Recently, I became a mom of two – a toddler and a newborn. The transition, as I wrote in a previous post, has been easier than I thought it would be on seemingly everyone – myself, my husband and my toddler. But, one thing that has been difficult has been the impact on my relationship with my husband. No, we aren’t arguing more, and no, he’s not driving me crazy, like a lot of moms complain about postpartum. Rather, I miss him.
I’m lucky. Most nights my husband gets home from work by 6 pm. Before Cohen, my new baby boy, was born we would have family dinner and then put Deacon to bed (sometimes together, but mostly my husband did that solo), and afterward we could talk about our days and sit in front of a Netflix show of our choice until bed, a socially-acceptable 10 – 10:30 pm. Now, my husband is still home by 6 pm, and we still have dinner, but my firstborn has a way of steering the conversation or asking 1,000 questions about conversations that don’t pertain to him. Don’t get me wrong, I love his curiosity. But, at the end of dinner, I realized we hadn’t really caught up with one another. And then we were both getting children down for the night. Cohen is still waking multiple times overnight, so we are TIRED (yes, the all CAPS are necessary). Our new, non-socially-acceptable bedtime became 8:35: 5 minutes after Deacon went to bed. Enough to brush teeth and say, “good night.”
With two babes at home – both requiring plenty of assistance, like nursing 5+ times a day, offering 20+ snack options, and changing 100+ diapers – weekends fly by. It was beginning to feel like time with my husband was last on the priority list, or rather, the feasibility list. We talked about this recently and both agreed: we missed one another. Since Cohen was sleeping so poorly during the day, we decided he should go to bed earlier (why not? he would wake overnight plenty of times either way), and we decided to move Deacon’s bedtime up by just 15 minutes or so (he wouldn’t notice anyway). What was left was a half hour – 8:15 – 8:45 p.m. – that was solely for us.
My husband is my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else. He knows when I need to vent (and sometimes cry) over a failed baby nap or rehash a sweet story Deacon made up that day. He also knows when I need to hear mundane details about his day at the office, simply because I need to think about and talk about something other than children. And, I know him better than anyone else, too. I know he needs time just with me just as much as I with him.
As parents, we are busy and we are tired. I have no doubt those two things are true for every mom, many even busier and more tired than me. All I can say is that 30 minutes isn’t a lot but it has meant a lot to me. Our priority will always be keeping our two kids happy and healthy, but this 30 minutes has reminded me that our relationship can still be – and always should be – top priority, too.