Kittens, coughing and something like helplessness

I often joke that Laurence is the real grownup in this marriage and that I’m still working out this adult thing. I may have the book sense but he’s got the infinitely more valuable practicality. But every now and then I realise just how much I depend on him, and it’s not something I’m altogether comfortable with.

It started with me getting stressed about the kittens this morning. They’ll be here in a few weeks. What if we’ve made a mistake? Should we really have two? Where will the litter box go? Can we afford the pet insurance? Will our pet ownership styles match or clash? He laughed at this last one and made it pretty clear that he had no opinions on how the cats were to be ‘raised’. I’m the one who wanted them so he’s expecting me to be the one responsible for their care. Me – responsible for another living thing?

I know the idea of responsibility shouldn’t floor me. I’m about to be responsible for another human being and a pretty helpless one at that. In fact, Laurence has been depending on me to take care of my body to keep the baby safe and I know although he intends to be as involved as possible, he’ll be looking to me to take the lead with most things baby care. And I feel fine about that.

But it’s a bit of a change to the dynamic that’s crept into our relationship. It’s not just that he handles the bills or that I’ve never gone into the garage on my own. Day to day, I find it increasingly difficult to make decisions on my own. If I’m contemplating canceling on a friend because I’m not feeling well, I’ll text him and ask what he thinks. If we’re at the bar, I’ll suggest he choose a drink for me.

I don’t think it’s helplessness so much as laziness but I’m not sure when it crept into our relationship. It’s not something he particularly likes either. I know he’d rather I just get on with the supermarket shop than stop at each item to find out whether he wants this and what kind. I’ve done something about that this week: a supermarket delivery order, without consultation. Sometimes, I think the mobile phone is my enemy. I should just forget it exists.

This dependence really hit home with me when I called the doctor this morning. Laurence has been asking me to call for ages, thinking that something was amiss with my ‘cold’. I’ve ummed and ahhed about it but he was firm with me this morning when we found blood and a clot on the sheets that I must have coughed up during the night. Even so, if he hadn’t told me this merited a call to the doctor, I honestly would’ve just left it until my routine checkup next week.

It turns out I have a chest infection and my breathing isn’t amazing. I collected my prescription and chastised myself for being willing to just leave it.

Then, on the way home, I popped into a pet shop to have a look around at cat litter and suchlike. For a moment I thought, “I should come back when he can come with me to help choose” but quickly corrected myself. I’ll go back when I have my trolley bag to carry the things I’ve chosen.

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  • Oh I feel for you. I had a chest infection for the last 3 months I was pregnant with Miss B – made me sick virtually every morning and had 3 courses of anti-biotics and no difference. Only once Miss B was delivered could I finally get the ‘gunk’ of my chest – wow some colour it was, but it felt pretty fantastic. Anyway as I’ve possible shared too much, I’ll go and just wish you a speedy recovery and happy delivery!! Mrs B XX

  • I hear you with the dependency thing, I’m probably an extremist in this. In my last/current/maybe there or not hmm… relationship of 4 or maybe 5 years now, I only realised how dependent on the man in my life I had become when we had the biggest fight ever early last year. He blurted out everything that was bothering him before leaving me almost completely. He said things like: “you make me feel like you just need somebody to drive you around, ” and “if we get married and have kids I’m scared that you wouldn’t be able to handle it and there would be too much pressure on me.” The first one I know I can solve once I overcome my fear of Trinidad roads and drivers but the second one really hit me. I hadn’t even known he was thinking about our relationship so seriously until he said that and then I had just about ruined it with my dependency before it started.

    It was a tough year, I picked myself back up and realised that I had lost who I was in this sea of him and wanting to make sure everything I did was to his liking and made him happy. Turns out the one thing that really makes him happy is seeing me be me :). He’s a very independent individual and misses the independence in me. Thankfully I’m finding myself again and have been weaned off of him (by force since he’d been very very distant for a while). He’s still here, a bit scared that I’ll lapse back into the personality he really disliked so he’s still a bit distant but I’m gaining his trust again and learning to trust my own decisions again. Being dependent on him really was just a level of laziness, I’ve even lost weight since then, lol.

    Well when the baby comes you’ll have to ensure that everything you do is to his/her liking so he/she will dictate a lot of the decision making until he/she’s older when you’ll have to be the strict mummy and lay down the law ๐Ÿ™‚ Above all, don’t lose yourself in any of it. Neither in marriage nor in motherhood. Remember to trust yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I appreciate the vulnerability it takes to share that, Kylene. Yes, both partners need to be able to share the responsibility and depend on each other. It sounds like he wants to encourage your independence which can only be a good thing. Perhaps it means that it’s you and not the feeling of being needed that attracts him.

      Although the baby will no doubt completely change our lives, we don’t intend to lose ourselves or allow her to dictate our existences, by the way! *probably spoken too soon* ๐Ÿ™‚

      Over the weekend I’ve been very much reminded of how much Laurence also depends on me and though I might consult him to make silly decisions, I value the fact that he consults with me to make the big ones. He’s a good ‘un.

Further reading

Showing up as myself

[image description: Adele and her youngest child sit in the greenhouse, looking at the camera] You may have noticed that I’ve changed this website’s name and URL to my own: Adele Jarrett-Kerr. When I started this blog nine years ago, it...