Operation husband coming home after months away before kids: Wax, shave, pluck, fake-tan, new hair, waiting at door for him pulling up in excitement.
After kids: Shave legs (bottom half not top), run dry shampoo through hair, wait on sofa in pj’s.
Sound familiar? When people say relationships change when you have kids – they ain’t joking. Plus, you don’t know – until you really know. Until you’re contemplating divorce because your husband has left his dirty clothes on the floor AGAIN and you are constantly in a battle of, ‘who is more tired?’ I win every-time just so you know.
Don’t get me wrong, I have missed my husband so much and was excited to have him home. But realistically, I haven’t got the time, money, patience or energy to be having a spray tan. I remember when he came back after a long stint away. We had got married in the March, moved up to Scotland a week later, he deployed a week after that – and was away for almost 6-months (was supposed to be a 3-month trip but for those fellow military spouses – you know that things are never set in stone which is an absolute fucking nightmare), which was the longest we had been apart. Which was a tough time. But before he came back, honestly it was like I was preparing for my wedding day again. Even bought a new outfit for him walking through the door. And it’s not like I’m any less excited – it’s just priorities change. I’m 20 weeks pregnant, dealing with a poorly toddler and brushing my hair was going to have to do. The huge difference in homecoming prep got me thinking about how much your relationship changes when you have a baby. People say it will, but like before baby, when people say, “it’s really hard,” you don’t really understand until you’re knee deep in the four-month sleep regression sobbing in the corner of your room. Naturally, marriage/your relationship is put on the back burner. However much you say it won’t – it does. However much you say, we need a date night, we need a night away just us – months down the line, that’s still not happened. And nobody tells you that once you have a baby, you both become even more irritating to each other. I have lost count at how many times I have genuinely thought about divorce if my husband leaves his dirty clothes on the floor one more time. Or receipts. Why the fuck are there receipts hidden all around the house? Put them in the fucking bin. And I’m sure he will say that he has lost count of the times I have went from 0-100 with rage over ‘nothing’. And the bickering – and the constant competition of, “well I’ve had less sleep than you”. Hands down – I win every time. Nobody tells you how you will stare at your husband with hatred while you nurse your baby at 2am and he snores away. It is no wonder you have some wobbly moments in your relationship once children come into the mix. And I don’t think you should feel ashamed or embarrassed for saying that. Being the most tired you have ever been does not help either! And having a child is a momentous change in your life. I don’t want it to sound like I’m saying, ‘don’t have a baby, you will end up divorced!’ Because at the same time I’m feeling the rage, I am feeling overwhelming love when I see my husband with my son. And I feel so lucky we have our little family – with another on the way. It’s just hard sometimes. But there’s nobody else I’d rather shout at for leaving receipts around the house. We are still learning how to juggle our relationship and having a toddler and will have to navigate another baby into the mix soon, so well aware this is going to be even more challenging. But I have vowed for more date night’s when we can, (yes I know, when will that actually happen?!), or just time where we sit down and actually talk to each other – about anything other than how much sleep we have had. I also find talking to my friends about how annoying our husbands are (I’m well aware, I am equally annoying), helps and gives us all a good laugh. (He did what?!!) And makes you remember that even the strongest of couples have their days where they are finding it hard to put their relationship as a priority. Because at the end of the day, without the love we have for each other, Rafe wouldn’t be here. And I wouldn't want to go through all this madness without him by my side. I think it’s important to be open and honest about the 'normal struggles' because behind every ‘perfect’ Instagram photo of an adoring couple – or gushing declaration of love of Facebook, there was probably a blazing row the day before about whose turn it was to put the bins out.
So yes, husband home! Which is amazing. He's off for a week before heading back to work and we are actually away for the weekend, staying in a cottage to celebrate my dad retiring, which has been lovely. Of course it’s so good to have him back as I have missed him – but having that extra support in the night to help with Rafe is amazing. And Rafe is doing so much better. Thank you for all your advice and support in last week’s post, meant a lot. It’s so comforting to know that there are others who have been/or are going through similar experiences – and were able to share tips on making giving the inhaler more fun! We’ve stopped having to give him one now and his wheeze has gone. He’s still coughing in the night, but full of beans and fine in himself. The last couple of days we gave the inhaler he was fine, it helped to have the stickers on, pretending we were all having a 'puff' – even Yankee – and letting him play with it,relaxed him. So hopefully no more inhaler – but prepared if we do have to.
Randomly had a few mornings this week where I have been sick, but don’t feel as bad as I did when the morning sickness was in full force. I think it's tiredness too. But really starting to feel baby move more now. I’m so much more aware this time round, I’m sure I didn’t feel this much movement at this point, first time round. Can’t believe I am half way already! With Rafe, the first 20-weeks seemed to drag – but I feel like I have blinked and I am at the half way point. I’ve just booked to have hypnobirthing classes with a former midwife who is trained in hypnobirthing with KG. I’m really looking forward to the sessions to be honest, so will let you know how they go.
Thank you all for your advice re. Rafe walking. We have bought him some pre-walkers from Clarks which a few of you recommended – and also going to work on building up his confidence. So again, will let you know how we get on!
Till next week,
Royal Marine Wife. Mum to Rafe.