I haven’t watched now cancelled (!) The Jeremy Kyle Show or Maury Povich in ages. This actually isn’t by choice; there is just way too much shouting when my eldest is around, so I’m good and turn it over. One thing that always used to make me laugh, even before I had a baby, were couples thinking that a baby would “save” a failing relationship. What? Really? Are you insane? It is more likely to lead to the complete opposite. After having now three kids, I now realise having a solid relationship before having kids is a must. You need to be happy, settled and love and support one another unconditionally, as once that little creature appears life is turned upside down. Carnage. Chaos. There are no other words for it.
I then thought a bit more deeply after the initial snorting into my cuppa when watching my talk shows and I came up with my 6 reasons (would love to hear yours too) why it is so important to have a solid relationship before having kids.
A Solid Relationship Before Having Kids – Why?
1) The obvious and possibly the biggest killer in the early days and for a while after having a baby is sleep deprivation. I have to say me and hubby have been very lucky with our eldest. She seemed to know the difference between night and day pretty quickly after the initial few frantic feeding days. I’m not saying she slept through at 6 weeks but she would wake, feed and go back down so we got blocks of sleep. My second beauty was the same but my little man, not as good. I know others who haven’t been so lucky. Sleep deprivation causes mood swings, lack of concentration, affects your general temperament and insomniacs are know to have higher incidences of depression. Throw that into a rocky relationship and you may as well be throwing a bees’ nest onto a bonfire!
2) You haven’t got a clue what you are doing. From day one it’s complete guess work. Why is my baby STILL blooming crying. Fed. Check. Nappy changed. Check. Winded. Check. So what the heck is WRONG?? I remember watching Super Nanny when I was younger and I remember her saying before you have children discuss what your values, ideas and opinions are regarding looking after a baby. How do you want to do things? I didn’t like co-sleeping with my first baby. In fact I was completely against it. We have only had our gremlin, as a baby, in bed with us less than a handful of times; usually after 5am and now she actively won’t fall asleep with us (which is sometimes a bit sad when you fancy a sleepy snuggle!!). But if you haven’t discussed this and at 3am you are having a full-blown row about co-sleeping with a screaming baby, it isn’t going to bode well! I have also gone completely full-circle on the co-sleeping since having my little man. Things change!
3) Goodbye Privacy. All Mummys know this one. I can’t have a wee without my girls coming into the toilet all excitedly. Hubby was looking at some old photos recently and came across quite a few of my tasteful underwear shoots. They were posed all over the house, usually in the middle of the day (who doesn’t vacuum in their underwear?). Always on a complete whim. This was 6 years ago. What’s changed? The introduction of my gorgeous little shadows who follow me from room to room for most of the day. Not sure a spontaneous photo-shoot in front of my little madam would be entirely appropriate now eh? I’m not saying this fun side of a relationship goes. Of course not. But it can take some planning which of course loses the spontaneity and can put a struggling relationship into further hot water.
4)Lack of Time. This one should probably be higher on the list! I love spending time with my kids. They are so much fun. I’m not ashamed to admit however I’ll still have a little daydream about the days where hubby and I would spend the morning at the gym and sack it all off to spend the entire afternoon in front of the telly snuggling and drinking tea or wine! Once a little whirlwind enters your life that little thing called time becomes extremely precious. You don’t get as much time to yourself or together; just comes with the territory. Everyone needs some alone time to relax. It makes you feel good mentally; you come back refreshed ready to take on another burst nappy. You have to say bye-bye to date nights for a little while. Hubby and I do find that part hard but a relationship needs to be strong to ride through that and savour the time you do make for each other.
5) Quarantine. You may be the healthiest couple in the world pre-baby but throw a germ festering little bundle into the mix, especially if they attend nursery or baby groups and you are going to get ill. Fact. Now this isn’t always so bad and can be manageable BUT illness brings isolation, cancelling all your plans to avoid an epidemic and therefore a weekend staring at your 4 walls. Fair dos after a busy week this can be quite nice; but 4 weekends in a row, not so fun. If you are already struggling to stand the sight of your beloved this little complication is sure to end in fireworks!!
6) The “S” word. Now all new parents (maybe not all?) know that time for fun the love department is going drop for a bit.,..or longer after a baby comes along. Apart from the obvious time us Mummys need to feel ready for a bit of love, sleep deprivation, no free time and just general meh are going to slow things down. Your body changes after a baby, confidence may be knocked and getting back to the usual may take weeks, months or even years. The joys of germs isn’t exactly a turn on. Snotty kisses and the sounds of your hubby’s over-dramatised puking (you have to hear it to believe it) doesn’t make me want to start practicing for more babies. As I said in the privacy and time sections, spontaneity can be a bit less infrequent and those special cuddles may need to be planned a bit more.
So this is why it is so important to have a solid relationship before having kids. They won’t heal a bad relationship. The change, the stress and the lack of sleep mean you need to be happy and supportive of each other before you hear the pitter patter of tiny feet.
Trust me on this one!!