I love a good challenge. That’s why I had triplets! (Kidding!) But seriously, I love challenges. I love working towards a goal. Life is so much more exciting to me when I work under deadlines. (I’ve found myself complaining a lot more these days about my deadlines, but that’s a story for another post.) So, when I saw a dear friend (Debi from The Romantic Vineyard) encourage fellow-bloggers to take this challenge, I thought it would be fun. I immediately knew what I wanted to write. I’m starting after most of the other “competitors” because I’ve had quite a bit to write about with our babies’ first birthday stuff (pictures, birth story part 1, birth story part 2). So, who am I writing to? Newly married couples! I know, I know…technically I am one myself. Specifically, I am writing for those without children yet…or new parents.
But wait. Let me rewind a bit, for those of you just joining me. My husband, David, and I were married in February 2010. In March 2011 we found out we were expecting. While we didn’t exactly have a “honeymoon” baby, we certainly have been propelled into parenthood very quickly. During our first year, we both worked. We enjoyed regular date nights. We were each other’s best friends. Countless evenings (well, maybe not countless – it was pretty much 365) were spent talking, walking, holding hands, fighting and making up. We made dinner together, slept in together and went grocery shopping together. Now, don’t get me wrong – life was busy. Oh, so super-busy!! In addition to working and caring for our home, we also were each taking a class with CCEF. And we were an active part of our local church, Metro Life Church.
But then I got pregnant. And then we were parents. And life changed. There was suddenly no time for walking and talking, though there were plenty of opportunities to fight and make up! Dinners were thrown together…or not made at all. Grocery shopping? Well, let’s just say they became phone calls to the hubby on his way home. Sleeping in was non-existent and we didn’t make it to church for months (part of this was our “unusual situation” and would certainly recommend making every effort to remain connected, if at all possible). I think it was four months after becoming parents before we went on a date and then wondered why we waited so long to get out for a bit! Communication, which happened so regularly and freely such a short time ago, was now sporadic and always revolved around the babies.
So…how have we survived so far? Well, we have by no means “arrived.” But we have learned a few things during this first intense year. The next 12 days will be intensely practical. They won’t require a lot of time to read (because let’s face it – “time” is a vanishing thing as a new parent) but will hopefully be something you can return to when you’re feeling your relationship with your spouse is dragging. They also don’t require a lot of thinking or preparation to execute. Amidst the challenges of adjusting to a new baby, I hope you’ll pick-up some tips that may help you to keep your orientation towards your spouse. It is super easy to be distracted, overwhelmed and exhausted in those first weeks, months and even years (one of the reasons I’m excited to even be writing on this – it will be refreshing for us, as well!). So, David and I both came up with a dozen simple ways we have “focused” on one another over the past year. Please join me – and let your newly married friends and new parent-friends know they may join us as well!