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Relationship with DP after having a baby

(10 Posts)
beanstalk Wed 12-Sep-07 11:19:40

My DD is now 8.5 months old and since she was born I have felt my relationship with my DP suffer until we now feel that we are virtually leading separate lives. Friends warned us that the first year of having a baby puts a tremendous strain on your relationship and I realise that things are bound to be very different to when it was just the two of us but I feel very sad that I frequently feel that we are no longer a couple. He works long hours and I am at home with DD and because he gets home late I have virtually no social life, so my life revolves around DD and the house (don't get me wrong I love my time with her!). But I have little 'adult' or me time, other mums that I see during the week are lovely but we inevitably talk about kids! When I've broached the subject with DP he just says yes of course we will be leading separate lives and we knew there would be sacrifices to be made when having a baby. Is he right, is it inevitable that our relationship should suffer this much? How have other people coped because frankly I'm finding it tough!

fluffyanimal Wed 12-Sep-07 11:26:25

Sorry you are finding it hard, Beanstalk. How do you feel your relationship is suffering - are you not getting on any more, or is it just that you feel you don't see your DP much? It is a big adjustment and you do both have to make the effort to set aside some time together, even if it is only for watching a DVD over a glass of wine one evening. Without knowing if the problem goes deeper than this, it is hard to know what to suggest. Make sure your DP knows what a hard job being a full-time mum to small baby is and that you would appreciate things like e.g. time to have a relaxing bath with scented candles. Can he reorganise his work hours a bit? Sometimes I think men don't always get how hard it is just being at home with a baby. Sorry this isn't very helpful but just wanted to offer sympathy.

Sazisi Wed 12-Sep-07 11:33:43

It is bloody hard to keep the romance alive! I feel just like you sometimes.
You do need to make time for eachother; get a babysitter and go out for dinner if you don't do this already.

beanstalk Wed 12-Sep-07 11:40:49

Thanks fluffyanimal. It's not that we don't get on, more that our lives have taken such different paths that it's hard to find common ground (other than DD). I'm at home being a mum, whereas his career has taken off now and he is leading a busy life in London. At weekends we spend time together as a family, which is lovely, but I guess I just feel that without DD we wouldn't have much to talk about! I guess I would like to go out more with him, like we used to, but it's not an option as we have no-one who could babysit nearby, and it just leaves me feeling a little resentful that he is off socialising after work whilst I'm at home again. I don't want to sound ungrateful, I love being a mum, I suppose I just want to be me and a partner more as well.

hanaflower Wed 12-Sep-07 11:44:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fluffyanimal Wed 12-Sep-07 11:46:45

Perhaps you could persuade him to limit his after-work socialising to one night a week? You need to make your time at home together special. DH and I used to like to put on our favourite CDs (quietly of course), have a glass of single malt and just talk bollocks for an hour or two. You will still have things like music/film/books taste in common. You do both need to make a bit of an effort, but if you do, you'll find it easy not to feel like strangers.

figroll Wed 12-Sep-07 11:49:24

I remember how hard it was when we had our first baby, but it does get better if you have a strong relationship.

Even now, (mine are 12 and 15) we tend to spend a lot of time talking about the children! I remember going for a meal on our own when my first was little and we spent the whole time talking about her! You have to learn to accept that things change irrevocably when you have a baby and gradually things settle down.

Good luck!

Listmaker Wed 12-Sep-07 11:51:49

It's probably good to remember that it is just a phase really. If you have a good relationship you can come through it. Eventually you will get more time to yourself and feel more like the old you etc. But in the meantime try and enjoy the family times on weekends and have a meal together at home or even better go out and just chat even if it is only about your baby. Things will get better though.

Wills Wed 12-Sep-07 11:52:36

I was crap at routine for my first so possibly you'll not want this bit of advice..... BUT.... she needs to go to bed early and he needs to go into work early and come home early (dh leaves at 5.30 in the morning but at least is home by 7.30). You need to be ready to relax. Its not about getting the house straight for him to come home more that the moment he's home its time off for you both to enjoy. You need have an hour where the TV is completely BANNED and you both need to talk. This could be over dinner, whilst sharing a bath, curled up in bed etc etc etc. Also dh and I try to reserve 1 weekend a year to leave all three kids (7, 4, 15 months) with his mum and run away for some serious adult time. We go away because I can't bear to be at home without the kids being there. That one weekend a year does more for our relationship that you would ever think possible. It reminds us that we are a couple that are currently raising children but that once they leave home we're still a very much in love couple.

Also agree that you should try to make 1 evening a month a going out night for the pair of you.

beanstalk Wed 12-Sep-07 12:05:18

Thanks so much for all of your replies, it really does help to hear that it can get better and that it's not just me! The trouble is it's easy for me to start blaming him but I suppose romance is as much my responsibility as his!
fluffyanimal- love your suggestion of just putting on favourite cd's with a drink, we used to do that a lot and it's simple things like that that I've forgotten!
Also, Wills, your post has given me an idea...it's his birthday in October so I might arrange a night away for us and see if his mum will come and stay with DD. Think you're right, we probably just need a reminder of why we are together and chose to have a child together in the first place!

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