I started noticing how many pictures I have of Bellamy […]
I started noticing how many pictures I have of Bellamy and me in our bed. This is because she would take over our bed if I let her! It never fails; she will cry her sugary sweet, pitiful cry if I even think about putting her back to sleep in her bed, but happily dozes off immediately when I allow her to be physically next to me. At 5 a.m., I cave occasionally. I obviously kind of love this because I love knowing she loves me as much as I love her! She is so very special to me. I could cry! However, there is someone else in our bed, too! His name is Matt, and he was here first.
Like our bed, Bellamy has rightfully seeped into every tiny nook and cranny of our lives. We are blissfully in love, while also feeling as if we live in a foreign land with no passport or timeline of going “home” as we once knew it. I am starting to understand the “marriage takes extra work with a baby” thing. Although in my opinion we were solid before getting pregnant, the change was vast, and we have gone through some suffering because of weaknesses we didn’t realize we had. This isn’t a bad thing … let’s just shine a light on it all! I’m happy to go through this refinement process for the betterment of my family, but it’s really hard.
I’m not used to missing someone who I see every single day so much. I am not familiar with scheduling “us” time and trying to understand whom one another is in this season as a parent. We feel like we know each other so well, and we do. But at the same time we are growing into different people every day! It takes work to keep up with one another! The responsibility of bettering each other every day for the benefit of her growing up underneath our example is heavy, and the silence it brings between us sometimes is deafening. We are so in love, thank God, but we are like many new moms and dads, and sometimes we fall short. As in other areas of life, we are our own worst critics. The criticism doesn’t come from each other, although I’m sure it could, because we really want the other person to be fulfilled in marriage as well as in our new parent roles.
This isn’t to say we don’t try to keep one another accountable. We have many, many conversations that look like this, “I want to make sure you are feeling loved. What can I do better? How are you feeling about us? What needs—new or old—are being met/not being met.” You may think that sounds like therapy talk—welcome to our first year of marriage! We worked a lot on communication at first, and it has helped us drastically in this situation. Even on the worst days we feel safe and secure in our union, whether we are feeling it or not. What my heart is saying right now is, “I miss my husband. I know I have to find a new balance, but I just miss him all the time.”
Where we once had long dinner conversations (dinners I made regularly, unplanned and not always in a crockpot), we now take shifts eating while the other gives her a bath. On days off we would make late brunch together and pop a bottle of champagne. Now we try to do the same thing, but I have to be very strategic about the timing of breastfeeding and having mimosas—so not the same! Relaxing at night? What’s that? We forgot! We wouldn’t change it for the whole wide world (she is our whole wide world!), but let’s just say this is the less glamorous side of marriage.
Thankfully Matt comes home unaware of whatever amount of spit up is on my athleisure outfit (can’t call it workout clothes, ‘cause that may or may NOT have happened). He doesn’t tell me I look tired, smell bad or need to calm down. He’s just here with me, every single day, time after time. At this point in life, what more could I want? I have someone who shows up to “work” with me and vows to do it again tomorrow. In all the areas I’m sure I am falling short right now, I know we will make it out alive thanks in part to his commitment. We can figure everything else out later, but for now, we just stay committed and try to be positive. The expression “three’s company” is so, so true. But we also believe the more the merrier, eventually!