Being a parent is one of the most wonderful roles one can have. However, it is important to remember that you are also a partner in addition to being an individual. This means that you need to find time to nurture all three aspects of your life. In the beginning, it was hard for me to think of spending time on anything other than the baby. In fact, months went by and finally Freddie and I looked at each other and said, “where have you been?”. We had neglected to nurture our relationship as a married couple. So we started to make time in the evening to engage in an activity together whether it was playing a game, reading a book or watching one of our favorite shows.
Once we were able to establish a balance between being parents and being a couple, we soon realized that our individual time had also been lacking. We both have hobbies that we love and enjoy but could never find the time between being with the baby and being together to engage in these interests. So last weekend we sat down and began to brainstorm some ideas on how we could accomplish a fair schedule that would allow for each person to have equal time as a parent, a partner and an individual. The outcome was “taking turns”.
Taking turns is by no means a new concept. In fact, it may just be one of the most important social rules of all time. It is engrained in us at an early age and it stays with us throughout our lives (or at least that’s the hope). Since there are two days in the weekend, and there are two of us, we decided to split the days up so one weekend day would be devoted to each person. That way, each of us could take some time for ourself while the other spent time with the baby.
So far, we are only halfway in. Today was my day and I have to say I think this idea is a success. Weekends have always been important to me because it is the time that I get to sleep in. I LOVE to sleep in. It is pretty much the best gift anyone could give me. And ever since I got pregnant, I really haven’t had the chance to do so. I am completely fine with kissing my memories of sleep good-bye, because nothing compares to the joy I get when my little girl wakes me up with a big smile one her face, no matter what time of the morning it is. But, I will never turn down the chance to catch a few extra hours of sleep while daddy and baby go for a morning outing. It was glorious! And it didn’t stop there. As some of you might remember, I play in a women’s soccer league on Saturdays. This is a great activity for me and a wonderful way for me to nurture my interests. And what makes it more fun is that Harper and her dad come to cheer me on.
I have to say, it took us almost 9 months to come up with this concept, but I think it will be a success. The important thing is that we remain aware of our various roles so that we can nurture them and watch them grow.