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Partners then parents

Partners then parents

Balancing being a mama and a wife is no easy task. I spend so much energy trying to find time to be with my baby while being a working mom that it’s easy to forget about everything and everyone else—including my husband. Every morning I rush to get ready, so that I can have enough...

image1Balancing being a mama and a wife is no easy task. I spend so much energy trying to find time to be with my baby while being a working mom that it’s easy to forget about everything and everyone else—including my husband.

Every morning I rush to get ready, so that I can have enough time leftover to cuddle and play with Graham a little before running out the door to get to work on time. Every evening when I get home I hurry inside to breastfeed Graham and then spend most of the night playing with him until it’s time to go to bed. When it’s time to put Graham to sleep, I’m so exhausted that I usually end up going down for the night as well.

I’m realizing that my husband and I touch less often than we used to. I’ve started to skip our kiss goodbye in the morning as I rush off to work with a wave. When I get home, my baby is the one that I pull into a deep embrace when I walk in the door.

image2At first, it seemed like no big deal to skip the little affectionate touches that used to be so ingrained in our routine. Our sweet boy has become the center of our world and naturally we both are focused on this wonderful new little person in our lives. We’re both juggling work and diapers and getting dinner made and reading Dr. Seuss and feeding Graham and cleaning the kitchen and folding the laundry and paying bills and washing bottles and … the list goes on and on. We love each other deeply—haven’t we told each other so a million times? Maybe not enough times recently.

It’s easy to forget that it was our love that was there first, our vows and our commitment to each other that made the foundation of this life we are trying to build together. We chose to have a baby because we loved each other so much that we wanted to start this crazy adventure of parenting together. Now we have a precious boy, but we’re forgetting to keep that original foundation strong.

image3We have to put more effort into us, into our marriage. Without a healthy, happy “us,” there is not much to build a healthy, happy family upon. I know my husband feels it too—the subtle gap between us. When musing aloud about what I would write about this week, he suggested, “Why don’t you write about us? About how having a baby changes your marriage?”

Of course a baby will change your marriage. There is a new bond, a physical connection, a shared love for your new little one that will last always. But a baby can also make you tired, a little stressed, distracted—and did I mention tired? It’s easy to sometimes forget about your significant other in the trenches of parenthood. I’m glad I had this realization now, when it’s still easy to mend this chink in our armor. I was a wife before I was a mother, and when my children are all grown up, I still want to have a happy husband to share my life with … I think  I’ll go cuddle with him right now.