EVERYONE SAYS the first year you have a baby is the most difficult on your relationship and in terms of adjusting to life as a new parent. With a now 14 month old, I can look back on the first year and see that in some ways it flew by and in other ways those first few weeks home with a newborn felt like slow motion.
B.C. (Before Charlie) I enthusiastically wrote articles about the importance of date night and taking time as a couple to reconnect and spice things up. When I read through my words of wisdom, I half laugh and half cringe because the truth is, when you are in the thick of it, the last thing you want to do is make time to put on fancy clothes and have a dynamic conversation.
What my husband and I learned that first year is whenever we did try to get out for an evening we were both so tired and grouchy from the balance of a new baby, careers and day-to-day responsibilities that we would end up being short with one another and a ridiculous argument would start. We agreed that for us a night of reconnecting (for now) meant quiet time, baby asleep and Netflix. Anything else felt like too much pressure.
And then something magical happened. We came back to New York for the holidays and my sister Kathy and brother-in-law Kris gave us Alexa for Christmas. If you don’t know, Alexa is a wireless speaker that will play music for you, get the weather, and give you all sorts of information just by the sound of your voice. You just tell Alexa want you want to hear and voila, your favorite song will begin to play.
We set her up New Year’s Eve, put the baby to sleep and instead of crashing in exhaustion on the sofa I asked Alexa to play top 1985 Billboard Hits. The kitchen was filled with all of my junior high favorite songs and soon, get this, my husband and I were talking and laughing and playing more and more music as the night went on.
Sometimes when you are stuck in the rut of day-to-day life and you need a pick-me-up, the answer really is as simple as some good music. You don’t necessarily have to make a drastic change to change it up- just ask Alexa, she’ll tell you.
Music has a way of creating nostalgia, joy, inspiration and bringing us a sense of connection with one another. Music can take us from feeling flat and depleted to refreshed and inspired.
While I am the first to encourage everyone to get into counseling to help you through the tough times, Alexa may just be what the doctor ordered.
Alexa is the date night we needed and Charlie’s new big sister. I’m trying to figure out how to get her to vacuum but that’s for another day. Today, I will enjoy the music.
Wishing you a magical 2018 full of music & Alexa!