Family and Parenting

Genius Newborn Hack – Or Devastating Death Knell to Marriage?

So last week I talked about how we’ve been coping with colic (which turned out to be an un-diagnosed dairy allergy, and possibly posterior tongue tie on top of that). And I mentioned that there was a second way we were dealing with the stress and chaos – one which I was hesitant to share.

Why? Because I’m protective of my marriage. (I’ve had to deal with attempted sabotage once before in the early days. Not fun!)

I was chatting to a friend not so long ago, and we agreed that something changed for us both when we each got engaged. Essentially, our relationships became sacred, and the subject of them – specifically any ‘issues’ we may have – was off-limits as a topic for discussion. We were fully in and on board – ergo we became intensely protective and private.

Bottom line: it was no longer acceptable to air our grievances and hold them up for scrutiny and analysis by friends and family.

Ultimately, if someone else thinks there’s something not right in my marriage, I don’t want to hear it. If we’re happy (we are) and what we’re doing works for us (it does) then that’s all that interests me. Nobody else’s opinion is of any consequence.

Of course, that doesn’t actually make proper sense – if it’s truly inconsequential, then owning and sharing this (about to become un-secret) secret shouldn’t make me uncomfortable. Thing is, I anticipate certain opinions and I just can’t be bothered with having to defend our unusual setup.

What am I on about?

 

Separate Bedrooms

Yep – right now and pretty much since our second princess arrived, we’ve not shared a bedroom. Why? It goes hand in hand with what I wrote about last week and is a temporary arrangement to see us through a difficult period.

As I write, we’ve recently received a dairy allergy diagnosis which validates my extreme fatigue. It explains such a lot and I’m hopeful that my elimination diet will soon mean our baby girl is far more settled. For the time being and as things stand, hubby is helping me with the relentless pacing in the evenings when it’s required. He’s also taking Elfin for walks after dinner to allow me half an hour to unwind.

And then, come ten or eleven o’clock, he’s retreating downstairs and leaving us to it.

Would you ever consider separate bedrooms from your spouse? Could it be the thing that keeps you sane, or will it spell the end for your marriage? Here's why sleeping separately from your husband or wife might sometimes be the best option.

 

Support?

Does this sound unsupportive? It’s anything but. If Elfin gets too worked up, hubby will come back to help me – we’ve established a system which works at least half the time: after I’ve fed, he paces with her for a while and once she’s finally crashed out he’ll pass her to me to lay her down (my husband is afflicted with clumsiness and not trusted to attempt the manoeuvre).

Ultimately, as I spoke about last week, hubby needs his sleep in order to be of use to our family and to adequately fulfil his responsibility to provide for us.

 

Why Separate Bedrooms?

How did this situation come about? Funnily enough it was something we’d both thought about independently, but were afraid to voice to each other – him for fear of making me feel unsupported; me for fear of making him feel unwanted. His reasons for choosing to vacate the boudoir may be obvious, but mine? Because I’d inadvertently found myself co-sleeping (my only no-no, oops) and was terrified of squashing our tiny baby as I slept: the more space I had in our bed, the safer Elfin would be.

As and when things settle down with Elfin (it has to happen eventually, right?) we’ll reevaluate and I’ll welcome hubby back into the fold. But for now, our arrangement suits us both.

Is this something you have or would consider, or do you think separate bedrooms spells the end of a marriage?

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4 Comments

  1. Nyomi

    August 2, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Both my kids have been high needs in the night. Both have woken more than newborns for years. My partner and I have now slept separately for about 3 years or more. The boys cosleep in my son’s double bed. Us girls breastsleep together in my king. It’s such a short space of time in the grand scheme of things. It’s not ideal but quite frankly if our relationship can’t survive a few years of putting our kids first then it was never going to last anyway and wouldn’t be worth my time!

    1. Kate Tunstall

      August 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      Hear hear! I think it’s just one of those things we tend not to talk about, but actually it’s more common than we’d think!

  2. Lorna

    August 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

    My partner suffers sleep apnoea which was undiagnosed before no 1 came along so we kind of put up with disturbed sleep and as I worked shift work was able to make up sleep during the day at times.
    However the arrival of baby turned it all on its head, not only having a waking baby trying to feed with a tongue tie, co sleeping to try to make it as little stress as possible, having the sound of snoring (could honestly be heard three floors down in my kitchen) and the times he stopped breathing for what felt like minutes meant I was getting zero sleep for the first 4 months, we made the decision to sleep separately as I was on the edge of losing my marbles!! He was diagnosed at this time and with the machine he now uses there is one less disruptive element to night time!!
    There are so many aspects to a relationship/ marriage, sleeping in the same bed is only a small part, especially with young children, being supported and working out ways to help get each other through rough patches is what makes it work, and enabling each other to find ways to cope. Maybe it is more common than we think and as you say people just don’t talk about what they think will be judged as a chunk in your relationship! Xx

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