I want to share this post because I wish someone had warned me about relationship trouble before our first was born. My husband and I have had our ups and downs like every couple, but we for the most part are good at fighting and moving on. We love spending time together, and we love when new adventures come our way. The roughest time in our relationship to this point was the first six months of our journey as parents. The strange thing is, after going through it I hear couples talk about it often. I wish I had heard these stories before I went through it myself, because maybe I would have been able to understand my husband better. Maybe I would have known what was coming so I could prepare for it mentally.
Moms and Dads do things different in most cases. After almost a year with our son, I finally was able to teach myself that that is ok. I remember getting frustrated because my husband didn’t know how to change a diaper, and because of that he was nervous every time he attempted it. And no wonder; I was over his shoulder correcting each step he did “wrong”. I should mention that he had never changed a diaper before our child was born. I had been babysitting and working in daycare settings on and off since I was twelve. Where had my patience gone that I had always had with my husband? Why wasn’t I eager to calmly teach him?
I remember getting so mad because I felt like I was doing all the work. I was breastfeeding, so it was really hard for me to get breaks because my baby needed me. One time my husband put a footed pj set on sideways. One arm through an arm hole, one arm through a leg hole, one leg through an arm hole, and one leg through a leg hole. Please picture this, because this is freaking talent! I thought it was hilarious, but brought it up way too often about how he was so smart but couldn’t even figure out how to put jammies on our child.
I’m sure I sound like a bit of a monster, but the truth is, this is really common. My hormones were out of control. Both of us had accepted a new role that I will forever argue is the hardest job on the planet. There were major changes and a lack of sleep. There was a new family member that needed constant attention and love. We both took turns feeling jealous because we felt neglected. And I cannot explain this because I tend to be the type of person that believes there is never only one way to do something, but I thought I was doing everything right and he was doing it all wrong.
Here is what got us through and allowed me to do better after the first year. I learned to stop feeling so entitled. If my husband was feeding our son, changing him, keeping him safe, and loving him, I had no room to judge. Who cares if he had on an outfit that didn’t match or was on sideways or backwards? He was dressed and having fun with his daddy! I had to learn to really appreciate the fact that I had a husband that wanted to be a good dad and was trying daily to be better.
We learned to make time for each other even if it meant snuggling on the couch and watching a show together before bed. We made a major effort to talk often and about our own lives rather than only our son all the time. We learned to say I’m sorry when we lost our temper over silly things. We started voicing our needs (honey, I need ten minutes to shower in peace please). It wasn’t fair for either of us to assume the other one could read minds. We practiced praising each other often. That is probably my favorite one, and the piece that changed things the most. When I told him how much I appreciated him washing bottles and breast pump parts he would get the biggest smile and say thank you for noticing. When he told me how proud he was that I was breastfeeding even when it got tough, I could feel his support and it made me love him more. It takes dedication to be a mom and a wife, but it is worth the hard work if you really love your partner.
If you are pregnant with your first, I hope knowing this might help you navigate your way through arguments better. If you are a brand new mom feeling angry at your partner, I hope this post makes you feel normal, because you are! With work and effort you can get through it together. And I promise that your child is worth every silly argument you have! You will get through this phase. There are some cases where one partner really isn’t helping, doing their part, or even being present, and there is an entirely different article to be written about that. In this case, please stand up for yourself and your child, you both deserve more. If you are one of the superheroes that didn’t or doesn’t go through this phase, go girl! Send me your advice and tell me how you did it.
Hugs Mommas!! You are all doing an amazing job ♥
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