Thursday, June 12, 2014

Nurturing Marriage After Kids

I belong to an online forum of Moms with kids all around the same age. I love this group even though the vast majority of us wouldn't know each other from Adam if we tripped across each other. We've never met in person, but we share some of our deepest, darkest thoughts, concerns, as well as unfiltered joys. We support each other as we all are going through many of the same things with our little ones.

A post from one of my Mom friends caught my eye today. She was honestly mentioning that she would get annoyed when her husband would gently come on to her during the day when she was focused on being a Mom. I so appreciated her honesty. Her post was met with a slew of opinions from "OMG - that drives me crazy, too" to "You'll be even more distraught when he stops showing he's interested in you" to "Be happy that he finds you attractive." This got me thinking.

Before we had AK, husband was my world. My focus revolved around him - in the most healthy way possible. We did everything together and for the most part, it was just the two of us. We were (and are, don't worry) blissfully happy. The energy that I had, which now seems like it was enough to send me to the moon sans rocketship, was spent on nurturing our marriage. It wasn't this sappy intentional love fest, but it was the way our world naturally worked.

Virtually every night was date night.

Before I was Mommy, I was all his

If I found someone "cute," it was him. Now, my cuteness radar seems to be focused on AK. And, when I found him cute, I told him. I shamefully tell you that these days, sometimes that appears to take too much energy. Or, the thought leaves as quickly as it entered while tending to something baby related.

When I saw something in a store that made me think of him, I got it for him. Our lives were filled with little surprises for each other. Today, my eye was caught only by the world's largest selection of Melissa and Doug puzzles. I don't think he will enjoy putting the blue triangle into its slot as much as AK will.

Husband is my partner in this parenthood thing. I adored him before I adored our little girl. She is half him, for heaven's sake. Just thinking about this fact makes me wildly appreciative and thankful for having such a wonderful partner. I would have it no other way.

Discussing their favorite flavor of Puff?

My husband - and many others that I know of - are not complex beings. He seems to beam for hours if I mention how handsome he is, how proud I am of him or how thankful I am for what he does for our family. It doesn't take much. And, one of the keys that I have to remember is that he feels love differently than I do.

I like little things. Cards, a single flower or a healthy snack. (Who am I kidding? A chocolate chip cookie, please) That doesn't necessarily do it for him, although I know he appreciates it. He likes being noticed by me. Damn. He's simple. In my world of constant activity, attention is one thing I can handle, and handle well.

So. Today, as much as I will focus on AK, I will remember that husband was husband before he was Daddy. He needs love, affection and attention too. And, he deserves it.

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