I say what I’m about to say not because I think I’m some kind of expert. And not even because I’ve watched my parents beautiful marriage – and they still dance in the kitchen. I say this because I’m reflecting back what 9 out of 10 young couples have told me and I can’t sit back and not share with you what I know.
[Note – if you’ve been to my house and you recognize these words, rest assured, I’m not secretly posting just to you. This is a serious topic that I’ve heard from too many couples to count.]
Here’s how it goes. Young couple gets married – all looks rosy. Baby is born – all looks cute. A month later the baby is settling down into a feeding pattern. Four months later the couple begins to get the hang of the schedule. A year later – sometimes almost two years later , the parents come up for air desperate and exhausted.
When I ask “How are things going?” One or the other will say “It’s crazy, he sleeps in our bed,we’re not getting any sleep. This little guy keeps us up all night!” Or “She still sleeps in our room and we can’t get her out. We know we should, but she cries too much!”
There is plenty of literature and differing opinions on this topic. My point is not to enter into debate. I only want to share this Torah truth with you.
A family is built by putting the marriage first.
A happy family is built by putting the marriage first
When the child is an infant, taking care of him is all consuming. Both parents are exhausted and Dad understands that his wife is working round the clock taking care of the baby. The baby needs to eat every few hours and is probably sleeping with his mother. Mom is most likely happy not to have to get out of bed to feed him. And that’s great. The baby is warm and snuggly, Mom gets to stay in bed and Dad is okay with it.
Fast forward a little. Ideally, after a few months , the baby would transition into their own bed. This will take getting used to for the baby and sometimes it may mean that the baby needs to cry it out for a few nights. The result is that life’s balance is restored, baby gets the sleep she needs and Mom and Dad have their privacy back.
When the baby stays in their bed, here’s what happens:
1. The baby doesn’t get a good night’s sleep. She wakes up umpteen times during the night wanting to nurse.
2.Mom doesn’t get a good sleep
3. Mom never has a time of day when she feels like a woman. (Feels like a woman? What does that feel like again?)
4. Dad feels exasperated and powerless. He doesn’t want to be a bad guy but it would be nice if he could have his wife back.
5. The little princess learns that she’s not safe unless her mother is right there.
6. The stress takes its toll on their marriage
7. This topic – and the couples differing views take a toll on their marriage. (Most often, though not in every case, Mom thinks she’s right and Dad is tired of arguing)
Is this you? If it is, be brave. You’re not alone in this error. Take a look at what’s going on in your marriage.
Society is scared of making kids cry, but it’s not scared of divorce. People will call the police if a pet is left unfed but will stand by and say nothing if a marriage is unfed.
I have so much more to say about parenting and the messages we give our kids from Day One. But for today, I’m rooting for you , young couples. It doesn’t have to be so hard! You don’t have to wonder how in the world people manage with big families.
Ask the questions and listen to each other, Wives, especially, hear your husbands. Are they frustrated that the girl they love has no time for them. No energy?
Marriage is sacred and needs a sacred space to grow! Feed it!