Apologies to anyone who now has that shitty Barbie movie song in their head. Or does now at least…
It’s always an interesting exercise for me checking which old posts people read over the course of a night when I check into my blog in the morning. Without exception, How to make a Peppa Pig cake is there. Every time. There’s usually the odd recipe, a strange phrase that someone has typed into google like “my husband packs the dishwasher wrong” and every now and then it’s about controlled crying. Or “my baby won’t stop crying” or “I am so tired I can’t see straight” that kind of thing. Those always break my heart. Like a war vet with flashbacks I am instantly transported to our terrace in Camperdown, sitting at the end of Daisy’s bed listening to a fucking Dorothy the Dinosaur CD on repeat riding out the waves of nausea from my pregnancy with Harper, the tiredness and of course the anger and resentment, desperately begging in my head for sleep to come to her so I could have 5 minutes to myself and with Rob before collapsing into bed to be woken up to 4 times in the night and do it all over again. Shudder.
I got an email this week from a reader who is EXACTLY in that place right now. I read her words and understood every single thing she said and everything that she didn’t. She was tired, and frustrated and going out of her brain and was worried about things with her husband, and the new baby on the way, you know all the million and 1 one things that we women and Mothers worry about on any given day. I tried to give her a virtual rub on the back, tell her it was all going to be OK, because it will be. One day her child will sleep. One day the new baby will be grown up too. One day her and her husband will feel like having sex again. One day.
The main piece of advice I gave this lovely reader was that she needed to speak with her husband. The thing with her kid sleeping or not sleeping will pass, but she needed to speak with her husband. To bridge any gap that may be there with a chat. Just some words. I told her to ask for help. Don’t weigh up what you have done versus what HE has done. Just chat. It reminded me of this post that I wrote a few years back. Just talk. So simple and yet so very hard sometimes.
Being married is hard work. It just is. Having a family and a career and all the things that come with being a grown up thrown in for good measure can make things even more complicated. Throw in some lack of sleep, or worries with one of your kids and things can instantly spiral out of control. I was recently reminded how easy it is to turn our backs on our partners and focus on the me’s instead. Why do I have to do everything? Why do I have to get up in the night? No good can come from it I tell you, no good at all. A disconnect can happen without you even realising. First its thoughts, then the physical contact…sometimes you can go days without having a chat to your partner about something that ISN’T home/family life related. Not to mention actually touching each other.
How do you guys stay connected to your partner when life does its thing? I’m not talking about sex here, maybe for you that’s the answer, but I’m talking about feeling properly in a relationship again…like knowing what the other is thinking or feeling about any number of things. Being concerned for your partner. Being considerate of your partner and their needs…just because you love them?
I am guilty of all this stuff. I am the queen of keeping an imaginary tally of ALL OF THE THINGS that I do. Of ALL OF THE TIMES I have done x, y and z. Waiting for some imaginary ceremony where all the members of the family thank me and cloak me in some kind of glory of family gratitude. But it never happens and before you know it, you can find yourself back out. Disconnected.
A chat will usually fix it for us. A hug…man, a simple hug can mean so much can’t it? That physical touch will usually reconnect us and wipe away any tallies in my mind. We’re all just trying our best, doing our best impersonation of a grown up wife or husband, Mum or Dad. When the hell did we turn into our parents? Isn’t it still 1996?
I’d love to know how you stay connected to your partner?
And for anyone deep in the trenches of parenting with small people, IT WILL GET BETTER. I swear it.
And don’t forget, if you ever need to make a Peppa Pig cake, I’m your girl.