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Your relationship after a baby: will it always be like this??

(55 Posts)
babygooner Sun 24-Jun-07 18:09:34

So, DH and I, who have always had the best and most equal of relationships do nothing but squabble and bicker since DD was born 6 months ago. I am turning into every mother/housewife before me doing all the household chores, looking after DD and nagging DH. It wasn't supposed to be like this! He's not a bad bloke, in fact he iss a great bloke. But that is what makes it even more depressing! Please tell me it gets better! Or this just what happens when children come along.. you turn into your mother!

Mommalove Sun 24-Jun-07 18:36:35

Message withdrawn

Lio Sun 24-Jun-07 18:51:57

Brilliant post, babygooner, you and your dh could be us

I feel like I'm not doing a good job of being a mummy, a wife or an employee, although recently since we started to share the 'night shift' and I actually got enough sleep for the first time in however long, I feel so much closer to being a human again. I'm sure it will all come good.


warthog Sun 24-Jun-07 19:21:02

it DOES get better. sleep is a very big part of it. and you've had a major life change. things take time to settle down. just make sure you get some time off to do your own things.

motherinferior Sun 24-Jun-07 19:29:25

It really should improve. Honestly. The happiest couple I know say they've come close to divorce twice...during the first six months of their two children's lives. I absolutely hated DP at this point, for things like Getting A Whole Five Minutes' Extra Sleep.

I do think that all too often kids skew a lot of domestic responsibility, though

Loopymumsy Sun 24-Jun-07 19:45:00

Message withdrawn

warthog Sun 24-Jun-07 20:14:22

i remember being incandescently angry with dh for having a long shower. i was furious, considering divorce. things are a lot better now

whomovedmychocolate Sun 24-Jun-07 20:15:50

Ooh yes I remember that bit - DD is eight months old and it's much better now she sleeps at least four hours a night straight!

I got a copy of the Relate book Babyshock which is a bit dated but actually makes you feel normal!

JoshandJamie Sun 24-Jun-07 21:01:54

like everyone else says, it's entirely normal. I had two close together - I think we finally stopped arguing (about who was doing more) to have sex once, only to fall pregnant again. Having two didn't make it any easier. There were definitely times I thought we were over and thought it was just us - but I think everyone goes through it.

My second is now 21 months and it is finally starting to get better - that said we've spent the weekend in stony silence as he has man flu and I am sick of him being crabby with the kids and just generally being pathetic while I NEVER get to be sick.

I am truly hoping that one day our children will sleep later than 5am and that we'll stop having a competition about who's doing the most chores. It's frightfully dull.

babygooner Sun 24-Jun-07 21:06:00

Thanks everyone - I'll wait another 6 months then. But yes, I think the root of it is a massive resentment I feel! It feels so unfair at the moment. And I can't get DH to understand how tired I feel, how emotional I feel, how rubbish I feel yet at the same time how happy I feel! I go back to work in a week or so and yes, think balance of chores will just have to shift.

Kathyis6incheshigh Sun 24-Jun-07 21:06:59

We were totally loved up after our first but the second has had this effect on us.

LOL (both of us) at Warthog's dh's long shower.

babygooner Sun 24-Jun-07 21:08:53

And ho ho Warthog! How can it EVER be DH's TURN for a sleep in is my latest question?

Sobernow Sun 24-Jun-07 21:28:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

babygooner Mon 25-Jun-07 09:20:53

Sober, this is exactly how I feel! DH says he feels like a kicked dog but I can't help but be cross with him when he's asleep and I'm not. Especially when he's snoring and I've just got up to feed DD and because of his snoring I can't go back to sleep! Have had murderous thoughts quite frequently. Also, DH has very annoying habit of starting non-urgent DIY tasks just as DD wakes up from nap and needs playing with... if you want to do something apart from play with DD, why don't you clean the bath?? Grr.

oliveoil Mon 25-Jun-07 09:27:08

oh we used to have competitions about who had the least sleep

I was up 3 times
well I was up twice
you were not, you were SNORING
so, you woke me up as well


I can't remember who said it on here, but they said there should be a law in that you can't split up in the first 2 years after you have a child

most of the argueing is caused by adjusting to new roles and lack of sleep imo

best advice is to talk, say how you feel etc, they are not mind readers. Also, we see a full washing basket, they skip past it or dump more in. Point out the basket to them, maybe with narrowed eyes and a hiss?

ScoobyC Mon 25-Jun-07 09:45:40

Phew, this thread has made me feel much better!!
Can't tell you how many squabbles we've had over domestic chores since ds was born!
I don't know if dh is normal, but with him its because he needs "relaxation time" so puts off doing chores whereas I just do them, so it tended to be me who did everything. After numerous rows he did finally get the message and its much better now.
I think he took much longer to adjust to the soul-destroying relentlessness of the domestic chores which always have to be done whether you feel like it or not.

Glad to hear it gets better, although ds is now 1 and things are still not perfect between us!

amidaiwish Mon 25-Jun-07 10:06:38

joshandjamie, you have just described us.

it will get better babygooner, dd2 is now 20m (dd1 3.4) and things have got so much better.

do try and carve some time out for yourself if you can, babysit someone else's baby for an hour and then they have your's, so you can go for a coffee/swim anything without the kids really. that kept my sanity before they started nursery!

bakedpotato Mon 25-Jun-07 10:28:26

I think the key is to get more time for yourselves/yourself, somehow. Allows you to catch breath.

things that make it a bit easier: ensure you spend a bit of time together (and ideally out of the house -- tv evenings don't count), ie get a babysitter and head out to the pub once in a while so you can talk properly, without worrying about chores/admin

fix it so you both get a bit of time off while at home, ie maybe one of you has a lie-in on Sat, the other Sun

DH and I both have fixed evenings once a week when we do our own thing (I do a pilates class on Mon, he does tennis on Thurs). I find it's much simpler to have a regular night blocked out in the diary, rather than having to negotiate each one in an ad hoc manner. Nothing more demoralising than having to 'ask' for dispensation if you need someone else to cover bath/bed etc.

going back to work (good luck) is bound to have a big knock-on on household responsibilities. It's very dull being in charge of running the show, esp when you'd never imagined you'd be (effectively) in sole charge, but IME most relationships go this way after children, and it's easier just to acceptit and learn how to delegate. If you work out how to do this without turning into a harridan, please share the secret.

amidaiwish Mon 25-Jun-07 11:01:39

and babygooner, when you go back to work are you able to get a cleaner in? it's really worth sacrificing that extra money to free up some time.

evenhope Mon 25-Jun-07 11:05:36

We've just had a baby after a 15 year gap and I could have written the OP. I find myself getting really resentful that DH trots off to the loo for 30 minutes, then has a shave and a wash that turns into another 30 minutes while I just want 5 minutes to put the washing out...

(it doesn't help having a baby who doesn't sleep during the day and wants constant carrying/ entertaining).

babygooner Mon 25-Jun-07 11:06:01

Sadly no, we shall have not a BEAN when i go back to work and DD starts nursery. Would it be incredibly childish to put a list on the fridge of jobs that need doing and to share them out???

robinpud Mon 25-Jun-07 11:09:57

This is a familiar story! I used to fabricate stories about having been up during the night with one or other child so that dh felt guilty enough to do the morning shift and I could get some sleep!
I think there is good advice here about making time for yourselves. I would also suggest being wildly encouraging of any efforts that your dh makes vis a vis the housework or childcare so that you don't end up doing everything yourself becuase it is easier than waiting for him to do it!

choosyfloosy Mon 25-Jun-07 11:11:23

oh dear, it's a hideous patch, or can be

i'm afraid this is why i have one child - well not quite true - but the drudgery was so appalling, i hated it

moments of progression for me;

mum - she's still doing all my gardening and ds is 3.6 - she did large amounts of housework for the first year solid

giving up sterilising (I was bottlefeeding)at around 6 months - the first time the workload actually dropped at all

ds starting to walk and suddenly I didnt' have to carry him everywhere

going back to work - but tbh I think you need to have a serious talk about how the timing of everything is going to work out, how are you going to handle times when dc is sick etc? can you and your dh share sick days one day you, one day him etc? My DC was sick for the first week I went back to work - cue manic juggling of grandparents as dh was also ill.

18 months was a breakthrough (sorry) when all of a sudden he occasionally did play by himself for 10 whole minutes

Kathyis6incheshigh Mon 25-Jun-07 11:12:04

Babygooner - I'm sure I saw the 'list of jobs on the fridge' thing recommended by some relationship expert (or rather, "so-called relationship expert) in some magazine somewhere.

choosyfloosy Mon 25-Jun-07 11:13:13

List of jobs is good but I wouldn't put it up on the fridge - sit down with glass of wine each and talk about it. But talk in the expectation that you are going to share it, not that it's your responsibility and he will be 'helping you out'.

NB picking up and dropping off - if you can, don't do both - it means there is no give in either end of the system.

What about commuter problems, traffic jams etc?

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