In the Navy, when a new Captain takes a ship, during the ceremony, he fronts to the previous Captain and says the words “I relieve you.” The out-going Captain responds, “I am so relived.”
Parenting feels like that some days. I have the girls during the day, and take the responsibility for them. If something goes wrong during that time, it’s on me and the weight of that is pretty hefty. It’s why I never have so much as a beer when I’m alone with them. I wont take any medication that makes me fuzzy. I’m too paranoid, but then, that’s my job.
Then, sometime after 5, my husband comes home. He gets changed, sometimes he has a shower… and he comes into the living room – and it’s very much like handing over a ship of the line.
He picks up the baby and gives her a cuddle and a kiss, “daddy feed you? You want some ‘nana bubba? Hmm?” And he smiles at me – I relieve you
I’ll kiss him, kiss the baby, ruffle the hair of our eldest and usually make myself a coffee, a soda, or God forbid a beer, and go to the bedroom and take half an hour or so for myself – I am so relieved.