Consulting Moms

Feeling like my marriage post-baby is in ruins. Feel like I’m doing everything for baby and running the household solo during leave while hubby is back at work. Even worse is when he travels for work

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Echoing above, it does get better!! Almost ten months later, we are still adjusting to the new reality but it's much easier now than before. (Aside...Isn't it depressing how little society values the job of motherhood and running a household?) Here are a few things that helped me... 1 - PRIORITISE. Identify what's critical for you, stick to it, and let the other things go....even better if you do this together with your husband. If your baby isn't sleeping well, focus on addressing those issues, everything else comes after. If you are still recovering from the birth, focus on getting better physically, and the baby's needs. For me, this meant addressing feeding (helping baby go from low birth weight to normal, going to breastfeeding support groups) and physical recovery (going to physio and sleeping when baby sleeps). Household chores like cooking and cleaning only get done when another adult is around. 2 - Reset expectations with your husband. The baby has changed BOTH of your lives, not just yours, so he should also adjust accordingly. Can he request to travel less for work? Does he really need to travel for personal reasons? Can he take the morning or evening "shift" with the baby so you can have a rest? Can he autodecline social invitations, especially if on weekdays, unless it's really important? For us, this meant my husband managing his work and gym to be home to help with bath time and bed time, unless there were extenuating circumstances. 3 - Ask for help where you can. For me this meant asking my MIL, who lives locally and is retired, to come by every week so I could clean the bathroom and get some rest. For others, this may mean hiring a night nanny, a mother's helper, cleaner, etc. 4 - Don't be afraid to decline invitations or pull out of things - and DON'T "overprogram" your day. As an extrovert, this was the hardest thing for me to do. But it was unrealistic to push our family to carry on our social life as we had before. Now we autodecline dinners unless the person is from out of town or it's a really special occasion. We try to do activities on a Saturday or Sunday, but NOT both. And we prioritise family down time to rest and recharge....together. 5 - Make some time for just you and your husband. Could be a regularly scheduled date night, weekend away from baby, etc. For us, this means no baby chat during dinner so we still feel like we have lives of our own. Hope this helps and best of luck OP.

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My heart goes out to you. I am sorry you are at such a low point in this journey. I almost cried when I read this post - it was literally me a few months back. I've had so much resentment built up towards my husband over the unfairness of it all. It seemed like he didn't get it whatsoever... but as we talked more, I realized that he wanted to help but frequently, he didn't know how. All too often, us women feel a tremendous weight of responsibility for the baby esp in the first few months and we have a lot more tools to help us than our husbands...that's why it appears we can do it all with ease...Being a new parent is disorienting and very rough on the marriage; the good news you WILL find a solution that works for you whether it's him pitching in more or outsourcing it to nannies and au-pairs. It will just take time and honestly you leaving him alone with the baby more frequently.

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It definitely gets better. The whole first year is SO hard, and the first few months even more so. I felt exactly the same way on my leave. My biggest hesitation before having #2 was that I knew there would be a (temporary) toll on our marriage! So all that being said, don’t lose hope. In terms of improving the current situation: Can you make a clearer distinction of responsibilities so that you’re not doing (or responsible for delegating) every task? Just because you’re on leave doesn’t mean hubs should skip out on all night responsibilities or household stuff. Also, what else can you outsource?

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I am wondering if there are things he can do before he leaves (for work). For example, he can clean and meal prep so your focus when he is out is on the baby and on yourself. Also, do you have friends/neighbors that you can reach out to that can come watch the baby for an hour here and there so you can get some alone time?

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I had a lot of the same frustrations when I had my son. I felt like my life had changed in every way possible and my husband could carry on with a lot of things as normal (work, gym, sleep to some extent). It definitely gets better. For us, it got a lot better when I went back to work and he was forced to pick up some of the work around the house. I still carry a lot of the mental load but it has gotten better. A couple things to think about: Get help - cleaning lady, night nanny, baby sitter during the day, have family over, etc. Anything to take something off your plate. Get time for you - to get coffee, get a manicure, go to yoga, hang with a friend Do something with your husband without the baby, even if you don’t feel like it. DM if you want to chat! First few months are so hard but it gets much better!

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Totally agree with this! Get some time for you (alone or with friends that make you laugh), and also do something with your husband as a couple to help see each other as actual people again. Hang in there! ❤️

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Thank you all - seriously, you ladies are like my personal therapy group 🙂. It feels so good to know that I’m not alone and I appreciate all of the tactical tips. It’s crazy to me that this is still the reality when I’m married to a progressive women championing Millennial man 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️😭 He still doesn’t get it!

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A4- ask him to explain how that’s a proper lunch and would he eat that himself? Don’t let him out of it- it may take some patience and discussion on your part but if you let it go you’ll be stuck making lunches forever. Plus, what does he feed the kids on the weekend or for dinner when you’re not there?

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It is annoying. To me it was an identity crisis for me to go from what I deemed high impact work to having a baby and my day to day was laundry, daytime tv, maybe showering. I got jealous that he was living normal life and not changing as much as I felt I was having to. I went back to work early because I needed it. I don’t regret that decision at all because it got me back to a better mental state.

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This is so common. You have to put your foot down with him. No more “cool wife”. He can have “cool wife” or “sane wife”. He shouldn’t be traveling for fun right now- go see guy friends for a drink. Locally. Every once in a while. It will get better. But in the mean time- be clear that you are feeling resentment and anger, that you are exhausted, and you need him to step up.

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I’m seeing a ton of these posts lately. All of this is so common and normal... why isn’t this more common knowledge? Just wondering out loud here.

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Have gone through this, with zero help from my husband or his family who live in the same area. Adjusted my expectations and hired a nanny while still on mat leave to keep my sanity. Switched to a meal delivery service and got a regular cleaning lady. The husband is paying for all. Please don’t dismiss your needs. Your baby needs a healthy, happy, well rested mom.

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First few months are HARD! Best thing that got me through it - 1. night Nanny 2. have my mom some and stay with us. Ask for help. Get help - and not from the hubby. While you will always carry more of the burden (physical and emotional) they too are adjusting to a new life. My husband said he was not able to do nights so we got a night nanny. Best decision we ever made. 0 savings for the first 3 months - but that’s what paid maternity is for ?

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Totally agree that you should discuss what are your biggest stressors and decide together how you can throw money at the problem. We decided together to get a cleaner, we decided I could choose to stop pumping whenever I wanted, and stopping that was HUGE. But it did mean spending more on formula, but totally worth it. Just remember it gets much easier once Baby can sleep for long stretches at night, and then at about a year, they can usually sleep very consistently for 12 hours so you can get some evening time together and then a night’s sleep. This is the really tough part - you can get through it!

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This has been a big struggle for us too. Something that helped for us was giving each other a night off. So Tuesdays, he took charge of everything (kids, dinner, bedtime) and I was free to do whatever I wanted with no guilt. Thursdays, we swapped. The biggest problem I had was letting him take charge and do things his way. That said...we are still struggling. I don’t want to be a nag but sometimes want to draw up a Harvey ball chart showing all the responsibilities and who manages them. I can guarantee whose side would be heavier. 🙈

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And play - I feel like I’m having to do everything and I am feeling resentful / so angry. Having back pain with baby, suffering from sleep deprivation, cooking / cleaning. All of our interactions are being colored by this dynamic, and I can’t not show my frustration and anger. Does it get better???

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