with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
I was a bit stumped last week for topics to write about over here and threw it out to my Twitter peeps (Which sounds so cool, but I assure you that I am not). I asked for suggestions about post topics and was inundated with suggestions. The one that stuck out as the forerunner was the following reply:
Surviving the first few weeks of parenthood without killing each other and staying connected. Because HELLO CHALLENGE.
Oh, man. It may be a little over six years since we first brought home a newborn baby but the feelings from that incredibly life-altering stage came rushing back when I read that response to my question.
For those who have not have babies, I will tell you a secret. Newborn babies are a miracle. They are silky and soft and make your insides feel as though they are melting into a pile of goo. They also turn highly intelligent beings into mumbling zombies who will do anything and everything for more than TWO HOURS OF SLEEP.
Before we had our first baby we had all of these grand plans to keep having our weekly date nights and remain connected as a couple even after we had introduced a third member into our family.
The we actually had a baby. We muddled our way through breastfeeding, sleepless nights (and days) and adjusting to this new reality of life as a family. This is where I hang my head in shame and confess that the first time my husband and I went on a date after the birth of our firstborn was when he was six months old.
SIX MONTHS OLD.
We finally got back into our groove and when baby number two arrived? Our first date night occurred wen he was three weeks old. Yes, my chest was close to exploding, but it felt good to connect with my husband apart from having conversations over the barrel of our kids’ butt-cracks.
A few ideas to help your marriage thrive in the midst of the hurricane that is a newborn baby:
1. Date nights. DATE NIGHTS. It doesn’t have to be an all-night affair. Meeting together for an hour over coffee (sans baby) can do wonders for your psyche and help you remember why you married this sperm donor/uterus provider in the first place.
2. Figure out what you need to get through the first couple of months, help-wise. Talk about what both of you expect during the stage and communicate what you need in order to KEEP YOU SANE. When we had our first son my husband was employed outside the home. While some women would like a husband to make dinner for them, I was the opposite. He would walk in the door, I would hand him our son, and I would get to have some “me time” in the kitchen.
3. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I know that people tell you this all the time in your role as a mother, but it is also important in your role as a wife. The hormones are raging, you are leaking from every possible area that you can, and unless you are an alien you might be a little out of sorts with your body in its post-baby gelatinous form. Throw in extra exhaustion and you may or may not have fire coming out of your eyes and shoot it in the direction of your husband.
Can any other Moms out there give some advice to the newly-inducted members to the craziness that is a family?
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