Rick and I weren’t married for very long when we became parents. We got married on May 14th, 2016 and we found out I was pregnant a month and a half later. Though we’ve always had an amazing relationship, we never got to really be a “married couple” before the babies came, and even less since they came 3 months earlier than expected. Even though marriage really is just signing papers stating that you’re legally binding yourself to another human being, it does change some things and creates the potential for some unmet expectations that didn’t really exist while you’re “just dating”. Adding children to the equation so quickly will increase those expectations even more, and may create some big frustrations along the way.
Let me start out by saying that Rick is an amazing dad and a very caring partner. He’s a hardworking man who makes sure that his family is well-provided for before spending his hard earned money on anything else. I came in like a wrecking ball (sorry, couldn’t resist) and changed his single adult life in less than 3 years. Sure, mine changed too, but I’ve gone through many different changes in life, including a previous engagement that ended horribly (thank the Universe), that change was a part of life I grew accustomed to. Rick and I met while I was flight attending, on a 25 minute flight from Dayton to Cleveland, OH. I remember seeing that gorgeous man in 21A and decided it was now or never. I struck up a conversation with him about games and, by the time we were close to landing, I threw (literally) my number at him and told him to call me. Not even 5 minutes after getting off my plane, he sure did text me and we never stopped talking. Fast forward to 4 months later, I moved from Houston, TX to Rochester, NY, my tiny Chevrolet Spark full with my belongings and then-boyfriend for a 24-hour road trip. Then, 5 months after that, we got engaged. Our entire relationship has been amazing. Don’t fool yourself, just because it’s been amazing it doesn’t mean we haven’t hit any rocky and bumpy roads, and becoming parents has been one that takes a lot of teamwork and communication to get through. Now, I’ll be the first one to admit – it’s much easier to type that out than for it to be done. We’re both human. We both have feelings, needs, and expectations for each other as well as for ourselves individually. Before the girls were born, Rick and I never really argued. We had discussions or a fight here and there, but we were never angry with each other or too upset to talk. After the girls were born, we noticed a significant rise in disagreements, arguments, and then fights. It did get really rough in the beginning. I mean, I honestly thought the words “I want a divorce” would come out of my mouth. We went days without speaking to each other (my mom was here for that one… oops), I rudely yelled and cursed, he quietly pleaded, I would ignore him in person and then write him texts as long as my blog entries, I slept downstairs on the couch, he refused my touch, he got depressed, I got depressed, and we finally realized what was going on. We lacked communication. Sure, we’d talk all the time about the girls, but we wouldn’t talk about how we were feeling or what we needed.
At first, when the girls came home, I stayed home from work for 4 months (HUGE shout-out to all my SAHMs out there. I have no idea how y’all do this). My duty was to care for them, make sure the dog was fed and taken out, and try to keep the house presentable. I also set a goal of making lunch for us, since Rick had been able to work from home for a good slice of that time. Since I was still breastfeeding, I’d be up to either nurse and/or attach myself to the breast pump every few hours during the night, and we all know newborns don’t sleep very much at first. Rick had to work, so I initially let him sleep longer since I could try to nap while the girls napped, since that’s all everyone and their mothers would tell me. I’d like to inform you, the reader, right now that the “sleep while they’re sleeping” shit DOES NOT work with twins. Yes, they’re on the same feeding schedule. No, that does not mean they will sleep at the same time. Stop telling parents of multiples that. Anyway, that quickly had to change. Instead of me being upfront about it, I let it go on because I thought it’d get better. I let it go because I thought that if Rick really loved me, he’d be able to see that I was miserable. Wrong on both accounts. He’s a very busy man, so him not noticing I was tired had nothing to do with the amount of love he has for me. Instead of hoping for my expectation to be met, I should have said something sooner. When I did tell him I needed more sleep, it came out violently and to the tone of “why the fuck don’t you notice my poker face about being fine and see that I’m on the verge of collapsing over here?!”, which wasn’t at all a good way to go about it. Nevertheless, changes were made and a sleep schedule was created. He wanted to partake in his hobbies on his days off, leaving me to care for the babies 24/7/365 as if I were a baby-caring machine. I wanted to believe he’d realize I needed time off from the babies, so I never said anything. Until I exploded again. Problem after problem, unmet expectation after unmet expectation, we butted heads and were stubborn over and over again, until we realized we had to sit down and talk or things would eventually get much, much worse. Then it got much better.
As I went back to work, our most current schedule remained. The girls go to bed at 9, wake up at either 5 or 6 for a bottle, back to sleep until 9 (though now it’s starting to become 9p-7a and then nap at 11a). I’d wake up with them, put them back down, struggle to fall back asleep just to wake a couple of hours later, feeling peeved. Why doesn’t he see I’m fucking tired again? I would love to sleep uninterrupted from time to time. Oh, little Camila. Doesn’t matter how many changes I’ve been through, realizing people can’t read minds hasn’t hit me yet. Instead of letting it explode out of proportion again, we had a conversation about it, and changes were made. Like adults. Turns out he also had needs and expected me to realize those as well. I guess I’m not as perceptive as I thought I was, huh?
And here we are. Still married. Still happy with each other and happy with how our little family functions (even though help would be nice, but we’re kind of past the point of being bitter about that). Do we HAVE time with each other often? No. Like previously mentioned, we both have duties and needs. My social needs are met more easily than his, since I’m on social media tools like FaceBook and Instagram all the time and he isn’t. We both like to do what we like to do to unwind. We both don’t have real days off anymore, and we don’t have days off together (he’s off on weekends, I’m off wednesdays and thursdays). Though it seems like the odds are not in our favor, Rick and I do MAKE time for each other, after the girls go to sleep – we watch our shows together, we sit on the couch and chat, we cuddle before I go to bed before I inevitably pass out before 11. We learned that if you stress about making sure you’re making enough time for your partner, or if you’re stressing over if your partner would rather do something with you instead of just “sit and chill”, you’ll never truly spend time together. You won’t be enjoying your partner’s company, only stressing about making sure you’re doing it right. Make time for each other, and make time for yourselves. They’re equally important. Learn to compromise. Compromises are key to a happy marriage, especially when babies are involved.
Another thing that makes things difficult is that we haven’t had a date night since our wedding anniversary this past May. Without family in the immediate vicinity, with friends who also live busy lives, and with a budget a little too tight for the actual cost of a date night (babysitter + dinner or whatever we decide to do), it does get a little tricky when trying to plan one. However, our lovely babysitter, Emerson, will be giving up his upcoming Saturday night and coming over to snuggle with Zelda on the couch, watching Netflix, while River and Lydia sleep, so Rick and I can go on a date. He’s seriously the sweetest!
Being a recently married first-time parents of twins is not only a mouthful, but also insanely hard. It takes balancing your personal life with your partner’s life to make sure the babies are cared for, and that your relationship doesn’t go into a screeching halt or jump off the cliff. Our marriage is the foundation for our family, so it requires maintenance and upkeep for it stay as strong and beautiful as it is for as long as it can.