My beautiful and talented friend, Yasmine, has graciously offered to write a guest post for my blog; offering a new perspective on all things motherhood. A wife and loving mother of one of the cutest little boys I know, here is her story:
When Maya said she was looking for a guest blog I quickly deleted her email. Too much pressure! Then I was on the subway and thinking about a topic Maya hasn’t covered on this blog. I realized she would never cover it because I don’t think she faced this issue… So I decided to write for all the moms-to-be and new moms and old moms for that matter. I had to write this for all of Momdom.
I was part of Maya’s mommy group and one of my most vivid memories is sitting down at our first gathering and someone saying: Is anyone else headed for divorce? When we all started chuckling (except maya*). I felt the weight of a future custody battle lift off my shoulders.
After ten years together I thought my husband (J) and I were unflappable, but eight months of sleep deprivation flapped us. Big time. Turns out backpacking through Europe together really isn’t that much of a relationship challenge, after all.
To say we were on different wavelengths would be an insult to the bitterness of those months. He wanted date nights. I wanted lie-in-bed-while-someone-spoon-feeds-me nights.
He wanted me to watch my ‘tone’. I actually had no idea what ‘tone’ he was hearing… my voice was permanently tired and desperate. He wanted to go to Home Depot on the weekend. I did not want to be left alone with this child FOR ANOTHER SECOND. He asked me to shave his head and I went crazy with the shame of not having done any personal grooming in six months. If I so much as stubbed my toe my mind immediately went to – how can I blame J for this?
And the impact it was taking on us was sneaky. Because when we were with the babe we were smiling and laughing and happy. The child was a delight during the day. Eventually I started to realize that despite all of the happy smiling, J and I were hardly making eye contact, all the love was baby-bound. After the munchkin was in bed the smiling stopped and the TV went on. It hit me one night when I realized we’d been together all day, but hadn’t looked at each other, you know, like actually taken one another in, the entire time.
I want to say that we talked and opened up and learned more about ourselves and together overcame the challenge but then I’d be lying. Before that could happen, we had to get some rest. Once the tiny night beast started sleeping we started getting along better.
However, after so many little quibbles and larger snaps, we were both oversensitive and the teasing we used to love, didn’t play in the same way for a long time. I find we skew cheesy now, in an effort to not accidentally skew mean. Overly loving? I’m actually really good with that.
What would a mommy blog be without a few tips? Here’s what I’m going to try to remember next time around:
Empathy can be hard, especially from the person you love the most. Work to give it, and ask for it when you need it.
Give up waiting for the 12-hour sleep. It’s a long time coming. Get on with your life, tired and all.
Remember that you’re a team. Or at least you used to be. In a dark moment J and I wrote the boy a letter “to be read when he’s man enough to handle it” and it briefly let us be in charge again.
*Maya and John never fight. I tried to hate her because of it, but it’s impossible. She’s impossible to hate. You can hate her for that.
11 thoughts on “For the good of Momdom”
Such a great post. Thank you for writing it and for your honestly! I laugh (but not really) because everything you wrote I could have inserted my name here ____________. As much as I love my hubs, having a baby really strained our relationship and when you’re tired, nothing matters! Every little thing ‘bugged’ me and still does but now I try to use the little voice in my head a lot and take deep breaths – no one is the wiser and I still get to have my little venting session 🙂
couln’t agree more, it’s a beauty 🙂 and SO helpful and REAL 🙂
yes. yes. yes. you know we were in the exact same boat. great post. it was a long time coming, but we are finally at a place where we treat each other with respect and empathy again.
I too have found that it’s a challenge to be a new mom and maintain a happy marriage. It’s definitely a challenge!
Seven years on and still dealing with very little sleep (as soon as each baby has been old enough to sleep, we’ve foolishly made another one)! I think babies take such a TOLL on their parents’ relationships! Some days I think about the future when we are sleeping through the night, making enough money to afford our day-to-day lives, not worrying about a certain sneaky child jamming an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet, after pooing, and then calling us to have it removed (full disclosure: that is what just happened in my house but 5 minutes ago), etc etc, but won’t life be a bit boring then?? 🙂
Thanks for a great post!!
wow! you def. don’t have a boring life. May it be full of happiness always 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
Great post. I have felt the same way you describe. I like the idea of writing a letter to your child. I have two little munchkins. I think I’ll do that. It’s empowering.
Thanks for your comment! I have to write one of those letters as well (when I find some time).
Great post! None of my friends have children, or are even married for that matter. I feel like most of the things I go through as a new mother I am facing alone. I never know if the feelings I have are normal. With a new baby in our home we have totally faced the issue of not really being present with one another, all of our energy is focused on our little one. Its getting easier day by day, but I know that feeling is far from over. You make me feel like I’m not the only one dealing with this. I feel like I’m actually not a bad spouse, I’m a normal one.
It’s so easy to feel isolated as a new mom. ESPECIALLY if you don’t know too many people in the same situation. I was going through the same thing as you but was lucky enough to find a new group of friends who were going through the exact same thing – my mom’s group. Hope some of my other posts where I blurt out all of my feelings also help you on this journey. Thanks for your honest comment and for reading 🙂