A Helpful Observation in Marriage
I was having a three-hour indulgent catch up with a girlfriend about everything in the space of new motherhood and we stumbled upon the familiar chat about husbands and new family dynamics. In unpacking a situation together, we both agreed that commonly across the minor bumps that are sure to crop up, it's sometimes best to wait it out.
I've noticed in the last two years of marriage, how virtuous patience really is. And that certainly is on both sides. Let's take Dan and my somewhat benign (though it didn't feel that way a year ago) ongoing discussion about flexibility. In the first six to nine months after Bodie, I was "by the book". Sometimes more so than others, but if I wanted to get out of the house at 12:30 so Bodie could nap en route somewhere, I was likely cracking the whip at 12:29. And Dan, to his credit, waited for me to settle. He waited out the crazy knowing (hoping) that I would get my sea legs under me and now, to his relief, I know that very little in parenting is that urgent and I'm usually happy to flex when I can.
In the alternate view, I waited for Dan to realize life really was a bit easier if we could adjust for and anticipate our kids' needs in our plans. Meaning if we get out the door at or close to 1230, we could actually enjoy the car ride in quiet instead of managing the teary aftermath of an overtired baby. It drove me up the wall for that first half year when my lovely husband still wanted to make pancakes from scratch (bless him, I know) while I was frantically throwing bags in the car with ten minutes on the clock. But after one or two spats, I waited for him to find his own view on it. And he did, now he is apt to get the ball rolling and can be a participant in planning.
I suppose it's always a judgment call - what's worth pushing in the moment and what's worth gentle nudges back and forth and waiting for time to teach or settle. In any early transitions, the new dynamics, roles, parenting gripes are inevitable, and there's something to be said for each finding your way in your new world and then coming together on it again.
Have you had a similar experience? What advice would you add for that first year after your first or second baby?
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