The First Year of Raising a Baby Can Lead to More Than 2,500 Arguments, Says New Survey
A new poll of 2,000 people found that new parents have up to seven arguments a day during the first year of a child's life.
Giving birth to and raising a tiny human is tough. And it's challenging for your relationship, as well. Now, a survey by ChannelMum.com and The Baby Show, conducted by OnePoll, has found that the first year of parenthood can lead to up to seven arguments a day—or over 2,500 arguments in the first year of the baby's life.
The survey of 2,000 parents concluded that the most common disputes are over who is the most tired, who should get up at night, and 16% of couples are clashing over the lack of sex. Meanwhile, 17% are upset about the general lack of affection, and 12% have had a fight after one pressured the other to have sex.
Other arguments surround responsibilities related to housework and baby care (feeding, burping, changing). Parents also disagreed on issues like how much their L.O. should be eating or drinking, and whether they should be left to cry alone.
For a fifth of the couples, these arguments escalate to a break up within the first year of a child's life.
Zoë Bonser, show director at The Baby Show noted in a statement on the survey, “It’s disheartening to see so many couples break up in the first 12 months of parenting—one of the most exciting times in their lives. While it is a wonderful period, there’s no doubt about it, it’s stressful with the change in sleep patterns, routines and responsibilities and getting used to there being a third person around that you have to care for all the time."
Other unnerving findings: More than six in 10 parents say they weren't prepared for the impact the baby would have on their life, a third of the couples might go five days at a time without talking to their partner, and over a fifth of the parents surveyed found it difficult to get used to having less money than usual. Over 25% of parents were shocked at feeling less close to their partner once the baby was born.
The good news: 23% of those polled asked friends or family members for additional support. And parents explained that certain tactics helped bolster the harmony in their relationship: sharing night-feeds, planning ahead, making time for regular sex, and having time-out with friends and regular date nights.
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The bottom line: If you're struggling to connect or clashing with your partner after having a baby, you're not alone.
“Even those couples who usually communicate brilliantly can find the first few months of having a baby tough, and arguments are a really normal part of the adjustment process," Siobhan Freegard, founder of parenting site ChannelMum.com said in a release on the study. "Lack of sleep during the early months, and getting used to the new-found responsibilities can pile pressure on new parents and contribute to arguments. Making time for each other can be just as important as learning how to look after the baby, as happy parents will naturally result in a happy child."