By Crazy in motherhood.
“texting your husband in the same room coz the baby is sleeping”
As many mothers already know (and let this be a lesson for mothers-to-be), babies are pretty light sleepers. A tiny rustle can wake them up at times. And in that first year, when you are sleep-deprived and have a mile long list of things to do, you really really really want your baby to have a nice good sleep.
Another thing that used to wake my baby up was her daddy’s voice. He just could not whisper! And he did not understand sign language either!
So imagine this: I am in the process of laying my baby down for her nap when the hubby walks in. I wave my hand frantically, signing that he should close the door so the baby doesn’t wake up from the sound of TV and all other family members outisde) ( My hubby looks at me, looks at the door and then LOUDLY asks “What?”
And there you go. Baby starts to move and whimper. I sigh in despair and forget about my mile long list….
This scene and many similar ones were on repeat throughout those first few months. So you can see, there really wasn’t any chance for my hubby and me to connect. Outside of our room, we would get busy with other family members, other activities. We were slowly but surely drifting apart and I bet many of you can relate. It’s quite common for couples to get out of sync on the arrival of a baby. Husbands try to blend into the background as their wives learn the art of mothering. And I didn’t like that. Especially since I wanted my hubby to be as involved as possible in celebrating our baby’s milestones (and feeling equally tormented on the bad days! Hahaha!)
That’s when I started texting him regularly. We use phones to contact distant family and friends, why not use it to bring our little family even closer? So on the nights we didn’t get to talk about our day, we would text. Sometimes our whole conversation would be based on exchanging emoji’s.
And it helped. It definitely did.
Not only did it make us closer and tightly knit as a family, it also increased our confidence since we knew we were facing all the obstacles together. And truth be told, it improved my hubby’s relationship with the baby. Sure they loved each other abundantly before but my hubby used our texting to learn about which games and stories our baby liked and what was a total no-no. And he could boast about all the cute things baby did, even though he wasn’t actually around to witness it (why just text when you can send videos!)
Just to add more credibility, my research also showed similar results. Integrating social media within family life (in moderation, of course) helps bring families closer. In today’s busy world, social media has become the rope that tethers family members to each other. Exchanging messages, images and other media allows us to give and take the personal appreciation that is so needed within a well bonded family. Playing online games together creates positive memories and improves understanding between family members. Overall, if social media is used right, it can add value to your relationships.
As one article quotes: “It may sound simplistic, but a handful of sweet, personalized “pings” over the course of a day can easily equal one expensive date night in terms of how much closeness it generates. Texting in this way reminds her that you’re thinking of her – an easy way to show her that you care. It also, just as importantly, reminds you that you care.”
Regular messaging with hubby seems like good practice for the future social interactions when kids are all grown up. (Hope it doesn’t get more complicated than this by then!)
Asatryan K. How texting can strengthen a relationship. Psychology Today. 2015
Howell B. Using social media to strengthen family bonds. Fuller Youth Institute. 2013
Kennedy-Eden H. Do smartphones bring us closer? Family life and vacation perspective. ICTT. 2014
Crazy in motherhood.
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