The first year of parenthood tends to be way more work than most soon-to-be parents anticipate. No matter how intricate your pre-baby/post-baby planning — or how many in-depth conversations about roles, responsibilities, and expectations come to fruition — there's bound to be some tension between parenting partners. That's why the following rules for postpartum couples exist: so you and your partner don't end up hating each other. Trust me when I say you can, and will, make it through this exhausting time as new parents. It's just going to take some work.
I feel qualified to suggest a few new-parent mandates only because I've survived postpartum life. Twice. The first year of my daughter's life was a real testament to how much my partner and I wanted to be together. We weren't married, I was struggling through major postpartum depression (PPD), and our finances were dragging us down. We stopped talking to one another — like really talking, listening, and honestly voicing our thoughts, fears, hopes, and ideas — and were dangerously close to going down a potentially disastrous road that was sure to end in a split. We got through it though, and in the end not only did we not hate each other, but we actually fell more in love.
When my son was born my partner and I knew what to work on so we wouldn't have to experience the aforementioned difficulties all over again. That doesn't mean it was easy, though. Thanks to another bout of sleepless nights, having two children trying to find their places within our family unit, life, money, and everything else that comes along with two children, my partner and I, once again, found ourselves fighting for us. We wanted to make our relationship work so, for us, the fight was worth it. So if you're like us, and you want to maintain your relationship and love for your partner, pay attention to the following rules: