Keeping the Spark Alive After Having a Baby (Part 2: Shared Dreams)
Does it ever seem like you and your partner have barely anything in common anymore (besides the baby)?
Can you relate to any of these:
- Are his interests no longer that interesting to you? Does it bug you when you talks about them because you want him to be more interested in something else?
- Do you get sick of only ever talking about the same few topics over and over?
- Do you feel like you only talk about the baby, or life with a baby, or babies in general, or other people’s parenting skills, or other babies, or your future with your babies?
- Do you feel like the things that used to interest you both no longer seem that interesting?
We’ve all been there. (Many of us are still there!)
Before we had our baby, my hubby and I used to talk all the time about our careers - the daily challenges and the dreams we had. We talked about our dreams for travel, and owning a home, and of course, having a baby. When we were pregnant, I could barely stop talking about pregnancy, babies and our future as parents and a family.
I think we all dream about our futures together. When we’re dating we talk about what we’ll do with our lives. Then when we’re engaged we dream about being married. Then when we’re married at some point we dream about getting pregnant. Then we dream about having a baby and a future as a family.
My hubby and I did all that, and then we had the baby. After a year of just trying to survive, we realised we’d ended up in completely different places. Personally, I’d felt my pre-baby dreams were no longer relevant or, in some cases, even desirable. Things had changed, and so had we. But we hadn’t talked about it. Our long beach walks together had been replaced with me sneaking away alone (hallelujah) for a 20 minute walk while my hubby looked after our baby. And when we did talk, neither of us could really muster much enthusiasm for the other’s conversation points. Our interests became our own little escapes/breaks from the crazy life of being new parents.
So how did we fix it? It began with a simple step: talking about it.
We put our baby in the stroller and went for a very long walk. And we talked about how we’d changed and what we wanted our relationship to be like going forward into our baby’s second year. It became obvious we still both needed our own interests, but we needed something else again: a shared dream. Something we could both look forward to and work towards together. Because our dreams had changed, and it was time to work out just what they were going to be now.
How about you? Have your dreams and hopes for your future changed since having a baby?
Having a united dream to work towards puts us back on the same path as our partners. It gives us a sense of shared purpose and a feeling of being close to our partners - because suddenly we’re partners again, literally, working together as a team towards the life we want - and not just to get the daily tasks done.
If you’ve been feeling like you and your partner are both dreaming about different things, then one of the best things you can do is really talk to each other and come up with something you can both dream about together again. We need our best friends back and we need to do this life together, looking forward with hope and excitement, not backwards (to what life used to be) or sidewards (to where we would rather be).
We need shared dreams again.
My hubby and I came up with a few dreams we both loved and felt excited about. It changed everything. When we talk now, it’s with enthusiasm and understanding. It feels like we’re united and we’re both excited about what the future holds for us. I know it’s important to keep on having the conversation, as we go through this life, because we will keep on changing and our dreams will too, and that's ok. This way, through it all, we’ll remain side by side, as we always have, excited about the life we’re living and sharing together.