The last month has passed by in a blur. We’ve been living with a little boy and a new born in our house. The Lion has handled the change and additional family member like a champ even with a few hiccups but life at home has been busy and found David and I living in survival mode with the lack of sleep we’ve been having.
One evening, I think it was evening David asked me how my love tank was doing. This question got me thinking about how we’ve been staying connected as a couple since our Baby Tiger joined our family. I feel like staying connected is harder this time around than when we had the Baby Lion. We were exhausted, but maybe a little less exhausted the first time around because we could sleep when the baby slept. If Noah is at home when Joel is sleeping and it’s not Noah’s nap time then we’re busy with him. If we weren’t napping when Noah was sleeping first time around David and I were able to spend some time together chatting. Quality time is my love language which means staying connected is a little bit of challenge for us at the moment because the minute both boys are asleep I’m so ready to just go to sleep because I know in two hours time Joel will be waking for a feed, and I do on most nights. This can affect my love tank which is why I think it’s important to have grace – A LOT of grace for each other during the blur of the new born phase. That being said, I also think it’s important to be intentional with connecting with your spouse during this season.
This may be an over share but two of the most romantic things David did in the past month was the following. The one morning he saw I had fallen asleep while feeding Joel, he covered me up and whispered in my ear when I woke up that he had made me tea. The second thing was he came upstairs and said “episode one of The Crown is on the TV waiting for you”. These two things are not the best form of quality time, we weren’t going to sit and talk about our day or have a deep and meaningful conversation, but what these two things did was show me that David saw me.
Another way that helps us to stay connected is by saying sorry quickly. Lack of sleep never brings out the best in someone. We can be short with each other, snap over stupid things, react badly to a situation… but when we do we often say sorry quickly. We also let the other person know they’ve been short or hurt us with a reaction or harsh word instead of letting it linger longer than is should and then we end up bitter with each other.
Staying connected is also found in the small things for me like when David hold my hand when we go and walk in the forest with the boys. We always kiss hello and good bye, and during the day. Hugs are important for David or for me to just touch him. We also message and phone each other during the day just to say hi or share something we’ve seen or thought about. We also chat about our day and anything on our mind at some point during the evening, even if all I want to do is go to sleep. It takes five minutes sometimes, and I feel like those five minutes are important. We also try and pray together during the week. David is a whole lot more intentional about this that I am at the moment, especially since I’m all about going to bed when the boys are asleep and I can hardly keep my eyes open.
Besides having grace for each other during this season, I also think you need to give yourself grace during this season. Having a new born in the house is hard whether it’s your first born or second or third. I know in a few weeks time we’ll have more of a routine, we’ll be less tired and have a little bit more time to connect for longer. I’ve learnt not to beat myself up because I’m not spending as much time with my husband as he needs, or speaking his love language in the exact way he needs me to right now, but I know he grace for me during this time and I know that I do get it right one day out of the seven in a week at the moment. It’s all about still being intentional about connecting with your spouse during this season in the small moments you can find and not about elaborate well planned date nights together.