Stress in marriage after baby

posted 2 months ago in Married Life
Post # 16
3613 posts
Sugar bee

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@lavaash:  I understand how you feel. However your husband’s desire for quality time with you is also valid, and I think you gotta find a way to meet in the middle. Whether that’s a date night out of the house or doing something at home together while baby sleeps. Personally I think getting out of the house without baby, even if it’s just an hour or 90 min, is really good for anyone’s marriage after a baby, but maybe you can build up to that.

One thing that helped me feel better about our sitter was bringing her to our house for a quick trial run. We popped out for a drink at the bar 2 blocks away and were back home in 30 min. We also have a nanny cam so we spied on her with the baby a few times while we were out (we told the sitter about the camera). Everything seemed ok so it made me more comfortable about leaving her with the sitter for a real date. I also have friends who’ve done trials and stayed in the house just lurking in another room or something while the sitter is there.

Anyway I hope you can figure out a compromise you both feel good about. 

By The Way, I’m almost 4m pp with our second and I feel like we’re teetering on the edge of another slump like what happened after our first baby. We just rarely have any time to ourselves and that feeling of disconnection is starting to take hold. Having been through it before, I know that date nights and child free time in general is so important in marriage. So even though putting on nice clothes and going out at night is the last thing I feel like doing (I just wanna sleep lol) we’ve put some dates on the calendar and are gonna make it happen. It’s worth it. 

Post # 17
1148 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

Dear lavaash,

Many great points have been made here, especially by sunburn who points out that this could actually be a marriage-ending problem.

Your relationship with your husband is at the center of your family, and you must do whatever you can to protect it.  And that means you must find a way to get past your fear of leaving your baby.  Whatever it takes.

I know this is all really hard.  Good luck sweet bee.


Post # 18
1412 posts
Bumble bee

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@lavaash:  I was/am the same way. We dont go out anymore because of the pandemic (we have young unvaccinated children) but when my first was born we hated going out because we worried all the time. At least up until LO was a year. He didnt take a bottle easily so I was always worried he was eating enough.

DH and I still have date nights, just at home right now. We watch tv together, play a board game or video game together. We have to “schedule” it though or we get carried away with chores in the evening. Is this something that would work?

Post # 19
2723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I think the first step should be determining what amount of time together he views as enough. Is it the same amount as pre-baby? Because that’s not going to be realistic. 

Our first baby isn’t here yet, so I’ve been making notes based on what the experts recommend and based on what actual happy couples with multiple kids say works. One tip I see a lot is to make sure you’re doing things as a family on the weekends/at night. Don’t just trade off baby back and forth while the other sleeps/wanders Target. Yes, me time is important, but connecting as a family unit is too. 

The other thing I see a lot, especially in the age of the pandemic where parents in high-transmission areas are having to be extra careful around their unvaccinated kids, is to do an at-home date night every week. Cook a really nice meal, dress up, sit on the patio if you can, and have the baby monitor nearby. Treat it like a real date and have it as a standing thing on your calendar. DH and I have been big fans of the at home date night since well before the pandemic/our pregnancy, to the point where we don’t really go out to eat at all unless we’re on vacation or it’s a birthday. 

Post # 20
3878 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

It’s super common. There’s a book called The New Father that can help him understand everything that is happening right now. It’s written by and for men and is a great read. Or have him talk to his friends who are dads. Almost everyone goes through this. 

Can you set up some nice “dates” at home when the baby is asleep? Lots of ideas online given the whole pandemmy. 

Your baby is only 6 months old, and there’s a pandemic raging. You certainly don’t need to feel pressured to leave him with someone else right now. There are a lot of other ways to foster quality time together besides doing that. Shit, my son is almost 3 and we have had a non-family babysitter exactly once. We still have a lot of great quality time together and have a very close marriage.

Post # 21
1919 posts
Buzzing bee

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@lavaash:  Your husband aside — and speaking from experience — this sounds like post partum anxiety. Leaving our littles with people is definitely scary, but if it’s all consuming to the point that it is affecting your relationship with your husband or you’re rearranging your whole day around it, then there is such things as being too anxious. Everyone talks about PPD, but PPA is a thing, too. It is marked by excessive worry, intrusive thoughts, and can manifest in OCD type tendancies and avoidance. 

Just something to chew on. Read up on post-partum anxiety and see if anything resonates. Mine started hitting about that 6 month mark pretty hard and after starting some medication for it 3 weeks ago, I feel like a whole new human being. I still absolutely care about my children, but I’m not obsessing any more. 

Post # 22
1040 posts
Bumble bee

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@sunburn:  Put it perfectly, “And you know what’s best for the child? When her parents are getting along and are close to each other.”

It’s understandable that you have some anxiety about leaving your child, but is it logical/reasonable?

Your child will be FINE for a few hours if you have a babysitter that you trust. People have shared child rearing responsibilities for as long as humans have been around. If your daughter needs something, the sitter can get it for her. If she misses you, you’ll be home soon. If anything concerning happens (which is unlikely), the sitter will call you, but otherwise you can assume she’s perfectly fine. 

You need to think of your marriage as a priority, not just for your own happiness but for the hapiness of your child and strength of your family. 

Post # 23
319 posts
Helper bee

OP, I’ve only read your post but not any responses. I have been married for 37 years and my kids are 31 and 34. My answer to your question is Hell, yes! Our marriage went through a HUGE transition when we brought our first child home! I thought my husband was too lax and he thought I was too controlling. I couldn’t believe he wanted our kids to believe in Santa Claus! I vowed to be married until “death do us part” and it didn’t feel like forever until we had kids. You and your family are exceptionally normal!

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