One thing I emphasize in my childbirth classes is the use of pregnancy to strengthen the relationship between the pregnant mom and her partner. I make sure to mention that a child poses difficult times in a relationship. A child could be as much of a strengthener as a dissolver. Let me be clear, my unsolicited advice isn’t to be interpreted as either of the following:
Your relationship will fail after the baby. This is incorrect. However, it is important to be cognizant of the fact that a relationship will continue to need time, nurturing, and some good TLC to stay intact emotionally, physically, and mentally.
Your baby is a stressor. This human being is not at fault for anything. This innocent person is simply coming into a new life creating, shaping and changing relationships, including your marriage. Naturally, there will be challenges. I like to call these challenges “growing pains”.
Remember that every push has a pull. Remember that there is no light without darkness. This stands very true in marriage and parenthood.
Now that you know where I stand with relationships between partners (after children), let me share with you a snippet of my own relationship with my better half.
I’ve done much better about dating myself, and my Nuggets. Who else can I date? Oh yeah, my husband! The person that I’ve created a family with. That would be nice. I have not dated the one I call my “better half” in—what seems like—ages. Sincerely, I don’t remember the last time Josh and I went out on an actual date.
A couple of weeks ago, I (finally) made time to go on a date with my better half. A friend watched the Nuggets while Josh and I visited the Cindy Sherman exhibit at The Broad Museum in Downtown LA, which then turned into an adventure. The museum was cool, but the adventure itself was the best part. It turns out we just needed a reason to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. The night went a little like this…
We took an Uber to and from DTLA. I was hesitant of taking an Uber because we have our own car that we could drive. Why would we pay someone else to drive us there? Well, let me tell you, it was the best thing we could have done! I am so happy that Josh decided on the Uber. Having someone drive us around allowed us to talk to each other while making eye contact, and with an hour drive, I really enjoyed how we both actively participated in our conversation. (There were even some passionate tears on my part.) I also loved that neither of us was stuck driving in traffic. We were living in the moment with each other. It was the type of moment we used to have all the time, and that we rarely make time for now. (I know, I know, it’s mostly my fault, but I’m dispersing some of the blame just so I don’t tip over. Ha!)
Taking the Uber also forced us to walk around and explore our surroundings. We didn’t have to worry or think about parking. I’ve been driving for so long without a break (yes, due to children) that I forgot what it was like not to worry about fitting somewhere with a car. I loved it. I felt liberated. In the moment. Josh and I simply kept moving forward because we didn’t have to go back to get our car.
After a quick run around the museum, we ended up at the Grand Central Market to have some delicious Ramen, which we had both been craving for a long time. After our meal, we discovered and roamed around The Last Bookstore. We ended our night at a nearby Rite Aid for some scoops of ice cream where we hopped on an Uber that got us home.
I enjoyed our date more than I could have imagined. The butterflies I felt for him as a teenager were back in the pit of my stomach. Realizing how simple it was for us to have a fantastic date made the realm of dating my husband feel so attainable once again, and less intimidating. For some reason, I had this false notion that in order to go out on a date with my better half, I had to put together fancy or intricate plans. In seeing how Josh and I still truly love each other regardless of where we are at or what we are doing, I know that all we need to do in order to have a date is be with each other.
If you’ve been needing a reminder to go out and enjoy your partner, take this as a sign. Grab his/her hand and just go! (Well, after you make childcare plans.)
Cheers to love!