Despite how loving the relationship is between you and your partner there are probably always going to be things you disagree about when it comes to parenting. This may be due to the fact that you were both raised differently, or you simply have differing views on how situations should be handled. When you’re both sleep deprived even the smallest triggers can set off a full blown argument which could probably have been avoided if we’d just opened the lines of communication a little bit better.
Let’s see if any of these parenting issues that couples fight about the most seem familiar to you:
Deciding who gets up with the kids
It’s no secret that after you have children the number of hours you sleep for each night usually decreases, whether that’s because you’re getting up to a baby in the middle of the night or at the crack of dawn with your toddlers. As much as we would all love a sleep in every single day, the most logical way to handle this problem is to take turns sleeping in and make sure you stick to it. It’s probably the only way you’re going to eliminate that bitterness about who is getting more sleep than who.
Dividing child and household duties
Before you had children, the duties around the house were clear – you did the dishes, the vacuuming and dusted whilst your partner swept the leaves, picked up the dog poo and hung out the washing. But now that you’ve thrown a baby into the mix there’s a whole new set of chores that need to done too, so who does all the extra work? That’s obviously something you’ll need to discuss with your partner to ensure that it’s fair for both of you. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the number of chores, then talk about it – your partner isn’t a mind reader and bottling it up will probably end in disaster.
Escaping for ‘me time’
Something else you have less of after you’ve had a baby is time to yourself. It’s quite common that partners will just slip off to ‘check on something’ and they’ll ‘be right back’ only to emerge or return hours later and wonder why you’re so flustered. It happens when parents are in desperate need of some time to themselves, but rather than running away and leaving your partner in the lurch, schedule in ‘me time’ for both of you each week. Having a schedule each week of work hours, daycare hours, family time and me time can be a great way of keeping track of those precious hours.
How to discipline your children
Something you and your partner need to be clear on is how to discipline your children. If you’ve created something like the naughty corner then both of you need to be clear on the rules and punishment that are associated with the naughty corner. If you’re not doing the same thing as your partner, you’re sending mixed signals to your children and the punishment won’t be as effective because you aren’t being consistent. Put aside some time to discuss how it’s best to discipline your children and stick to it.
What have you been doing all day?
If you’re a stay at home parent then you may have had this question from your partner in the past – it can be difficult for a parent who is away from the house all day to understand why it’s ended up so messy. Yes, babies are little, but they need constant attention and the chores that come with them are never ending. So rather than fight about it as soon as your partner steps in the door, sit down and discuss the best way forward once the kids are in bed. You might come to an agreement where the person at home will aim to have a certain amount of chores done each day whilst the parent who has been working all day can’t expect the house to be spotless.
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Richelle Hampton, author of The Divorce Navigator, looks at practical ways you can prepare for divorce both financially and emotionally.
Standing on the precipice of separation and divorce can be daunting to say the least. Emotionally you feel as though you have just stepped onto the world’s largest roller coaster ride of fear and anger.
Anger is the most commonly recognised emotion in the separation process. It is a known fact that much of the pain and grief with separation is caused by escalating anger. The pain and suffering both parties are experiencing as a result of the relationship breakdown often transforms into a traumatic, costly legal battle.
Don’t allow your anger to take control of the situation. It may seem that you are thinking clearly, but anger and rage do not make you smart – the very opposite occurs. Your higher brain functions do not operate when you are angry and you will be at risk of making decisions that will be harmful to you in the long term, extend your separation process, and cost you more financially and emotionally.
Learning to deal with your anger constructively is one of the most important things to be gained from separation.
What is not as obvious when a relationship breaks down is the enormous amount of fear both parties experience, the emotion beneath anger. Just about everyone involved experiences some level of fear because of the uncertainty surrounding their future, of not having the answers or being in control of their lives – the fear of the unknown.
Facing your fears is an important step. Visualise the worst that can happen, make preparations for it, write down all the things you can do to ensure the situation never develops, take a step forward and know that you will be okay. By understanding that you fear a worst-case scenario you are in the position to make plans to avoid the situation.
If you do not learn to confront your fears regarding separation you will find it extremely difficult to make rational decisions and your financial future may be impacted.
The most important step you can take in your separation process is learn to deal with the emotional aspects of this process in such a way that it doesn’t interfere with the legal issues involved. There is no place in the legal system for negative emotions.
How you act and react during your separation proceedings has a lot to do with how well you come out of it.
To financially prepare for divorce find out where you and your partner have bank accounts, life insurance policies, share certificates, and important documents.
Obtain statements and balances for bank accounts, plus copies of Wills and trusts. The more information you have, the better. If you do not know much about your family’s income, outgoings, and assets, it is important to find out immediately. Keep copies of financial documents in a safe place such as a safety deposit box or with a close relative or trusted friend.
Ensure you understand your financial information and the financial implication of any decisions you make. Costly mistakes can be avoided by seeking the advice of a financial expert such as an accountant or financial advisor. You will be in a stronger position to make informed decisions regarding your financial future.
Keep your expectations realistic as your finances will be tight. Don’t go into separation thinking you are going to be able to maintain your present lifestyle.
If you have joint bank accounts/loans/mortgages, consider changing the account withdrawal procedures so that you both have to sign as joint signatories to withdraw any funds. You might also consider limiting or cancelling any redraw facilities.
Consider opening a bank account under your own name and with a different bank. Have your salary and any financial gifts or inheritances post-separation transferred to this account.
You need to bring yourself up to speed on the costs of running your household. If you haven’t been the one who looks after the monthly outgoings, look through bank statements – see how much you pay in monthly rent or mortgage; check utilities and other regular outgoings.
Begin to assess (or reassess) the job market and brush up on your marketable skills. Start researching courses that will improve employment opportunities or that will further advance your career and earning capacity.
Being educated and prepared will help reduce the stress and fear of the difficult process ahead.
Taken from The Divorce Navigator: How to save tears, time and money, a must-read guide that contains practical advice, help and tips with budgets and checklists for anyone considering separation, about to separate or in the midst of a divorce.
The course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly, and most couples encounter some relationship problems. Fortunately, many of these relationship issues can be solved with a bit of work. Most breakups can be blamed on a small set of conflicts, so here are three of the most common problems and how to fix relationships that are affected.
The problem: bad sex
When sex is good, it’s very, very good. Sex is one of the things that keeps a couple together, so when there are problems, they should be taken seriously. If your chemistry as a couple isn’t working, there are things you should try.
One is finding time for sex, even if it requires making an appointment and hiring a baby sitter. Too many couples let their sex life fall by the wayside as they build a family, but this is sure to lead to dissatisfaction on both sides. Make a few weekly “sex dates” and see if this puts the heat back in your sex life.
Another idea is to make lists of what turns each of you on—and trade them. You may be surprised to learn how creative your partner can be, plus get new ideas for having great sex!
The most important thing is not to ignore it and hope the situation will improve by itself. Open communication is key.
The problem: money
After sex, financial woes are the problem most likely to cause relationship issues. These are lean times for many people, and that can lead to tension within a relationship, especially if one of you is a “spender” and the other is a “saver.” Some couples find out after marriage that they have been raised with wildly conflicting ideas about money.
If you’re having financial problems, they won’t just go away because you hide the bills and try to ignore them. The two of you must sit down and take an honest, non-hostile look at your finances. This is not the time to lay blame, because it’s likely that both of you are partly responsible for your money problems.
You should calmly go over the entire situation—bills, debts, bank statements, savings, insurance, investments, pay stubs—and work out a budget. Allocate tasks: one person should be in charge of checking statements and paying the bills, and both should have a modest allowance that they don’t have to account for. If the situation is really dire, you should consider going into financial or debt counselling as a couple.
The problem: trust
If your relationship has been rocked by infidelity, you may not be able to repair the damage. In some cases, the loss of trust in too much of a betrayal to overcome, but there are things you can try in hopes of fixing the relationship. Both of you have to be committed to the idea that your love is worth saving.
If you are the one who was unfaithful, you must show by your actions that you can be trusted again. Don’t give your partner any more reason to doubt you. Always be on time, show respect for your partner and never, ever lie.
If you are the injured party, ask yourself if you can forgive your partner and move on to save the relationship. Avoid jealousy, and don’t throw the past up or overreact to every small slight. If you find that you’re unable to put the hurt behind you, then maybe the relationship can’t be saved.
How have you solved your relationship problems?