The State of My Union

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When I first found out I was pregnant, one of the things I thought about was how I would fit a baby into a blog that is supposed to be focused on my marriage.   While certainly the Bean is a huge part of my marriage now, I promised myself that I would try really hard to keep the blog centered around me and Chris.   Stories about the Bean would be told through the lens of a married couple and not the other way around.

At the time, I also made another promise to myself.   I promised that my marriage would stay primary and that the Bean would have to learn to fit in around my relationship with Chris.   Babies have a way of stealing the spotlight and that was certainly bound to happen, but wanted the Bean to grow up knowing that his parents loved each other more than anything else.   I think that is a wonderful example to set for your children.

I thought these were two separate promises.   One about my blog and one about my marriage.   But, like most journalistic writing, its hard to separate your storytelling from what is happening in your real life.   So, when I started to notice that my blog was focusing more and more on the Bean instead of my marriage, it was no coincidence that I also noticed my marriage was taking a backseat to the Bean, too.

In the first few weeks after bringing the Bean home, Chris and I fell in love all over again.   As cheesy as that sounds, its really true.   We fell in love again because we were a different couple now.   We were parents.   Our relationship had changed and our love for each other changed, too.     We had loved each other so much that we sprouted a person.   And sprouting people often changes some things, I have found.

But after those first few weeks of glowing love for each other and for our new Beanie, we sort of flat-lined.   We weren’t touching anymore – and I don’t mean that in a provocative way.   We weren’t even holding hands or hugging or finding our feet under the covers at night.   We had days where I don’t think we ever even looked at each other.   And when we talked, our conversations were starting to focus around things like trips to the grocery store and the sleeping patterns of Beanie.

I’m not gonna lie.   If we were dating right now, we’d be close to breaking up.

Why?   Cause the romance is gone.   The excitement has died down.   We fell head over heels for each other right after the Bean was born, but that’s exhausting to keep up!   Being in love with someone is hard work!   You have to, like, put them first and talk to them about their days.   And the most exhausting part of all is that you have to mean it!   And after wiping up poo and spit up and dog slobber all day, I just didn’t have the energy left to focus on Chris when he came home from work.   And after he worked a full day, he didn’t have the energy left to focus on how my day was either.   I’m not talking about physical exhaustion either, although I’m sure that would just complicate this further.   Right now, we’re sleeping pretty darn good for new parents.   But mentally, we’ve both sort of checked out.   We focus on the Bean and our responsibilities and our dogs and our families and by the end of the day, there just isn’t a coherent thought left in our heads.

And so we climb into bed at night without saying a word more than, “Is the baby monitor turned on?”

Sometimes, I think the problem in marriages – like ours right now – is that loving someone is too darn easy.   I’ve loved Chris for over ten years.   I can love him with my eyes closed.   But to be in love with someone, you have to have both eyes open.   Being in love with someone – now that takes effort.   That takes energy.

Chris and I are trying to re-group here.   Six weeks in a baby haze is big hole to climb out of, but its nothing a few good stolen kisses can’t solve.   Half the battle of digging yourself out of a hole is to recognize that you are, in fact, IN a hole.   And we see that now.   Does this mean that we have a serious problem in our marriage?   Of course not.   Good, solid marriages built on love are just not that fragile.   But it does mean we have to hold hands, move forward, and start climbing out of that hole together.

So, that takes care of my marriage.   But what about my blog?   Well, I’m making some changes here, too.   I’m going to try to get back to focusing the Marriage Confessions blog on my marriage.   Don’t worry, all you Bean groupies out there, you’ll still get PLENTY of the Bean – trust me.   But there will be more of a mix than there is right now.   I’ll be launching the changes tonight and when you wake your pretty little selves up tomorrow morning, they’ll be a whole new world of Confessions for you to play with!

So, there you have it.   Sometimes, your life – and your blog! – can start to take a turn that you didn’t want it to take.   And when that happens, you just have to stop, re-evaluate, and get yourself back where you want to be.

I’ve stopped.   I’ve re-evaluated.   And tomorrow I’ll be back where I want to be.   Hope to see you all there…er…here.

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16 Thoughts to “The State of My Union”

  1. Katie I just love this post. You both are so smart to get a handle on this now – it doesn’t take much to get away from you. I think women do this a lot. We figure the other grown up in the house can care for himself and turn the focus to the baby and everything suffers.

    Have fun in your efforts. 🙂

  2. I love the fact that you so obviously have your eyes open to what a real marriage is, and that (unlike so many others) you don €™t automatically assume your marriage is failing just because things are tough at the moment. You guys are an inspiration!

  3. Sarah H.

    Great post! Love the honesty.

  4. Aaron and I are feeling the same way right now–all baby, all the time. And my issues with PPD aren’t really helping things, but we have faith that everything will come together again.

    Good luck to you guys!

  5. You know it is hard – my hubby and I had the same issues because you have a new little love bug in the house that needs you – all the time – so it is hard and you are both tired….however, it is also the most intimate of times for you both – don’t forget that – this is something you will share with each other – all those moments – and noone else – it is true family time…..amazing times – fab memories……beautiful things…..that is marriage……

  6. This is so perfectly timed. My husband and I just had a conversation about this over the weekend. We don’t have any offspring yet, but he works a demanding full-time job and I’m a PhD student who spends all waking hours working on my own work or around our new house. We’ve been married just over a year and are trying to rebuild our affection. We definitely love each other, but we’re trying to regroup and focus on being IN LOVE, not just working, sleeping, and managing our lives together.

  7. Sue V.

    Love this post. I remember these moments after the new baby period begins to wind down. It’s so important (and fun) to get to know your spouse again. I also love that you are keeping the focus of your blog on your marriage – that is what hooked me in the first place.

  8. Adrienne

    Let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier the more babies you have. With 3 kids (and none old enough to be in school yet! until fall…hooray!) Gregg and I really have to work to find some focus. We don’t go out much for a variety of reasons, so we have to find ways to make the most of the couple hours we get after the kids go to bed.

    We’ve been slipping, and your blog made me think about it. Sometimes hearing someone else’s story reminds me that there are things I should be doing. Thanks Katie!

  9. I love the title of this post- so clever!

  10. Andie

    It’s funny you posted this cause Ive always loved your blog and how it was centered on you and Chris mostly. Then I noticed as of recently it’s been mostly focused on baby stuff! I was like aw I can’t relate to that as I have no baby nor any experience with em. At a party I had a few days ago a friend couldn’t stop talking about her kids and breast milk and I felt so weird! Your beanie is way cute don’t get me wrong. I like reading about him too 😀

  11. BTW, your refrigerator story from yesterday prompted my writing today. Come see!

  12. This is so true, it takes lots of work to keep the marriage going after a baby (or 2 in my case). So glad that your keeping tabs on it. You guys are too cute!

  13. kay

    and then the kids grow up and leave home and you have to learn to live a life that doesn’t revolve around the kids once more. the state of your union is ever changing!
    http://randommusingsfrommypov.com

  14. Sarah

    I’m glad to see you’re going back to posting more on your marriage. First of all, you guys are too cute. Second of all, I found this blog looking for something, anything that had advice or info on young marriage. Everything else seems to be about divorce. And people all around me only held up that idea that marriages just don’t last anymore. Being an engaged girl, imagine how wonderful it is to read about your happy, thriving marriage that takes mistakes and problems in stride and moves forward, in love.

    You guys are totally my role models…..no pressure. Haha.

    But really, thanks.

  15. It is an interesting concept, and one rarely realized. The idea of being “in love” is not at all romantic or pretty but rather hard work. It takes commitment and consciousness. Kudos to you and Chris for realizing it before it gets out of hand. The Bean is a lucky fella.

  16. I completely know how you feel!!! I never thought I could love Zach anymore than I thought I did but when P was born It was HUGE how much I loved it. I worked really hard to still give him some one on one time. Whether thats laying in our bed watching Tv or a date night once a month. After P is asleep its OUR time. but she goes to sleep at 8 or 9 and wakes up at 8 or 9 so I got lucky. There are definitely days where I feel bad for not giving him more attention but it works out.

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