Doctors and baby experts talk a lot about the milestones baby should reach in their first year; from gaining head and neck control, to rolling over, to sitting up, crawling, and beyond. Milestones aren't just for babies, though. First-time parents reach multiple milestones in their first year of parenting together, too.
Some of them are sweet, like witnessing how your partner reacts to hearing your child giggle for the first time. Others are, well, not as sweet, like the first time you both have to use your getting-dressed-in-a-car skills not for fun and sexy reasons, but because your baby had a major diaper or puke situation while stopping for gas and fresh air in the middle of nowhere, and the one sketchy bathroom is occupied.
Keeping your relationship strong after having a baby is challenging, no doubt. When you're sleep-deprived, touched out, and heavily focused on a new little person who depends on you for everything, it's easy to neglect yourselves and each other, or find yourselves arguing more than normal (including arguing over pretty silly things).
Fortunately, life with a baby can be pretty entertaining, too; if not at first, then certainly once some time has passed and the initial embarrassment/disgust/shock has worn off. It's like I often say: the couple that gets pooped on together, stays together (or so I hope, since that has definitely happened to my partner and I, more than once).
Being Laughed At When You Get Peed Or Pooped On For A Totally Preventable Reason
Laugh it up, sweetie. This time, it's me who forgot to have the next diaper ready to roll before taking off the first one. But baby waste comes for all of us, in due time.
Laughing When Your Partner Gets Peed Or Pooped On For A Totally Preventable Reason
Because what's good for the goose, is good for the poop-splattered gander.
Simultaneously, Erroneously, Assuming The Other Person Remembered The Diaper Bag...
“Why is it always my responsibility to remember the diapers, even if I ask you to do it?”
“Why do you expect me to remember if I never do it and it's not part of my routine?”
Rinse and repeat, my friends.
...Or Remembered To Pack Extra Clothes
Bonus points if baby has a blowout, pretty much guaranteeing a few hours’ worth of under-breath muttering and eye-rolling, followed by months or years of retelling this story to friends who laugh politely even though they stopped finding it amusing after the second time.
Publicly Celebrating/Bragging About Your Baby’s Sleep Accomplishments
This one should actually read, “...bragging about your baby’s short-lived sleep accomplishments,” because if your child naps or sleeps through the night so infrequently that it feels noteworthy, then it’s probably a fluke that’s not going to happen again for a long time. (Also, fair warning: the quickest way to wake a baby up is to talk about how well they’re sleeping on Facebook.)
Reversing Yourselves On A Parenting Decision You Swore Was Set In Stone
Also known as, “How Pretty Much Everyone Who Ends Up Bed-Sharing, Ends Up Bed-Sharing.”
Arguing About Something Utterly Ridiculous
As in, the topic of the argument was utterly ridiculous, or the thing your partner did (‘cause it's always their fault and not yours, obviously) was utterly ridiculous. Or both, if y’all are overachievers.
Simultaneously Pretending To Be Asleep/Unable To Hear Your Baby Fussing So The Other One Will Go Do Something About It
Basically the semi-conscious version of “Not It!”
Simultaneously Pretending You Don’t Smell A Dirty Diaper So The Other One Will Notice “First” And Change It
Unfortunately, I happen to suck at this particular game. Fortunately, I insist that my partner clean the cat box in order to at least somewhat balance out the amount of crap I deal with on a weekly basis.
Helping Each Other Navigate Awkward Parenting Situations
Helping you create a pretext to re-learn the other storytime parents’ names that you should already know is like, half the point of having a partner, right?
Incorrectly Assuming You Just Witnessed A New Thing Your Baby Can Do
Nothing feels quite so disappointing as thinking you're about to tell your partner about something amazing new that your baby can do, only to hear, “Oh, yeah, s/he's been doing that for a few weeks now,” instead of the excited response you were hoping for. Also, why do they get to be the first to witness it?
Being Super Proud That Your Relationship And Your Child Both Survived Your First Year
There were moments when you were nervous about one or both, but when you make it through, it feels a bit like you climbed Everest or something. Except not as cold.