Thursday, 15 March 2012

Child be gone with you, it's mommy and daddy time!

One of the hardest things on a relationship is having a child. People who have children for the sake of saving their relationship are frankly delusional. There is nothing like sleep depravation and a screaming baby (there is a reason why loud noise is a valid form of torture) to stick an irreversible wedge between a previously happy couple. The first few months of your life with a baby are like war, the key is survival and all you need to do is try darnest to get through it without killing your sweetheart because they will probably annoy the crap out of you!

My husband and I (we're not actually married, but we figure that having a child together is far more binding that getting married... you can reverse a marriage not having a child together, so we call each other husband and wife) where really placed in a pressure cooker. We are young and as a result not swimming in the cash and well to put it bluntly our daughter (from point of conception) is about as old as our relationship. I know by this point you must think we're insane and you would be partially right, one would have to be a little crazy to do what we did. In 10 months we had to build a solid enough bond to withstand the attacks of our newly born baby, how did we do this you may ask? We talked, A LOT, we talked about everything from day one. Our conversations where unfiltered and open so there would be as little surprises come D-day. We expressed our views on parenting styles, what kind of life lessons we wanted to teach our daughter and what kind of childhood we wanted for her. Now, thankfully for us we had the same vision (especially that to us a united front is very important.) We also talked about us, what we needed to do in order to insure the success of our relationship.

Here's what we've assessed can help keep your relationship going after baby is born. The first few months take deep breaths, try to stay as calm as you possibly can and focus on surviving. Cut each other some slack, you're both new at this whole parenting gig and it's a tough pill to swallow. You will get mad at each other and there might be a cold war or two, but try to remember that 1) you love this person, well maybe not at that moment, but there are reason you love them even if it's not coming to mind at that time and 2) it won't be like this forever, yep there is an end to the madness! Give each other some loving on calm moments, a little hug and kiss here and there can be a million bucks. Eventually the hard months will pass and your baby will start to adapt to life on earth and you will have adapted to your baby. Things will have become more second nature to you, at this point it's time to start working a little towards your relationship. Start with small things like mini mommy and daddy moments together like snuggling on the sofa and watching a movie, slow dancing in your living room or taking a shower together. HAVE SEX! Of course only do it when you are emotionally and physically ready and please don't do it to make your partner happy. Make some time to have sex, if baby is down for a nap and your feeling sexy take advantage of the time you got to get freaky. If you always wait for the sexy time stars to be aligned to have sex, such as baby is a asleep for the night and you both are in THE mood and have enough energy, your kid will be in university by the time that happens. If the mood strikes, take advantage of it don't put it off until later. Finally, make some date nights at least once a month. Hand your child off to someone you trust and run off to do something together. It's important to make time to be just a couple without your baby. Take your time together to re-experience the reasons why you love each other.

I met a woman who has two now fully grown daughters and is married to her husband for 30 years, she told me that there where some times that where really hard and that they weren't all good years, but they managed to make it work. I think what needs to be learned is that to make a relationship work after you have a baby you need to put in some effort. If left unattended and neglected you may find yourself with not much left but two angry people. As for my husband and I, our relationship is far from perfect and we are not with out our problems but we both work at it and take the time to love eachother. No one can predict the future and say for sure that we will be one of the lucky ones who make it but we will work our hardest to make that happen.