Another taboo topic to tackle. I know I can't possibly be the only one who feels that the first year of having a child has been extremely hard on my marriage. Here we were two happily married individuals who created a life together, and were so excited to have a family, and now my husband is annoying the shit out of me on the daily.
Running on no sleep and nurturing a sweet baby all day and night left me with no ability to nurture my marriage. And I wasn't the only one riding the annoyed train, so was my husband. He was annoyed I was annoyed by him, when he felt like all he was trying to do was help.
Little to no sleep, no sex drive, and a new baby is not how Stella got her groove back, let me tell ya.
There were days I was envious of him getting in his car alone, no baby to buckle in, driving to work where he could be alone in his office with no baby chapping his nipples. There he was the man of my dreams, the selfish asshole who GOT TO go to work and be alone all day. While here I was, no sleep, no makeup and freshly curled hair, nope! I was at home with a baby attached to my body all day long. I lost the ability to shower and pee alone, I resented my husband for all of it. It sounds crazy, but it's real.
Those resentments build if you're not careful. I'm thankful that my husband is understanding and knew I was crazy when he married me.
This is the stuff no one prepares you for when you are becoming a parent for the first time, the real raw emotions of your new reality. I suppose it’s one of those things you just have to experience for yourself.
Like when you’ve been up all night nursing the baby and you look over at your charming husband fast asleep and wonder if he’d flinch if you hit him over the head with the Boppy. You know those moments.
The chores and laundry seem to never end and the things you two once left out, are now grounds for divorce. I have never been so annoyed to see a knife with peanut butter sitting on the counter than I was post baby. In my head I’m thinking, here I am cleaning up after a baby all day long and here comes my husband who also needs to be picked up after, NOT going to happen. I was enraged at that peanut butter knife. But on the flipside, my husband didn’t leave the knife out on purpose to make me feel like Gone Girling him, he just simply forgot. These are the moments when open and honest communication is key to a lasting marriage (I believe).
Now before we get into some tips on helping your marriage run smoother, I am not perfect and my marriage is far from perfect but we do take the time to listen to each other and work on our communication skills. Notice I said, “work” it’s always a work in progress.
While in the midst of tears and Chardonnay, while I was pricking the voodoo doll of my husband I came across this article on Parents.com , “Marriage after baby: 6 problems and solutions”. I wanted to share a few key takeaways that resonated with me, and hopefully with you.
- Chores: Constant nagging can lead to resentments. Try posting a to-do list on the fridge and designate out what each of you are going to do, so you know what to take care of.
Parenting Styles: The constant bickering over who is disciplining right or implementing nap time routine correctly isn’t getting you anywhere. Try to find a common ground where you can meet in the middle. It’s hard to release control for me, so this takes practice. Example: Maybe you want to implement cry it out, but your spouse doesn’t want to, then maybe let him be the one who stays up all night and the next day with a baby who isn’t sleep trained and see how fun that is.
Sex: Sex is fun, but sleep is better. Try scheduling times to do it, I know that may sound like it takes the spontaneity out, but just do it, or else… you won’t be doing each other.
Couple Time: It’s so important to have couple time. Time where the two of you can get dressed up for each other and go on a date and talk about adult things, and maybe wait an hour before swapping phones to look at pictures of your baby.
Alone Time: As annoying as it can be to let him go play a round of golf, or go running in the evening do it. Let him recharge so he has the energy to be as helpful as possible, and the same goes for you mama! IT’S mandatory for you to have some alone time. Ask your husband to take the kids and you stay behind and read a book and nap, or go get a pedicure. You both need to recharge, but have it be equal. If he’s playing golf every week and you are getting a pedicure every few months, then that is grounds for real resentment to build. And just so we’re all clear if there’s any men reading this, golf takes like a thousand hours and a pedicure is 45 minutes, so take the kids and drive far away when it’s her alone time. :)
Stefan and I are a work in progress and our one year journey of parenting so far has been incredible and incredibly frustrating, but I think that is normal. I feel that it’s all about how you communicate solutions to your new problems. Having respect and understanding will get you much further than blaming and bickering.
Till next time mama!