Remembering Who Came First
Before your baby comes into the world people will tell you a few things. They’ll say stuff like “forget sleep for the next 18 years!” or “learn to multitask!” or “you’ll never have sex again!” While much of that is clearly unhelpful advice, parts of those statements merit some truth. The truth being you will be spread so thin as a new mother trying to find sleep in the most unusual ways, trying to do it all when you know deep down you have taken on too much and trying to feel sexy for him when you haven’t showered, haven’t pampered yourself and haven’t thought of you since that little one became your everything. Sadly enough, the easiest thing to neglect ends up being the one who was there first, who held your hand first and who decided to go on this journey alongside with you first. I’m guilty of this 100%.
Couples go through this rut, I think, and when you’re really in it, your relationship can seem fuzzy and gray and not at all fixable. Cue the wife guilt which comes next in line with mom guilt. Before children it’s all about your marriage and the spontaneous love time and truly enjoying each other’s company. With children it’s all about what’s best for the little tiny soul you created and routines/schedules and sometimes planned intimacy. All your minutes are being taken up by work and laundry and doctor appointments and breastfeeding, etc. The age old question is this: We, mothers, take on the burden of everyone and everything around us so if there’s no time for you how is there time for him? I don’t have the answer to that but I do have some thoughts on the matter. Here are some things that seem to help in the marriage department when it’s getting a little rocky:
1. Show your appreciation. This is a stressful topic mainly because women/mothers never feel appreciated. We can’t come up for air sometimes and we lash out on our husbands/whoever. Some of the time it is self-imposed busyness but other times we just need the help and are too proud to reach out. When he does help out, whether you asked for it or not, say thank you.
2. Share the burden. There is no reason to do it all when you have a willing (hopefully) and able person by your side. All we have to do is ask and see what happens. Share it because you’re doing it together.
3. Acknowledge the “dada”. I can’t even tell you how protective I was of Logan the first few months of his life. I acted like he was mine and mine only. Yes, he is mine but I wasn’t the only one who got him here. Acknowledge your husband as the father he is. Show him he’s special too.
4. Remember who came first. Remember who you were as a couple before children. Try and incorporate your younger selves into your current life. Go on a date, have a quickie, cuddle! These things are very hard to do with kids, I’ll be honest. That’s why a marriage takes work but I know I feel a hell of a lot better in general when I connect with my partner.
First came love. Don’t forget that.