Whether you're a new mom with your first baby or a new mom with your fourth baby, the effect of motherhood on your life is just as great. Becoming a mom changes you in so many ways and its easy to become kind of consumed in this new role you have. After all, you are now responsible for keeping a small human alive! However, while we are being sucked into a new world of breast pads, swaddling, and diaper changing we tend to forget our other role...wife. I know for myself I've let that role slip away from me. It's so easy to immerse yourself in this world of mommyhood and unintentionally leave your hubby out of it. So here are some of my biggest pieces of advice to moms about remembering your other title too.
1) Remember, he's a guy. They are totally wired differently than girls. He truly cannot understand what raging hormones feel like and any new mother knows hormones after a baby, well, it's not exactly pretty. You might find yourself sobbing one minute and furious the next. Try not to get mad when your hubby just can't understand why you can't just snap out of it. He literally cannot comprehend how you feel. Its not his fault, it's estrogen and it's best buddy progesterone you're really mad at. He hasn't had the same experience as you so of course he can't understand how you feel. Don't fault him for that though. Try to be patient with him. If you find yourself sad all the time or have harmful thoughts though please, please, speak to your doctor.
2) Remember he exists. It is super easy to focus only on your baby and push your husband to the back burner but remember he's there. Take time to talk with him, show an interest in his day. Just enjoy his company. Try to carve out a little bit of time each week to go on a date. Remember how you tried so hard to impress him when you were dating? Find that girl again! Put on some nice clothes, and I don't mean the yoga pants without holes, throw on a dash of make up and try to woo him once again. Just a small effort to make him feel as if he is also important goes a long way. Something as small as leaving a sweet note shows him you're still thinking of him.
3) Understand he is tired too. Oh boy I'm guilty as all get out here. When he gets home, every fiber in my being wants to say "here honey, take the kids!" What I forget is he has just worked 11 hours, is exhausted, and now I'm dumping two kids on him. So, next time he comes home try to give him 20 or 30 minutes to adjust to home. Let him get changed, take his shoes off, sit down for a few minutes. Then ask him to take kid duty for awhile. That little window of decompression can be a total game changer.
4) Speak the same language. One of my favorite books is called the five love languages. In it you learn there are different ways people show love. Kenny and I speak different languages and I've had to learn what "I love you" sounds like in his language. Imagine if I spoke Chinese and he spoke German. He could tell me all day long he loves me and I wouldn't get it and visa versa. So take the time to understand what language you're speaking and make an effort to speak their language. It will make a huge difference in your new, crazy, busy lives if you're speaking a language your partner can understand.
5) Last One, and possibly a little awkward here. Remember to be a lover. God gave us a beautiful gift in marriage: a physical and emotional bond that is beyond comparison. It is so easy to slip into the mom persona of being unsexy, or unattractive. I know when you look in the mirror you probably instantly see the stretch marks, the loose skin, those last few stubborn baby pounds (or is that just me?); but when he looks at you...he sees a beautiful woman. Guys are different. They don't see the same flaws we do. Often times I find I am my worst critic. I see things I hate about my body but my husband sees his wife. He sees me as beautiful even when I don't. I can't wrap my head around how that's possible, but I am learning to just trust that's truly how he feels. Probably the number one reason I see for women not wanting to be intimate after a baby is feeling insecure. So try to forget what you see through your eyes and imagine yourself as your husband sees you. You're still beautiful, still sexy and still everything he needs. And he does need you, because remember...he's a guy.
Women are remarkably versatile. We can seemingly do anything. We wear many hats and take on anything. It's fantastic but we have to remember just because we now wear the mom hat, or mom jeans, doesn't mean we can't wear the wife hat anymore.
I am going to also write a flip side to this post (hopefully) tomorrow for the guys on how to be a great hubby after baby. Hope you enjoyed my rambling thoughts from 3am. Until next time.