There have been so many studies about the way our brain chemistry changes when you’re pregnant and when you become a mother. Something fundamental shifts – not least of all, your pelvis floor. There are so many ways that you will find yourself evolving, particularly with your partner. They will see you through your pregnancy and bear the brunt of your complaints, and they’ll be happy to do it. Most of the time. When you’re a stay-at-home mom, for whatever period of time or in whatever context, you will likely become a better partner, even in ways you don’t notice.
- You’re more compassionate. I don’t necessarily mean that you get cuddlier or nicer to your partner, rather that you can get a read on them better. Because of the huge changes in your life, there won’t be as much time to beat around the bush when it comes to expressing each other’s needs. When life gets that bit more stressful you can be direct and more efficiently serve your partner’s needs. This goes in both directions and isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to having a newborn, but just general hectic schedules. You will learn more about your partner in these moments.
- You have a “family first” mentality. This won’t always be an absolute principle, but it’s an intense guiding principle, especially when you’re a stay-at-home mom. When a couple becomes a family unit with the addition of a child, things change. Your priorities evolve and narrow to the people in your family. When things are stretched and time is of the essence, it’s a matter of self-preservation. Looking after your family isn’t a huge socio-political statement, it’s simply just a way of making it one day to the next without going mad.
- You can prioritize time with them. In a period in which your other friends might struggle to align with your schedule, for better or worse, you will be spending a lot of time with your partner when you’re a stay-at-home mom. You might find that you have conversations you never thought you’d have. Like rock, paper, scissors-ing to see who has to change the baby at 3 a.m. You might just get really comfortable with silence when they’re finally sleeping. Quality time looks different depending on who you’re asking. This is an excellent example of that.
- Your multitasking threshold increases. You will rarely find yourself so haggard and yet so productive. It might feel like you’re barely hanging in there in some parts of your life. But, the important and pressing matter is your family. You won’t always be perfect, and you will recognize that. Eventually, we all do. It means we don’t waste time thinking about what other people are thinking and allows us to really sink into a relationship. Chances are, everyone around you is marveling at how you’re still standing, let alone operational.
- Criticism bounces off you. There might be some months early on when that’s not the case, but when you’re figuring out the tricky business of how to keep another human being alive, you learn to take help where you can get it. New perspectives and hints and tips are your friends. You will find that this approach filters into your relationships too. You will become better at receiving feedback and evolving with the punches. Your partner will do the same in return.
- You’re learning everything again. You’re also relearning a whole host of preconceptions you might have had about looking after a newborn. You will also reach a point of saturation when you learn to trust your own instinct rather than get overwhelmed. It means that you will be able to confide in your partner in a way you never have with anyone else. There’s nothing more stripping or vulnerable than the act of raising a child together. It’s a unique journey that is different for each couple and family.
- You will practice a lot of forgiveness and grace. Even when you’re sure you’re being a dick. You will be grateful for those skills when – if – things calm down. Stay-at-home moms have such a specific and wonderful but isolating role, and they deserve the world.
- Your goals are aligned. Even if your partner frustrates you by breathing too sharply in your direction. Most of the time you are united in a common goal. You’re in it together and when you’re at home you’ll miss him. This is a commitment that you can’t let go of, and that’s all you need to learn about love.
So, best of luck with the new child, and make sure you eke out some time for yourself and your partner when you’re at home.