to ask you if you went through some really rough patches with your partner after baby?

(55 Posts)
Toizzy Mon 12-May-14 16:14:20

that's it really, would like to hear people's experiences sad

widdle Mon 12-May-14 16:25:13

Yes!! Our problems stemmed from the fact that DH didn't really process how different our lives were going to be after baby arrived. He still came home from work and just sat on the sofa, didn't help with DS, stayed up late then complained that he was tired because DS wouldn't settle.

After a few weeks I flipped and told him I wasn't coping and we had to have a plan to get through the first few months. One issue would be that I would spend an hour putting Ds to bed then come back out to a living room that still looked like a bomb hit it, no dinner being prepared and DH sat on the sofa watching TV!! Now when I put DS to bed DH tidies up and cuts up veggies and meat so I can finish off dinner when I get out.

It's very hard and communication is key if you think your DH isn't pulling his weight.

widdle Mon 12-May-14 16:27:11

What kind of issues are you having by the way?

Fairylea Mon 12-May-14 16:28:10

What's the problem? Maybe we can tailor our experiences to help smile

ocelot41 Mon 12-May-14 16:30:35

Oh yes. Oh boy yes. And I totally wasn't expecting it because we had been together so long and were so happy together. Tell us more and let us support you.

CailinDana Mon 12-May-14 16:32:30

There were some tough moments, but it was basically down to both of us getting used to having a baby around. Once we'd ironed that out it was ok really.

What's going on with you?

Groovee Mon 12-May-14 16:32:41

I felt dh thought he could continue to have the life we had before children. It was quite hard and we had to learn to communicate again.

After ds we both found it hard, that dh made a point of getting us a babysitter once a month, so we could have a meal without worrying about the children.

Oh yes, and I totally wasn't expecting it either! We started to get back on track and then I got pregnant with dd2 and we were back to square one again. They're 11 and 7 now, and I wouldn't go back to the baby days if you paid vasts amounts of money. It's so much easier now.

You do need to work together and he needs to realise how difficult it can be with a new baby. I think at first a lot of men don't get how hard it is as they go back to work after 2 weeks. My DH was like this AND he'd done it before with DSD! hmm

*paid me

ChairOfTheBored Mon 12-May-14 16:37:42

Ooh yes. DC1 arrived at the start of this year, and I swear we have had more periods of grumpiness and cross words in the last four months than in the previous 10 year's of our relationship!

In part it's the tiredness, in part the hormones (mine) and partly the sense that neither of us know what we're doing but somehow expect the other one to get it right every time.

It helps to be conscious of this, and of what triggers us to grump, and of course to apologise. We have both made a conscious effort to talk more about concerns and to be more open and constructive about how we're feeling.

I have had to do this more than him I think, as I'm the one who has experiences the greatest change (career, and being in control to days at home, where having a. Shower and us both being cleanish and alive at the end of the day is actually a pretty big accomplishment!) I found it was important to be open about how I was feeling, and ask explicitly for things that might help.

To be completely fair to DH, he's very good, walks through the door at work, changes out of his suit and is straight into Daddy Duty. He also does a lot around the house, though at time this makes me feel worse, as it feels like I'm capable of even less than before (know I shouldn't moan, it's a good problem to have!)

It also helped DH to talk to other new dads to get an understanding of the realities of life with a newborn, and appreciate what my days were like now -it's not all coffee mornings and nice walks out...

It's a cliche, but we try never to go to bed angry (indeed in the early days DD helped with this as I rarely seemed to actually go to bed at all!)

Binkybix Mon 12-May-14 16:38:27

Yes! Came as a total surprise. DS is nearly 11 months and things have improved a lot, but still have some issues.

Revengeofthechocolatebunny Mon 12-May-14 16:43:09

Yes. My Now-Ex was helpful to a point but he kept phoning his daft sister for advice and then undermining things that I wanted to do. One idea was to watch a film when DD fell asleep as "she'll wake up soon anyway and you'll be more tired keep waking up to deal with her than if you were awake anyway". He also tried to pick her up from new born by pulling on her arms until I stopped him. And invited people around so would say, "Joan and Fred are popping in at 11" so I would think, OK, then I can do XYZ before/after, but he hadn't told me that Bill & Ben were popping in at 12 and then Ethel over the road was going to pop in at 1 etc... I made him go back to work early so I could get her routine organised without him countermanding every bloody decision I made!

As soon as he was back to work she was a dream baby.

Oh and he also kept phoning MY mother when DD was crying (babies DO cry, and it was perfectly normal, just hungry/bored/wet bum etc ) so she kept having panicky discussions with him and my aunts about me not coping too well and should she come down to take over help.

The crowning point came one morning at around 3 mos old when she was asleep in her carry cot, at the end of the bed, on its stand. He went to work at 4am and decided it would be a good idea to take the cot off the stand and put the carry cot on the floor next to the bed, right where I would jump out of bed. DD cried, I woke, went to leap out, saw her right underneath me and had struggle to do a sideways roll to land beside the cot and not jump on to her! He just could not see how he had been irresponsible! angry

SydneyB Mon 12-May-14 16:43:29

Best piece of advice I was given while pregnant with our first was to look after each other and the rest would follow. I tried to remember that in those first tough months. It's really, really hard but does get better. I think the impact on the mum is so hard but they've had months to prepare whereas for the dad it's very sudden and there's also not an awful lot they can do to help if you're breastfeeding etc. You kind of expect your partner to totally understand what you're going through which of course they can't. Be kind and patient with each other and it should calm down.

Stupidgrl Mon 12-May-14 16:54:03

Who was it who describes the effect of a baby as being like a hand grenade going off in a marriage?

slithytove Mon 12-May-14 16:56:47

Yes, it took DH nearly 9 months to realise that DS comes first, life is different now, we both have less free time, that I am not primary caregiver once he is home from work, and that you can't play FIFA while supervising a mobile baby.

He got there, and now we have another on the way what the hell have I let myself in for

I think sometimes, men just take a wee bit longer than women to realise that this new little person is top dog for a while. Maybe something to do with us being pregnant and already making sacrifices for that little person, I don't know.

If you had a good relationship before, I'm sure you will get there.

Toizzy Mon 12-May-14 16:56:52

thanks widdle

our baby is actually nearly 1 but not a very good sleeper and i think lack of sleep might be a big part of it. I do believe we are dealing with all the "classics" : tired, not enough time just the two of us, not enough sex..
We had a massive argument yesterday and we both agreed that things were no good at the moment.And he actually started out with "I think we should not be together anymore etc".
I should add that we are both quite "dramatic" i suppose and we've often said that during big arguments.
Then we just make up and get back to normal.
I think this time feels different because things have been so difficult for a few months now.
we made up last night but i've bee, thinking about it all day and im feeling quite sad actually and lonely.

I don't know if this is just because of the strain of being a parent or if we are not meant to be and parenthood has brought that fact out.

we alwayd used to do loads together before, liked the same things mostly and like to have a good time, partying etc.
Now im still breastfeeding so can't drink for example and he says im not as fun as before!

There are also things we disagree on, like leaving the baby to cry or not.And other parenting issues.

He said I've been nagging him and I believe he is right, I should learn to keep my mouth shut when it's not important, and I am really going to pick my battles from now on. He is great woth our baby, he truly adores him but is useless when baby is crying and not sleeping well. I dont think he understands that a baby isn't a fully developed adult that you can reason with, i think he didn't realize either how much a baby changes things..

we do actually still love each other, i just don't know if that is enough?
I think i want to think that as baby gets a bit older, sleeps better, stops breastfeeding and that we are consequently able to sleep properly, have more couple time and are able to go out more things will get better.But I don't know, I'm very confused.

slithytove Mon 12-May-14 17:03:44

I think the best things for us were:

Not raising issues when angry. It's much easier to talk things through out of the heat of the moment.

Don't compare tiredness. Fucking difficult if you are doing night feeds, DH sleeps through and then whinges how tired he is in the morning!

Remember in your worst moments, you made that baby together, you are both to blame grin but that you made that baby together, and it is the best thing in the world.

Remember too - whatever is going on, all of this will pass. We just went through the 12 month sleep regression. Utter hell, but google told us it would last for 6 weeks. So we went with it, didn't bother with the routine or stressing out, just lots of cuddles and coping, and lo and behold, 6 weeks later, things are calm again.

As for baby time, obviously you haven't said what your issues are, but again here is what helped us.

Allocation of jobs (shared cooking, I did all shopping, tidying and laundry, he did the bins and cats etc)

Online shopping and meal planning. Really takes the pressure off.

Depending on his job, shared parenting once he has finished work.

At least one night a week each off from parenting, to go out, sleep, bath, veg on the sofa, whatever.

And one weekend lie in each.

This became much easier once DS was 6months, on solids and in his own room.

Hth x

slithytove Mon 12-May-14 17:10:59

Ok, just read your last post.

If you get through it, things will get better.

What is baby's sleep pattern? They are old enough to drop a night feed now if they haven't already. Are they in their own room? That helped us massively.

R.e. Sleep training. Sit down one night, and agree that you need to start looking into this. Start with the 'kindest' method, something like pick up put down. We did this and after a week we had a different child. The first 2 nights were fucking awful, but so worth it. I went into DS's room every 5 minutes for 3 hours lol! But each night it got better. Removing sleep associations like bf or cuddling to sleep also helps. Agree on a method and a time frame to try it (usually 2 weeks) and go for it. If that fails, choose a different one. If you tell us more about baby's routine and eating etc maybe we can offer more help.

You can drink while bf, especially if you get rid of any night feeds. It sounds like one date night a month might really help - at home if you don't have childcare. A few glasses of wine once baby is in bed won't hurt anything. Does baby take a cup? Could you express for that one occasion a month?

If it helps, DH and I are also drama queens, have said all those things in your post and much worse, but we love each other and are staying together.

When he comes home today, tell him you love him, love baby (usually elicits a smile) and are starting over. Then another day, preferably when he is not tired, ask him for a chat and discuss some, not all of the above. Start with something good like the one night off a week each smile

Keep posting, you will be ok

slithytove Mon 12-May-14 17:11:34

Oh also, do you get out of house and do stuff with baby? Stuff on your own? Do you work?

widdle Mon 12-May-14 17:12:43

Oh my dear! I am so sorry - I assumed that the baby was a newborn.

My DS is also nearly 1 and a rubbish sleeper and I have to say that me and DH are finally back on track emotionally (although sex is a completely different matter!!)

I'm also still breastfeeding so our situations sound very similar.

But my DH would never say anything hurtful to me or say I was nagging. I think the first few years are just incredibly hard especially if you get a nonsleeping baby!! Your DH really needs to realise that and be a support to you. Does he everr look after baby so that you get some time to yourself?

Do you still try to do things together? Get a babysitter and go out? I have let this slide recently because of the sleep deprivation but have decided to get a baby sitter during the daytime so that we can at least go to the cinema. Do you think he just said he wasn't happy in the heat of the moment or is there something else that makes you think he is serious?

I am so sorry that you are feeling so lonely. Do you have family support at the moment? Anyone that can give you a break from parenting so that you can spent some time as a couple?

widdle Mon 12-May-14 17:16:55

slithytove's post is so much better than mine!! Ha ha.

YY to one lie-in each at the weekend

Preciousbane Mon 12-May-14 17:17:44

We just couldn't go out and do things spontaneously anymore and we live hundreds of miles from our relatives , plus the sleep deprivation was crap.

We did controlled crying at six months and then decided that as we were never going to have childcare easily available we better just take him along with us. So he came out to lunch and dinner with us and we bought a rucksack and popped him in it to go hill walking.

Babies are lovely but if it just baby and housework it is horribly dull.

widdle Mon 12-May-14 17:28:04

Oh and I still drink wine too - DH has it already for as soon as I get out of DS's bedroom grin As long as there is a t least a couple of hours between BF's you are fine

VenusDeWillendorf Mon 12-May-14 17:34:48

Oh yes.

Very much so.

But all worked out in the end, if a steep learning curve.

Yy to one weekend lie in, in complete isolation- absolutely no "where are the bottles / wipes?" kind of interruptions!

Toizzy Mon 12-May-14 17:45:03

Thank you so much for all of your replies i already feel a bit better thanks to them.Will read and reply a bit later as making tea smile

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