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When my husband and I started trying for a family, we both went into it with this fantasy of a perfect life, with no fighting, no hurt feelings, tons of sleep, and no frustration or resentment EVER. I think every parent has this idea—or hope—in their minds. We both assumed that we knew what parenthood would bring, and we weren't afraid in the least. Shortly after our son was born, reality hit. He missed the majority of my labor thanks to his brand-new-barely-a-month-old job, and I didn't realize how angry I was at him for it. Sure, it was (mostly) out of his control, along with the fact that he was now working much longer and more erratic hours, with an hour long commute each way, but that didn't stop me from feeling neglected.
Here I had dropped my entire life to be at home with our son, given up on sleep to nurse him every two to three hours around the clock, suddenly forgotten how to dress and cook/feed myself; like many new moms I was losing it. And his life didn't seem to have changed at all. I still didn't have my license, so leaving the house with a newborn in January was virtually impossible, and he was too exhausted to want to go anywhere when he was home, too tired to get up with the baby at night, too tired to feed the cat or change the litter boxes any more, too tired for a road trip to the supermarket down the street, too tired to change diapers ever, too tired to watch the baby for four hours once my maternity leave was up, too tired for just about anything. I didn't think it was fair.
Suddenly, I looked around, and realized my marriage was failing, at exactly the time it was supposed to be getting stronger! We started sleeping in separate beds, seeing each other less and less, and spending just about all of our time together hurling insults and tears at each other. I wasn't sure that he was the man I fell in love with anymore, and I wasn't sure if I could love the man he was becoming. He was angry, impatient, selfish, and just overall mean. I told him I was l was leaving multiple times, and he was willing to let me, no urge to fight to keep us together. It felt like I was the only one trying to keep our family together. I was losing myself in motherhood, I was losing myself in fighting to keep my marriage going, and I suddenly didn't know who I was anymore. There was no me, there were me and my son, me and my husband, me and my little family. Me, and the perfect image I wanted everyone to see.
I've learned that although my son is the absolute most important person in the world, and my marriage is still barely holding on, it was beyond time for me to find time for me. I started crocheting again, and got good at it. I started working on my writing, and I started spending an hour every night doing whatever it was that I truly wanted, (even if that was just scrolling Facebook or watching Netflix). These days go by much easier, and include many more laughs. My husband has opened his eyes, and even helps with housework and taking our son on solo trips! There are much fewer moments of despair and wondering when this cycle will end. Just goes to show, the most important person to take care of is yourself. Otherwise, how are you supposed to take care of anyone else?