Monday, March 11, 2013
A new baby changes everything
Before you get any ideas, no, I do not have a new baby! Helium deleted my first article on how a new baby changes a relationship. No, let's rephrase that. They deleted an article for the first time. It was not the first article I ever wrote for Helium, however. It was deleted because they now have decided it was off topic. Took them seven years to realized that??? Yes, it did, but I contend it was their own fault. They should have made it more clear to new writers what they expected of each title. But that is neither here nor there. The point is I have this article and I may as well use it here.
Here's a warning for you: If you don't want to learn more about me than you think you ought to, then don't read on. It's far more personal than I usually get. What was I thinking???
How a relationship changes after a baby
When my Tommy and I started dating we had no idea we would be together for this long, twenty-four years. Who knew a flirtatious smile could lead to so much? We soon knew we were meant to be. On our third date we named our children, future children that is. We assumed we'd get them. Our relationship B.C. (Before Children) was one centered on having fun. Going to movies, out dancing, hiking into the woods, walking around the mall, getting to know everything about each other, going out to dinner, lunch, heck, even breakfast was all we did besides that pesky going to work and making money thing. But even that didn't stop us from having fun. We'd sneak off before or after work just to be together for a few minutes, stolen moments.
Our relationship A.C. (After Children) was hardly any different. We still had to steal moments to be together and have some fun but instead of grumbling about having to go to work we brought our tiny bundle of joy into bed with us and marveled at her perfection. That was our new kind of fun. Playing with her, teaching her how to count, reading Dr. Suess's ABC book to her until we both memorized it and could recite it without the book. She fascinated us, enchanted us, amazed us, brought us closer together.
So close together were we, in fact, that baby number two came a tiny bit over two years later. He was equally fascinating and funny but also maddening. He used to scream his head off for two solid hours at night for no apparent reason and nothing would soothe him. Just as I was ready to pull my hair out of my head the baby would fall in a dead sleep that would last through the night. To anyone who had just had sleep deprivation for almost two years that would seem like a Godsend. But it wasn't to me. Because the baby slept so much my breasts hurt from too much milk. Baby number two had missed a feeding. Ouch!
This however didn't bother Tommy. Why would it? He suddenly had a Playboy Bunny in bed with him and he was actually allowed to touch this one being he was married to her. He was, needless to say, thrilled. He took pictures and everything. Less than two years later, you guessed it, baby number three came and two years after that, number four. Things got a bit hairy then.
I was in full mommy-mode and barely had time for Tommy. He didn't much care for that but he knew it had to be. Children, after all, came first. Yes, he grumbled. Yes, he wished we had stopped at two babies. Yes, he wished his Playboy Bunny would never leave his side. Yes, he thought I was being entirely too good at the mommy thing and not very good at the sexy babe in his bed thing but we managed through the rough times. That selfishness was stemmed. It had no place in parenthood.
Baby can place a considerable amount of strain on a relationship. It can break up the weak ones but it can strengthen the strong ones. It can be crazy at times but it can also bring greater joy than imaginable. People can become closer, can make a more lasting bond and eventually you'll know you were supposed to go through all that just to appreciate the good times. Life is grand and babies can make it that way if you don't mind your Playboy Bunny changing a stinky diaper before getting back into bed with you.