I belong to that generation which grew up in the newness of a gamut of cable TV channels offering a further gamut of programs to be watched for all age groups. Though our parents tried to the best of their abilities to monitor our TV viewing habits, there always were enough gaps (and huge ones I must say) which exposed us to a lot that wasn’t appropriate for us to watch (this i realise now only after becoming a parent myself).
Nevertheless, i reminisce about those years now with a lot of fondness and ridicule because exposure to the high family drama and continuous colloquy between the characters led me to shape a good amount of opinions and I started perceiving matters accordingly.
One such perception formed through numerous ‘saas-bahu’ and ‘mera pati sirf mera hai’ sagas was that a child brings more strength to a couples bond. At so many instances I remember, a sad and yearning for love wife would be advised by a more enlightened character, “Ek baar bachcha ho jaaega toh sab theek ho jaaega” (once you have a kid, everything will become alright) or “Yeh bachcha tumhare rishte ko aur mazboot banaega” (After having a child, your relationship will emerge stronger)
So, when Nick came into our world, I and AJ had know each other for almost 6 years – 3 years pre-marriage and 3 years post marriage. Initially I kept wondering how our relationship was to take a turn for good after having known each other for such a long time. So I asked my friends who had just become parents.
For the general awareness of the reader, I put the same query for all the parent friends. And the query was, “So have you and your spouse gotten closer post your bachcha’s birth?” Below I have put down some really interesting replies.
Reply One –
Closer? If staying in a relationship with no hope of expecting anything from each other may be classified as getting closer, then yes, we came closer as a couple by miles. I mean, my husband has not even had the courage to ask me for a movie or a dinner date for last 6 months. The moment he even suggests something like that, I eyes would grow so wide that he was scared they may just pop out of my eye-balls. “If I could get away from the baby for any amount of time, I would rather catch up on my sleep”, would be my reply invariably, leaving my husband with no option but to venture out with his guy friends. And for the first time in our 5 year marriage, I wasn’t complaining about it.
Reply Two –
Oh yes! we became extremely telepathic in our communication. Once my husband would walk into the house, he knew that I was completely expecting him to immediately take charge of the baby. That is, if he was expecting me to serve him any tea or later a dinner. There were days when he would walk in and not follow the protocol, that left my heart burnt. Because these were the days when my husband had decided to take a break and treat himself on his way home and had decided that he was going to get straight to his TV or laptop. Well on those days, he would mostly be considerate enough to pack some stuff for me too !
Reply Three – (this one is my personal favorite)
If you mean that rising above the basic instincts of being a man and a woman would be a criteria for closeness, we definitely would top the list of such couples. Our munchkin was a night stalker. Despite all my efforts to regularize her routine, she would sleep all day and be a night stalker, expecting us to entertain her. So we did manage to create a night time routine to take turns at that. But the chances of us getting kinky with each other and have some fun as a couple had by and large diminished to almost extinction. The only “relief” were the Sundays, when we too could “sleep” during the day.
Reply Four –
I realized that we had infact gotten closer as a couple, after almost 2 years of our little devil’s birth. At my Mother-in-laws behest, we planned a weekend outing while she volunteered to take care of the baby. When it came to deciding on the destination, we were both very clear that we wanted to go to a peaceful beach that would allow us to just sit and watch the sun-set in the evenings and linger around the pool post dark. And for rest of the day we just lay in our bed holding each other the entire weekend. Indeed, a perfect reward for a job well-done for the last 2 years. And ofcourse, some moments to savor before we could be allowed another one of such time-outs.
Reply Five – (And this one I feel is the most genuine reply)
Well, I always had a lot of things to worry about in our marriage. Right from coping with a family from a different culture than mine, I was always at tenterhooks for being judged despite no actual reason to do so. This was also the phase where we, and especially my husband had to hold out an extremely aggressive approach towards his professional growth for our secure future. I often wondered, how I was ever going to sort out all the mess around me. Once the baby came in, everything kind of automatically fell in place. Everybody’s (infact mostly mine) focus suddenly shifted to the baby and everything else became secondary. So many discussions and arguments between us as a struggling to settle down couple became superfluous and we sought our rejuvenation in fusing into a unit for bringing up our little bundle of joy by doing the best we could. Yes! our baby did bring us closer. But! But! whenever the moron in me awakens, i like to get back to the same bitchy state of fretting over things beyond my control. But that now seldom happens, and my better half takes it as a change of the direction in the winds for some unknown reason!
Well! I am sure that as a parenting couple, we identify with atleast one or more accounts of impact of parenthood on us as a couple. Hope you find solace in the fact that you are not alone in the cribbing and fretting parents club. Anyway, Happy Parenting!