This blog post was published on The Huffington Post.
Remember those Johnson and Johnson commercials from a few years ago? Well, they're right.
I knew that once I got pregnant I would have to prepare myself for some major changes; a healthier diet, saving more money, etc. I even acknowledged the fact that myfriendships would be affected in some way (my own best friend suggested I look for new"mommy friends"). It's overwhelming enough to experience the changes that come with having a baby but realizing that our relationships will change too is one that most newmoms don't want to worry about.
But they do and they will. I realized very quickly that there's a huge divide between moms and non-moms. And just like I experienced changes in my friendships after I got married (turns out things change between your friends when you get hitched, too), I was prepared for them after getting pregnant. But facing the changes that would affect mymarriage.... let's just say that I, like most women, was in denial.
But my husband and I wanted to start our family more than anything so of course, once we had our baby we would be running through fields of lavender, right? Not necessarily.
During my pregnancy I told myself that I wouldn't become one of those parents that has to schedule date nights or worst, sex, as a result of being a sleep-deprived new parent. But just last night, through my I'm-a-new-mom-I-can't-remember-the last-time-I-took-a-shower induced stress I begged him to take me out on a date so I could have something to look forward to outside of a night spent with a wailing newborn (and a reason to wear a bra again, oh yeah, and a shower!)
When my husband gets home from work and asks me what I've done all day, I want to throw a dirty diaper at his head. When he complains that the baby disturbs his sleep at night, I want to permanently send him to the couch and when he makes fun of me for feeling guilty about leaving the baby for a few hours, I feel like he just doesn't understand. But then something sweet happens. We'll go out, to try and have somewhat of a social life, and all we can do is talk about the baby. We've become those parents. It feels good.
Having a baby definitely means changing your priorities but my husband and I have each others' backs now more than ever. He defends my choice not to breastfeed. I listen to his reasons on why we should co-sleep. When he gets home from work he takes over parenting duties so I can get some much-needed relief. We're a team. I never get tired of watching her as she sleeps and giving my husband a nudge to look at the beautiful little baby we created together. Or telling her how much she looks like her daddy.
And that's how relationships change after you have a baby. You can choose to fall in love again or you can let the stresses of parenthood pull you apart. We're creating the family we've always wanted. If that means skipping a shower here and there or losing a few hours of sleep, it's all worth it.