I had a lot of sympathy for my wife when she was pregnant. And I proved it at the dinner table, at the lunch buffet and at Sunday brunch. I like to tell people that I gained sympathy weight during these times, though I suspect it was actually just "feeling justified to eat as much crap as I want" weight. But after we had our second kid, the time came to face the scales and take off the baby weight, together.
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Not having to win is a pretty good quality when one is part of a couple, especially when that couple has to parent together and, by the way, also wants to stay in love. We've disagreed plenty over the years about child-rearing issues—and still do. Yet we usually manage to be sure that it's the kids who win in the end.
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My wife is addicted to porn—real estate porn. See, we live in less than 500 square feet. With a toddler and a baby, both of whom are growing rapidly, alongside their also-growing piles of stuff. We have a north-facing balcony that gets no sun until late afternoon, if at all. Plus, we live on the first floor, and have to deal with crowds from the Swedish national soccer stadium down the street. So she dreams a bit. Fantasizes. And the big newspaper here in Sweden gives her all the real estate porn she needs.
We've all heard how sex lives can suffer once you have kids. First, because of the damage that occurs to a woman's nether regions during childbirth. Then, because of the tenderness of a woman's vaginal lining—in addition to hormonal fluctuations—in the months after childbirth. And then? Well, there's the lack of time, and the exhaustion that comes from being a parent (and a spouse, and a fully functioning individual). There's the magnification of the madonna/whore complex that can occur after you pop one out. There's the reshuffling of your affections, and the sometimes attendant resentments that can result from this. This doesn't worry me. After all, our sex life already sucks.
Baby Bytes: 15 must-click mom links.
When you have small children, you have little control over your life. My wife and I feel this as much as anyone. We live in less than 500 square feet with a 3-year-old and a 15-month-old. We've moved across the Atlantic twice since we got married five years ago. We've endured serious health issues and two kids who just refuse to sleep. And yet we are (barely) sane. Here are 3 slightly counterintuitive, Zen-inspired reasons why.
I know many parents are able to share their beds with their children and still have active sex lives. Apparently the parents sneak off and have sex on an empty bed or floor. We never managed to do that. Sex on the floor is good for variety, but it's not really comfortable. And who has the energy to move out of bed once they become parents? We didn't need variety in our sex lives, we needed sex in our sex lives.
My firstborn is cautious and a bit of a hypochondriac. My preteen intuitively spontaneous. I was prepared, with two kids, that each might share some of each parent's tendencies, and have differing temperaments of their own. What I didn't count on was that their personality differences, so clear to me, wouldn't register with my husband.
Baby Bytes: 8 must-click mom links.