To ask about married life after baby? Help.

(56 Posts)
TryingToFixThis Wed 25-Jun-14 23:56:15

(Name changed because I don't want all my laundry on the same sn)

When I got pregnant with DD, he was great, very supportive. Did all the errand runs, picked up all the house chores because I was too tired/sick the whole time. When DD was born he was right there taking care of baby the first few nights so I could get sleep and recover after a rough week of labor, false alarms and hospital visits. He works, I stay home with DD. We split the night shifts, he does his fair share and is a hands on father. Ok, so you get it. He's an excellent DH. wink

We haven't DTD since before DD was born a few months ago. We're both feeling ready again. But I'm tired, he's tired. It just never happens.

I've been cranky and irritable for the last few weeks, not wanting any physical attention after being with DD all day. He always takes her off my hands, cooks dinner. Baby is teething, teething toys aren't working, and every day is just her fussing and crying, which just zaps all my emotional energy.

He called me at work during lunch, saying he was feeling like we were drifting and that we never see each other for more than an hour each day, where he talks and I zone out. I agreed. We said we'd talk when he gets home tonight and figure out a plan because this isn't working and we can't continue on this current path. But I said I'd plan a fun date for this Saturday as a start that we can look over when he gets home, and we'd take it from there.

Anyway, his idea of talking at the end of the day is talking about his favorite video games or showing me youtube videos. I have nothing better to talk about, and I'm bored to death of "How's baby" to change the topic. I need help articulating why this is not "talking" at the end of the day with each other.

So I need your help mn with a few things:
- Creative date ideas (I'd rather not default to dinner and a movie)
- As stupid as this sounds, conversation prompts. I got a couples journal that you fill out with each other so that's a good start.
- How to get through day with baby and still have energy.
- How did you manage married life with a baby? We spend all our energy on the baby and not on each other anymore. Is this just how it's going to be and we need to adjust or is there some sort of fix?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 26-Jun-14 00:04:00

There I'd some sort of fix. It's called 'when the baby grows up'.

I'm half-serious btw. You have a teething baby. You are in the eye of the storm. I do sincerely think it's good that he's saying 'we need to make some changes' but ultimately, what changes can be made?

That said, Carving out some couple time is a really good idea. And what's good about dinner and a movie is that the movie gives you something to talk about. So dinner and a something is definitely a good idea.

Is there anyway you can work things so you/you both get more sleep?

WooWooOwl Thu 26-Jun-14 00:07:34

There is a fix, it's call primary school, you just have to wait for it to happen!

You sound like you're on the right track just because you are conscious of it and understand what the problem is, and that will help you get through the tough early years.

As for the date, what sort of things did you enjoy together before you had a baby? Are you getting a babysitter and going out? Suggestions would be very dependant on where you live and what you have accessible.

PassTheCakeitsbeenatough1 Thu 26-Jun-14 00:08:15

The best advice I can give you is that time will help to fix this, this was exactly how my DH and I were after DS was born 18 months ago and it is only very recently starting to change. This is completely normal, and I know that everyone's situation is different but this is a similar situation to many people who have had a baby.

Once you start to have more energy, things will improve. We found that once we had communicated our fears about drifting apart to each other then things relaxed a bit, we still didn't talk etc but we tried not to worry about it and trusted that things would return to normal once we were used to life as parents, and it is starting to. Night out alone do help, but be warned that your first few will feel weird! As do a couple of afternoons together. DTD will also resume service as usual but you do have to make time for each other initially before it just becomes part of your natural life, we are still working on this part.

Don't get too focused on what you think is wrong, focus on what you would like things to be like and don't think that you're heading for a divorce just yet - give it some time.

PassTheCakeitsbeenatough1 Thu 26-Jun-14 00:08:59

Cross posts! See, were all the same smile

WooWooOwl Thu 26-Jun-14 00:10:03

grin

Fairylea Thu 26-Jun-14 00:10:17

You have a young baby. Life is difficult. I think you're expecting too much and putting too much pressure on yourself or rather your dp is.

I couldn't even have a sleep deprived conversation about what's for dinner let alone try and rekindle some sort of romantic couple time or want to bounce around the bed. Sod that.

I think for now focus on being nice to each other, working as a team for the baby and the household and remind each other that you love each other. And wait for the baby to get past teething and settled a bit and then go on some dates etc.

I think the journal idea etc is way too much hard work at this point. I'd have thrown it at my oh.

RainbowSpiral Thu 26-Jun-14 00:14:02

I'd advice making an effort to start having sex again. At the weekend when your baby is asleep for example. You kinda need to plan in the first time and if it doesn't work then try again in another nap-time.

Also I'd see if you can get a babysitter and go out to a meal or a film or anything non-baby.

And I question whether you have to spend all your energy on the baby or whether one of you can get out to an evening class or something that is different. Babies only need one adult to look after them.

I know all these suggestions feel like you need to have energy, but actually you don't need that much energy, you just need decision.

Happydaysatlast Thu 26-Jun-14 00:17:37

How old is the baby? Teething suggests 8 months plus?

Me and dh were zombies at this stage.

Reassure your dh that our baby is now 24 and he has 3 younger siblings so sex does happen eventually.

We go like trains now we are older and no littlies. grin

Seriously op it's tough, really tough

But my advice is just do it.

Thinking about working up to it is too tiring, just do it, have quick fun and sleep.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Preciousbane Thu 26-Jun-14 00:19:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TryingToFixThis Thu 26-Jun-14 00:19:36

I was really hoping the answer wasn't time, though I suspected it was. hmm wink

We split the night shift pretty well, he gets the first half before I take over so he can sleep for work. I still get about 5-6 hours of sleep, but I'm awake from 3:00am on, which tires me out by evening when DH gets home. Which used to be ok as I got a quick nap during the day, but now that she's teething, it's wake up, baby, then as soon as he gets home I just crash. He wakes me to get some sleep himself. Our internal clocks are no longer synced up, so while we have baby and physical needs covered, sex our marriage went on the back burner.

We do have the GPs that would love to take her for a weekend since they only see her once a month, but it's hard to get DH's work schedule synced with a free weekend. When it does work it's heavenly bliss. We might have a sitter for this weekend's date, but I'm not sure she'll want a screaming baby for a few hours? So, I'm looking for places we'll like that are still family friendly just in case.

We aren't from the UK, but we live in the city, so there's not really a limit on what we can do.

Tanith Thu 26-Jun-14 00:29:45

We found that one night on and one night off was the best way to deal with sleepless nights. Then at least one of us would get a decent night's sleep every other night.

Perhaps try and arrange a babysitter regularly and take some time for you both together. I wouldn't start off with a fun day, though - too much expectation! Start very slowly just getting to know each other again - even just a walk, and take it from there.

Xcountry Thu 26-Jun-14 00:40:35

I slept when baby slept - screw the housework for a day, bung it all in a cupboard or something till tomorrow and dinner is always a good place to start but dress up for it, put some fancy knickers on, or don't put any at all on, whatever is fine.

If you can get a babysitter then do it but if not try and get baby off to sleep quick.

What about bringing out old photos and talking about the stuff from before? or playfighting? playfighting always leads to sex in my house, as does tickling and massage. Its not easy but keep at it and find what works for you, we can all offer suggestions but ultimately it comes down to what fits into your relationship.

TryingToFixThis Thu 26-Jun-14 01:00:57

I think the journal idea etc is way too much hard work at this point. I'd have thrown it at my oh.

Oh, it's light hearted and designed to have only one word answers and multiple choices you can circle (really, I think it's meant for teens). I think it's just good to get the conversation going and away from the video game side.

43percentburnt Thu 26-Jun-14 06:28:33

We have a 10 month baby. I work ft, dh is a sahd. Possibly not for you but we cosleep to maximise our sleep makes it really easy to feed and sleep. He wakes, latches on and falls back to sleep. It's still early days at present, things are different.

We both listen to radio 4 and discuss things we have heard that day.

What about a trip to museums, parks etc my ds is so much less grizzly when he is out and about. We try and walk to the park with him most evenings. It calms him, we have a forward facing pushchair and we point things out to him, leaves, trees, flowers, dogs! Often people stop and chat to him! He's happier outside even when teething. On my days off I try and get us out of the house as much as possible. Visited a farm and he was teething badly, but didn't grizzle at all as so much was going on. Then he may sleep in his pram.

We haven't had an evening out by ourselves yet, despite several willing babysitters. But we are happy doing baby things (dh hates leaving him). It does pass, we have a teenager too and eventually they are at parties every weekend - yr 1 school onwards! You'll feel like a taxi service.

CrohnicallyExhausted Thu 26-Jun-14 06:39:56

DH and I had more luck with early morning sex (when DH wasn't at work). We'd laze around, have breakfast in bed with DD, then as soon as she was put down for a nap we'd get on with it. We were both too tired in the evenings and once we were in bed for the night we were getting as much sleep as we could.

We also did a lot of baby friendly days out- open farms, trips to a local touristy town, country parks, museums. It gave us something to talk about and DD was happy to be dragged about and given new things to see/people to talk to. It doesn't have to be expensive either, there are a lot of free/very cheap things around!

I got out with DD a lot while DH was at work too. She was also very fussy and cranky at times, and I found that a change of scene would often quiet her, and adult company (or at least talking to an adult!) helped me get through it. I made sure I got out of the house at least once a day, even if it was just a walk to the shops for bread and milk.

Igggi Thu 26-Jun-14 06:45:09

Good lord you're baby is a few months old. Relationships are like a marathon, not a sprint. Right now you're chuffing up a great big hill.
I'm not saying it's not a good idea to try to get some time together (which would likely lead to sex later, rather than the other way around), but phrases like "this isn't working" and "can't continue" set alarm bells off for me.

Igggi Thu 26-Jun-14 06:45:39

Your [blush ]

KnackeredMuchly Thu 26-Jun-14 06:47:17

I recommend doing some bonding activities the three of you - swimming, the zoo, a walk round the park, lunch out.

Learn to connect when your daughter is there too.

PickleMobile Thu 26-Jun-14 06:57:28

I've found what helps is keeping contact with each other. A little hug or a snog kiss every now and again just helps to reconnect and let each other know you're there iyswim and stops you feeling like you're living with a friend or sibling!

Our dd is 15mo and even now some days I don't want to be touched after a day of her either hanging off my leg or boob but it is lots better than it was. Hang in there!

JapaneseMargaret Thu 26-Jun-14 07:00:04

So far, so normal.

A baby throws a bomb into the best of relationships.

Relationships are easy when it's just the two of you - hanging out, having fun, shooting the breeze, no real responsibilities. What's not to coast along with and enjoy, about all of that?

When a baby lands on the scene, you're less lovers and friends, and much more colleagues, almost.

Working side-by-side to get the damn job done. It's not all about the fun for a while, it's about getting through the day in one piece.

This is the test of a good relationship - how well you adjust to being 'colleagues' for a temporary amount of time. How good a team are you, actually, when it comes down to it? It's easy to be a team when you're hanging out in beer gardens, or indulging in city breaks, or lying in on a Sunday reading the papers. It's much more of a test of your team-ness, and your friendship, and your basic compatibility when you have a baby.

This tin-hats-on-heads-down-and-get-on-with-it phase is only temporary, as everyone says. But you will come out of it the other side, quite a different couple. For better or for worse.

Don't put too much pressure on yourselves. And day-time, nap-coinciding sex is your friend. No-one is up for anything but sleep at bed time, when there's a new baby on the scene.

beccajoh Thu 26-Jun-14 07:04:31

I think you expectations are a bit high. You've got a baby and you're sleep deprived. Why don't you try shifting things about so you each get one night off completely per week. When it's your turn for a night off schedule it when your DH doesn't have to get to work the following day. Go to bed earlier - seriously, just get into bed at 8pm. The extra couple of hours' sleep really does make a difference. I found things got quite a bit easier at around 15-18 months as DD was mostly sleeping through the night and she could feed herself and so on. DS was then born when she was 18 months and we started all over again lol.

As for you and DH, as nice as it is to go out together sometimes it's not that easy. In our house we make a real effort not to talk shop all the time. Stick baby in the pushchair and go for a walk somewhere. Go to a museum, nice countryside walk etc. have date night at home - do something silly like a board game, order a pizza etc. Don't talk about your baby or how tired you are.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Thu 26-Jun-14 07:04:55

You sound like me and DH a few months ago!

As a pp put it, you need to get to know each other again. Book a sitter and do something you used to enjoy pre DC. For us it was a meal out and cocktails. We have a "no phone" rule on dates: obv. we keep a phone with us in case the sitter calls, but we are not allowed to check for texts/tweets/fb updates (harder for DH than for me).

The first date was a bit awkward initially as we were struggling for things to say but then we laughed about it and soon had a normal conversation going again.

As for sex, well while DD slept in our room we DTD in the living room, and we had to plan it at first and a lot of the time I was too tired but keep trying and eventually it will get going again.

Try and carve out some time for yourself, you will find that you probably have more energy when you do, and it will also help you with conversation topics with DH.

It will get better OP, you have done the hardest bit now and things should gradually start getting easier.

beccajoh Thu 26-Jun-14 07:07:38

Ps. not having anything to talk about - I'm a SAHM too and I really have to make an effort with this. Read the BBC website for ideas. Or other news websites. Stop saying "How's baby?" It's so boring to talk about your baby all the time, but easy to do when it's all you do day in day out.

ApocalypseThen Thu 26-Jun-14 07:28:26

I'd definitely watch the you tube videos in the meantime though. They might just prompt something to talk about, you might find one that makes you laugh and letting him make the effort always helps.

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