At least a couple times a month, I go back through all my old pictures on FB and reminisce about times gone by. Last night I was looking through pictures of when Abbie was younger and I noticed how many pictures I have of Abbie and Mark. Part of that is because I’m usually the one holding the camera, but a bigger part is because of the role Mark plays in Abbie’s life. I’m on a few parenting forums online, and I cannot count the number of times I’ve read about women complaining about how their husband doesn’t help with the kids at all, that they come home from work and watch tv or play video games and leave pretty much all of the parenting up to the woman. I feel sorry for those women and the situation they’ve gotten themselves into, but I feel even more sorry for those poor children.
Mark has always been a natural dad. I think he was born to be a daddy. He might have been destined to fly jets too, but I cannot even describe what an amazing father Mark is to Abbie. I know how important the dad’s role is in a girl’s life and I know how much my own dad’s involvement in my life growing up made me who I am today. I am so thankful that I have Mark as a husband and more so, that Abbie has him as a daddy. It honestly makes me what to have 10 kids, just to see how he is with each of them! Okay, maybe not 10. But at least a few more someday.
Even from the day she was born, Mark has been as involved in her life as much as his job lets him be. He never went through that “awkward, not sure what to do with a newborn” stage, even though Abbie was the first baby either of us had really been around. We learned how to be parents together, and I didn’t ever feel like it was me figuring out how to do things and teaching him. He honestly was and is a natural with Abbie.
I was determined to mostly breastfeed Abbie because that was what Mark and I both wanted for her, but we decided in the hospital to give her 1 bottle of formula a day so that Mark could have that bonding experience with her. At first I felt guilty for giving her formula (since I couldn’t pump enough to give her a bottle of breast milk), but I am so glad that we did it the way we did. He loved feeding her bottles and you could almost tangibly see the bond forming between them. Granted, it wasn’t just because he was feeding her bottles, but I definitely don’t think that hurt at all.
I’m glad we’re on the downhill stretch of this TDY. I’m ready to have Mark home, and I know Abbie is too.