A relationship coach introduced me to the notion of the 18 month postpartum disaster area coined by Dr. Perle Feldman. Apparently, breakups and divorce are common two years into the birth of a couple’s first child. I get it, I really do. You’ve just spent the last year sleep deprived, your hormones are out of whack, the quest to breastfeed has left your breasts…lifeless, your clothes don’t fit (at least not like they used to) so how are you supposed to still look at your husband with starry eyes and affection. But forget all of that, because if you’re really with the right person then whatever hurdles you are facing are as fixable as you want them to be. In my opinion, it’s the relationship you have with yourself that really takes a hit.
Maybe I’m the only one but it seems like once you decide you’re in a serious relationship you lose 50% of yourself upfront. The balance of which is split (not evenly) between shared interests with your spouse and your “me time”. The thing is, the addition of a baby can strip away the remaining 50% leaving you feeling, well, lost. All of a sudden your entire world revolves around this minuscule being that is hopelessly dependent on you. You have no time to meet friends for drinks or attend your regular yoga class, let alone take up new hobbies as previously planned. Hell, you’re lucky if you get a moment to shower and blow dry your hair. So what do you do?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer…not yet at least. I’m actually on a personal mission to rediscover myself and hopefully, simultaneously, rejuvenate my marriage. I may have discounted earlier the seriousness of the 18 month postpartum disaster area on a relationship but that’s only because I believe or, I hope, that by focusing on yourself for a while you may be able let go of some resentment and hit the restart button with your significant other.
So here’s my plan:
- I’m going to carve out a little time for myself each week that will allow me to take up an interest like playing the piano and keeping this blog updated.
- I will use these new hobbies as subject matter for conversations with my husband that I also plan on having regularly instead of zoning out in front of the TV each night.
- This will be in addition to regular dinners with friends (I’ve just sent monthly reoccurring Outlook invites entitled “Sanity Sessions” to my girlfriend who I know is in a similar emotional state).
Ambitious? Maybe. But I’m going to make an effort ant let you know how it goes. It is the least I can do for myself.