Relationship Problems After Baby
Happy Families or on the brink?
When we named our daughter Persephone, we laughed at the meaning. “Bringer of Destruction” sounded absurd for such a beautiful name, yet in within our usually strong loving relationship that’s exactly what it seemed like.
Our love for our daughter seemed to be the one thing we still had in common, we’d both coo over her, fight for cuddles, and compete to win that first adorable smile, yet behind this very happy family tie, there was one thing we were both neglecting, US.
Of course priorities change, and the bouncing chubby baby is paramount in the day to day running of the family, but as we soldiered on with little sleep, less sex, and mounting resentments the cracks began to show.
Our seemingly perfect relationship was splitting ever so slowly at the seams!
The reasons, after many little grumbles over the washing up and the way to burp the baby became clear.
1) Defined roles – We both assumed after the birth of our bundle of joy, we’d be able to carry on regardless. He’d be able to pursue his hobbies much the same way as before, I’d be able to continue to work, much the same as before. In the nine months of waiting, we decided she’d be happy in the garden gurgling in her pram whilst he attended the veggie patch and I wrote articles such as these, how wrong we were!
2) Housework – Which brings me to the next illusion. Before the baby, we both contributed significantly to the household chores, both finding time in our schedules to cook meals from scratch, iron clothes perfectly, and have a roaring fire ready for the evening. After many weeks of starting but not completing household tasks, the house began to resemble a bomb site and resentments over who was doing their fair share began to mount.
3) Sex- With a very active sex life, and a lot of intimacy, not just the carnal pleasures but the cuddles whilst watching TV, even falling asleep in each other’s arms, we found that after baby the lack of any of this put a huge strain on us as a couple. It’s hard to cuddle up when one is pacing the floor with a baby, it’s hard to feel sexy when your breasts are tender to the touch, it’s hard to muster up the energy during naptime when there are bills to pay and clothes to wash. It’s just generally hard, (or not, as the case may be).
4) Family relationships- I know my husband’s found his role as a son in law changing. When my mother visits and proceeds to tell him how best to burp the baby, when he’s been the one trying his hardest for the past six hours without a break, there’s bound to be tension.
5) Sleep – Both of you were so in love, every morning after a good night’s sleep, but there’s a reason this is used as a torture technique. Unless you’re extremely lucky, at least one of you will be sleep deprived, and will be jealous of the other as they hop out of bed on a fully refreshing eight solid hours. It’s unavoidable.
6) Communication – It really is good to talk, but do you really have the time anymore? Have you the time to finish a sentence, let alone sit and discuss feelings over the Sunday papers with a pot of coffee and a croissant? No? I didn’t think so.
7) Social life- One or both of you may have imagined your social life to carry on as before. But you didn’t really count on how you would feel about this oh so precious bundle. What if you leave her with someone and they don’t understand that, “That face” means she’s ready for a feed? Or if they let her sleep and completely knock her out of the routine you’ve taken six weeks to perfect. Not to mention if you’re breastfeeding. Can you really express enough? Would your boobs be alcohol free by the morning or would you have to consider formula? With all these worries you may find it easier to stay in and try to watch a full film without interruptions. Luxury.
With all these added strains it’s a wonder why people have a baby to save the relationship, they must be barking mad! However, that said, I think between us, my husband and I have cracked it and our relationship is now even better than it was before, come back tomorrow, and I’ll tell you just how we did it!