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Will I Stop Hating My Partner?

We’ve all seen the heteronormative movies- a young, gorgeous couple has drunk

herteronormative intercourse, conceives a baby effortlessly, cis-female goes into

labor and channels all of her discomfort at her frenetic cis-male husband- yelling

and cursing at him, “YOU DID THIS TO ME” then baby is born (magically already

clean and swaddled) and the parents share a knowing look, sweet kiss and

eventually a loving slow dance at 2am in the living room while rocking their quiet,

sleeping infant. Hmmm… That’s a lot to unpack however there’s one thing in

particular that irks us the most. We don’t remember ever lovingly slow dancing in

the living room at 2am. We remember cluster feeding in the dark while our partners

slept. We remember pacing our bedroom, rocking the babies while they cried-

endlessly, thinking, ‘wow, my partner can really sleep through a n y t h i n g’. So we

wonder, are we the only ones who hated our partners after we had a baby? We

didn’t hate them all the time; and certainly at varying degrees throughout the day

(the highest degrees overnight). We didn’t tell them we hated him- and we didn’t tell

anyone who came over to visit. But boy, did we feel it. A question many people have

but don’t ask is, “Will I ever stop hating my partner?”

Yes, the odds are likely you will eventually stop hating your partner. Especially with

first babies, there is a long, confusing, often treacherous terrain learning curve. And

to add insult to injury, you and your partner are probably on different curves,

traveling at different paces. You may be parenting on instinctual cues and gut

feelings and your partner is getting advice from friends, books or blogs. Or you are

up all night breastfeeding/chest feeding, cluster feeding, mixing formula, warming

bottles, pumping, rocking, swaddling, and your partner is sleeping better than the

baby...(just the thought gives us mini palpitations) Either way, this too shall pass.

Too cliché? But its true! Eventually your learning curves meet at a rest stop and

share a huge reunion hug. For some it takes around 12 weeks, for others around 12

months. Yes, that’s a big difference. But yes, everyone is different!

The key to shifting your curves in similar directions is two fold: Communication and

Surrender. The first is toted as the key to a happy relationship in general. Got a

problem? Talk about it. Have a question? Ask it. Need help? Say it. No exceptions!!

The second can be a bit more subtle. Surrendering is a constant practice. Rooted

heavily in self-talk. Reminding yourself that it won’t ruin everything to try

something your partner suggests. And it won’t be the end of the world to let your

partner take the baby for a bit so you can take a nap, eat something, shower, walk

outside, do anything, really. Surrendering to the idea that you can let someone else

try something their way, or help you in a way you hadn’t considered can be magic.

There’s a reason you chose your partner originally- right? Surrender. Be gentle on

yourself and your partner and see what happens. You may find you hate them a little

less… or not…

Disclaimer: ‘Hate’ is a strong word. We use it a bit ‘tongue in cheek’ and the reality

is, there are a lot of very big feelings swirling around during pregnancy, childbirth

and postpartum. Hate is often used to talk about feelings of resentment, confusion,

exhaustion- all common after having a baby. However, if you notice you’re feeling

that and/or down, sad, miserable etc most of your day, please know you can change

that. You deserve to feel good- call a postpartum doula, therapist, talk to someone

you trust, get support. Same goes for your partner ;)

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