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.