Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Missing my Husband

Everyone told my husband that he would be second base after our baby came. And almost every couple I asked gave me advice to "not forget about my husband and making him feel special". Many others also told Brian that he was headed for lonely territory, because I would be so busy with our new bundle he would basically be left to fend for himself.

A rare prebaby date photo. Now we'd be trying to make sure Reuben didn't eat the table!

I remember thinking in my head that this advice was crazy. After all, Brian and I have a tight marriage. In the three years we've been together we've had few fights, all that were resolved fairly quickly. No way would I abandon the needs of my husband, even with a new squish! 

Fast-forward 6 months. I certainly understand their advice now. Not only have I struggled with loneliness, depression, anxiety and despair since giving birth, but I know for a fact my husband has too.

I am very busy taking care of a little one whose basic needs must be met by me. I had no idea what I was getting into, and while I honestly can say I love most of it--I won't downplay the sheer exasperation factor.

I miss my husband. I would love to spend a evening picking his brain without scooping up a fussy teething baby. I would love to lounge around in bed with him wearing nothing for a few hours without checking on my sleeping offspring every 10 minutes. I miss him.

It's a season, I know. A surprising one. I knew that motherhood was lonely, and I expected to be isolated a bit from friends as I can't pick up and go for coffee and I most certainly can't go out at night with a newborn--but this isn't just light isolation. It's a war zone and you are in solitary confinement.

I didn't know that motherhood would isolate me from my own husband.

I didn't know I would be so exhausted some nights from just caring for my little one that I wouldn't say two words to my husband except, perhaps "can you get me some water".

It's not like I put him last. I want to be a wife and a mother. I think its 100% and 100%. But when I haven't slept and my kid is teething and I myself haven't showered and I've rushed to eat, it's hard to think of my husband. It's impossible sometimes. Try swimming--nay, almost drowning, and then suddenly being informed that another human wants to interact with you on an intellectual level.While you are drowning.

Because that is a little bit like what having a tiny human is.

Sometimes I remember to make time for my husband. Sometimes I remember to make time for myself.

Sometimes I just survive. It is what it is.

LoveBlog with Belle Brita

Monday, February 8, 2016

First Baby Marriage Advice

Are you about to have a baby? Are you strangely not worn out from being given baby/marriage/parenting advice? Then this blog post is for you! Linking up with Brita again for #Loveblog week!

  • You will be worn out and tired. I know people have told you this before, but I don't think you understand. You will be worn out and tired and unable to rest because you are taking care of a new little person. This new little person is demanding. Give yourself and your partner tons of grace.
  • One of you might be able to rest. I've never been more resentful of my husband's full nights of sleep--because I have not gotten A SINGLE full night of sleep since birth. Know that resentment will simmer within you. Quell it, because someone has to sleep. The person with the most sleep gets to make dinner. And take care of the one who didn't get sleep who is taking care of the tiny demanding person. It will not help to cry and whine about your lack of sleep or to be angry with He Who Received Sleep. It's just a season.
  • It's okay to wake your husband up if you are at your wits end and need some sleep. It does not make you weak. It does not make you a bad wife. It just makes you less sleep deprived and better able to care for your tiny new person, so don't stress over it. In the middle of the night when you are sitting there holding your awake baby fighting tears and hating your spouse who you can hear snoring from the living room--just wake them up.
  • You will argue. Even if you have never argued before. And it will be stressful, because who wants to try to communicate while holding an upset baby when one or both of you had less than 6 hours of sleep? 
  • You will miss your spouse. Things just are not the same. Try not to think of it as someone horribly ripping out a part of your life and think of it as a wave. Ride the wave. Don't fight to return to your pre-baby existence. Ride the wave to find out what this new two-adult plus tiny offspring life looks like, because the wave is going to take you there rather you want to or not.
  • Give yourself tons of grace. In the first few weeks, not only do you have to take care of a little person, you also have to take care of yourself because said little person just squeezed out of your body. I know personally it hurt when my husband didn't see I was suffering. He can't know if I don't tell him. Make an effort to be verbal with your partner. It really means the world to them, and also to you.
  • Sex is not just an afterthought. You need to plan sex. I know this can take the fun out of it, but if you don't plan it the baby will poop and dinner will need to be done and you will realize you haven't showered and than suddenly it's bedtime and everyone is exhausted. 
  • Both of you need two extra sets of hands and a legion of washers and dryers. 
  • Do not compare yourself to your pre-baby self. I mean this in terms of health as well as productivity. You have a small human to care for. Don't expect to get the same amount of work done in a day that you did before. That was before, this is now. Don't expect to look the same. Not only did you squeeze said small person out of your own body, you are now surviving on 4-6 broken hours of sleep a night. Give yourself grace. 
  • You will feel alone. You will feel isolated. Some of you may even wake up and wonder who you are. It's okay to ask for help. It's okay to grab up that baby and visit a friend and cry on their shoulder. It's okay to call your partner and ask them (again) to pick up take out for dinner. Do what you need to do to survive, and get rid of the guilt. You have a baby who is totally dependent on you for the first few years of life. It's hard.
  • Having a baby will test your marriage. It might not be the hardest test, but it is going to be rough. The best thing I found to do is to embrace the difficulties and structure your life for the least amount of stress possible. Stay home. Delegate tasks. Hire some help. Nothing is more important than your emotional and mental health, and the emotional and mental health of your marriage.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Internet Favorites

I don't have a lot of time to keep up with bloggers lately. Here are my favorites--even through I miss many posts, I try to read at least one of their blogs a week, usually while nursing.

My Favorite Bloggers
  • Wool and Wheel - the only knitting blog I read. Also blogs about old movies, books, and dyeing/spinning yarn.  
  • Addie Marie - One of the first blogs I ever started reading! She just started up blogging again after a two (or three?) year hiatus due to college (I think). Blogs about sewing. Wears handmade gold flecked pants that I envy on a daily basis. 

I actually met Rachel two years ago. She was awesome. It was awkward, because well, um, internet-real-life meetings and I am a potato, but she was amazing. Wish I had more time to get to know her. In other news, it's best not to make a kidnapping joke when meeting an internet friend for the first time. (sorry Rachel)
  • Michmash - blogs about her very humorous life, most recently about her cute little baby girl Gracie.
I also met Michelle last year as well. It was amazing and I probably freaked her out x1000 with my very extroverted self. Michelle I love you.

  • Belle Brita - Brita blogs about life, feminism and also about current events. She's been to France and I like her fresh take on life as well as perfect spelling and grammar on her blog. (Rachel also has perfect spelling, don't think I don't notice Rachel). I aspire in that area.
I also met Brita this year (I really love meeting internet friends) and she was so petite and well mannered and frank and I wish I lived closer so we could have coffee weekly.

 My Favorite Vloggers

I also love watching vloggers on Youtube. Here are my favorites I keep up with.
  • Texan in Tokyo - Texan married to a Japanese native. Does day in my life videos as well as other Japan related stuff. Very interesting, given the culture difference. 
  • It's Me Anna E - Writer and weekly vlogger from GA. I met her too and you can see that in this vlog!
  • Erik Conover - Lives in NYC, makes daily videos with his girlfriend, who is a full time model. Really interesting. 
  • Loepsie's Theetuin - Vlogs from the Netherlands in Dutch (with English subtitles). Love seeing how her life is. She's a vegetarian too, and always shows her food!
Those are my favorite people to keep up with! If you know any vloggers/bloggers I should follow, let me know! I am always looking for new and interesting people.