Naturally, the first few months after birth are all about your baby. Your thoughts, talks, or discussions, and everything else you do is centered on your baby.
But among all the sleepless nights, diaper changes and poop discussions, we tend to forget about one very important fact –
That YOU have a partner. And not just for caring for your baby. You have a spouse whom you need and who needs you too.
You are not just Mommy and Daddy to your little angel; you are a couple who love each other. There is an “us”. Though that us has taken a back seat in your life right now.
We put our needs on the back burner because our whole focus is on our baby. Also, sleep deprivation, new parent worries, constant exhaustiveness take a toll on us.
But, by not giving ourselves a few moments of just “us”, we start feeling lonely and frustrated and a little resentment towards our partner; because we think he has an easier job, or he isn’t doing enough as he should.
Consider this scenario, your husband comes home after work, and he looks as well and fresh as he left in the morning, while you greet him at door in your pajamas that have stains of baby vomit. You resent that he gets to escape the monotony of being with a newborn 24*7, and has a life outside.
Now let’s see from the husband’s point of view, he comes home after slogging all day, excited to meet his little family. But as soon as he gets home, you give him a tired and frustrated smile (because resentment!) and thrust the baby in his arms because you think he has it all easy, and he should do his part. And he thinks you don’t appreciate how hard he works for his family.
When the truth is you both are doing your part and giving your all to it.
You both have Needs
I remember one night I was feeding my baby, and my husband was sleeping on the other side of the bed, since our baby slept between us, as is the case with most co-sleeping.
As I hugged my baby before putting him to sleep, I suddenly remembered I haven’t hugged my husband in a long time.
In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time we hugged. How pathetic is that I couldn’t even remember when I last hugged my husband?
So after putting my baby to sleep, I just did that. I just went and cuddled him, and guess what? He hugged me back as if he needed it as much as I did. And that moment made me realize how much we were ignoring the “we” in our relationship.
We need each other now as much as before the arrival of our little angel. The show of affection, hugs, little touches, laughs, should be part of our life. It keeps your relationship alive and healthy.
How to Survive the First Year of Parenting as a Couple
Appreciate your Spouse
Appreciating your spouse during ordinary moments and mundane things do matter. When you see your partner doing something helpful, express your gratitude.
Especially, I would say to the Dads reading this, appreciate your wife in any way possible. I know you have your own struggles, but you are connected to the outer world more, through your work and friends. While your wife may be engrossed in baby care, especially if she is a stay at home Mom. You and the baby are her networks right now. So appreciate her and boost her confidence. It will be great or your relationship.
Spend Time Together
Your “we” time doesn’t have to be a dinner date or a weekend gateway, where you have to leave your baby behind. No, it could be 15-20 minutes of cuddling on the couch after putting your baby to sleep. Or you could just have a talk and sit together holding hands while holding your infant in your arms. Babies are relaxed in your arms, so they are not bothered by your voice most of the time.
Find these small chunks of time to reconnect with your partner.
A random hug, a kiss on a forehead, a light pressure on hand to reassure, these small but physical gestures keep your relation and intimacy alive. Stop co-existing just for your baby. You are not roommates, you are soul mates.
Yes, this time I am talking about the real ones, not the motherhood quickies like here. Go for it Mommies and Daddies, it’s a great stress buster and keeps the sparks alive.
The first year of your baby’s life is a precious time and phase, enjoy it together. And don’t forget to be each-others spouses too.
Remember Awesome Mommy, you are the yin to his yang!
How was your relation with your spouse in the first year of motherhood? How did you keep it alive and happy? Do tell me in the comments.
Note: This post is written as part of the #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge for the letter Y.