Nothing prepared my husband and me for the amount of time that it takes to take care of a baby. I knew it would be hard work, but it is more than that. It takes time and energy to raise a child. Having the baby was like adding another ball to my juggling act — managing the relationship with hubby (and his family, and my family), taking care of Lil Mochi, taking care of the home (I am still working very hard to catch up on this) and managing to work full-time, all the while trying (and failing) to not feel guilty for neglecting one or the other.
The most I have spent time on has been taking care of Lil Mochi. As many moms (from the WIO tribe to which I belong) tells me, five or ten years down the road, nobody is going to regret not doing more housework or clean the toilet better, but plenty regret not getting enough cuddle time with the little ones or witnessing developmental milestones. I do not want to miss out on a thing. Especially if Lil Mochi is our “One and Done”.
Lil Mochi demands my attention. He needs to be entertained. Mostly by me, then husband, then anyone else available. He can “play by himself” for short periods of time if I am sitting right next to him. I do not mind keeping him company, but I do need/want to do other things sometimes and he will yell/scream for me if I leave him.
I blame our post-pregnancy renovation for baby’s relatively “high needs” nature. Chinese superstition dictates that one should not engage in any kind of renovation when carrying a baby, lest it affects him negatively. Most likely, the stress of the renovation and the temporary relocation caused much stress on me, which got transferred to the fetus. From time to time, I wonder if things will be different if that did not happen.
In any case, (especially after our vacation) I have been thinking about how to make changes. Hubby and I have not had a lot of couple time since the Lil Mochi was born, and I continue to feel bad about it. In a way, it is what it is with a young child. A baby just requires a lot of attention, much like a puppy or kitten (unless you want them to chew/poo poo in your shoes).
I want to make more effort to reconnect with Hubby in the following weeks. A great suggestion from a friend is to drop everything we do as soon as the baby is asleep and spend time hanging out. Just be together like watching some random TV snuggling on the couch will do. Both of us will need to make an effort for this to happen, but we need this. I will also just try to come from a place of love and not criticize or see him as working against me sometimes. Who can be mad at sweet kisses and hugs?
If you have any advice on maintaining a good relationship with your spouse during the early years of parenthood, I would love to hear about it.