The first nine months of my oldest daughter Harlan’s life were spent with her dad coming and going. I don’t want to give the impression that he was a bad father because, simply put, he wasn’t. He made an incredible sacrifice for our family and moved to New York City for a great job, while I stayed home in Tampa with our new baby girl so that I could finish out my teaching career. It took courage and strength for both of us to make that move, especially with me being a brand new mother. Ultimately, it was what was best for our family and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
My husband would come home on the weekends as much as he could. He was so dedicated to making our life as “normal” as possible, that he spent most of his weekends at the airport waiting for a plane either going to or coming from New York City. He left at the drop of a hat and hopped on a plane whenever I really needed him there with me and with our daughter.
Over time, as others watched our new family life, the number one question that they would always ask was whether or not I was scared that Harlan’s relationship would be affected by these comings and goings. She was with me all the time, but only saw him on the weekend. I knew that it didn’t, but I was more focused on our situation. It was only temporary and that we were soon to be together again.
When Harlan was 9 months old, we packed up and moved our things to New York City. That was when I saw her and my husband’s relationship really start to flourish. They were making up for all of that time that they lost in the first 9 months. Now 2 and a half years later, their relationship is like no other. It’s an unbreakable bond.
When I had Avery, it was an entirely new situation for both me and my husband. He had little interaction with the newborn stage and I was not used to someone being with me all of the time to lend a hand. My husband was more than I could have ever asked for and was always there when I needed him. It was the first time that he was really able to experience life with his infant daughter.
As Avery has gotten older, her bond with her dad is very apparent. I remember the first time that she truly reacted to his presence. I was nursing her and he came into the room to talk to me. As soon as she heard his voice, she stopped nursing, looked over and smiled at him. She’s had that same expression every time she sees him or hears his voice.
It was such an incredible moment for me because it was the first time that I could see the bond that was forming. With Harlan, although it was there, it was so hard to pinpoint because our lives were so transient. But this time, our lives are so much different.
Either way, the bond that my girls share with their daddy is unlike any relationship that they will experience in their life. I know. Because I share that same relationship with my dad.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year.