I Want That Old Thing Back:The Art of Romance and Parenting Balance
Don’t let the title deceive you; you should not be preoccupied with having that old thing back. I often tell my doula client families that postpartum focus should not be on getting back to where they once were. I tell them to instead focus on establishing a new normal and figuring out how to thrive in that new territory.Your relationship occurs in iterations. Just as we are always evolving individually in our spiritual pursuits, convictions, needs, etc., a successful coupling should advance and expand along with and in response to the ebb and flow of life. If you understand this and embrace it, rather than resist it, you are able to exhibit more grace under fire than you would if you insisted on everything being a constant. The only thing we can count on in life is change.As your family grows, be open to what the new season will bring, and don’t waste precious moments resisting a necessary shift.
Many couples look ahead in fear of how having a baby will drive a wedge between them. While that outlook acknowledges that things will be different, it’s quite a negative view. When the wind blows, depending on your perspective, it causes disarray or clears junk from the path.It’s a ll in the way you choose to look at it. Look forward to what is to come as a chance to learn more about and from your partner as you take on parenthood together.
That being said, just because you are now parents does not mean you have to give up on all the activities that helped you fall for your spouse. Get those date nights in, sis! If you used to go to laser tag or concerts when you were newly dating or married without a child, don’t forsake the fun now that you are someone’s Mommy and Daddy!Outdated and stereotypical parenting roles say the parent life has to be tame and lame, but honey, that is simply untrue. Let’s give it upright now for the grandparents, godparents, aunties and babysitters! If you are not having fun with your boo, then what are you doing?! Look, one day the little birdies are going to fly the nest.
If you and your partner ignore your relationship in the name of putting your children first, then what will be left once you two are empty nesters? If you only ever relate to and communicate about parenting, you are ignoring so many other aspects of your union. Lay the foundation for the relationship you want when your nest is empty now while your nest is full.
Revisit and renew your commitment to love and support one another. Adjusting to life as new parent can be challenging. Your partner’s feelings, doubts and insecurities are valid. Honor that and try your best not to take things personally. Hormones and emotions overflow in the postpartum period. While you may feel they are being unreasonable (or they may feel you are), consider they are simply being human and try to hold space for them on the strength of the love and commitment you share. The loving part can come easy and it’s possible to love someone and even let them go. That commitment though! It hits differently when it’s3am, you’re sleep-deprived and have been listening to a baby cry for half an hour while your partner snores peacefully under the warm blankets. When it comes to the tough things in life ,my mom always tells me to “reach deep and get it.” It’s her way of spurring me on to find that untapped reserve of strength on the inside. There may be some hard times, guys. After carrying a baby, connecting with it and experiencing birth, it’s easy to be 100% baby-centric and have some bitterness or resentment towards your partner for not changing as many diapers as you, sleeping through night feedings, and so on. It’s in those times, that you decide to reach deep!
Remember that it won’t always be as intense as those newborn and early days/nights. This too shall pass; the days are long, but the years fly by. Try to enjoy the journey and try not to bite your partner’s head off along the way. I promise it will get better.
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