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....
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?
Yes, we've already posted a video talking about The Mother of All Solutions - The Training Weekend. Go away for the weekend and leave your husband alone with the baby for 48 hours. No sitters. No in-laws. No cavalry whatsoever. The point is to let him figure things out for himself. He doesn’t get it because he hasn’t done it! We now want to discuss why it is such an important tool when it comes to babyproofing your marriage.
The benefits of a Training Weekend are many and varied:
Mom gets a break. If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So give yourself a little girl time or alone time. Everyone, including you, will benefit from your well-rested, recharged self.
“I didn’t know I needed it until I had it. Boy, did I need it!”
—Valerie, married 7 years, 2 kids.
Dad understands. By taking sole charge of all baby- and house-related duties for a weekend, a man will better understand his wife’s challenges and frustrations. He will have the same sink-or-swim experience that she has. If he wants to take shortcuts by not feeding a full meal, or leaving dirty diapers all over the floor, for once, he will have to deal with the consequences. He learns because there’s no other way out. Just a small glimpse into this “real world” will improve your communication level and your ability to work together as a team on the home front.
“I had a list of things I wanted to get done when I had the kids by myself, and I was lucky if half of it got done. I didn’t shower and I didn’t shave. I could barely hold things together. It gave me an enormous appreciation for what my wife does. This was eight years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.”
—George, married 13 years, 2 kids.
“I had no idea taking care of a baby was so hard. How does she do this day in and day out? I was truly in awe of her when she got back.”
—Brandon, married 3 years, 1 kid.
These wise words were spoken yesterday by a senior family law judge in the UK, who has presided over hundreds of divorces. UK divorce statistics are similar to those in the US and Sir Paul Coleridge's comments merit repeating over here.