You just found out you are pregnant for the first time. One million thoughts are running through your head. Am I going to be able to handle this? Will I be a good mom? Can we afford this? Will my baby be cute? I hope it doesn’t look like an alien. When should we start telling people? I should probably make a Dr. Appt. to confirm. What doctor should we get? Holy shit I am not prepared for labor. The list is endless. You start reading every baby book out there. You start preparing how to get your baby on a schedule because you will NOT have one of those babies who aren’t sleeping through the night by four months. Nope. You research every baby monitor, swing, stroller, high chair, bouncy seat, and crib out there and only register for the best. Your unborn baby deserves nothing but the best. They will only eat organic food. You will breastfeed until the baby is AT LEAST one.
You make it through labor somehow by the grace of Jesus and you head home with your little bundle of joy. In the coming weeks and months you learn that getting your baby on a schedule is just a *tad* harder than you thought it would be. Your baby actually hates the high end stroller, bouncy seat, crib, and swing that you had to have. Your baby is vomiting up your breastmilk and you’re forced to switch to a sensitive formula. You didn’t know babies could cry this much. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? You are so focused on your baby and your new life that you forget about the guy you co-created that baby with. What’s his name again?
You continue to bounce the baby of all hours of the day and night. Your husband stops asking how your day went because he already knows the answer. You stopped asking how his day was 2 months ago because who has time to talk about anything other than this baby. Not you! You continue to google “why is my baby unhappy” and research if all this crying is normal. Turns out, it just might be. You go to bed the second your baby does and another day passes that you hardly communicated to that guy you once spent 3 hours snuggling on the couch watching movies with every night.
Until one day that man that was once your loving husband who you adored and kissed and laughed and played with, makes a comment that you ONLY care about the baby. Excuse me!? That is not true. Not me. I’m an amazing wife. You think about that little comment he made all day only to come to the realization and have a coming to Jesus moment that maybe, just maybe, he was right. Damn I hate when he’s right.
Over the course of the next month you make it a priority to ask how his day was. You stay up later than the baby so you can have a little alone time with him again. You force yourself to get a babysitter and go on a few dates again. As the weeks go by, your baby starts to outgrow the fussiness. Your baby is, dare I say it, happy?! He starts sleeping more and you find yourself feeling human again. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer and closer. You and your husband are dancing in the kitchen again and laughing and doing all the things you once did as newlyweds without kids. It feels great! You look back on the last seven months and realize you made it through your first newborn stage of your first baby. THAT SHIT WAS HARD. It tested your marriage and your patience and your selflessness and made you dig deep to find out who you really are but you came out stronger. And now you and your husband start talking about when to have ANOTHER ONE. Life is funny like that.
Does any of this sound familiar? Having a baby is hard. Really hard. And I only have ONE! But if I can give any advice to new mamas with the little experience I do have, it would be this: Don’t forget to invest in your relationship with your spouse even after the baby is born. It is so important and it is so hard to do. I truly believe the best gift you can give your children is to show love to your spouse. Your children need to see you sneaking a kiss in the kitchen while you make supper together. They need to see you hug and talk and love each other and enjoy each other’s company. It shows them what a healthy relationship looks like and sets up the foundation for the relationship they aspire to be in in the future. Jesus even says to love your spouse first and THEN your children. That was a hard pill to swallow for me! But it’s true. Your spouse is your teammate. You couldn’t do these things called life and parenthood without him. You’d be amazed how things start to fall into place when you start putting your spouse first. It doesn’t need to be over the top date nights either. When the baby is little try dedicating 30 minutes every evening together after the baby is in bed to simply talk with your husband about your day. Put the phones on silent and just talk. Force yourself to get a babysitter and go out for dinner 1-2 times per month. Cook dinner together. Drink a cup of coffee in the morning together. Go on walks in the evening together. I’ve found that the simple little moments are what mean the most anyway.
If you are in the heart of the newborn stage just know it goes by so much faster than you think. I know you’re sick of hearing that but it’s true. Before you know it you’ll be back to annoying your husband and drinking a beer together on your patio talking about how you miss when your baby was that little.