Recently, my husband and I were sitting on the couch with our 2-year-old between us. She was going back and forth giving us kisses then gave both of us a little push to kiss each other. She delightedly proceeded to do this over and over again, as if just discovering that Mommy and Daddy could kiss. I’d been concerned for a quite a while about a lack of connection with my husband and in that moment, realizing my daughter didn’t seem to know that mommies and daddies kiss each other, I got a serious wake-up call. It was time to face some serious facts.
I have to be painfully honest and own the fact that since my daughter was born, almost two-and-a-half years ago, I’ve been a pretty lousy wife. When I knew I was going to become a mom through adoption, I had expected that because my body wouldn’t be going through the mechanical and chemical changes a birth mother does that I wouldn’t feel drastically different once I was a mommy. Boy, was I in for a surprise.
I never could have imagined the astounding psychological transformation I would undergo or the resulting stress it would cause in my marriage. From the moment I saw my daughter, I became 99.9% mommy and 0.1% wife. Here was this tiny human who needed everything, all of me. My husband didn’t need me to survive. He could take care of himself. And while he seemed to be able to compartmentalize his roles as husband and father so well, I had an absolute identity shift. Whoever I had been before was gone. I was now Mommy- a soft, cuddly, drool-covered Mommy. It’s hard admit it, but I no longer even desired a romantic relationship.
Now over two years into motherhood, my daughter doesn’t need me quite as much and my husband needs me more than ever. I know I need to rediscover my womanhood in order to reconnect with him. I know I need to make my marriage a much greater priority. There is nothing more important to me than the health and happiness of my family, which springs from a happy, healthy partnership. I expect it will take time to rekindle that, but many more kisses seems like a good place to start.