Balancing Act

MB and I didn’t really make a big to-do about the fact that we were getting married. In fact, the only people who knew it was happening were family members, really close friends…and well…you guys. It was much like when I found out I was pregnant with Baby L. I didn’t really feel the need to advertise that I was doing this stuff…because, lets be for real, I have a blog and if you read it, then you know what is happening. If you don’t, then either I don’t want you to and haven’t given you the blog address or any inclination that it even exists. Or you just don’t care. Which, is totally your prerogative. And I am totally okay with it. But the main reason for not broadcasting to the whole world that we were getting married was really just because we have been living together for a long time, we have a kid already, and we didn’t really think much would change. And it hasn’t.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, our relationship has definitely changed. But not because of marriage. Because we have a baby. And when you have a baby, you can forget about anything else ever being as important as that. Because it really never is. And that’s okay too. But it is stressful.

MB and I were having a lot of inane arguments about nothing for a while after we moved in with his family, which I suspect weren’t really about nothing at all. I suspect they were probably about us being out of our element and trying to adjust to being new parents and living with other people and just trying to be normal. Because this shit is hard, you guys. I am definitely the kind of person who will let the little things build until the cap is left off of the toothpaste and it becomes just too much to bear and then I go batshit insane and can no longer contain myself. And then I start a fight about toothpaste. Because I, my friends, am a genius.

MB doesn’t let anything get to him. At least, he usually doesn’t. But there was this period where we just…were at each other. That, for me, coupled with having a baby and the stress of living with a screaming 5-year-old who doesn’t belong to me (so I can’t tie him up outside), was really getting to me. I think I started to feel that his lack of excitement about our marriage was because he didn’t want to do it at all. And then my head spun with thoughts that he was planning to leave me. Or that I was too fat now, after having the baby, and he was no longer attracted to me. Or OH MY GOD, what if there was someone else? Now, let me just point out a couple of things for those of you who may not have been regulars here, or who haven’t met me or MB.

1) I am a crazy person. I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and it is untreated. And, in my head, everything has the potential to be catastrophic. In fact, in my head, most things WILL become catastrophic. But you know, the solution to that is to panic so much about everything that you almost don’t even notice the time passing and things turning out fine. My mind is a totally fun place to live.

2) MB is the most amazing, caring, loving, beautiful, kind…(I could go on)…person I have ever known. He is not superficial or disloyal or cruel and there is absolutely no way that he would do anything to give me reason to panic. (Although, you might now know that I don’t really NEED a reason to panic. So, there ya go.)

What it comes down to is this. Our relationship is changing. In large part due to the fact that we are trying to learn how to be a couple WITH A CHILD. This didn’t seem like it would be a difficult thing to do.I assumed that once Baby L was here, MB and I would be the same. Only busier. And probably sleepier. And we definitely are.  But the day to day routine has swallowed me. And because it swallowed me, I am exhausted, inattentive, and sometimes bitter (about my lack of interaction with the outside world). And this isn’t his fault. So, I work on trying not to take this frustration out on him. Because, after all, he is working every day to provide for our family. And he works damn hard.

I don’t want you to think, internet, that we are miserable. Because for the most part, our issues are resolving. But we are a work in progress. But let me ask you this:

How do YOU balance marriage and parenthood?

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3 thoughts on “Balancing Act

  1. The truth is you will be asking that question until your child (or children) move out in twenty years, I am convinced of this.

    Jeff and I have been together for 7 years and married for three of them. Balancing life and a marriage was easy because for me marriage was life and allllll was Jeffry. Cut to baby, and I had become a cranky, bitter and frankly, a bit of an awful person. Why? Because my son had changed me, my life, AND my relationship and I had NO time to fix whatever it was that was going wrong between J and I. Now, I say “going wrong” but that’s putting it a little harshly. What was happening was J had school and work all day everyday and I had Jo all that time with no breaks, no help, no air… I drowned. And good ol’ me (and you will understand this because I think you have realised, possibly, I am the Canadian version OF YOU) i took every ounce of that bitterness out on Jeff. Not good for our balance. Babies put pressure on marriages. They put pressure on every relationship because those relationships have to change. Right? Your parents, your friends, and even your pets, all those relationships morph because you no longer have… your priorities are baby baby baby and the rest falls down the old list. And it is sad… so your husband will feel a bit of this too. It is only natural.

    What I did was realise who I was with a baby (and so have you) I am an emotional mess most of the time and the times I go off half-cocked into crazytown is too damn often. Like last night for example. Short version is this: bad day with baby Jo. Fussy little crankpot got the best of me. I had a headache. took something to make it go away, it made me drowsy. I expected J to be home at 12am to take over dawn patrol. He was forty minutes late. Why? because he ended up talking to a co-worker about something I HAD ASKED HIM TO ASK HER. When he got home I literally lost my shit. LOST IT. and for a lack of better words I basically told him to go to hell. Whoa. So, you see friend. I still have my moments now even though I try very hard to maintain balance in my life. But my point is this. I try to remind Jeff of his importance in my life; And that means remembering every day (even during fights) that he, and he alone saved my life a 1000 times, gave me an angel as a son and continues to be the most incredible man (next to MB) on the face of this earth. so…. (Im taking a breath because holy god, I am long winded)

    I take my lead from the phrase it is the small things that count. I pack up the baby everyday to take J to school and to pick him up from school to show him support. The bus is readily avaliable of course but that isnt the point. This is extra work for me because Jo hates the car seat… but it is so worth it to see my husband relaxed and to see that he gets a least 15 minutes with his kid in a day. I make J’s lunch, I keep the house clean, when I grocery shop I make sure to buy him his special favourites. I always make him talk about HIS day before we discuss mine. Sometimes I’ll drop off goodies at his work or make extra dinner and keep it in the fridge for when he gets home at night. And… I say thank you, a lot, because he deserves it.

    The biggest thing I do, and this is for both of us is I make time to make love. I know, gross right? But this is hugely important. Firstly because it is massively important to guys. But if you let all things baby get in the way of how you originally made the little bit of immortal love than you really have a problem. Making love reminds you of how the two of you were before baby. Because those people are still inside of you now. Sure you’re a mom, but you are also a wife, a wife to a man you love and a woman. And trust me, having sex is the best way to quiet your head when you hear all those pesky thoughts about if youre still sexy, if youre too fat or does he still love you after baby. It obliterates them. Maybe you know all of this already! Who knows. I just read your post and heard myself talk, both the head and the heart.

    my final word is, youre probably balancing better than you realise… so don’t fret too much. At any rate, your Canadian doppleganger understands whole heartedly how youre feeling, lady. Take heart and go hug that Hubby of yours.

  2. Oh, lady, this made me feel so much better. I really do know that things are different now because they have to be. And that the adaptation that is happening will settle eventually and we will get back into a groove that makes more sense. But, as you know, it is super frustrating. It still is so new to me. And to MB. And sometimes, I too, feel like I am drowning in all of it. But I mean, if I’m honest, some days are bad, but the majority of the time, I feel so grateful (and not at ALL bitter) to have him and Baby L that the change is barely noticeable. But, as I said, it is still a work in progress. Just knowing that I am not the only one who has been here is REALLY comforting. More than you know. (I actually teared up reading your comment.) So, thank you! Now if you will excuse me, I have to go and hug the crap out of my little family! XO!

  3. It will be much easier in your own place, and the second one does not make it twice as hard! It’s easier in some ways as you can finally let go of perfection & go with ‘we have clothes on, be grateful!’

    The worst thing I found about having small babies, is he lack of adult interaction and the lack of ‘me’ time. If you go to local parks and play groups you can meet other young mums and feel less of an alien.

    Your hubby doesn’t want a perfect house, he wants a happy you, so sleep while the baby sleeps and make sure you enjoy the times when all 3 of you are together 🙂 xxx

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