Be a Lover, Not a Fighter

What do all new parents commonly argue about?

You’d expect things to change between you as a couple the minute your baby makes his appearance into this world. The weeks and months that follow his birth, you and your spouse are living in blurry days filled with a cycle of feeding, bathing and changing diapers. So it’s easy to get caught up in the routines of taking care of your new baby that you neglect your partner. When this happens, usually quarrels and fights ensue, and your home suddenly becomes a battleground.

We list the six major causes of conflicts for new parents and ways to resolve them.

1. Money
The family financial situation is the top cause of arguments for new parents. Now that you have the baby to think about, it can be quite shocking when you see how much is being spent on your baby every month. Some of the most common problems are: how much is being spent on baby in its first five years, disagreeing about your expenditures and feeling the pressure to return to the workforce sooner than you wish, simply for financial reasons.
SOLUTION Understand that having a baby means having to spend money on his welfare as well. Money management becomes important, so discuss your budget together and talk about how to spend it. Set up a joint account for shared expenses, which you can both draw on separately.

2. Sex
Here are some reasons why sex may not be at the top of your agenda right now:
– You’ree still reeling from physical exhaustion from labour
– You’re too exhausted from looking after your baby
– You’re psychologically withdrawing to express your resentment at a lack of support
– Simply, you’re lacking the desire to have sex in the first few months after birth
You may not be too bothered about the lack of sex in your life, but your husband may be frustrated.
SOLUTION Remember that your husband’s needs are also important, and shouldn’t take second place just because your new baby is born. Choose a good time to talk about what you both want and how to achieve this. Re-introduce intimacy slowly and you’ll find ways to mutually satisfy each other without penetration.

3. Help at Home
It’s a tough job having to look after your baby, let alone have other household chores to think about. A maid will definitely take a load off your shoulders. But if you don’t have one, and your husband comes home wondering why the house resembles a shipwreck, then arguments about sharing housework will surface.
SOLUTION Discuss about sharing household responsibilities. Accept that the house won’t be in the spotless state that it usually was pre-baby, and stick to the minimum – just clean the sink, bathrooms and kitchen and just let everything else go for now!

4. What about Me?
Your husband is just capable of looking after your baby as you are, and some women find this hard to accept. If you’re taking on too much, your husband may feel sidelined and resentful if he’s not allowed to share the raising of your baby.
SOLUTION Don’t prevent him from helping, because if you do, you will not only risk your relationship, but also the special time that father and baby have to bond. If you share this task, you’ll also have more time as a couple.

5. Alone time
Your husband may think you have it easy looking after the baby all day, but you probably think he’s had an undemanding day at work, with a chance to relax at lunch and the MRT ride home. Working out who gets the least time to themselves can turn into a downward spiral of accusations and bitterness.
SOLUTION  Be realistic about each other’s needs, so give each other space to relax and recharge on their own. Discuss ways you can help each other to have more regular time on your own.

6. Keep dreaming
Studies show that without sufficient rest, we can’t function properly. So, it’s no wonder that sleep deprivation causes many arguments.
SOLUTION Accept that a lack of sleep is unavoidable once baby is born, but grab those moments when you can. Sleep when your baby does and if you’re not breastfeeding, as your husband to help with the feeding. If you are, try expressing some milk so that he can help with the night feeds.