How Babies Change Your Marriage and Funday Monday Link-Up

Life changes on every possible level when you have a kid – but especially your marriage. Jake’s and my situation is unique in that we were dealing with several big life changes at the same time. We moved last September to a city where we knew no one, Ainsley was born one month later and then Jake started his new job at a fancy (read: high stress and long hours) DC law firm five days after that. Our situation is (hopefully) not the norm.

However, when you introduce a third person into any pair of people, a new dynamic is naturally going to form. The previously stable duo has been rocked by the third person and now needs to adjust. If it doesn’t find it’s footing, it could collapse.

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It’s like when I was in middle school and my BFF and I hung out everyday at lunch and over the weekends. But one day, I saw another classmate crying at lunch and invited her to hang out with us. My relationship with my best friend was never the same because now there were three. And one weekend when we were all going to have a sleepover but I couldn’t make it, it’s like in an instant, I was out of the group. (Cue middle school drama). They still had the sleepover and suddenly a new pair of BFFs was formed.

In family systems psychology these three-person dynamics are called triangles and more often than not, there ends up being an odd man out. It’s easy when you have a baby to revolve your whole world around the adorable little nugget. But in order to be a unified pair, we need to make sure that the spousal relationship is protected. I love my sweet girl but as Rachel of reality TV fame says, “No one gets between me and my man.”

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Here are some things to keep in mind when you bring a baby into your tight-knit duo:

  • You will have less “couple time”: You now have to balance couple time with alone time and family time, all of which takes place before and after business hours. Here’s a taste of our schedule… Jake leaves the house ever morning at 6:30am and gets home between 6:30-7:00pm. I am usually up with Ainsley at least once each night still so there is no way I’m getting up at 5:30am with Jake to hang out. Which leaves evenings. We are still trying to get Ains into a schedule so she usually goes to bed between 7:00-8:00pm. That means at least the first hour of Jake being home is spent bathing, feeding, changing and putting Ainsley to bed. Occasionally we manage to feed ourselves during this time as well. By 8:00pm we are both spent and are faced with the decision: Hang out together or go our separate ways till bedtime around 10pm. Usually we spend the first hour on our own and the second hour together. That works well but it is a huge change from our previous life when we had more energy and there were more free hours in the day to be together.
  • You lose the ability to be spontaneous (unless you have a lineup of babysitters available for hire on a moment’s notice): This goes hand-in-hand with the above point. We used to be pretty spontaneous people. I mean, how spontaneous is this: The week before Ainsley was born we went out every night between 10:00-11:00pm to get McDonald’s shakes. The doctor actually asked me at my appointment that week what was going on because I had gained 5 lbs. That one week! She thought I might have pre-eclampsia or something.  Anywho, I don’t advise doing this on a regular basis, but if you don’t have kids, you can.
  • Lack of patience and other effects of sleep deprivation: We had to make some decisions right when Ainsley was born in order to alleviate the effects sleep deprivation was having on our marriage. We can be feisty creatures when we are tired – short, snippy, critical. Not to mention, with Jake’s uber-intense job starting, he needed to be at the top of his game. So we decided I would handle all nightly duties. Then on the weekends when he wakes up I go back to bed for however long I choose and he has daddy/daughter time. This works well for us. We didn’t discuss this prior to having a baby but I highly suggest you do. It will save you the learning curve later.

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Sounds kind of negative right? Well, there are some really cool things that happen too.

  • You learn the art of negotiation: Take the above example of how Jake and I arranged our new sleeping habits. We had to do a little discussing and negotiating to figure out a plan we both felt was fair. We knew he needed a strong start to his new job and technically I can nap when Ainsley naps. This doesn’t always happen though so those weekend hours of extra sleep are lifesavers. We discussed, negotiated and came up with a plan that would work for both of us.
  • You learn the art of teamwork: Guys, I wish you could see our bath time routine. We’ve got it down. I change Ainsley and pass her to Jake. He carries her to the tub singing “Bath time with Mrs. A, we’re doing bath time, me and Mrs. A dum, dum, dum, dum.”  (I try to tell him one day she is going to be confused by the “Mrs” part but he doesn’t listen). Anyway, they giggle and have fun tub time and when they’re finished I get the “Mrs. Mommy we’re done” call. Ains gets passed back to me for her nightly lotion/massage and gets dressed for bed. We reconvene together after that for a quick bible story, prayer and then it’s “night night time for Mrs. A.” The routine is absolutely flawless now.
  • You bond as you grieve and celebrate: Life looks different when you have a kid but there is something bonding about being in it together. Some days it’s us versus her as we try to figure out what the heck that girl is thinking. We grieve the loss of our old life but we celebrate the gift we’ve been given. We would trade McDonald’s shakes for our baby girl any day.

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How have you seen your marriage change since having a baby? Comment below and be sure to link-up too!

funday-monday-button-300x288Welcome to Funday Monday! Here are a few of our favorites posts from last week’s link-up:

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/ The Juice / Floral Moto Jacket / Lucky in Love / City Walk /

The Rules for #FundayMonday Link-Ups:
    1. Follow your hosts Molly @ still being [molly], Carly @ Lipgloss & Crayons and our guest host Angela @ A. Charles Coach.
    2. Grab a button and / or post a link back here in your BLOG POST (NOT your blog’s main page) so your readers know what all the #fundaymonday-ness is about. We love you guys linking up and we do go through and read all your posts… so if you do not give credit, we will have to remove your link. That’s no fun, right? Right. So be nice and share a link! Pretty please?
    3. Link your blog post up using the linky tool below! It can be ANYTHING! An outfit post, a giveaway, a story, a recipe, whatever. Why? Cause it’s #fundaymonday!
    4. Visit a blog or four that you’ve never been to before and leave a #fundaymonday comment – you never know, you might “meet” someone new that you will lurve!
    5. Have fun! Cause it’s Monday!

Want to cohost #FundayMonday? We are currently accepting weekly cohosts! Please email us at carlybrydon@gmail.com  for more information!



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