On Being A Wife


On-Being-A-Wife

I’ve been thinking about my marriage a lot lately.

My husband and I have been together for almost a decade: We met in our twenties, have been married for four years, and for the past year and a half, have been new parents.

Maybe I was just naive, but I didn’t realize how much having a baby would change our relationship. Until recently, I was under the assumption that our marriage would always be ‘business as usual’ – that we would always be the best of friends, no matter what. We always were the best partners in crime: both career driven, social butterflies, and we just understood each other, no questions asked. We were a well oiled machine.

But him and I have both changed a lot in this last year. His focus has been on his career and his child, with multiple new opportunities that make me nervous, and proud. And as for myself, having to relearn who I am as a woman and as a mother has left me fully consumed. All day, my head is filled with thoughts only a mom will understand: “Am I doing this right? Did I ruin her? What can I do better?” I cannot speak for my husband, but at least for myself, I forgot that I had to relearn who I am as a wife, too. I needed to check in on my marriage, and how becoming parents has changed us as a couple.

I mean, it’s kind of obvious that things were going to be different. There is a whole new person in your couple dynamic—Hi Olive—your energy level is low, your priorities have changed, and you’ve been together so long that you’ve entered a comfort zone that lets you assume that (too much) silence is okay.

In all honesty, all my energy is put into being a Good Mother during the day, that by the time the day comes to an end, I am too wiped out to be a Good Wife. I am usually the grumpy-ass wife, or the silent wife, or the take-the-kid-from-me-now wife. I am finding it difficult to balance the two roles with grace.

Someone recently said to me, the relationship with your partner should always come first. Not the one with your child. And I think I understand; when I put in the effort to nurture my marriage, I am protecting the relationship that my child sees the most. I show Olive that our marriage is important, and needs to be worked on. I show her that Mom and Dad put in effort to love each other, to accept, to forgive.

I show OIive that our family is worth it. Because it is.

So, I want to remember to connect with my husband every day. I know we are both tired, and sometimes the last thing you want to do is talk. But, my hope is that if I work on it a little, each day, we’ll never drift too far apart.

 

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Image Credit: That’s me, on my wedding day, and the photo is by the brilliant Max Wanger

15 thoughts on “On Being A Wife

  1. Pat

    Brutal honesty is the key. I think you have it right when you say connect every day. There can be no secrets, no put-offs, no “it’ll get better” moments. Start every day like you meant to. I take the moments my wife and I have alone to ensure she’s good, we’re good and what’s going on, and she does with me. We got lost in the child vortex and had to come back to ourselves to make it all work, and it was completely worth the effort!

    Amy, I love you!

    Reply
      1. Pat

        No thanks required… I’ll bet it’s what you do already. I’ll also bet that Olive is a peach, and you guys are reveling in her development, and every day is a revelation! All I can say is be REAL with your spouse and expect non less from him, so that you can stay close to the tenderness that brought you together and you can all relish in the moments you are blessed with.

        Random guy Pat, out.

  2. Angellll

    What a great post. I’m no mum, but what was said about nurturing the relationship first as it is the first and most often relationship seen by Olive, just makes so much sense. You’re such an inspiration, Jody. Hang in there! xxx

    Reply
    1. Jody Post author

      Angel! Just trying to make it though the day, lady! haha! Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. xx

      Reply
  3. Wes

    And when you’re in doubt, sit down, have a nice glass of cabernet, look at each other, smile, and remember how it all began…

    Reply
  4. julie

    totally know what you mean. marriage has been so hard after baby, even after a year. there are so many expectations and assumptions… we have to constantly remind ourselves that it’s a first for the both of us, we are both tired and trying… and that we still need to be nice to each other. BTW- i’ve been wanting to write you back for a while but been distracted. loved your post re: “mommy friends” and all the previous stuff. when i was preggo, i vowed never to do any of this, including the annoying kids songs in the car.. but i can’t live w/o them now.

    Reply
    1. Jody Post author

      Hi Julie! Yeah, I think what you said is important to remember – you really just have to be NICE to each other! That in itself is sometimes a feat, but if we keep that in mind, I’m sure that will help a lot. Thank you for reaching out, and I’m glad to hear that you’re liking the posts!!

      Reply
  5. Eleen

    I just recently discovered you via IG, and now your blog, so I’ve been reading up on your older posts. Man, this post rings so true to me right now, and what has been my reality ever since my baby was born 18 months ago. I even read the book on Love Languages to help me reconnect with my husband. Things have been trying with the lack of sleep, but we also recently moved states for the first time. That…is definitely something I wasn’t expecting to change our couple and family dynamic so much. Thanks for the encouragement in knowing that I am not alone in how I feel, and for the reminder to learn to put our relationship first before baby. That’ll take some work, but it’ll be worth it.

    Reply
    1. Jody Post author

      Hi Eleen!

      Thanks for stopping by! I love that book, Love Languages – It helped me earlier on before we were married because my husband and I have such, SUCH different love languages. It has really helped me accept him and embrace him for how he expresses love! I hope you’re settling in well in your new home – change is tough!

      Reply
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