I didn’t get much boy and dating advice from my Mum, but something she did tell me once was “Marry someone you can have children with”. It seemed a bit cryptic at the time, and I always thought it had something to do with making sure their genetics were good, that they’d make beautiful healthy babies, but I know now what she meant.
She meant to marry someone who will basically keep you alive through over 4 months of debilitating sickness, who will feed you pineapple, crackers and orange juice and rub your back as you throw them up again. Someone who will feed the dogs every day because you can’t bear the smell of the dog food, someone who will hunt for the faintest of smells and get rid of them. Someone who will tell you with the utmost confidence that it will all be ok when you’ve lost all hope and have been crying uncontrollably all day. Someone who will give you endless backrubs and help wash your feet when you can’t reach them anymore.
She meant marry someone who will hold your hand through the pain of delivering that child, and do everything he can to make it more bearable. Someone who will fall instantly in love with that baby, and do anything to make them happy. Someone who will work tirelessly and without complaint to provide for you both, and find such joy in spoiling the child.
She meant marry someone who makes you jungle juice every morning before he leaves for work to help you feed your baby. Someone who passes you the burpcloth, because you forgot it, again. Someone who sits up with you while you’re feeding and changing and feeding again during those long newborn nights. Someone who cleans up the mess you’ve made looking after the baby after a long days work, someone who jumps into the kitchen and cooks for the both of you while you feed and rock and rock and feed that baby to sleep. Someone who calmly, quietly takes the baby from you when you’re about ready to scream in frustration.
She meant marry someone who will love your child possibly more than you do, someone who will delight in their every smile and giggle and squeak, someone who’s face lights up with joy when they hold your baby and radiates with pride whenever someone else admires her. Someone who will have breakfast picnics in the nursery and eat dinner one handed just to spend more time with you both. Someone who will check the cot and the pram and the car seat and the blankets a thousand times over and then just once more for luck.
She meant marry someone who looks at you, all squishy, stripey, scarred and stretched out of shape and says you’re beautiful when when you feel the furthest from it you ever have. Someone who will cuddle and kiss you despite the three day old mascara caked under your eyes and the baby vomit holding your hair in its bun.
I’ve been lucky enough to marry someone I can have children with, and I love you so much more because I now know what that means.