No matter what kind of relationship you have or how understanding your partner is without a baby, doesn’t mean your life or relationship will continue as is once the baby arrives.
My husband is a good guy – some women will think I have it really good or easy in fact. However I am a Millennial women and now mom, so I feel that I have been brought up in a different world to my mother and therefore have had different experiences (i.e. not had to be as domesticated) but I also feel that my peers have different expectations of men than my mom’s boomer generation do. I always wanted a partner who was exactly that, my partner – not me acting like their mom. So I looked for and luckily found a husband who likes cooking, and isn’t that bad at doing the dishes or cleaning. With that said, before baby, we didn’t have that many arguments about domestic stuff beyond – me “why can’t you put your laundry in the actual laundry basket not on top?” and him “why can’t you take the garbage out ever?”
I read some books, blogs and articles while I was pregnant (not overboard just enough to prepare me). I came across an article about couples fighting over who does what household and baby chores a lot especially in the first six weeks. We also heard from a friend of ours who just had his second baby during my last trimester tell us, “you’re going to have the worst fights you’ve ever had and both of you will say some really horrible things because you’ll both be so sleep deprived.”
Naturally I wanted to avoid making the situation worse than it needed to be so we had a discussion about household chores before the baby arrived which I highly recommend doing. We had already were subscribed to Hello Fresh, which was his idea, and he enjoyed cooking so he was assigned cooking dinner and unloading the dishwasher. I always do the dishes when he cooks so that was a given and I was given laundry and ironing along with all of the tidying up I normally do and buying groceries. We already had cleaners every week who do pretty much everything else so we were on the same page and had the big stuff covered.
You might be thinking what’s there to argue about you have it so good! Well yes and no. When the baby arrived and we settled in at home from the hospital my husband really helped and wanted to be hands-on, but I also had separated abs and a c-section so he needed to help a lot as I couldn’t carry her up or down stairs or pick her up because I was in so much pain. We were blessed with an “angel baby” according to the Baby Whisperer so she’s been amazing from the beginning so that helped. The first six weeks are an adjustment for anyone no matter what type of baby and even though she only woke only once or twice during the night that didn’t mean I got a good night’s sleep or was used to interrupted sleep. Between the pain, discomfort from the c-section/ breastfeeding, and the interrupted sleep let’s face it we can only be pushed so far and expected to do so much. So for the first six weeks the housework tidying suffered and my husband picked up my slack on the dishes and did minimal laundry.
For us the arguing didn’t begin until after I was back to ‘normal’ i.e. functioning and in his eyes fully capable of doing everything I did before which was after my six week doctors appointment. I’m sure the majority of women will have arguments with their partner about them being stressed out and feeling like their partner isn’t helping enough with housework and/or baby stuff. Interestingly in our house I have felt this way and expressed it but it’s also my husband who all of a sudden decided that I didn’t do enough! Regardless there will come a time when your partner doesn’t think you do enough or doesn’t recognize you do anything. Either way it will infuriate you.
He started to feel that I should be helping him cook dinner and unload the dishwasher the next morning (the only two domestic chores he was assigned). Now I have no issue helping him do anything, however I have a huge issue when my lack of help is presented in a way that makes it look like he is doing the majority and I am a slacker therefore I need to help him to make up for my lighter load. It’s as if his cooking dinner was such a huge visible thing that he should get more credit for it. (it is really helpful because 6pm-12am is the ‘witching’ hour for babies, it’s when they are the most angry/upset because they are processing their day and if they have been over stimulated they will scream it out).
Needless to say we have had many arguments about the fact that he doesn’t realize how much work I now have with a baby- probably because none of the stuff I do for the baby directly benefits him, whereas him making dinner benefits us both. I’ve spoken to my friend Jenn about the fighting and she and her husband have the same fight (he doesn’t understand what she does all day/how she can be so busy/why everything isn’t done all the time) and her baby is two months younger than mine. No matter how it originates or who starts it you will at some point have a few, many or daily fights about household chores and baby stuff. My husband works from home the majority of the time so he is around to occasionally hold her for 10 minutes, change her or entertain her for short periods which can be a lifesaver sometimes but that doesn’t mean he helps out more with household or baby chores even though he has the time. No matter how many times you try to convey to your partner how much more work you do on a daily basis now that you have a baby to take care of – they will never fully comprehend because they aren’t around to see you do it or taking notice even when they are home!
I am constantly having to remind my husband that my life before the baby was totally different – I had loads more time. Now my day is filled up with all these things he doesn’t realize I do or help with:
- freezing milk
- feeding bottles* occasionally he helps with
- cleaning pumping equipment
- making bottles
- cleaning bottles
- changing diapers* he does about one a day
- getting her up
- pre-soaking her laundry
- washing her laundry
- folding her laundry
- putting her laundry away
- picking out clothes
- dressing her* he does do this a few times a week
- putting her down for naps
- packing the diaper bag
- getting everything ready to leave the house
- picking up after her (toys, food etc)
- preparing food
- feeding food
- cleaning her high chair
- bathing her* he does this most nights
- brushing her teeth
- putting her to bed
- getting up in the middle of the night if she wakes
- and other little things that take up your day
I think every couple at some point is going to have their disagreements – how could you not when you are both sleep deprived, stressed and out of your element? I do take pride in the fact that we haven’t had middle of the night sleep deprived screaming fests like we were warned of. Either way it’s probably easiest to mitigate some of the tension by divvying up who does what before your baby is born – especially food who buys it and who makes it otherwise you’ll both be starving and sleep deprived.
How I prepared for the first six weeks Preparing to Hibernate for Six Weeks After Baby is Born
What types of baby’s there are What ‘Type’ of baby Will You or Do You Have?
What you really feel like after birth in What Happened to My Body Will Probably Happen to Yours & How to Survive the Critical Six Weeks After a C-Section
Do you have any household and baby chore strategies?
#baby #bump #pregnancy #birth #arguingafterbaby #arguingwithyourpartner #newmom #millennialmom