Marriage Survival Tips with a New Baby
How to Avoid Fights During the First Six Weeks Baby is Home
By: Kelby Carr on: Sun 01 of Jul, 2007 [00:24 UTC] (3213 reads)
The first six weeks after a couple becomes parents are easily among the toughest times in a marriage. It is not uncommon to fight, sometimes even often and viciously. Here are tips to survive your marriage during the first six weeks after a baby arrives.
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Yes, a new baby is a joyous moment but this is also a stressful time. Both new mom and dad are severely sleep deprived. If this is your first child, both your lives have been forever altered.
You are suddenly needed to constantly care for another human, which means you have no time to nurture your marriage. But it doesn't have to be nonstop fighting.
Take a Deep Breath
The first and best thing you can do is take a deep breath before you say or do anything to your spouse. Repeat after me: "This is hard on everyone, and we are both trying!"
Now you may speak. Don't let rattled nerves from a screaming baby (which can be especially hard if you have a colicky baby who cries nonstop), or the edginess from lack of sleep, affect your behavior too much. Remember that your wife or husband is also dealing with the same thing.
Write Down All the Baby Duties
You probably think you are doing more than your spouse. Guess what? He or she probably thinks the same thing. That's because a baby is an awful lot of work. Instead of assuming that and nagging about it (or, worse yet, keeping it in until it boils over), assess the situation.
If you simply write down who does what, and how often, you will probably discover you both are slammed with responsibilities. This can especially be the case when, for instance, mom is home on maternity leave and dad returns to work during the day.
If there really is an imbalance, come up with a plan for dividing all the duties and stick to it.
Let Him or Her Help with the Baby
Resentment builds quickly on both ends when one parent decides to be the resident baby expert. The expert then is resentful for having to do everything and seethes. The rookie hates being marginalized and criticized over every detail.
If you are the so-called expert, step back and let your spouse do something, already! Unless it endangers the baby, does it really matter of that person's style of closing a diaper doesn't match yours precisely? Is it really a big deal if the baby is in a sleep-and-play without a onesie underneath instead of with one? Come on!
Most of the marital fighting with a new baby comes from the combination of cranky parents and nit-picking fights over something of complete insignificance.
If you are the rookie, jump in! Take charge! Don't take no for an answer. Your spouse could very well be picking up on your lack of confidence and hesitation, so prove you can do it (even if you think you can't). There's only one way to learn, and that's the way all new parents learn: by just doing it.
Get a Break from Baby
You need some perspective. Nonstop baby care, or nonstop baby care and work, without sleep or a break turns the brain to jelly. It can be hard to tear yourself away from your baby, but it's important to do so.
See if someone can just watch the baby for a couple hours, while you and your spouse go out for a cup of coffee. Even an hour away can make an amazing difference in your marriage and reduce the fighting.
When you're in the middle of the marathon, you don't even have time to notice how hard you're panting. Stop for a moment to get a refreshing gulp of relaxation.
Know Caring for Baby Will Get Easier
It can help to just remind yourself it does get easier soon. Usually, the first six weeks are the most challenging. Caring for a baby, child, even a teen, is not easy, but do know that the overwhelming sense of stress you feel now will see some major relief very soon.