I am VERY LUCKY that I have a husband that wants to and is able to be an equal participant in raising (ie: desperately, moment to moment, trying to understand and the keeping alive of) our son. We’ve split up the care of him into shifts so that we can each sleep / have time for ourselves, which these days mostly means staring off into space trying to remember the Thing you were going to do, then crying and emptying the dishwasher and looking at the clock realizing it’s time for your shift. But early on, I didn’t like the feel of the word ‘shift,’ like on or off duty, like it’s a just a job that we’re clocking in and out of. So I decided that we would instead call our shifts ‘Blessings,’ as a constant reminder of what a gift this boy is, even when we literally don’t have time to pee or can’t quite determine why he’s screaming or maybe sweating out progesterone pellets while he laughs in his sleep, refusing to be put down. Which is why we declare to each other in the middle of the night, as we crawl in or out of bed, time for your Blessing! And I crawl towards Joe, unwrap him his bed like a Christmas Present, find one of Morrison’s eyebrows stuck to his face. I remember wondering if all of the loss we experienced trying to have a kid would make us more grateful, patient parents? And I think the that might be true, SOMETIMES, MAYBE? But mostly we need the reminder, and sometimes he reminds us, himself. Currently, he is Blessing me by sleeping on my chest so that I can write this (ONLY STANDING, I AM NOT ALLOWED TO SIT.) But I am maintaining some part of myself while also caring for him. He blesses me while sleeping, and Morrison and I get to pass the Blessing, back and forth, careful not to drop it.