My friends suck. If you’re a friend of mine and you happen to
be reading this, then yes, girl, I’m talking about you. Why didn’t you warn me?
Isn’t that what friends do? Don’t we look out for each other and you
know, alert each other about important things?
Why didn’t anyone give me a clue as to what would
happen to my marriage after the birth of our first child? Yeah, I know, every marriage is different. Every couple handles parenting differently. But
I felt that my husband and I went through a pretty turbulent transition. One
minute we’re lounging on the sofa watching movies and the next we’re arguing
over something that is pointless and
ridiculous. And, you know what? It’s kinda the baby’s fault.
I know, I’m horrible for blaming my innocent child’s
existence on the bumps that popped up in my marriage. But it’s true. While we
did the responsible thing and began preparing our lives for our new baby, many
of the fun bits of my marriage exited.
We aren’t each others’ No. 1 priorities any more.
Let’s face it: When a baby enters your life, it is no longer, “Hey babe, what’s for dinner?” Questions like that are far too simple. Dinner
preparation has to happen the same time every night because, well, these kids are on schedules. We must stick to those schedules. Even a simple, “How was your day?” often
doesn’t get said, because we’re both too busy worrying about our daughter,
finances, the house or all of the above. I loved that I had a beautiful newborn, but it was sad that, for a minute, I lost my best friend.
It’s hard to be a supportive and engaging partner when
you’re exhausted. Your patience is thin, you lash out at your spouse and not
because they did anything wrong per
se, but your lack of sleep has you acting like a crazy person. This was my case.
Not getting much sleep meant that my patience was nonexistent, and it didn’t
take much for me to get upset. Sure, getting sleep sounds like an easy solution. But it is an impossible one when you work, have a busy life and have a newborn.
We’re both new at this.
Your partner starts a new job? It’s easy to be supportive for
them, right? You can make it rain in the motivational speech department. But
what happens when you both start new jobs? At the same time? Exactly how are we
supposed to function together and individually as we take on the roles as
parents? This, my friends, isn’t something that you can learn in a book.
We’re not too adult to laugh when our daughter dribbles water out of her mouth or when she shouts "boobs!"
The one person I want to
run to about this is struggling as much as I am.
Venting to my husband about my struggles as a new mom felt
silly, because, while he could relate, there wasn’t much he could do to help. He
was in the trenches with me. We walked, hand in hand, through the jungles of
Newborn Land, but we couldn’t really help each other out because neither one of
us knew what we were doing. While it’s reassuring to know you aren’t going
through it alone, it would have been nice to get some “here’s what to do” help
from your spouse. I’m just sayin’.
Our daughter will be two-years old in two months and, the other day, my husband looked at me and said, “Wow...we’re REAL adults, aren’t we?” We are.
We still aren’t sure how we got here and, while it wasn’t easy, I am so proud of
how far we have come. I spent many nights missing my husband, even though he
would be laying right next to me. I wanted to be the wife he needed me to be, but I was too tired, too focused on our child, too, well, lost.
We’re getting better. We are stronger as people and stronger as
a couple. But it’s true: for some couples, the presence of a child can really
shake things up. It’s all good, though. We’re not too adult to laugh
when our daughter dribbles water out of her mouth or when she shouts "boobs!" loudly in the grocery store. If
nothing else, laughter will keep us afloat.