New parents will have more than 2,500 arguments in the first year of their baby’s life
Adjusting to life as new parents, and life with a newborn in the house, is no easy job.
Because while it on one level is the loveliest, most romantic, beautiful thing, having started your family – it is also a time filled with so many emotions. So many questions. So many new roles and expectations and responsibilities. And so, so little sleep.
Sounds familiar? I think most of us have been in that same, exhausted boat.
And all this sleep-deprivation, high stress and little time for anything but adjusting to your new role as parents leaves little time for romance and connection, unfortunately.
In fact, according to a new UK study, conducted by OnePoll, on average couples end up having a whopping 2,500 arguements in their baby's very first year of life.
Sex, responsibilities and sleep are hot issues
The study of 2,000 mums and dads found they’ll have up to seven arguments a day about how to look after the baby, and who is doing the most around the house, with common disputes during year one including things like who is the most tired, and who should get up in the night.
When it comes to how responsibilities are being divided, this can also be a bit of a headace, it seems, and can send many couples over the edge in terms of things they don't exactly see eye to eye on. Housework, feeding, burping and changing all feature on this list.
Division of responsibilities also set couples off bickering - with housework not getting done, who should be responsible for feeding, burping and changing the baby also featuring in the list.
A further 17 per cent argue about the general lack of affection once baby is born, with a lack of sex also being a problem to many couples.
“Even those couples who usually communicate brilliantly can find the first few months of having a baby tough, and arguments are a really normal part of the adjustment process, explains Siobhan Freegard, founder of parenting site ChannelMum.com about the results of the study.
“Lack of sleep during the early months, and getting used to the new-found responsibilities can pile pressure on new parents and contribute to arguments. Making time for each other can be just as important as learning how to look after the baby, as happy parents will naturally result in a happy child.”
The study also revealed more than six in 10 parents feel they weren’t prepared for the huge impact having a baby would have on their life, with half of couples reported arguing more frequently and a third said they could sometimes go five days at a time without talking to their other half.
Not well enough prepared
Unfortunately a fifth of couples split up for good within the 12 months of having their child, after the disagreements proved too much to handle. Maybe some of these could have been avoided, as four n 10 parents admit to wishing they’d done more to prepare for what was ahead.
In fact, more than 25 percent of parents were shocked at feeling less close to their partner once the baby was born, and 42 percent wish they’d considered taking a course on how to ‘baby-proof’ their relationship.
“It’s disheartening to see so many couples break up in the first 12 months of parenting - one of the most exciting times in their lives," said Zoë Bonser, show director at The Baby Show.
“While it is a wonderful period, there’s no doubt about it, it’s stressful with the change in sleep patterns, routines and responsibilities and getting used to there being a third person around that you have to care for all the time. The most important thing is to keep talking and recognise how you’re both feeling and ensure you make time for each other, as well as your baby."
Top 20 ‘Year One’ arguments
1. Who is the most tired / had the least sleep
2. Who should get up in the night with the baby
3. Housework not getting done
4. Having less money than usual
5. One person being out at work all day and the other being left alone to parent
6. Who should be responsible for feeding, changing, burping the baby
7. Someone not doing their fair share of the work
8. One person going out and socialising more than the other
9. Lack of affection
10. Not having time to go out together
11. One of you not putting in enough effort
12. Not being able to soothe the baby when it is crying
13. Lack of sex
14. Whether the baby should be left to cry alone
15. Disagreement over relatives / in-laws getting involved
16. One of you isn't talking to the other as much
17. Pressure to have sex when you don't want to
18. One party being bored when home alone with the baby
19. Whether the baby is poorly or not
20. How much the baby should drink / eat