A new baby is the best of times and the worst of times. Mainly the worst being your marriage.
I saw a meme the other day that I can’t stop giggling to myself about; “How mad are you on a scale from 1 to Your Husband is Napping?” You know that’s funny, right? Whoever wrote this must be a new mom. Women really get the short of end of the stick when it comes to childbirth. We all understand the sacrifice their bodies physically endure when welcoming their new little precious human, but we often negate what a toll a new baby can take on a woman mentally once the baby is born. If you throw in a husband who can’t pick up his socks after a mom has been up nursing a baby all night, you’ll 100% kill him. It’s hard not to hate your husband after having a baby. Am I an expert on this topic? Of course not, but I have had three kids with the same man and somehow, he is still alive.
Step 1: The Feedings Problem
Don’t think about their worthless nipples. In the beginning the baby is counting on their mom. Once a week I pump and leave enough milk for my husband to take the night shift. If the baby doesn’t take a bottle have your husband be on diaper duty in the middle of the night so you don’t have to change and feed them. If you have the money hire a night nurse. Sleep deprivation is real and another human (possibly more than one) is counting on you for their survival. Do what you need to do to survive.
Step 2: Weigh the Pros and Cons of the Person and the Chore
A new baby puts stress on your relationship like never before. More chores and errands on less sleep can make anyone cranky. We use the 75% by 25% measures for chores. For instance, we’ve realized in our marriage that I am just a shit cook. I try extremely hard but unless there is a HelloFresh box sitting in front of me and my four-year-old helps, I’m not a natural chef. So here’s where the marriage saver comes in: my husband cooks 75% of the time. It just makes more sense for us. He’s better at it, faster and somehow makes less of a mess. I stick to my strengths and he to his. However, if he can’t cook, put him in charge of laundry 75% of the time. My three-year-old can fold a towel. If he doesn’t know how to do laundry teach him. Then swear you’ll never raise a boy who doesn’t know how to do something as simple as laundry.
Step 3: State Your Needs
While I don’t know how my husband can walk in the house and not see the 50 things that need to happen, he just doesn’t. If I need the diaper pail emptied or the toilet cleaned, I have to tell him. I don’t know why, but he doesn’t see it. He also doesn’t mind doing it if I just ask. We’re all tired and men are horrible at reading our passive aggressive vibes. Even more so when a crying baby has been up all night. Avoid the fight completely and just ask. Just explain to him nicely that nobody wants to have sex with a slob, and that you realize nobody wants to have sex with a martyr, and you’ll figure it out.
Step 4: Have Sex.
Yes, I know. The last thing you want to do after your 6 weeks checkup is the same exact thing that put you into this situation in the first place. But here is the thing… if you’re not having sex, you’re probably going to fight more. Seriously — have hot sex with your husband and then try and pick a fight. He won’t let you, and chances are you’re not really mad in the first place. Why? Because you just got laid. Trust me on this. More sex = happier marriages. Momhack of the century for us was to hire a sitter to take the kids to the park once a week while we were home.
Step 5: Leave.
Get the hell out of there. You can’t expect your partner to be an equal parent if he’s never alone with the kids. Let him screw up. Let him figure it out. Yes, the chances of him not putting the baby in the cute outfit are likely, but what is the worst that he could possibly do? He’s their dad; let them at him. Now go sit alone somewhere and let him figure it out.
As I mentioned, I am no expert on this matter. But once we started communicating more efficiently, the stress and tasks of a new baby starting easing for us. Now go have more sex and leave your husband alone with the kids.