A child will change your entire life and your marriage – definitely! It is not all dreamy and happy, neither is it all perfect! The truth is lot harder, messier, and more beautiful than anyone could ever describe.
YES – having a baby means SO MUCH more LOVE but it also means making a lot of sacrifices. Being married and having a baby is wonderful, loving, exhausting, hilarious, perfect and insanely chaotic. And I wouldn’t want to change it for the world even though a lot changed since Mark and I became parents.
- BECOMING A TEAM: Even more than ever before. Especially in the first few months it is so important to work as a team, to support each other, to have each others back. Lack of sleep, colicky-fussy baby and other 24/7 responsibilities as a new-parent will push you and your relationship to new limits sometimes. While I was awake during the night, Mark gave me a little break when he got home from work. He took care of Raphael, so I could rest. We made sure that the other person gets a break. On the weekend I tried to get out for at least half an hour, just by myself which was really good.
- QUALITY-TIME as a COUPLE: We used to spend so much time together, just the two of us and now we barely have free time at all. We haven’t had a date night since over a year. Having a baby takes up a lot of time and energy and it is hard to take time for yourself and your husband but it is so important to prioritize your husband and your relationship even after you become a parent. Because children will grow up and leave the house and live their own life – A small section from an article about marriage & kids, I’ve read recently: Know that your job is to make your kids need you less. “People feel like they don’t have permission” to shift their focus from their kids to their partner, Runkel said. They’ll say, “The kids need me”. But they’re forgetting: “The whole point of parenting is to get them to not need me. They need to need me less and less every year if I’m doing my job right.” That’s not to say you should leave your kids to fend for themselves every day — it’s more that you don’t need to hover. And you can feel OK about going away for the weekend with your partner every so often. “By just going away,” Runkel said, “you’re communicating to your kids: You’re able to handle life without me for a weekend. I believe in you.” (Source: www.businessinsider.com) And I truly believe in this. At the moment Raphael is still only 1 year old and obviously we can’t leave him alone and there are times when we can’t spend as much time together as we want to and sometimes I do miss my husband, even though I see him every day. But we try to make sure we actively spend that time together when Raphael goes to bed and I never let him forget that he is the best thing that ever happened to me and that the time we spend together is precious! PLUS: Your kids will see you as a role model. What is a better way to show your kids what love means than loving each other.
- I FELL IN LOVE with my husband all over again: Watching him play and care for our son makes my heart explode every day. I could watch them play and laugh together for hours and it would still melt my heart. Raphael’s laugh is literally my all time favorite sound, especially when daddy makes him laugh and that happens A LOT. Bottom line is that my love towards my husband has grown even more since we became parents. AND Being able to watch him become a dad is one of the most amazing things of parenthood!
- ARGUEING about UNIMPORTANT things: Parenting brings out the good, the bad and the ugly truth in both of you. It is so easy to see the weak points and to get caught in unimportant things, especially when you are stressed out and sleep deprived. I’ve argued with Mark about ball pits, toys and other dumb thing. It’s stupid – but it will happen sometimes. You will also have discussion about “how to do things” because you won’t have the same opinion every time. You know you’re in a strong relationship when both of you are able to apologize and to not make a big deal out of little things. It’s not about “not argueing” or always sharing the same opinion, because that’s not going to happen. It’s about how we respond to each other and respect one and another. If you manage to work together, if you can bring out the best in each other and overlook the weaknesses it will make your marriage stronger. And to be honest, we are a pretty damn good team. We really don’t argue a lot and I couldn’t imagine having someone else by my side. Partners in crime 😉
- A new kind of CLOSENESS: Growing the love for our little boy during pregnancy and experienced our son’s birth together brought us closer together. Always having Mark by my side makes me feel so strong, he was there the entire time, he saw it all and I will never forget the look on his face when he first saw our son. Knowing that my husband shares the same amount of love for our son makes my heart full and happy each and every day – After all we have been through together, we are stronger and we are closer.
- The BEST VIEW: Together, we’ve witnessed his first laugh, his first words, his first steps. It does not matter how exhausting and challenging parenting is, watching your own child grow and develop is by far the most amazing thing in life. Every mother and every father know exactly what I am talking about.
A Baby fills a Place in your Heart you Never knew was empty
A healthy relationship is one where two independent people just make a deal that they will help make the other person be the best version of themselves. And even though you have a lot on your plate as a parent it is so important to appreciate each other, to not take everything for granted and still bring the best out of each other. You both are working hard to provide your children a wonderful childhood. But it is so important to take time for your partner, for your relationship even after you become a parent. Stay lovers while raising your children and cherish your marriage, always listen and be aware of how you respond to each other. We have evolved so much – in being a family. I can’t imagine my marriage being any stronger than it is right now and I am really thankful for having the greatest husband by my side who is the most amazing dad.
Photos by Juli Esau