For some, parenthood is a partnership and becoming parents can make your relationship stronger. I'm also (pretty convincingly) sure that those of us who have partners in parenthood, have them because we need the extra help. I'm in constant awe of moms and dads who do the parenting all on their own; holding down the house, establishing (and then enforcing) one set of rules and keeping track of everything on their own. Let's face it, single parents are amazing.
Because, at least for me, my co-parent has saved my ass on more than one occasion. Could I do it without him and his contributions? Sure, of course. Women (and men) do it every day and while it is admirable, it is not impossible. But would I fumble and falter and f*ck up on a regular basis (at least in the beginning)? Oh, absolutely.
Honestly, parenthood leaves you vulnerable and exposed and more prone to mistakes. The things that happen to your brain when you're sleep-deprived are no joke, so you're not functioning at your highest capacity (if you're functioning at all). Which is why having a partner to save you from an embarrassing moment or a bad decision or just a tedious task that you would totally do but don't want to do because sleep, is priceless and awesome and something to be thankful for.
Here are 12 things a partner can do for you when you have a newborn that, honestly, saves your ass (and probably countless other asses). Because yay teamwork, you guys.
When They Cook Food, Obviously
Gender stereotypes be damned, you guys. It doesn't matter if your partner identifies as man, woman, or just a bunch of walking-and-talking cells, if they're willing to cook dinner every night for the foreseeable future, they're saving your ass. Having someone prepare you a meal is so damn helpful. It's difficult to quantify just how invaluable that sometimes simple, usually time-consuming act truly is.
Cleaning...Anything. Any Cleaning Is Ass-Saving Cleaning.
Same goes for cleaning. It doesn't matter what gender your partner is or what society has to say about whoever is doing all the cleaning, if they're willing to do more than their fair share once in a while, they're helping you out big time. Especially if they're cleaning up more than just their mess. Yes, we're all adults and we should be able to clean up after ourselves but hey, having a newborn is exhausting and we all need help.
Doing The Laundry
You're starting to get the picture, right? Basically, if your partner is willing to take on all of the mundane housework stuff that you both don't like to do but you definitely have to do but you're too exhausted to do, your partner is a gem. When you're in the dark days of new babyhood, it's all hands on deck. You're obviously both just trying to make it through these days awake and in one piece, so anytime one of you goes the extra mile to make things a little easier on the other (even though neither of you necessarily had more energy to spare)... That's real love, guys.
Telling You That You're Beautiful When You Haven't Showered In Four Days
So much of what a new mother needs directly after having a baby isn't physical, but mental. This ass-saving act requires minimal effort, but it can make a huge difference in your partner's mental state. Just be kind to one another, especially after you have a baby. We're all raw and fragile and exposed at that point.
Getting Up With The Baby So You Can Sleep In
Real love is letting your partner sleep. Hands down. Honestly, the list could begin and end right here. If you love me, let me sleep, and I'll be yours forever.
Cleaning Up A Particularly Heinous Diaper Blowout
If they're willing to clean up that (kind of impressive, but mostly disgusting) blow-out your baby just did, they're saving your ass.
Writing You A Sweet Note (Even When You Both Know That Ain't Nobody Got Energy For That)
Again, this doesn't take a whole lot of time or effort but it can make a huge difference. Especially (and this is coming from experience) if your partner is handling the baby home, alone, for the first time. Being a brand new mother can be scary and maybe your partner doesn't feel very comfortable, so leaving them a note that says, "Hey, you're awesome and a total bad ass and you can do this, no problem," can give them the confidence that they needs.
Bringing Or Making Coffee
Whether they stop at the local coffee shop and bring you a fancy-pants whipped double shot whatever espresso, or they wake up early and make you a coffee with your aging coffee pot, the person who brings you a cup of java is the person you should always want in your corner.
Going To The Grocery Store For The 17th Time In Two Days
There's nothing worse than being exhausted (and probably hungry) only to go to the grocery store for the 15th damn time because you forgot that one thing that you so badly needed. If your partner is willing to go for you, your partner is saving you from an either A) inappropriate and slightly rude, or B) just awkward conversation with the cashier who can't figure out why you don't have your life together.
When You Forgot The Diaper Bag, But Your Partner Didn't
You either forgot the diaper bag or forgot something essential in the diaper bag (like a pacifier or an extra set of diapers or wipes or a clean pair of pants), but your partner has a set and they come to the rescue. What an actual hero this person is. Having a baby with them was the best idea ever.
Holding The Baby During The First Round Of Immunization Shots Because You Can't
Immunizing your kid can be difficult the first few times. Watching someone make your baby cry (even if it is for their benefit and it is to protect them from diseases) evokes this natural and overwhelming feeling to choke-slam people. And you know what's a terrible idea? Choke-slamming your pediatrician. If your partner is willing to bear the burden of holding your baby while an evil monster stabs their tender flesh with (life-saving but whatever) needles until you no-longer feel the urge to kick your pediatrician, they're saving you from heartache (and a lawsuit, probably).
Letting You Use Them As An Excuse To Skip Something You Don't Want To Do
This is when parenting as a team comes in handy: "Oh man, I wish I could cover for you at work, but my partner is sick and I have to take care of the baby!" or "Oh, I'd love to come to your cousin's engagement party, but the old man is out of town this weekend and I'm on kid duty!" Being able to use your partner as an excuse when you're too rundown to live life (and having them totally back you up when you do) can mean the difference between you going to a meeting or a get-together, or going to sleep.