Today, we’re looking at the “I” in Faithful.
Happy and Holy
Loving and Loyal.
I remember a very difficult conversation my husband and I had while Baby Girl was little. He told me I had become obsessed – that Baby Girl had consumed my entire world, my focus, my everything and that no matter how much he adored her (and he did…), he didn’t want to hear about how many times she pooped. Every. Single. Day…
And he was right.
He missed his wife who used to engage him about religion, and politics and what was happening in the news. He missed his wife who used to engage him about us, as a couple, a husband and wife, as parents. He missed his wife who used to engage him about him, our dreams, our goals, our plans for the future.
It was so hard to hear.
I wanted to scream and tell him, “But don’t you see? I’ve had a child. I’m a mother – surely that is more important than anything else?” And it is – except for your marriage. I wasn’t the first woman in the world to have a baby. And I certainly won’t be the last. But one day Baby Girl will leave her nest and explore her own world. What would be left of “us” then? I want to be very clear, though. It wasn’t that he wasn’t interested in Baby Girl – he was. He just didn’t want our entire worlds to so be consumed by her that there was nothing left of us – as a couple and individually.
So, I have learnt to keep myself interesting: and once I understood what was required, it actually became quite simple:
Be who God created me to be.
Yes, God gifted me with motherhood, but He also created me to someone who enjoys reading, learning to run, reading the paper, debating religion, politics and pretty much anything else… He created me slender, and kind, soft-spoken, quiet, reserved and shy. Becoming a mother doesn’t negate the rest of who I am; it’s meant to enhance it – give depth to it, color it beautiful.
And this is the “I” in Faithful – keep myself interesting.
It’s a good thing, too! Already Baby Girl is very independent and doesn’t need me as much (except at 02:00 in the morning and she’s woken up and is scared of the dark), and where would I be now if she had consumed my entire world? I would be lost and lonely and missing her terribly. And I think that when she does eventually leave home, I will still feel lost and lonely and miss her terribly – but the difference is now that my husband and I are on a good footing with each other; we will be there to support each other – instead of being alienated from one other.
My husband deserves to have the woman he married, the woman he fell in love with, the woman he used to love debating with, talking to, living life with – and while becoming a parent does definitely change things, it doesn’t change the essence of who you are. And it most certainly should not replace your marriage… your priorities will shift, of course – but your marriage becomes now even more important when you have children. They are relying on you to keep your marriage together – for their sake and for your own.
My husband didn’t marry our daughter – he married me! And I need to remember who I am in my entirety, and not just one aspect of my life.
Keep on keeping on!
The Baby Mama