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How did your relationship change after your first baby?

(14 Posts)
MunchkinJess Sun 30-Mar-14 22:17:55

my partner and I have been together nearly 4 years. we have a DD who is 6 months old and was planned.

What I wasn't prepared for emotionally or mentally was how having a baby can change your relationship for good and bad so dramatically. we have always had a good relationship so it never entered my mind that having a baby would change it so much. I knew their would be strain at the start due to lack of sleep but beyond that I didnt picture anything else, maybe very naive of me.

I love my partner and daughter to bits, but lately my relationship with my partner has been a bit hard.

How was your relationship changed since having a baby?

Smartiepants79 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:23:29

Well sex was off the menu for quite a while so the intimacy side was strained for a bit. Just starting to get back a bit 3 years and another baby later.
But having children has shown me sides of my husband that I'd not seen before and has strengthened our bond immeasurably. He is much more patient, forgiving and better in a crisis than I'd given him credit for.
Also I've found have having children empowering. I think our relationship is more honest now as I've got better at speaking my mind and sticking to my guns.

rootypig Sun 30-Mar-14 22:24:38

It hit the skids!

I explain it to as yet childless friends as having to manage a project with your partner. Which noone in their right mind would want to do. But you love the project very much. Which actually makes the whole situation more lunatic. You can't fail. You can't quit. Oh, you're doing this project with severe sleep deprivation. And by the way one of you - the project manager, ffs! - is not getting paid. But you must also look after the person who is.

Something like that.

Go easy, keep your relationship alive, even if that means on life support, do NOT talk about splitting up, my Czech friend calls this painting the devil on the wall, and plan on some serious appraisal and revival a year in. That is my honest advice.

It has occurred to me, writing this post, that feeling trapped by motherhood made me want to leave my partner. I just wanted to feel able to leave something. Hmm.

rootypig Sun 30-Mar-14 22:26:40

Smartie's post has made me realise I think it's this bad for everyone! grin

Sorry OP, you do say a "bit" bad. Hang in there. 6 months in everything is still so new.

nostress Sun 30-Mar-14 22:27:29

Oh stick with it! It was very hard first time round but we managed to negotiate around it. Things like lie ins/who was going out with friends etc. that was really hard to start with. I remember he found it really difficult to deal with ds / get him to sleep so I offered to help and this rapidly turned into me having to have him asleep before I could leave. Awful time.

Found our way back to normal. Eventually maybe when ds was 3! Try and get out together and enjoy each others company.

Smartiepants79 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:32:35

I agree. It can be a very difficult time but don't do anything rash.
You have a child together so presumably you are in it for the long haul.
Look for small things that you both can do that might make it better.
Six months is nothing in the grand scheme of a relationship. Ride it out. Try and be kind to each other. Accept that for a while be being a parent may take precedence over being a partner.

MunchkinJess Sun 30-Mar-14 22:32:38

it has never entered my mind to leave or split.

the last few weeks have been very hard. he has barely been home due to work shifts, footyenvy and now a stag do. he has missed my first mothers day. sent me flowers etc but thats not the same.

I just feel incredibly exhausted and sad sometimes.

he takes me for granted sometimes. I feel like he gets to have a life and I do not. since having the baby I've had one evening out. he is currently at a stag do then going on another one in a couple of weeks over easter

I just feel upset and angry about it all as if im the last of the priority list. sad

MunchkinJess Sun 30-Mar-14 22:36:59

for the record our baby comes before anything but I would like to feel appreciated and not taken for granted.

for us to spend time together as a family and as a couple.

I haven't had a break from DD in weeks so its been very intense. when I say a break I just mean a couple of hours to myself to go for a coffee or a walk with the dog etc

Smartiepants79 Sun 30-Mar-14 22:38:21

Well I think you need a chat before the resentment starts to eat at you.
Are you breast feeding?
If not then there is no particular reason why he should be out more than you. That's a lot of stag dos.
You will become more independent as your baby is weaned.
Next time he announces he's off out the just ask him who'll be looking after the baby! Explain that he should not assume you will be default childcare. I had to have this conversation recently. The look on his face was priceless.
Have you told him any of the way you are feeling?

rootypig Sun 30-Mar-14 22:43:18

yeah. The responsibility just isn't truly joint, is it OP? have you said all this to him? I would.

ArtFine Sun 30-Mar-14 22:51:28

For us, it has changed a lot.

For a starter, we have been sleeping in seperate rooms since 9 months. DD is a terrible sleeper (up every hour), and DH has a demanding job, so he gets sleep.

Because of the lack of sleep on my side, and lack of support from anyone, it's very tough on me too and I don't have the time or energy to spend any time with him at all. Sometimes it feels like we are merely flat mates, but I hope it's just a phase and it will pass.

I also expected him to be a lot more hands on, which he isn't and I was HUGELY disappointed for not getting enough support or help from him. But all the signs were there before hand; I just hadn't been smart enough to pick them up. On the other hand, had I had an easy going baby and not such a fussy and demanding one, it wouldn't have been an issue.

ArtFine Sun 30-Mar-14 22:55:27

Munchkin, I feel quite similar to you, and one thing I must say is that most men can't take hints and just explicitly spell it out for him that you need a break. I struggled so much, and one day emailed him to say that I need 2.5 hours per week where he looked after DD. He then replied saying he could manage that will try and prioritise that. Some weeks he remembers, some week he forgets, but like most things, I need to remind him.

nostress Mon 31-Mar-14 07:27:00

We did it like this. The weekend has two potential nights out and two potential lies in. We had a strict rotation of choice. We were still young and I guess thats what caused the friction. We couldnt afford to get babysitters and family lived away. It got better when ds was old enough to go to my mums or dads for the night then we could go out together. Also when dp earned enough to pay a sitter. It was 5 years later before we devided to go for dc2! But actually that was dead easy compared to dc1.

qumquat Mon 31-Mar-14 11:36:02

Bfing makes this very hard, but we try and have the same amount of 'free' time each. Eg if he goes on a stag do, that's a lot of free time he owes me. To be honest though I'd have a complete fit if he even suggested going on a stag do. I think you need to sit down and talk about how you're divvying up child care and free time.

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