Newlyweds to New Parents

Today our sweet little boy is exactly one week old! While celebrating this tiny, but exciting milestone with my husband, it has me thinking about how much life can change in just a blink of an eye, or in our case, a week.

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Last week Monday {03.13.17} at 12:26 p.m. Tory and I went from being newlyweds {from our wedding that just happened back in November 2016} to new parents. Although, we had been ready for the last weeks of our pregnancy for our little guy to make his appearance, I don’t think I was ready for the rush of emotions that would come with it {when they say that your hormones are still out of control they really mean it}.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m so excited and so happy to be a mommy now to my incredibly handsome little boy, and I know that throughout his life my love for him will continue to grow immensely. But what I wasn’t prepared for was what has become a constant worry in the back of my mind that my marriage has taken a backseat to my new responsibilities that come with parenthood.

Finding a Balance 

file3I recently read a post of a newspaper article entitled “Your kids should not be the most important in the family,” that really gave me a “wow, this is absolutely true,” kind of moment. After finishing the article, it made me realize that this is something that my husband and I had talked about but I still hadn’t really grasped where our balance was. I mean can you blame me? I’ve only been a wife for less than 5 months and a Mommy for a week! As much as I would like to say I have a grasp on things, I know that I still don’t (and I’m definitely not afraid to admit it).

Now, I know that this is definitely a hot topic for most parents and some even avoid the conversation with other parents, but it’s something that I’ve struggled with in just this week alone. How can your kids not be the most important thing? Afterall, you are their legal guardians, their protectors, their providers, shouldn’t their needs be a priority?

A priority, yes… but that doesn’t mean it should consume your life. Just because you became a parent, doesn’t mean that you stopped being a wife or a husband. In my opinion, I completely agree with the article. Our parents, their parents and generations before them all had successful marriages because they didn’t forget to set out time for each other, among the other responsibilities that parenthood brought on.

I have seen both sides of this issue (I guess it’s an issue?)- one where the husband and wife just let themselves become completely consumed by parenthood and stopped talking to each other unless it had to do with the kids and one where the husband and wife continued to make time for each other regardless of the constant hassle of sports practices, band rehearsals and such.

This first week, Tory and I have definitely learned that it’s going to take a lot to balance what we want to do vs. what we need to do. Just because we’re parents now, doesn’t mean that we should be forgetting that we are also husband and wife. We have also learned to balance our responsibilities as parents to help better take care of Bryan.

It’s just not one person does everything and the other is kind of there for the ride. Or each of us has a certain thing that we do that the other doesn’t. Tory and I have worked together to balance our son’s needs and have taken turns-like if one of us needs to rest the other will be pick up the slack.

I have seen more successful marriages with kids than those that have failed because they made their kids the important part of the family instead of each other. For some reason though in this week alone, I have struggled with this and have felt that my marriage had taken a backseat and because of this I have found myself in a quiet, constant panic that the most important, loving thing in my life could be gone in just a blink of an eye.

I guess it may also be a result of Tory going back to work overnights again and we’re finding ourselves on completely different schedules…I’m up during the day and he’s up during the night and that we haven’t exactly found a moment to ourselves. We went from spending every night with each other for the past month (when he was working days) back to spending what couple hours we have in between our sleep schedules.

Postpartum and Talking Things Out

After witnessing some of my moments where I have just shut down because of the fear that our marriage wasn’t important anymore, my husband pointed out that although our son is very important to us and that his needs have to be attended to more than ever during the first couple of weeks as we get into a routine that we’re comfortable with, I needed to remember that Bryan is the product of the love we have for each other and without our strong relationship, he wouldn’t be here.

file4I love that little guy with all of my heart and so much more and I’ve already felt those guilty mom moments because I felt like my son was more important to my husband than I was (am I going crazy for having these feelings?).

Like I said earlier, these hormones postpartum are crazy (if anything they feel like they’re much worse than pregnancy hormones)! The problem I have is that I have always become a quiet person when something bothers me and I have always let it bottle up inside.

Tory has become so good at picking up on my signs that he has constantly been asking me the past week how I’m doing and how I’m feeling just to make sure that I haven’t started to shut down and bottle things up. There have been times when I have caught myself just tearing up and not talking about how I’ve felt about feeling less important or that our marriage took a backseat-the worst thing I could possibly do is shut down at those moments and let it bottle up.

The next couple of weeks, or even months, will definitely be a learning experience as I

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Our little guy has quite the personality!

continue to learn my role as wife and now as a mother. It’s all about finding a balance and of course having a strong support system.

I can’t say enough how blessed I feel to have not only a strong, loving and caring husband (also a supportive family from both sides). Although there are times when I feel like I’m not the most important anymore, I know that I’m not in this journey alone. I just have to remind myself that I married my best friend and not many people are lucky enough to be able to say that or even experience it.

I know that this next year will be quite a journey for the Swank household as we continue to learn what marriage and parenthood are like and the obstacles that may come with them, but I’m definitely ready to experience every up and down, twist and turn with the two guys in my life!

 

 

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