When I became a new Mama I thought I had to do mostly everything my self. I was the one responsible for my little bundle of joy. It was my husband’s and my responsibility to take care of our little one. My husband thought otherwise. He believed that the grandparents were required to be as responsible of caring for our baby as we were, if not more. He felt that they should be very involved with our children’s upbringing. It was hard to see his point of view when I felt so strongly about mine.
It took time for me to realize that he was a little right. It was not the responsibility of our parents to care for our baby. It was our responsibility! Of course if his parents or my mother or his sister offered to help I should have allowed them to. I needed help. I couldn’t do it all on my own. With my husband working, me staying home with our baby all day I felt so tired, overwhelmed and lonely. I needed my husband’s company without the baby. At first it was hard to comprehend how a date for us both would benefit us. If we were not attending to our baby’s every need, how was it possible for our lil’ one to be okay if the one who had to care for her was Daddy or Mommy?
After three months of not leaving my baby’s side, my husband surprised me with tickets to a baseball game. He came home early from work that day and told me to get ready. He wanted to take me out. He had already spoken to my mother in law and she had agreed to watch over our baby. My stomach dropped. I felt a little sick, but my husband looked so excited, so happy. (He looked how our kids look when opening presents on christmas morning). I couldn’t say no. I really didn’t want to go, but I got ready and we left.
We got to the game and I was freaking out! I was thinking of all the things that could go wrong. My husband notice there was something wrong. He must have, because he told me not to worry. He reminded me that it was our time together and he went on to say that he missed me. We had not talked or spent a lot of time with one another since our baby had been born. I thought, well, the baby takes all of my time and energy. What is he asking for? He wants me to take time away from my baby that really needs me? He can take care of himself!
He looked at me, kissed me and told me how much he loved me. I felt horrible. What was I thinking? here I was thinking of so many negative things that I wanted to tell him and all he wanted was to tell me that he loved me. That he wanted to spend time alone with me. I had not realized that we had not had a conversation without being interrupted by a screaming baby. He mentioned to me that he didn’t even remember when the last time I had kissed him was. He was right. I didn’t remember either. I would get up at 5 in the morning and off to sleep by 10 am which he then would get up, get ready, and go off to work. He wouldn’t get home until night-time which by then I would already be asleep.
I felt bad and had not realized that we both were feeling lonely. Everything I did was for the baby. I then started to think how I didn’t eat sometimes because it didn’t fit the baby’s schedule. I read a few books on parenting and they all had suggestions on how to manage time but it was harder to do than what the books said.
How do moms balance being a mother and wife? How is that possible? How do you give enough to your baby that needs you without over giving ? I was hurt and disappointed in my self. I didn’t know how to make my husband happy. I didn’t know how to care for my child without ignoring my husband or my self. Well I soon noticed what to do. It wasn’t that I had to take care of both of them at the same time. There were three different people who needed me, but in different ways. One as a mother, the other as a wife, and I needed me as me.
I decided he was right. I needed help from our family. I thought hard and long about what I could do to make a change. What is it that I could do to be able to give my husband time and be there for my baby too. First of all I had to stop being a mama that freaked out about everything. Second make sure I spent time with my husband, only him and me. Third I needed time to my self. I needed time to read or take a nice shower. I wanted to be the best parent I could, which involved me being happy, not stressed, and having a very close relationship with my husband.
I need to make time for my husband. My mom, sister-in-law, or mother in law could feed my baby, change her diaper, and carry her while my husband and I did something together. It was hard for me to let go. I still had that mentality of being a bad mother if I didn’t do everything for my child. I had to force my self at the beginning to give my mom, mother in law or my sister in-law the opportunity to feed my daughter. I pushed my self to do it. I felt sad that I was not the one who was taking care of my baby. I felt I was loosing her by not having her in my arms, but then I would think “Nope! Let it go! she is safe and happy and bonding with family. I would ignore my emotions and breath deeply and let it go.
It became easier as time passed. It became natural to get help, to have them offer to feed her, carry her, or take her for a walk. Little by little I was able to let go of that feeling I got when someone else carried her instead of me. As for my husband, I was able to spend more and more time with him. I realized I was finally happy, not like before all I felt was stress.
As years have passed we have made a rule that we need a date night at least once a month, time together every night, go to the gym at least once a week together and go out as a family twice a week. My husband changed as well, he made it a priority for us to be the ones to care for our children, but of course with help from time to time. Not expecting our parents or his sister to educate our children for us, but to know they would be our family who we can trust and will help out whenever we need a little time together. We are so blessed to have the support of our family. I don’t think I would have remained sane after two kiddos if my husband had not taken me to that baseball game and talked to me that day.