Wow the Couples and Kids Plan really helped set some things straight for us. We’re so pleased we sought help and watched it when we did, because our relationship was dwindling and neither of us could get a grip on it.
Mike and I had our beautiful little boy 9 months ago and of course we love him dearly, but his arrival completely threw our relationship off track. Prior to Jack being born I like to think we had a pretty good relationship, we made time for each other, but also saw our own friends and had our own hobbies. We rarely argued, we were in love and so excited about our future together. The thought of having a baby was daunting for us, but it felt like this was the right next step and we thought we were ready.
Unfortunately, I had a difficult birth which meant I didn’t bond immediately with Jack and I needed more help than expected, especially in the first few months, so Mike took an extended leave from work to help. He seemed to be taking it in his stride but after several months of perhaps no more than 3 hours of sleep at a time, everything started to feel a lot harder for us both. Mike had to go back to work, Jack had reflux and still wasn’t sleeping well (so neither was I) and we didn’t have a huge amount of support around us, so I started to feel really quite low. I was resentful towards Mike that he could go to work, at times I regretted having Jack and then felt terrible for even thinking it. Being at home with the baby, whilst Mike got to be in and around his work colleagues and friends, pushing forwards with his career suddenly felt really quite unfair. I would literally bite Mike’s head off if he was more than 5 minutes late home from work because I felt so ready to be released for just a moment, from my duties as a parent. The house was quite often a mess and Mike would complain and say he couldn’t understand how it had got like that. He assumed now I was at home more the house chores would be done by me, but again that felt unfair. We hadn’t anticipated how the dynamics to our relationship and household would change, expectations and in turn presumptions were occurring between us and we didn’t even realise how much, until we watched this plan.
The straw that broke the camels back was when Mike told me he felt like he was being neglected. He was sexually frustrated and annoyed he had to fight for my attention. Inside I was furious, I was already carrying so much resentment about losing my freedom, sleep, money and to be burdened with his worries and needs felt too much. Anyway, it all blew up, we had a huge row and so we agreed we needed help.
It turns out, after watching this plan and doing the activities, we both wanted the same things; more support and understanding from each other, more time as a couple, and the chance to air our worries or issues without feeling like you’re walking on eggshells. So, we’ve divvied out the house hold chores, Mike has agreed to do a few more of the night feeds and Jack is now in his own room allowing us to have more intimate time together as a couple. Just that closeness alone has been game changing but we couldn’t have got there without thrashing out some of these major stumbling blocks we kept coming across.
Being a parent is no mean feat, but this plan has helped us navigate through issues and conversations we never had to have before. We’re in a much better place, communication has been key for us. Thank you Anna and the TRP team. x