Listen, I'm not here to advocate anyone have more fights than the bare minimum. Ever. However, sometimes, like when you have a new baby at home, fights are fantastic learning experiences for you and your partner, that will eventually help the two of you get (and remain) on the same page. In fact, there are certain fights you should have with your partner when you're new parents in order to iron out any wrinkles you may or may not have, before they grow bigger (and more bitter) in the future. Plus, some of those flights are just downright unavoidable when you've got a tiny new babe at home, so you might as well just get them over with.
Of course, it's worth mentioning that there's a healthy and unhealthy way to "fight," and if you're in an abusive relationship "fighting" is never, ever, OK. When I talk about "fights," I'm really talking about disagreements that could be escalated by the cruel realities of new parenthood, but are never abusive or dangerous. Sleep deprivation definitely gave me a shorter fuse when I was a new mom, and that short fuse led to more than a few less-than-diplomatic efforts when I was frustrated by something.
My husband and I don't fight very often, but those first few months of family life were hectic and, as a result, both of us were a little anxious. Those fights did help us figure out expectations and systems so we could be less anxious and have fewer fights in the future, though, so in the end I am very grateful they were part of our journey into parenthood.
The "In-Law Boundaries" Fight
There are some fights that just don't happen until you're faced with a very unforgiving reality. It's easy to talk about boundaries in the abstract, but it's impossible to know what's actually going to happen until you're in the actual situation. If you need to have an argument about in-law boundaries, have it as early as humanly possible. Trust me.
The "Who Deals With The Next Blow Out" Fight
My husband hated dealing with dirty diapers, so I was able to make some serious deals if he put up a fight about changing the next blow out. Sleep in for the next three days in exchange for dealing with this dirty diaper? Absolutely. Sign me up.
The "Who's Better At Swaddling" Fight
My partner was convinced he was the better swaddler, but I still maintain I was the winner of this battle.
The "Who Needs More Sleep" Fight
May as well get it out there at the beginning. Which one of you copes when they don't have much sleep? For my husband and I, we realized that I couldn't cope past 9 p.m., but my husband really struggled to get up early in the morning. Thankfully, we could trade off and both cope just a little bit better throughout the day.
The "Who's Doing More" Fight
Sometimes a fight about who's doing more is just what you and your partner need to make sure both parties feel fully appreciated for everything they're doing with a new baby home. It's very easy to get tunnel vision and only focus on how much your life has changed. However, that feeling is often mutual.
For my partner and I, this fight typically resulted in verbalizing more appreciation for each other, which made us both feel better.
The "Who's Right" Fight
Both being eldest siblings, we definitely both needed some readjusting in the, "Who's right?" category.
The "Who's Going To Read The Same Book Over & Over Again" Fight
I will gladly trade my husband 800 million Little Blue Truck renditions for dinner duty, especially now that our toddler is only interested in eating corn on the cob or hot dogs.
The "Bath Time" Fight
I have to tell you, bath time is when my partner and I have had the most of our arguments. Those arguments, on any given day, can range from who should have to give the bath, to who's doing more, to who has to make dinner, and who has done more dishes this week.
By bath time, we're both at the ends of our rope and we've got a kid who just wants to fling water out of the tub. We've realized that bath time is the worst time to argue, because we're already exhausted. Instead, we trade off, take a deep breath, and revisit whatever grievance we have when baby has gone to sleep (and mama's had a glass of wine).