We are so conditioned to view conflict as a negative and a problem that needs to be solved. However, arguing can sometimes be a positive element in any relationship, especially a romantic one. It brings recurring issues to the forefront, so that you can address the problem, talk about your feelings, and sometimes just vent so negative feelings and resentment aren't left to fester. In fact, there are some fights you should have when you're new parents, in particular, and trying to adjust to a brand new life with another human being in the mix.
I am always wary of couples that claim that they never fight. While I know everybody, and every relationship, is different, I can't help but wonder that if there's no friction, how can there be any passion? A good argument, much like a good cry, can help to wipe the slate clean and make both parties feel heard. Of course, there are more than a few rules of good behavior when hashing out disagreements. Couples should never resort to name calling or belittling each other, and should try to stick to explaining how they are feeling by using "I" statements, like "I feel" and "I need." And, of course, there's a big difference between a healthy argument and abusive fights, and the latter should never be tolerated.
Having a new baby can be stressful, so it's probably unrealistic to think you'll be able to cruise through those first few difficult months without fighting at all. So try to make sure your fights have a purpose and remember to keep it clean, especially when you're arguing about the following:
The "My Way Is The Right Way" Fight
We all have our own way of doing things and when it comes to making up bottles of formula, changing diapers or calming fussy babies, there's more than one technique to get the job done.
The reason why this particular fight is a potentially productive argument to have, is that you might actually learn a new. more efficient way of doing a daily chore. We all have room for improvement, right?
The "I Can't Do Everything!"' Fight
New babies bring with them a lot of new responsibilities and duties, and sometimes that means one parent ends up with an unfair distribution of the household labor.
Having a fight can often initiate new plans and schedules that make life a little more fair for both parents.
The "I Got Up Last Time!" Fight
Sleepless nights can make anyone crabby and irritable, especially if one parent is always the one to get up. It makes sense to take turns, but if one parent has to get up to go to work the next morning and one is staying home, that may be an unfair expectation.
In our family, when our baby was very small we would take shifts. I would go to bed early and get up early and my husband would go to bed late and wake up later.
The "I Read That" Fight
Everyone's an "expert" when it comes to babies and childcare (apparently), and there is so much conflicting information available. In other words, it can be hard to know what to believe.
Having this argument is important, because it can often reveal unknown theories or strategies that could make all the difference in your family.
The "Your Mother" Fight
Grandparents can be an amazing resource and wealth of information, to be sure. Unfortunately, in some families they can also be a source of irritation and conflict.
You are bound to find yourself disagreeing with either your own parents or your partners parents, at some point (if not regularly). This can be an excellent opportunity to talk together with your partner about your boundaries and rules when someone else cares for your child, ensuring you present a united front.
The "What About Me?" Fight
Becoming a parent can eat away at your individual identity. Sometimes you are so busy being "mom," that you lose yourself. This is one fight you should definitely be having. If you feel like you are being lost in the equation and that there is nothing left over for your needs, then you need to address the problem.
Don't always be last on the list, because self care is essential.