I’m sure many of you shudder like me when they hear parents of young kids say they haven’t been on a date in a super long time! I know there are special circumstances however I couldn’t image going so long without quiet time and intimacy in my marriage! Today, Chelsea shares her frustration and wisdom on why the world cyber bullied Chrissy Teigan and John Legend for doing the healthiest thing for their marriage.
Let me begin by telling you that this post comes from a place of extreme frustration! I reread it after typing it up and it’s really nothing short of a rant. But bare with me.
After viewing a recent Twitter rant some moms left on Chrissy Tiegen’s page I feel drawn to write this. Recently, model, Chrissy Tiegen & singer, John Legend had a baby girl. As most parents do, I’m sure they’re loving the snuggles, taking zillions of pictures, and falling more in love with her each day. I also bet they’re exhausted, confused at times, and trying their very hardest to be great parents. A big difference with them among other parents (or at least between my husband and I) is that they are very much in the public eye, however, causing them to easily be under scrutiny in certain situations. The thing they did that caused such an uproar was to go on a date WITHOUT their newborn baby.
People questioned their love for their child, speculated who on Earth could be close enough to be trusted with their baby, shamed them again and again, and some even had the audacity to make overly personal and inappropriate statements about Chrissy’s recovering lady parts!
Well although I have no celebrity status I was offended and caught off guard by these downright MEAN responses! Why? Because many of the same things could have been said to my husband and I. Here I sit with our now 8 month old baby, thinking back on how we left her when she was ELEVEN DAYS old. For what you ask? Yup, a date night! No, we didn’t abandon her as people apparently look at it, we left her with her ever doting grandmother who had already experienced raising a child, two actually.
Your first days, heck, weeks, as a parent are fabulous but they are H A R D. Every single thing is brand new. It’s downright exhausting and while my happiest days of my life truly and deeply are my daughter’s first weeks of life, they were a struggle. Less than two weeks into parenthood I made the decision to have a date night because I could already tangibly feel how our relationship was shifting.
My husband had been exhaustingly waiting on me hand and foot, our every conversation had been about different breastfeeding positions, nipple creams, whether I needed more water in my peri bottle, baby pee, baby poop, quite honestly, my poop. These topics, though my sweet husband took them on so openly, were not romantic. We were definitely testing out the “unconditional” parts of our marriage much more than ever before. We were tired, yet not only did we promise we’d still be husband and wife, not just Mom and Dad after baby, we also promised to date each other. We’d been going on weekly date nights for years. With that in mind and the fact that our newborn daughter was currently asleep on her grandmother’s chest and wouldn’t even know we were gone, I got a maxi skirt, t-shirt, sandals, and makeup on and we went on a date.
I may have cried leaving the neighborhood and we may have only been gone for an hour but it was time we needed to reconnect. After all, our love is the very thing that created that beautiful daughter of ours to begin with!
So here’s a word of advice. Stop! Stop with the mom shaming! Stop with the dad shaming! Stop with the parent shaming! Stop trying to make parents feel guilty for something just because it would make you feel guilty. Whether it’s a celebrity or your best friend, let them navigate the parenting waters. Let parents parent and mind your own business!
And while you are welcome to comment on this post as you please, before you make any negative comments, sit back and think about how hard it is to be a parent. Parents are the only ones who know how hard it is yet they are typically the ones that are hardest on one another. And for anyone that isn’t a parent and makes negative comments, just do everyone a favor and stop. No offense, but you truly have no idea what you’re talking about until you’re going through the motions. Believe me, none of us did.
And to those parents who have unfortunately dealt with the shaming. Ignore it.
If your child is well cared for, loved, and you’re doing the best you can, there’s nothing more you can do anyway. You can only take good care of your babies once you’ve taken good care of yourself first. And you can only be a good example of how to successfully build a marriage by modeling it for your children.
Now go model a good marriage and snag a sitter for that date night. Your kids will thank you later, I promise.
(A version of this piece was originally published to http://www.andthenlife.com)
More about Chelsea:
Hi all! I’m Chelsea, blogger over at And Then Life! I am married to my best friend from college, John, and we live in the lovely state of Virginia. I am stay-at-home mama to our 10 month old daughter and an assortment of rescue animals (just dogs and a cat at the moment). I love watching Friends on repeat, eating too many donuts, and traveling to all corners of our country and the world
I am a former elementary school teacher with a masters degree in reading. I have enjoyed writing since a young age, but only just launched my blog five short months ago. I have a long way to go, by I’m having a blast. I am ever so humbled by those that take the time to read my work. It really is an incredible feeling and something I will never take for granted. Xo