As I'm sure you've gathered from my previous posts, being a parent isn't the easiest job in the world. Incredibly worth it, but really hard. (And I didn't just add that little anecdote because I "had" to- I honestly believe it's totally worth every sleepless night.) What seems to be the hardest though, at least for me, is maintaining some semblance of a marriage while being a parent. Especially a parent of a young child.
B and I have had an uptick in our spats lately. Little things were getting blown out of proportion more often. Feelings were being hurt. Feeling appreciated was hard to come by. In short, marriage just wasn't easy. Did it have anything to do with the months on end of no sleep, and stressful days with a sick, teething baby? I'm positive that was the main culprit. But we can't blame the baby (though I'm fairly certain that's what they're for). We just lost sight of who we are as a couple. We just became parents to our little boy and forgot about our marriage.
I know it happens, and it happens often. You get so wrapped up on what is going on with your child that you don't have anything left to give to your spouse. And though I knew it was happening, I was too tired to do anything about it. And then after a recent spat that was just so ridiculous, I realized that we had gotten to a place that we needed to fix. We couldn't keep spiraling in the direction that we were. We needed to stand up and remember that without the two of us, there would be no baby, so we better take care of us. After an apology text from B (who, in all honesty, had nothing to apologize for), I sent back "I think we need to do a better job of focusing on our marriage". And luckily, he immediately knew what I meant and obviously felt the same way. He said that we had gotten to the point of just being parents. The one thing I had always dreaded about having children. Before we decided to start a family, I told him my biggest fear was that we wouldn't be us anymore. And it seemed that my fear was becoming a reality.
So, we're trying to turn it around. We're trying to be intentional with each other. We're trying to see each other as more than just "the other person who takes care of the baby". And it's hard, because we're both still so tired. And we work all day, and that in itself is stressful enough. Add to it a teething, non-sleeping baby and that's a recipe for disaster and neglect. But we're trying. It isn't easy when we don't have family nearby to drop the baby off for an impromptu date night, but we'll figure out ways around that. And it's started with little things. A kiss when B gets home from work. A hug while we're making dinner. Sitting together and watching a show at the end of the night. A text here or there just to say hi and I love you. A hand squeeze across the table. A "date night" to the grocery store when we have someone to watch Henry for a couple hours.
I'm trying to spend my time more wisely. I'm trying to remember that above everything else, I'm a wife and a mother. If my blog doesn't get updated one day, or I wait to answer emails until the next morning, the world isn't going to end. Everything I've worked so hard for isn't going to come crashing down. But if I continue to neglect my marriage? I don't want to think about the ramifications of that.