When Two Become Three: Marriage After Baby

I know every relationship is different and all couples react differently to changes in their life, but one thing that seems to be common for new parents is arrival of new arguments and disagreements with the arrival of a baby.

Donavan and I never argued more than the first 2 months of Archer’s life. We were both so protective of him and both thought we were right, even though I did all the research, Donavan had his own ideas of how things should be done. We also were both operating on little sleep and since we both were home all day we were around each other 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, couped up in our condo. That is enough to drive any couple nuts. On top of that there is little to no intimacy during the first 6 weeks, doctors orders, so connecting as a couple sexually is also not an option to help regain that spark.

After weeks of almost daily arguing, we just looked at each other and said this has got to stop. We must start working together and being supportive. We both wanted what was right for little Archer and neither of us really knew if we were right. I am not sure how we turned it around in a matter of one conversation, but I think we both just realized arguing wasn’t going to help anything and we were just tired of it. We missed our lovey dovey snugglefest relationship.

We just communicated how we felt. I felt like he was questioning my mothering. Did he think I was a good mom? And he felt like I was over reacting and not listening to him. After discussing we both realized that we were overly sensitive — he thought I was an amazing mother and I thought he was right more than he was wrong (not easy for me to admit).

Later once Archer got a bit older, the disagreements were a lot fewer but they were different. More about one of us feeling like we were doing more than the other. Like washing bottles vs. washing cloths vs. picking up toys etc… Our solution was to delegate tasks so each of us had things we were responsible for — this method has worked well for us. I also happen to have a super helpful and supportive husband so I didn’t have to deal with feeling like I do everything and he does nothing. Many of the moms in my mommy and me group discussed how their husbands wouldn’t do anything unless they asked, they didn’t want to have to ask, they just wanted their husbands to see what needed to be done and do it. The solution was to devise a chore list so each person has their chores every day and that way things get taken care of without one person always directing the other. Seems like an easy solution if you have a partner willing to do half the work.

In general, don’t worry if you argue a ton in the first few months. You will get passed it and all will return to normal once you figure out your rhythm with this new person as part of your life. Make sure to find time as a couple, say thank you and flirt with each other. We still send silly flirtatious text message, pinch each other’s butts and tell each other how much we appreciate the family we have created. [getting your sex life back also helps :)]

Here is a great article with more structured and differentiated advice: The Marriage Factor

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