Long time readers, or those who spend any time at all in the comments section, know all about the fabulous Liz. She got hitched, gave us tips on throwing a dessert reception, told us all about saving sex till her wedding night, and moderated APW for me last year when I was on vacation. She’s sane, feminist, and super wise. This year she had a baby, and over the last week she wrote a must-read series debunking myths about why babies are scary, using good common sense. You should read all of it. But the one that really grabbed my attention was her treatise on why babies do not, in fact, ruin marriages. She’s allowing me to re-post it here, and if you’re even thinking about maybe having a baby one day, you must read it. Also, you have to read it if you’re ever haunted by a world full of you’ll seeeee’s. So basically, you all have to read it. So without further ado, here is Liz.
A few months into pregnancy—just long enough that I was hormonally crazy, but not too long that I was yet over my hyperventilating fear of having a baby—I was washing dishes while Josh finished some work on his computer. A song came on the radio, and Josh snuck into the kitchen, swept me into his arms, and we did a corny slow dance, my face nuzzled in his neck.
Eventually, he (not as oblivious as I often think) noticed that I was quietly sobbing, my mascara running down his t-shirt.
“I don’t want anything to chaaaange…” I blubbered through snot and tears.
Your typical preggo prepares for Baby by stocking up on diapers, or by socking away bits of money. Yours truly spent every last cent on fancy dinners with the husband—each one treated as if it was our last meal. In a sense, we thought it was.
See, as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, everyone begins to warn you of the impending doom of your marriage. They say the romance dies, you never have sex again, you forget what your husband even looks like.
IGNORE THESE PEOPLE.
Our relationship and yes, sex-life even, has changed since having a baby—I’ll admit it. But really only in that we’re way more intentional in making time for one another. And as a result, we spend time together (“quality,” couple-time) more than we did before the baby. Just because we’re conscious that there’s the propensity to fall out of the habit.
More than intentionality, having a baby around does a few other things for your marriage.
For one, we now share yet one more special thing in our lives. We could both sit and watch him sleep or gush to one another about the size of his toes—and neither of us would ever get bored, because we both understand the immensity of love for our boy. That’s something that just the two of us share.
There’s also a new element of… excitement, I guess, to use a cheesy word. We love each other, and we’re still crazy hot (don’t act like you didn’t notice), so sometimes Little Josh falls asleep and Josh shoots me an eyebrow, and we race off to… ahem… spend time together before nap-time ends. This means time and place are often irrelevant, and adds to—instead of detracting from—spontaneity. (And even a sense of sneaking around like teenagers, minus the dire consequences.)
We still go out to places, just the two of us, but I’ll admit that it’s more rare. Don’t get me wrong—we go to all of the same places we used to, we just usually lug along the little one (they’re portable). Cute cafes or fancy restaurants aren’t off limits—just grab an outdoor table and push up the stroller. So, when we do go just the two of us, the rare-ness makes it extra special—in an “absence makes the heart grow fonder” kind of way.
Sure, babies are gonna change your marriage—but I don’t see why everyone acts like the changes are bad. Just like a big move or competing work schedules or anything else that might occupy your time, it’s just one more reason to focus on really making an effort with one another.
Photo: Love Me Do Photography