“The greatest gift you can give your child is a strong relationship between the two of you.”
– John Gottman, Ph.D
I’ll never forget the moment when the doctor told us that we’re having a girl. My man was in tears of overwhelming joy, however, not because of the gender of the baby, but because he saw my excitement and happiness. That was the moment I realized that our life’s going to change.
In the beginning, I was scared. I’ve read that two-thirds of parents suffer unhappiness during the first year of a new baby’s life, and sixty-seven percent of couples come close to divorce. I was sure we’ll be part of this sad statistic, because our relationship, without going into details, sucked. I remember myself searching information about the benefits for single mothers during the third trimester of pregnancy. It was not the best time of our lives.
But then things began to change. The closer I was to the due date, the closer we became. We both knew it was going to be tough and there was no way back. So we had two options: to continue to drive each other crazy or to be responsible and make it work.
And so we started to support each other. Not as much for the two of us, as for the baby.
In the beginning, like most of the new parents, we were anxious, stressed and tired. It’s a big deal to take care of a little person who’s completely pending on you. However, having a baby left us so overjoyed and thankful, that despite all the chaos, we found ourselves appreciating each other more.
Parenthood made a team of us. We shared the load and encourage each other. Moreover, we learned to listen and communicate, and “fight right” (well, we still work on it).
Turned out that the baby didn’t change us, we changed for the baby.
I’ve discovered a side of him that I didn’t know existed. He was waking up in the middle of the night to feed the baby, he also took charge of the morning routine before to go to work, allowing me to get some extra sleep. In the evenings he came back from work and, somehow, found a time to provide me with a comfort. He took a part of all the madness and never complained. He was there when I needed him. I couldn’t ask for more.
Day by day our relationship became better and better. Our daughter filled us with so much love, that most of the things around became insignificant. We started to look like these overjoyed couples we all secretly hate. I remember we were walking around and I told him: “Eric, we can’t walk holding hands and smile like idiots at the same time! People will think we’re tourists.”
We felt in love with each other in a whole different way.
Today our relationship is still far from perfect. There are still days when we fight and drive each other crazy. Really crazy! However, I’m very proud of us. We’ve made a big effort for our family and relationship, and, as the result, we’ve grown up as a strong couple and loving parents for your little one. It wouldn’t be possible if we would remain the same, old us.
So yes, babies really do change your life. Always for the better! The question is, are you ready to change for your baby?