In my experience, and I really only have one data sample to back this up with, having children is difficult on a marriage.
Big news, right?
Practically speaking, there are just a lot of demands and sacrifices and poop that happens after having babies. It changes things, of course. Some of these changes mean that your relationship with your spouse is harder. Maybe feels worse. It’s easier to hate each other, really. You should get up more often with the baby so I can sleep! You should take a shower sometime this month! You should wash the dishes! You should go get more diapers!
So here I am with my list of ideas to avoid hating each other after having a baby. You never know, you might even still like each other. I do have proof that it’s possible. For this progression, I will use “him” as that is my personal experience, but switch it out to her freely!
- Stop with the “you shoulds.” To be fair, you’re probably right. He probably should tell you to sleep while he gets up with the baby. But you telling him he should isn’t going to help or change things.
- Instead, tell him your needs while acknowledging theirs. I need a few more hours of sleep. I have a baby sucking the literal life out of my cracked and bleeding nipples. I haven’t slept more than 98 minutes straight in 6 weeks, and my vagina tear is alive and well. My kitchen is out of everything except for ketchup and hot peppers and your mother is expecting me to make her dinner for her visit tomorrow. My boss told me they may not have a position for me after I’m done giving my life over to this here child. I just want to watch Netflix. No, I need to watch Netflix. I know you are overwhelmed with having to pick up dog food tomorrow, but what can we do to help us both be ok?
- Remind yourself that he really does think you’re super woman. He may not be able to admit it, and he may not KNOW he knows it, but he does. He really does.
- Make out with him. Like you’re teenagers.
- Realize that the kids are ok. If they watch tv or play video games for a bit so that you can kick up your feet and have a cup of tea with your partner, do it. DO it.
- Talk to him like he’s your friend, not your husband. Unfortunately, there is often a big difference.
- Finally. And I really do mean finally. Sleep. Sleep sleep sleep. Do whatever it takes to sleep.
And that’s that. Go with courage.