Postpartum can be pretty taxing on a relationship. Even the most solid partnership can crumble when you’re both sleep deprived, skipping meals, and constantly being pulled in every direction imaginable. From one moment to the next, a simple misunderstanding can snowball into an all out war; a war that'll surely be interrupted by your baby’s next cry or diaper change. My husband and I definitely experienced a postpartum war or two, so if you’re wondering why postpartum life is making you question your marriage, don’t worry. I can say with absolute confidence: you’re not alone.
My husband and I discussed what parenthood would be like prior to the birth of our son. We knew we would both care for our son equally, alternate getting up to check on our baby at night, and both feed him (as we were mostly bottle feeding). We established that my partner would help with washing bottles and my pumping supplies,and we would divide household chores as equally as possible. It all seemed like it was really going to work out wonderfully with minimal problems. Then, well, our son was born, and every aspect of new parenthood was infinitely more difficult than either one of us could have anticipated.
It’s so easy to only look at what your partner isn’t doing, rather than focus on what they have done, especially when you’re a sleep-deprived new parent and it feels like the entire world is out to get you. Personally, there were more than a few times when I just wanted to scream, “DIVORCE!” at my husband, even though I knew it was due to intense exhaustion and hunger. Still, that didn’t stop me from questioning my marriage during the following postpartum moments:
When I Was The One Up At Night
My husband alternates between insomnia and sleeping like the dead. Once the man knocks out, there’s nothing to wake him. As such, there were times he either failed to hear the baby’s cries, or he knew I’d be up first anyway. Either way, it sucked.
When My Partner Took Too Damn Long To Bring Necessary Supplies Home...
As brand new parents my partner and I, on occasion, made the dreaded mistake of not stocking up on supplies prior to them running out. When this happened, I would usually send my husband out to purchase what we needed. Damn if the man would usually disappear for much longer than is physically required to pick up a box of diapers and some butt-paste. His prolonged journeys outside of the house made me furious.
...Or Even Just From The Next Room
Sometimes I’d send my husband to the next room just to grab a pack of wipes or a pair of socks. This was something that shouldn’t take very long, yet my husband would manage to extend these excursions to the point of absurdity. It definitely made me like him a bit less.
When My Partner Would Hide In The Bathroom
Look, I get the fact that we all need privacy. I’ve hid in the bathroom, too. Still, when my partner hides behind a locked bathroom door on a daily basis, and for an extended period of time? Yeah, no. GTFO here, husband. There’s a baby to raise.
When My Partner Could Take A Shower & I Couldn't
My husband was working outside of the house while our son was itty bitty, so of course he showered on a daily basis and prior to going to work. He also barely slept and still had to an hours long commute to and from his job.
Still, I didn’t care. At the time I just wanted to spray him with a cold hose for getting to enjoy 30 minutes of peace under water while I applied deodorant to mask my two-day no-shower streak.
When My Partner Didn’t Do His Share Of The Chores
I’m not going to make excuses for him, which is usually the go-to response of most parenting partners that love their co-parent endlessly, even when they're dropping the ball. My husband sucked at cleaning in those early days, though. He still kind of does, actually, but it’s nowhere near as bad. Back then I had to really ice him out to get him to even do a few dishes and it was the worst.
When My Partner Tried To Pass Baby Duties To Me Because He Swore I Was “Better” At It
He doesn’t do it too often, but when my son is sick or otherwise irritable my husband has brought the baby over to basically say, “I give up.” He swears up and down that the baby wants me, and like, even if it were true, what would he do if I weren’t there? Cue heavy eye rolling and shade casting from my end.
When My Partner Wanted To Get Busy & Needed Multiple Hints It Wasn’t Going To Happen
On one hand, my partner fully understood that I was not ready for any sort of intimacy for a long while postpartum. My birth experience was anything but easy, so he knew that I was dealign with the lasting impact of incredible trauma.
Still, that didn’t stop him from occasionally hinting for some sex after a while. On days when I was just not having it, I was ready to shut him down quickly and with no remorse. After all, he was the one who got me pregnant in the first place. It's totally fair to blame him for my sleep-deprived state, right? (Don't answer that question. A tired brain has no room for logic or reason.)
When I Wanted To Get Busy But Realized I Couldn’t Because My Body Was Not Having It & I Just Wanted To Blame It All On My Partner
Of course, it’s not like I never wanted to have sex in those days. Sometime I wanted my needs met, too, I was just physically incapable. This made me angry and resentful, and you’re damn right I blamed a lot of it on my partner (in a joking way mostly, but still).