“We’re having a baby”, you shriek in utter joy!
It’s funny isn’t it, that most of us want to have babies with the person we love because we are so insanely in love with them that the thought of having a baby with them sends us into giddy delirium.
Oh yes, we want to enter this deeper level of connection with our loved one, bring this “perfect”, helpless entity into the world; nurture them under our careful guidance and play happy families…how blissfully wonderful does that sound?
We spend the 9 months of carrying our first baby in a loved up state as we dream of life as three peas in a pod.
Errrrr…..SNAP! Sorry, that was the sound of your dream colliding with the often harsh reality of having a baby with your loved one as you realise that life before baby is like a totally different universe.
While it’s true, in many ways, having a little bundle of joy will connect you in no other way possible, it is also likely to be the biggest test of your relationship thus far, especially in the first 12 – 18 months, as various studies which tout new parents as being the unhappiest out seem to testify.
Parenthood can be a rocky road sometimes, and so if your relationship foundations are not already tighter than two peas clinging on for dear life in a pod, well, you might feel like that pod is going to burst with three of you in it. In my view, it’s the sum of the below 10 points which are responsible for just that:
1. And then there were 3
Before there were just the two of you, living blissfully unaware of the changes afoot. Suddenly, your little bubba comes along and everything shifts – your priorities change away from the love of your life – he is feeling hurt at your hormonal harshness, rejected and feels basically like one big useless spare part while you just want him to man up and stop acting like a baby, because, duh! you’ve already got one of those!
When one of you falls prey to the victim of snoring, at least it’s just one of you. When it’s both of you being kept up at night by a baby (or toddler for that fact) then uh oh…you have not one but two grumpy fuckers to deal with. Not exactly a prelude to romance is it? Also known to provide a fertile breeding ground for the sentiment…don’t talk or even look at me or else I’m going to give you a good poke in the eye.
3. General hormonal hatefulness
One minute you are in blissed out mamma mode; the next it’s like you’ve been possessed by a raging banshee. Uh oh better run and hide! Poor old other half sensibly tries to stay out of your way for fear that putting one foot wrong will stir up the banshee within, clueless to the fact that this is only fuelling the fire of inexplicable rage within. Repeat throughout the day, every day.
4. No time for each other
The saying “two passing ships in the night” really can take on a meaning of its own here. You can’t remember the last time you had a proper conversation, you occasionally bump into each other in the kitchen, and sometimes realize you have a person occupying the space next to you in bed. After a day of mummy boot camp, it can be hard to summon up time or even a few sensibly strung together words. Cue communication failure and all the problems that come with.
5. Get out of my space!
Ironic that, considering you once wanted to spend every single breathing second together that sometimes, when you do get into the same space, all you crave is to have that space all to yourself. Not really surprising considering you’ve had a little monkey hanging off you for the best part of the day.
6. Mamma knows best
Your brain is telling you it, your screaming hormones are most certainly telling you it, and so all hail the control freak with ridiculous standards and absolutely no filter who will never think what your partner is doing is a) right or b) good enough. Hmmmm…why even bother go up against that?
7. Dude, where’s my libido?
The answer is..probably in motherhood lost property. You might retrieve it somewhere down the line but in the meantime, this is really going to fan the flames of disconnection between the two of you. Feeling sexy? No, me thinks not.
8. Who the hell are you anyway?
Your former self is lost at sea- possibly never to be recovered; Daddy has been forced to lose his cool since he got that estate and installed the car seat, and now you’re not really sure who you are apart from doting servants to the latest inhabitant of your lives. So first you have to find yourselves again, then like yourselves, then like each other? Righhhhhht.
9. Chores, chores and more chores
Even if you’ve mainly always farmed your cleaning chores out to a weekly cleaner…there is no escaping this one. The domestic scene has just exploded into a cacophony of shit, puke and wiping. It’s totally unglamorous and sexy, and you’re both wallowing in it knee-high style. Nobody’s doing enough of anything, and nobody’s bloody doing it right!!
10. More arguments than ever before
You may have prided yourselves on the fact that…oooh we hardly ever argue. Well, you can wipe that smirk off your face! All of the above is likely to weave itself into a tapestry of detachment, disconnection and resentment unless you have the best handle on both of yourselves.. and just ready to blow your top over anything at any minute. You are the camel and everything is the straw that broke your back.
Bloody hell! Are we all absolutely fooked then? Though from my writings, it may appear so, in my book, if you can make it through the first 18 months of intensity and insanity, then you’re going to come out the other end rock solid as the stormy seas eventually settle. In the meantime, look out for my follow up post on what I learnt from our own big old hairy relationship test….
How did your relationship survive the first year of baby? Did you feel naive for shrieking “We’re having a baby!” in blissful ignorance of the hard work to come? What did you find the hardest? Do leave a comment and share…