Monday, December 19, 2011

SuperParent Adventures: Having a baby is hard on the relationship

Having a baby causes your relationship with your husband/partner/significant other to change in ways you don't really expect. At least, I never expected it. I read about some of them, but thought that it would never happen to us. We are really good at talking things out and we never argue. But you know what? There are going to be those times when you are just angry because they just. don't. get. it. And they are probably feeling the exact same way about you. Here's how it's been at our place: 

Baby is not sleeping well, and wakes up every 2 hours or so. 

Here's my perspective:

I am lying there resenting Hubby because I am the one that has to get up every 2 hours with the baby. Peanut HATES the bottle, and so I have to feed him. Also, Hubby has to work in the morning, so needs sleep. So it's my "job" to get up with Peanut and attempt to put him back to sleep every. single. time. Then, after having a night of no sleep, I have to get up and spend the day with Peanut. Which is awesome, but is also exhausting; changing diapers, keeping him occupied and happy, attempting to get him to nap (which is a challenge). And since he only seems to nap in about 45 minute intervals, there's not much I can do while he does nap. I definitely can't nap myself. Sometimes I get to shower. Most days I don't. Some days I can make a nice dinner. Others, it's frozen pizza. I rarely have time to do more than tidy up a room, or do some laundry. And this makes me feel guilty. Then, Hubby comes home and wants to have some time to himself, but all I want is a break. Then it's bedtime and we start the cycle all over again. And I know he wants to help me in any way he can, and that he loves us more than anything, and that he thinks this is hard too. But sometimes I feel so alone in this. 

Here's Hubby's perspective:

He is lying there frustrated and exhausted. He knows he can't feed the baby, and feels badly that I have to get up and do it, but he's got to go and put in 9 hours at the office 5 days of the week. He has to get up at 5am and usually doesn't get home until 5pm. His job is stressful and he has a lot of responsibility. He is exhausted from interrupted sleep, and from his job. He finally gets home and wants to spend time with us, but he needs some time to unwind from the day at the office. Also, the house is getting out of control and he'd rather have something tastier than frozen pizza. Again. He doesn't get why simple things like this can't be done when I am home all day. The last thing he feels like doing after a full work day is doing the dishes. Then it's bedtime and we start the cycle all over again. And he knows that taking care of Peanut is hard work, and that it's exhausting, and that I don't get very much sleep at all, and that I'm doing the best I can. But sometimes he feels so alone in this. 

We both have tough jobs. And unfortunately it's so incredibly difficult to see it from the other side while you are sleep deprived and stressed out. And sometimes it's too easy to just get annoyed with each other and frustrated and resentful. So that's why when Hubby made a delicious pasta dinner tonight, and we poured a glass of wine and ate at the dinner table at a leisurely pace (rather than trying to eat as fast as possible before the baby starts crying, or eating in shifts and tag-teaming it) it was such a breath of fresh air. It's so easy to get caught up in the baby, that we often forget to give each other much-needed love and support. It helps when one of us turns to the other and says "This is hard", or "Thank you so much for..." or just simply "I love you". 

I am one lucky woman to have such an amazing husband. And I think he's pretty lucky to have me too. 

 What a gentleman!
Photo by Images by Frost


  1. awww it is hard sometimes isn't it? My oldest didn't sleep either and it was pretty rough on us. Everything seems worse than it really is when you've had no sleep for days on end. And nursing amplifies it because baby doesn't just want you when he's hungry - he wants you for comfort too. The good news is that it goes by fast and before you know it you'll be missing those middle of the night cuddles....hard to believe when you're in the thick of it but it's true!

  2. Hang in there it will get easier! I'm a mother of four..daughter 11, twin boys 6, and daughter 3. As a SAHM I've felt this many times. Hubs and I still have these moments but its not as frustrating my biggest problem is that I wouldn't ask for help I felt like he should know what to do to help and my resentment would finally boil over. Yikes. My advice would be let hubs come home and.unwind for half hour or so with no interruptions and then have him give you the same and after your mini vacation enjoy the evening together because 4 hands is always better than 1. And yay for him making a nice dinner.

  3. Wow Amy...thank YOU for sharing this story. Rafal and I are in the "debating stages" of should we or not. Its so nice to read about your experience and get a well rounded idea of what potential parents are getting into. I LOVE your blog. Kinga

  4. I remember this all very clearly. You summed it up perfectly. Our kids are a bit older but man we still struggle and have the same arguments over and over.

  5. This is so bang on! Amy this is so well written and captures I believe where Lindsay and I are right now and where I think a lot of couples are. Its those little things that help make the day and really understanding what those things are that your significant other require.

    The best book that both Lindsay and I read was "The 5 Love Languages" that was a lifesaver. Highly recommend it as it will really help people understand ways to connect and serve your partner in what they actually need, not what you think they do.

    GREAT post! Worthy of a Re-tweet!


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