Parenting

The fights all new parents get into during the first few months (and how to avoid them)

All baby and no sleep makes Mum and Dad lose their cool. Why? Because exhaustion and emotions make communication almost impossible. And when communication breaks down, fights happen.

So what are the most common clashes in those early hazy days of new parenthood? And how many have you and your partner had?

new parents fight

The great parenting debates

You’re emotional. You’re exhausted. And you’re about ready to crack.

While it might make sense to vent your frustrations on your partner, the problem is that he is probably in the same sleep-deprived state as you. And having a normal conversation turns into an argument.

These, mums and dads, are the fights that generations of exhausted parents have had before you and countless parents will continue to have long after your newborn days are gone. How many can you cross off the list?

new parents fight

1. The “whose turn is it” fight

“I changed the last nappy.” “Yes, but I fed him last.” As much as parenting should be an even distribution of ‘chores’, it’s not. It’s more about “who is available”. And often this will be Mum.

Eliminate the concept of ‘turns’ in your household and, if all else fails, use Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who has to clean the next poopy nappy. You can’t argue with Rock, Paper, Scissors. It’s as fair as they come.

2. The “who has it harder” fight

It’s really not a competition. But after a long day of baby wrangling for you and work for him, it can feel like it is. So which person had a more exhausting day?

Who gives a stuff? Agree that both of your days were equally exhausting, that you both are barely surviving on minimal sleep and that you both probably look like crap. Essentially, you both are losing right now. So lose together.

3. The “who is more tired” fight

“I was up five times last night!” “You got to sleep all day.” “I have to work in the morning.” You’ve probably said or heard all of these phrases before.

Lack of sleep is a pretty sound competition during the parenting journey. In fact, just watching your partner sleep while you’re awake for the 10th time can leave you boiling with anger.

But it shouldn’t be a ‘Who Gets the Sleep Deprived Trophy?’ contest. It’s a stupid trophy to have anyway. As important as sleep is, it’s even more important to stay united as you take on your adorable opponent. Embrace the challenge and celebrate the mini feats, even if it’s a 20 minute kip on the couch.

new parents fight

4. The “whose turn Is It To Adult” fight

Because taking care of the baby is only one job. There’s still the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and all of those other every day chores to do. And, if you both hold out long enough, you’ll end up not only being tired, but also extremely hungry and dirty. So agree to take on the chores together. Set a timer and get to work. And pray that the vacuum doesn’t wake the sleeping baby.

5. The “whose hiding in the toilet playing on their phone more” fight

“Me” times are few and far between during those first few months. And thus it’s only natural to start fighting about who gets a break. The answer? You both deserve a break. So play nicely and take turns.

And, if you happen to catch your partner playing video games on his phone while sitting on the toilet, try not to get too upset.

Perhaps just hand him the bleach and a toilet brush for next time…

Here are some tips of why equal parenting is THE BEST!

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jenna

Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna traded in the cold mountain air for the laid back lifestyle of Australia nine years ago. She is now a mum to one son, one daughter, one dog and one cat, all of whom live with her and her partner in Cairns, QLD. When not writing about the ups and downs of parenting, she is usually outside doing some form of physical activity or indulging in a glass of antioxidant-infused fruit drink. Okay, it's wine.

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