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    The SAHM & The Husband Who Just Doesn’t Get It

    “I wish I could stay home and hang out with the baby all day!” Is a statement I often hear from my husband. I am a stay at home mom to our almost 6 month old daughter, Amy. 
    Despite what many may think... staying home with your child all day is not as glamorous as it sounds. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby; I love (most of) the time we spend together. But guys, it’s a lot of work. And you know what’s extremely frustrating? Having a husband who just doesn’t get it. Who really doesn’t understand all that I do for this tiny human on an every day basis. Who doesn’t realize that some days, yes, taking the baby with me to go food shopping IS the hardest thing in the world. 
    I can’t even tell you how many times we have gotten into the same argument. The one where he says “1. well, what did you do all day?” ; “2. you can go to work and I’ll stay home” ; “3. You’re so lucky. I wish I could stay home and  h a n g  o u t  with the baby all day!” ; “4. I am paying your car payment & every other bill!”
    Okay. 
    1. Here’s what I did all day:
    I nursed our daughter.
    I made coffee.
    I changed a diaper.
    I held her for an hour when she napped because God forbid I put her down, there will be a major freak out and no nap.
    I read her a book.
    I forgot I made coffee.
    I changed another diaper.
    I nursed her again.
    I put a load of laundry on... and hours later realize I didn’t transfer it to the dryer... so I washed it again.
    We played with some toys!
    I showered with the door open so our daughter could see me clearly from the swing in the hallway and not have a major freak out.
    I changed another diaper!
    I nursed her again.
    I rocked her for 40 minutes because she was doing that “I’m so tired” cry but just. would. not. sleep. 
    I walked to the mailbox (yay! 30 seconds of freedom!) only to realize I forgot to put the outgoing mail in the mailbox earlier that morning.
    I packed our tiny human up and into the car and went to the post office.
    I changed another diaper.
    I forgot to eat.
    I nursed her again.
    I put her down so I could just use the bathroom.. but the separation anxiety is peaking and she screamed the whole time.
    I held her while I made myself something to eat.
    Would you look at that, it’s 5:00pm already and you’re home.
    2. We are barely getting by on your salary (NY at its finest). If I go to work my salary will be significantly lower than yours. Not to mention I have an issue with pumping and there would be no breast milk bottles to give. Which would mean switching to formula. Which would mean another monthly expense.. on my lower salary. 
    3. I know you think Amy and I are hanging out and having a good time. And yes honey, that is true a lot of the time. But it’s so much more. It’s mentally and physically exhausting.
    4. We made the decision together. We decided I was going to stay home for a number of reasons. The main ones being: having two incomes would raise our health insurance premiums and we wouldn’t be able to afford it (gotta love NY) and my salary would end up paying for daycare alone. So yes, I know you’re paying all the bills. But that was the sacrifice we decided on and you have to stop bringing it up in every argument. 
    I am lucky. I am so lucky to be able to stay home and raise our daughter. She is funny, loving, smart, cute as a button and super feisty. Seeing her face all day every day is rewarding on so many levels. But it is anything but easy. 
    -Janine Stephens, @janineabean

    How Babies Can Affect Your Marriage [Part 1]

    Photography by Lindsey Tuscany

    I am not a marriage expert. I am not a baby expert. However, I am a wife and first time mom. 

    I have been a wife for almost three years, and together we have an 11 month old daughter. Putting those two things together has been the greatest blessing of my life. However, it has not been easy.

    Before having a baby, my husband and I had an amazing relationship. I don't want to say perfect, because I don't think any marriage or relationship is perfect. However, we were pretty damn close to perfection. And we still are! But...things are different now.

    We used to do whatever we wanted, when we wanted. If we wanted to go out and try a new restaurant, we did. If we wanted to go see a late-night movie, we did. Now, we have a bedtime to think about. We have a tiny human's well being to think about.

    Date Nights

    In the past 11 months, we have only had three date nights. My family lives 300 miles south of us, and his family lives 600 miles south of us. So, you can see where the issue lies. I do have a cousin who lives within 10 miles of us which has been amazing. But I try not to constantly bother him with babysitting gigs, even though I'm sure he doesn't mind. Yesterday we asked him to babysit, and we went out to dinner [without the baby]. It felt nice to connect with each other just like we did before we became parents. If you are wondering if we physically connected...We were in bed by 10pm. And by bed I mean asleep. Which leads me to my next point...

    Sleep Deprivation

    On top of not having the ability to go out whenever we want, sleep deprivation has been a HUGE factor in how having a baby has affected our marriage. Our daughter is breastfed, so for about 7-8 months, I was the main parent who had to get up 2-3 times in the middle of the night to feed her. My husband would help out when he had days off, but he is a police officer, so he needs to be well rested during his 12-hour shifts. Even though I insisted on getting up to feed our baby most of the time, I couldn't help but resent him. Just a little. [You would too if you were dead tired, with a baby attached to your boob, looking over and seeing your husband sleeping peacefully]. Ever heard the expression, "I don't want to sleep like a baby, I want to sleep like my husband?" No truer words have been spoken. 

    T sleeps through the night now [for the most part], but we are no less tired. This little ball of energy keeps us on our toes. Quite frankly, I am still recovering from the many months of sleep loss. No amount of coffee can make me feel wide awake.

    Part 2 coming soon. Thanks for reading!

    -Kristin, owner + creator of Free the Mother