So, you’ve had the birth, you’ve got your gorgeous new bundle of fun who is saturating your every waking thought. A little bundle who needs you, wants you makes demands of you day through to night. Of course you don’t mind, you’re madly in love and the poor defenceless little being couldn’t survive with out you. And then you have your partner!
Maybe I’m selfish, maybe I give to much of myself to my children but, I just feel that my fully grown partner who is more than capable of looking after himself just has to take a back seat when you have children. I’m like a lioness, my cubs come first above everything and everyone, including my partner and fortunately I don’t have a very needy partner so thankfully it works for us. This isn’t to say that I don’t suffer the failing wife guilt along with every other mother, and at times I have tried to do it all, clean house, make up on, hair done, dinner cooked, kids in their Sunday best. But, I found when I was being all these things I wasn’t be ‘me’ so, the kids weren’t getting ‘me’, my fella wasn’t getting ‘me’ and equally as important I wasn’t getting ‘me’.
Something has to give, we’re all only human and if you have more than one child you’re dividing all your energy, emotion and love multiple times over…..it’s essential to always hold some of the good stuff back for yourself. You are not a passenger in your childrens or your partners life, this is YOUR LIFE too and although all of your little charges haven’t figured out quite yet that you are of no relation to wonder woman, your grown up loving partner has, so it makes sense that if something’s going to give then it has to be him?!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking never even setting aside an evening to have an adult meal together or a life of celibacy (think that may be asking too much?) but, come 9 o’clock at night when I’ve been on the go since 6.30 and have only literally sat down for a quick bite to eat at whatever time suited my baby, and I’m covered in mashed up food, too tired to even talk – I just want to be left alone, to think of nothing……….and after all I’ve done for everyone else in a day, would that be too much to ask that my long suffering partner allows me this?
A couple of months back I was having a conversation with a girlfriend, I was explaining how even the thought of my partner hugging me (my baby was about 10 months at the time) exhausted me, it was another demand on me, another thing on my ever increasing list of what I had to do to ensure everyone was happy and emotionally fed. She told me about being ‘touched out’! http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/touched-out/
I had never heard of this as an actual founded feeling but I could so relate it to how I was feeling. I sat with my partner and my constant companion ‘Google’ and together we went through websites which explained how I was feeling better than I could of, it also gave some weight to how I was feeling rather than just my partner harping back to the trusty “probably hormones”
Of course having a bonafide title for something doesn’t make it go away but it does make you feel like you’re going a little less insane and brings it to the fore front as an actual problem you can resolve together.
And that’s what happens in relationships when you’ve had children, it evolves, it becomes a whole different relationship, it’s no longer about nights out and weekends away, it’s not about laying around on a Sunday morning reading the papers and idly making pot after pot of tea…….it’s about understanding that you both have different roles to fulfil and that at times you both may have to take a back seat, whether it be for me to support him when he goes through tough times at work to him supporting me when I’m covered in baby poo and feeling so unsexy the very thought of any nookie sends me chills and to bed early clad in head to toe winceyette.
So, although we no longer have spontaneous afternoon sex, or lay on a beech drinking cocktails watching the sun go down in silence. What we do have is so much more, we have strength together watching our amazing little people become amazing big people who are happy and contented, knowing that because we worked together and we sacrificed parts of our relationship we achieved what we set out to do all those many years ago when we first became ‘mum & dad’.