How my marriage is stronger after having a baby

I don’t have to tell you guys that pregnancy and a baby puts a whole lot of pressure on a marriage. The hormones, the late nights, the lack of intimacy and the irritation don’t really make for a romantic 9 months.

Somehow, you both have this “idea” in hour head that once the baby is here, it would be better, intimacy will be easier because you will feel more comfortable and better about your body. (Ha right?!).

It actually gets harder once the baby is there, your husband tends to feel neglected because he now has to share you with this tiny little baby that always needs you, and when that baby finally goes to sleep, you are exhausted, you don’t feel like putting on sexy lingerie and being sexy.

It takes time, it takes time to get used to the little sleep, it takes time to find out who you are again once you become a mother, you change, your priorities change and your outlook on life changes, and so does the dynamic of your relationship with your partner.

The key is to be patient with one another, both of you needs to find how things are going to work, fathers also feel like they cant do what they used to do because they now have a family, just like moms feel like they have no time to themselves anymore. In my case, this “role confusion” caused a lot of friction in our marriage, we took the frustration out on one another and fought all the time; the slightest thing set us off and we ended up fighting about something that happened years ago.

The point is that any high pressure situation causes fights, and a having a child is like an endless amount of high pressure situations, you just need to find your way around it. We are much more patient with each other now, and we give each other space when we need it, and we don’t take stress out on each other anymore (well most of the time, we’re only human).

Our relationship is just stronger, having gone through the sleepless nights together (well mostly) and the insecurities as parents; have just brought us closer together, seeing your partner with your child does something to your heart, it warms it and melts it at the same time.

It honestly is an amazing journey, it breaks and rebuilds you as a person and as a couple.

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How to get your baby through those “fussy stages”

Have you noticed that all these baby apps always shows you at what age the leaps and growth spurts take place, are always basically on top of each other? They should just say birth – 18 years old with their little thundercloud next to it !

Then

I am the first to admit that we got a sleeping consultant when our baby girl was about 5 months old, its was chaos ! We used to get up at night about 11 times, and had to function on very little sleep and a very cranky baby. The main issue for us was her pacifier, as she only used it when she needed to sleep, and constantly lost it during the night, hence the getting up all night. The results were amazing and it changed everything for us.

Now

Then our baby turned 8 months, and she was standing in her cot throughout the night, refusing to lay back down, and screamed until we picked her up. I honestly thought here we go again.

Luckily I was wrong, we just did nothing haha, and before we knew it, about 2 weeks later, she decided that she might just lay down for a little bit, and that was it. Yes those two weeks were intense, and yes she still has moments where she refuses to sleep (just to keep us on our toes) but I can honestly say that it was just a phase and they all are.

Cue Overreacting

I am a first time mom, so for me, every change or phase or leap made me go into stress mode, and I used to google and ask for advice all over. Now, almost a year into it, I have learned to well, let my baby go through what she needs to go through.

Do yourself a favor, before you go and change your routine and blame yourself for the sleepless nights, just asl around. Our baby is drinking two bottles a night still, and I thought because the “books” say she should be sleeping through, that I am doing something wrong. I asked other moms, and guess what? I am not the only one who’s baby still doesn’t sleep through the night. What a relief, now I don’t feel like I need to revisit everything I have done so far, AND I don’t feel like I have failed somehow (because we love to go there don’t we).

I don’t know about you guys, but I seriously need to learn how to take a breath, I can get so worked up over the littlest things with my baby, that it has somehow turned me into a different person. Luckily my husband reminds me that I need to relax, not that it always works, the verdict is still out on how to take a breather, but the moment I figure it out I will let you guys know 😝

Breathe

The only way to get through it all is to not stress over every single moment, your baby can sense it and we all know how bad stress is for your health. Join a playgroup or get more mom friends, find a way that gets you through these tough phases, and you will be able to handle each one like a pro.

Good luck Moms

How time makes you a stronger parent

When my husband and I first brought our baby girl home, I remember how sore our warms used to be for days, from holding her and breastfeeding (she only weighed 2,95 kilos), now she weighs 10 kilos and we cary her around a lot (she is in that clingy phase where she wants to get picked up ALL THE TIME) and yet our arms don’t get sore quickly anymore, in-fact, I even get a few things done around the house while carrying her.

And that is what motherhood does to you, it makes you stronger, selfless and oh so much more motivated in life. When something happens in your personal or work life that upsets you or throws you a curveball, having a baby teaches you to just get through it, you cant sit in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, because your baby still needs attention and sleep and food and and. There is no time to take to mope around or to wallow. You get up and you push through it.

Sleep is another example, for the first 9 months I struggled so much without a proper night’s sleep, now , I don’t really mind, I get up at night and I am okay, I am not even moody anymore, I think I have maybe just admitted defeat. Haha

Being a mother changes your life ! And it is such a blessing to be able to have a little human. And being stronger for it, Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we raise them and may we be them. 🙏🏻❤️

When routine gets the better of you

I for one am someone who needs excitement and adventure in life, some spontaneity so to speak, I get bored with one single thing so quickly and need new things to stimulate me. Having a 9 month old however, makes this very difficult if not impossible.

For those of you who are new here, I live in a rural area about an hour from the Botswana border, we own a few businesses in the small town Ganyesa, and I am a stay at home mom. We live 70 kilometers from the nearest town, and its a horrible town haha. So I do start to feel a bit isolated most days.

Looking after my baby girl is a blessing don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I am not doing anything some days, when in reality; I run after her crawling little body all day, feed her, play with her, cook,clean and try to get some time for myself, she wakes about 3 times a night, and we all know weekends are not what they used to be before we had children! Haha.

Its easy for stay at home moms to feel like they are not adding to anything, they don’t have a job and don’t feel like they are accomplishing anything really. When in reality, you have the most important job of all; raising a child that will be kind and compassionate to others, so that they can go out into the world knowing that they can be all they want to be, with you cheering them on with every step they take. Its A VERY IMPORTANT JOB !

Its so tiring to do this every day all day, and then I think of the moms who work, come home after a long day and still have to get up at night for their babies, the point is we all have struggles and hard days with our children, or, with just being a mother in general. Its important to remind ourselves that life is full of phases, the sleepless night, the fighting with your husband, the snotty noses; they all end, and we get to see them grow up. Is that not amazing ?

I hope there is someone out there that needs to hear this; take everything in stride, have your bad days, be down, and the next day get up and pit a smile on your face and do it all over again- because one day you will miss it !

Motherhood is far from glam

I stay at home with my baby girl, and yesterday it was midday and I glanced at myself in the mirror for the first time that day… and cringed! – What!? Is that really what I look like !

I had a C-Section, and needless to say; my tummy looks and feels horrible. It does not even feel like it is attached to my body some days. In the beginning, after the surgery, I could handle it because it would get better with time, now, 7 months later, it has gotten better but I HATE my body !

It has gotten so bad that it is actually affecting my marriage, and just everything really, clothes shopping is something that I used to LOVE, now I dread it! I even get dressed in the bathroom so that my husband does not see me naked in the light. I know this might seem extreme to some, and it definitely does to my husband (who bless him, still thinks I am gorgeous), but I just don’t feel good about myself.

Isn’t it weird how we can be our own worst critics? No one is harder on someone than you with yourself, on the one hand its good because you should push yourself to be better, but sometimes (like in my case) it becomes a sort of obsession, obsession to look like that woman on TV that your husband stared at, obsession to think that people who walk pass you think “wow she is fat”. When in reality , they don’t even notice you, they are busy battling their own insecurities.

At the end of the day, you always have a decision, I can either hate my body and wallow in self pity, or I can try to do something about it, exercise a little eat a bit healthier, even if the results are not miraculous or amazing, just trying would also make me feel a bit better.

So here is to being happier, and healthier.

The “mom itch”

Ever notice how once you start doing something with your baby , and you have no free hands, you start itching somewhere ? The mom itch!

As if motherhood is not hard enough already right? Now you find yourself trying to hold a bottle with your chin while trying to scratch your nose with your way too short arm! In reality it is called “phantom itching” but I truly think its the mom itch, it always happens when I am busy with my baby girl, and ALWAYS when I cant scratch !

The moment I stop with what I am doing, the itch goes away! It is so frustrating, and no way to stop it from happening again. This is one of those phenomenas that makes no sense, just like motherly instinct and how you can function on 2 hours of sleep. Yet, all of the above is very real.

This made me think of all the things we as moms go through that no one sees; the emotional turmoil when your baby is crying, hurting or just unhappy, the hurt when your partner goes straight to bed instead of spending some time alone with you, the tiredness that comes with it all. It can be so difficult some days that it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, yet, the next day; we do it all over again.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to keep quiet because I feel like my husband and friends don’t really understand how I feel or what I am going through, and sometimes I just do not know how to put my feelings into words, keeping my feelings to myself just less effort in the long run.

Its like an itch you cant scratch, knowing that if you talk about it; it will only turn into a fight and you will still feel alone at the end of it. Being a mother comes with so many internal struggles that we often don’t talk about to others.

Sometimes , just sometimes, it is okay to put yourself first, to take a moment and give your baby to someone for a few hours and just let it all out, have a good cry, go for a walk , get some retail therapy, read a few pages of that book you haven’t touched, just take a moment.

I am horrible at this, when I leave my baby with someone, I always feel like I have to hurry back, like that person is doing me a favor and therefore I must not push it because maybe they wont do it again then.

In reality though, most people that offer to babysit; understand that moms need a break, and wont even mind if you take that extra half an hour to go for a pedicure instead of rushing back home. For me; this is an ongoing process, I am learning everyday that it is okay to take a minute, some days I feel more anxious than others , but I am getting there.

Take a break, it is so rewarding and just so necessary for a healthier, happier you!

When Even Your Insides Are Tired || Mom Tired

Have you ever felt like your tired like in your bones ? I don’t know how else to explain it , who am I kidding , off course you have ! This happens to all of us , but I honestly believe “mom tired” is a thing !

This is me today , after this week with Paige , I just feel drained , emotionally, physically , mentally , and wait , is there another one ? I forget 🤫😳

Today we had friends over , and as much as I would love to kick back and have a few drinks , have some snacks , chat to my friends or just relax a little bit , but I cant , I have a 5 month old that is still busy sleep training !

But then I put my baby girl in my lap and just hold her , and everything just disappears, every single day I look at her and think “I cant love you anymore than I do right now” , and every day that love grows ! 🧡

So yes, today I am extremely exhausted to the point where I want to ugly cry , but I wouldn’t have it any other way, looking after my baby girl is the biggest blessing in the world !

Angelique