I believe everyone will have a different experience with a newborn in their home. Some things will come easier to some than others, some moments will be better for some than others and some will have more hurdles than others. It doesn’t make you a better parent than the next, it just makes it your journey.
Sleep isn’t too major of an issue for us. I don’t feel like a walking zombie. I shower each day. It may not be at an ideal time but it happens. I work out twice a day. It may take me longer than normal but it eventually gets done. My laundry gets done. My house is not turned upside down because I am not a person who can live in chaos. I need balance and normalcy. Does all this happen each day with out hiccups? Nope. I promise, some days we both end up crying, smelling funny, stuck on the couch and throwing in a pizza for dinner with possible wine poured by 3pm. It happens.
What I’m saying is we all have our thing, that when people ask how it is going, as new parents we grumble about sleep, diapers, crying or colic. For me, it is my Husband. I hate saying that but truth is, he is the hardest part about this newborn time.
We came home that first week from the hospital and he was great. He pitched in with everything and had all the confidence to be in the thick of it. Then after 8 days I was on my own and he was back to work. Working his insane hours while I sat at home figuring out our baby all on my own. While he gets up 50% of the time for her 1am bottle the other 50% I can’t even attempt to wake him. That is, if he is even home for it. Days have gone by where he hasn’t seen her awake or even changed a diaper or given a bottle.
Not that he doesn’t want to do these things but he either isn’t here or is a zombie when he is here. A zombie that can’t keep his eyes open, falls asleep often and is at his wit’s end due to stress. So when the baby does fuss he doesn’t have the patience to figure out what makes her quit crying that week.
What does this do to me? Makes me crazy. Literally, everything in this household rests on my shoulders and his one and only responsibility is going to work. I refuse to be the mother doing all the work. I didn’t sign up to parent on my own while the Husband comes in and plays peek-a-boo once a day because this isn’t the 50’s. This isn’t what my Husband signed up for either, to be fair. And I know he is just as frustrated. But this is the rut we find ourselves in.
Once a week, normally Sunday’s, we find the time to go out just the two of us and grab a bite to eat. The baby staying at home with my sister who, thank God, lives with us and helps out in the evenings. But all of this doesn’t help my brain that goes to, this is what I had already. A marriage where the Husband worked insane hours and I got lost in the dust. And that marriage sure as fuck didn’t work out. Okay, I’m being a bit dramatic as this marriage is completely different but those old issues creep up and panic can set in in the middle of the night when I’m frustrated. Frustrated that this is not how I pictured our first few months with our baby and it sure as hell can’t continue this way.
Some people have told me that a baby is just plain hard on a marriage. But it isn’t the baby but his job that is creating all the problems. A problem that we knew was going to exist but not to this extent due to great weather and too many contracts to keep up with. Eventually winter will come but it will also go and we will be back in the same rut. So where do we go from here? That is what we are unsure of. A decision that I can’t make for him but something needs to change. He knows it, I know it. Until then, I feel like I’m 90% single parent.