I’ve heard my newly married friends swear by the old gods that the arrival of a baby would NOT change anything in their marriage. Then, after the blood test or the peeing on the stick, confirming that a baby is on its way, you see slight changes… and I don’t mean the anatomical ones. There’s the shopping and the redecorating. In less than a year, there’ll be a new member of the family and there’s a lot to be done in preparation; financially and psychologically.
It’s fun watching newly expecting couples fuss over the decoration of the baby’s new room. The excitement of what ‘peacefully soothing colours’ to paint the room and what kind of glittering stars should be stuck on the ceiling is almost palpable. However, I’ve found that many new babies don’t sleep in these nice fancy rooms. I asked my friend Aina, (in fact, she bought a baby monitor sef!) why her baby wasn’t sleeping in the baby room (that she spent thousands of Naira to set up) and her response was “ah! the stress of getting up every time Tish cries is too much. I had to bring the cot to our room.” With a lot of new parents, the babies sleep in the bed, close to the mothers for ease of night feeding and general bonding.
However, it makes you wonder where this leaves the man, especially as the woman is clearly engrossed in the new baby activities. This morning, I was talking to Ariyike about this topic and she said she and her husband did all night-time feeds together, and so it wasn’t really a big deal that the baby was sleeping in their bed. In fact, “it even made us closer sef”. My friend, Jemide, said he moved into the guest room when their baby was born because he needed a full night’s rest. When I clucked my tongue at how selfish he was coming across, he pointed out that he needed to be properly charged for a day at work so, according to him, he didn’t want to get fired.
Some husbands have complained of being neglected with the advent of kids; some have even said that the dwindled attention from their wives have left them feeling particularly unloved.
What do you guys think? Do you think that with babies come the dimming of all the bright lights of marriage? Do you agree everything changes when babies come? As a guy, do you think that the baby being in your room reduces the attention you were getting? As a mother, can you put your foot down and say “No! this baby is going to stay in his/her room and that’s that?” When is the cut off point when the baby stays out of your bed? How do you maintain that va-va-voom in your union irrespective of the inclusion of a baby?
What are your thoughts on this? Let’s discuss! (Oh! and people who don’t have babies can tell us what they have experienced with nieces and nephews as well as what they plan to do when the ‘wheel of fortune’ spins in their direction)
Photo credit: photosbysri.com