A reader writes:
I am 25 years old and about to become a mother for the first time! My husband and I were high school sweethearts, so it has been just the two of us for 9 years now. I worry about how he will cope when the baby comes along. It sounds silly, as I know he’ll adore our baby, but I’m thinking more of the little things that I may not be able to do for him anymore … at least for a while. Like the back massages, or going to a lot of effort for dinner, packing him a wholesome lunch etc. The housework is obviously going to take a tumble, but I wondered if there is any advice you could share, as I don’t want my husband to feel ‘replaced’ by the baby, or that he’s lost his best friend. I’m due in 4 weeks now and I would love to make this a wonderful, positive experience for both of us.
First of all, can I just gush over you a bit? Your words have me smiling all over. Do you know how sweet you are? I suppose you can’t fully appreciate it while you are living it, but take it from me: You are incredibly sweet. What a darling wife and mother you are already.
Second of all, let me reassure you that your feelings are quite natural, loving concerns. It’s hard to see exactly how love multiplies instead of dividing before you’ve quite experienced it. But it does. I can distinctly recall my own sweet husband standing over the crib of our firstborn and announcing that he could never love another child as much as he loved her. Well, guess what? He now loves seven other children every bit as much. And I do too.
Have you talked to your husband about your concerns? If not, do so. He’ll be touched by your worries about his adjustment. He might give you some insight into which things you do that matter most to him so that you can focus your attention and let the rest go as needed. And you should also share the kinds of things you value about your relationship so that he can prioritize as well. That might get you through some rough spots.
Did I say rough spots? Yes, I did. Because no matter how thoroughly and lovingly you both prepare for your baby’s arrival, some rough spots surely lie ahead. Life altering experiences, sleepless nights, and hormonal fluctuations will challenge even the happiest of couples on occasion. But talking now about the stresses you anticipate will go a long way toward giving you some perspective in the heat of the moment.
After talking with your husband and physically preparing for your baby’s arrival as much as possible, try to relax and put the rest into God’s loving hands. He has wonderful plans for you in the coming weeks. And years. May he bless your family always!