THE MARRIAGE CHALLENGE:
I’ve been home all day with my son. He’s just turned one and it seems that he’s growing at a rapid speed. He’s appetite is growing, his formula is being weaned in transition to cows milk (something that I’m just doing because most mothers I know have done it and my doctor advised it. Similar to choosing to give him formula-I could have done more research but I wanted tried, true and tested and nothing more or less, so I went with a Nestle product and judged myself for about 6 months and then let that shit go.) And he’s eating more food.
His needs are changing and I’m noticing that I’m more physically tired from running around, carrying him and doing my best to keep him safe in our house that still needs to be child proofed professionally. Neither my husband nor I are handy people. We would like to think that we are and our to do list keeps growing. Today, however, changed that and I sent in a request to Vancouver Baby Childproof Company- there only seems to be one business and one man that does this service in Vancouver- don’t get me started. Cooper isn’t at all satisfied with being in his little playpen we ordered from Amazon. He’s growing and so are his needs to roam free like the little growing animal he is. So leaving him roaming around our house is causing all sorts of mini panic attacks within me. I feel completely out of control and I already have an inclination to expect the worst-case scenario. It’s kind of in my paranoid self from having a very traumatic childhood. I am willing to unlearn that horrible trait, as I know it drives my husband crazy and it’s a complete waste of energy. Unfortunately when I'm in the heat of the moment my first reaction is to- react. My son thinks it’s a funny game. I try saying no in many different tones, faces and even succumbed to finger waving a no. Sigh. I feel like I said no about 25-100 times today. I hate saying no to my baby. I feel bad. But I know that he needs to learn that pulling the cord to the vacuum, drinking the cats water, touching the fire place and playing with the toilet is all a NO. But he’s only a year old. It’s my husband and my responsibility to protect him from as much as we can in our own home.
So what the hell does all this talk about my son growing at rapid speed have to do with the title of my blog post: THE MARRIAGE CHALLENGE (which by the way I could not spell marriage at all and finally on the FOURTH try I allowed spell check to assist me. Is that a fail if you’re married and you can’t spell the very thing you’re in? AHHGG.)
Well the fact that my son’s needs are changing means that in turn my needs are changing from what I need from my husband. I really do expect him to read my mind. I come from a long line of women that taught me it’s completely acceptable to expect people to read your mind. And if they don’t, they suck. Ya. It looks ridiculous typed out-but that is another poor character trait I admit I have that I am willing to unlearn-but again in the heat of the whole "day in day out grind" I find myself expecting more from myself and also being disappointed with more of what I cannot control around me. It’s like when I don’t get to vacuum the mess of the floors we have, or keep EVERY surface tidy, or actually get the organics, recycling and garbage that felt like such a challenge to even organize (cue crying child in play pen wanting his mommas every ounce of attention) actually outside in the dedicated spots…I feel like I’ve failed at the whole ‘stay at home mom/wife’ thing. It doesn’t help that my mother has it ingrained in my head that I should basically tend to my “working husband” and keep the house clean, laundry done and a hot meal ready for him. Fuck That. This shit is hard. My number one priority is to keep my son well fed, dry diapers (sometimes I dread changing his diaper because he twists and turns and cries. I feel like a horrible person and I would avoid doing it to make him happy-but what he doesn’t understand yet is a diaper full of shit or pee is more terrible than momma cleaning that crap up and awarding you with a clean and dry diaper. You're welcome. I sweat, get outta breath and wipe my forehead EVERYTIME. The diaper change struggle is real.) Well exercised (currently just trying to get him outside and crawling- another thing on my to do list- get baby enrolled in toddler gymnastics) and happy. I want to make sure he feels loved, cared for and most of all that he has my attention. Above that there are all the task in between that I give myself a hard time for if it “wasn’t from the heart” or “natural”. Like, I’m not a huge reader naturally. When I was a kid no one read to me and I hated to read. I think that it's linked. So when I pick up a baby book, baby Grace feels sorry for herself, and in turn makes me feel like an inadequate mother. So I over compensate but pushing myself to finish each book even when the baby is over it. Another character flaw I have is to looking at my flaws, imperfections all as inadequacies. I read so many self-help books that shine a light on loving yourself no matter what. It’s tough when you feel like you need to be this perfect person for your baby. But what brings me back to earth is that it’s JUST as important for Cooper to see me in vulnerable and imperfect states and see how I overcome the challenges that life will always throw at you. He needs me to be authentic, real, honest and imperfect. He needs me to be myself in every situation to learn that momma trusts her own voice and choices. He needs to see that when I make a mistake I know how to admit it, ask for help, learn from it and then MOVE THE FUCK ON.
Okay so back to my title: THE MARRIAGE CHALLENGE. UGH. My marriage is suffering from all the transitions and curve balls that is new parenthood. We need to book a session with the counsellor my husband found ASAP. Our gap is growing and it sucks. Like we are a great team when it comes to Cooper but we are so short tempered with each other. We have no alone time that we make matter. We have hit a spot in our relationship that feels very neutral and I hate that. I’m a spontanious, enthusiastic, passionate, excited individual. I feel like during my pregnancy and after our baby was born that entire time and now we put our needs as a couple on hold. Things really became about me but mostly about the baby. Neither one of us had parents that taught us how to interact with a spouse. We learned how to do us and our thing over time and with a shared sense of humour. Where are the challenges in our marriage? Where do I begin, how much do I share? Who’s actually reading my blogs? Fuck. I’m going to share what I would with a complete stranger. EVERYTHING. I’m a sharer. Sometimes it’s a god thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing. Being an over sharer is something that I’ve gone back and fourth on- basically wanting to please people by not sharing every minutia of my self, my experiences. But I’ve come to realize it a major good and bad trait that I own and that I’m NOT willing to unlearn. I believe that with the personal information I share explicitly with people-it WILL help someone along the way. And I believe that my over sharing is part of my purpose on earth. It’s easy for me and I know that I have a gift to deliver it with humour and GRACE while hopefully sharing my lesson learned. However, my marriage is teaching me all sorts off lessons that I’m having trouble keeping at the forefront when I’m just feeling completely disconnect from my best friend. My husband. My partner. My laughing, eating, loving partner. We lost how to have fun with each other along the way. And it sucks. It feels like every discussion, conversation, is missing something. It’s missing what we used to have for one another. I think it’s called patience and understanding. We don’t understand each other anymore. We communicate but we don’t articulate in actions. We do our routines with the baby together but we don’t feel a cohesive energy. We do all the tasks but we don’t have fun while on the journey. We have intentions to make the best out of our new lifestyle but we haven’t yet found a satisfaction with it. We are fucking grateful to be parents to one thing we can wholeheartedly agree on the unconditional love we have for our beautiful son, but we can't find that same love for each other at the moment.
Having our baby was a traumatic experience for us and we still need space and time to get through it. We haven’t found the words to describe how were feeling as a couple now. We’re not present with each other. We’re not on the same page. We need help.
It’s not a hectic and violent and dramatic situation that we're struggling with. But we seem to disappoint each other more than we want to. We seem to say things in an argumentative tone but in the end mean the same thing. We have become completely defensive towards each other and I hate that. I want to get back to loving on my husband the way we loved on each other when things felt lighter and not loaded. I want to appreciate my husband the way I want to feel appreciated by him. I want to reconnect with him.