I was home on maternity leave for three months with her, and the timing could not have been any better, I mean, who does not want to be home during the holiday’s right! We also moved into a new house during the same time, so I already knew I would have multiple projects lined up during my leave. Not once though, did I put into consideration taking time out for my hubby and me. Instead, I was so focused on making sure my older children were attended to, that the house was unpacked and ready for guests, and prepping for the holidays.
Looking back now, I wish I had done these four important things. I see them as my lessons learned for next time, and I wanted to share it with you all so you can learn from my mistakes.
In the Ethiopian/Eritrean community often after a new baby is born, the house is full of people coming to visit the mother and child. With my older children, I remember having a full house of family and friends every day for about 4-6 weeks. Although it was amazing to have people around, it could get very overwhelming at times. I did not want people to come to my house and see it messy or not organized, so I spent most of my downtime unpacking and making sure everything was placed in its proper space.
A good friend at work is always telling me that when it comes to spousal issues, I should always stay in my lane and not complain. Well, I finally understood what it meant while I was home with the children. You see, Ben and I attempt to share our responsibilities; he has morning shift and I handle the afternoons. It works for us and keeps us on a scheduled plan, so we aren’t arguing over who will do what. Well… the children were in school for about 10 of the 12 weeks that I was home and somehow Ben got the idea that because I was home, I would drop and pick them up. Which would have been fine with me, however, when the baby would wake up in the middle of the night, it was I who woke up with her. NOT HIM… which meant, I was getting no sleep! You can kind of guess the rest because it went downhill pretty fast. We were arguing about the smallest things, and there was so much tension between us. He was upset that I wasn’t willing to help him and I was upset that he didn’t understand where I was coming from.
Date nights were not a priority on my to-do list during my three months. Looking back now, I should have taken him up on his offer to wine and dine me but I was so caught up on taking care of the children, the house and trying to lose the 40 pounds I had gained during pregnancy that going out was the last thing I wanted to do. In-home date nights did not cross my mind at all. Ben being the sweetheart that he is understood where I was coming from and never pushed me. Some fun date-night ideas I learned after the fact for couples who want to stay in the house are below:
One of the most vital tools in keeping a marriage healthy is good communication. Ladies, men are not mind readers; they will never know what you feel unless you flat out tell them. Just knowing and understanding that will save you from so many headaches and unnecessary battles. If I had told Ben, that I was upset with him from the beginning instead of keeping it inside, showing it on my face and expecting him to know that I was mad, we would have simply talked about it and moved on. Instead, I let my anger build up and when I finally said something it was too late.
I’d love to know your lessons learned. Feel free to leave your feedback below.