There’s no doubt that having a baby has taken its toll on my romantic relationship with my husband – and I don’t think I’m alone on that! I recently did a survey of parents of young kids about their biggest challenges and the second biggest one, after sleep deprivation, was pressures on their relationship.
All around me friends with kids seem to be breaking up with their partners, or at least fighting a lot. It's damn hard.
OF COURSE IT IS! You go from adventures, travel, fun and usually enough sleep to stuck at home, no social life and definitely not enough sleep.
What had been an easy relationship becomes harder work. Or what was a bit of a complex relationship becomes really frayed.
Today is my wedding anniversary (only 4 years!) and so I want to share my big learning about relationships post-babies.
It’s a very rare relationship that can maintain the doe-eyed euphoria of those heady days of first being in-love - or of getting engaged and married. With or without kids no couple can avoid the fact that we are all humans with flaws and imperfections. And then all our issues come up to the surface when we are tired or under pressure (otherwise known as parenting!).
We may not be able to keep the euphoric, in-love kinda feeling going through the night waking and homebound lifestyle.
But what we get is something altogether much deeper and profound if we look for it. It's a depth of sharing in the loving of a child or children - and our small children show us how. They love us parents unreservedly and wholeheartedly - even obsessively if my daughter is any guide! Young children love us with no baggage since they have so little yet. They forget life’s challenges so fast that it has no time to pollute their love of us.
What having a child gives us, the parents, is a doorway into unconditional love. And this is something that only those raising children can experience. When you share this with your partner, here is the chance to throw yourself into a rare and special stage of life. To dive into the depths of unconditional love.
If we can throw ourselves into it leaving behind our baggage and dissatisfaction that will always be in the background, here’s a new kind of relationship we can have with our partners.
In essence our children can teach us (or just remind us) how to love again. How to let go of our tightly held past experiences and just be in this little circle of love.
For this opportunity we are so lucky. I feel truly blessed to have this. And it was my husband who gave me this opportunity so for that I deeply thank him and love him.
PS Why is this Part 1, you ask? Well, here's Part 2 with some very practical tips on how to reignite the spark in your relationship!!
PPS Right after I get around to our anniversary celebrations - which had to be postponed as our 3 year old kept us up all night last night! Romantic dinner will have to wait...