Three’s a Crowd?

February 9, 2009

The New York Times had an article a couple of days ago about marital satisfaction after having a child.  Apparently, while it used to be said that having a child would improve marital relations, it is now believed that three’s a crowd.  

Three's Company or a Crowd?

This is especially true for couples that end up taking a more traditional route with the wife staying home or taking more of the child care responsibilities on and the husband bringing in the, or at least the larger, income.  Resentment grows on both sides- the husband resents having to work long hours and the wife resents being stuck at home.

This past weekend I had a meeting up in the City of Brotherly Love and so was gone for the whole day.  This meant that the husband took care of the baby from waking up to going to bed. A first.

Aside from a ridiculous number of phone calls on my part to check in, the day went really well.  The guys got time together, I got to go to my meeting (and got some time alone- six hours of driving has never gone so fast).  And my child did not lose a limb or any sort of bond with me… 

Disgustingly cute story alert! Apparently, as F was giving M his night-time bottle, M stopped drinking and starting smiling and giggling.  F couldn’t figure out why and eventually followed M’s gaze to find him looking at a picture of me.  F said, “are you smiling at Mommy?”  M giggled.  F said, “do you want to say hi to Mommy?”  M waved. I know, I know. Puke-worthy.  But the kind of thing you just have to share, right?

In any case, when I got home at 9:30pm, the husband was happy but completely and utterly exhausted.  And numerous times he said that he now understands much more why I am so tired at the end of the day, and how hard what I do is- especially with juggling work projects as well. 

It was a really important and appreciated recognition of all that I have been doing.  And, honestly, it made me feel immediately closer to F.  So maybe there need to be flip-flop days. When things get really tense and unhappy we should find a way to switch roles- I go out into the grown-up world and do something productive in that realm and F stays home with the baby.

There also need to be two’s company time.  Time with just me and F.  Because, let’s be honest, as much as we love our child, there needs to be time when it is just of the two of us so that we can remember why (and how) we made the baby in the first place…

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