Fighting with your husband after your baby arrives is inevitable and you shouldn’t think it’s abnormal to do so. Despite expectations and the blissful appearance on social media, bringing a new little person into your environment is extremely stressful and can lead to more arguments than usual as you both try and deal with this new situation together. There are so many emotions to deal with as well as the lack of sleep; you may feel that you and your partner are not on the same page when it comes to raising your little one.
We’ve all been there at Best For Mums and we’ve all experienced the red mist bringing up a baby can bring to a marriage/relationship. In this article, we’ve all come together to share some tips on how to reconcile following an argument as well as some handy advice on how to avoid them in the first place. We’re not claiming to be relationship experts but with a bit of hindisght we feel our tips can be applied to just about any relationship which has recently had a baby brought into it.
Tips on avoiding arguments with your husband or partner after a baby
Don’t take things personally
It’s quite easy and common to say things in the heat of the moment that you don’t really mean. You’re both just lashing out because the situation is stressful and the stress needs to be let out somehow. Try not to take to take the words at face value during the argument, your husband or partner probably didn’t mean it and he’s just as stressed as you are.
Take a step back, listen to what he’s said and try and think what the underlying issues are. It’s the personal insults which can lead to further stress and the likelihood is that he’s not angry at you, he’s just angry at the situation. By distancing yourself from the insults and focusing instead on the underlying issues you can potentially avoid responding in such a way that will just fuel the fire and instead move to reconciliation through discussions.
Take time out and give them time out when you can
It’s a key part of this article that the stressors which can lead to arguments are often situational and borne out of feeling trapped and isolated. This is why we always recommend to take some time out outside of the home where the husband/partner/baby is to clear your head, gather your thoughts and regroup. If possible, create an arrangement where your husband/partner watches the baby for an hour a day and you can get out for a walk, a long soak in the bath, go to a gym class or whatever it is you like to do to de-stress. Whatever you want to do make sure it is detached so that you can truly disconnect and relax properly.
Getting out will benefit you all: you will get some ‘you’ time, partner will get to bond with baby and baby will enjoy the one-to-one time. It doesn’t need a big event, here are some examples:
- A gym class or gym session;
- A long walk or run;
- Go and see your friends for a coffee;
- Have some food out;
- Get your hair or nails done.
By regularly having these ‘reboot’ sessions you can both get a chance every day to just switch off and keep your stress levels from reaching breaking point. A relationship works both ways so make sure your husband or partner gets the same treatment and of course ensure the baby’s needs are always considered!
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Give yourself goals
Having your own goals is, in our opinion, very important to make sure parents don’t end up living through their children and losing their sense of self. By regularly setting goals and achieving them you can lower your stress levels, feel a lot more positive which in turn can lead to fewer arguments with your husband after having a baby. We feel that just because you’ve had a baby that does not mean your life is over and you’re ‘just’ a mum now.
Having short term and long term goals can help you stay positive and busy which can distract you from the day to say the stress of being a mum. If you have no personal goals and you’re having a bad day with the baby and the husband then it can feel hopeless but if you have your own goals on the go it can give you a sense of progression and it’s something you can control fully, unlike parenting! Your goals don’t need to be anything spectacular and in fact, keeping them simple can often lead to you sticking to them.
The key to a good long term goal is to make sure that they are realistically achievable and simple, if you set yourself a goal which is difficult and complicated then you run the risk of making yourself more stressed
Here are some examples:
- Read 1 book a week
- Go to 3 gym classes a week
- Walk 10k steps in a day
- Prepare your lunches for the week
- Write 2 blogs a week
Talk openly and often about your feelings
This one could possibly be the best way to avoid fighting with your husband after a baby. With a baby in the house, the conversations will likely be dominated by the same topics over and over again: the baby, money and who’s doing what. With all that going on the both of you will probably feel your own feelings have been sidelined but it doesn’t have to be the case. Whenever something’s bothering you or your husband/partner make sure to talk about it, calmly of course, whenever you both have a moment’s peace.
Arguments can often be started when pent up feelings spill over. You can help stop this by making sure you and your partner speak to each other openly and often so that you can both be on the same page. Don’t build grudges and don’t let things build up. If you feel you can’t say your issues you could try writing them down to communicate in that way.
Rest, when you can
Never turn down an offer of a bit of a rest from the baby when it presents itself. Being tired and being overtired is proven to make people cranky and more likely to end up in an argument even over the smallest of things. We’re not talking a massive 8-hour hibernation here just a nap to give yourself that tiny boost of energy you need.
Remember, this goes both ways – if your husband or partner is clearly knackered as well make sure you give them a chance to rest if you’re feeling up to caring for your baby on your own for a bit.
It helps a lot by making sure you’ve got fresh sheets, a dark quiet room and no screens wherever you’re going for this sleep. Consider earbuds, eye covers etc to really make sure you can nod off.
Eat healthily, stay hydrated
Eating healthy foods is proven to boost people’s moods, says research conducted by AJPH. Eating bad foods does the opposite. It can be tricky to prepare meals in advance when there’s a baby in the mix but whenever and wherever you can throw in some fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to give your body a health kick and you’ll be amazed to see your mood is lifted.
Drinking plenty of water is another sure fire way of making sure your body is working at 100%. Water is the source of all life and helps do pretty much everything your body does.
Unload on others
If things are getting too much, go and speak with a trusted friend to see if they can help with a different perspective on the problems you and your partner may be having. Explain to them your perspective and they may well help you see the situation in a completely different light that you may not have considered before.
With the help of a friend listening to your side of things they may help you consider the perspective of your husband or partner. You never know, they may help you realise that it’s just a miscommunication and something out of nothing.
Be mindful of their experience
There are always two sides to every story. If, following having a baby, you and your husband are at loggerheads be sure to consider their feelings and complaints. If you can feel your anger start to rise by some questionable behaviours and decisions from your husband or partner try to imagine being them and what would drive them to behave like that. Is their behaviour reasonable? Are they lashing out of frustration caused by the situation or even your own behaviour?
Don’t just assume that they’re always in the wrong and you’re always right (or vice versa) following the birth of a baby because that will definitely lead to arguments. Consider eachother’s feelings at all times and you will surely avoid most potential arguments.
Tips on reconciliation with your husband or partner after an argument when you've had a baby
Help out, even when angry
If you’ve both had a bust-up but there’s a cryinf out baby in the house don’t ignore your responsibilities as a parent and a partner while you’re angry. If you can clearly see your other half needs help then make sure to help out – you don’t have to talk to them if you’re not ready to calm down yet but leaving them in the lurch to pick up the slack is not fun and only going to make the ongoing tension worse.
Trust us on this. If both of you know that the other is helping out and putting their own personal grievances aside then the chances of reconciliation are much higher. Your baby will also appreciate it and settle down themselves creating a calmer environment.
Write down your thoughts
While you and your partner are cooling off we recommend getting everything you want to say about the argument written down so when it comes to discussing the problems it’s got much more structured and you’ll remember to bring everything up. In the heat of the moment, you may forget some of the details of why you were upset so some notes can help you. This suggestion also goes for your partner, too. Here are some examples of what you could write down:
- What has upset you exactly? What do you think you’ve done that’s upset them?
- Do you need to apologise/do you want an apology? And for what?
- Is there anything you could do better? Take share of the blame?
- How can we avoid this argument in the future?
- Have there been any positives recently that you could thank your partner for to help the talk to progress positively.
With some notes written down to be discussed an argument may be avoided completely and replaced with a productive conversation instead so this can be classed as a preventatitve as well as a method of reconciliation.
Apologise or accept an apology
Admitting you’re wrong takes guts and shows that the person is mature and wants to grow emotionally. We think that issuing an apology is a positive emotional act and one that’s a healthy thing to do in a relationship. As long as it’s sincere and you mean it. Knowing when you’re wrong and willing to admit it is also a healthy trait to show a child. Placing the blame is easy and often does not resolve anything. Tinybuddha agrees.
If you’ve made a mistake then let your husband/partner know you’re sorry and that you’re going to try and improve with changed behaviour. If your husband or partner apologise, acknowledge that they’ve allowed themselves to be vulnerable, mature and keen on getting past this argument.
Wait until you’ve both cooled off to speak
If both of you are still angry then continuing the discussion is unlikely to be fruitful as the red mist can cloud people’s judgement and as we’ve already gone over – getting stressed and angry is a lot easier after a baby! We recommend that the pair of you go off and cool down before you sit down and attempt reconciliation. Sort the baby out, have a shower, go for a walk, whatever it is you like to do to clear your head. While you’re cooling off, this would be a good time to do some of the other suggestions from here such as write down your thoughts, unload on others etc.
Everyone wants to make sure that they’re heard and often arguments happen because they feel the other person doesn’t listen and understand them. After having a baby it can make even the most solid relationship wobble from time to time but there has never been a more important time to LISTEN! And this goes both ways!
Whenever you’ve both cooled off and you’re ready to talk remember to listen to what they’re saying and try and empathise with them. Listening doesn’t mean hearing so don’t just wait for them to finish to say what you want to say. When they’re done, respond to what they’ve said point by point. Listen to them just the same as you’d want to be listened to. Here’s a great TED talk on 5 ways to listen better.
Remember the real reason you’re stressed
Feeling tired, being hungry, feeling uncomfortable and tense are just a few causes of stress after having a baby. How many times have you snapped at your husband for something small or irrelevant just because you were feeling irritable and later regretted it and apologised?
If this is the case with the latest argument then it makes things much easier when you’re trying to say sorry and move on. If you’ve lashed out because you’re tired then it’s still an understandable reason but you still need to let your husband know that it’s nothing personal when attempting to reconcile.
But, it’s important to learn from our mistakes so if you’ve been annoyed by the situation how can you improve the situation? How about working with your husband or partner to see if they can take the baby for an hour for you to nap, or half an hour for a quick shower and a snack? If the situation is reversed and it’s them that’s overtired, hungry or whatever how can you help them relax a little so they don’t snap under stress?
Avoid arguing in front of the baby
As you may know, children can pick up on our conflicts which can lead to the baby struggling to adapt in later life. With this in mind, try to avoid arguing with your baby present on in earshot of the argument.
Work together to get it resolved
It’s important to work together in everything you do when you’ve had a baby and conflict resolution is no different. Make sure you’re both on the same page and you both want the same thing. Be prepared to compromise so that you can both end the conversation happy.