I think most of us (me included) tend to blog primarily about the fun, uplifting, joyous side of parenthood rather than the often difficult, demanding, draining side. I know sometimes I feel like after the long and arduous journey to get pregnant and finally have my little Monkey, I have no right to talk about the difficulties that accompany having a baby. We forget that others are having the same struggles and by acknowledging the issues, we might help each other feel less alone in our troubles.
Now onto the relationship strain. DW and I have been together for almost 16 years. We have fought more in the last 20 months (really more in the first year of Monkey’s life) than we ever did in all the years previous combined. Fortunately, most of these arguments were the result of sleep deprivation (small infractions that blew up out of proportion because we were so tired and grumpy). One fight that sticks out in my mind was over sleep training. We did not want to do it. Period. But after many (MANY) sleepless nights followed by days with cranky Mama, Mommy, and Monkey, Mommy just broke down crying and said she couldn’t do it anymore. This was a shocker for me (Mama) as DW is so not a crier. I knew it was serious. So we compromised and did the Sleep Lady. Tangent: It didn’t last and we ended up re-committing ourselves to no more sleep training and began co-sleeping full-time (with limited success).
We very rarely go out just the two of us (we’ve done this maybe 4 times since Monkey was born). There is very little physical intimacy due to weariness and co-sleeping. We have no family support (my parents live on the other side of the country and DW’s mom is no help due to constant health issues). We fight often about MiL issues. Sometimes we disagree on what Monkey is able to do at his age and with his temperament (traveling, flying, going to certain events, etc.).
But what we do have? A ridiculous amount of love for each other and Monkey. Even though DW is a SAHM and spends all day every day with Monkey, she often tells me she misses him when he’s sleeping or out with me somewhere. Honestly, I think that even if we did have major relationship issues that would lead to divorce, neither of us would do it because neither of us would want to be away from Monkey for any length of time. It helps that I still find DW to be the most interesting, challenging, funny, smart, and just all-around coolest person I’ve ever met. Still cute as hell, too 🙂 Add in the fact that she simply astounds me as a mom and I’m done for. She’s simply the best ❤
While this post is specifically about how having a child affects your relationship with your SO, I feel like I personally could have a more detailed post on the strain it put on me as an individual. I have been shocked at some of the things I’ve thought and felt since having a baby and struggling with some PPD. Another topic for another post, perhaps.
Check out the next post in the Love Makes a Family Blog Carnival here.