Updated: Jun 12, 2020
Last Sunday night, Eamo decided it would be a good idea to get the log burner going. I think he had, let’s call it romance on his mind and thought a lovely fire would set the mood. I can see his thinking, I do love the *says in posh voice* ambience it creates, but sadly for my fiance, it did nothing to fire up my libido. That said, I did appreciate the sentiment and I may have placed a cheeky hand on his leg for a moment or two, lucky boy. But at the same time, I noticed that he’d dropped a load of wood splinters on the carpet and so, being that it was where Rex lays on his mat in the morning, I politely asked him to clear it up.
Long story short, he didn’t. And for those of you who read my FB status on Monday morning, you’ll know that me having to hoover it up as soon as I got up led to all manner of unfortunate events. Needless to say, starting my day with Rex screaming and me stepping in a shitty nappy left me in an absolute rage.
When Eamo got home, explaining to him the quite literal shitty start to the day just didn’t do it justice and I found myself getting more and more frustrated. This lead to yet another quite heated discussion in which we, again, effectively competed to see who’d had the hardest day. We went round and round in circles before going to bed barely speaking.
As luck would have it, the following day I had my group session, which was all about our relationships with our partners and how it had changed since having a baby. As you can imagine, I had quite a lot to get off my chest. But, like most issues we discussed, I was comforted to know that everyone else was in the same boat, with pretty much everyone identifying with what each other was saying. Picking the pieces apart, we all came up with words and phrases as to how we now see our partners and how they see us, and at the end of it, it was easy to see how tensions would arise. But what I really wanted to know was how to make it better? How could I stop the resentment inside me surfacing all the time and how could we start trying to work together, like we are on the same team, rather than living what feels like separate lives?
A recipe for disaster…
We never get solid answers at therapy, it’s more about dissecting our issues and understanding why we feel a certain way. And it really did help me to see things from Eamo’s point-of-view. But I came away feeling like I really needed to make some changes to try and make things better for us.
So I went home and got my thinking cap on, and came up with two ideas, both of which I was worried he might find a) a bit cringey and b) a bit patronising, but asked him to bare with me. I tackled the latter one first and suggested we get a ‘jobs board’, on which I can write the things that need to be done around the house that day. I sound like an asshole but when Eamo comes home and asks me what needs to be done, it gets my back up immediately because I think I shouldn’t need to point this shit out to him. This way, he can see what jobs need to be done and take it upon himself to help. He agreed that would be a good idea.
One down, one to go…
The next idea was even hard for me to suggest. It sounded so naff, but I really wanted to give it a try so hoped he wouldn’t laugh. “How would you feel about, before we go to sleep, telling each other three things we like/love about each other?” As I said it, I actually nearly cried as I realised I tend to focus so much on his negatives and what he doesn’t do, that I’ve totally lost sight of his many, many positives. This was proven when he replied:
“Do you think you’ll be able to find three things you like about me each day?” As much as I knew he was kind of joking, I knew he also wasn’t. And it made me unbelievably sad.
So Tuesday night came and we had a go. At first, I felt beyond cheesy with the stuff I said, but the more I talked, the more I could see how responsive he was to it and it made me talk even more. I found once I started talking about his good bits, I struggled to get it down to just three and that in itself made me feel happy. Similarly, he almost brought me to tears (in a good way) when it was his turn. So, while it may be a bit of a cheesy, naff idea, turns out it works for us at the moment. We’re both bogged down with so much at the moment that having someone say they appreciate you right at the end of the day is actually beyond lovely. Not only has it made me feel closer to Eamo than I have in a long time, there really is nothing better than going to bed with a cuddle and on a beautifully positive note.
It’s a start but it’s nice to feel like we are putting things in place to re-establish our relationship and start working as a team again. All he needs to do now is make sure he reads the jobs board… 😉
What Mothers Do (especially when it looks like nothing)
I recently went out for coffee with my good friend Trilby when I felt particularly low. Her job involves helping people deal with all manner of issues, so she’s always brilliant in trying to help me understand why I feel a certain way and reassuring in that what I feel is very normal and massively supportive by constantly telling me I’m a bloody good mum.
Always wanting to help, after this particualr chat, Trilbs told me she was going to look for a book to try and help me come to terms with and understand a few issues I was having. True to her word, she went and found What Mothers Do, by Naomi Stadlen, which was recommended to her by a heavily pregnant women in the book shop, so she tells me 🙂
Now, this book is not the sort of book I wouldn’t normally read. It has no pictures, has more than 10 words on each page and some of them are long and confusing. BUT, I cannot recommend it enough to new parents. It’s all about understanding what being a mum is all about, so much so that I often feel like the author is reading my mind as I read it. It includes lots of quotes from mums in different scenarios and stages of their baby’s lives and am massively reassured when I think I could’ve written their comments myself. I’m only halfway through it but I’m rattling through it quicker than I did Fifty Shades of Grey (so bad it’s good) – and let me tell you, I did not hang around on that one 😉 #filthinmorewaysthan50