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Relationship talk: Our reality after having a baby

I wanted to write this post because online there is this misleading cloud of “perfect” or “better” shadowing over people’s lives, but the reality is, perfect just doesn’t exist. But it’s taken me a while to realise that.

Why haven’t we been there? Maybe we should go there as a family. Why doesn’t my baby do this? Her baby has been rolling over for a good few weeks now. Why are me and my partner arguing?

No, you aren’t the only ones arguing or finding it difficult to make time for each other as parents. But you sure feel like it.

Even though we all love social media and essentially following people’s lives, it can be the route to all kinds of comparison. And that’s the worst thing you can do. ┬áCompare. But it’s taken me a year and a half after having my son to realise that and I’m pretty certain I’m not in the minority that know it’s so stupid to compare, but have moments when I still do. Relationships, families, they are all different, and none are perfect.

I certainly didn’t have a conventional upbringing, it was just me and my mum, we wasn’t perfect, far from it, but one thing I have realised is that even though Arlo has his dad in his life, doesn’t make our more conventional family unit any better or more perfect. Ok there might be big differences, and some benefits, but that can be a post for another day!

Bringing a baby into the world will be probably the hardest thing you and your partner can do together. What is the most beautiful time can also be so overwhelming and difficult. From labour right up until toddlerhood, as far as I can speak for, our relationship hasn’t been the same. But is that a bad thing?

When I asked my partner what he thought the biggest change we went through as a couple since becoming parents, he said time spent together and the lack of. I nodded as that was exactly what I was thinking but then he went onto say, but actually it has made us appreciate the time we do get together, a whole lot more. What a bloody cutie. But I thought how true is that!

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Date nights are a luxury for us, I think we had one evening out together the whole of last year, so date night’s at home are more our thing. Staying in is the new going out and all that.┬áThe time we do get in the evenings, when I’m not working on my laptop, even if we are just sitting down for a Netflix sesh, or watching the soaps ( yes we still watch the soaps ) thats our quality time. Just because you aren’t going to fancy restaurants or catching a flight somewhere for a child-free weekend of romance, doesn’t mean you can’t still put in that effort to make time for each other.

Ok so in the early days of having a newborn, the holding hands, the cuddles, the carefree conversations, I missed all of that a lot. And even now to some extent, having a conversation when you’ve got a toddler to run around after or who wants to shout over every word you try and get out to one another, it can be a lot. It can be hard, and it can take its toll. Have you ever had the feeling of missing someone even though they live in the same house? And it’s not just the newborn stage you might feel like that.

Life before Arlo was how you’d expect any university couple, weekend lie ins, weekday nights out, trips to the cinema, quite frankly trips anywhere we fancied, holidays. There was more money, rule out any responsibility our biggest concerns were our studies. Throw an unexpected pregnancy in the mix and there I was trying to secure a mortgage. The jump to parenthood was huge and so fast but again, that doesn’t mean we were any less capable.

And here we are. Arlo is 18 months, happy and healthy and we aren’t doing so bad. And the most important thing is to know, you aren’t either. We are all just here trying our best, living our lives how we are meant to be living them and we are all a lot richer than we think!

Things that really help me…

Recognise that it’s hard for both of you- if you’re unhappy with something, odds are they are too.

Communication. Talking to one another about how you feel is key.

Never go to sleep on an argument if you can, and don’t hold grudges.

Find time for each other. Even if it’s not like what is what before, accept your new quality time for what it is.

Thank you for reading! X

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