I have experienced both the highs and lows of what a baby can do to your relationship.
My daughter was from a previous marriage and that marriage was toxic. She helped me to have the courage to leave. She showed me what it means to put another person above all else.
This was our first picture together and the first time I met all of his “people” (friends and family). I makes me swoon! He’s so handsome!
After I had my first son (with my husband who I am married to now) I had never felt more connected to someone other than my children. I remember looking at him and thinking “Wow, I loved you before but now I LOVE you.”
It was as if the deep feeling that we already shared had become cemented into permanence.
I was expecting that rush after having my third child. My husband and I were in a better situation, we were making better money and we now owned a home that was bigger and more family friendly. But that was just not the case. For the first month I felt distant and disconnected, I cried a lot and I felt like I was very alone.
I remember reaching out to one of my friends one night when I felt like I was just losing it saying “I’m having a really hard time”. As much as I know she would be there for me unconditionally, it was hard to admit that to myself.
The first three months were spent trying to really get a handle on breastfeeding. We were in the middle of “Little Miss Lamb Derby” for my daughter (it’s a local pageant), my son was still trying to potty train and struggling with it. I remember breastfeeding the baby while cleaning poop off my son and yelling at my daughter to go find her sash for the parade we were walking in. I honestly don’t know how I did it.
I went back to work when Jacob was eight weeks old and every day since I have gone back to work has been a struggle to get to the next day. I pumped on all of my breaks, all of the conversations between my husband and I were centered around who was responsible for picking up who and which of us were going to be staying home while the other goes and gets groceries. My husband coaches baseball and football so he would have to be gone for practices, tournaments, games and fundraisers. We were just always living to get through the day.
Finally things have slowed down, and now I look at my relationship and see the parts that we have let go a little. We came back together and talked about it, hugged it out and decided to make a bigger effort. We both realized that in the struggle to make it through each day, we forgot about each other a little. I am so lucky to have a husband who really cares about that.
So here are some of the things we did (and are still doing) to get us back in the swing of things after having a baby.
I downloaded “heads up” but really any game will do. It’s a silly game, but it’s actually pretty fun to play together. We do stupid things when we are playing and we laugh the entire time. The best part of that game is how bad I am at it!
The physical part of a relationship doesn’t always have to be sexual. Last night I was walking by Manuel and he laid on the ground with our kids and he grabbed my ankle and yanked me down and held me down so I couldn’t get back up as the kids tickled me. We were near eachother in a fun lighthearted way which is good for us, and good for our kids to see.
My daughter has always thought it was gross when we kissed each other. It was just a little peck every now and then, but she still hated it. So now the game is to kiss in front of her so she has to see! I also see my husband several times during the day on breaks or lunch and I didn’t realize how autopilot we would get sometimes! I kiss that hairy face every chance I get!
This is the hardest because he coaches, but as best as we possibly can we try to put our phones away when we are home. It’s amazing the difference it makes when we do this. All of those quiet moments I would fill in with a little Facebook or Pinterest now are moment we fill in together and usually we are making fun of each other or watching a funny movie.
Get over it
This is a hard one for me. When I am tired, things bother me more and I tend to focus on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. We all do it, and I will admit that I am guilty of this! Well since I have a six month old it’s safe to assume that I am tired almost every day! I have needed to really dial it back and think “am I really mad about this or am I tired?” Sometimes I will even tell me husband “You are bugging me and I am in a bad mood” and we’ll laugh about it and he’ll fire back with some witty comment about my hormones and we continue with our night.
The theme for our lives now is to laugh more, to be silly and goofy and enjoy each other’s company more. To let go of things that don’t matter and hold our family close because that is the only thing that matters.