“A baby changes everything.” I’ve heard this repeated various times by different people. It’s one of those things that while true it’s only partially so. A baby changes a lot of things but it doesn’t change everything. Perhaps my definition of everything varies from other people’s but in my experience there are a lot of things that have remained the same.
I have never identified myself primarily by what I am to others. I am me first and foremost. Being so and so’s daughter, wife and mother are incidentals. My identity is not wrapped up in the roles I play. They shape my identity and tell you a bit about who I am but they do not define me.
I consider my relationship with Luis to be just as important (if not more important) than my relationship with Diego. Yes, I said that. I love Diego and am not exaggerating when I say I would give my life for him. I am his. There is no question about that. I spend my days with him, often staring in fascination as how something so full of life was once dormant inside me. I look at him and want to be a better person. I look at Luis and feel the same way.
I often wondered how our marriage would change once Diego was born. A small part of me feared that we would lose the feeling of togetherness once we had a baby to care for. I worried for nothing. We make a good team. We aren’t perfect and at times we disagree, argue and feel like strangling the other (or maybe that’s just me) but overall we are considerate of one another. It’s definitely something we work at. I am not the most patient person in the world and I am not all hearts and flowers but Luis tempers my brand of crazy.
I feel it’s very important to retain the spark that brought us together in the first place. We talk about many things and they’re not all baby related. I think we have a pretty good balance going on. We still have fun, joke around, tease each other, watch movies and fight over the sheets. Luis is a cover hog at times.
What has changed? Well for one thing going to see a movie in theater has disappeared from our realm of possibility. We have no choice but to wait and rent the DVD. We also have a lot of responsibilities that often require two people instead of one depending on Diego’s mood. Sometimes he will sit in his bouncy chair and other times he demands attention. I am more dependent on Luis now than I have ever been.
I now understand how a baby can put a strain on any relationship. You’re running on little to no sleep and you’re juggling the responsibilities of before with additional ones. Additionally if you’re like us, you are one income short. This can be stressful and if your relationship was already troubled this could push it over the edge. Some days I feel my fuse is very short and I have to remember to breathe and to not take my sleep deprivation out on anybody. Somedays it’s a struggle but I can’t complain. I have a healthy baby, a loving husband who is also my friend and who has given me the best gift he could ever give me, that of being a stay-at-home mom. I cannot imagine leaving Diego with a stranger so being able to stay home and not work is an amazing privilege.
State of our union: going strong, working through and holding on.