Q. I just stumbled across your site while almost weeping with desperation. Our baby girl is 9 weeks old and my husband and I fight nonstop. We are both so into our baby and are madly in love with her. And my husband does a lot … cooking, tidying up our home, picking up groceries etc....
“Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer . . . the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?” —Sigmund Freud
All Dr. Freud really needed to do was spend a day with a mother of two preschoolers and he would have had his answer: we want a partner, not a helper on the domestic front. We want the gender equality we were raised to expect in our marriages and our parenting. And we’d also like some validation from our husbands to go along with it.
“We had our first kid and almost overnight I felt like I went from being an equal to being the lesser partner in my marriage.” —Becky, married 8 years, 3 kids.
“Why am I the only one in the house who knows where the pacifier, diaper wipes, and sippy cups are? Where the hell has he been living for the last three years?” —Rachel, married 6 years, 2 kids.
In the course of writing about this topic, we realized women tend to keep score more than their husbands. There are two very good reasons for this:
If you have kids your marriage might be on autopilot; because once they enter the picture, it’s all too easy to neglect your relationship. There is just so much to do, and marriage is one of the few things we can ignore without immediate and dire consequences. If we ignore our job, we’ll get fired. If we ignore our kids, they’ll starve. But if we ignore our relationship, our spouse can live off the scraps for a pretty long time.
Our children might just be the ultimate romance-busters. There's nothing sexy about a landscape littered with plastic toys, balls and sippy cups. Light a candle and your two-year old will take a dive at it; wear a sexy top and it will be barfed on, or at best, be mauled by tiny sticky hands. But, don't throw in the towel just yet. Take back Valentines Day and have those pint-sized mood-killers join in the fun.
Even though parenthood changes our outlook on life and almost overnight matures us; we are still the same people we have always been. By and large we still need the same self-maintenance we needed before the kids arrived. But getting our daily allowance is harder to do after kids appear.
Sometimes, though, we make our married-with-kids life harder than it has to be. In our effort to have it all, we can end up focusing on the wrong things and overlooking what's really important. Here are the two things we can let go of that will make more time for the things we need