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How did having a baby changed your relationship with your partner?

(37 Posts)
tostaky Fri 10-Oct-08 18:20:00

Asking bc im 8 months PG i'm worried that as i will be obviously more involved in raising the baby and he is in the midst of devleoping his business that our life will differ so much that we won't have anything in common anymore...
me: baby, baby, baby, baby...
him: business, business, business...

So yes, im interested in your experience and how you managed your couple during maternity leave and then when you got back to work..


whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Oct-08 18:22:29

Not wishing to depress you but the first year or so is just a bloody hard slog, longer if you have more than one and it does take it out of your relationship, particularly if you partner is off working all the time.

You will resent him and fail to understand his arguments that he's 'working for the good of the family'.

But hopefully you will get through it and in the end have a stronger relationship.

tostaky Fri 10-Oct-08 18:48:48

see id rather be warned in advance...
we're planning three, one shortly after the other one....

He is already telling me he is working for us...

so any advice?

VictorianSqualorSquelchNSquirm Fri 10-Oct-08 18:53:30

It's really fucking hard, no matter how much he does or tries to help, you will feel you're doing more, he will feel he is being left out, and you will both be absolutely knackered and take it on each other.
However, if you can resolve to talk about this (we're on a once a week proper ball out atm, at 24 weeks) then you might just get through it.
Just be prepared to work at it.

<hijack>WMMC, have you seen the answer in local? I'm meeting pigeonpie monday as we've found we live streets away lol, but happy to do pret soon, I want a squeeze!!!! <.hijack>

ScaryYellow Fri 10-Oct-08 18:54:09

having children has ruined my marriage

have one see how you get on before having three


allgonebellyup Fri 10-Oct-08 18:56:25

omg try having one baby before you contemplate three !!

bubblagirl Fri 10-Oct-08 19:06:21

our relationship went very much like a roller coaster me very tired feeling very alone stuck at home losing my freedom etc losing my sleep i will say do do the when the babies asleep sleep thing as i never did always felt that could be my time to watch a film in peace or do housework big mistake

i became so sleep deprived i was on at my dp all the time

it makes you more wary of the baby instead of being how you normally would you give your dp dirty looks for so much as breathing incase they wake the baby lol everything they do is too loud dont wake the baby

resentment is the worst my ds is 3 and only just managed to let go of the resentment and understand the poor thing doesnt choose to work such long hours or away from home or have no days off his at work not having fun or freedom blush

i go out when i can now to have seperate interest dont be afraid to leave baby with dp and dont pull them up on how they are doing something it wont harm the baby to do something different to how you do it blush

communicate and dont argue we went through tough time it changes you so much and you would never think it would so bad but were through it now sex life not quite the same chance of making 2 more would be a fine thing lol

good luck and congrats by the way but see yourself through the first before adding to the family

oh and dont expect him to know when to do things or what to do but ask nicely or tell nicely when things need to be done as when there away from home working alot they dont know when or what and tend to do nothing as not sure what to do so asking nice lets them feel envolved and less like stranger in own home

VictorianSqualorSquelchNSquirm Fri 10-Oct-08 19:06:30

Woah, chill on the poor woman!

I do think it's hard, but saying it ruined your marriage is a bit harsh. If your marriage couldn't stand the test of children then maybe it wasn't as strong as you thought?

VictorianSqualorSquelchNSquirm Fri 10-Oct-08 19:07:40

Great advice from bubblagirl, I think it was cappuccino said on another thread 'Don't make yourself the expert' great advice.

MrsTittleMouse Fri 10-Oct-08 19:08:51

Actually, it hasn't changed our relationship - although I won't pretend that the first year of DD's life wasn't extremely hard. After that things did get a lot better. So much so, that we now have DD2 - I'll have to let you know how that goes, as she's only a week old.

The main things that we have learned are to always try to keep a sense of humour and to take any opportunities to have time just the two of you. In fact, grab them with both hands and don't let go! It's surprising how one night out as grown ups in a proper restaurant with proper conversation can really reconnect the two of us. Even though I stay at home full time and he works full time.

lulumama Fri 10-Oct-08 19:09:29

have you done your birth story mrsTM!!! congratulations on her arrival xxx

bubblagirl Fri 10-Oct-08 19:09:54

and limit baby talk to a minimum to keep yourself on an even keel with your dp get out and meet people go to baby groups and socialise and dont be afriad to let someone babysit so you both get adult couple time keeps a sense of closeness between you we did this as often as we could from when ds was just few weeks old

you need to do it to stay sane and close and communicating with each other

whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Oct-08 19:11:48

Practical things you can do:

1) no matter what remember that all stages of babyhood pass - some are horrid, the first 6 weeks is crippling in terms of tiredness etc. but it does get easier.
2) Accept all help offered even if you hate the person offering it.
3) Do try and notice and value any time together as a couple.
4) Lower your standards now - immaculate houses and kids don't mix - you both have to accept this and the fact that you will eat on the hoof anything you can and not care.
5) Finally, for your own self esteem try at least to get dressed every day and brush your hair (yeah you think that is nuts now but you wait!)

whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Oct-08 19:12:38

vs bugger I have to go to babybounce on Monday to meet yet another mumsnetter!

yousaidit Fri 10-Oct-08 19:16:44

Can vouch for whomovedmychocolate's advice: even if you can't stand the person offering help, if you need it, esp in the first few weeks, accept it!!

MrsTittleMouse Fri 10-Oct-08 19:17:05

<sorry - hijack alert>
Hi lulumama - I put an announcement on my labour thread, but no-one noticed. I've been feeling very neglected! grin It was very long and difficult and almost resulted in a transfer for failure to progress (second stage), but against the odds I managed to get her out with no intervention. The midwife admitted as she was sewing me up that she actually thought that it wasn't going to happen, but luckily was a good enough actress not to let it show at the time (until she called in the senior midwife right at the end - that was a bit of a give-away ). Given that DD2 was the second, and was positioned really well, and that I had a really active and upright labour again, I just think that I'm not cut out for this birth business. hmm But at least no instruments or C section, and only a small 2nd degree internal and small 1st degree external tear.

nooOOOoonki Fri 10-Oct-08 19:20:27

make sure that your DP spends a bit of time with the baby on his own after the first few months,

before that get him involved in nappy changing/baths/choosing and putting on clothes/packing nappy bag so that he is not inept, and when you do have 3 of them he is able to look after the other two!

let him do things his way with the baby unless obviously dangerous, your way isnt always the right way

Talking about it now to him because it will be hard when the baby is there (tiredness/tensions)

Just because he is working he shouldn't leave it all to you, he will miss out and those early years zip by.

As a couple make sure you go out (with baby at first if you can't find a babysitter, it can sleep in the carseat whilst you are at a restaurant, and think of other things to talk about!)

think about what you talk about now and try and carry those things on,

in some ways we are much closer now, but in others (yes OK sex sex sex) we are not,

ps we are talking about DC3 (well 4 really as I have a stepson too)so it can't be that bad!

Naetha Fri 10-Oct-08 19:23:19

There's an excellent book called Babyproofing Your Marriage.

I read this when my DS was about 4 mo (he is now 9mo) and it really changed they way we both viewed our relationship.

Just remember, that although sex is usually the last thing on your mind, it is very important for your DH, and so keep at it in the first year, even if it's damn hard work and all you want to do is sleep!

My life is so much easier when my DH is getting some ;)

lulumama Fri 10-Oct-08 19:23:46

well done mrs TM< will go and look at the thread. smile am really pleased you made it through xxxx

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 10-Oct-08 19:24:54

WMMC - yes spot on - everything you say! I have to admit that with DH & I it was very tough, and cuased a big rift between us, but ultimately was the best thing we ever did. I was convinced i would be the perfect partner, nothing would change and that the baby would not preoccupy me, but i was SO TIRED!!!! He was completely sheel-shocked at the tiniey-ness and dependency of DS1, and I really didn't think we would stay together 9 lowest point was when DS1 was about 2 weeks old sad. For us, the turning point was whne DS1 started to DO things ( smile, gurlge, roll-over say dada etc) and DH did not feel so terrified of holding him in case he broke...

MrsMattie Fri 10-Oct-08 19:25:20

Oh God, it has completely changed our relationship. For the first 12-18 months it was very, very hard to adjust to being parents, to being a family, and not just two individuals linked romantically. we almost separated a few times.

Down the line (DS 3.7 yrs old, second baby due next month) it has brought us much closer together and our relationship is stronger and better than ever before.

MrsMattie Fri 10-Oct-08 19:26:20

Also, put those 2nd and 3rd child plans on hold for a few months grin

See how you feel with just the one, first...

WinkyWinkola Fri 10-Oct-08 19:26:28

Oooh, MrsTittleMouse, well done and congratulations on the safe arrival of your baby! You delivered her so you are cut out (erm, bad words here!) for this birth business. You just proved it. We all are. Just sometimes things aren't as straightforward as we might hope. Anyway, I hope you're enjoying your new baby.

Tostaky, it is hard. There's no doubt about that.

But there are things you can do to prepare. You could establish now by discussing with your DP/H how you think your lives will change and what good qualities you each have that will cope with those changes.

You could establish now who will do what even in the early weeks. For example, if you're breastfeeding and he's on paternity leave, perhaps he could do the nappies? Or let him know how much housework you think isn't going to be done!

You could cook a few meals in advance and put them in the freezer. That'll save a bit of work when you're very tired in the first few weeks. These few weeks are a blur anyway.

It is all very absorbing and you might find your DH is absorbed by his new baby too.

It takes a while to adjust and things all seem up in the air for a long time. But take your time, take it a day at a time and gradually your new life - because that's what it seems like at times, a whole new life - will settle and you'll each find your way as a team.

Be positive. And take it a baby at a time!

I wouldn't say it gets easier as they get older. It's different each day. Some days are a doddle. Some are really hard. With children, the hard days seem magnified somehow because it's your child and your responsibility.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 10-Oct-08 19:28:32

Naetha - yes! Agree totally about the sex - much easier than all the other things you HAVE to do, so even if you don't want to, really important to do, and the more you do the more you will enjoy, and it does keep communication lines open - just be aware of teh fact that your boobs will probably leak during.... blush

whomovedmychocolate Fri 10-Oct-08 19:35:38

There's also a good book called 'Babyshock'

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