Friday, May 15, 2009

The Challenge of Togetherness

Having two babies has been a great experience, and the transition has been amazingly smooth. Zosia loves her sister and is eager to help out (and upset when the baby is in another room sleeping), Lily fits right into the family, and we've been getting lots of help to make sure that we're doing okay. But, I must admit, there has been one challenge to having two babies (specifically, one toddler and one newborn) that I totally did not see coming. It has, all of a sudden, become really difficult for me and Ben to spend time together without a little baby clinging to one of our necks. Between one active toddler, one newborn baby, and a slew of guests and visitors, I feel like I haven't seen Ben in the last three weeks, even though we spend many entire days together under the same roof. But the truth is that one of us is changing a diaper, feeding someone, trying to keep our house from being a total disaster zone, or sleeping at any given point in time. Some couples do extremely well when independently engaged in different activities, but Ben and I are not such a couple. We need time together-- laid back time together-- to feel centered.

When we just had one baby, we felt like we were able to get time together. She slept so much, and really one newborn baby is not that incredibly intense. But now, the only down time we get is when Zosia is napping or asleep, which was fine when it was just her, but now even those times are often filled with caring for Lily-- those are beautiful times, but still times that we are extending ourselves to care for children.

I know (and Ben reminds me) that this is a stage. Soon, Lily will be on a more predictable schedule, sleeping when her sister sleeps, and we will have our evenings together. I won't feel like I need to sleep in with Lily in the morning because I won't be up at night as much, so I'll get to spend time together with Ben in the morning. But for now, it is frustrating not to be able to have real time together-- and honestly, I can understand why that period right after having a baby is often one of the most stressful in a marriage. But I can also understand why getting through this together can be an amazingly unifying experience (and why we'll be so much more thankful for our time together when we once again have it bountifully).

This weekend, we're hoping to drop Z off with the grandparents for a little while so that Ben and I can actually hang out. I'm realizing that where having date nights (or date mornings) when Z was a newborn was cute and nice, with two it's more of a necessity. And I'm hoping that as we become more mature and capable as parents, all of this will come more naturally.

1 comment:

One and Doll said...

Adele,
Thank you for the honesty of the last two postings. I hear how blessed and joyful you feel with Lily newly in your life. I also hear how much change in one area is change everywhere and that is hard even in it's wonderfulness. Your insight in our conversations and in something as simple as in this blog is such a gift in my life! Thanks.