Postpartum and Beyond


When You Feel Like You’re Doing it All

Before me and my husband had our baby I did a lot of reading and had heard a lot about how the relationship would change, the dynamics would change, and that the first year with your new baby is really hard.

I was convinced that there was no way mine and my husband’s relationship would be impacted negatively. We were a team and there would be no tough feelings towards each other. A few months into it I realized that I was pretty naive. There were days when I just wanted to punch my husband, and I’m pretty sure that there were days when my husband probably wanted to punch me (or at least yell at me).

Your relationship will change, but you need to realize how to deal with the tough days and how to go about resolving them peacefully with your partner. Another big point here is that it’s so important to actually resolve any issues with your partner.

Today I don’t have a big list of things that you need to do to deal with this. Ultimately, it’s really simple:

You have to talk to each other.

If you’re frustrated that you aren’t getting help, tell your partner. Tell them calmly. Don’t yell or belittle. It’s very important that you’re able to get your point across without sounding like you’re better than the other person. I know, you may be bustling around doing everything around the house and taking care of the baby, and the other person is playing video games or doing everything other than helping.
Wait until you’re calm and explain to them how you’re feeling. You can even ask them for help while you’re doing things. “I’m doing the dishes, could you please fold the laundry for me (insert whatever you need here)?” Then, explain to them afterwards how you’re frustrated and feeling like you could use more help.

Are you the one who’s always getting up with the baby? Tell your partner to take a turn at night. Do they agree and then they still don’t wake up? Try waking them up. Wake them up and remind them that they promised they would take care of things tonight.

Don’t. Suffer. In. Silence.
No one is a mind reader. Sure, you can show your annoyance by stomping around doing things, maybe huff and puff now and then, but that doesn’t solve anything.

I know it may end up feeling like nagging. I don’t like reminding my husband to do things constantly, but I also don’t like feeling like I have to do everything around the house and take care of the baby. So, would I rather ask my husband to take out the trash (sometimes multiple times) or not ask him (or not remind him) and have him not do it? So, then I’m stuck with an overflowing trash can or getting Little P in the BJorn, grabbing the trash, walking downstairs, and down out to the trash can? 
I’d much rather ask him to take out the trash and I honestly do ask him multiple times for everything. I ask him when I first think about it and if he takes too long to do it (when I ask I mean now, but he doesn’t realize that) I ask him again. This time I phrase it, “You were going to do (blah blah blah) right? Could you do that please?” And it gets done.

Maybe one day I won’t have to nag. Maybe one day he’ll know that the floor needs to be vacuumed, the dog taken out, etc. But, until then, I will get over my annoyance at having to nag and having to ask for help. I will keep the conversation going that way my partner knows I need help and how to help.

What To Take Away

Keep talking to each other.
Don’t shut down and just do everything because you’re mad your partner isn’t just helping.
Tell them how you’re feeling, calmly, and ask for help.
If you have to nag and that starts getting to you as well, tell your partner that too. You will most likely still have to nag a bit, but hopefully you and your partner will be able to work some sort of system out.

Some Thoughts

What do you think? Is there a way you manage to get your partner to help you on the first try? Does your partner actually know what and when to do things? Did you just give up on the nagging?
Do you have any tips on keeping calm when you’re angry with your partner and overwhelmed?
Let me know!

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