I wonder why evolution hasn't helped couples also psychologically shift in unison after becoming parents. We create life together as man and woman, but then our different hormones and experiences from conception to birth lead us to dealing with having children in a completely different way. As women, we switch into mother mode as soon as we see the positive pregnancy test. So many changes occur within our bodies continuously throughout those gestational months and we cannot get away from it. Men are tied into this by approximation, because they supplied the sperm. After a stressful day at the office or while dealing with the fear of imminent fatherhood a man can kick back and drink a beer. Or go for a long motorcycle ride alone, a fishing trip with the buddies, or worse.
Then, the babies come and as both enjoy the joy and fatigue of a newborn, the difference in experience continues. You see each other in a different light, and a new love, but now there is a little something in between. Your tiny creation. Before it was just two pillows and one blanket on the bed, cuddle room for two. Now there are burp rags and diapers and baby spit marks. So then at the end of another hectic day and you finally see your husband at the other end of that couch where do you pick up?
How much conversation can you have when all you did today was finally shave your legs, breastfeed, play at the park, drive around to induce nap time, go to Target, clean a poo disaster, teach your toddler about hot/cold, and have two sweet bodies smother you all day? After being mom since 6am I wish it was easier to slip into another role. Fun partner, sexy housewife, drinking buddy even. It's hard to seamlessly be all of those things, but it helps if you change out of your milk stained tank top.
The marrried with two kids aspect of our relationship is still lost on me. We are so young, I don't drive a van, and Todd doesn't wear a tie to work. Is there a limbo a couple can hang out in once they are past the free and dating phase but not quite in the grown up phase? When I look at my kid's dad I still see the the same guy that would pick me up on a rickety old Vespa during my lunch break at work and sing along to every Morrissey song that we listened to as we drove for the sake of driving. Maybe there is the key. In still loving each other for who we are as individuals and not as mom/dad/wife/husband. Perhaps we are on the right track if he instantly noticed when I finally wore real (!!) jeans after months of leggings and still smacks my butt when I walk by with loads of laundry in my arms...