Will Having a Baby Change Your Relationship?
When the line on the pregnancy stick turned pink for the first time, I was more than a little shocked. My husband, Lucas, and I had only been married a few months, and we were very young newlyweds, just 23 years old. We weren’t expecting to be pregnant so soon, and the realization that we’d be having a baby in no time, felt like a miracle and mistake all at once.
9 months later, Norah, our oldest daughter entered our world, we were young and in love. But, once we brought her home- it all changed. It didn’t take long for the stress and exhaustion of life with a newborn to catch up to our relationship. In those early days, Norah was collicky and clingy, and Lucas couldn’t soothe her. When this happened, he’d hand her back to me immediately-which always left me fuming.
One day, I had had enough. I broke down, and I shared with him how frustrated I was, how tired, and how much I felt I needed him to contribute to caring for our daughter. He shared that he felt helpless, like he couldn’t supply what she needed. From his perspective I seemed confident and assured, so he took on often unnoticed housework, like the dishes, trash, and bills. In the daze of new motherhood, I hadn’t even noticed how diligently he was working to keep our home running smoothly, which made him feel even more invisible. After our talk, we realized what we’d both wanted was to feel seen and known, in a season of life that felt so unknown.
Eventually, we did find our way. As Norah grew, she began to smile, coo, and clap as her Daddy walked through the door; his fears that he wouldn’t be needed or valued anymore quickly melted away as Norah became more and more a Daddy’s girl. I remembered to say ‘thank you’ when I saw him doing a thankless task, and he often would sit up in the middle of the night with me; just so I wouldn’t feel so alone rocking a screaming, restless child. We were a team again. And many sleepless nights and four kids later, we’ve never looked back. It’s true what they say: once you bring home baby life (and love) won’t ever be the same.
But as it turns out, that’s more than okay.