Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Happy Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been reading for a while now, or you know me in real life…you know that I love love. It is more than the average Joe, for example yesterday I was crying when the Today Show showed a proposal and then again when they had a segment on high school sweethearts giving advice reflecting back on many years of marriage. Love it just so darn beautiful to me.
Over here we’re celebrating our first Valentine’s Day as parents. For us, this means that we’ll put our sweet baby to bed and then Drew is going to make a delicious dinner (confidence in you babe!). Our date will be in our dining room.
I’m excited. Drew is a very good cook and we love making something special for our date nights in.
I believe in showing your love every single day, not just on the big days. If anything, Valentine’s Day gives us a push to plan a date night in and for that I’m thankful. Our plans this year has me reflecting on how this parenthood thing has impacted our marriage.
When Drew and I got married in May of 2014, not much changed. We had already been living together and I really knew who I was getting at that alter. I would never downplay the sanctity of marriage or how special it was to have Drew promise me forever on that day, but we had known forever was for us years before we made it official.
The biggest change that happened in our marriage was becoming parents. All of the sudden we had this 24/7 shared responsibility together. I often have blogged that Maxwell was the biggest blessing our marriage has ever experienced, which is true. But he has also brought an entirely new dynamic into our relationship. One that calls for selflessness, teamwork, patience, and the swallowing of many sarcastic or passive aggressive statements (at least on my end).
Words cannot express the love we feel for Maxwell. He quickly stole our hearts and we were those parents that had to call each other over for every.single.new.thing.he.did. Whether it be yawning or hiccuping or tooting. We were just in awe. He still gets us. Just the other night we were watching videos of him and crumbling due to his cuteness all over again.
I remember his second night of life, we were still in the hospital. We couldn’t get him to stop crying. All of the sushing, swaddling, swaying, stuff we read about wasn’t exactly working. Both of us were pretty darn tired since Max had entered the world at 11:04pm the night before and we weren’t tucked into our recovery room until well into the morning. There we were, two parents that didn’t have a clue how to calm this crying little bundle of joy. This was the first, but certainly wouldn’t be the last task of new parenting that made us scratch our heads and switch off taking care of a screaming baby. We were probably 1 minute from calling the nurse in, but we decided to change his diaper, re-swaddle, and do air squats with him which thankfully worked. It’s funny when you are new parents and you think you should be able to calm your baby because, well…it is your baby. But, the truth is Drew, Maxwell, and I were just 3 rookies with little experience to hang our hat on.
Early on in postpartum, I remember just standing there in my mesh panties and thinking this is just a whole new ball game for my husband and I. The man that I love so much, the same one that in the beginning of our relationship I would take so much time and attention getting ready for now literally saw me push a baby out. Here I was swollen, squishy, with enormous and veiny boobs….and here he is….just the same very attractive guy. Drew took so much care to make sure that I stayed confident and cared for as a new mama. He would constantly (mesh panties and all) tell me how beautiful I was and that he was so proud of me. He also constantly refilled my water and brought me snacks.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of coming together instead of letting that sweet baby put distance between you and your significant other. But we’re human, and if I was going to pretend there wasn’t a time or two that Maxwell pushed us to become irritated with each other that would be a JOKE and a LIE.
Recently I was talking to my co-worker about the middle of the night wake ups. Your little babe doesn’t know that mama has to wake up at 5am for work, if they need something they need it. Often times, I will head into the room because my boob has the ability to get Maxwell back to sleep faster than Drew’s lack of boobs. Still, this makes it hard and slightly resentful when in the morning Drew asks, “how many times did Max get up last night?” or “Oh, Max got up…I didn’t even hear him!”
My coworker said she just usually shoots her sleeping husband a look, which satisfies her annoyance. This is a time when I can get a little sarcastic with Drew, which I’m trying to reign in. Like, “Oh, must be nice to get a uninterrupted night’s sleep!”
Truth be told, Drew is really a team player. There are nights, when he pulls his weight just as much as me. On Christmas Maxwell was SO much fun. Happy as can be, interacting with everyone, trying to open presents, excited to try new toys. In fact, so into it that he decided that naps were optional, no matter how hard we tried to get him down.
What is it about not napping that makes them sleep so bad at night? I don’t get it. I would think over tired babies would just pass out hard and sleep all night. For Maxwell, no. He is a terror at night if he misses his naps. And so, there we were. Tag team parenting a child that woke up no less than 6 times and refused to be put down into his plush and expensive DockAT0t. We took about 2 hour turns with our crazy baby and sleeping on the recliner at our brother and sister-in-law’s house.
I still remember how numb my arm was from sleeping with him in the recliner. I made the enormous mistake of trying to switch arms and our sweet little baby let our a big old wail. It was time to grab daddy, tag me out!
As I sit here on Valentine’s Day, I’m so very thankful for my husband. We’ve made it 8.5 months with our baby and I still feel so darn in love with him. He has shown up on the tough nights, come home from work after a long day and jumped right into parenting, and the way he always makes sure that I’m also taken care of is sweet beyond measure.
Here we are, first Valentine’s Day as parents. Without the ability to go on a date without weeks of planning who will watch our little boy, but with a love that is deeper than ever.
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day everyone! Xo. Ames