The first year of parenthood is a roller coaster of emotions, arguments, and overwhelming happiness. If it seems impossible for all of that to coincide in one house, just wait until it's the middle of the night, you and your partner are both exhausted, but fully in love with the little human you created. Although the happiness is undeniable, you and your partner will likely partake in your fair share of bickering over the first months as a parent. There are lots of fights all couples have in the first year of parenting that make them stronger in the long run.
I remember being angry with my husband for just about everything under the sun. Not being happy enough (or appearing happy enough), not changing enough diapers, you name it. And though it's easy to blame hormones and lack of sleep, more often than not, the problem was lack of willingness to compromise. Parenting is hard, and marriage is hard, and combining the two can feel impossible at times.
Remembering that these seemingly insurmountable arguments will ultimately make your relationship stronger — both as parents and as a couple, can make all of the sleeplessness and arguments worth it in the end.
1. Household Chores
Division of labor is probably the most common fight parents and non-parents alike admit to having. After having a baby, your normal routine will be thrown for a major loop, and your partner will likely have to pick up some slack that you're unable to handle. If you find the two of you bickering over who did dishes last or whose turn it is to take out the trash, remember that you're both figuring this parenting routine out together. And, ultimately, it's OK if the house is a bit messier than normal.
2. Who Sleeps Where
Many parents are split on where to have their baby sleep. You may be firmly planted in the co-sleeping camp, while your partner worries it will get in the way of your sex life. Or maybe you'd rather your baby sleeps in their own room, but your partner would rather them be in a bassinet. There are a million different options, and a million different ways to make it work. Experiment and figure out what works best for you and it will eventually fall into place.
3. Who Wakes Up With The Baby
Sleep deprivation and being suddenly awoke in the middle of the night is the perfect formula for a midnight fight. Whether you take turns with feedings or one of you takes the bulk of the feedings, remember that you're both exhausted (if you both really are waking up) and do be patient with each other.
4. Discipline Styles
Once your baby gets old enough to have that little glimmer of disobedience in their eye, you and your partner may disagree on how to handle your little rebel. It can be a hard balance to strike, but according to Positive Parenting, even if you butt heads about parenting styles, remembering to back each other up and compromise when needed is important.
5. Sex, Or Lack Thereof
The most common misconception about life post-baby is that your sex life will never be the same again. And while certainly, in the beginning months, things will have to change and you won't be able to be as "free" as you were before, taking time to focus on each other will make you better parents and better lovers.
6. Diaper Duty
Some parents don't mind it and some despise it, but it's gotta get done, so whose duty is it to change diapers? In a perfect world, both parents would take turns or willingly do the deed, but more often than not it falls on one parent the majority of the time, often causing arguments to spark.
7. Date Nights
Alone time quickly turns into alone time plus one, and for couples who are used to regular date nights, this can be a difficult adjustment to make. Instead of arguing about it, remember that the phase won't last forever, and that it's not wrong to hire a babysitter on occasion.
Just like the in-law struggle after you get married, many families struggle to strike a balance in the over-bearing grandparents-parent dynamic. If your partner consistently chooses their parent's side over yours, it can be hard to feel like a team.
9. Breastfeeding In Public
Although it's unfortunate that this is an issue, What To Expect noted that many breastfeeding moms deal with their partner disagreeing on where or how they should feed their child in public. Some partners prefer the mother use a cover, or not feed in public at all. And although there are many supportive partners who know the importance of nursing on demand, it can be the source of fighting in marriages when both partners aren't on board.