This post was inspired by a new mom who wrote to me asking for advice. She was at home all day with her baby and struggling with everything. Her and her husband were still co sleeping and it was taking its toll!
Everyone was snappy and she was annoyed that her husband couldn’t quite understand why he couldn’t get the uninterrupted time he used to enjoy before baby came along and why he seemed a bit distant. Truth is this as I told her….. After your first baby is born it’s quite common for couples to feel a bit distant from one another and in some cases the following can happen……
The man who has always felt like he is in charge suddenly feels lost as he doesn’t know how to solve the problems he’s used to solving. He has no idea about anything to do with raising babies try as he will. In the end, he ends up taking a step back and hoping that his partner will know how to fix things. Truth is – she doesn’t know either and takes his reluctance to be involved the wrong way and – they both become unhappy with the situation. This is when you start to get a communication breakdown.
Essentially what I said to her is that one person is usually the dominant one in relation to caring for a new baby. As she was clearly that person, I suggested that instead of waiting for him to come around, that she try and steer him the way he needed to go. She might want to try to be encouraging and not snappy as that was only going to push him further away.
Sometimes, you just have to take the lead role and accept that no one is ever going to be perfect but that getting frustrated with each other, that isn’t going to do anyone any favours. There were certainly a few moments when I got a bit lost , it happens to everyone. Through these times I always cooked and did chores a lot more so at least I was helping when I felt I couldn’t in other ways.
I wrote a lot in my book about the early days of parenting and trying to be understanding of your partners needs – it’s crucial to how successful you’ll be as parents .