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We're not getting on since our 2nd baby arrived...

(12 Posts)
Treesandbees Sun 18-Oct-15 20:02:47

DD is 10 weeks old and I feel like my marriage is going downhill fast. I've been with my DH 10 years and we've always been very close and solid. We had our DS 2 years ago and it was tough as he had reflux and never slept more than 2-3 hours till he was 7 months. He was also an unhappy baby so demanding to look after. But...we pulled together and got through it. We now have a DS who is such a happy baby and easy in comparison to DS but it's somehow pushed us to the edge. We're arguing all the time and just don't seem to be getting on at all. I think it's the intensity of having two of them. My DH also seems to be struggling with not having any of his own time (he used to play a lot of sport) and is grumpy and moody if he has to look after them on his own (I.e if I need to do something by myself). I'm finding this a lot of pressure as I feel resented if I ask for my own time whereas I've give him lots of opportunities to see friends etc. But he doesn't see my point of view at all and I don't know how to get us out of this ruck. We're not able to talk about it without it becoming a row, I think we've rowed more in the past 10 weeks than we have in the 10 years we've been together. I feel like my marriage is under threat and a wedge is forming between us. Any advice to help us sort this out?

DisillusionedGoat Sun 18-Oct-15 20:12:55

Have you any family or friends who can have your elder child on a regular basis to allow you both a little less pressure?

I had a friend who took my eldest daughter one afternoon a week for the first six weeks to make my life a tiny bit easier. Made the world of difference to me and my (now) exH to adjust

Treesandbees Sun 18-Oct-15 20:18:13

Our family is all far away so that's not an option and most of our friends have their own toddlers/babies so I feel it's a lot to ask. I guess I don't want to admit something is wrong either....

backinaminute Sun 18-Oct-15 20:18:48

Not sure if this is much use but we were exactly the same after ds2. I think after ds1, I was on maternity leave and breastfed so pretty much did it all. Dp was really good at keeping the house going while I looked after the baby. He could still do sport in the evenings and he went to work.

When ds2 was born, all of a sudden dp had to do loads more actual child stuff - bedtime took two of us, I would ask him to take a child with him if he nipped out to relieve the intensity and the such like. It wasn't that he was unhelpful but I think he experienced the massive shock of being a parent much more second time round (that I did first time)

We grew apart and would snap at each other and the first year was really really hard. I felt we were tested to the limit and at one point was a bit concerned about a woman at his work who seemed to always be around. We both went off sex and was so much more tired second time (ds2 was difficult and didn't sleep much and was constantly sick) That said I feel like we have weathered the storm and ds2 is 2 now and we are better than ever now.

What I would say, is try and make time for each other. I found getting them into a bedtime routine so we could at least sit down together have a bit of a grown up chat really helped. It doesn't last forever and it does get easier. Be kind to each other and try to ride it out rather than biting back all the time and things escalating into a row (easy to say though).

Treesandbees Sun 18-Oct-15 20:39:41

Thanks backintheroom that definitely helps. It's good to know you've come out the otherside. I think we're in a similar boat that my DH just isn't used to having to parent so actively! Like today I asked if I could stay in bed an extra hour this morning and all hell broke loose as he couldn't cope with both of them. I was then resentful and snapped at him, queue another row and us not talking now!

Treesandbees Sun 18-Oct-15 20:40:36

Sorry I meant backinaminute! Brain doesn't work anymore!

Bobsmyaunty Sun 18-Oct-15 20:47:54

I hear you completely. We have DD1 2.5 years and DD2 7 months. First was a nightmare sleeper and that took its toll. Then various other complications made the first 4 months of DD2 very stressful.

I saw a group of my friends when DD2 was about 5 months old and was in floods of tears because DH and I just weren't getting on at all. We just bickered and shouted at each other. it was awful. I really really just wanted him to move the hell out so it would stop.

Every single one of my friends said they went through something similar with a newborn and toddler. They said just ride it out and try to be more forgiving of each other. I'm only a few months on and I think they were right.

I'm getting more sleep which is helpful, and DD2 is getting ever so slightly easier.

On the surface if looks like an easy-ish baby and OK toddler shouldn't be too hard. But bloody hell, every single pocket of time is eaten up and neither of you get a real break. Popping out for an hour is suddenly a bigger deal too because one of you is leaving the other holding two littlies, which isn't anything like leaving one parent with a 2 year old.

I say, it's normal to snipe at each other during pressurised time. Don't worry that you won't make it, you will. But do talk to each other about how hard it is and how normal it is.

We've only just stopped talking about divorce in the last 2 weeks, and I'm now starting to realise how crazy we were to even mention it. The stress has to go somewhere, and I think the parental relationship takes the brunt.

backinaminute Sun 18-Oct-15 20:52:43

I quite like backintheroomsmile

It's hard but it will get easier, I am sure. I was only talking to a friend about it this morning as I can hardly remember it now. It was so intense and just a blur. We fell into the trap of a 'who is the most tired' competition which wasn't at all helpful (I felt like I had been tired for 2 years before that) and it took time to find a system. We used to have a weekend day each to have a bit of lay in, it just took time to find our stride. My dp is pretty hideous in the mornings at the best of times.

Our best times have been days out actually. Time to enjoy being 4 and no jobs to do round the house. Makes it all feel a bit less relentless. Your toddler will be happy and baby will enjoy being pushed/carried about and fresh air makes everything feel better.

Twerking9to5 Sun 18-Oct-15 20:53:46

Hi OP, your situation sounds very similar to mine. 2 years old DS and 14 week DD. For the first time in 10 years, I started questioning our relationship and basically erupted at DH one afternoon. Our struggles often revolve around division of labour, so after this big blow out, we wrote down all the stuff that needs to get done and worked out who should do what and how regularly.

It sounds really anal, I know, but I think having it on paper really helped us know where we stand. We have also both talked about what we'd like to do for ourselves (sport/socializing etc) and will make sure we each have our own time.
However, as you know, with two small babies, free time is a massive luxury so it's an hour here or there at the moment. Im sure it won't be the end of our rows, but hoping its setting us off in a better direction.

I think this part is so tough. Life is horribly busy and it's very hard to keep each other going sometimes.

I don't know if this has helped at all but wishing you luck!

Bobsmyaunty Sun 18-Oct-15 20:54:56

Sorry, I've gotta add though, that my partner does give me a few hours time off on a Saturday. It took a while to get him to agree to it...and mostly that was by highlighting how good it was for his relationship with the kids - otherwise they always go to Mum, but having to go to him as the only parent available has brought them closer.

Perhaps your partner needs to grieve/adjust to the reduced life/time available to him. But then, yes, after that giving you a lie in shouldn't be a big deal. It sounds like you are being really patient so hats off to you.

A good chat about how you feel. OR better would be him chatting to other Dads of two to understand what they do/how they help cut their wives some slack. Might help him to stop feeling sorry for himself and understand this is just they way it is for a little bit..

Twerking9to5 Sun 18-Oct-15 20:55:14

And yy to days out as backinaminute suggested. At least you can't get stressed by house mess! smile

Treesandbees Sun 18-Oct-15 22:21:15

Thanks everyone. It's such a relief to hear we are not alone and this is a 'stage'. You loose perspective sometimes when you haven't slept (in years!). I just said to DH that we have the most fun when we're out doing stuff as a family so we've agreed to structure our weekends more and talk more about our expectations of what we both 'need' to survive! I feel a lot better now smile.

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