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new baby - no time for 'us'(32 Posts)
We're absolutely delighted that we're parents to a 6 month old baby girl...so as a little family we are happy. However I'm ever conscious of just how little time I spend with my partner alone...literally none. By the time he gets home from work I'm wrecked and have about 2 hours before I fall asleep, usually right after I put baby to bed. That 2 hours is spent, with baby, frantically preparing food, answering the constantly ringing phone, dealing with baby/shopping/housework (just the real basics - we're not houseproud at all). At weekends there seems to be a constant barrage of visitors and grandparents, who want tea/chat/a tidy house as well as time with baby (none of them are "easy" in the sense that I can leave the baby with them for lengths of time, one set are elderly and the other lives several hours drive away and is so high-maintenance that it ends up not being particularly relaxing having her around). Even if they do babysit, and we get an hour (with them probably feeding her sweets) we can't be in the house so we go for a slightly stressed-out drink in our local or a walk. We can't very well say we're going to bed...if you catch my drift!! Plus, honestly, we're so tired even if we got 20 minutes to ourselves we'd be too exhausted for sex. I am studying full time and looking after baby, OH works full time and does extra shifts to make ends meet. How the hell do other parents find time for themselves? I love him, but I'm shattered, and feel that all our love and attention (both of us, he's just as bad) goes to the baby. Is this just 'it' now? How are second babies ever conceived?
It's what family life is, your baby is only 6 months old. It all easier but you're only 6 months in.
Yes this is pretty much life with a baby. It does get easier.
My only advice is to knock the stressful weekends on the head. Start telling everyone "no visits this weekend, we're having the weekend to ourselves" and be firm about it.
You need to unplug or turn off the phone for starters.
Oh sweetheart....that is just what life with a baby is like
You need to turn the phone off
You need to have a quiet weekend with no visitors
I'm not sure what you expected of early parenthood or from starting this thread.... Yes. That's how it is. And IME I wouldn't say it gets easier, not for the first couple of years anyway. things change but each stage has a different set of challenges. I think you just become better at dealing with the lack of free time and learn to grab your couple moments where you can, although they are virtually non existent. Sorry.
Turn the phone off
Agree a once a week slot for people to drop in (2-4pm Sunday afternoon eg) and if someone has already booked it then when people ask say "sorry we are busy this weekend but we can see you next, 2pm Sunday ok for you?"
As others have said, this is pretty typical of life with a young baby. But there are things you can do to help. Cut down on hosting visitors. When you do see them, suggest either meeting at their house (if they're local) or at a halfway point (if not) to cut down on the need for tidying your place. You're also then able to leave when you want not wait for them to go. Find out about local babysitters and get someone in weekly to give you a night off, then you can sleep more if you like, or not sleep once you've got some energy back
Agree with the above. Switch off/unplug or just don't answer the phone.
'Book' yourselves some weekends alone with baby. We did this and although MIL did a cats bum mouth a couple of times she soon got used to it. We still do book home weekends when we just refuse to entertain or be entertained. Just for family time and when baby naps you and your OH have some time together.
As the baby gets older it does get better honestly.
Switch of all the phones after 6pm; get a cleaner once a week, shop online and say to all parents/friends/ relations every other weekend is booked until Christmas then stay home and take it in turns to sleep. You have to carve out space and keep it carved out. That way you stay sane - and together. Book a babysitter once a fortnight and go out. Do not use a friend or relative for this then you'll go because you are paying. Once a month spend a night in a hotel just the two of you. Leave baby with granny.
Oldest - nice idea but that's a lot of money on a regular basis!
Sleep during the daytime whenever possible, so that you are marginally less exhausted.
Switch phones off
Stop tidying for visitors
Have an hours nap while visitors are here.
Ask them to taken baby on a pushchair walk for an hour so you can sleep/shower/relax
Get baby sleeping through (!) or at least make nights as easy as possible for yourselves until baby is sleeping thro.
That's why it's really common to have a two year age gap. You're just getting your sleep and nights back and then bam! Pregnant again because you're enjoying that extra time
Honestly it does get better. This is what the first few years are like I'm afraid.
I agree you should have time alone at weekends just for the both of you, no visitors.
I too was coming to say that's just how life is with a baby.
However, reading your OP, you need to stop answering the phone if you are trying to eat together or whatever (who is making all these calls anyway??) and then be assertive with all your visitors - just say it's not convenient next weekend. That will give you a bit more space.
My kids are 2 and 4 and this is still largely true I'm afraid. It is a long game
Switch phone off/don't answer - this is very liberating!!! :D
when you cook a meal, maybe do enough to freeze the extra portions? Do that every so often so that you always have stuff at hand to just defrost and reheat. This saves me a fortune in time and money.
I tidy/clean as I go along. Again, saves me time. My place isn't a show home but it looks presentable and helps me/hubby to keep on top of housework.
Time to yourselves is so precious. We've cut down a LOT on having people over or going to people's places. Not because we are unfriendly but because after work (I'm the breadwinner) and looking after kids (and hubby too - he's got a head injury), we are just too damned tired. It also means that when we do see people, we really do enjoy it and are refreshed/awake enough for it.
Sadly, it took hubby's RTA, and months of trying to do and be everything for everyone, for us to take a step back and actually make sure we took plenty of time for us and our kids. It's worth it though
It gets better but never the same. It's a different 'couple" life after kids.
Well yeah, you have a small baby. But why aren't you doing shopping, housework etc during the day while he's at work, then your evenings will be less frantic? You have an awful lot of hours to kill every day with just one small baby, it doesn't sound like you are utilising your time efficiently.
It gets better but never the same. It's a different 'couple" life after kids.
This. It'll never be the same again and the sooner you (as a couple) embrace your relationship as a couple who are parents, the easier.
Hanging on to what you felt life "should" be like as a family is the cause of anxiety for many of my friends. Just accept life will always be different now, and make it work.
Agree with turning off the phones. By the time it got to 5pm I was sick of my phone ringing and I would switch it off or unplug it. I started telling people not to call at certain times as that was eating/cooking/sleeping/bath time routines and I needed that time of quiet.
The biggest issue is your house seems to be a drop in centre for all the relatives. Tell them you'll call them. Tell them that once a month you'll be home for visits. Tell them you need some time and space as a family unit and then concentrate on building a weekend routine with the three of you so that you can have some time alone with your dh when the baby is asleep.
Life will NEVER be the same again. Babies become toddlers and so on and your life will evolve as they grow but it becomes better in a lot of ways. Yes, your time is all on the baby right now (as it should be) but as they grow and start to become little people you'll find that life gets a touch easier.
and what did you expect? It''ll be easy in 7 or 8 years, fear not!
I think OP is doing full time studying during the day, so there will be no time for housework etc then.
I have two small kiddies (one disabled). What we do is we have a nanny that works Sundays for 5 hours, so we go out for couple time. We also have the occasional date night. It is getting easier now they are a bit older.
OP said she's studying full-time bite. Presumably she's rightly trying to prioritise that in the daytime when she's less tired.
Thanks for the replies. To be honest, only after I re-read my post did it occur to me - what answers am I expecting, surely this is life with a baby!! I don't know...I definitely agree that we need to cut down on visits but its quite "political" in terms of keeping grandparents at bay. I guess we should be grateful so many people want to see the baby. My partner finds it very difficult to say no to anyone, that is, family, while I feel like having friends over is my only possible form of socialising, so we're kind of at opposite ends. But it definitely needs to be cut back. I suppose I just feel afraid that it is affecting our relationship negatively. I mean - and I'm sure you all know this - its enjoyable and fulfilling but bloody hard work! Well done to all the parents out there, especially anyone who can find 20 minutes for a sex life :-)
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