A frustrated new mom's poem about the struggles of enduring sleepless nights while caring for an infant is going viral.
Having a child is an amazing, life-changing experience. I'm a proud and happy father of two and while I went most of my life never wanting kids, I can say without a moment's hesitation that right now I couldn't imagine life any different.
That doesn't mean it's not challenging: in fact, it's the most challenging thing I've ever endured. Staying patient and doing everything you can to be a better role model for your children is extremely demanding. Like my cousin says, there comes a point in every new parent's life where they realize they're basically training their kids out of their own person bad habits. You see the mistakes and deficiencies in your own personality that your children pick up on and now you've got to be a better person yourself.
And as amazing as you feel when things are running smoothly with your children and everything's hunky-dory, those good feelings come as a direct result of seeing your children at their very worst. Which includes the late-nights. The crying. The pooping. The wailing. And the utter lack of sleep with no help in sight.
And if you're raising your child with a partner, it's easy to feel some kind of way when you're "stuck" with the baby while they happily snooze away in bed. It's easy to feel some kind of way about that, which Caroline Olling Andersen did.
She agreed to take the "night shift" with their newborn, due to the fact that her job had a generous maternity leave program and he worked 10-12 hour shifts as a teacher. She gushed to Bored Panda about how awesome of a dad he is, too:
"My husband is a fantastic dad. He is an amazing primary school teacher, and he has always brought a lot of fun and humor to our relationship, which he now also brings to daddyhood."
But as any parent will tell you, all the love in the world won't make you feel like tearing your hair out when you just want your newborn to sleep after you've been dealing with caring for every aspect of their being for every second of your day. Especially when all you want to do is just sleep.
It's easy for anyone to get frustrated, so she decided to share her frustrations on Facebook, in the form of a poem. And people loved it.
My latest 4 a.m. poem titled, “Daddy’s Asleep:”
I love your daddy, I really do,
After all, without daddy, I wouldn’t have you.
But from midnight till sunrise, it’s just you and I.
And as each hour passes, I’m not gonna lie:
Mommy’s love slowly fades, becomes angry and weak,
Because no matter what, your dad is f*cking asleep!
It all starts out lovely. We kiss each other goodnight.
We look lovingly down at you dear, such a beautiful sight.
An hour later, mommy wakes with a start.
You’re twisting and turning, you’re starting to fart.
You’re gesturing for food. Mommy is there
with a bottle or breast
Daddy is snoring away, the way he knows best.
Mommy burps you, and holds you and rocks you with care.
You spew foul smelling yogurt on mommy’s freshly washed hair.
As mommy changes her shirt, and mops vomit off the floor.
Your daddy farts, rolls over, and continues to snore.
Mommy’s maternal alarm goes off, it’s not even three!
You’re stirring again, you’re hungry and staring at me!
“I think she is hungry” your daddy offers, pulls duvet over his head,
Mommy sends him a death stare and rolls out of bed.
Mommy comes back, tired and drained and what is this I see?
Your daddy has taken over my side, doesn’t give a f*ck about me!
Mommy kicks him and pushes him angrily away.
“What’s up love?” He moans in a lovingly way.
Your daddy has no clue he is under attack.
He wraps his arms around me and kisses my back.
And just as my love for daddy is back on the rise,
You start to coo in your crib and open your eyes.
And daddy gently nudges me to attend to your need.
I give him the finger as I prepare for a feed.
But as the sun starts rising, the slate is wiped clear.
I’m back to full love for your daddy and for you my dear.
I forget that daddy sleeps while you cry and you poo.
It’s back to kissing and hugging and doting on you.
Soon you’ll grow up and be daddy’s little girl.
You’ll not remember me cleaning up sh*t and vomit hurl.
Whilst you sit on his lap and he sings you a song,
You’ll love him and think daddy could do nothing wrong.
But my sweet love, here is a poem for you to keep,
So you know that all those long nights, dad was f*cking asleep.
After Caroline's very relatable poem started going viral, she addressed the growing number of commenters who shamed her husband for not being more "proactive" in the rearing of their child:
"After the poem went viral, I’ve read a lot of comments which have shamed him for not being more active at night and me for complaining about his inactivity. Truth is, we made a deal during my pregnancy that I’d take the night shift, because I’ve been blessed with long maternity leave. [This way,] he gets to sleep so he can be ready for his 10-12 hour day teaching 10-year-olds. That said, tiredness will still cause you a lot of passive aggressive feelings in the early hours at night – hence my poem, which was written at 4 am on a particularly tiring night (everything I wrote in that poem happened on that one night)."
As for her husband's response to the poem, Caroline said that when she read it to him, he wasn't the biggest fan of it at first. But he eventually warmed up to it:
"When I read the poem out loud to him the next morning, he didn’t find it particularly funny – though he was simultaneously trying to soothe our fuzzy daughter, so I might have chosen the wrong time to read him a mockery poem. It was only later that day, over ice cream and a sleeping daughter, that he read it out loud and laughed and said it was brilliant. He since suggested that we get a laptop for me so I have an appropriate platform to write during my early morning waves of creativity."
Caroline also says that she understands how parenthood can strain relationships and that she goes out of her way to ensure she's giving attention to relationship with her kids, but her husband as well:
"Parenthood is tough and rough and can really strain a relationship. We make a solid attempt to place our relationship very high on our list of priorities. My parents (happily married for 29 years)- have taught me that a marriage should be prioritized above the children. As my mother said – “Happy parents results in happy children”. As per the airplane instructions – “attend to yourself before helping your child.” So that means making sure we have date nights and take time each day to put the baby down and kiss and hug each other. A lot of people have misunderstood the tone of my poem as anger towards my husband. It’s meant to be read with humor and love for both him and my daughter."
There were plenty of people who related to Caroline's poem and her writing gained a ton of reactions online. Some people hated on her husband, while others just nodded their head in solidarity with the "mom struggles" that she endured.
What do you think of Caroline's poem? I personally don't know how my wife deals with a baby who's clamoring for milk at all hours of the night. If she penned something like this about me, I'd totally understand.