I’ve been googling “marriage tips after baby” lately because I feel like we are slowly slipping into the statistic of couples whose marriages decline after having a baby.
And it’s making me incredibly sad because I feel very helpless and still don’t know what to do even after researching.
Most suggestions say, “make time for each other, schedule in date nights/intimacy nights, don’t forget to cuddle, take time to show affection, be helpful and kind towards one another especially when the other is tired/stressed/overwhelmed.”
But none of the suggestions says how to actually make time for each other when you literally have no time for anything besides tending to the baby. Between feeding her every 30 minutes to 3 hours, changing her diapers, entertaining her so she doesn’t feel lonely, and calming her cries, I barely have time to even shower myself or make dinner, let alone tend to my husband.
And it’s not that I don’t want to make time for my husband or for “us” as a couple, I just don’t know when! As guilty as it makes me feel, I would love to have someone watch her for two hours so I can get in some time with my husband or even alone to run a few errands or take a long shower. But at this point, it doesn’t seem reasonable.
We don’t have anyone that can babysit. She is exclusively breastfed and does not take a bottle yet so babysitting would be a difficult option anyway until we can get her used to taking milk from a bottle. I guess we will have to work on that sooner or later anyway because I’ll be going back to work in a few months and she will have to take milk from a bottle.
But anyway, I go back to my point. I’m feeling very sad right now because I desperately miss my husband. And I can feel ya moving farther apart. I feel isolated. I am constantly taking care of her and he is off doing his own thing, whether that be going to work, hanging out with his friends, playing video games, watching basketball, or what not.
He barely acknowledges me. We barely even kiss hello or goodbye or say I love you. Sex? What sex?
He asked me for it the other night, but mind you it was 3 in the morning after he was done playing video games for the night and crawling into bed while I was asleep after having fought with my baby trying to get her to sleep myself; I was exhausted. I had absolutely no energy to pleasure him let alone try to get aroused myself. I could barely keep my own eyes open.
But then I felt an incredible wave of guilt. The one time he wants me, I turn him down. But was I wrong to do so? It was so late at night! Yes, maybe it was the only time we had together because she was finally asleep but I needed to rest too because I knew she would be awake in an hour or two.
But the guilt didn’t stop there. It snowballed into, well if I turn him down then what if he seeks out pleasure in other ways like porn or what if he cheats on me!?
And then I started to think about myself. How terrible I look all the time since I gave birth. I barely shower, brush my teeth or brush my hair. I wear sweatpants and a tank top every day.
But it’s not because I don’t want to look nice. It’s because I don’t have TIME to put in the effort to look nice.
Lately, my daughter does not want to be put down at all! She wants to stay in my arms constantly and if I try to put her down, she cries. I think it’s leap/growth related. She’s almost 8 weeks though, so I feel like that is going to slow down now that most of the major growth spurts are done until 3 months.
But the trick is now trying to get her to sleep in her bed instead of in my arms constantly, otherwise I can’t get anything at all done.
Currently, I am on the couch with her in my arms sleeping. I need to go to the bathroom so very bad but I know as soon as I move and place her in her bed she will wake and we have to start the routine all over again. She’s only been sleeping for 20 minutes so I know that’s not nearly enough time for a nap. But I need to pee! So I guess I have to wake her in order to do that and hope she will go back to sleep quickly.
Ah. My life has completely turned. Not that I am complaining, well I guess technically I am. It is just hard. It is so hard having a child although it is rewarding as well. I love seeing her smile and play and cuddling with her, but how I miss some alone time. I miss my own identity too.
Now I just feel like this is what I am. A mother. And I seem to have a bad association with that – a woman who does nothing except tends to her child. A woman who lets herself go. A woman whom her husband no longer cares for because she is too busy for him.
But I know in reality a mother is much more. I must find positive things about it.
I must find a way to balance my life. I must figure out how to revive my marriage otherwise it surely is going to crumble. I just don’t know what to do. Not sleep so I can find extra time for my husband?
I feel so helpless. I feel like this blog is one big negative space. It is not what I imagined it would be. It is more raw and real, rather than helpful and positive to other mothers.
It is a description of what real #motherhood is. Not the Instagram worthy pictures of happy babies and loving families. The cute outfits. The photos of couples taking their child out to places to explore and showing off. The smiles. The laughs.
No, this is real. The sleepless nights. The crying. The problems we face. The financial worries. The other worries.
I’m sure I’ll look back one day and realize it wasn’t that bad, but right now I do feel like I am in the trenches. That all is falling apart and I am not doing a very good job at any of it. That I am failing as a mother. I am failing as a wife.
But maybe I am not. I am trying my best, I really am. I am trying to keep it all together and raise a healthy, beautiful child, but I guess in the meantime I am losing myself and losing my husband.
Hopefully soon I can figure out how to have all three.
Any tips? Encouragement? I would love to hear.
Mama with grace