The baby has definitely challenged our marriage. Now of course the baby has brought us profound joy. Of course it is a life-enriching and perspective-altering experience. Of course we love him and would never give him back. Nor do we regret having a child. But all of that notwithstanding, it has challenged our marriage in a number of ways.
- Less time. Now you can talk to me the power of love to expand your energy and so forth, but there’s only 24 hours in a day. Between changing diapers, breastfeeding, bottle pumping, laundry, loading in and out of car seats, pediatrician appointments, etc. – there is just straight-up less time for Mary and I to work on our relationship.
- Less energy. If I have a hard day at work now, and I come home, and I see Mary with her hair all messed up and actively cleaning poop as I walk in, I’m not going to start talking to her about my day. We each need the other’s support, but in that case, both parties are too drained to provide it.
- Decreased spontaneity. You know, both Mary and I are pretty much homebodies, but we still had our moments of spontaneously going out to eat, see a movie, grab coffee, hike on the weekends, etc. Nowadays, this might be the new normal:
- Let’s go out for dinner! It’s been a while!
- Should we wait until your sister is available for babysitting?
- If not, we need to pack some breastmilk in an insulated lunchbox for the road.
- Does he have a wet diaper, has he been changed recently?
- We have enough diapers in the car right?
- Oh maybe you should pump first before we go out.
- Alright, I’ll shower in the meantime, I forgot to shower this morning.
- Now it’s 10 PM and I’m tired, let’s try again tomorrow.
- Competition for intimacy. I’ll just say there was one day we went to bed, and Mary kissed Sebastian good night. I waited for mine, but it never came. Mary just went to bed. Hmmph.
- More junk in the apartment. This might just be specific to Mary, but when the apartment is cluttered, Mary gets into a foul mood. With all the extra baby junk, the apartment is a lot more cluttered than it used to be.
I realize I’m supposed to end these blog posts on a positive note, but I’m just in a complaining mood today.