Have you, like myself, ever looked at your husband peacefully sleeping through the night while you’re up feeding the newborn? Of course, I’m sure you have. Did you feel that resentment boil up inside? Frustration, anger even, that once again you must feed the little one?
Then you’re exhausted during the day and when you mention it in passing your husband agrees with how tired he feels. Which adds to that resentment building up from the 3am feeding last night. You kiss him as he walks out the door to work and you are left to care for a baby who’s only communication is crying. Perhaps lots of it.
Naps may only be a few minutes long or only while in the car. As soon as the car stops, even at a red light, all bets are off. You haul in the diaper bag falling off one shoulder and baby carrier digging into your other arm. The kitchen sink is full of dishes, which I wish my husband could just see needs to be done. Same with the trash can. I noticed as I threw away another diaper that its overflowing but little man over there is crying because he did not like the idea of that diaper change and you need to go tend to him.
Afternoon arrives and you’re counting down the hours till your husband is going to walk in that door and help out. When he does, you put on your best smile with your messy bun on top of your head and go to hand the baby over but he needs to go to the bathroom…. only 20 minutes have past before he emerges again. Then he sits on the couch and asks what should be for dinner. All you can think is can’t you see I’m drowning here! He doesn’t though. He can’t read your mind.
Does any of this resinate with you? It does with me. This was my first few experiences with our new babes. It eventually led to the midnight cry fest and emotional explosion.
I wish someone would have shared this simple but powerful tool. Expectations. Did you ever discuss your expectations when you had that new baby? Discuss what you think the other one should be responsible for and what you will be responsible for? Are they realistic or do you need to compromise? Sometimes its as simple as saying “Babe, I’ve had a hard day, would you help by doing the dishes?”
Our marriage changed when we learnt the communication skill of expectations. This isn’t just for when you add children to the home but any season change in the marriage. It has prevented many emotional explosions on my end and the midnight tear fest my husband loved so much.