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We've had a baby : things are hard.

(21 Posts)
Writerwannabe83 Sun 24-Aug-14 22:17:36

Me and DH have been married almost 18 months. We have a DS of 5 months. I wasn't prepared for the pressure having the baby would put on our relationship.

Please tell me it's normal and that it will get better...

PenguinsIsSleepDeprived Sun 24-Aug-14 22:23:27

It can be very, very hard. Any cracks get worse and lack of sleep makes everyone grumpy.

If there is a good relationship under there and you both hold onto that, it does get easier.

nancy75 Sun 24-Aug-14 22:26:56

Agree with penguin, i remember whenever dp said he was tired I just wanted to kill him! Nothing prepares you for how tired you feel and just how upside down your life becomes BUT it does get better.

OsMalleytheCat Sun 24-Aug-14 22:32:02

So so so normal! I'd been with DH for four years (married for about 6 months) when DS was born and had seriously looked into divorce more than once before DS was 6mo, he's now 1 and things have settled immeasurably, it does get easier and your relationship should settle into how hard it can be raising a baby.
I found a lot of our stress came from DH wanting to continue life as before (ie wanting to chill when he got home from work, leaving the washing out etc) all relatively minor things now I look back but at the time were the worst crimes he could commit.
I suggest (if possible!) leaving the baby with someone for an hour and talking to each other without the distraction of baby.

nailslikeknives Sun 24-Aug-14 22:40:19

I'd been with DH 15 years when we had ds1. He didn't sleep for 4 months and we were struggling!

The things that got us through then and still do now we have 2 ds are:
Be kind to each other
No one up-man ship eg who got less sleep/works hardest/back aches most wink you get the gist!

It does get easier once they sleep more. There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form if torture!

ninetynineonehundred Mon 25-Aug-14 07:42:20

Oh writer you poor thing.
Normal or not it sounds so hard for you. I agree with everyone above about the sleep and tiredness. It makes everything feel so much worse and although having a baby can be amazing the impact and change on your life is huge.
You don't mention what it is about having your baby that has caused the problems.
If it is sleep the thing that helped us the most was an arrangement where I dealt with the nights and whatever time dd woke up he took her so that I could get an extra hour or two. We were both still tired but it was manageable.
Communication and listening without defensiveness can help but is difficult when you are tired.
Do you have support and does he?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Aug-14 07:58:23

I think more information is required before saying 'it's normal'. Context is everything. Some babies are particularly hard work, keeping you up all night and so forth, but others not so much. Some people find the adjustment to parenthood relatively pleasant and others sink into depression. Some couples take a mature and loving approach to managing the extra responsibility, others become very self-centred and refuse to pull their weight.

What is the 'pressure' you're experiencing and what specifically is happening in your relationship?

thatsn0tmyname Mon 25-Aug-14 08:21:08

Children are like magnifying glasses and they highlight all the irritations in your relationship but also the good, supportive bits too. We have DS 2.10 and DD 10 months. What keeps us sane? I see the girls every Thursday evening and we regularly schedule each other mornings (or the odd weekend) off to go and sit in Costa for a couple of hours to sit and read the paper in peace. We also take in turns to bring the children down early in the morning and let the other sleep in. Be kind to yourselves, it gets better

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Mon 25-Aug-14 09:59:51

What everyone said. Does he recognise that for the first year at last there is no downtime? That there is no housework that he can't do? And that the blowjob fairy has left the building?

If yes, you'll make it.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 25-Aug-14 10:08:51

Thanks everyone.

I just feel so resentful at times that his life hasn't really changed whereas I feel like I don't have one anymore. I love my DS more than my thing but sometimes it's hard being so tied to him.

In lots of ways DH is brilliant, really thoughtful and helpful etc, but I sometimes get snappy at him because I feel like he gets to be the fun parent and I'm the one that does all the hard work and the mundane things that being a parent involved.

I don't know, maybe I expect too much. Like I said he's amazing in some ways so I don't understand why there's always this strange frustration just below the surface.

DaisyFlowerChain Mon 25-Aug-14 10:36:27

When do you return to work? That usually brings about changes, a more set routine, mind distracted by work and the companionship during the day is good.

Both parties can feel resentment, the SAHP for maybe being isolated and the WOHP can resent that the other is home all day with the new baby whilst they have no choice but to go to work. It adds a new dynamic.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 25-Aug-14 10:41:08

Resentment happens when there is any sense of injustice or unfairness. If you're getting all the 'hard work and mundane things' while he's got the monopoly of fun then the jobs probably aren't shared out fairly and neither is the free time. Doesn't mean anyone's being deliberately horrible necessarily, just means that you need to talk to each other about how you feel, say what you're missing about your pre-baby life, and see if you can achieve it.

You mention feeling 'tied' to DS, for example. When was the last time you went out either individually or as a couple without the nappy bag? Are you planning to return to work at some stage? That can be a life-saver....

JanineStHubbins Mon 25-Aug-14 10:45:39

Is your DH now cleaning up after himself or still expecting you to do everything? Your last thread made it pretty clear how disgustingly dirty he was and how he expected you to pick up all the slack.

DownstairsMixUp Mon 25-Aug-14 10:52:06

I ended up divorcing my husband from my first marriage with DS. (not saying that's what you should do) but the reasons were that he just made everything he did seem like it was such a "huge favour" to me when having a baby was about both of us if you see what i mean? Does he do that? I felt like my ex did do things but it was only when I was getting really fed up and snapping at him, then he'd make a huge deal out of what he'd done (like it was a massive thing to do something for OUR baby!) if they make a song and dance everytime they do things for both of you, that can make you snappy and aggigated and this really pushed me over the edge personally.

Granville72 Mon 25-Aug-14 10:53:33

It gets better and easier the older they get, especially once they're a little more independent and rolling and starting to crawl.

I really struggled with the lack of sleep, my son would wake every 20 minutes all through the night which made both of us tired and grumpy (me and my son that is, OH could sleep through WW3 and he wouldn't stir).

Kelly1814 Mon 25-Aug-14 10:54:09

it is very normal. whoever says that 'children bring you closer together' is completely mental in my book. maybe they had angel babies who slept through from 4 weeks....

my baby is 11 months and i'm going through the exact same thing. we've actually been for counselling, i left at one point.

the good news is that for us it has started to get better, when DD started sleeping a bit more, when i went back to work - i felt more human, more like the old me.

i know the feeling of being 'tied', i have sometimes fantastised about running to the airport with my passport an dnever coming back. it's a bloody big resposnibility dry heaves

on a practical level i suggest upskilling Dh so he can take over some of the baby donkey work. then start claiming your life back. go out, have fun. why should his life continue as normal, but yours be on hold? good luck. you are not alone. hang in there.

Writerwannabe83 Mon 25-Aug-14 10:56:42

janine - DH is like a different man!! He's cooking and cleaning, makes me breakfast and brings me cups of tea all the time. I honestly can't remember the last time I was picking up after him. I think me walking out did the trick!!

We went out to the cinema lady week to see a short film and I left DS with my sister who lives very close to the cinema. It was nice to get out just me and DH but I felt anxious about DS. I do know we have to spend more time together as I think the fact we don't do this anymore is playing a huge role in the marriage issues. We are going out for lunch on Wednesday as my sister is having DS again - she lives very close to where we will be eating so I know we can get back to DS quickly if need be.

I was going to have 12 months off work but I'm going back after 10 months now as like has been said, I think me returning to some normality will improve things too.

Three of my good friends all have babies too (aged 4 months through to 9 months) and they have all disclosed to me over the last week hue much their relationship has suffered and two of them are seriously considering leaving their partner because of how bad things are. The third friend is heading in that direction too.

I don't want that to happen between me and DH sad

Kelly1814 Mon 25-Aug-14 11:06:14

it doesn't have to be you! our darkest months were 1-9. it got better.

you have to get a bit military with your planning - we go out together once a week, without fail. then we have a night out each, separately, where the other one babysits.

i only had 5 months off work - i was so upset to go back at the start but within a week i was a different person!

merlehaggard Mon 25-Aug-14 11:19:28

I have been married for 23 with eldest 20 and youngest 3 and we always say how much we argue when the kids were babies. I would say until they were about 2 sice none of mine slept properly in the night until then. It is a hard time and each time is hard for different reasons. The first time you're inexperienced but after that, you have other kids to factor in too. I can remember my husband being very unreasonable about him coming in from work and expecting to have a shower and then expecting his tea cooked but DD1 needed feeding at this time and he couldn't do both. If he fed her, I could get his tea. If he showered instead, I couldn't. It was a learning curve and looking back, the first time round was just immaturity cos I couldn't imagine my husband doing that now. However, that was coming from a time when, outside work, his time was his own.

Hang in there. It gets better. Six months is better. Then again at a year. It is early days. Talk to each other. Give each other a chance to have a break and before you know it (it all goes so fast) it'll all get easier.

Brightbutchilly Mon 25-Aug-14 11:23:29

It's very hard in the early days.

Keep talking. Don't let resentment build up. Remember it's also hard for him too to adjust to the new world of parenthood.

It will get better. Hang on in there.

Thurlow Tue 26-Aug-14 12:57:54

All I can say is what everyone else here has said: that first year is hard. Seriously, seriously hard. So much of what you have said rings enormous bells with me - I just feel so resentful at times that his life hasn't really changed whereas I feel like I don't have one anymore in particular.

We used to have arguments about how much of his book he had managed to read on the train on the way home grin

I remember those 10 months of maternity leave just being so very, very weird for me. Being at home all day every day just wasn't for me. I loved - love - my DD more than anything but staying at home, going to baby groups, all that wasn't me.

It's perfectly alright to think like this, and also to think that maybe returning to work is what you need to feel right again.

I can only echo what other people have said. This has been a massive change to your life and it takes a long time to adjust. Things can get very stressful, but it doesn't mean that your relationship is in trouble. You just need to slowly settle into how much things have changed. That may be you returning to work, it may be you as a couple gradually managing to get the odd night out together (though of course there is that conflict the first few times between wanting to be out, and then when out just worrying about the baby)

I found the biggest help, though it felt quite alien for me to do it, was to keep being brutally honest about how I felt and to try and keep explaining it to DP. That whole "your life hasn't changed as much as mine has" line. Don't say it accusingly; there may very well be nothing much they can do about that.

And most of all, try not to view it all in an overly pessimistic light. It is easy to put a negative spin on things and make it worse. Yes, this is tough. Yes, one or both of you is still having difficulties adjusting. Yes, the lack of couple time can vastly dent your relationship. Yes, things are not a bed of roses. But that doesn't have to mean that things are all rubbish. It's a difficult phase. All relationships have their good times and their bad times, and there is nothing like a young, demanding baby and a complete role reversal in one partner's life to start a bad time.

As your DS gets older things will get easier.

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