Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Are NOT In This Together

Before Lyla arrived my husband and I did everything together. I mean everything...I don't think we took separate showers until I was too pregnant to fit in the shower with him. Since the baby, things have changed. We are leading separate lives. Mine is consumed with all things baby, and his is filled with everything else.

The last two weeks has been particularly difficult because Lyla has reached the dreaded 4-month sleep regression. Basically, your normal sleep routine with your little one is completely disrupted and they are back up several times a night. In our case, Lyla has also been fighting sleep with all she's got. This has led to exhaustion, exacerbation and a lot of frustration between Matt and I.

It has come to my attention very abruptly that WE ARE NOT IN THIS TOGETHER.

What I mean by this is that I, as the mother, am entirely responsible (or at least 90%) responsible for the well-being of our child. Some of you may say "well, duh!" but for me this has come as a surprise. I thought  assumed we would share parenting duties equally. Boy, was I wrong. I am now a stay at home mom and the baby is my job. I am not saying that Matt isn't helpful, in fact he is more help than about 90% of the fathers I have seen in action. He changes every diaper he can, he works from home when he can so he can be here with us, and he has a genuine gift with the baby. However, he is also a man and in being so he was born with certain disadvantages as a co-parent. He cannot feed the baby...ever. We are exclusively breastfeeding and so every two hours or so I am called upon to unleash the milk machine and feed our baby. More than just feeding duties, he, as a man, simply is not equipped with the natural instincts needed to comfort our fussy infant.

Men generally don't know what they're doing. I mean, as new parents we all don't know what we're doing but as a mother I am born with the necessary instincts to know what my baby needs. I can tell when she is hungry, tired, wet, bored, or in need of some cuddles. To my husband...they all sound the same, and the crying is unbearable. He constantly asks if I should feed my tits are the magical baby mute button. It's, just rock her dude!

Playing the separate roles of mommy and daddy have put a strain on our relationship. I am secure enough in our bond to say that we have never hated each other more. Yes, hate is a strong word, but we're a pretty dramatic duo. We tell each other to fuck off and generally we both get over it. But, I will say that I get very frustrated when he doesn't know what to do or how to help and he gets frustrated when I am hitting my limit with the baby and can no longer speak in nice calm tones.

I am so so SO thankful that Matt and I are such a strong couple because having a baby does everything it can to break you up. If Matt and I didn't have such strong communication I don't know how we would do it.

UPDATE:: Since beginning this post things have gotten WAAAY better. We are starting to sleep train Lyla and we have discussed and coped with our exhaustion and frustration and we are in a much better place. This whole baby thing is a roller-coaster and it is constantly changing so we are changing an adapting along with it. Matt and I are best friends and can make it through anything smiling because we can talk it out, call each other assholes and laugh about it all five minutes later. Thank GOD for my husband!


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