanted to launch an epic fight that very moment. I had been watching the baby and the toddler all damn day. And was going to be waking up with the baby to feed him all damn night. The least you could do is hold him for a couple of hours in the evening to I can attempt to sleep,” she says.
“Just a few hours of precious sleep. Is that too much to ask?”
Ms Erlach then describes how she noticed that she and her husband were falling into the typical mother-father roles they watched their parents fulfil when they grew up.
She says her father was an excellent dad, but wasn’t expected to spend a significant time changing diapers, feeding or tending to the kids.
Her mother, cooked, cleaned and raised the children and any help from her father was welcome, but unexpected.
“I see us falling into these family dynamics more and more each day,” she says.
“My responsibility to feed the family, keep the house clean, and take care of the kids is assumed, even as I return to work. I blame myself for most of it too. I have set the precedent that I can do it. And in truth I want to. No offense, but I’m not sure I want to know what a week’s worth of dinner would look like with you in charge.”
“Part of me feels like a failure for even asking. I mean, you do help. You are an amazing father, and you do a great job with the kids. And besides, this should come easy to me, right? Motherly instincts, no?
“But I’m human, and I’m running on five hours of sleep and tired as hell. I need you.”
SHE BEGS FOR HELP
In the morning, she needs help to get the toddler ready so she can care for the baby and make everyone’s lunches.
At night, she wants an hour to herself.
She also notes that noticing the laundry is done and a nice dinner has been prepared wouldn’t go astray.
Did your relationship change when you became a parent? Were you expected to take on the traditional roles as mother and father? Does your partner help as much as you’d like?