#UsAfterYou…Guest post originally featured on Mum In Brum

Just in case you missed it…here is a guest post I wrote for Natalie at Mum In Brum, as the debut in her new feature, #UsAfterYou.

Enjoy – and Thanks Natalie for hosting!


 

Did having a baby change your relationship? Of course it did!

I’m excited to launch this new #UsAfterYou guest post series, where each week I’ll be asking one of my favourite bloggers to share their experience of what having a baby has meant for their relationship. I’m thrilled to kick it off with the brilliantly talented and always relatable Mum Muddling Through. I couldn’t have put it better myself…

Mum Muddling Through

It’s inevitable that having a baby changes a relationship. I remember clearly someone giving me some of that oh so useful, classic unwanted pre-baby advice, that there’s no way you can love your husband as much once you are completely and utterly devoted to the child you created together.

Just as all couples are different before having babies, so are all couples afterwards. No one can tell you how it will affect you, although If you don’t change at all you’re probably in a very tiny minority. That person was wrong, for the record.

There is no getting away from the fact that life as you know it will be a distant memory. The spontaneous late nights, lazing in bed till midday, having ample free time to pursue own interests as well as having plenty of time for each other; it will be on hold for a while.

UsBeforeYou: Glastonbury
UsAfterYou: In the Night Garden live
UsBeforeYou: Tequila slammers
UsAfterYou: Tea two sugars
UsBeforeYou: Romantic Weekend in Brussells
UsAfterYou: Caravanning Weekend in Bognor
UsBeforeYou: Partying all weekend
UsAfterYou: Kids Parties every weekend

But, It’s certainly not all bad. Seeing the man you love become a wonderful giving Father will probably tip your love for him off the scales. And vice versa, of course.

Given that your social life will now consist mainly of each other’s company, it’s truly never more important than ever that you procreated with the right one.

Mr G and I are far from perfect. We bicker, often in front of the children, and feel horrendously guilty about it afterwards. We bear the brunt of each others stresses, bad moods, tiredness; but it is quickly forgotten.

We have dreams of lazy family days indoors which in reality too often become a game of ‘whose turn is it to watch the kids’ while the other does something they really want to get on with. We say yes to enough social invites to use up all our babysitting tokens, and haven’t the nerve to ask someone to watch the kids just so we can have us time.

We realise we need to make more of our evenings, to feel like we are spending quality time together indoors, which is so much easier talked about than done. So, this often consists of a weekend takeaway and sharing a bottle of wine or a beer.

In reality, the hardest thing about keeping the sparkle in a marriage post kids, is the lack of energy we both have. After a day working in London / being at home with the girls, coupled with a broken night and 5am start, it’s a big ask to sum up the enthusiasm to be full of beans, smiles and laughter, and play a board game or some other ‘non telly’ activity 😉 The biggest appeal is way too often a hot bath and early night…for all the wrong reasons.

relationship after a baby

One thing is for sure. I couldn’t have done this with anyone else. I wouldn’t want to have done this with anyone else. Having a family of our own, and the ups and downs that go with it, have cemented the foundations of our unit. Our lives have changed beyond recognition, but we are still the same crazy big kids under it all. We are a team. We laugh together, despair together; we have become real grown ups together. We adore each other, and have happily accepted our quieter domesticated existence together. After all, we wanted this more than anything, together.

We share joy in not only our children’s milestones, watching their smiles, but also, still, in each other’s successes, achievements and selfless acts for each other, however simple.

We had this reading at our wedding, by Louis de Bernieres, from Captain Correllis Mandolin which, little did we know then, summed it up perfectly…

Love is a temporary madness,

it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides.

And when it subsides you have to make a decision.

You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part.

Because this is what love is.

Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement,

it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion.

That is just being in love, which any fool can do.  Love itself is what

is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground,

and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches,

they find that they are one tree and not two.

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