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toddler + newborn, now having trouble in relationship with DH

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just had a baby, plus the young toddler we have at home, life is crazy.  No one has anything for anything, barely getting by trying to get everyone fed, be in dry diaper and put to sleep & naps. Meanwhile, DH & I seem to be getting distanced & aggitated with each other, and we no longer get along.

 

This is what life looks like: I'm juggling non-stop between the toddler & newborn by myself all day. Husband comes home, totally stressed from work & life.  The both of us then rush through dinner, feedings, clean-up, bathing & bedtime, and after babies are asleep we finish dishes, laundry, chores, bills, etc, then it's almost midnight and we drop our heads in bed & fall asleep or try to watch some TV. Next day we start it over.  We don't talk, we don't even have time to look at each other the whole evening (weekends are the same, except now you add errands & other household stuff to do). We don't even have time & energy for small talks or casual conversation. And most times DH is so stressed out that I'm afraid to say anything because he is so grumpy. I'm trying my best to take care of everyone, ease the stress at home, and be pleasant, but it seems like most things I do and say (even the smallest little comment about the day) gets on his nervous. I no longer know how to be around him.

 

We don't have family around to help or anyone that we feel comfortable leaving the young toddler with so we can go on dates. Plus now with a brand new baby it's even more impossible to get away (nursing around the clock etc). Meanwhile atmosphere is getting tense at home. DH says all he does is to go to work, come home, do chores, care for kids, go to work again next day and never stops. He said he needs time away from kids & all. I already have kids all the time and don't get to see him. When he's not at work I need his help (with house & kids) and want to be with him too. But I understand that he needs time out, so I can accomodate that and take the kids for some time on weekends so he can destress and feel better. But we already seem so tired of each other that it appears that we are together all the time, but we're barely even talking when we're together because we're each so busy with the 2 kids.  Now I don't even know how to be around him and live with him anymore....

post #2 of 7

Does it help to think of it as a phase that will pass?

Soon, they will be entertaining themselves here and there, and before you know it you will be able to ask one to empty the dishwasher and the other to pick up their toys. 

 

(Mine are 11, 9, 6, 4, 2, 1, and on the way, so I was once where you are!)

 

In the meantime, I would really see if there wasn't anyone who could come and help.  Even something like a sweet 10 year old who would play with the toddler for an hour would help. 

If there is a HS community in your area, it's usually pretty easy to find a few good teenage girls who would like to come and watch your little ones for a few hours here and there at about any time of day.  That could transition into you leaving them for a few hours at night while you and DH do something nearby, even if you take the baby.

Also if you join a mom's group, there might be a mom willing to help out.

 

As for getting away, are there LLL groups around for you?  Or playgroups or reading times at the library for little ones?

They are good for getting out!

 

For DH and you together, what about date nights at home?  I would try and let other things go, and get a pizza and a movie and force yourselves to relax.  Then do it again in another week, and another.  Maybe with some wine.

 

I simplify my house as much as possible too.  We declutter as much as humanly possible and it *really* speeds up cleaning and makes our lives easier.  Also, if you can afford it at all, I had a cleaning service for a few years.  She only charged about $60 to clean my house every other week, and it was wonderful!  I would cut other things to be able to afford that if you can- it is worth it.  Even once a month or something is nice.

 

Take care of yourself too!  Do they nap a the same time?  I always try and have my littlest two nap at the same time in the afternoon and it makes a huge difference.

 

HTH!

post #3 of 7
A friend of mine called this time in her life "survival mode". Right now it is crazy but in just a few months you will be past this phase and it will get easier. The pp had some really good advice about hiring someone for a few hours so that life can be easier for the both of you. I have a couple of mother's helpers that come in at different times of the week and help with the baby, do laundry and dishes. It helps me and dh so much I can't even tell you. If money is an issue then like the pp said you can probably find someone younger that can help out while you are there and then maybe you might feel comfortable leaving for a bit.

I would make financial sacrifices if you need to to get some help. It's much better than having your future with your dh suffer. Good luck! grouphug.gif

 

post #4 of 7

I second "survival mode". I would always tell myself "this to shall pass". Now I say it to myself all the time :) I think that the marriage is the most important relationship in the family. You guys have to find someone to take the kids for just 2 hours and get away from the house. It's imperative. My ex-husband and I didn't want anyone to watch our youngest. We never went out or spent time together without our boys. It took it's toll in more ways than one.

 

I teach at a health club, and found the daycare workers to be fabulous babysitters at home. Almost every daycare facility at YMCAs, etc, do a criminal history check, a background check, they have cpr cards, food handler's cards, hazerdous waste knowledge, and they are great with kids. My partner and I use them at home, but also even if it's just for an hour out of the day to see eachother we will go to the gym and put her inthe daycare. Most days when we go we just do our own thing in the wheight room, but it gives both of us time for ourselves with the loved one there as well. Hugs to you.

post #5 of 7

The baby phase is hard. Especially with a toddler too! My first two are 22 months apart so I know how you feel. When DH would get home I needed his help to take the baby or entertain/move/help with DD so I could ____ (use the bathroom, make our dinner, change the baby again, insert your choice here). It really is survival mode. I agree with getting help if it is at all possible. I understand how hard that can be at times though. I would try to get rid of anything in the house or your routine that isn't necessary. I could get flamed for this one this board but... this is one of those times that I think it's best for your sanity to lack on environmental concerns. Use disposable dishes to save time. Get quick easy meals that don't take much work. Forget sorting laundry. Toss it all in together and run the washer when it's full. And folding? Nope don't do that either. Leave the clothes in the basket. As long as you keep it separate enough to know which is dirty/which is clean that's good enough. You have to get through the newborn phase and that's all that matters. It will/does get easier. Maybe you can get your dh to help you. Decide what can be done to save time, what can go. Could you maybe declutter the house (take out extra clothes, dishes) without it taking much time? If so get him to help you one day so it can get done and hope it helps. Maybe you could cook some soups or such up real quick to freeze on one weekend day if he can help you. That would save some time with cooking during the week. Talk to your dh maybe he can come up with some ideas. You will get through this.

post #6 of 7

You are going through such a hard time. hug2.gif Hugs, love, appreciation, and kudos to you! You are doing the hardest, most important job on the earth. You WILL reap the benefits, if not now! It sounds like you are doing a great job (even if you don't see that now)! GOOD JOB MAMA.

 

Ideas for you:

 

1. I would definitely try to get yourself to a LLL meeting. They're so open, lots of people with newborns, usually lots of toddlers, support from other moms, and somewhere to go. Nourishing.

2. I also think you will need to find someone that you feel comfortable with as a babysitter to watch your toddler, at least. Even if it is for 30 minutes, you and your husband could go for a walk around the block, holding hands, sit on a park bench and talk, and then come back.

3. Also, you mentioned you guys try to watch TV at the end of the day. Could you skip that, and instead have your husband do something nice for you while you chat for ten minutes in bed? He could brush your hair, or rub your back, or tell you a story, or give you a massage. Then you two could fall asleep.

4. Could you both give each other breaks alone? You stay with the kids on Saturday afternoon while he goes out for 90 minutes, then he stays with the kids for 90 minutes and you go somewhere -- even just a coffee shop close by to sit and breathe. You could leave right after you finish the newborn's feedings so that you won't have to worry about that.

5. Can you have anyone (neighbor, friends, coworker) do something for you, like grocery shop, bring easy-to-eat healthy snacks, come over and do dishes, take all your laundry and do it then bring it back etc? Don't be afraid of asking for help, NOW IS THE TIME

 

Keep everything as simple as possible. Go easy on yourself.

post #7 of 7

I am not in the same boat as you..but definitely feeling that my high needs daughter (she just refuses to eat and it affects her growth) has taken over our relationship.  I try to be this crunchy mama and refuse to leave my daughter with anyone..and it is and has taken a toll over our relationship .  I don't regret it because that is how I want to raise my daughter but I do think it is time for damage control personally speaking...I know stating above doesn't help you directly but just want to add that I am in a similar boat.

 

PPs have all made wonderful recommendations that I too am taking a note of.  You are in survival mode, its not pretty, do the best you can and hang in there....

 

I find myself very resentful because I don't have dinner dates with hubby anymore...my babe is an unplanned honeymoon baby...and being the crunchy mama..we've not had any time to ourself..I am trying to tone down my expectation of our current state of relationship..I will however continue to strive for more, but I don't want to blame anyone including myself for not having enough couple time..And I will start re prioritizing and resetting expectations during this tough stage.

 

I second the suggestion of cutting costs if you have to  in order to hire that help..its so worth it.  My SIL did it too and my sister who has two boys 22 months apart also did it.  

Its a tough spot, try and reset expectations and find joy in the little time you do get together...you'll get there even if its slow.  Good Luck!

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