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Keeping Marriage Strong Pregnancy and Your Newborn

10 Postpartum Rules for My Partner

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Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

The postpartum life can be dicey for all involved. I know I have a short fuse shortly after giving birth, and I do what I can to not take my frustrations out on my husband. However, there’s such a thing as helping yourself. My husband can make both our lives a lot easier by following these 10 postpartum rules so that we come out the other end of the newborn stage still happily married.

  1. Don’t tell me about any of your aches or pains. Nothing you’re experiencing compares to the pain of childbirth, and I’m allowed to be a little selfish right now.
  2. For the love of god, do not invite anyone over without running it by me first. I might like your best friend and even love your parents, but I’m not about to entertain. Don’t make me hide in the bathroom with our newborn, because I will.
  3. If you have a slight cold, or the dreaded man-flu, suck it up buttercup. I could literally give two shits right now about your runny nose and sore throat. Sorry, not sorry.
  4. It’s ok to say that you’re tired. We both are! Newborns are rough. It’s not ok to challenge me to a competition of “who is the most tired.” As an exclusive breastfeeder, I will kill you in your blissfully undisturbed sleep with your worthless man-nipples.
  5. Bring me all the snacks. Don’t question me or my motives. I’ve been deprived of various foods for 9 months, and I deserve all the nourishment I feel like having.
  6. I get control of the remote whenever I want it. I’m bored out of my mind sitting on my ass while stitches heal and the baby breastfeeds, so I get to choose what’s on the tv.
  7. Don’t ask why I’m crying. I don’t have an answer for you. Hormones are driving my thought patterns and it’s not rational. Just ask how you can help and give me a hug if I need one.
  8. If there are other children, get them out of this house. I don’t care where you go or what you do. Have ice cream for dinner. Just leave me alone, preferably while the baby is sleeping, so that I can get some rest.
  9. Tell me I’m beautiful and mean it. I feel like a rock star for giving birth to a human on some days, but other days I feel like a hot mess in my mesh panties and leaking boobs. I need to know that you see the awe in what my body has accomplished.
  10. Let me know that I’m doing a great job, every day. There’s a lot of pressure on moms to be perfect, and we are far from it. When I’m frustrated because the baby won’t stop crying or I can’t stop phoning the pediatrician for every hiccup, let me know that I’m kicking ass at this parenting thing. We can only do our best, and we are at our best when we have the support of our partners.

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Categories
Keeping Marriage Strong Love

What Having Kids Has Taught Me About My Marriage

Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

My husband and I began on a non-traditional note. Our relationship has been a whirlwind from day one, and we didn’t go through the typical stages of a relationship. Our “dates” were all online chats, and we were engaged before we ever met in person. Within three months, we were pregnant, and I didn’t see my husband much in person that first year of dating/marriage. The photo above is our intimate wedding, and depending on the angle, I was definitely a few months along with our first. So, there wasn’t really an “us” before marriage and babies, but I’ve still learned a lot about our relationship by having kids.

I’m not the fun one.

This was a tough one to tell myself, but really, I should have known. I obsess over whether Hallie is eating healthy, and my husband is handing her cookies. I spend so much time educating her about numbers and letters, and my husband is teaching her about football (soccer). I’m busy teaching manners while the two of them are busy laughing at farts. Ok, I laugh at farts too, but still. The reality is, a balance is necessary. We just happen to strike it perfectly together, which is something I have to remind myself of when I’m trying to get her ready for bed and my husband is tossing her in the air.

My husband parents differently; not better or worse.

Of course, there are times that my husband is the disciplinarian or mentor, and his methods are different than mine. As a work-at-home mom, I have a lot of influence over our child’s behavior, and I believe that my way is the right way. It’s been a constant work in progress for me to let go of some control, because there are a lot of ways to parent. Pushing my methods on my husband only caused tension between the two of us, and I failed to see the value in what he was teaching her. Now that I’ve relaxed a bit, I see that he emphasizes different lessons that are just as important as the ones I teach.

I need to ask for help AND be ready to receive it.

This goes along with letting go of control. I get so mad at my husband for not helping, but have I asked? Is he a mind reader? Solid no on both points. And when he does help, I’m over his shoulder criticizing his methods. I would sit back and just let me handle things if I were him, too. It was completely unfair of me, and it took several months for me to chill out. Not my proudest moments for sure. Now, I am making a constant effort to be a partner in parenthood, not a dictator, and our relationship is better than ever.

Our marriage deserves priority.

Parenting is so tiring. There are nights when we both knock out by 8, shortly after our daughter is in bed. However, there are also nights that my husband wants to watch a movie and just spend time together. My gut reaction is to say, “heck no, I’m tired.” Then I realize how much fun I have when we do stay up a little bit later just to enjoy each other’s company. We used to stay up at all hours of the night talking, sacrificing sleep. It’s ok to still do that every now and again, because being a bit tired the next day really can be worth it.

Parenting is a tough job, but I can’t imagine the adventure without my husband. I just have to be very careful not to lose what brought us together. Although we were only together briefly before children, we have to remember that spark. Children haven’t dulled it in the least, but they are certainly a distraction. Having children has taught me that I really do have time for everyone in my heart, and my marriage is an important part of that.