Will you hate your husband after your kid is born? Probably. So try these 5 tips when you just can't anymore.
One thing no one expects when you’re expecting: arguments after birth. Your marriage is about to take a hit. You’re about to have a mind-boggling amount of fights over absolutely nothing with your husband. It happens to everyone. So don’t let your friends and that famous couple from The Bachelor on social media fool you into thinking you’re the only one arguing. When they’re offline, they’re definitely fighting.
‘How mad are you on a scale of 1 to My Husband is Napping’ goes the winning meme that perhaps only new mums understand. The physical sacrifice we make during pregnancy and the emotional toll a newborn takes on us gives no room for romance. Throw in a husband who can’t pick up his socks, and you might just kill him.
But you won’t. So here I am, sharing 5 honest tips on how to keep that flame from fizzling out. And trust me, there won’t be any ‘Set a date night’ bullsh*t in here, because the reality is, if you’re fighting with him, you’d rather do it at home.
How to keep your marriage (and you) alive after childbirth
1. Get him involved with feedings or hire help
The newborn stage is overwhelming. Your days revolve around feeding the baby, changing diapers, and back to feeding. Two hours between feeds feels like 10 minutes when you have a slow feeder like mine. For weeks, I was in a perpetual feeding cycle. If you needed me, you’d find me either cradling this squirmy human and pressing his head against my aching boobs, or clenching onto my breast pumps. I was a zombie. I started pumping more milk and storing it in the fridge so my husband could feed the baby when I needed a break. Get your husband fully involved. Put him on diaper duty during the day, and split the shift with him at night. If you can afford a helper or two, go for it. You will need to keep yourself (and your husband) alive before you can keep your marriage alive.
2. Split the chores
A quick search on the Internet tells you that new parents very often quarrel over who does more. It’s sad, but it’s true. If you’re blessed with a helper, this doesn’t apply to you. Otherwise, time to tally it up. If you cook, he cleans. You do laundry, he puts them away. If he (God forbid) can’t do laundry, you teach him, and swear you will never raise a boy who can’t do a simple task like putting clothes in the washing machine. You stick to your strengths and he sticks to his. Remember, don’t let the stress of house chores get to your marriage.
3. State your needs and be patient
My husband amazes me with his ability to walk around the house without seeing all the things that need to be done. If I need the dog to be taken out for a walk, I have to tell him. I don’t know why, but he just doesn’t see it. He also doesn’t mind doing it if I ask, but again, in his own time. I once asked him to do the dishes, and he said he was going to ‘Let them soak’. That phrase set me off to a different planet. Same goes with other trigger words, like ‘in a minute’, or ‘I will’. I was livid. But eventually he did it. That’s most men, though. If you need him to do something, ask him, remind him, and then bug him again. Trust me, the usual hollering and retorting, although effective, might do your marriage more harm than good.
4. Have (a lot 0f) sex
Sexual frustration will lead to more fights. I was afraid of having sex during the weeks after giving birth. The idea of doing the exact thing that put me in this situation in the first place, coupled with the fresh memory of painful sex somewhere in the second and third trimester, was the biggest turn-off. However, if you don’t have sex, you will probably fight more. If you need help easing into postnatal sex like I did, check out the abundance of sex toys in the market. They won’t disappoint, and neither does getting it on with your husband.
5. Leave the house
Go out for the day. Schedule a lunch with friends, join a workout class, or just go sit at a cafe for a few hours. Leave the baby with your husband. Is that a hungry cry or a sleepy cry? Let him figure it out, rather than you telling him what to do with the baby. Men hate to be told what to do. Also, he’s the father. The worst thing that can happen is him putting the baby in an outfit that’s too big.
There it is ladies, 5 honest tips from a relatively new mum who went through war (literally) with her husband. If you are thinking of strangling your husband with that dirty diaper in your hands, you are not alone. However, few years down the road, you will look back and laugh at that Diaper-gate. Not quite yet, though.