Updated: Nov 25, 2020
Do you remember the days of changing your status on Facebook to ‘In a Relationship With’ or even back to ‘Single’ and how important all that was at the time? I am at a stage of my life where the ‘Husband & 2 kids, exhausted, confused, happy’ is more down my street! I am at a completely different journey of my life now and so are many women that I meet. We have all passed the stage of wanting everyone to know we are in a relationship and now I want people to know how hard relationships can be!
Of course, the early days of a relationship are carefree, spontaneous, relaxed and a lot sexier! But a question I put out there was ‘Has having children changed the dynamics of your relationship?’ Do we still have the same roles in our relationships since having children? As women we naturally take on a lot, we carry our baby, birth our baby and then nurture our baby. While all this is happening what is going on with dad? I have found sometimes it can create a void between the parents. Even sometimes causing resentment.
The mother having so much to do, expectations, responsibility, lack of sleep – the list goes on. However, is the pressure or change of lifestyle the same for dad? They usually go back to work soon after baby is born, continue in their same circle in work and with friends, may not have a higher sense of daily responsibility, can go to the toilet alone for 20 minutes and of course can get some more sleep! This can be hard for the mum to see. When she is completely consumed in an endless struggle around the clock. When is her time alone? When can she go to the loo for a ghost poo that lasts approx. 20 minutes? I joke but its true! Feeling like your partner does not understand can be really draining! Constantly trying to explain, fighting over who is more tired, talking about who did what and who cleaned the most. Battles begin!
Tired mum and two unwell girls .
Then about 6 months in we, as mums, may realise that we NEED self-care and we NEED to pay more attention to ourselves. So, dad steps in but doesn’t do things the ‘right way’ and we end up criticising, directing and even dismissing. So sometimes I feel we can be our own worst enemy. One thing I would like to say here and have said to many mums is to give the dads space. They need time to learn without us telling them. They may make a bottle differently or change nappies upside down, but they get the job done. They are creating their own relationship with their baby. I really believe this bond begins later with the dads. We all have our own way of doing things. If we smoother them they may feel uncomfortable, like we are watching them (we are!) but we can’t make it obvious!
Learning how to become two new people, mum and dad in a relationship when you already have certain roles can be hard. Having hard feelings towards each other while still trying to maintain a relationship is tough. I have found first year of second baby the hardest on my relationship. But if the connection is there (somewhere, lurking in the background) you just must keep working on it. Some days you just absolutely cannot work on it, some days you can. I really try to pick my battles. I really do bite my lip. Sometimes there is just no need to say anything, so I don’t (sometimes I do, I can’t help it) but I do realise after that it was unnecessary. Saying sorry is also an important one. It takes a lot, but it means a lot too! Being understanding of each other and acknowledging that your partner has had a hard day can go a long way, even if you don’t fully understand! A sign of affection or even prise can make someone’s day!
Just remember, you are not alone, so many of us are going through it. We are all growing as humans and parents so leave space for growth! And let’s stop timing bathroom trips.
I would love to hear from you about this! Drop me a line.