You know, in the Indian subcontinent, during earlier days, once a baby is born, the couple’s life sort of ends there. Life then starts revolving around just the baby, and the emphasis moves from being a couple, to being mom and dad.
Ofcourse, the baby needs to take centerstage, no doubt! But it is equally important for the couple to keep the fire burning, and the romance alive. It might not be the same as pre-baby, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
I realized from speaking to a lot of moms that many couples choose to sleep separately after the birth of a baby. But at the same time, many thought that this set up was completely selfish on the husband’s part, and unfair to the mom. It really is not that simple, it’s not black and white, more like fifty shades (obviously not of grey).
I’d say think do what works for you. And if it bothers you, don’t be afraid to speak to your partner. The key is that both husband and wife are on the same page.
It is essential that as couples, discuss this before hand. Most moms opt to stay home longer than two months, or atleast the maternity leave, whereas in Qatar and in the region, dads don’t have that option. So discuss how you are going to proceed so that there are no unpleasant surprises later.
From my point of view, sleeping separately does have its advantages – especially if you are a co-sleeper. And it can work extremely well to strike a balance.
As a breastfeeding mom, I do need to be around my child at night for the night-feeds. And now that bubba is no longer a new-born, it is easier. I enjoy having the bed to myself, and moving around to make bubba and me comfortable.
While I was just home from the hospital after birth, my husband was by the side throughout, and that was great – for me! He still had to be up and at work the next day morn, but at night, it was just easier for him to hand me the baby, or to shush the baby for a few minutes.
But now, I think it is just easier and more comfortable for me to have the space, and to lie on bubba’s right or left side as needed without having to wake and move another adult around.
For some moms, it helped to have the bed to themselves because their husbands were restless, or snoring, both not great when you have a wee one.
Yes, it is a partnership. No doubt. But does a partnership mean that both mom and dad have to survive on no sleep? I don’t think so. I am happy and I think it is a privilege, to get some baby and me time all night.
If the husband is well rested, he is a better position to take care of the baby during the day; and that works wonderfully well when mom wants to step out for a while, or just get some alone R&R time.
For example – nowadays, I am too pressed for time in the morning getting ready to work, and that when the man takes over. Getting bubs ready for nursery is his task. Sorting bub’s milk for the nursery is my responsibility while washing the bottles is his.
During the day, after office, he is usually the one taking care of the baby till about bedtime. In fact, I joke about it and say, if I didn’t have milk, my baby probably would not even need me.
A successful and blissful partnership can also be a tag-team, doesn’t necessarily have to be everything split in half. What is important that both partners are happy, rested, and in agreement with the arrangement.
Truth is that my husband is involved in every step of the parenting process, as he should be. I as his mom need to be there at night because I am the one with the milk. But does that mean my baby needs to have two tired parents? Ofcourse not.
Does sleeping apart for a while mean our relationship as husband and wife and partners are being affected? Again, the answer is no.
Romance changes after a baby is born. Yes, it is still amazing to go out to a nice quiet dinner. Hugs and kisses will never be too much. But I think it is so much better when dad does his role as a parent. I have been blessed in that regard. As unromantic as it sounds, a dad who is willing to man up and change the baby’s diapers, and to spend time with the baby is simply amazing. That is a special kind of intimacy that I find more endearing.
One of the oddest responses I found to this discussion was the implication that the man might get bored. I mean! Seriously? If that is the case, then the marriage needs to be re-evaluated.
Bottom Line: Life with a baby has its challenges, but this I believe is not one of them. Because from I see, having a baby only adds beauty and love to a strong relationship. And whether you sleep on the same bed or separately, there is nothing more wonderful than being partners and parents, and growing together. But ensure that both of you are completely on the same page with this.