Thursday, December 18, 2014

My post-baby marriage

Mawwidge is what brings us togevwer...(bad Princess Bride reference, but those are the things that my marriage is founded on.)

Here's the thing, I don't mean to brag, but I have an awesome marriage. We were friends first. Our friendship had a lot of sexual tension, it's true, but that's what led us to becoming more than friends. Then we were married for years and years - 10 to be exact - before becoming parents.

Having a child has changed things. Most of those changes are awesome. We love taking Mr. Man with us and introducing him to the sights and sounds in our world. Our family has a lot of fun together.

But a kid means approximately five times the amount of dishes and laundry, plus the added toy pick up at the end of the night. Then there is the additional food prep, which must be done a bazillion times of day because my child will not. stop. eating. So that also means more trips to the store...I could just keep going, but I think I've made my point. There is a shit-ton of chores to do. And though my husband is a man who does his share around the house and with the childcare, it isn't a 50/50 share. That makes sense, since I work part-time since our son came along, BUT resentment builds, doesn't it? Every time I walk into a room, my arms full of laundry and see my husband staring at his phone, it's another drop in the old resentment bucket. Often, it's completely irrational. He may have just sat down after loading the dishwasher, but there is always more that needs to be done, and I often feel stretched to my limit by the end of the day.

What I'm getting at is the same thing you all have heard or experienced before: By the end of the day, we are both tired. My touchy-snuggly quota is pretty full because my toddler is kissing, crawling and clinging to me all the time. Also, my patience is thin, since all those resources necessarily have to be diverted to my toddler who will not stop putting his damn feet on the table during meals!

So many of our conversations are about our kid, our chores, what else needs to be done, what isn't being done, what was forgotten. It's tedious and draining. I just didn't realize it had gotten that way until recently, when, instead of zoning out and watching Netflicks at the end of the night, we played cards.

We used to play games together all the time. Though this is never going to make it into a movie, spending a couple hours at the end of the night playing rummy was just what we needed to recharge together. We actually had conversations about life, about us. And I remembered that my husband is a person, not just a friend/partner/father/lover/companion, but a person that I really connect with. An individual who I want to know better and be around.

Everyone tells you sex is what's missing. And sure, sex is great. I mean really, really great. But sometimes you need to reconnect on an intellectual level.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Let's Revisit Body Issues, Shall We?

Oh Internet, I'm at it again. Back when I was pregnant, I did not like my body changing. Becoming heavy and awkward, but you know, there was a baby at the end of it and so that helped immensely (at least that's what my hormone-addled brain remembers; I dare not revisit my old blog posts for confirmation because re-reading your blog posts is a uniquely excruciating form of torture). Then after Mr. Man was born and the swelling receded, stretchmarks started popping up, making matters worse.

BUT I was fortunate and lost my baby weight quickly. By fortunate I mean that my baby was a ravenous beast that sucked away all my nutrition and I'll probably get osteoporosis at an early age. On the plus side, I fit back into my pre-baby clothes, so yay to baby-led malnutrition.

THEN I got pregnant again. I don't know if this is true for everyone, or if it was influenced by the fact that I was still breastfeeding, but my body got on board the 'prepare for baby bandwagon' in a big way. As in I'm back up a pants size. Also, round ligament stretching was something my body considered a top priority and now my tummy is out there.

Now, it's one thing to gain weight and get a baby at the end. It's an entirely different thing when you gained weight, miscarried, and no one is really privy to the reason you have muffin top. Is this the worst aspect of what happened? Of course not. But in combination with major hormone fluctuations, it is not something that I'm putting on my Top 10 Awesome Things list.*

*I don't actually have a Top 10 Awesome Things list, but if I did, orgasms would totally be #1, followed closely by chocolate and toddler snuggles; not sure which of those would end up as #2.

To top this off, I was a raging hormonal mess just in time to binge on SO MUCH Halloween candy. I literally became addicted. Twix and Reese PB Cups were calling to me from the pantry at all hours. It was not a good combination. Not nearly as good as peanut butter and chocolate.

Now I'm having to take a good, hard look at myself, and the new cellulite I'm sporting. Occasionally walking the dog and doing some light yoga while watching old How I Met Your Mother episodes may not be enough. My arm muscles are great from all the toddler lifts I do all day, but my ass is giving Santa's belly a run for its money in the jiggly department.

I'm not happy with any of this. And yet, if you've ever allowed yourself to get sedentary, you know how hard it is to get off the couch. Even though I know I'll feel better if I got some exercise, that's not much of a motivator. By the end of the day, I'm tired. Also, I would rather eat chocolate covered cherries, which I can do while trying to finish up holiday cards, making it so easy to rationalize. All I get out of exercising is the need for another shower.

So, here I am, trying to motivate. I will not wait until the New Year. This is not a declaration, but a lifestyle change. (Seriously, Self, move your ass so we can lose some ass!)