Before I start this post I just have say, it feels so good to be home. I am bursting with inspiration and ready to write.
So, tapping into my creative self since the birth of our son has gone beyond just my relationship with little bubby, it has also come into play in my relationship with my husband.
I am grateful for our solid foundation and deep roots now more than ever because first time parenting, especially in the first few weeks/months, is HARD. It is also wonderful and joyous and a lot of other positive things but I am not here to talk about the joy and wonder this time, just the hard.
It is hard to function on 5 hours of severely interrupted sleep.
It is hard when every ounce of patience you possess is being funneled into your baby and you have little to none left over for anyone/anything else.
It is hard when your body feels irreversibly broken and you are still expected to function, at least enough to feed and comfort baby.
It is hard when you are not the only one struggling but you are struggling so hard that the thought of holding space for your spouse’s struggle seems an impossible ask.
It is hard when you do not feel in control of you emotions.
It is hard when you are still feeling traumatized by the experience of birth.
It is hard, so hard.
My husband was outstanding. He took such good of care of me during labor, delivery, and recovery. He allowed me to experience love on an entirely new level, a depth of which there are no words for. I am grateful every single day that we chose each other to walk this path with, there is no one I would rather be doing this with. AND it is still hard.
My husband has given me much appreciated feedback about how well I am doing and how much he appreciates me. AND I am certain he would agree, it is still hard.
I know now that parenting is not for the faint of heart. It has absolutely tested us and I am quite sure it will continue to test us individually as humans, together as parents, and as a couple.
We were home for two weeks when the displacing started.
Let’s be real, newborns are intense, it is stressful and we were not going to take that stress out on the baby (even though he was absolutely the source) because;
- He is a baby
- He is just doing exactly what he is supposed to – this period of time was hard for him too.
My husband and I are usually pretty good about holding ourselves accountable for our thoughts/feelings and not displacing and projecting on each other. That started to go out the window because of the HARD I outlined above that we were dealing with.
Our communication began to devolve into sarcasm, eye rolling, heavy sighs, closed body language, biting remarks. This is not us.
It only took a few days for us to carve out time to process our feelings together and get back on the same page. Once time for connection and truth about the struggle was made it got easier. Having a partner in struggle does make it easier.
This is what creativity in our relationship has looked like:
In the early months we made time multiple times a week to share where we were both at with our struggle. We held space for ourselves and each other without judgment and the connection created was EVERYTHING. Now we have check ins as needed and offer support as needed.
My husband and I do not discuss “adult topics” in front of bubby. That means family issues, politics, issues we are having with one another. It includes pretty much anything that would elicit a heavy energy. Babies are super sensitive to energy changes and emotional states, we do our best to keep our home calm and peaceful for bubby.
It would be easy to just stop talking all together because by the end of the day we are worn out and just want to flop, not fall into a deep discussion. As a way to hold ourselves accountable for the health of our relationship and to keep from bottling anything that needs a voice we created a conversation cup. It is an over-sized tea cup that has a pen and sticky notes in it, we write down anything that is not appropriate to discuss while bubby is awake so we can come back to it after he is asleep.
The conversation cup is great for a few reasons.
- It holds us accountable
- It allows us to insert a pause when needed. If we bump heads over something we acknowledge that we need to discuss the issue further later and then we are left to hold our feelings about the issue without displacing. It is delayed gratification essentially. How easy is it to get annoyed with your spouse and immediately react? We have found our conflict resolution is way better because there is a calm down period before we come back to the grievance, at that point we are able to process without being too stirred up.
- It is a physical vessel holding our worries, troubles, etc. so we are not walking around all day with heavy hearts and cluttered minds. We are free to engage intentionally with bubby and each other since we are not weighed down. All the while knowing we will have our time to process and connect – nothing is being left unsaid, it is just being given its time and place.
Physical connection definitely changes after baby too. I was worried intimacy would be unpleasant after giving birth but my truth is, I am loving intimacy after baby. I am incredibly grateful for that truth. We have had to get creative in this area as well but like all other areas of our relationship, the creativity has given way to deeper connection.
I think the reason that last statement is true is because it is an incredibly vulnerable thing to allow yourself to be creative. To step outside of the box, embrace a different way of doing things, to allow yourself to be seen. This is where connection truly takes place.
All this creative energy that has been infused into our life has inspired my husband and I to start taking bigger steps towards being creative in other aspects of life. I believe creativity is what brought me home to Adding to Nine. There is so much creative energy flowing in our home right now it is overflowing.
I am grateful for the ways in which we have called creativity into our life and the opportunities we now have to fully stand in our light and be seen.