I still remember in vivid detail those frenetic first weeks after bringing my firstborn home. After the blur of guests filed in and out of my house to meet our newest family member, my husband and I began to settle into a new routine; one that was rife with postpartum hormones and surges of feeling insecure about these new roles we suddenly found ourselves in. I had a million different emotions tugging at my heart in those days, and one of them was one I’d never really heard articulated by anyone else until now: Feeling jealous of all the love my husband was suddenly showering onto our child — instead of me.
Was that normal?! Heck YEAH it was. I just didn’t know it at the time.
Reality star and new mom Whitney Port knows exactly what I am talking about. In a recent column on Flare, Port shared with readers that after welcoming her first child Sonny back in July 2017, she was secretly worried her husband Tim Rosenman would love the newborn more than her.
“Timmy is a very attentive husband,” Port shared, “but after his paternity leave ended, he’d come home from work and immediately go into the baby’s room without so much as a hello to me.”
I read these words and immediately thought, Girl, I know exactly what you’re talking about! There were times my eyes were green with jealousy in the beginning, too.
There were other layers to Port’s emotions, though. As Port explains in her column, she recognizes her feelings may not totally be rational, but they’re steeped in some personal history of loss.
“After my dad died, I became a significantly more fragile version of my former self,” the reality star wrote. “The emotional complexity of my loss created an influx of anxiety. I was constantly sad — for my own loss, but even more so, for my mom’s loss. Thinking about her loneliness tormented me. I’d compare my life to those around me and throw pity parties for myself. I cried every day for that first year without him, and looked at life with a different perspective.”
That perspective has ultimately led to a sense of wisdom that she’s clearly using now to navigate the choppy waters of parenting. Port writes that while she acknowledges she has emotional baggage, she refuses to let it stop her from trying to be the best mother and wife she can be.
“This could be yet another insecurity I’m sharing with you, but I feel the need to say that Timmy and I sincerely do have a wonderful relationship,” Port explains. “We communicate openly, we fight fair, we want to be with each other.”
But as with any healthy marriage, just because there’s plenty of love and respect to go around, it doesn’t mean that insecurity won’t rear its ugly head, too.
“Timmy is the funniest person I know, who always puts family first, and I trust his opinion about everything,” writes Port. “But all those good bits don’t cancel out my insecurities. I wish they would.”
It took a few months of settling into motherhood before I relaxed enough (and my hormones calmed down a bit) to see that even though I was totally new at what I was doing, my husband and I were — and still are — a great team, and our love has grown and evolved in the years since. For Port, this lesson in letting time take its course is just now coming into sight; but I’m sure she’ll see it more clearly in the months and years ahead.
“I truly believe that if the core of your family isn’t strong, the rest will fall apart,” writes Port. “That’s why, when Timmy and I aren’t on the same page, I remind myself that nothing is set in stone, that our relationship is constantly evolving.”
If you ask me, I think that’s something we could all stand to remind ourselves of from time to time.