I know I really couldn’t give a toss about romance and love when I was buried deep under vomit and diagnoses of colic, reflux and post natal depression.
Yet our partners are there.
They are standing by.
In my case, my hubby was the outlet for my frustration, my anger, my inner feelings of failure at motherhood.
He was my safety net and he got it all.
Sometimes consciously, mostly not.
Looking back, I can honestly say that I was a b1tch to live with.
And I’m so thankful every day that he stood by me in those dark times. Even when his own precious baby girl was pushing him away and screaming at him, he was still there for us.
And he is now too.
What can we do to make sure that our partners knows that underneath everything, we still love them and we still want them?
I’ve asked my peeps on social media for their tips, and combined with my own. I hope you will find something in this list that you can to do for each other.
It is important to recognise that you are still a couple.
With reflux and colic, this is usually the first thing to go. Your conversations centre around baby, the amount of crying, how the doctors don’t listen, how this cannot be normal but yet how you still have to try and function. The stress and sleep deprivation that everyone suffers have you at the end of your tether snapping at each other.
This week, reconnect in whatever way works for you both.
Here are my
💌 Focus on the Positive 💌
💌 Simply Connect 💌
💌 Love & Forgive 💌
💌 Be Vulnerable 💌
💌 Ask for (specific) Help 💌
💌 Book a Date Day 💌
💌 Learn Your Love Languages 💌
We are all really good at observing and seeing the things that annoy us. And the longer the relationship, the harder it is to not see this stuff.
Do you know that it takes 10 positive statement s about someone to counteract every one negative one?
This is nothing to do with “sure you know I love you” and much more about actions speaking louder than words.
Every negative comment we receive (and this could be a silent comment such as a teeny eye-roll) sets off the most ridiculous internal dialogue.
And only those practicing massive self-love have the ability to overcome it with ease.
This week do yourself a favour.
Every morning start with a positive comment about your partner to them. As you leave the bedroom and spot pants left on the floor beside the linen basket... ignore them.
Instead, make them their tea or coffee, or tell them you love them and miss them during the day, tell them how thankful you are that you have them to weather this reflux storm with, tell them they look good, or their pink shirt suits them.
Ignore the negative.
Do this as a team. Both of you should try to do this.
Watch your spirits rise together over the week.
This simplest of connections takes just one second.
With "free time" probably not making an appearance in your life at the moment, this is something you can do in an instant.
Something as simple a wee kiss on the cheek lets someone know you care.
You can even whisper “I still love you” at the same time.
I understand if you’ve just been snapping that this may be the last thing you want to do, so I counsel you – get over it and let it go. Your relationship is bigger and stronger than 'it'.
There is something in physical connection, in the power of touch. You don't have to be in the mood for shenanigans to experience intimacy and closeness.
A hug can do wonders.
A simple shoulder massage or back rub.
And you can be open tell your partner "this isn't learning anywhere, I just want this hug / back rub to be just that".
Reassure them that you do love them. Reassure them that they are still your "number one grown up".
Just that the number one little person cannot physically survive without you right now ... you will be back to them.
3. 💌 Love & Compassion
If you hold on to any Mum-Guilt it is hurting all of your relationships.
Letting it go is probably one of the the hardest things to do. Yet it is also the most valuable.
Know that you have always done the best you could, in the moment you were in, with the information you had at the time.
Forgive yourself for walking away from your screaming baby because you felt you couldn't take it any longer.
Forgive yourself for eating that delicious scone that turns out was made with butter.
Forgive yourself for not being able to get your baby to sleep.
Forgive yourself for not knowing the things you are learning now.
Be compassionate to yourself. Treat yourself as you would treat your best friend if she were going through this same experience as you.
And then allow love to refill that hole that that guilt filled.
This love is always with you. This love is why you continue to find pages like this one and continue to search for answers for your baby. This love is what shines through and allows you to continue every day.
Allow this love to engulf you, and receiving love from your partner will be easier. Allow yourself to see the love, to share the love.
4. 💌 Be Vulnerable
This is another toughie. I’ve written about it in my book too. Stop thinking your partner cannot cope with the additional strains of you feeling shit.
Your partner is a f*ck load more resilient than you think. And in fact, sharing how you’re really truly feeling can be a release for you both. As well as allowing you to strengthen each other.
There's a lot to be said for a problem shared.
It’s okay to say “I’m worried and I’m scared”.
It’s okay to say “I haven’t got a clue what to do”.
It’s okay to say “I feel like a failure – I can’t even get our baby to sleep”.
And it’s perfectly okay for the answer to be “Me too”. Because you’re in this together.
Stop assuming what they will think of you.
I guarantee that they will surprise you pleasantly. Brene Brown talks at length about vulnerability and how it is actually a strength we possess rather than the weakness we culturally perceive it to be.
So start showing up as who you are in full.
This strengthens your relationship.
And allow your partner to do the same.
There is nothing worse than feeling helpless. And this is not just you. Think of how your partner might be feeling too, helpless to help your baby and helpless to help you.
I've heard reports of some partners not being supportive. Chances are that if they are coming across this way, that maybe it's because they feel totally at a loss, they may be feeling like a failure as a dad, clueless and helpless, and so you get the stick from them.
Talk about what you have discovered
. Encourage them to google things for you. Don’t ask them to blindly google reflux. Give them specific instructions like – "will you read those blogs on Aine Homer’s blog and let me know what you think, I haven’t had a chance to look in detail yet."
Don’t just wait for them get involved…. Ask them to get involved more.
Recognise that while they cannot breastfeed and perhaps baby really only ever wants mummy, and this will change, in the meantime, there is other stuff they can do to contribute to finding the resolution.
6. 💌 Book a Date Day 💌
Date nights are frequently out of the question.
So shift the time of it.
Especially if the kid(s) are in childcare.
This doesn’t have to be anything longer than an hour, even fifteen minutes can be great if you get grandma to take baby for a walk. However there are rules.
For a Date Day (or a Five Minute Speed Date ) with your partner to work on the connection level, there is one really really REALLY important rule. NO talk about the kids.
When our kids are suffering and struggling, this can be really hard to do, but it gives you an opportunity to connect back to who you are, individually and together.
7. 💌 Learn Your Love Languages 💌
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then request The Five Love Language by Gary Chapman as a gift.
There are five unique love languages. This is, the way we each express and receive love. The most frequent source of thoughts that someone doesn’t love you come from them not speaking your language.
Something for you both to do on Thursday evening is make a commitment to each other.
Figure out what is your love language is (together) and then learn how to speak your partners love language. Try this for just one week, and see how much more loved you feel, and how much more received you find your attempts at showing love.
Please feel free to browse my website and other blogs to see how I might be able to help your baby be free from reflux sooner than them growing out of it, and allowing you to have that family life you dreamed of. Aine x