You and your hubby never fought, and now that baby is here, the sound of his snoring is enough temptation to strangle him. Does this sound familiar? You're not alone. You should also be glad to know that postpartum bae hating (let's call it that) is SO normal, and it does not mean you love your partner any less (if you're reading this babe, love you!).
Why is this happening to me?! It's not you, it's hormones. Mama, you just created some cute ass life inside of you for almost 10 months and EVERYTHING about you has changed. Now that you've gone through labor, hormones are regulating again and this might take a while. During this time, you'll find yourself feeling things you never felt before, thinking things you never imagined, and hating people you never thought to (poor hubby never stood a chance).
Lets be honest here, aside from hormones, sleep deprivation is the biggest culprit. If you haven't experienced motherhood, you have not experienced true sleep deprivation. This I GUARANTEE. It's the constant foggy memory, fishbowl feeling and loopy thoughts that bring you to find the smallest, most meaningless things so incredibly IRRITATING. Finding a dirty bottle in the sink or an empty can of soda on the nightstand is enough to bring out the hulk. Let's face it ladies, who better to take your anger out on... your newborn or your partner? The answer is pretty obvious (I hope).
Although this is pretty much inevitable, there are a few ways to help keep the sparks flying between you and hubs, even when the bags under your eyes are turning blue.
TRY to rest as much as possible. Have someone watch the little bean for you while you squeeze in a quick nap. If help is offered, DONT THINK TWICE. It's easier to avoid arguments when you're (semi) well rested and thinking properly.
Stay hydrated and eat well. There's no need to add to the fatigue. Good nutrition is crucial at this point in time for many reasons. If you're breastfeeding, that's one of them. Not only for baby, but a nutritious diet and hydration are important for milk production. Not to mention your immune system needs some help right now since you're lacking sleep. You need all the energy you can get, so be sure to eat every 2-3 hours to maintain your levels. Extreme fatigue can result in crankiness, therefore leaving the gates wide open for psycho mom outbreaks...
(...real life footage of mom before an outbreak)
Mama time is the best time. Find ways to de-stress frequently. Make time to see friends and catch up, or vent away! Include your favorite hobbies somewhere in the week. Get your workout in, make a manicure appointment, whatever it may be. This is VERY important. It's easy to feel trapped inside 4 walls and lose track of pretty much everything, so do yourself a favor and de-stress so you can come home refreshed and that pile of laundry your boo left on the floor won't even phase you.
Communication is key. This is IT. Without this, you're asking for failure. When something is bothering you, don't expect the other person to know why you're all of a sudden shooting laser beams through your eyes. Trust me, you can huff and puff all you want and your partner is still going to be clueless. TALK ABOUT IT, do NOT let anger build up because it will eventually come out when you've added about 500 more things to it, and chances are this won't be pretty. By this time, the sound of your partners breath will resemble fingernails against a chalkboard, and your partner is probably soooo over your 'tude. Unfortunately, most couples that do this come to the sad conclusion that it's too late.
Be forward, but know how. For example, it's probably not the best idea to start a conversation with "Are you going to watch TV all day, or are you going to help me?". Right off the bat, you're putting your partner down and setting a negative tone for the conversation. Instead, try "Can you help me clean the room in a bit? I think we can get it done faster that way." It's neutral, subtle and gets the point across. Always remember to express to your partner HOW things make you feel, WHY they're important to you, and WHAT they can do to help. Communication is not so much expressing yourself, but how you choose to express as well.
Men are from Mars. This is true. They do not, and will NEVER do things like we do or think the way we do. The sooner you accept this, the better. Remember that we are born with a motherly instinct that switches on the second we see that positive test result. Most men don't really process much until it's days before your due date.. then all hell breaks loose. Poor dudes. Let's be patient with them, K? Also, women tend to be more detail oriented while men .... well ... aren't. While you will meticulously clean every part of that baby bottle with two different brushes, your partner might grab whatever sponge he sees, do a quick wash and not even THINK about getting into those tight spots you can only reach with a minuscule brush. Then he'll say "Okay, I did it", while you've been watching his every move waiting for this moment so you can pounce on your prey. Don't. You can try explaining to him why you do it a certain way and maybe he'll do the same, but maybe he won't. Understand where the intention was and that he really was trying to help. Sometimes, it's about finding each other's strengths and weaknesses and putting them to use. If you get some crazy satisfaction from washing and sanitizing those bottle parts, maybe you can stick to that, while hubby vacuums because he (somehow) prefers to. The less things seem like chores, the more likely he will want to help.
Step back, mama. When it's dads turn with the baby, it's important to give them their space and not hover around correcting them. Trust me, I know this one is hard. Maybe baby's outfit doesn't match, and maybe he's not holding the baby up at the EXACT angle that you do while feeding her (guilty) but that's okay. Dad needs to feel comfortable and free showing off his new skills, let him. Constant hovering can lead to frustration and ruin your partners desire to help.
New perspectives. Try putting yourself in your partners shoes and understand the reason for their actions. Chances are, for the first few months, financial pressure on hubby is on 100. Work, work, work, baby, no sleep, tired, can't...think..str- oops, late on a payment again... need break now pls. Sound familiar? Seems like you and your partner are on the same boat. BTW, if your partner is still coming home after work to change poopy diapers and help with the baby, you've got yourself a keeper, mama (I most definitely do). You're both working hard, caring for a newborn, and trying to figure this adult thing out on pretty much no sleep. Try remembering this before playing the blame game or competing about who deserves that afternoon nap. You are equal & you're a team.
So, if you find yourself up at 4am during a feeding, cursing your significant other because he doesn't have milky boobs and trying to "accidentally" wake him up... take a deep breath and remember what we talked about. Patience, communication, perspective. If you repeat it enough times, maybe you'll believe it ...
Happy Fathers Day to all the hardworking dads out there trying to make ends meet, and a SUPER happy Fathers Day to the single dads living that octopus life. YOU CAN DO IT!
*A very special Happy first Father's Day to my fiance, Stove. This one's for you, the real MVP.