There has been some great posts by Mum’s writing about their partners in the Illiterate Infant’s Mum’s on Dads guest post series and this is no exception. Today we welcome Danielle who writes with the perfect balance of honesty, creativity and dry witt over at keepingupwiththeholsbys. When she’s not entertaining me with her clever perspectives on un-friending etiquette or surviving toddlers she’s writing honestly about domestic violence or the importance of love and family.
She’s a serial over achiever; running her own you-tube TV channel, taking amazing photographs and is about to publish the beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written recipe book Cook Once Feed All which is all about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family.
Danielle has three treats for Illiterate Infant readers. Firstly; an insight into how she spoils her husband, then, a must-try recipe for ribs and lastly a special offer for Illiterate Infant readers to pre-order her new book at 20% off.
Have a read, check out her site and if you’re as taken as me, follow her on facebook.
From Boyfriend to Baby Daddy… and a manly feast
If you just judged from Dad dancing or Dad jokes, it would appear that many dudes are totally cut out for fatherhood. Even so, if asked weeks before impending fatherhood if they were ready, many guys would admit (mostly out of earshot of their significant other – for safety reasons) that they were in fact not even close to ready.
My husband, Mister H, was one such guy.
Even though we both knew how babies were made, I think the sight of that double line on the stick was enough to send the poor man prematurely grey.
I was elated and terrified, just like the average first time mama, and as the pregnancy progressed I bonded more with the child concealed inside my flesh, and my excitement at the thought of meeting my little one rose.
I think it was almost the opposite for my husband.
As the pregnancy became more and more real and pronounced, the further from his grasp slipped bachelorhood. It’s not that he wanted to disappear for days partying with Russian hookers, it was simply a matter of change
Big change. Big, unchangeable change.
During my labour, Mister H was amazing. I was quite unsure how he would behave. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if he’d cut it, but he was my rock. Apart from the minor incident where he let rip a massive fart as I was pushing and he blamed me, I felt like we were a brilliant team.
I’ll never forget when all hell was breaking loose and I was so in the primal throes, feeling as though my entire arse-end was about to do something surreal and he looked into my agonised eyes and I saw tears in his.
I loved him so hard right then…. For a second, until I remembered I wanted to punch him in the nads.
The thing people forget to tell new Dads as they’re leaving the hospital is that little babies aren’t really interested in their fathers. New Dads are often left out in the cold there’s really not much they can do. In fact, they have all the responsibility of having a family and pretty much none of the benefits of having a girlfriend, because she’s busy being a mother.
Suddenly being the sole bread-winner and having the responsibility of his family’s survival can be a fairly hefty cross to bear. Your sexy girlfriend/wife is suddenly a milk spouting, tired, greasy-haired crank-meister, and you are the very bottom of the food chain…unless you have a family pet, in which case you’re slightly elevated.
In our case, Mister H was used to having disposal income, and large amounts of disposable free time. I think losing both of those things has been one of the biggest adjustments for him. That, and the vague smell of vomit and poo that lingers long after the disposal of the obvious.
It’s not a question of love.
There is no doubt that my Baby Daddy is crazy bonkers about the bambinis, but it doesn’t remove the fact that there has been some grieving for the bachelor days. The days where the biggest commitment was footy training and Friday night drinks. I haven’t seen actual tears shed over the passing of these days, but I’m pretty sure there have been moments of deep loss.
I often wonder where my old life went so it only stands to reason.
I’ve often heard it said that there is nothing sexier than your husband doing the vacuuming. I think conversely, dudes would say there’s nothing sexier than your wife cooking you ribs. You can forget about saucy underwear, it’s all about saucy smiles, and I don’t mean flirting. I mean, get this shit all over your face.
If you wanted to give your special dude a treat you could whip up this manly meal. You’ll love it too, so it’s not entirely altruistic. It can be a team effort as when the bbq is flared up, men can’t help but arm up with the tongs.
American Style Ribs
Yield : 2-3 whole racks of ribs, for 4-6 people
What you will need :
- 2-3 full rack pork/lamb ribs (for me, the only rib is pig)
- 2 large foil roasting trays and a basting brush
For the marinade :
- 1 cup of Brown sugar
- 1 onion
- 2 big cloves garlic
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1 cup of BBQ sauce
- 1 cup of Coca- Cola (buy 2 litre bottle, the rest is used for cooking)
- ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of Worstershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic
- 2 tablespoons smokey paprika
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- salt and pepper
Put your onion and garlic and rosemary into a food processor and blitz to a fine paste.
Chuck all other ingredients into a bowl and throw in your onion paste. Stir well to combine.
Put ribs in roasting pan with half the marinade and leave to marinate overnight.
This part can totally be done in the oven, if you so desire, but it was a stinking hot day so outside was better for me….also, you do get a bit of a BBQ flavour throughout the meat if it’s done in the BBQ. Heat up BBQ with lid / Webber to constant 120-150 degrees with lid down.
Place ribs in BBQ but not on direct heat. I had the grill on with the ribs sitting on the plate next to it.
Pour remainder of 2 litre coke into roasting pan until ribs are fully submerged. Cover with foil and punch about half a dozen holes in it.
Cook for 5 hours at no more than 150 degrees. Your juice will barely boil, if at all, and mine did not seem to reduce much at all.
Take rib tray off BBQ and fire up grill section to blazing hot. Put ribs on grill and baste with remaining marinade (don’t be shy with slapping on the marinade)
Turn ribs every 5 mins and keep on basting generously. Do this for about 30 minutes until marinade caramelises and a sticky, gooey, gorgeous crust forms.
Remove from grill and tuck in….ensuring you get the full ‘smile’ of rib sauce.
Stay tuned for the release of Danielle’s latest book, Cook Once, Feed All shortly.
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Well – your lovely fella doesn’t look like he’s ready to trade in family life and hawt home cooked meals to relive his bachelor days just yet.
probably depends which day you ask him!
Sweet. He sounds like a great Daddy. It really does rip the floor from under them…I think how challenging that newborn stage is for dads is very much over looked. x
Yeah, I was way too busy thinking how tough it was for me to really see!!
Hindsight is a marvellous thing.
Great post!! I think a lot of new dads feel the same way. Perhaps it’s harder for them to understand that it’s a new reality – maybe because they don’t feel a baby growing inside them from the start and then the new baby is all about mum – it’s an experience I imagine they feel like they’re outside of looking in at times. I think that no matter how much they love their kids or new version of their partner, they do grieve for the old life and I think my husband definitely has. 19 months in and sometimes I get the tiniest glimpse of an idea that he might still think it’s just temporary and he’ll get his spare time back and his income…he knows intellectually that’s a LONG time off, but I think the teensiest part of him is processing everything! So great to read this – I’d been considering writing a post about it but I don’t need to now 😉
Hi Kez, thanks for popping and and thanks for your great comment. Grieving is a good word for it. Not one that guys would openly use but I occasionally find myself staring into windows of shops with stuff I used to be able to afford and wonder…
I grieve for my old life more than I ever thought I would! I was desperate to have children. To be honest, my husband was SO RELUCTANT to have kids and I was all for it. Then when we had them, I was all WTF just happened, and he is RIGHT into it. There you go!
Insightful and hilarious!!!Love it.