Most of you my dear faithful readers, are here because you have babies, plan on having babies, or maybe are just curious as to what my blog is about. And so in this case, I believe most of you can relate to my posts, and to this one in particular. So, I’ll ask you this. Are all of you familiar with Disney movies & stories? You know, Cinderella, Snow white, Sleeping Beauty, etc? I’m sure at least most of you have watched them as kids, or maybe even with your kids, and the ending is always the same: They lived happily ever after. THE END. Now what comes after the movie ends, no one ever tells us. Do they end up getting a divorce? Does Cinderella smack Prince Charming on the head with her glass slipper? How does their happily ever after change when they have their first born child? I guess no one ever tells you, because it’s not all butterflies & flowers.
When hubby and I met, we fell in love almost instantly, got married 11 months later, almost 2 years getting to know each other before I got pregnant. We had our ups and downs, fell in and out of love and in again, but we made it through every time. Now having a baby was completely different, and even though it was planned, it was scary and new and came with lots of responsibilities for the both of us. My hormones were going crazy, and his new daddy role, new job, and move had him stressed as well. We were both completely in love with our new bundle of joy, and wanted nothing but the best for her, and for me that started with wanting to breastfeed and hubby was completely supportive.
He had to go back to his job in Dubai 2 weeks after Kyra was born, and I was left to deal with a new baby alone. Sure friends and family were there everyday, but it wasn’t the same, and I couldn’t wait for us to be reunited again in a couple months. So, when Kyra was a little over 2 months, we followed daddy to Dubai. Now, I had envisioned life to become easy and beautiful once we were all living together again, but boy was I wrong! Khalil had gotten used to living alone for months (during my pregnancy as well) and I had gotten used to taking care of Kyra alone, and making all the decisions in the house, and so it began.
We fought about everything lol. We fought about his phone ringing and waking her up, about nursing in public in Dubai and how to manage it, about her coughing or sneezing or crying or not sleeping. Our whole lives were turned upside down, and it was one hell of a chaotic, stressful 3 months to say the least. We had completely disconnected, and after being apart for so long and having a baby, it was understandable. We barely had anything to talk about, except for all things Kyra related, and even holding hands was an effort. He was tired from working and traveling all the time and was stressing over everything, and I was bored with a baby all day, tired, sleep deprived, and missing home. Throw all these feelings in a pot, mix them up, and you’ve got one big explosive marital bomb!
And so, I gave up. I gave up on the idea of a happily ever after, gave up on wanting to ever have more kids again, gave up on our marriage in general. To my hubby, I was a mother, and a mother only, and although he was super supportive and extra sweet, he treated me differently and I couldn’t cope with that. I needed to feel like I was his wife again, not just Kyra’s mom. I needed to feel like a little part of the old me still existed, but…no. I was Kyra’s mommy. I, on the other hand, became resentful and angry and fought with him over the stupidest things, and so the distance grew. I was actually counting the days for Kyra and I to go back to Beirut for the summer, something I never thought I would do, but I needed a break from us.
So we went back to Lebanon in June, and the emotional distance progressed into a physical distance as well. But as time passed and Kyra got bigger, our self-confidence got bigger as well, and bit by bit, we stopped being so scared of being new parents. We talked a lot, a LOTTTTT. That, I have to say was key for things to get back to normal again. I can’t stress enough on how important it is to communicate with each other, in marriage generally, but especially after having a baby. He doesn’t know how you feel, and you have no idea how he feels either, and unless you want to take the easy way out and get a divorce, you REALLY have to talk. Communication is the single most important thing in a marriage in my opinion, and the lack of it is the biggest reason why marriages fail I believe.
Post baby, both men and women go through extreme changes. Women might experience baby blues and/or postpartum depression (which is really no joke), and need the support of their other halves to make it through. Men too experience apparently baby blues, but they are often overlooked, so talking about the new changes you are both undergoing really helps. In some cases, men are jealous from the new baby, and other times women get jealous as well of the attention baby gets from dad and mom being forgotten, so many things could be going on, and these can poison any healthy marriage. Many times, if a mother is breastfeeding, fathers see their wives’ bodies as belonging to the new baby and they refuse to see that she is still a woman, other times, mother’s hormones are going crazy and she wants nothing to do with her husband. So many possibilities and issues that could be going on, end up affecting your marriage, and some of which you might have never even considered. In western countries, couples counseling or marriage therapy is not a foreign idea, but in Lebanon it’s not very common, and the list of therapists is small, their experience I don’t know of, and Lebanese couples usually don’t take to the idea easily. But if you are having problems in your marriage that you can’t solve, why not consider a therapist? At the end of the day, if you have an illness you would go see a doctor, so if your marriage is ill, a therapist might help to heal it.
So although to me, having a baby is a blessing and I thank God everyday for our little Kyra, but if I told you it was easy from the beginning, I would be lying. It is challenging, and scary to say the least, and the changes affected both her daddy and I, but in the end, we found our “happily ever after”, as happy as you can have in a non-fairytale world. Nothing and no one is perfect, but don’t give up, even if sometimes it feels like getting out of bed is a chore, there is always a rainbow after the rain (and a little less hair 😜)