Parenting

5 Things All New Parents Fight About

1. Sleep
02/22/2018 01:57pm ET

Your new baby is here and you’ve never felt more connected… or, you know, inclined to bicker about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher. Here, five fights all new parents have — and how to move past them.

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1. Sleep

You’re not getting any (duh). But chances are you’re also fighting over who deserves it, how best to get it and who has a right to complain about it. So maybe the best path here is to keep the outright complaining to a minimum — we know one mama (OK, fine it’s us) who forbade her husband from telling anyone he was exhausted while he was consistently getting four more nightly hours of sleep than she was.

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2. Cleaning

Oh hey, Boppy, MamaRoo and breast pump tubing, cluttering up your house and only vaguely distracting from the mountain of unwashed dishes in your sink. Having a new baby makes it hard to shower, let alone clean up your home, and — unless you and your partner are completely in tune with your acceptable levels of filth — certain to make you guys argue. Try to agree on a system you can both live with (you allow a cluttered countertop, he agrees to make the bed) and, for the love of God, put your mother-in-law (more on her later) to work each time she visits.

3. Sex

You just pushed something the size of a cantaloupe through an opening the size of a silver dollar. If you’re not feeling entirely in the mood — even after your doctor clears you for funny business — we definitely don’t blame you. But having different sexual expectations can put a strain on a relationship, and can make your spouse feel rejected, distant and straight-up grumpy. Even if you guys aren’t on the same page about when to do the deed, make time for other intimate endeavors: a foot rub while you’re nursing, a cuddle session while baby naps on his shoulder, an abbreviated makeout right before you pass out from exhaustion on the sofa.

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4. Visitors

Having his mother stay to help for a week sounds grand... until it’s day three and she’s made her 12th comment about the size of your nipples. New babies bring an onslaught of guests, which can make you both feel drained and more prone to fighting. Work out an arrangement (preferably in advance of the baby) detailing how often you’re willing to host, how much down time you need between visits and how to politely decline would-be interlopers.

5. Whose turn it is to change the poop diaper

Sorry, we can’t really help with this one. Just pinch your nose and get on with your life.

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