Your Relationship Sucks After Kids Because He Won’t Unload The Dishwasher (Among Other Things)
If you find yourself less entranced with your partner after welcoming a baby into your home, you’re not alone. A piece in The Wall Street Journal reports that two-thirds of couples see a decline in their relationship after having a baby. The main point of contention for many of these new parents is determining who will contribute to the household duties and how often.
It’s been reported that nearly 69 percent of men claim to change diapers as often as their female partner, but with new mothers showing an increased BMI and poor nutrition post-baby (while men do not), it’s pretty clear that there is a disconnect in many American households over how both heterosexual partners should be contributing. Assuming childcare to strictly be the mother’s responsibility may not be something many contemporary men would admit to out loud, but the numbers indicate that women continue to be seen as the sole caretaker. This trend seems to be harmful to many romantic partnerships, as assumption over certain duties can breed resentment and a lack of appreciation.
It is definitely not unromantic to make plans or, as in the case of Urban Balance, a counseling practice, to make lists:
A key source of conflict among new parents is dividing up—and keeping score of—who does what for the baby and the household. Counselors at Urban Balance have expectant couples make a list of every potential task—from paying bills and cooking dinner to getting up with the baby at 3 a.m.—and decide who is going to be responsible for each one.
“Baby proofing” your partnership before birth is, according to Urban Balance, in large part about list-making and sticking to agreements about childcare. Going back and forth with charts about who accomplished what may seem catty, but the research indicates that this practice saves many relationships.