My husband Peter and I were married in July 2011 and less than 14 months later our daughter Mary was born. She is such a blessing to our family and has brought us so much joy. But, like any baby, she takes up a lot of my time. While we were dating, engaged and first married, Peter and I spent most of our time together. We lived together, worked together and spent most of our free time with each other.
Over the past five months, I've struggled to juggle the roles of wife and mother. Here's how I make sure my relationship with my husband remains central to our family:
1. Make time for him
A lot of new mothers are uncomfortable going anywhere without their baby, but I'm not of them. Less than three weeks after Mary was born, my husband and I went out for dinner while my mother-in-law took care of our sleeping baby. I'm still breastfeeding so I can't leave her for long, but even spending a couple of hours alone with Peter does wonders for our relationship. Even if you aren't comfortable leaving your baby with a friend or family member, you can still spend time together talking, praying, playing games or watching sports.
2. Shower and get dressed
When you're taking care of a new baby, personal hygiene can fall way down the priority list. But nothing makes me feel less attractive than spending days unwashed in my pajamas.
When I shower, do my make-up and put on something nice, I feel attractive again. And I want to be attractive to my husband!
3. Appreciate, don't compare
Obviously, your husband wasn't pregnant, didn't go through labour and isn't breastfeeding. But being a new father is still a huge change for him. Assuming your husband is a good guy — and you obviously wouldn't have married him if he wasn't — he's going to try his best to be a good father and help you out in any way he can. So take it easy on him. He is doing his best just like you're doing your best.
And don't compare him to other fathers. One of my friends' husbands reads parenting books, for example. Another one buys his child lots of toys. Peter doesn't do either of those things. But he does bath our daughter every night, wash her clothes (including the cloth diapers) and play all sorts of rowdy games. Plus, he works full time. I'm so grateful for everything Peter does for our family and I make sure that he knows it.