ME Time or WE Time: Priorities That Will Make or Break Relationship
How do new moms find the balance between “ME”, “WE” and baby? When there’s not enough time, energy or resources to do it all, how do you juggle your priorities? ME Time or WE Time, how to make it work? Will your priorities make or break your relationship?
Becoming a new mom ushers in a plethora of never before felt emotions, demands and lifestyle changes. Right? You’ve just brought into this world (by birth or adoption) an amazing little creature who is totally dependent on you, your affection and your attention. The experience, in a blink, changes your life like no other.
Your little one gives new definition to “miracle”. Feelings of gratitude and awe overwhelm you. Your new little treasure, with daddy’s eyes or your fair skin, sends shivers down your spine. “I did this. I brought this little angel into the world. I’ve been given the awesome responsibility of watching over and teaching this precious one to navigate life’s challenges. What an incredible blessing I’ve been given!”
Before long, maybe by week’s or month’s end, baby’s needs have drained you of energy like you’ve never imagined possible. You seriously wonder if you can survive this another day without reinforcements. And then the words roll off your tongue…
“When do I get my ME TIME?”… will this kid ever stop being so needy?
You start to imagine losing your “self” with the new responsibilities and demands of mothering, if you don’t get a break.
What does ME TIME look like?… lock the door and leave me alone?
Is it a girl’s night out? Mani and pedi with a friend? A long soak in a locked bathroom with a good book and a glass of wine? How will you recharge and refresh so you can wake up and be a mother all over again?
What about WE TIME?… oh, him!
From what I’ve read and observed, moms seem to be prioritizing ME TIME while putting WE TIME on the back burner. If that’s not you, then kudos and keep up the good work.
We all need ME TIME!!! but equally as important (if not more so), is WE TIME.
It is imperative that we have WE TIME…yes, now!
That guy who planted that little baby-producing swimmer in you still needs you. He’s the guy who previously got your attention and affection. If he had felt a safe haven, it’s likely been rocked. Yep, the father of your child is likely feeling neglected and afraid. Though he may be pitching in and doing his share where he can, he’s probably a bit clueless as to his new role. He may feel like staying out of your way would be helpful. That you’ve got a plan that appears to be working and he shouldn’t mess with success.
One thing he is most definitely wondering about is where does he fit in now? Who is he to you?
Moms…your partner needs you more than ever! If you put your husband, the father of your child, on the back burner while you take care of baby and yourself, your relationship will suffer. Period. And the damage may be irreparable.
Dr. Regier sees couples in his practice every day where relationship hangs in the balance because there wasn’t enough WE TIME.
And this doesn’t just mean a date night where you talk about work or the kids. You and hubby must learn to stay emotionally connected throughout your relationship. From the beginning, well before baby #1 was merely a thought, and beyond. There are no shortcuts here.
Steven Covey, in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” states that we should begin with the end in mind. I like that. Words of wisdom perhaps, especially when it comes to relationship and parenting. Rebuilding a disconnected relationship, fixing the fractures resulting from years of neglect, is such hard work. And there is no guarantee of the outcome.
Your kids will grow up and leave you. And though you are largely responsible for their safe flight into the grownup world, don’t forget relationship’s mission for lifetime love.
Preventing future conflict and creating lifetime love must begin today. Don’t put that work aside until the babies are 5 or 10 or 18. Prioritize your partner. Understand his needs, wants and desires. Work as a team to become and remain emotionally connected throughout this season of parenting. The rewards will be numerous. The kiddos will become well-balanced great citizens and you and your spouse will have a much greater chance of remaining in love “till death you do part”.
Until next time, stay Emotionally Connected,
Co-author of Emotional Connection: The Story & Science of Preventing Conflict & Creating Lifetime Love