Chris and I have been fighting. We’re not big fighters usually. We disagree and we argue like anyone else, but we don’t get into fights very often. Especially in the past couple years. We know each other and what our sensitivities are and we have a pretty routine, predictable family life. There’s just not that much to fight about anymore.
Enter a new baby.
We are going through the transition right now, though, that I remember going through with Bean, too. It’s the transition and reorganizing that comes with adding a person to your family. Suddenly, household responsibilities are changing. Needs are changing. Demands are changing. And in the middle of all that change, Chris and I are still trying to keep things as normal as possible for Bean Man.
And we’re doing all of that on minimal sleep.
Turns out that Miss Gracie is a demanding little diva. She’s been fussy in spurts and, unfortunately, those spurts are usually in the middle of the night. I don’t blame her. Being a newborn is hard work, man! You’ve got to get control of those pesky arms that continue to flail and somehow manage to find their way out of even the tightest swaddle. Add that to your already hard schedule of learning to eat and poop and do just about everything, and well…it’s a full day.
But you can’t blame Gracie for being a baby.Â There’s also the fact that we haven’t had a newborn around for quite some time. As much as we remembered from when Bean was born, there is really nothing that prepares you for living la vida newborn.Â Each baby is their own individual, unique person, so having Gracie as a newborn is very different than having Bean as a newborn.Â And regardless of how many babies you already have, learning to care for and love your new baby is a big job.
And on top of those things, I’m staying home for a while and Chris is working.Â That’s a big change in our dynamic.Â Chris comes home at the end of the day tired and ready for a break.Â And by the time he gets home from work, I’m tired and ready for a break, too.Â It’s not that Chris’s day is more or less stressful than my day and it’s not that one of us is doing something more important than the other.Â It’s just a different routine and one that leaves both of us tired and cranky at the end of the day.
So, when our middle of the night rendezvous with Gracie keep us up for the few hours of sleep we might actually get, both of us are frustrated and tired.Â And since it’s just the two of us standing there, we take it out on each other.
In the heat of battle, it’s easy to point fingers and lay blame on each other, but the truth is that it’s neither of our faults.Â We’re just tired.Â And we’re adjusting.Â We’re in the middle of a transition and a major change.Â And if the past year has taught me anything about change, it’s that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take two steps forward.Â So, that’s where we are.Â We’ve taken a big, giant step back and, frustrating as it might be, we’re getting through it because we know the two steps forward will be here before we know it.