Making Time For Us.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

If there's one thing that tests a relationship, it's introducing a child into the mix. When it's just been you for awhile, it's hard to know how everything will change when two becomes three. You have your routines. Your way of doing things. You're selfish and indulgent. You do the things you want, you spend time how you please and you don't really need to think about anyone else apart from the two of you.

And then a baby comes along, and priorities change. Sleep is fleeting. Maybe you don't even sleep in the same bed anymore. One of you is at home parenting, the other is working. Maybe both of you are working. You can't just come home and blob, there are responsibilities and your time is no longer your own. Leisurely couch time in front of the TV is a thing of the past and has been swapped with bath and story time.  Nights are spent winding down, feeding in bed, taking turns trying to get your baby to sleep. Mornings are spent with one of you playing, the other quickly showering and with a quick distracted peck (if you're lucky) but often just a "bye babe" as your partner races out the door, your days have started. Days are spent just trying to get things done, with rushing from here to there without any real time to "be."

And "you time" - what even is that? A foreign concept, that's for sure. It is SO hard time find time. For anything. For talking, for intimacy. And I'm not even talking sex (because we all know that's not anyone's first priority and also, just quickly can we talk about how much that first time bloody hurts? Like, my body had definitely not forgiven me for pushing out a near 4kg baby and was not keen for anything else to be in that general area. And we waited nearly 12 weeks! When do you even do it anyway? If we can finally get Jackson to sleep not on us, getting myself to sleep ie. blackout is my first priority). Anyway, when I say intimacy, I'm talking just a good old cuddle and maybe a make out sesh on the couch. If you do find a minute to yourselves, there's always something else that's more important. Well actually, I'm sure Rob would much rather have a kiss rather than do the dishes but (and I don't know if it's just me) I've never been able to relax fully when my mental to-do list is not done. But I've realised something, and that's that I actually need to start making more of an effort.

Everyone says that when you have a baby, they should be the most important person in your life. Of course, they didn't ask to be born. It's your responsibility to give them the best life you can because YOU chose to have them. No one else. But, and you guys know I'm a firm believer of this... A happy mum means a happy child. And more than that, a happy home means a happy family which leads to a happy child. When Mum and Dad, or Mum and Mum, or Dad and Dad aren't happy, when they aren't connected or feel like they aren't on the same page, the balance is off and mood can be low. Instead of tackling problems together, heads butt and tempers rise. Resentment builds up, and parenting becomes this individual journey instead of a team effort.

So this weekend, we went on a date. We only had two hours, but we went to the movies and we took time to ourselves. We contemplated staying home to tidy up the house but decided we deserved to go out. We deserved to treat ourselves to something, to just relax and enjoy each others company. To be fully present together instead of one of us holding Jackson while the other did something else. There's a lot of "can you while I" as parents, which is totally fine - it's the only way to get any shit done. But it's so important to also prioritise time spent together. The best environment to bring a child into is a happy and loving one. Their first example of love is between their parents so we owe it to them (and of course us) to really look after and nurture our relationship. So have the date night and don't feel guilty. Spend time working on your relationship. Because if shit hits the fan, or things pop up, you need to be able to support and work through it together - rather than clash because you've been living separate lives that are only connected by your baby.

How do you guys ensure that your relationship with your partner gets the time that it needs? Or don't you? Because I know the struggle. Is. Real. But man, it's important.

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