We’ve all seen the movies- a young, gorgeous couple has drunk sex, conceives a baby effortlessly, woman goes into labor and channels all of her discomfort at her husband- yelling and cursing at him, “YOU DID THIS TO ME”. Then baby is born (magically already clean and swaddled) and the parents share a knowing look, sweet kiss and eventually a loving slow dance at 2am in the living room while rocking their quiet, sleeping infant. Hmmm…
That’s a lot to unpack- however there’s one thing in particular that irks me the most.
I don’t remember ever lovingly slow dancing in the living room at 2am. I remember cluster feeding in the dark while my partner slept. I remember pacing the bedroom, rocking the baby while she cried- endlessly, thinking, ‘wow, HE can really sleep through a n y t h i n g’.
So I wonder, am I the only one who hated my partner after I had my baby?
I didn’t hate him all the time; and certainly at varying degrees throughout the day (the highest degrees overnight). I didn’t tell him I hated him- and I didn’t tell anyone who came over to visit. But boy, did I feel it.
A question many people have but don’t ask is, “Will I ever stop hating my partner?”
Yes, the odds are likely you will eventually stop hating your partner. Especially with first babies, there is a long, confusing, often treacherous terrain learning curve. And to add insult to injury, you and your partner are probably on different curves, traveling at different paces. You may be parenting on instinctual cues and gut feelings and your partner is getting advice from friends, books or blogs. Or you are up all night breastfeeding, cluster feeding, pumping, rocking, swaddling, and your partner is sleeping better than the baby…(just the thought gives me mini palpitations)
Either way, this too shall pass. Too cliché? But its true! Eventually your learning curves meet at a rest stop and share a huge reunion hug. For some it takes around 12 weeks, for others around 12 months. Yes, that’s a big difference. But yes, everyone is different!
The key to shifting your curves in similar directions is two fold: Communication and Surrender.
The first is toted as the key to a happy relationship in general. Got a problem? Talk about it. Have a question? Ask it. Need help? Say it. No exceptions!!
The second can be a bit more subtle. Surrendering is a constant practice. Rooted heavily in self-talk. Reminding yourself that it won’t ruin everything to try something your partner suggests. And it won’t be the end of the world to let your partner take the baby for a bit so you can take a nap, eat something, shower, walk outside, do anything, really. Surrendering to the idea that you can let someone else try something their way, or help you in a way you hadn’t considered can be magic. There’s a reason you chose your partner originally- right? Surrender. Be gentle on yourself and your partner and see what happens.
You may find you hate them a little less… or not…
Disclaimer: ‘Hate’ is a strong word. I use it a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ and the reality is, there are a lot of very big feelings swirling around during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Hate is often used to talk about feelings of resentment, confusion, exhaustion- all common after having a baby. However, if you notice you’re feeling that and/or down, sad, miserable, anxious most of your day, please know you can change that. You deserve to feel good- call a therapist, talk to someone you trust, get support. Same goes for your partner 🙂
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- New Mom Confessions: Will I Ever Stop Hating My Partner? - February 14, 2018