Thursday, June 18, 2009

Of Husbands and Babies

Brian holding James, 1 week old

I truly feel the deepest sympathy and sadness for couples who say that having a child brings difficulty to their marriage. Certainly, little James' arrival has brought it's own difficulties: we're getting less sleep, Sophia is crankier than usual with her schedule askew and with us meeting her needs more slowly than she would often like; a newborn's cries are not exactly the most stress-reducing noise known to humankind, and of course, we had that little stint in the hospital which wasn't *at all* stressful :-P Still, I am blessed to say that with the births of each of our two children, despite the difficulties of caring for a newborn, we have never felt strain or difficulty in our marriage.

When I see my husband with our children, it makes me so happy. I will always remember when we were driving home from Children's with James in the backseat to finally head home and be a family, and Brian said to him, "I'm so in love with you, little mister!" It is a wonderful thing to see your husband in love with the children your love co-created. It is a beautiful thing to see him holding them, comforting them...and yes, even getting overwhelmingly frustrated with them as he hands them off to you saying, "Here! I think he's hungry!"

We are realizing quickly, though, that while we didn't feel a need to have scheduled "date nights" as a couple with Sophia's birth, we are finding that this will probably be an important thing to implement from here on out. Not that we'll always go out for date night. Just being sure to schedule some couple time together each evening and a longer, more purposeful time to have fun and enjoy each other once a week.

With the demands of a nearly two-year-old and a newborn, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture, thinking this is all there is and all there ever will be, for better or worse. But, for better or worse, this is such a small portion of our lives together: having young children. All too soon, it will be gone...and then they will be gone, and it will be us again. Just Brian and me. And, when that day comes, I don't want just the memories of watching my husband being in love with our children: I want to be sure we are still in love with each other! And, just like with children, that's going to take some work...and the work will bring a lot of joy.

5 comments:

  1. I once heard it said that men fall in love with a maiden, but women fall in love with their children's father... and oh my, isn't that true?

    blessings to your sweet little family, my dear♥

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  2. Bethany, this is just a darling blog entry. While we obviously don't have children yet, it makes my heart happy to see BG interact with our friends' children. Was your husband that way right away when you had Sophia, or did it take some time? I was just curious---BG doesn't have much experience with children, but I have a feeling when we have ours, he'll enjoy being a father very much. You're so blessed---what a lovely family.

    C

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  3. C- It's funny you ask that. Brian actually had no experience with very young children prior to becoming a father. He'd never held a baby, never changed a diaper. I'd say he fell in love with Sophia immediately but that it took about a week for him to feel "comfortable" being a dad--meaning he was constantly afraid he wasn't doing things right or that he was bound to "break" her whenever he did something for that first week :) Our friends were joking this time when we brought James home only five hours after he was born, "You can tell Brian's a second-time dad--he's holding the baby in one arm!"
    ~Bethany

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  4. I so agree with what you say here, Bethany. Certainly there are adjustments to make that come with having a child. But it blessed our marriage, it was falling in love with my husband in an even deeper way when I first watched him with our baby girl. She adores him. I've heard of babies who only want to be held by mama, but Shira absolutely squeals with delight when Daddy picks her up or plays with her.

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. I always get those comments "oh you just wait 'till you have children" when people see me and my husband so in love and happy together (before I got "you just wait till after you marry" lol!) But I am so excited to hear from you that it can get even better, we can hardly wait!!

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