An open letter to my replacement:
Congrats. I hear that you and my former husband will be hearing the pitter patter of tiny cloven hooves soon...that's sweet.
I'm here to offer you my two cents, and some advice (worth about the same in any market).
Yes, I know. I am probably the last person you want to hear from at this exciting time in your life. But really...think about it. There is no one else on this planet who is more qualified to give you the lowdown on what you're about to experience. After all, I've carried pretty much the same cargo as you are right now. Four times, sweetheart.
First of all, I want to say bravo. I am entrenched in the "you can't change a guy" camp. After all, when your husband was my husband, and he started screwing around with you, I tried EVERYTHING to get him to stay put. And I mean everything. You want to know the one thing he was most adamant about? The one issue he wouldn't put aside?
He didn't want any more. You see, when Big Daddy looks at a baby, at a child, at a teenager...he doesn't see what most of us see. He doesn't see grandpa's chin or the gorgeous gray blue eyes or the freckles from his own youth or the amazing person that is standing before him.
He sees dollar signs.
He sees an adorable, chubby, money sucking vacuum. I used to watch him, sitting at the dining room table working on the finances. One hand would wander to his mouth and he'd begin click click clicking at one of his incisors. That was his "worry" tell. I'd ask him what was bugging him, and he'd begin the litany: The diapers are so expensive. The insurance is expensive. The pre-school is expensive. The toys are expensive. The summer programs are expensive. Their clothes are expensive. And on and on and on.
You see, dear, Big Daddy likes things to revolve around him. That's why you were so much more appealing than me.
With me, he was important. Seriously. I valued him. I valued our marriage. I looked forward to seeing him at the end of the day.
But I also valued our kids. I valued them then, and value them now, more than I value anything else in this world.
You see, Secretary, motherhood changes you. I bet Big Daddy saw the young me when he first met you. He probably saw a fresh party girl, a happy person, a person with few cares in the world. A brunette girl with blue eyes (his type, honey, always his type), daddy issues and most likely a pretty bad break up in the not-too-distant past (weren't you still married?? Or just divorced? What a coincidence...).
Anyhoo, as I was saying, when you become a mom, you change. Keeping the guy who sleeps next to you happy is no longer your number one priority. You start to worry about someone else besides you, your designer dogs and the catch you call hubby. While they're still ensconced inside of you, you worry about things like alpha fetoprotein tests and amniocentesis results and genetic abnormalities and club feet and spina bifida and everything else you read about. You no longer worry about making it to Ann Taylor for the 40% off sale or whether or not you can meet your girlfriends for a night on the town. You no longer worry about whether or not your husband has had his needs met or if the fact that he's rolled over and started snoring before you come to bed is a good thing or a bad thing.
You have bigger worries now.
And he hates that.
Of course, I could be wrong. Guys can change, right?
But anyways. Here are some tidbits that I'd like to pass on to you during this super exciting time in your life. They are in no particular order, and since it's about 3:00 in the a.m. as I'm writing this (insomnia due to worries about my kids, silly me!) they may seem a little garbled. But they're coming at ya straight from my heart, girlfriend.
1. Don't let him see your cootchie as the baby comes out. Seriously. I only did it via vagina once, and almost died (it was Molly, read it here). After a thousand or so stitches and a baby in NICU, all he would say about everything, the delivery, our daughter, my ebbing life force...was "That was disgusting. It looked like an axe wound."
Put that on a card, Hallmark. Seriously.
2. Don't breastfeed. I know, I know...it's good for the baby! But it was shortly after I started nursing my firstborn that my boobs went from "funbags" to "feedbags". Yes, those were the names used. Smooth, huh? Does he use those for yours, too? Take my advice, darling. Your baby will be ok with formula. I nursed all four of mine for as long as they wanted. Healthy as horses, a bond no one can break but my breasts were demoted from entertainment to utility. And when you're married to someone who puts looks above all else, well...the writing was on the wall.
Plus you'll get some kick ass coupons for formula. Which will make Big Daddy happy.
3. After you have the baby, pretend that you are just as excited as Big Daddy is about that magical 6-week point. You know, the date when it's ok to do the nasty again.
Because he'll know. He'll remind you, every day. He'll send you emails from work. I bet he'll text you.
He'll come up behind you while you're bent over in the kitchen, putting something away and smack you on the ass (jeezus, does he do this with you, too??) and say, "20 days, baby" or something clever like that.
You need to pretend that you're excited about it.
Even if your boobs are sore, your stomach still resembles a manatee and your nether-regions still feel like someone went up there with a KitchenAid immersible blender, you act excited! And just for the record, I tried making up an excuse, like "OMG, my vagina was reconstructed and the stitches haven't fallen out, can we wait?". Don't do that. It will lead to great pouting and gnashing of teeth. And the gnashing will wake the baby.
4. Don't make him get up in the middle of the night. Oh, don't get me wrong. He'll do it, at least a couple of times. But after the first few nights, it will become a drag for him. He'll start ignoring the crying. It will become like a game..."Who Can Ignore The Infant The Longest". But since I assume you're a human female, you will most likely be the one who gets up first. And if you bitch about it, be ready to hear the "I have to work in the morning" whine. Even on Saturdays.
And once you do go get that squalling little chip off the old block, don't ever, ever do the next one.
5. DON'T BRING THE BABY INTO YOUR BED. You've seen him in action as a dad, right? I mean, you haven't seen him in real action, you've just seen him with bigger kids and only like, what...4 days a month? Wait until you see him as 24 hour a day Daddy. You are in for a treat.
Having a dependent life force with you for every second of every day is trying. It's trying for the best of parents, believe me. And even though I assume you're going to send yours to daycare (you are the breadwinner, right? I mean, according to the affidavits I have here from Big Daddy he's hardly making more than a cashier at Walmart...forgive me if my presumption is incorrect ♥ ) you will go from happy-go-lucky no kids couple to couple-with-new-baby. And that transition is hard.
People sometimes ask, what was the hardest for you? Going from one child to two, from three to four? You know my standard answer? Going from none to one.
Because your world is about to get rocked like freaking Live Aid. And looking back, I think the one thing I did that caused the most irreparable harm to my marriage was bringing the babies into bed.
I did it out of sheer desperation. Our first baby, Charlie, had colic. Like the crazy colic that women talk about on tv only after having their identities obscured, because this was the kind of colic that makes you insane. Charlie never stopped crying. I used to have to drive him around in the middle of the night just to get him to sleep. And once I got back home, to the ramshackle little apartment that Big Daddy and I shared, I would bring my snoozing baby into bed with me so I could grab an hour or two of blessed sleep.
And that's where I messed up.
That baby slept in the bed for most of his infancy. Thanks to a comfortable couch and your husband's relentless ass-slapping, I got pregnant with Molly soon after and ended up doing it all over again.
And again (Henry), and again (William). Big Daddy resented it, a little more with each baby.
There's so much history you don't know, isn't there?
I mean, when you sneaked in, I bet it seemed pretty cut and dried: Four kids, bitchy wife, grateful guy. You probably never asked about the past, or if you did, I bet it was just to look interested. Maybe you inquired after he got off the phone with me, one of those late nights when I was going crazy with worry, wondering where he was.
Or maybe you never bothered to ask.
But now that you've gotten him to agree to do all of this all over again, it will probably behoove you to know a little about his first go-round as New Big Daddy. He is going to change in front of your eyes.
How I wish I had been able to get a sneak peek....
Ooooh I almost forgot a really important thing!
6. Don't get fat. Really. Try to not gain much weight at all. Just saying. I mean, think about his pet names for me now..we have "Fat Ass", "Fat Bitch", "Fat Pig", "Fat Ass Loser" (all of these, and more, repeated to me from the mouths of my children. Chew on that one for a bit, my dear). When he finds himself in a defensive position, that's the first place he goes. And I understand that you've always battled the extra pounds, just like me.
So watch it!
And while you watch that, I'm going to be watching my kids. The four children that he made before he met you. The four children he now barely acknowledges, and doesn't support. When you and Big Daddy tied the knot, one of my kids was so distraught he almost lost his life. To be honest with you, I am terrified that this "fresh start" will have similar effects on at least one of them. When I was talking to one of the kids about it the other day (brought up by the child, not me), they said, "We don't get anything from him now, not his time, not his help. We'll never get it if they have a kid." Big Daddy may have been able to slowly erase them from his life, but as you'll soon find out, motherhood changes you. Once you have these people in your life, they are there permanently.
You will do anything for your children.
As much as I despise you for what you did to my family, I sincerely hope that you never have to endure the struggles that my children and I have gone through. I wouldn't wish the past few years on anyone, not even my worst enemy.
And I especially wouldn't wish it upon an innocent child. You'll see what I mean.
Take care, Wife Version 2.0
Wife Version 1.0