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The 5 rows you’ll have after having a baby – and how to get through them
When Rolling Stone journalist Jancee Dunn gave birth to her daughter, she was blissfully unaware of the impact it would have on her relationship. Tired of rowing over sex and chores, she consulted the experts to produce a frank book on relationships post children and how not to hate your husband after kids. Here, she reveals how you can bring a marriage back from the brink despite the sleepless nights
Our lives were almost laughably tranquil when my husband Tom and I got married. Weekends were spent lazily in bed or exploring the city; arguments were mostly confined to where we should spend our holidays… Then we had a baby.
It’s a grim reality that no matter how harmonious you are as a couple before kids, you will definitely fight afterwards. Loudly. Repeatedly. You will be amazed at how heated a dispute can get over whose turn it is to change the nappy (the most common argument among new parents, according to a recent Daily Mail survey.) Many things you will row about seem minor, but gradually they add up into something larger that can permanently erode your relationship.
Deranged from sleep deprivation, the most trivial issues can set you off. This one is typical: I ask my husband one evening after I have made dinner to do the washing-up. ‘Yes, but let’s let everything soak for a few hours,’ he replies breezily. ‘But I have to wash the baby’s bottles,’ I say calmly, knowing he’s intending to string it out in the hope that I’ll do it myself. ‘It can wait,’ he replies casually, noodling with his phone. Out of nowhere, I’m filled with a molten rage I would have considered totally unhinged in my previous life. ‘You just want to let the world soak!’ I find myself shouting before dissolving into heaving sobs as he looks on in disbelief.
Fortunately from researching and writing a whole book, I’ve discovered this response is not unusual and that there are many things you can do to stop the battles – or at least manage them in the best, most positive way.
Jancee, far left, with her daughter and husband Tom
Five rows you’ll have and why
I have yet to meet a new parent who has not gone through five distinct stages of fighting.
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