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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To the mom who craves control

This post is very personal to me,and something about myself that I never knew.

The Control Freak

I somehow, NEED control , in every situation in my life, in any way that I can. Without realizing it, it has taken all the fun out of everything, I somehow think that if I can anticipate everything and be prepared for it, that I would be able to handle it better, even as I am typing this, I realize how silly that sounds, but still very real.

I feel that I cant go on “unplanned” excursions because my baby is in a routine (and so am I for that matter) and it was not on my to do list, so I cant go. Before Paige was born I was quite spontaneous, loved the unexpected and thrived under pressure. Motherhood has somehow changed all of this, I have turned into someone who cant go out at night because I don’t want to risk a screaming session in a restaurant – for the fear of someone thinking I am not a good mother.

Red Flags

Now, with my psychology background I can tell you that everythingI just wrote raises sooo many red flags.

  • Firstly, isolating yourself from social events and friends is so unhealthy, and it sets an example for your children as they grow up. My baby girl is so happy when we are out and about, she takes so much in and just enjoys looking around and staring and smiling at the people.
  • Secondly; setting this “paranoid” vibe for my baby just creates so many issues later on in life for her, I basically will be teaching her to be careful, with everything, to not be bold, brave and adventurous – like I used to be.

Learning to “Breathe”

At the end of the day, you simply can not control every situation life throws at you, sometimes you just have to let go a little bit and trust that everything will work out the way it was supposed to.

Babies are much more resilient than we give them credit for; the moment I stopped and started living a little again, she adapted so nicely, no screaming, and even though she struggles a little bit if she is out of routine, she so enjoys doing something different every now and then. ( I still believe in routine don’t get me wrong, and my baby girl is a bit older now).

We need to realize that our babies will cry, they will eventually throw that supermarket tantrum we have been fearing all our lives, they will get sick, people will judge your parenting, your baby will be unhappy sometimes and that does not mean that you failed, it simply means that life does not always go our way, and thats okay. (Yes that rhymed)

The moment we learn to breathe and take things in stride, life automatically becomes easier, we look at life differently and see opportunities we never would have. It just opens up a whole new world, one I am excited to explore !

Just keep at it, changing the way you live life takes time, constant reminding and a whole lot of patience with yourself.

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!

He who must not be named!?

I want to talk about baby blues.

People have ten thousand things to say to you and warn you about when you are pregnant , but yet , no one once mentioned baby blues , or the surge of crazy hormones that you will experience after birth !?

i had a c section ( will share my experience in another post) and on day 3 at home i was sitting with Paige and my mother in law walked in , and i just started crying uncontrollably 🙈 for no reason !

This continued for about 2 months , i felt anxious, moody , emotional and just not happy ! I was confused , because this was supposed to be the happiest time in my life , i mean we couldn’t wait to meet her , and here she is , and yet i could get myself to just relax and enjoy the moment !

I have my honours degree in psychology , so i knew something was up , i contacted my doctor and got anti anxiety meds and things got a whole lot better from there .

The issue i have with this is that in my circle people tend to be very against these types of feelings and meds , they don’t acknowledge these feelings as something real or something to take seriously.

My husband was very against me getting these pills , and thought that it would just pass even though i told him im not coping .

His reaction towards needing help and wanting help , made me feel ashamed for having this problem , but is tuck by it and got help and did muuuch better ! My husband also came around eventually and saw that the pills are working .

Im sharing this experience with you guys , because i feel that in our society baby blues are not mentioned , and not seen as real .

So for those moms out there feeling like they are not coping and need some help , go get it !! Don’t let anyone tell you that what you are feeling is not real ❤️

Hang in there

Angelique

Overcoming Your Mom Insecurities

Where do we even start on this one?

All moms, whether you are a new mom or not, have insecurities, we all feel, at one point or another that we are lacking in some departments. My insecurities as a mother stretch far and wide , so much so that I sometimes feel like a basket case.

The Struggle

For me personally, I am petrified of not having a good relationship with my daughter when she is older, which is a lot of pressure to put on a 6 month old (ha ha), I am constantly doubting myself, whether I am making the right choices for her, or buying the best product for her, I place so much pressure on myself to do things right, that I forget to have patience with myself and give myself the room to still make mistakes, even though I am trying to be a good mother, I am still human at the end of the day.

But saying it does not make it so (as many of you know), I am so sensitive of the subject, that if someone just jokingly points something out, I get offense immediately, instead of just taking it in stride and brushing it off. I will think about it for weeks on end after it has been said, and it would even keep me up at night. It sounds ridiculous, but this used to be my life, and it was so difficult to focus on other things during the day, there just is not enough space in a brain to harbor all thoughts and incidents throughout life, at the end of the day, we need to throw out the bad and keep the good, not just for ourselves, but also for the relationships in our lives.

Thoughts are very powerful, and it can take the joy out of everything, once you harbor a negative thought for too long, it grows, and because we keep it inside, it seems to become such a big issue the longer we keep it inside for no real reason, being caught in this loop is no joke, and can be difficult to get out of.

The Change of Perspective

At the end of the day, what does it matter what people think of the way you raise your child? Life is funny like that; no matter what you do, or where you do it, someone will always have an opinion about it, someone will always disagree with what you are doing, even if you are 100% sure of your decision. Accepting this is liberating, in the way that you no longer mind when someone gives an opinion, you nod and move on with your life without giving it another thought.

This mind set however does not happen overnight, it takes practice. Every time something or someone upsets you by forcing an opinion down your throat, instead of thinking on it for weeks on end, you make a conscious decision to put it aside and not think about it again, every time it pops up (because lets face it, you are only human) you do the same, this is like teaching your brain to think differently. This type of “re-wiring” takes time and effort, but trust me, the results are worth it.

This is not a fool proof plan, it just makes you stress less over things that should not be taking up time in your thoughts. Raise your baby the way you want to, and what you feel is best for your child and your family. Do not let things like mom shaming and old traditional opinions cloud the joy of being a first time mom.

You Got This !

 

The little things you do for your children matter!

That little kiss on the forehead before bed, those little cuddles on the couch; it might seem like little things, but they make all the difference to your baby.

We hear it a lot – You can make mistakes with them now because thank goodness they don’t remember their infant days, although this might be true regarding mistakes you have made, they most certainly do remember how they were treated by their parents and people around them.

Love & Attention

They may not be able to recall a specific incident, but their first days on earth lay the foundation for the future, how they will react to certain situations, how they will treat other people, their relationships, confidence etc. When you bring a new baby home, you don’t focus on these things, all you focus on is getting through the next day, and the next milestone, but we forget the in-between is just as important for the big picture.

Taking a few moments each day just to appreciate your baby and to spend time with him/her makes the biggest difference; giving little neck kisses or little tickles and hearing your baby giggle; is the most rewarding thing about being a mother, it brings you so much joy!

Childhood

I for one did not have the best childhood, I know my parents did their best with what life threw at them, and I am grateful, but being a mother now I look at things a little differently, I realize little issues I have and why (true I have a psychology background so I can pinpoint these easier than most, but every person can look back on their childhood and realize where what went wrong).

I am adamant that we go through all these experiences to make it right, or at the very least gain some perspective as to what our parents went through, and have more sympathy towards the issues they had to face when we were children, at the time, we did not realize how big these situations were, but now as parents, we can relate to them more, and sympathize more. I might get some blow back on this one, but to me; being a parent entails protecting your child (for as long as possible) from the ugliness of the world, the sad the bad and the traumatic (as best we can).

Feelings Come Second

When you are pregnant, you are excited, you think of the little toes and fingers and you can’t wait to meet your new little human, and all will be right in the world. The fact of the matter is, although this is very true, you will need to make countless sacrifices for your child (or ought to make for them), whatever you are going through in life, these emotions and feelings need to be buried deep inside so that your children are not affected by this; this is extremely hard in some cases, locking your feelings away for later takes so much strength and I don’t think we get enough credit for doing this, people just expect it of a mothers, it’s a given, therefore you are not allowed to say that it is hard to put yourself second sometimes.

Well it is, but at the same time, it is a privilege to be able to protect your child from all the hardships in life while they are little, making sacrifices for your child is what makes them into amazing adults, it ensure that your child stays a child while they should and do not get burdened with “adult problems” before they have to, life is short, their time will come way too soon to be an adult and they will have plenty of their own dilemmas to deal with. Don’t make this start earlier than it needs to for them.

Life Changes

Making a decision to move somewhere for a better school district or a bigger house, a safer neighborhood, we all do it for our children, it is a huge change, change is scary and uncertain, yet we do it for our children because you want them to have the best possible chance to do anything they want with their lives.

These decisions are not made lightly and cause so many disagreements between husband and wife, the reality of it is that we make daily decisions to ensure that our children are happy and safe and some of them are despite of ourselves and our goals in life but will make all the difference to your child in the future.

The Future

Although your children will not always know about the sacrifices you made as parents for them, they will most certainly reap the rewards, time spent with them, and as a family will forever be apart of who they are, and how they will treat their own families, sacrifices made for a better future for them will show in how they take on life, and what they choose to do with challenges and how they handle change. Setting an example for your children in all these areas may seem like little things, but they are the things that will make them into amazing adults you can be proud of.

Well done for putting your child first, for creating a better future for them and giving them your best selves.

It is hard someday, but you are rocking it!

Here’s to raising amazing little humans.