Let me just start by saying that I don't have any answers. I don't have how-to-solve-the-problem anecdotes. Instead, I have yeah-I've-been-there-and-it-sucks comments of solidarity to offer. I have two kids and every time we brought a baby home from the hospital, my husband and I fought. And fought. And fought. I'm positive every couple fights when they bring a newborn home, and I'm quick to assume those fights are similar. In fact, I'd be willing to say there are some fights that every couple has in the first three months of parenting a new baby.
The struggle is real and universal and one we can all attempt to survive, together. As parents, we're tired, we're strung out, we're hormonal and we're emotional (and, yes, I'm talking about all parents, here). Tempers flare and everyone gets pissed and what usually wouldn't bug you, becomes nothing short of infuriating. Couples try to settle in and figure out what their new "normal" is going to be like, while simultaneously figuring out how to care for a newborn (neither of which is a simple task).
In other words, the first few months of parenthood are hard. The good news, though, is that it's temporary. While you're in the trenches, it seems like the stress and the anger will go on forever, but eventually you figure it out and your life settles. Sure, you'll never go back to "normal," but you'll establish new routines, new expectations, and new standards that will help both you and your parenting partner feel like your affectionate, not-wanting-to-scream-at-one-another-every-two-days selves.
So, with that in mind, here's what I'm going to assume damn near every single couple has fought about in the first three (or more, I'm sure) months of parenting.
Fighting Over Sleep
This one usually come up straight out of the gate. You get home from the hospital or birth center or you just moved to the bedroom after your home birth, and you're already exhausted. Instead of catching up on sleep, you're up every hour with a hungry baby.
Both parents are wound tight and stressed out and just want to rest, and each feels like the other should pull just a little more weight. "I woke up fives times last night!" is quickly followed by a "yeah, but you took a nap!" Declarations like, "I have to work in the morning!" usually get a, "I do, too!" response.
Fighting Over Who Changes The Next Diaper
Caring for babies can be repetitive and tedious. It seems like if you aren't changing them you're feeding them and if you're not feeding them, you're cleaning up spit up and you're doing laundry. Doing the same thing over and over again can cause tempers to flare, especially when you feel like you're partner isn't sharing in the tedium.
If I had a dollar for every time I said, "I changed him three times already, it's your turn!" during the first three months of motherhood, I could pay for my kid to go to Harvard.
Fighting Over Who Has The Right Answer To That One Parenting Question
Everyone has an opinion on how people should parent. However, when you're a brand new parent, it's safe to say that you don't have the slightest clue as to what you're doing.
If your partner even so much as hints that you've made the "wrong" choice, the urge to throw something at their head will probably be overwhelming.
Arguing Over "Me Time," And Who Deserves It More
Both parents need a break. It's just that simple. However, sometimes saying you need a break will make your parenting partner feel like you're really saying you do more work than they do. What can I say? Extreme exhaustion makes communication pretty difficult.
Arguing Over Who Is Doing The Most Parenting Work
Both parents work hard — whether inside the home or away from home — and both parents want validation that they're doing "enough."
In the early days, it's easy to feel like your partner is oblivious to all your hard work. A stay-at-home mom might hear, "What do you do all day?" (and honestly, never, ever ask that question) while a parent working outside the home might hear, "Yeah, well at least you get to talk to adults!" The grass isn't always greener on the other side, my friends.
Arguing Over Who's On Their Phone The Most
"Get off Facebook and pay attention to the baby" is definitely a thing I've said, and on more than one occasion.
Arguing About Who Should Cook
"Are you going to cook tonight, or do I have to do it again?" Once you have a baby, cooking a meal at the end of the day can just seem like too much.
If you've both been at work all day, you just want to come home and rest and visit with your little (and one another). If one of you has been home with the baby all day, you may just want to retreat and leave the adulting to your co-parent. Cooking can definitely be on the "I can't even" list, so trust me when I say that pizza delivery is your friend, y'all.
Arguing About All That Damn Laundry
It's amazing that such a small person can be the perpetrator of so much dirty laundry, but it happens. It defies explanation, sure, but it's a real thing. The laundry can feel extra-burdensome when added to the list of parenting stressors and, sometimes, that stress sneaks out in the form of anger.
I think the important thing to remember is that the majority of the arguments you'll have with your partner during the first three months, stem from the undeniable fact that you love your baby. You love your baby and parenthood is hard and you're all trying to adjust. So cute yourself (and your partner) some slack. You're both doing great, arguments and all.