I love my wife and I love my two kids. But all we do lately is bicker and fight about how the kids have terrible sleep habits and she doesn’t want to do anything about it, and it’s eating away at our marriage. Today was the worst Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. Our intimate life is struggling because we never ever get alone time. Again, I love my kids more than anything, but some times I just miss how simple life was when we didn’t have children. Anyone here gone through this and have advice?

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Side dish. It always the icing on the cake.

funnylikesmarthelpful

luckily food isnt the same thing as a relationship. youre not obligated to marry, and if you get married while thinking cheating is ok youre a scummy person

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I’m curious as to why the kids’ sleep habits are your wife’s problem and not something you both are managing. Sometimes I believe SHM’s should leave for a week and let the Dad experience being the sole caregiver for a week so they can appreciate their wives and understand it’s no cake walk. Your wife needs a partner, not another needy child in the house complaining about what they don’t get.

likefunnysmart

Would you be willing to put the work in to establish the sleep habits? Like, lead the charge?

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If you’re looking to get lucky...take both kids out on a stroller ride to give the wife some space and then wait until nap time.

If that doesn’t work, vacuum. Even if the house is clean. My wife is more attracted to me vacuuming than when we first met...

likefunnysmart

This is why I don’t think I’m ever going to have kids. My body is not a prize for doing the bare minimum. This entire thread makes me nauseous.

likefunny

You say that "she doesn't want to do anything about it".... is there something specific you want her to do? Or a specific way you feel she's contributing to the problem? Contrary to what an entire industry of child rearing books would lead you to believe, some kids just need more sleep and sleep more consistently than other kids. You can certainly help encourage good sleep patterns but if you have a kid who's a terrible sleeper, it might not be anybody's "fault." Beating each other up about it, will not help the child's sleep or your marriage.

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Change your child’s diet they may have a food allergy that is making them uncomfortable.

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I suspect every parent has had a moment where they wished they didn’t have kids. Fortunately for me those were brief moments and I could not honestly picture my life without them. I hope this is a phase for your family and it passes. Agree you need set sleep habits or life will remain chaotic

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OP, are you encouraging her to go back to work? I had to be a stay at home mom for a year out of necessity and died a little each day.

Also, having small children is incredibly hard on marriages. My first director flat out told me that.

And while sleep habits are important, there are years of sleep disruptions no matter what.

It will get easier over time.

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I understand this. So much. Sleep (or lack of) is actually a form of torture. If you are sleep deprived, you are 10 times more frustrated, short tempered, etc compared to usual.
It’s also a tough age, and the age difference between the 2 is so small, and the older one is probably still getting used to having a nee baby at home and less attention. And then we also live in the times of COVID!
So cut yourself(and your wife) some slack! If you got through the day, everyone had at least one meal to eat, no one had to go to doctor, and everyone is in their PJs - yay! We made it through. The bar is low, but it helps not to feel like you are constantly disappointing someone or not meeting expectations. It will get better, I promise. Mine are 8, 5 and 3.5

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And don’t worry about the little one “picking up” the sleep habits of the older one! My oldest (now 8) was the worst sleeper I’ve ever encountered. She never slept through the night without waking up at LEAST 3 times until 10 months. Multiple wakings through the night, coming to our room, etc - it lasted till she was 7.5! (She JUST finally stopped - or at least I think so - knock on wood!)
People couldn’t believe it when they found out we wanted to try for baby #2! And aside from having colic the first 4 months of his life, once that passed, he was the chillest baby EVER. He put himself to sleep. He slept alone in the room. He never woke up before 8am! He napped for 3hrs daily until he started pre-k.
I cannot take any credit for that! He is just wired differently. Kinda how some people pick up other languages right away, and others struggle so much even when they try very hard.
By the way, baby #3 was a mix of 2, but definitely closer to being a “good sleeper” - just not so good as my middle one. So I’m a firm believer in the idea that “we can change/teach our kids 10%, but the other 90% they are born with”

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I’m a woman who has a 5 month old at home. Kids are a lot of work. Maybe try to help her more with the kids. I take care of the baby during the day, and my husband takes care of her at night. It works for us.

likehelpful

OP, yes - and it sounds like she’s miserable being a stay at home mom. She works, you work, and her work is more tiring. Split all work outside of the business day 50/50 and maybe insist on putting the children to bed 1-2 days a week - like on your date nights.

Intimate time may lead to a third kid..be careful what you wish for..

funnylike

💯

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My kids are grown, but it seems like yesterday that they were young and needy, and chaos was the usual state of the household. I reminded myself often that we would look back and remember those hard days as the best time of our lives. It's hard, but there were so many fun times too. Nothing replaces the snuggles of an infant or toddler. My youngest was the worst sleeper. We had to put her in a wrestling hold and let her fight us until she wore herself out - it was the only way to get her to sleep. She also had to be touching someone to stay asleep. She slept in our bed until she was 3 1/2, and I can tell you it was a happy day when she started sleeping in her own bed. It turns out that she has sensory processing disorder and auditory processing disorder, so her needs were very real. My middle kid was the opposite - when she was tired, she wanted to be put down in the crib and left alone. So don't worry that your younger kids will be a poor sleeper just because the older one is. Try to be patient, give yourself and your wife lots of grace, and before you know it, your kids will be sleeping in their own rooms all night, your wife won't be exhausted, and you will make time and money for date nights post-Covid.

likesmart

Agree with Director here. I’d trade infant/toddler sleepless nights over teens missing curfews or college kids at parties sleepless nights any day of the week! Hang in there.

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This is so hard, I feel you. If it is any consolation, I had a phase like this when my kids were younger and now we are in a much better place - it's like a completely different relationship. And having happier parents is such a healthier environment for the kids. Pandemic time is multiplying all the pressures and it won't be like this forever.

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And it will absolutely get better.

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Ride the wave.
A few years ago, I had cancer. And was pretty certain I was going to die...You know what the worst part of having cancer was? Having kids. They’re simultaneously the best part of life and are perfect mirrors for all the guilt and remorse and shame and inadequacies you feel in yourself. Hell I can’t ever shut the bathroom door without worrying one of those goblins is going to hurt themselves, let alone have intimacy.....And when you have a coequal partner, who you love; but argue with about things as petty as how quickly your foot hits the gas when you’re merging, minutia can accelerate —- especially when you’re dealing with something as metaphysically taxing as shepherding your genetic future toward normallcy when we’re currently experiencing anything but.... ive never been a fan of greeting card company holidays so I’ll leave it there but my wife and I have bonded on a deeper level because of the craziness.....breathe, accept that all of this will change just as quickly as they also change, you’re probably a pretty awesome parent/partner, it’ll pass. RIDE THE WAVE. oh and give back to yourself, parents don’t know how: find a spot in the backyard or the side of the house, where you can steal 5 mins of quiet, drink a beer and read stupid puns on twitter. Ive buried a case of miller lite tall boys in the snow behind my garage. It’s amazing.

likeupliftinghelpful

Not advice but feel like I could have written the same paragraph. 2 and 3 years old

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I also hate fixing drywall which has saved my hands several times.

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How old are the kids

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I Weissbluthed the hell out of my kid, and it’s the best thing I could have done for my child and my marriage. If you’re following your kid’s sleep cues, there is often little to no crying involved in sleep training. My little one is now 10 years old and very well adjusted; you won’t psychologically harm your child by letting them cry it out once in a while. You are teaching them how to soothe themselves which is a critical concept!

I’d advise you to make an appointment with your pediatrician and discuss it. They likely have some great resources to share, and your wife may be more apt to listen if the advice is coming from a neutral party. Good luck!

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Your kids are at such stressful ages right now (and close in age which is harder). My kids were that close in age and my second one was colicky so we didn't sleep for a year. Hang in there it will get better. Try to think creatively about how to help them sleep better and yourselves (sound machines, ceiling fans, taking shifts, etc.). Don't get hung up on the intimacy part quite yet but try to focus on just spending time together right now...find a quick 30 min netflix show, have a bookclub, or just spend time together. It really gets better. My kids were a year apart.

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Seriously thank you, it feels so good to just be heard

likeupliftingfunny

6 months and 2 years, you’re in the thick of it right now!

Our first was fairly easy. We had two more (twins) and were outnumbered quickly. It’s a ton of work until they’re all at least 4.

Here’s what I learned: no matter how frustrated you are/how crazy you feel/how afraid you are, your wife/partner is feeling the same way of not much worse. I can’t even get into all the reasons why that is.

Hang in, help more, be allies. Also, have fun. Being a parent is really hard but it’s also really fun to watch these people you made learn and grow.

Also, sorry your Valentine’s Day sucked. Let’s face it though, you’re a parent of 2 small children! Valentine’s Day means buying treats for pre school, after care, etc.

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Parent tax. They are trained to turn over Skittles and Starburst.

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Do you love each other more than life itself?


If you do, it will work out. Our kids didn’t leave our room until age six. Just love each other. No matter what.

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Yes we do. Thank you

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Try doing some research on your own on various sleep programs and trainings. You could start Babywise w your infant, but would prob need another program for sleep training a 2 year old. Just saying “we should do something” doesn’t help, it just puts more work on her plate. So do the work up front and come with solutions, don’t just state the problem. Approach this how you wii oh you approach your work.

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This. Our kids are much older now, but I distinctly remember the Babywise scheduling saving our asses. Schedule babies are happy babies. It's the ONLY parenting advise I will give. Everything else, you're on your own!

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I’ll be honest, this might be due to the pandemic. My kid’s sleep patterns are all weird because she’s at home all day with no opportunity to play outside with her friends like she used to. I’m hearing similar things from my friends. Some have hired sleep consultants. And our kids aren’t babies anymore, they used to sleep fine. I’m suffering from insomnia too. Texting other parents at 3am has gotten to be a bad habit but what else is there to do when I can’t sleep? Besides work. This whole situation with the pandemic, lockdowns, virtual learning, work from home, and no light at the end of the tunnel is not good for mental health.

But things will get better. I would suggest putting your kids into daycare or hiring a nanny/helper at least part time once you guys feel safe to do so. Yes it’s tough right now and yes relationships are strained and we are all questioning our life choices. But we will get through this because we have to. And once you do, you’ll reconnect with your wife and kids and all the things you love about your family. Just hang in there. Don’t say or do anything you can’t undo. Have some patience and grace for everyone, especially yourself.

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Regression also happens a lot around that age when a new child arrives.

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Mom here - COVID has magnified every pre-existing condition. Meaning, kids always sucked.

Thank you for attending my Ted Talk.

likefunny

Reading posts like this makes me feel uber grateful to be single, free and childless. I honestly don’t know how couples, much less, couples with small kids do this. Best of luck, OP!

likefunnyuplifting

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