Love. Marriage. Baby Carriage.
Growing up, we all knew the tune “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage…” what we didn’t know was the effect the baby in that baby carriage had on love and marriage. If you’ve already added a baby into the mix you surely don’t need me to tell you how it changes every single aspect of your life but if you’re interested, or looking for solidarity, keep on reading.
We all go into our relationships at about 110%. We shower daily, do our hair and makeup, and even shave our legs! Chances are you enter into marriage at this same speed, fueled by hopes and dreams and promises of how your life will be. You vow to one another that your marriage will be different than so many before it. Your marriage will not be touched by change, it will thrive. You will take vacations and continue to date each other, and you will always put one another first. You will spend some of the most exciting days of your life planning for a family, and you will have a ton of fun in the process. You will feel so overwhelmed with love for your spouse and for yourself as you grow life inside your body, a life created out of love; the very best parts of you. You will pick paint colors for the nursery and choose between a million things for your registry, and it will all be so much fun. Your marriage bubble will be bursting at the seams with love and anticipation. You will wonder how you ever thought you knew true love once you hold that baby in your arms and feel the weight of it all, heavy in your chest. You will find yourself thinking “I’ve never loved my husband more than I do in this very moment.” The next few days will be powered by that love and adrenaline and you will begin to navigate the brand-new world of parenthood together.
Sounds great, right? That’s because it truly is the greatest thing in the whole world. Here’s the thing though… those promises you made to one another before you were parents will need addendums. Like red ink scribbled all over a rough draft kind of addendums. You made those promises in a time where you could be totally selfish and you made those promises as different people. You may not get out of the house together for a little while. You may not get the annual anniversary trip you’d vowed to take. You will likely not shower daily, and you most definitely will not shave your legs. I’m not saying forget about your spouse when you have a child, I’m actually saying take time to rediscover your spouse. You will need to find creative and new ways for intimacy, dates may not be longer than a couple hours, and your conversations may not branch outside of “parent talk” for a little while. Be patient with yourself and be patient with one another. Remember that you’re on the same team and that the little things are the biggest things when your world revolves around keeping a baby alive. Take it one day at a time and don’t compare yourselves with others. Most of all, say I love you.
Sincerely, a mother that can see the light at the end of the “new baby just rocked my world” tunnel.