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'I Fell In Love with My Baby, and Out of Love with My Husband'

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: As soon as you have your baby, you are in love. You finally understand how much your parents must love you, and you feel love in a whole new way -- a way you never thought possible. The problem is, as you fall in love with your baby, you often fall out of love with your husband.

mom and baby
This is not an uncommon phenomenon. You spend all of your time with the baby; it consumes you. If you breastfeed, you release oxytocin, which you also release during an orgasm. And you spend so much of your day holding your baby that it often fulfills your need for physical intimacy. 

I remember that when I was pregnant, my mom and my mother-in-law both wrote me letters expressing the importance of not forgetting how to be a wife when I became a mom. My mom had been a victim of this, and it eventually ruined her marriage. As soon as she had kids, everything was about the kids. She forgot how to be a wife. She would actually encourage my father to travel with us kids or have daddy date nights with me rather than her. My father felt emotionally and physically neglected. He eventually had an affair, which led to a divorce. He told me, "Starving people eat out of trash cans, but if you're full, you can pass by your favorite restaurant and not want a bite." He was basically telling me he had been starved for attention. 

I was terrified of following in my mother's footsteps. My husband and I took a two-week trip sans baby when our daughter was 5 months old. I missed her like crazy, but I wanted my husband to feel like a priority, too. I find it terribly hard to balance. I spend all day with my daughter, and by the time she goes to bed, I am spent. I do not have the energy for my husband, to be a fun and sexy wife. 

It's stressful for him, and stressful for me. I worry about our lack of time together, because I am all about my daughter all of the time. My husband and I have planned another trip to Mexico after Thanksgiving without our daughter. Most of my friends have never really left their kids. They ask me (with judgment), "How can you leave her?!"

My daughter will be fine. She will be with her grandmother, being spoiled. And I also think it is important for her to have quality time with her grandma. I was very close to mine. I am the one I should be worried about: I will miss her like crazy. But I need to make time for my husband and my marriage. He deserves a partner and wife. 

So how do you keep yourself from falling out of love with your husband? 

  • Make date nights and get time away, even if it is only a weekend trip or a night at a local hotel. You need time when you don't have to be a mom and can just be a wife. 
  • Remember to shower, groom and dress. It's easy to get into sweat-pants mode and forget to shave your legs. 
  • Remember that a happy home includes your husband and your baby. You spend so much of your time trying to keep your kids happy, you sometimes forget about yourself and your spouse. 
At the end of the day, your kids are going to grow up and move away. And all too often, marriages fall prey to problems then because couples don't know what to do as husband and wife. They only know how to be parents. Parenthood is a longterm plan. Think of everyone's futures, even if you want to crawl in bed at 6 PM.

next: Fancy Parties for 1-Year-Olds Are a Waste of Money!
36 comments so far | Post a comment now
KS November 20, 2010, 9:07 AM

I know that many people deal with this but we did not. I feel even deeper in love with my husband with every child we added to our family. He was indispensable when it came to helping care for the new born and older children. When he was deployed for our last baby, missing him was harder than anything else.

I would tell anyone that the all encompassing need to care for this tiny person will wane and your energy level will increase as you are sleeping more soundly.

You should both be meeting each others needs. If you need your husband to take over so you can get a 30 minute break that would allow you to shave those legs negotiate it. New moms seem to expect to much out of themselves and to little from their mates. If you can give 100% every single day so should your spouse.

Hillary November 20, 2010, 10:31 AM

I just wanted to add in that you don’t have to go away to do this. While I think it’s great the author has chosen to take weekends away and trips many of us either can not afford that or do not have babysitting that would be appropriate for long stays.

My husband and I have not been away overnight alone for six years now, but we do make our marriage a priority. We talk about our day, our feelings, our dreams. We stay up late to get a little quiet couple time in and we make sure we don’t go too long without getting some good loving.

When grandparents come to visit we do try and get out for a drink or to just take a walk.

Jenny Marsh November 20, 2010, 12:51 PM

Its all very well suggesting nights away with your husband but this is frustratingly unrealistic for many parents. I certainly couldn;t get an overnight babysitter for my four. Any to be honest I spend so much time looking after my children thast I don;t always have time to spend making myself look my best - but if a husband doesn;t understand that then he’s probably too shallow to be a “keeper” anyway

Jiliian November 20, 2010, 4:08 PM

The best advice my mom gave me was to get ready everyday. I’m not saying I put on heels and pearls everyday but I do make sure when my husband comes home I don’t look like a cleaning lady. Cuz if I want him to do things that are important to me then I want to do what is important to him. Even in the little things. Men are visual. I want him to like what he sees :)

Family Woman November 20, 2010, 6:37 PM

Honestly, I think this is ridiculous. You do not need to jet off on an adults only vacation four times a year to make your marriage a priority.

My husband and I made a family, there is nothing that could make me love him more. I make him feel loved every day, and I feel loved every day, all right in front of our kids! A sweet smile, a wink, a shoulder rub… treat your husband like you LIKE him, and everything else will take care of itself.

Anonymous November 20, 2010, 6:43 PM

If you’re still breastfeeding, you can’t go away without your kid at 5 months. It would be a shame to stop breastfeeding for a reason like that.

I don’t think your mom should take the blame for your dad’s affair. He made a choice about what to do when he wanted more attention - put more into the marriage or go outside it. The ideal solution when a husband is being neglected is for him to do more at home so that his wife has time and attention for him. I think when a husband is mature and wanted to have kids, he’s less likely to sulk that his kids are getting the love they need.

Anonymous November 21, 2010, 6:28 AM

Of course she isn’t breastfeeding. Somebody who’ll hire a hotel room in the same town as she lives in to get away from her children and score some sex is not going to ‘degrage’ herself by allowing another person to use her body as a source of nutrition. Not even if that person happens to be her own child. Let’s be clear, this article is about sex NOT relationships; did anybody else count the number of times she used the word I or ME?

Alex November 22, 2010, 12:32 AM

Yes, the last 2 anonymous, because when you breastfeed, there is no such thing as pumping and storing milk. I didn’t get to breastfeed much when I had my twins; I was pretty much pumping every 2 hours because they didn’t wouldn’t latch on. So while they were exclusively breastfeed for 18 months, for the first 3 months it was only through bottles.

The momnazis really come out on these boards, don’t they?

Amy November 23, 2010, 8:03 AM

Obviously the posters who said if you’re breastfeeding you can’t go away without your baby at 5 months old. Um, ever heard of pumping.

I left my 3 month old home with my in-laws when we had a wedding. The week before I pumped and stored the milk.

We also went away for 4 days when he was 5 months. Once again pump and store.

Don’t blame laziness/breastfeeding on not being able to get away from the kids for a night!!

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