Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marriage, post-babies

I read this blog, and seem to always be in agreement with her. The post I have linked up in blue is one that especially touched me.

She writes about how your marriage morphs after having a baby.

And, it does.

There are changes that occur. But, like she says, they don't have to be the bad changes everyone seems to love to talk about.

Pretty much the entire 38 weeks I was pregnant with Jake, Gary and I talked. We talked. And talked. And talked. And talked some more. We talked about obvious things like conjecture as to if baby was a boy or a girl, who they'll look like and when they'll make their arrival. But, we also talked about real stuff. We talked about helping one another. We talked about how things would get done when an infant graced our household. We talked about dishes and laundry and sleep.

We talked about us.

We talked about how this new little person was just another person on our team, not someone to be resented because we could no longer go on dates whenever we pleased. We talked about the importance of flexibility; flexibility within daily routine and priorities.

Can I just say how proud I am of us? I mean, communication has never been an issue for us. But, with so much intensity that surrounds a new baby in the household, it's so, so important (in our humble opinion, of course!) to feel that the two of you are united.

Being from California, and stationed in the South, we didn't have grandma down the road to drop Jake off so we could take a night off from new parenthood. So, we did it up, improv-style. We realized that going out every Friday night wasn't going to be happening. So, we made our own versions of dates. Not to exploit some really great nights with too much detail, but there'd be candles, and cuddles, and appreciation for one another. We knew we didn't have to forget about each other because we decided to have a baby. We wanted to find different ways to have our special time.

Not to say we're perfect, or you should take note and follow in our footsteps, but we're perfect for us. Our methods are exactly what we need. But, like my fellow Army wife blogger Sally, I hope the mama with a fresh-baked baby at home, or the pregnant girl getting ready to become a first-time mama, can read this and know that life, and marriage, post-baby is not bad, it's different.

I wonder how it changes for others? And, how do they adapt to their new situation?

Everyone is on the same team. There's a new babe wondering why the eff the cushy, warm home they've known for 9 months is ripped away from them. There's a husband wondering what it is he can do to help the breastfeeding mama. There's a wife wondering how she'll get all the daily chores done while meeting all the needs of her newborn.

But, once the realization is made everyone is working toward a common goal, everything is easier. I want our kids to look at us and think 'I can get married because they've been an amazing example'. Of course, it's not constantly rainbows and unicorns, but it is perfect in its own way.

There were times where he'd come home from work, verify that I hadn't started dinner yet, and make arrangements. He'd take Jake after his first breast-feeding of the day, let me go nap, and only wake me when Jake was hungry again---with Sonic, or Starbucks, in hand.

These little things are as good to me as a night on the town, or jewelry, or chocolates, or whatever cliched thing women are supposed to love. It's the simple fact that he wanted to do something nice for me.

Seeing my husband as a daddy makes me speechless. Even if it's sitting on the couch, cuddled up into his nook, reflecting on a crazy day, we're reflecting together. I've been with this blessing of a man for almost 9 years now. I could not be more proud of him. I've known him as a high-schooler, as a new husband, and as a daddy. Watching his transformation has made me fall more in love with him. The way his mind and thoughts have changed because our priorities changed, the way we understand one another, the way we've grown so much closer through the journey of parenthood. It's all made me fall even harder for the man I'd eat with a spoon if I could.

I think that having Jake has made me love our marriage more. I look at Jake and see Gary. I look at Gary and see the man I've been in love with for so many years and how we're embarking on all these amazing things because of where we've let life take us.

Love is the focus. It's what's given me this life. It's what's made our worlds go 'round. It's what matters, and is fed, and tended just as much before baby, but in different ways.

Love is what makes all this worthwhile.

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