“Me and you sitting in a tree – K.I.S.S.I.N.G, first comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes a baby in a baby carriage!” And then? And then what? Well, I googled it – and the rest of the song says “Sucking his thumb, wetting his pants, doing the hula, hula dance!” They got that part right! But the me and you is no longer important after you have a baby comes. We don’t even feature in the song anymore.
So we have already established that marriage is hard right? Right! We know that men are different to us, and somewhat not as all knowing. Somehow though we could handle them so much better before the baby? Or is that just me? I mean I have mentioned many, many times that my husband is amazing! He is a brilliant father, and just all round wonderful life partner. But hell does he irritate me. Is this normal?
I thought maybe I am hormonal, because I am still breastfeeding. But I have found there is a general consensus that the first year of baby’s life is really tough on your “marriage”. What they don’t tell you though is included in “marriage” is your sanity, your temperament and your patience. Am I still married? Yes. Do I still love my husband? Yes – and most days its evident. But we have our moments.
We sat down to talk about this one night (with baby in the middle of our bed). We talked so much that when we looked at the time it was 12;45 and we had work the next day. WOW! When last had we done that? It was then that we figured our some truths – truths for us. Things that we knew the whole time but needed to verbalise, to start acting on it. Are things perfect? Nope. Do I still get irritated and not understand men? Yes! But things are better. And that is the aim – right? Progress, not perfection.
1) Take love languages test – for one another
This surprised me so much! I have known about Gary Chapman’s love languages for a while but for some reason never thought that maybe I might not be using it. Basically it orders your love languages 1-5 in order of importance. I did the test and had the results mailed to Ian and vice versa. It helped us to realise that we were acting out our own love languages and not one another’s. So I was showering him with gifts for example because that is something that I value. It makes me feel loved – and for him that’s actually the lowest on his list. It has helped us to think twice and love with intention. You can take the test here!
2) Lower your expectations
This might be obvious. But for women – for myself, I am always trying and expecting more. More from myself. From my husband. For my children. More. Just more. And sometimes I drive myself insane, because I am trying to be more. To a fault. So give yourself a break. Give your husband a break. And once you have lowered your expectations, lower them some more. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it will take time. Neither of you are perfect and constant reminders of that are not healthy.
3) Friends night is as important date night
Date night is important – we know this. And as much as I hate to say this, unfortunately even if you are best friends. You cannot be each other’s only friend, having friends is good. Hearing another perspective is so healthy. Almost as healthy as being a person. By being a person I mean someone who is not a mom, and wife. Just a Vee. It will make you a better wife and mother. And if you are anything like me point number 2 – you will want to do this.