Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are you a wife or a mommy?

(And because I'm not sexist, a husband or daddy? I just didn't have room for both and mixing them would have been odd.)

So I read an article for my family therapy class today that discusses sexual desire and intimacy. It's based around the family systems model, which just means that each family has a specific structure and systems within itself. For example, a couple with children are involved in to subsystems of the family, the parent subsystem and the spousal subsystem. The article notes how easy it is for new parents to get trapped in the parenting subsystem, because of the newness and it's ability to be overwhelming.

I know for a fact that my relationship suffered from this issue. I can remember thinking I was a mom, I was content at being a mom and why is my husband bothering me about having sex? Can't he tell I'm a new mom?

We rarely talked about anything other than baby. We didn't do anything but spend time with baby, because by the time he got off work I was exhausted and needed just a second alone. One of us was always being his caretaker, and neither of us was taking the time to be a spouse.

That phase lasted four or five months, and I can honestly say I'm glad it's over. I am so glad we finally realized that the other was dealing with something that was equally as difficult as the other. We learned how to balance, which by the way, is pretty much the way of life in parenting. We also learned that just because one of us had certain expectations, that doesn't mean they have to be met.

We learned it was ok to fail at something. I mean really, we aren't perfect, it's only inevitable that someone would do something to let the other down. But we had to learn the hard way that disappointment wasn't the end of the world, just a new place to start again.

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Rikki said...

I'm both! :-) But I will say I do put my marriage first(GASP! I know) I think the best thing for my daughter is to model a good, strong, healthy marriage and to do that I have to put my marriage first(not saying I put my daughter 2nd by any means). But we do make lots of time for alone time, so we CAN get out of the roles of "mommy and daddy" and focus on being husband and wife. I think neglecting your marriage in that way will more often than not, lead to divorce.

*I'm not even sure I understood the question lol. All the big psychology words kind of threw me off lol. So I apologize if I'm completely off topic)

Sally said...

Not off topic at all. You addressed exactly what I was saying, that it's so hard in the transition to parenthood to have an identity crisis as to whether you're a wife or mom. 

I think it's awesome you focus on your relationship. Did you guys have a hard time getting to that point, or was it more natural?

Rikki said...

Once I realized I was focusing on the mommy part of me too much, and not focusing on the wife part of me, it was easy to fix. Getting to the point of realizing took awhile though like Brinley was 9 months old or so before I was like "Woah this isn't right".

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