No matter how wonderful your marriage and spouse may be, there are moments when you think your partner just doesn’t get it. Those “I love you but, you haven’t a clue and you’re driving me crazy” moments are especially frequent when you have a new baby in the house. Many first time moms are amazed at how clueless their husbands are about the level of work involved in caring for a newborn.
“When he comes home and tells me he’s had a tough day, he thinks he’s done. Doesn’t he know that I, too, am exhausted and have an equal desire to park it on the couch?” —Mary, married 5 years, 2 kids “My husband actually said to me, ‘What’s the big deal about taking care of one baby? How hard can it be?’”—Phoebe, married 12 years, 3 kids
Meanwhile, new dads are often frustrated when their efforts to help are shot down by their wives. Those powerful maternal instincts can veer towards maternal chauvinism – “no one can care for that child like me” – and, at best, many new dads have an assistant mom role foisted upon them. Criticized for buying the wrong brand of formula, holding the baby incorrectly or dressing the child in pajamas, many retreat to the sidelines.“For three months she didn’t let me take Ashley anywhere near the tub, then in month four, she bit my head off because I didn’t know how to give her a bath.” —Harry, married 11 years, 2 kids “I got so annoyed with my wife hovering over me when I would change a diaper. I finally told her to back off.” - Mark, married 6 years, 1 kid
These small misunderstandings can really wear a couple down, especially when you’re both trying to get by on four or five hours of sleep a night. The good news is that there is a relatively easy way to bring you both some perspective and mutual understanding (and hopefully a few laughs as well) as you adjust to new parenthood. Our patent-pending, marriage-altering solution is called the Training Weekend.
- “My baby needs me; she can’t survive without me.”
- “My husband wouldn’t know what to do. He wouldn’t do anything right.”
- “If I went away, it would be a Baby Einstein Extravaganza.”
- “I would have to write out twenty-two pages of notes before I could get out the door. It just wouldn’t be worth it.”
The one legitimate objection we heard was that it’s too hard to organize a girl trip. Most women just won’t go away on trips and leave their families. It took Stacie six months and over a hundred emails to organize her college friends to go away on a girl trip. Another friend’s first effort was aborted when one of the women wanted to bring her one-year-old along. By comparison, when men sense an opportunity for escape, they quickly organize themselves like flying geese in Perfect V Formation headed straight for the airport.
Don’t let a logistical dilemma prevent a Training Weekend. Spend two days and nights on your own if that’s the only alternative (sounds heavenly, actually).
The benefits of a properly executed Training Weekend are enormous: