Adjusting to a new baby can be hard. Add sleep deprivation, anxiety and more, and you have got a recipe for arguments. The good news is that there are ways to avoid the petty fights that you probably find yourself having.
You probably find yourself arguing with your partner about who is more tired, and who should be getting up for the baby. The truth is, you are both tired, and you both need sleep. Rather than argue about when you will get up (and when your partner will) rather negotiate a system that works for you. Alternate, or take each night in shifts of a few hours. You will both be a little bit less tired, and you will both be doing your bit.
Who can calm your baby down
You may find that your partner hands you your baby as soon as he or she is crying. You probably feel that this is unfair. It is probably not about your partner being unwilling to help, however. He probably just feels ill equipped to solve the problem. Rather than feeling resentful, divide baby care tasks into yours and your partners. You could handle feeding, your partner bathing, you could alternate nappy changes, and you could both take a walk together with your child. By defining roles and responsibilities, you will solve any problems.
What you did all day
When your partner comes home from work to a messy house, and sandwiches for dinner, he probably wonders (or asks) what you did all day. Since you probably spent the day dealing with baby related issues, this is a recipe for a fight. Rather than getting defensive, or angry, sit down together when your child is sleeping, and work out a compromise. You might agree that certain chores get done, and that others can be let slide, or you might agree that you need help, but that you can make sure there is a hot dinner every night. Whenever either of you starts to feel the same, talk about the issue again, and work out a new solution.
Most people do not realise just how demanding a newborn can be. You’ll probably find yourself arguing with your partner about who’s turn it is to do what – or quietly seething about how little they’re helping. Rather than letting the situation explode, sit down together, and divide up the chores. When you need something specific done, do not be vague about it either – ask your partner directly, and politely, to do what you need them to.
Whereas before, it was fine if your errands took an extra hour, or your partner’s quick trip to a friend ended up a late night event, when you are sharing the responsibility of caring for a baby, you will naturally be resentful when what should take ten minutes, or half an hour, turns into a half a day. It may be accidental, but it is also possible that your partner was simply desperate for some ‘me time.’ Rather than start a fight, sit down with your partner and work out a schedule that allows both of you some time off. When you do genuinely have to do something, be realistic about how long it will take, and if you are going to be late, let your partner know.