I've happen to read a few posts lately about marriage after having a baby. Most of them that I've read recently talk about how much more in love they are after having a baby. How strong their relationship is and how amazing it's made their marriage.
I read these posts and have to wonder how honest they are really being. Then I wonder if there is something Chris and I are doing wrong.
Let me start by saying that I am confident in the fact that I think Chris and I have a wonderful marriage. We've been married for over eight years and I think we have learned to balance each other out, communicate extremely well and have always been pretty satisfied with our relationship. While of course not perfect, I feel like overall we have a strong, solid marriage.
But I have to say that having a baby has made our marriage harder. I'm not sure if it's because we were together so long and so used to each other being our only priorities or what, but it has definitely brought it's challenges. We used to spend weekends hanging out together, having some time to ourselves, and being able to do whatever we'd like. Together or alone. While our lives were busy and filled with commitments, and we had to work at it sometimes, we always had time for each other.
Sometimes now it seems almost impossible to find time to really connect and have full conversations. Once we put Addilyn to bed, eat dinner and clean up the house a little, all I usually want to do sit on the couch and watch tv. I'm tired from taking care of Addilyn all day and Chris is tired from work.
I feel like my life now is all about Addilyn, which is great, but it's easy for me to find my sole identity in being Addilyn's mom. I forget that my identity is also a wife and that should be even more important and I was a wife first. It's easy to want to just sit and watch tv after a day of tending to Addilyn. It's easy for me to want my space after having a seven month old attached to me all day long. But those aren't good for my marriage.
I love Chris more than anything and seeing him become a dad has been one of my favorite things about him. He couldn't love Addilyn any more and is the perfect dad for her. I love watching him love his daughter and couldn't ask for a better man to enter parenthood with.
I think marriage takes work no matter what. Kids or not. Stress or not. But it's clear that having a baby makes it more challenging to find time to connect and to make sure we are putting each other first. I feel like it seems silly to have to plan and schedule time to connect and talk but I think if we don't, it won't happen as much as we want.
We decided that at least once a week we are going to not watch tv and do something together. Play games, read a book, make a nice meal together once Addilyn goes to bed. And have intentional conversations. Like these questions. It's nice to sit and relax together but doing that night after night doesn't make our marriage stronger.
Addilyn could not be more important to me and I love her more than I can even express. But I love Chris more. If our marriage isn't our first priority then we're going to get stuck in parents roles and not in our roles as each other's best friend. I want to be an example to Addilyn of what a solid marriage is, like my parents did for me. I want it to be so evident to her how much we love each other. Some day down the line our kids are going to grow up and leave and I want to be left with a marriage that has been growing since the first year we got married.
Marriage takes work and I'm thankful that we're both committed to working on it.