Friday, June 20, 2014

When the Honeymoon is Over...AGAIN...

So you know how relationships have that "honeymoon" period? You go through it a thousand times. You meet and everything is great and then shit gets real. Then you move in together and everything is great and then shit gets real. And then you get engaged and married and the same thing. (Although this time is actually is your honeymoon period) Well, it's the same thing when you have a baby.
 
You spend nine months wishing, wondering, waiting, imagining what life will be like. Make plans, get prepped, and then when that baby arrives you are just on cloud nine. The world is perfect.
 
You love your baby and your husband is the most amazing man on the planet because he helped made aforementioned baby. You bask in the glow of the newness, the tiny toes, you talk about how amazing the baby is.
 
And then somewhere along the lines you have to start talking about other things again. The mortgage, bills, things that need to be done around the house, etc. etc.
 
If you're lucky like me, your husband will have been able to take some time off work when the baby is born. Alex got a week. It wasn't much, but it was better than a lot of men get. It was nice to have him around that first week, but it also kind of sucked a little. He kept looking to me for direction, but I had no clue what I was doing so I couldn't give him much.
 
I ended up doing a lot of it myself. And then when he went back to work, I did all of it by myself. He helped when he could, but Baby J was so small and I was still trying to breastfeed which wasn't working so then I was bottle feeding, and I was all over the place with what I wanted to do. By this time, Alex had gone back to his regular life. I mean, obviously things were different for him, but not much changed.
 
For me, I was still dealing with all of the changes with my body, recovering, the sleep deprivation, taking care of a baby 24/7, and still somehow attempting to be a valued member of society.
 
I don't talk about the negative aspects of Alex and I's relationship on this blog. I never have and I don't really plan to, but I think that this topic is one that could somehow help someone a little. I know a lot of you have new babies or are having babies and I just want to give you as much of a heads up to all of the things that threw me for a loop that no one mentioned.
 
I mean, I told you about our hellish first night home from the hospital when I wondered what the hell I had gotten myself into...
 
Life with a baby wasn't easy to transition to for Alex and I. Our relationship hasn't always been roses and butterflies, like every normal relationship, but we have always had a very easy way of being close. It's something that I've always been proud of. We have a very close relationship and I can honestly say the absolutely IS my best friend. We have a lot of fun together and I know that I can count on him for anything.
 
But with the baby... we struggled. I mean, we were both over the moon to be parents, but we had a hard time with our relationship. Mainly, I resented him a lot because I felt like my entire world was rocked and he got to just skip about life as usual taking advantage of all of the great parts of having a baby and none of the hard parts.
 
Part of my issue was that I didn't ask for help. And then when I finally did, he had no idea what he was doing, so I would just do it myself. Then I would get annoyed. I spent a lot of my time being annoyed. I felt like he was purposefully making my life a thousand times harder than it needed to be.
 
It wasn't fair.
 
But that wasn't it. It wasn't it at all. We were just on two separate pages. Maybe even different books. And it took a long time for us to realize it.
 
We finally had a big, long (hard cider fueled) talk at dinner one night. We were out on our own, which is rare, and I pretty much just verbal vomited everything that I was feeling. Not in an accusatory way, not in a nagging way, not in an aggressive way. I just told him how miserable I was and where I was coming from. And for the first time in a long time we REALLY talked. We talked about us, and how it was, and how it is, and how we want it to be.

It was really...cleansing. I normally hate when people talk like that, but I felt like I had a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I felt like he finally understood where I was coming from. I felt heard. And for the first time in a long time, I didn't feel so alone.

I wish we had the talk a lot sooner, but I'm not sure if either one of us could have found the words that we needed then. And who knows if we would have received them as well as we did. The important part is that we are still talking. We are still trying. Even though it is a little bit of extra work to stay close right now, it's worth it. We definitely don't want to find ourselves 18 years down the road, grown kids, and having nothing left.

I think it is really easy to get caught up in 100% all things baby. Especially in the beginning. Add going back to work to that and it made things a million times harder. But we are working on it. We try to spend more quality time together. We try to get out for a date about once a month. We haven't really done anything else yet, but he's still little. There's more time for that later. He IS our main priority, but we have to remember that he isn't our ONLY priority.

Just a little story I wanted to share for someone who felt like they were the only one's in the world who weren't seeing the world through rose colored glasses right after having a baby. Trust me, I love my husband so much more than before we had Baby J, but it's been a whole lot harder to connect with him. It's work. It's hard. But, you know what, usually, the hard things are SO worth it.
 

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you wrote about this because this is one of the things I worry about. I remember reading an article once about how important it is to always keep your spouse and your marriage first, even before your baby (within reason). It's because your marriage is the foundation. If it starts to crack and you leave it to wither and die while you focus on other things, then those others suffer because then the whole house is coming down. It sounds weird to say, "Focus on your husband, not 100% on the baby" but I can see how it makes so much sense. I'm glad you guys were able to openly communicate and that you felt heard. It's so important to keep talking!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I really worry about how our relationship will change once the baby comes. I too like to do things my way so I feel like I need to recognize that I need help and ask for it before I get frustrated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have found myself nodding throughout reading this whole post. I think Ryan and I are hitting that stage now actually. Tuesday night Ryan went to a friends to help him in work on something. Wednesday he had baseball. Last night friends invited us over for supper and I was excited because I have been basically stuck in the house all week. Yesterday afternoon he texts me saying he wants to cancel. He doesn't feel like going. All the sudden I got SO mad because he can go and do whatever he wants, whenever he wants! I was so glad to finally be out of the home and have adult time and now he just wants to cancel. He couldn't see myside of it. He couldn't see why I was upset but I just simply said how things have changed so much in my life and not his at all! He is free to do whatever he wants. Long story short, we are going to have the same talk tonight! ha ha!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I think a lot of people will be able to relate to this post. I don't have kids yet, but I have heard similar things from my friends that do. Glad you guys got to talk everything out and that you are feeling better about it. And you are right, the good things in life are usually not easy but they are worth it!

    ReplyDelete

Little Somethings...