Breastfeeding and Sex: What One Does to the Other

There are many reasons why our sex drives take a nosedive after a baby arrives. For many women, breastfeeding tops the list of passion killers. Yes, our bodies’ and, more specifically, our boobs’ ability to feed our babies is astounding and beautiful but becoming a milking machine plays havoc in the bedroom. One of our girlfriends spoke for many when she said,

Breastfeeding makes me feel like a cow … not a sexy mama.”

“Mooooo”

Your breasts, once fabulous recreational objects, become entirely functional, vehicles for food delivery to your infant.  And you can find yourself literally in the hands of a stranger (lactation consultant) who will feel you up and teach you about latch-on, the “football,” and other innovative holds. The paraphernalia that accompanies breastfeeding is astounding: creams, nipple shields, pumps, pillows, and, let’s not forget, the whole “peek-a-boo” line of clothing. Sexy it is not.

And while few men will admit it, none of them are happy to see their former playthings become Junior’s exclusive domain. Most breasts remain off limits while Mom is breastfeeding. Having a feeder and a groper is quite honestly more than most women can bear.

So, what can we do about it?

The answer is not much. The very hormones, prolactin and progesterone, that our bodies produce so that we can make milk, also cause us to lose interest in sex.  And the two hormones necessary for the female sex drive, estrogen and testosterone, decrease dramatically while we are breastfeeding. It’s all part of Mother Nature’s plan to maximize the survival of our existing offspring. The breastfeeding hormones almost guarantee a lower libido for the nursing mom, making it less likely for her to get pregnant again while her newborn still needs all her energy and resources.

You can’t fight Mother Nature.  The best strategy is to be patient. Your sex drive will come roaring back. It hasn’t disappeared forever. It’s just hibernating while you get on with the business of giving your baby a great start in life.

 

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Arguing Over Chores: Husbands and Wives Keep Score Over Who Is Working Harder

On any given weekend in millions of homes across globe, wives stand in front of their husbands listing all of the selfless acts they have performed in the last week: “I paid all the bills, bought a birthday present for your mother, read Goodnight Moon five times, took four six-year-olds to Chuck-E-Cheese . . . and that was just Tuesday. . . .”

The husbands return fire: “Excuse me, but did I not make the kids breakfast every morning last week, including the morning it made me late for my presentation, when I really should have gone in early? And I picked up the dry cleaning without being asked, and I did bath duty three times last week. What more do you want?”

A volley of personal accomplishments and sacrifices ensues. Not exactly what we thought life would be like when we eyed each other across the room all those years ago, is it? We both end up angry and defensive, each convinced that we have it tougher. Some people are habitual scorekeepers. Some people just do it occasionally. But we all do it.

Sometimes our low-stakes spatting game escalates into all-out combat. Men wage a sort of guerrilla warfare, where accumulating positive points is always a hit-or-miss affair. Women draw upon a major arsenal of weaponry. Our bazookas hit the target again and again, but we never quite seem to get what we want.

Both sides are convinced that they are right and will up the stakes to prove their point. Women, men tell us, will pull out a list of his “priors” lest there be any doubt as to who is in the wrong. Often men are not equipped to retaliate effectively. Our friend Brad says, “It’s like I am trying to make my point with a peashooter and she has a missile launcher and is just wiping up the floor with me. I can’t win.” He says, “I got up with the kids on Tuesday.” She responds, “Well, I got up with the kids every morning for the last three weeks, other than that one Tuesday.” Faced with such superior weaponry, men choose to retreat, but they do not concede defeat.

The bottom line: nobody wins this war.

The Rules

The game of scorekeeping involves the trading back and forth of Marriage Capital, or “points,” between husband and wife. Pay attention here, because the rules are exceedingly complex. Here’s a short overview:

1. In most instances, according to husbands, it is the wife who determines how many points a specific activity scores. “Why doesn’t checking the air in her tires count, but cleaning the kitchen does?”

“I always thought that I would get points for yard work. I’m out there on a Saturday morning trimming the hedges, mowing the lawn, making it all look pretty, and I walk in and she says, ‘Where the hell have you been?’ ”

—Jacob, married 7 years, 2 kids

2. Men often think that they have scored major points (“Hey, I was up at the crack of dawn with the kids; I did all the grocery shopping this weekend”), but to their wives, activities that count as “doing his fair share” don’t score any points at all.

3. In fact, a man may have points deducted because he expects major kudos for simply pulling his weight.

4. Positive points have a use-by date. If they are not used within recent memory of the point-scoring activity, they expire.

5. Negative points, however, last indefinitely. Women, we’ve been told, keep a detailed mental log of all infractions and omissions.

“You get credit for a good deed, but it only lasts for about six months. You have to use it fast. But demerits, they last forever.”

—Francisco, married 4 years, 2 kids

6. In effect, there is no statute of limitations.

“What do you mean you’re going to the game? You only spent an hour with the kids last weekend! And when your parents were here last month, I was the one playing Scrabble with your mother until all hours. . . .”

—Tracy, married 5 years, 2 kids

7. Advanced-level play:

“You can get multiple points if you actually forgo a golf game or whatever and tell your wife you want to spend time with her.”

—Simon, married 3 years, 1 kid

“No way. My wife would call bulls*#t on that right away. She’d smell a rat.”

—Vince, married 5 years, 2 kids

What can we do about it?  Make an Everything List, everything from mopping the floor, to changing the diapers, to earning a paycheck and Divide and Conquer.  Once you see all the work in front of you, you can make sure the division of labor is equitable, doing away with (at least most) of your tit-for-tat endless Scorekeeping arguments.  So hand in your martyr badge, put away the scorecard and work as a team.   Maybe throw in a few thank yous and your amazings while you’re at it.  Easy, right?  Ha!  We still find ourselves, (hopefully a little less often ??) keeping score with our husbands.  We still whip out that bazooka from time to time.  From our battlefield to yours…Good luck!

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How To Live Happily Ever After … After You Have Kids

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill

Google “happiness and having children” and you’ll find a lot of depressing studies that seem to conclude that we have a national epidemic of miserable parents on our hands. The three of us have to admit that, in some respects, a good response to our own “what happened to my body/career/marriage since I had kids?” questions would have been a fairly swift kick in the ass. We were, at times, guilty of feeling oh-so-sorry for ourselves; or pining for the good old days; or reacting to our husbands’ requests for whatever with a “well, what have you done for me lately?” It wasn’t pretty and we’re not proud of it.  We realized, through the process of interviewing hundreds of men and women about their post-baby marriages, that our happiness with our married-with-kids life depends, to a large extent, on our attitude toward it, and we’ve adopted a few key mantras as a result:

Our children are the making of us
. Compromise and selflessness don’t come easy to those of us who’ve been raised in a me-first, I-can-have-it-all American culture. When we have kids, we find reserves of patience, love, humility, and (ideally) humor that we never knew we had. They make us better people. Our children are and will be, quite literally, the making of us and our marriages.

The Getting versus Giving Equation. It’s the actions we take for each other that add up to a happier marriage. To paraphrase that great American orator (if not that great family man) John F. Kennedy: Ask not what your spouse can do for you; ask what you can do for your spouse. Easier said than done, we realize, if you’re packing a couple of years of resentment under your belts.

Quit trying to get your old life back. It’s over. Kill the ghost of your past self. Surrender to the chaos and wonder of parenthood and embrace it wholeheartedly.

“Resistance is Futile … Surrender, Already.”

This is just a stage. No matter how tough things are right now, no matter how little sleep (or sex) we’re getting, it will pass. Plenty of parenting veterans told us that making the transition to parenthood is one of the toughest—if not the toughest—times we’ll experience in our marriages.

Good enough is good enough. Trying to have the perfect kitchen, bedroom, yard, wardrobe, etc. is just not possible after we have kids (if ever). Pursuing perfection can propel us into a cycle of “it’s never enough,” or “the grass is greener ..” which just eats away at our happiness. There was a time when a husband dressing a child in pajama bottoms for school would have driven us into an apoplectic fit. Life is so much easier now that we’ve lightened up and lowered our standards a little.

The grass is really not greener somewhere else …

Our happiness hinges on each other’s. It may seem obvious, but sometimes we don’t act that way. We are our spouse’s best shot at happiness. Whether or not your spouse is happy with his or her life depends, to a large extent, on you. Instead of competing against each other to have it all, we should try to help each other have it all.

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Tori Spelling: Baby No. 4 On The Way

Tori Spelling announced today that she and her husband, Dean, are expecting their fourth child. Yes, that’s just five months after the birth of their third child. And in case you’re trying to figure out the math  … that means that they had sex one month after the birth. Wow. That’s about 100 days faster than most couples with newborns manage to reconnect in the bedroom. I don’t know whether to be appalled or super-impressed.

In any event, congratulations and good luck to them both. For those you who are wondering what life is like with four kids, take a look at our chart detailing the incremental impact of each kid.

Number of Kids 1 2 3 4 5 or More (yes, they are out there)
Parental Defense Method Tag Team Man to Man Zone Prayer Brute Force
Grandparent Participation Level Overwhelming Halved They’ll take one kid at a time. They’ll take one kid at a time. They’ll take one kid at a time.
Free Time 30% of former life Goes to zero Ha! N/A Negative – you even dream about working.
Minutes Required to Leave the House 5 10 20 Who knows?  You’ve lost your watch. Half a day
Number of Appointments per Year (doctor/dentist etc.) 6 12 18 36 Unless your spouse is a medical professional, you consider leaving them to marry one.
Number of Birthday Parties per Month = X (X also equals the number of times your ass is in Toys “R” Us buying a gift before hightailing it to Chuck E. Cheese) X 2X 3X 4X You start hearing the Happy Birthday (Cha Cha Cha!) song in your sleep.
Number of Names of Kids’ Friends’ Parents to Remember (Assume A=preschool class size, B=neighborhood friends, and C=other friends 2(A+B+C) 2(A+B+C)X 2(A+B+C)Y 2[(A+B)X(CY)]N When you see anyone, you just nod your head and act like you know them.
Sibling Rivalry Decibel Level 0 3 11 (like in Spinal Tap) You need a hearing aid. You turn off your hearing aid.
Gallons of Milk per Week 2 4 6 8 You consider investing in dairy stocks.
Table Size at a Restaurant Table for 2, plus a high chair Table for 4 You have to wait for a bigger table. You have to wait for a bigger table. You don’t go out.
Travel Considerations 3 plane tickets, 1 hotel room, 1 cab, mid-size rental car 4 plane tickets, 1 hotel room, 1 cab, full-size rental car 5 Plane tickets, 1very cramped hotel room, 2 cabs, mini-van rental 6 plane tickets, 2 hotel rooms, 2 cabs…time to rent a bus You are broke, having spent all your money on the previous vacation.
Weekend Getaways Once a quarter Twice a year Bribery required Weddings and funerals only Not ever

With each kid, of course it gets harder.  The love and joy in our homes increases a thousandfold, but so does the general mayhem.  There’s more noise, more chaos, more work to do.  By necessity, we take time away from each other to care for our kids.  ”Your time” gets folded into “family time,” and we can begin to lose the sense of being a couple.

But as it gets harder, somehow it gets easier, too.  We realize that the struggle to get back to our pre-baby “normal selves” is futile.  This noisy, chaotic life is where it’s at.  We step up and embrace it, and we surrender to the madness.  Both parents get caught in the full-court kid press.  We share more of the labor and more of the joy with each other.  This leveling of the parenting field can put marriage on a much more even keel.

So, have you and your husband asked yourselves “how many kids should we have?”  Ha!  Good luck.  Whatever you decide, remember this: know when to waive that white flag and surrender to your amazingly crazy new life.  As you ramp up, you and your spouse will find more happiness if you simply give in.

 

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Sex: Frustrated Husband Wants His Wife to Want Sex

Q: Sex is not on on my wife’s radar – Help!  The whole thing really seems like such a weird joke civilized society plays on us. And ladies, many of us men understand the issues but that doesn’t help eliminate our libidos. Bottom line to me is; if there was a pill I could take that would inhibit my sex drive without inhibiting the other necessary benefits of Testosterone, I would take it in an instant. There is no reason to have a sex drive if your not going to be able to enjoy it. It becomes a curse not a blessing. Much easier to simply share my wife’s biological destiny of child rearing our three and four year-old and all the domestic life I do enjoy immensely, while not concerning myself with having a romantic partner. Really would eliminate a lot of the marital conflict. I’m a good domestic partner as we keep our relationship platonic, but unfortunately my sex drive is sill healthy. Masterbation in the shower is getting real tiring and depressing.

And here’s the worst part; I purchasd this book, read it, found it fantastic and was very excited about my wife sharing it with me, looking for ways to improve our marriage during the process. For two weeks it has been sitting under a pile of Parenting magazines, which she reads every night.

I’m not leaving my family as I love my childrn dearly. I respect my wife as a domestic partner and love her for the mother she is to my children. It’s pretty unfortunate that we have a comatose marraige right now. Ladies, don’t let this happen to your marriage. Tired or not, your relationship with your husband is MORE important than the relationship with your children. When a plane is depressurizing you have to put the mask on yourself first before your children.

Go out there and show him he matters to you. You have no idea how much real desire on your part will fill your man with such a level of satisfaction and pride that he will want to give your family the world! And if you just can’t bring yourself to do it, at least let him know you reallize how mentally unhealthy this situation is making for him; that you look forward to being his playmate again.

Sorry for leaving any typos uncorrected, but my lovely wife is asking for help folding the laundry. You get the picture.

A: We hear you.  We’ve heard men all over the country say the exact same thing. And to be fair, most women react the same way once there are children in the picture. Yes, it does seem like civilized society plays a weird joke on us!

Let’s first talk about your wife’s behavior. I can honestly say that most women we talked to, myself included, just didn’t understand why sex was so important to men. We had to talk to hundreds of men before the proverbial light bulb went off. When sex falls off their wives’ radar, we heard them say things like, “the sky is falling down, the wheels are coming off,” and it they are turned down two times in a row, it’s “soul destroying.”  Now, I get it. Right now, your wife may think that you are trying to get her to read a book to “improve your sex life” – not what she wants to hear right now, especially if she chased a couple of toddlers around all day. That may be why the magazines are piling up on top of the book.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Open the book, and read sections to her that are geared toward understanding women. Once she feels that you are empathizing with her and understanding her point of view, then introduce a few sections on how men feel. Once she’s disarmed, then she’ll be more receptive to the male side of the story. Our book is contains the voices of hundreds of men.  So she will understand that it’s not just you.  That most men think the same way.  Key point – don’t start right into the sex issue. Take your time on that one.

2. Redefine Foreplay.  When there are small children in the house, foreplay is no longer a candlelit dinner, etc.  Foreplay is rolling up your sleeves, getting in the assembly line, and helping out with the kids’ dinner, bath and beyond.  Give her an hour to herself so she can get that spit up out of her hair, take a bath, relax, and get out of Mommy Mode.  Women feel more like a wife once we take a break from the kids and feel like a woman again.

3. Try doing something romantic without expecting anything in return. Women never like to feel like a flower = a night in the sack. Women want to be wooed; we want to feel like you are dating us. Put some effort into making her feel special, and remember – no 10:00 shoulder taps!

Good luck!

*Image by Larry Martin

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My Husband Is Never Around: Where’s Waldo?

 

When my first kid was about three months old I reached my breaking point.  I was downright exhausted and needed my husband, Ross, to pick up some slack.  (Let me preface this by saying that Ross is a great guy.  This happened during the early days of parenting when ‘he just didn’t get it.’)  One time, I remember telling him that all I cared about was stepping on some sort of exercise apparatus, improving my overall hygiene, and getting a few hours of shuteye.  At the end of the day, he was no where in sight.  Where’s Waldo?  I called him on his cell and of course he said he was on his way shortly.  And what did I hear in the background?  I could swear it sounded suspiciously like a combination of Golden Tee and a keg being tapped.

Gals, as we struggle to take care of the new little love of our life, forgoing sleep weeks on end and often dreaming about stepping foot into a shower, at times, we feel like our husband is, well…missing.  Where is he?  Why does he suddenly have more work to do?  Why has his outside social life suddenly picked up?

Well, we’ve done a little research, talked to a few new dads, and here are a few gems that we found well…interesting.

One guy, John, was actually having an affair.  He slips away from work an hour early just so that he can surreptitiously have a quick drink with his best friend before he heads home:

“I feel like I’m having an affair with my best friend. I try to see him once a week before catching my usual train for the evening. Don’t tell my wife. If she finds out, she’ll insist I come home an hour earlier and I’ll never see Pete again. It’s just nuts.”

And another guy, whom we’ll call Ron, takes to extreme measures to survive, or more accurately, to get away from the baby-induced mania.

“When our first daughter was born I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep it together at work. I thought my boss was going to come in and find me passed out on the keyboard. Things got so bad that I told my wife I had to go on a business trip to Chicago. There was no business in Chicago. But I took a day off work, flew to Chicago, checked into a hotel, and got a full night’s sleep. It was heaven. I’m not really proud of lying to my wife, but it was a question of survival. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

So, if you are wondering where Waldo is, you may want to think about running a sting operation.  Consider putting a GPS chip in his phone to pinpoint his whereabouts.  Or how about hiring a PI to follow him around to take a few incriminating shots.  When you do actually bust him and rein him back in, you can finally hop on that treadmill, see the inside of a shower, and catch those coveted ZZZZZs.

Good luck with your search!

* Illustration from Gerthblog.com

 

 

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New Moms and Dads: Dads Are from Mars, Moms Are from Venus

After living much of our pre-parenthood lives as relative equals, it comes as a surprise when, post-baby, men and women start to assume different and not always complementary roles. Our instincts nudge women into the role of nurturers and men into the role of providers.  When we become parents our most basic instincts rise to the surface. We find ourselves back in the prehistoric suburbs, where women wonder if baby might be allergic to mammoth and if there are enough wild berries in his diet, and where men stalk buffalo and question whether their hunting abilities will be good enough to get the family through the winter.

It’s like our brains get completely rewired, running two separate “his and her” programs, but for good reason.  Both programs are equally important for the survival and well-being of the baby.  She focuses on the micro, the day-to-day development of the baby, while he focuses on the macro, providing food and shelter for the baby.

In simple terms, she has The Mommy Chip, while he has Provider Panic.

The Mommy Chip

Whether we like it or not (and believe us, often we do not like it), when we have a baby, a nurturing, domestic gene is activated. It’s as if a Mommy Chip is implanted in our brains. And we can’t turn the damn thing off. That microchip gives us supersonic hearing (Was that the baby?), x-ray vision (Those pants are not clean.), lightning reflexes, and a relentless internal dialogue (Do we need more formula? When’s the next doctor’s appointment? Have I registered with enough preschools?). It also comes with a Worst-Case-Scenario Program that plays into our newly-minted-Mommy fears. And, if that’s not enough, the chip is plugged into a Guilt Circuit that compels us to think we are never, ever doing all we could for our children, our husbands, and ourselves.

Once we become mothers, whether we stay at home, or work full-time, or anything in between, that chip is always humming.

 

Provider Panic

 

“I would stand over the crib and the first thought that would come into my head was: I better go make more money.”

—Jack, married 7 years, 1 kid

Although men don’t get obsessed about their babies, they do have their own internal hardwiring to contend with. Even if they are one half of a dual-income household, most believe that providing for the financial well-being and stability of the family is their responsibility. Now, before anyone gets their feminist knickers in a twist, let’s take a closer look at that statement. We talked to some women who have always worked, and most had a visceral reaction to the idea that providing for their family was their husbands’ exclusive responsibility.  However, most if not all husbands agreed that even though their wives are willing and able to provide for the family, “the buck stops” with them.  One guy said, “If we don’t have enough money saved for the kids’ college, that will be my failing. I will take that personally.” This sentiment resonated with many of our male friends. They described fatherhood triggering a sort of Provider Panic. This phenomenon often sparks a laserlike focus on work. Career and financial success become more important than ever. In those early months, women worry that the baby is not eating enough or not eating the right foods; men worry that they will not be able to put food on the table. Men’s compelling drive to provide can compromise their ability to see what needs doing (and sometimes even to enjoy what’s happening) on the home front. There’s no mental room for noticing the bottles need washing because the male brain is already in high gear calculating college tuition payments.

Bottom line, once the baby enters the picture, don’t think that your spouse has completely lost it.  Guys, if your wife is obsessed with how many bananas are in the house and registering for preschools when your baby is one day old, she’s not crazy, she’s a mom.  And gals, if your husband suddenly spends more time at work, obsesses over the state of the 401k and doesn’t seem to notice the dirty clothes on the steps, he’s not being insensitive, he’s just nervous about adequately providing for the family.  All in all, you both are hardwired to take care of the new little love of your life.  :)

* Image from http://parentinguru.com

**Illustration by Larry Martin

*** Illustration from www.knackered-dads.com

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No Sex After Baby? Blame Biology for Your Lost Sex Drive

There have been times in my life when I have been absolutely astounded by the male sex drive. I was awestruck a couple of months after the birth of our first daughter when Mike attempted to have sex with me. My leaky boobs, matted hair, stooped shoulders, hairy legs, stained bathrobe and – I am pretty sure – stinky breath did not deter him.

Not actually me, but a pretty accurate representation of how I looked three months after having a baby.

(Needless to say, Mike was shot down). He still wanted to have sex and I couldn’t have cared less about it.

Is Mother Nature playing some kind of mean-spirited trick on us? Wouldn’t it be better if men and women had the same sex drives throughout life? Well, apparently there is a good reason for the post-baby disconnect: it’s the small matter of the propagation of the human race. Biology sets us up as mirror images of each other, as polar opposites, to promote the continuation of the species (he wants to spread his seed), and to maximize the survival of our existing offspring (she focuses on the baby). Men’s bodies and daily lives are not affected by the arrival of children the way women’s are. They proliferate their genes through sex. Women, alternatively, are compelled by nature to nurture their young to the exclusion of all else. We ensure our genetic heritage by caring for our offspring. Robert Wright summarizes this idea in his bestseller “The Moral Animal”.

When you consider that our behaviors are ultimately derived from millions of years of evolutionary biology, it does take some of the pressure off, doesn’t it? So we can all relax. The root of the conflict lies in our two competing biological drives. Our modern-day frustrations (known in scientific circles as the Hound-Dog/Ice-Queen Vortex) are, more than we will ever know, hardwired.

 

 

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Mother-in-Law Sends Awful Gifts to My Son

Q. I live in California and my mother in-law lives in New York, so we don’t see that much of each other. She just sent a gift for our seven month old baby that I think is awful. It’s a hideous looking jack in the box type thing, that has a scary laugh when it jumps out.  Definitely not suitable for a baby. It would terrify my son. This is not the first time my mother in-law has sent inappropriate gifts. A couple of months after my son was born she sent a “christening” outfit for the baby’s christening. A christening that never happened. My husband and I are not religious. Should I say something to her, or just stay quiet and keep getting these ridiculous presents from her? 


A. One day your baby son might think that evil looking Jack-in-the-Box is the coolest toy in his collection. Yes, it’s probably not suitable for him now, but one day he might get enormous fun from it. Your mother-in-law meant well. I don’t know either of you, but I’m pretty sure that she just wanted to connect with her grandson in some way, and she sent something that she thought was suitable. So what, if it’s not something he can play with until he’s out of diapers? Graciously accept the gift in the same spirit that it was given.  She went to the time and effort of picking something out, wrapping/mailing it. The least you can do is say thank you.

I know you’re worried that a “thank you” might lead to more trashy gifts from your mother-in-law … but, so what if that is the case? If allowing her to experience the joy of giving, means that you have to experience a little bit of discomfort when you see those mother-in-law gifts on your son’s bedroom floor, isn’t that a very small price to pay. The woman lives thousands of miles away from her son and grandson, don’t take the joy of giving away from her.

Now about that christening outfit …  if your mother-in-law knew that you and your husband and had no intention of christening your son, then sending it was inappropriate and passive aggressive. But I don’t know what, if anything, was communicated to her about your religious beliefs. If, in the future, she gives you unsolicited parenting advice let your husband deal with it.  He has to run interference with his family, not you.

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Who Should Get Up at Night With Your Newborn? Playing Midnight Chicken

 

During the newborn stage, new parents resort to all manner of fun and games to keep themselves amused during this difficult time.  One of our personal favorites is called Midnight Chicken, also known as Who Will Blink First? It goes something like this: It’s 3:00 a.m. The baby is awake (again) and crying (again). You are both awake. You both hear her. But nobody moves. Women are tacitly calling in their chit (Surely he knows it’s his turn this time?), but men, the masters of this game, simply play dead (maybe they throw in a little snoring). They can’t hear the crying because they are sound asleep. Who will cave in and get up first? Needless to say, it’s usually Mom.

There’s also a higher level of play called Advanced Midnight Chicken: You nudge your spouse when the baby would cry and say, ‘Hey, you’re up. I got her last time.’ But there really wasn’t a last time. The baby had been asleep all along, but the sucker doesn’t know it. So don’t get too comfortable there in the bed, Daddy-O.

How do you put an end to the midnight shenanigans?  It’s entirely straightforward: you have to have a system.  Dad does all feeds up till midnight, Mom (goes to bed early and) gets everything after. Or whatever suits your sleeping schedule.  If Mom is a night owl, Dad can catch the early A.M. shift.   Don’t duke it out, Divide and Conquer.

*Illustration by Larry Martin

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