'How not to hate your husband after kids'
And improve your marriage.
By Livia Gamble
March 24 2017
No matter how strong your relationship is before having a child, after the little one arrives can be a completely different story.
Instead of admitting defeat, journalist Jancee Dunn and her husband set off on a path to improve their marriage.
Compiling everything she learned into a book, How not to hate your husband after kids, Dunn reveals what couples often don’t talk about before having a baby - which can cause a lot of resentment.
“We didn't have the most basic conversations about who, after I went back to work, who will take care of the baby when she gets sick,” Dunn told The Washington Post. “We hadn't talked about is religion going to play a role, what roles are the grandparents going to have, what will we do on weekends, who will do what chores around the house.”
Something else Dunn had to watch out for was maternal gatekeeping.
Maternal gatekeeping, according to The Conversation, is “the idea that mothers can exert control over fathers’ involvement in child-rearing through their attitudes and behaviours.”
Dunn said that after she began her research, she realised she was “practically” maternal gatekeeping all day.
“I would say, ‘That's not how she likes her toast.’ Let him make the damn toast, who cares?” She added.
Another problem is not feeling appreciated. Dunn found that once she began thanking her husband, he reciprocated the gesture.
“If you say thank you, the other person starts doing it. Oh, thank you for sitting with the baby while I took a shower, thank you for cleaning up - things you don't have to thank them for I would say "thank you."
“Then he started doing it back. It's amazing, how he would say, "Oh, thank you, that was a great dinner" and I would blossom inside.”