By: Anna Katrina Bolivar
Prior to entering marriage, it is common to hear warnings about the adjustment that husbands and wives would face. As most would usually say, you will never know a man unless you live with him under the same roof. True, indeed. You will learn a lot about your spouse once you cohabit and you’re with each other 24/7.
You’ll be ecstatic during the honeymoon phase because finally, the two are now living as one. Romantic gestures are just overflowing. Rushing to prepare breakfast for the other, relaxing at each other arms at night after a stressful day, and planning your out-of-town trips way ahead of time.
The anticipation of your first baby is even more exciting. The two of you will be spending a lot of time at your prenatal visits, excitedly waiting to hear your baby’s heartbeat. Hearts will be racing when the gender of the baby will be known. You’ll be spending time at the mall looking at all the fancy baby items in every baby store that you can possibly go into. And now the baby arrives…
Your heart will just melt when you see your husband look and hold your little beauty with full admiration and love. Appreciation will overflow when you see him help your baby burp after every feeding. You will be overwhelmed when he assists you every time you have to sit or stand-up from your hospital bed, feed yourself, breastfeed your little one, and change soiled diapers (which is almost hourly by the way!).
Going back home with your newborn is when reality starts to kick in. While you are giving your baby your attention 24/7, a lot of other things need to be done at home to get back to normalcy. The house needs to be cleaned, food needs to be prepared, dishes need to be washed, laundry needs to be washed (now with an additional load of baby clothes and diapers), and grocery errands every now and then. This phase is very challenging for first-time parents, especially for those who do not have helpers at home.
When your husband’s paternity leave is over, you’ll be left alone at home with your baby. You’ll be feeding seemingly nonstop, dealing with growth spurts or colic, and changing diapers round the clock. Your whole waking time (and lack of sleep thereof) will be devoted to your little one. Peeing will be challenging, taking a bath will be even more challenging, sleeping might be out of sight, and eating palatable food will now be a luxury.
It is truly difficult to be a mother, but it also truly satisfying to be able to love and care for your little angel. At first, your plate will be full of feedings, diaper changes, and a lot of carrying and rocking your baby to sleep. All of those, alongside all the household chores, will make you overwhelmed and might cause you exhaustion.
Your husband, tired from work, will go home wanting to just eat and rest after a quick playtime with your baby, while you, on the other hand, cannot have a decent meal and sleep. Discussions might start when exhaustion and frustrations set in.
It is during this time that you’ll realize that you still have a lot to learn about your spouse (yourself as well). You’ll be amazed at how much effort your husband is willing to exert just to accomplish his share of chores. You’ll admire his courage to take care of your little beauty although deep inside, he is really scared of handling such a fragile creature.
There will be days of frustration, exhaustion, and even depression. But to get through those days, always remind yourself of the love that you and your spouse have shared prior to the baby, try to recall the feeling of jointly anticipating the coming of your precious little one, and keep vivid memories of the times that your husband lovingly held your little beauty with overflowing love. Your body might be drained but your heart will definitely be full of love.
Anna Katrina Bolivar is a 32-year old first time mom to an 18 months old baby girl. She’s a stay-at-home, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and cosleeping mom. Despite all the challenges of a stay-at-home mom, she always goes to sleep with a heart that is overflowing with love for the Lord, her husband, and their precious little girl.