Honestly, I started started thinking of us as a family of three long before baby number one was born, as in from the moment I found out I was pregnant. And that only got more real as the baby bump grew. I was already caring for more than just myself--I was eating well, working out, and trying to get rest.
We didn’t officially become a family of three until September 2013 when Gaby was born. Obviously there was absolutely no denying it once we were holding her in our arms. And those first few moments were so special. After months of anticipation, guessing whether we would have a boy or a girl, what he or she would look like, how we would feel, the moment finally arrived. We were getting to know her. Our lives were forever changed.
The first little bit definitely took some getting used to. After a few days of little, interrupted sleep, I hardly knew if I was coming or going. And honestly, I did not feel “grown up enough” to have a child and was scared to have to care for her all on my own! Thankfully, we had so much wonderful help from family. Though because of that there was little time to learn how to be just the three of us right off the bat. But slowly, the family left and we figured life out. We still enjoyed going out to eat and meeting up with friends. After all, she slept so much at the beginning, we could just take her with us. We even went on a few plane trips within the first few months of her life (little did I know this was the easiest time to travel with a child!).
But some things did change. There were more relationships in our house. Instead of the one between me and my husband, there were now three separate (but related) relationships in the house--the original one, plus one between each of us and our daughter. That meant not quite as much time for just the two of us as we both spent time caring for and bonding with Gaby. I also was not quite as attentive in listening to stories and having discussions, particularly at the beginning, because I was rather tired. And while not wrong, and definitely necessary, the change took a period of adjustment.
It was at this point that date nights really became important. We were lucky to have some family and close friends who very willingly kept Gaby for us so we could get some time out for just the two of us to connect. This was so important both to have focused time with each other and to have a break from taking care of things around the house.
So yes, things changed once we had our first child. But honestly it was for the best. We grew in our ability both to love as well as to take focused time for our relationship.
What was the biggest adjustment for you upon welcoming your first child?