Are you sleepy? Hungry? Feeling like you could use a little down time?
Congrats, no one cares. When you become a parent you automatically become the least important person in your family.
While talking with my co-anchor Ira Cronin, he pointed out how as a man it's easy to feel like you've been put on the back burner once that new baby comes along. You still want that attention from your wife, whereas the wife has concentrated all her efforts on your newborn.
My husband has — many times — talked about the beautiful and immediate bond I have had with my children. It's also an intense bond that can leave him with a bit of a lost feeling.
For instance, I think Maverick was about three weeks old when we hit our breaking point. Neither of us had slept for... well three weeks, the house was a mess, I was insisting on taking every feeding and every bit of skin-to-skin contact because I thought anything else would ruin our breastfeeding relationship.
This is a whole other blog I will get into in the coming weeks — breastfeeding and the nonsense people tell you.
Ryan wanted to help, but didn't know how to help in the way I needed it. I was SO hormonal and tired from killing myself over milk production and feedings. I had the worst breastfeeding experience ever and in it all I wasn't allowing him to do anything. I wish I had known a few things that I know now.
COMMUNICATE people. It makes a world of difference especially if you get your "trying" child first. Your partnership will be pushed to limits you never knew existed.
I got some really great advice from my mom early on: "If it's important to him, it's important to you." Ryan and I trying to keep that motto at the forefront of our minds. I also know it's easy to get caught in the heat of the moment so this list of fair fighting, has come in handy for me: Fair Fighting Rules.
Mav was colicky and NEVER slept. He's still the one that gives us a run for our money. The sweetest boy to ever live, but hard-headed. The good news is when we had our second it was an absolute breeze. Everyone asked about the transition from one to two and to be honest there wasn't much to it. Rhett is cake. Now I get those parents I once envied, because they didn't seemed phased after having their first baby.
Through the years I have learned that a little time away from my kids can do big things for my sanity. And for my relationship. My advice is to plan some time away, even just an evening after those first three months. Doing something purely for yourself can feel like an selfish indulgence. But when you deny that to yourself or your partner, you're likely to start resenting each other. Get a sitter, shave your legs and flirt a little.
Do we even need to say it? Many therapists will tell you SEX is a major sticking point for marriage. My OB put it this way "half as often, twice the work." Again, communicate. And then make it a priority. People say it gets better after the first two years. We'll see...
Your parenting styles are going to be different and that's okay. As long as you are on the same page when it comes to the big picture. I'm the more patient parent, until I lose my patience. My husband- complete opposite. He has a shorter fuse but can most definitely control his emotions better when he's "in the moment".
I love to teach my kids using hands-on, often messy methods. I feel like they learn best by doing it themselves. My husband is a little more organized and methodical (and clean) about things.
I think it's important that our kids get two different viewpoints. And as the boys continue to grow, we have strengthened our sense of team.
Life does get boring sometimes. It's so routine and that's great for the kids, but it can be hard as a parent. I'm always going stir crazy and finding new things and places to go. On the drive to see my family recently, Ryan mention how bored he was, with life. Not in a depressing way, but like there needs to be more for us as individuals. Both of us grew up playing sports and have done so until we had kids. I think it's the competition we are missing and something we need to find time to fit back into our schedules.
You really have to actively make sure your marriage is a priority every day. I love that my husband sets the coffee pot for me every morning, he fills my car with gas and makes sure the house is safe and secure before he heads to bed. Little things like this make me appreciate him each and every day.
I remember when I was pregnant with Rhett and I went to get in the car at 2:30 am. There was a little note on my steering wheel just simply saying, "Have a good day at work, we love you." I cried. It's those things.
Remember your kids are watching your marriage. Sure parenting has it's ups and downs but you are fostering a new life as a team. It's a wonderful thing that will bond you in a whole new way. Watching your partner run around the house, roaring like a dinosaur... seeing them teach the kids how a screwdriver works or how to pedal their bike makes you fall in a deeper love for sure!
If you have questions about how I'm able to handle a busy work and home life, join my Facebook Group - Brie and Baby Three to get involved in the conversation.
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