Surprise, congratulations! You’re pregnant! And so, the planning begins with countless lists flooded by hundreds of baby items, baby shower plans, birth plans and nursery design ideas. Pinterest ideas begin to consume you, to the point where you are compelled to embody a personal interior designer for your pint-sized blessing.
All the while, your husband is standing in your wake as you charge full speed ahead into mommy mode. And why wouldn’t you? The role of motherhood begins immediately when we begin to nurture our womb. It comes totally natural for us. But sometimes we seem to allow the thought of our husband and his feelings to slip through the cracks during all the pre-planning, list making, and excitement. This man is standing there, trying to fully grasp the idea that there will be a miniature combination of the two of you running around in t-minus nine months and counting. He is worrying about all of the tasks ahead as you speed around the craft store picking out invitations and ribbons.
The miracle of pregnancy does transform into a reality as your husband attends the first ultrasound. He sees the little one with his eyes for the first time. As the weeks progress and your belly grows, especially after that first sneak peek, your husband may start to snuggle your belly. Seemingly though, we may realize that this newfound daddy is planted back at day one, still awestruck by it all. Somewhere in there, as expecting mothers, we tend to focus more on what is to come than what is right now. We are not as aware of the needs of the man we are so crazy in love with. We know that they are adults and that they are able to take care of themselves. But how easy it is on him? Through it all though, your husband still deals with every good, bad, and ugly pregnancy symptom and craving. We are appreciative; but all the while, all we can think about is our needs, our baby’s needs, and how to grow and develop this little boy or little girl as best as we can. That is our main focus and priority, naturally. No matter how long the two of you are married before you conceive, try not to allow him to get lost in the shuffle.
For me, it seemed to happen without notice. One minute we were at the first ultrasound and the next minute I was in my third trimester ready to pop. In those 40 weeks, we focused solely on the arrival of our sweet, sweet little girl. So much anticipation and excitement consumes the two of you at various times throughout these 280 days, give or take a few. That is completely natural too. But one concept that I wish a wiser individual would have shared with me is to cherish your husband during those 40 weeks.
This is the last time you are Alison and Eric. You instantly become mom and dad at the end of those three trimesters. As glorious, marvelous, and heart-warningly amazing as the blessing of parenthood truly is, I wish I had made my husband the main priority while I had the chance. Never miss an opportunity to look into your husband’s eyes. Snuggle on the couch without your phones or any other distractions unless it is to watch your favorite show together. Hold hands. Eat dinner across the table from each other, having conversations about the topics in life that you both are most passionate about. Go on dates, even if it is just taking a walk, going to a movie, or to your favorite sushi place just the two of you. I also urge you to spend time with your parents, siblings, best friends for a little one on one time and urge your husband to do the same. Family time is special, but that one-on-one bond is changed a bit once you have a little one to focus solely upon 24/7.
Although the transformation from couple to family is a beautiful one, sometimes it can be lonely too. You will miss your husband. Those gazes into each other’s eyes become much more few and far between. You can imagine how impossible that becomes as you have a – once tiny bundle swaddled in her rock-and-play – now a year later she is pulling at your pant leg every moment of the day. As special as those moments are, the moments with our husbands are special too. Let’s try not to forget that.
The wonderment of childbirth brings the two of you so close on your child’s birthday. Hold on to that. Get on the same page of the same chapter in the same book of the same series. It will be hard. Nothing in life is easy. However, it will be so worth it; when at the end of the day you can look in the mirror and honestly reflect back the mother and wife you have always wanted to be. It takes time, patience…oh lots of patience, love, understanding, passion for family, and sometimes even some Moscato…but it is so worth it.