Remember, you aren’t just Parents…
I think the hardest thing about having a baby and becoming parents, is remembering to be a couple.
Most of your time is spent together as a family: Family Meals, which at our house consists of taking turns feeding baby while the other eats a few bites off their plate. Then family bath time ( Its a two person job with our little one. One parent entertains and plays in the tub, while the other washes. Then comes the battle of jammies & trying to brush tiny baby teeth).
Then Dad catches up on college course work while I nurse and snuggle baby to sleep. By the time that’s over, we slink off to bed, and I wait for the inevitable crying of a wet diaper & hungry baby that comes within a few hours.
I’m at home with baby all day while my husband is at school/work, and in the afternoons, we switch off. Daddy plays with the baby as I catch up on whatever chores I didn’t get to, and start dinner. The circle of life continues.
But as hard, and sometimes seemingly impossible as this is, you simply have to have couple time. You have to be able to bond & enjoy each other’s company, like you did before children.
Reconnecting as a couple.
The only way we can accomplish this, is by either; sending baby to spend a night with grandma (which she is more than happy to oblige), or when that’s not possible (mostly because I’m such a nervous wreck with anxiety because something could happen, even though it never does), we do option B – cram as much “adult” time into those magical few hours in the late night, as we can, before a wee-hour feeding.
We watch a few episodes of Netflix & cuddle. Enjoy a glass of wine (or beer). If I’m not done with laundry, towels are folded as we rehash the latest gossip collected from our seperate groups of friends. We shower together. My husband & I do everything we can together & just get back to being two people, alone.
It’s too easy to fall into a rut of non-communication. You get tired after parenting all day, the home work load has you down. Husband is cranky because he only got five hours of sleep each night this week (even though you actually had less because you actually get up to change, and feed, and pace your baby back to sleep).
By the time the house has gotten quiet, the overwhelming temptation to shut down, and just enjoy silence, is relentless. I’m guilty of it. So is my husband. But you have to try that re-connection. Your relationship, desire, drive, your life as a couple, depend on it.
It takes work, but even if its just a few minutes before bed (however you choose to define that term, because I for one haven’t had a real bedtime in nine months), try to focus on the bonding aspects of your relationship with your spouse. Take on any conflicts with time to talk, together, and work out any issues that may be brewing. You’ll both feel so much better in the long run-and feel more energized to take on the “parent” roles again when it’s time.