When my husband and I got to know that we were going to be parents, we were over the moon. Finally, we were going to complete our family and have a little one who was going to add so much joy and meaning to our relationship.
Well, the baby did arrive and indeed it is a beautiful feeling to be a mum, but the ‘much joy and meaning’ that I thought will add to the relationship between me and my husband apparently dwindled into thin air!
How & When
The first few weeks after I had my baby, I was clueless. And after a few months, I was both angry and confused. I didn’t understand why I still felt so terribly washed out and tired or roamed around the house staring at the dishes, laundry, and the mop, while he lived a life that wasn’t very different from his pre-baby avatar. And I guess, that is when I started to hate my husband. Was it frustration? Jealousy? Anger? Anxiety? Annoyance?
Or all of it?
The Post-Pregnancy Husband Woes
After having a baby, when you are already afflicted by sleepless nights and tiresome days, every small limitation of your husband can push you over the brink. Whether it was parking the car in the wrong way, or his inability to handle a crying baby just when I was gone for a pee, were all reasons enough to blow the lid off my head. I can vouch for the fact that post-partum blues can create a disaster in an otherwise perfect relationship.
To Add To The Husband Woes
When I thought that my tired body, tending a small baby, and the crazy schedules were enough to make me depressed, my husband’s over-sensitive nature only added to my woes. If I would snap at him irritated, he took no time to give it back to me. Sometimes, even more scathingly. I knew I ought to be annoyed because it was ME and MY BODY that had taken the toll of birthing. But it was beyond me to understand his volatile moods. Everything I said, normally or jokingly, seemed to offend him to no end.
But why did he behave that way? Did he stay cooped up in the house for days without having a meaningful conversation with others? Did he have to get up several times in the night to feed the baby and change the nappies? Did he have to cut short his washroom time because the baby woke up and was wailing to be picked up? Did he find it difficult to have a shower or brush his teeth or have a meal peacefully?
It was me who was experiencing all of it, and wasn’t it strange that I wasn’t supposed to be irritated or frustrated, and instead remain tethered within the confines of the house?
Smallest Things Became Biggest Feats
When I started to go out for small errands, I felt so strange and alienated and disconnected from everything around me. The hustle and bustle of the streets, the busyness and the pace of activities, the women sipping coffee and having a good laugh, the people walking their pets, everything made me feel bad about myself. Back home, a shower or dressing up for dinner was no less than an accomplishment. Yet I knew that this phase was common to all new mothers – temporary yet a beautiful phase by itself that I ought to cherish. But I couldn’t find my husband a co-participant in this phase of mine.
With the passing time, a realisation came upon me. I realised that he was also struggling to understand his new role as a parent, to meet his added responsibilities and to deal with the changed person that I had become. So, it was time to start afresh and repair the scars that our relationship had suffered in this chaos. And from then on, there was no hatred. Our baby had indeed written a new chapter in our lives – that was about finding more joys and meanings by understanding each other.
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