New Moms Tell It Like It Is

Working as a Team

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DEBORAH: It's funny -- after you have a baby, husbands become assistants. And they're not really good assistants. [Laughter] I tell my husband that if he were really my assistant, I would fire him. And that if he doesn't want to be looked at as an assistant, he has to do some things on his own without my having to remind him of everything.

KIRSTEN: I try to be comfortable with my husband's style. I'm a detailed organizer and he's more into the overview. Both our styles work; they're just different.

LS: As your children grow, these issues don't disappear. They become, in certain ways, much more complex. There are whole lives that you've got to organize: friends, classes, homework, term papers, and concerts.

DEBORAH: Who does the detail things like schedule-keeping in your family -- you or your husband?

LS: We've learned to sit down and decide what we're going to do together. But I don't know many families where the woman isn't a little bit more in charge of things.

ALICIA: My husband feels he gets neglected a lot. The kids want Mommy's attention, and he wants time for us, too. He's been begging for a romantic dinner out since Joshua was born. But I don't want to leave the kids. And I'm breastfeeding, so it's like we only have a two-hour window.

KIRSTEN: That's one of the biggest changes when you have children. Even if you had a very busy job, you still found time for each other. But once the children come, they become such a priority that it's really hard to carve out that time for your husband.

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