Evolution of post-natal love
At different times of our lives, under different phases of the moon and at different times in our cycles, little can be done to keep hidden the deep calderas as well as the majestic mountains of the heart. The shine of a full moon or the passing of an egg, turning the inner gaze glaringly headlong toward the emotional centre with its truth and its scars, as well as the ecstacies and the desires that guide and shape us along particular parts of our story.
Last night whilst I lay in bed, and my husband was busy chipping away at the administration of life that keeps the fiscal wheels turning, the now softer effects of a recent luteal phase passing with the relief of blood arriving, revealed a great epiphany to me about the love that sits within me and the nature of the relationship that I was in.
Shane (my darling husband) and I first met 19 years ago. At that time he was with a beautiful woman called Norz and I with a lovely gent called Ben. Both of those relationships obviously came to an end for each of us (although all the friendships remain) and it would be 10 years before Shane and I would see each other again. In that 10 years we both deeply explored adult relationships - we married, had children and then waded through the murky troughs of those relationships ending having to then morph into the much more interesting dance of the co-parent/ex-partner relationship. As anyone who has taken on someone else's children (and therefore someone else's ex) will know, that dance is not just one of the clumsiest of all but to the new relationship it can also be one of the greatest challenges. Within the immense discomforts though of course, exists the enormous opportunity to grow deeply as a couple, as well as individuals, as you explore all the sensations that arise in that dynamic.
Partly because of this complex family arrangement, three years ago Shane and I decided to have a baby. We were both 37 at the time, Shane had three children, I had two so what we were proposing was preposterous but it felt indisputably perfect at a time when our lives were changing so deeply, so positively. We decided it important to give our blended family a greater definition of connection; to link us all together in a way that was both beautiful as well as easily understood by even the smallest members. And for us, it was the giving to each other the amazing gift of raising a child together in a beautiful loving relationship - no consultation with any other party outside our own sanctuary, just the two of us (and our ahem...5 other children) making decisions together cohesively, lovingly about the present, as well as the future, of the child we shared.
It's been a wild journey ever since. Full of elation, struggle, exhaustion, endless house-meetings, celebration, laughter and concern. The greatest quantity of the latter based around the shifts in our relationship; this consistent feeling of simply never being able to get back to where we were pre-bubba. Never being able to find time for those previously abundant quickies in the walk-in wardrobe, not even a civilized cup of tea and a pash on the porch! Conversations became all about strategy, gone were many of the creative and philosophical daydreamings, the melting embraces, Friday night dance-offs in the kitchen - things had gotten serious! Although deeply happy with where we were, there was a sense of sadness and loss in 'us', we stretched ourselves thinner and thinner trying to reach back to the place where we perceived our relationship was the most perfect picture, whilst still trying to stay firmly grounded in the present and all that had to be done with a small child and so many others. We remained at peace with where we were, never any doubt in the certainly of our togetherness, we simply both missed what we believed the healthiest version of 'us'.
All of a sudden though last night, as all the cogs in my cerebral slot machine shifted into the perfect sequence for the penny to drop, I hit the relationship jackpot! The light bulb went on, the machine began to sing it's winning, carnival ditto - all of a sudden my relationship was perfect again. I realised that what had come before bub was over, we weren't that anymore. But that didn't mean we were partially broken. That phase was purposeful for Mother Nature to successfully entice us to do once again what we do well, breed, but that's not where we are any longer. Our relationship isn't failing, it is simply different. It is in fact, so much more. We share a child, we are older, we are better. Our relationship is new again, on a different level. In letting go of that old picture, in that idea that we need to keep working to go back, I could instantly see what was right before my eyes! My gorgeous best friend, Father of my child, Stepfather to my children, my rock, my confidante, my partner in a relationship that is utterly perfect absolutely as it is in it's utter imperfection and as it always will be no matter what perceptions we place upon it. I have never felt so much freedom, so much elation. This is relationship territory I have never before entered, with the wisdom now of understanding that our 'us' may continuously look different. As a restless Sagittarian, basking beneath the sensual new moon, I could not be more excited about this new found realisation of an ever-shapeshifting future as our circumstances and ourselves change to create continuously new versions of our 'us'. Of course, my wise and very stable Cancerian partner knew this all along, simply waiting patiently for me to catch up and take his hand.
What a liberation in letting go of this incredibly stale idea of harking back to something from a different time. We might not be as dynamic or as vibrant right now with our gigantic brood as we were before but we are growing successfully older together moment after moment and I am more in love with my husband today than ever before. Look at your relationship for all that you are right NOW, understand that your hormones are in a different groove for now, accept this about yourself and help your partner to accept it to. Be graceful during this time and continue to feed the creativity and passion in your life and in your relationship with simple touches and caring gestures, so when your little person becomes a little bigger and the mojo roars back to life you're not going to have to spend time re-opening your heart, you can instead get straight to the business of re-opening your vagina.