To most parents reading this, there was a time in your relationship when you looked into each other’s eyes and decided to make a family. To make little babies, you were full of excitement. Who would they look like? What would life be like?
You most likely were in love, you enjoyed lazy Sunday mornings in bed. You often went out for dinner, only deciding at the very last minute. Enjoyed movie nights and pretty much doing whatever you decided with your FREE time.
Fast forward a year to the arrival of that cute bundle. You’ve never felt a love like it. They are more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. The first time they smile or coo your heart melts. You are also more exhausted than you’ve been in your life. No-one could have described how much time and effort it takes to care for a small immobile baby.
Very few dinner dates and certainly non that are unplanned. No more cinema or lazy Sundays in bed together. Coupled with the sheer exhaustion of being up night after night, then throw in some teething or full blown cold and you hardly recognise yourself. Worst still you hardly recognise your relationship. Is it still a relationship if you barely spend time alone in one another’s company? That intimacy is now only a quick kiss on the lips before you pass out only to be woken in 3 hours for the next feed. You could say your relationship has turned from a partnership into a parent-ship. You argue who is the most tired, whose turn is it to get up or to do the bath. You just argue.
Don’t fear you’re not alone. This is more common than you’ll ever find on Facebook. I mean who really puts up their struggles and strifes in a status these days.
So now you’ve identified the problem. What can you do?
– Find time for each other, no phones, no T.V just time to talk.
– Having a baby is a life changing event. Be honest with each other, how are you really feeling?
– Find a good babysitter and even if it’s once a month, make the effort to go out, to date, even if it’s in the day – go for a picnic.
– DON’T GIVE UP ON EACH OTHER….I repeat…DON’T GIVE UP ON EACH OTHER
– If it feels broken, fix it don’t just throw it away. There was a time you were in love and really given the time and space you can be again.
I remember naively thinking and saying that children were meant to fit into your life. Well life certainly had some lessons in store for me to correct that thought process. I have learnt that my life will never be the same and I’m so thankful for that. I love my children with all my heart, I also love my partner and it really does take effort on both parts in the baby years to keep it going.
So if you’re reading this and you’re struggling with your relationship take some action. Talk. Find a babysitter who you can build up trust with to eventually feel comfortable to go out for the night. Go to a couples counsellor if needed. Ask for help, there is nothing wrong with admitting you can’t do everything (who can?). Accept help when it’s offered. Do you often decline help, thinking you’ll be a bad mother if you take some time for yourself?
It’s about striking that balance: time for you, time for the kids and time for your relationship. It is tough but so very worth it. Good luck and if I can help with anything you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalie is a mother of two, Dylan 4 and Willow 1. It was through the struggles of new motherhood that caused a breakdown – breakthrough moment in her life. Creating a new passion filled career in helping others. Becoming A Self Love activist and Soul Coach. You can check out her work on her website Natalie-marie.org