Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
Years ago, when I was trying to conceive our first child, my husband was rather uninterested in the whole process. Not to say that he wasn’t more than happy to do his part to accomplish a pregnancy, but he wasn’t excited. He didn’t help me chart things or get excited when the time rolled around to test. If anything he was more negative — “phish, you aren’t pregnant” or some other blasé remark. At the time, in my mid-20s and childless, I thought maybe this was just a “guy” thing; this is how men are about babies. Then the stories started.
First it was my sister-in-law whose husband went out and bought a baseball and a Barbie before she was even pregnant. Then it was friends on Facebook talking lovingly about their wives getting pregnant and friends from college whose husbands were openly eager to conceive.
A couple years passed and we decided for number two. I took out the charts and closely watched all the signs. Around Christmas, I wanted to test so badly just to see, so I ran to a Stop and Shop at six a.m. on Christmas morning to pick up a test. He scoffed. It was too early, and we probably didn’t make it on the first try anyways. It was New Year’s when I did find out I was pregnant, and he was passably glad. I let it go and forged on through the pregnancy. When I suggested we start charting my belly growth via pictures or sketches or something, he said it would make our son feel bad because we had not done so for him. When we had the third, a girlfriend at work took pictures every few weeks of my expanding waist line in the classic side shot.
His attitude didn’t change for baby three, who was also conceived on the first cycle of trying, and a tiny little rankling hung in the back of my head.
Now, my sister is trying to get pregnant and I couldn’t be more excited for her. She called me from vacation a couple weeks ago to tell me that after an evening “alone” her husband immediately said “do you think we made a baby?!” His enthusiasm was so charming she wanted to share it with me.
He went out and read books, and asks her about the different signals from her body. Theirs is the kind of trying that makes people say “we’re pregnant” and maybe this is why I always insisted I was the only one who was pregnant: he had only helped out a little. And like the times before I can’t help but think, what is the deal with MY husband?
My children are beautiful and delightful, and after three we are done having them but I still feel a little disappointed I never experienced that “happily trying to conceive” husband. Couldn’t he have just once asked me if the time was right? Or once I was pregnant, touched my belly without my first urging him to?
The baby’s kicks creeped him out. He complained about sex with the large and in charge me. Even when our babies arrived each time, I’ve always felt he lacked a certain level of enthusiasm for the creation of life. So either, I’m married to a jerk, or there are other men out there who just aren’t feeling it. More likely, my husband and other guys like him are maybe all a little bit on the jerk scale. Because who, among those who really wants children, isn’t just a little excited for trying to make one?
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