Navigating Relationship with Partner after Baby
Today is my 5 YEAR anniversary with my husband and I thought what better topic to write about than navigating your relationship after baby (or babies). My husband and I have had 2 kids within the past 3 years (16 months apart) and so I feel like we had a crash course in "figuring out relationship stuff" while taking care of two kids and learning how to be great parents.
The one factor that we have found that has to be consistent and real in order for your relationship to work is:
As a wife and a mother, I always put these unrealistic expectations on myself that I have to do it ALL. I should never ask for help because then I will be a lesser wife, mother, care taker. I should never want anything for myself because then I would be selfish. I never communicated what I needed because I want to be superwoman. But what was that doing to me? I became an exhausted, grumpy, mean and unhappy version of myself. It has taken me most of the past 3 years to be able to recognize what I need when I'm feeling overwhelmed or stressed and then be able to communicate that clearly to my husband without overacting or attacking him. Let that sink in for a minute. Does that sound familiar?
When you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted... what is causing those feelings? Do you need help with a household chore? Do you just need a break from the kids? Are you craving time with girlfriends? Do you miss the quality time you used to be spend with your husband on a daily basis? Identify what is causing the stress, recognize what you need and communicate that to your husband/partner.
"I feel like I haven't really seen the kids that much the past couple days. It would be really great if you could cook dinner tonight so I can just play with the kids and spend time with them."
"The laundry is hanging over my head. Can you start a load of laundry so we don't have a million loads to do this weekend?"
"I'm feeling very distant and not connected to you... can we watch a movie together tonight and cuddle on the couch?"
"Can you find a babysitter for this Saturday so we can have a date night? I miss spending time with you!"
My husband always says "you can say anything... in the right way." Don't overreact and don't attack when trying to get your point across. Remember that you guys are on the same team!
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