My partner and I didn't have big, major, blow-out fights after the births of our two children. At least, we didn't have angry screaming matches of anything that would be considered dangerous or toxic. But we did have "fights" as in disagreements, and I say fights because there isn't a really good word that exists for the feelings and natural tensions that arise in the postpartum period. So, while it's not a perfect term, please allow me to share the most ridiculous fights I had with my partner because of postpartum hormones.
Postpartum hormones are an easy target, largely because you can blame them for pretty much everything whether or not they're the actual culprit. They're a convenient scapegoat and yet, at the same time, they're probably involved in whatever crappy thing is going on inside your head because they're powerful little jerks. I don't know if a lot of these foul, postpartum moods were hormone-induced, exhaustion induced, or brought on by my inability "to even," but I'm just going to go ahead and blame the hormones.
Everything, and everyone, is at the very least just a little bit on edge the first few months postpartum. Even with great communication, compassion, and understanding, it's very easy to get very salty with your partner, and visa versa, when you're trying adjust to life as a new parent because WHAT EVEN IS LIFE RIGHT NOW?! And those bouts of saltiness and irrational grumpiness can, frankly, get downright ridiculous.
So with that in mind, here are some such absurd postpartum moments I'll own up to, because I know I'm not alone in this (and neither, mama, are you):
The "Should We Go To Bed?" Fight
You know how when you're a little kid you never want to go to sleep? Even when you're obviously and tremendously tired? You'd kick and scream as your parents desperately tried to pull pajamas on your writhing body and you eventually wore yourself out in a pile next to your bed? Yeah, I basically never outgrew that phase. I don't know if it's FOMO or just the fact that I don't seem to need as much sleep as other people, but I feel like going to bed is giving up, and the delirious haze of sleeplessness and postpartum hormones didn't help matters.
My husband is exactly the opposite. If he could be passed out 12 hours a day he would happily welcome the opportunity... and the haze of sleeplessness didn't help that, either. So when he suggested we go to bed I would get personally offended like an irrational child.
"Nooooo. I haven't done enough things today! I've been too busy with baby stuff."
"But you're tired. I'm tired."
The "My Husband Casually Walked Up Behind Me & It Scared Me So Much I Started Sobbing For 15 Minutes Straight" Fight
One night my husband came up behind me when I wasn't expecting him and I was just in such a state that I was absolutely terrified and broke down completely to the point that I have to believe hormones must have played a major roll in my reaction.
I knew that he didn't mean to scare me, and he was super apologetic and sweet, but I was so upset and livid and could not/would not be consoled. It was silly but so, too, is the postpartum period in general.
The "Why Is There Not More Pumped Breast Milk?" Fight
I was the only one pumping (you know, on account of being the only one physically capable of pumping anything substantial) and I was the one dictating to my husband when he should give bottles of breast milk (because I was too tired to nurse). And yet if there was no breast milk left I would somehow, in my mind if not out loud, blame my husband for the dearth of milk available. I was incredibly frustrated with my lack of output (the pump and me were not chums) and I needed to direct my frustration to something/someone more tangible than a cruel, uncaring universe.
The "Our Baby Isn't Smiling" Fight
Some babies (our second-born, for example) smile right away. Not social smiles, of course, but some baby's mouths are capable of turning adorably upward pretty early on in their lives. My son didn't smile for months, though, and even though I knew that babies are incapable of smiling to express happiness until around 2 months I took it personally. What if it was a sign that he was unhappy?! What if he was some sort of monster incapable of human emotion? Why couldn't I make this better and, better question, why couldn't my husband? And why wasn't he worried about it? And why wasn't he calming me down instead of just saying "This is a non-issue."
knew it was a non-issue but you don't have to rub it in my face! (He wasn't rubbing it in my face at all: I was just making it a weird issue for some reason.)
The "My Husband Was Sleeping" Fight
He wasn't not getting up with the baby. He wasn't preventing me from sleeping. He wasn't sleeping when there were other things to do. He was doing his fair share as a parenting partner and he was exhausted. He slept when he could and only after making sure there wasn't anything I needed. He was great!
And yet seeing another human being sleeping when you wish you could be sleeping was rage-inducing torture.
The "I Thought Our Toddler Loved My Husband More When Our Daughter Was Born" Fight
This was all in my head, and if it wasn't it certainly wasn't unreasonable. Our kids were breastfed and I had the boobs, so needless to say I was spending a lot of time with our infants. As such, my husband did a lot of the heavy lifting with our oldest when our second was born, and this made me tremendously sad and jealous and upset. And it's not like he was doing anything other than what he should have been doing and had to do, but I sort of resented it. We talked about it, it wasn't a fight, but the hormones were making me saltier about it than I really had any right to be.
The "My Husband Encouraged Me To Rest & I Didn't Want To" Fight
Again, I've personally never grown out of my hyper child phase and when I get deep into character my husband has to be the responsible adult. "DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO, HUSBAND! I JUST HAD A C-SECTION, BUT I NEED TO LISTEN TO MY BODY AND MY BODY SAYS IT'S TIME TO SALSA!"
OK, so it wasn't this bad but it wasn't far off.
The "An Unnecessary Chore Isn't Done" Fight
These chores were never important, I made no effort to do them, and I had never once asked my husband to do them. But sometimes I would look at a random container sitting on top of our fridge that didn't actually belong on top of our fridge that had nevertheless been there for about five months and end up pissed.
The "My Husband Put The Baby In An Outfit That Wasn't My Favorite Outfit" Fight
Shouldn't my husband have known that I wasn't in the mood for balloons and teddy bears today? Today is clearly a baby ducky day. It's like he does these things to hurt me.
The "The Baby Woke Up" Fight
Did my husband wake the baby up? Did I wake the baby up? Did the baby just wake up on their own? Is this going to screw up the rest of the day? Is normal? Is the room spinning? The room feels like it's spinning...
Welcome to postpartum life, my friends.