When we talk of parenthood, the role of a mother has always been given an edge over the role of a father. None of us can really deny the fact that mothers are the ones to devote more amounts of time and energy in raising a baby than the fathers too.
Over the years there has been much written about how contrastingly a mother’s life changes after coming of the baby as compared to how it was before the baby. But, not many of us talk about how a father’s life changes after a baby come into the picture. So here’s a Husband and New Dad’s perspective on relationships.
How a Husband and New Dad looks into this new role:
When we first planned on starting a family, we had a pretty clear picture that the baby was going to change the present dynamics of our marriage. But just when the romantic flirty messages changed into the grocery list, the intellectual chat changed into pee & poop talk and the birthday & anniversary reminders changed into vaccination reminders, I am still clueless.
Nobody warned us about the plummeting our relationship had taken and the chaos the rest of our lives had fallen into.
During the initial months everything seemed so exciting and gala, but soon after I found myself lamenting how our love for the baby had usurped our very own love story. Despite the fact that our happiness knew no bounds – she was happy and I was happy, but together our happy “we” times went missing from the picture.
And as determined as I was not to save our “us” for some day in the future, or pause our romance for tomorrow or even wait for the weekly off to hold a kiss for that matter, I also didn’t want to rush her into it either. I understood she needed time to recover & heal. But I also couldn’t shy away from the fact that her drive kept on taking a reverse gear whenever I tried to reconnect. I had been trying very badly to be the people who once met, married, fell in love and had a miraculous baby. But, our love story seemed to be lost somewhere underneath those soiled diapers and laundry piles.
How Sex and Intimacy went down the drain:
Who wouldn’t agree when I say that intimacy is like the glue in a marriage? So exactly how was I supposed to react if she chose sleep over sex? And even when, after a long, challenging day she tried to pry her tired and sleepy eyes open to tend to “us” because that might be our only chance during the entire day, I felt it was selfish of me to make her go through this. I did understand that “us” time would be the last thing on her mind with all the tiredness & exhaustion and over-touching from those tiny hands and feet climbing and clinging to her all day. And as much as I would hate to admit – it did feel like I was not wanted, I was not cared for, when all I had wanted was a sense of belongingness, even if the thought crossed my mind just for the millionth of a second.
How reality struck hard:
Did they tell you before having the baby that life will be more beautiful and lovely with the baby?
They sure forgot to tell you how different that love and life you probably imagined before having the baby could be when you are sleep-deprived parents to a highly active toddler. I knew beforehand, life couldn’t be the same and I was definitely geared up for this, but I so wanted more of her, I so wanted more of “us”. Reality struck me hard when one day, on hearing my wife calling, “Hey handsome” I jumped in all excited only to find that it was for the baby and not me (sigh)! He sure is my baby too and he’s handsome. But ouch! That hurt, and so much.
How I started looking at our relationship in a new light:
But amidst all that chaos we still tried to laugh while cooking or cleaning, appreciate each other, exchanged gifts, even when they didn’t seem to be enough.
And just when I was beginning to think our relationship had lost its lustre, our marriage was far from being over, not even close. In all the drama going on in my life, I somehow missed seeing the bigger picture. This time around, she was the one to reach out. I’m glad I had the patience to wait and I didn’t rush her into it.
It was then I was able to witness how with each one of these challenging days passing by, we had been inching closer to each other gaining in trust, establishing mutual respect and building on faith. I had missed seeing how we kept fuelling on hope, enkindling belongingness and growing even deeper a love, all along the way, silently.
It just took me a little while to see how our relationship had metamorphosed and transformed into a more beautiful form, just as a butterfly does from a caterpillar, giving more meaning and depth to the relationship that we already had. Only my eyes were long clouded to realize how a whole new dimension of my psyche was born, as we lovers had morphed into something more.
We were morphed into parents.
Our “us” today is definitely different than what it used to be, and not always a “good different,” but I love this life we’ve created and how we’ve grown as a family. And I have never been this sure how this phase of my life has shaped my personality and given me a deeper perspective on love and sacrifice.
Our relationship is definitely the most cherished aspects of my life, but the look of unconditional love that I see in those tiny eyes of my one-year-old who calls me “Papa“, and how my heart fills up with gratitude, love, and pride is beyond any word can describe and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.