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When AP and marriage compete

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  • When AP and marriage compete

    The Attached Family columnist Sonya Fehér gives us a peek inside the challenge of maintaining a marriage while attachment parenting her children.

    “The distance we had to reach across to try to find one another again had come out of being very conscious and loving parents who had totally neglected their marriage. If I could have handled it differently, I think my marriage would have weathered these first few years of parenting better. Instead, right before my son turned three, my husband and I were talking — no, screaming — about divorce.”
    Sonya explains the importance of focusing on your marriage while parenting at Use the login provided to you in the fall/winter issue of The Attached Family magazine or at

  • #2
    My daughter is 2 and I know that having her has created a huge stress on our marriage. Prior to her, we were very focused on each other. My primary purpose in home life was to take care of and worry about my guy. Now it's sad but I sometimes go hours without thinking about him. I never sleep a whole night with him. My daughter still nurses at night and wakes up or cries in her sleep a lot, so I sleep in a bed with her in her room after the first time she wakes up. My husband and I get very little "alone together" time during a week. My daughter doesn't go to bed until 10 or even 10:30 at night by the time I get out of her room. Often I've fallen asleep with her, so I'm groggy and just want to go to bed rather than sit and watch tv or visit with my husband. He travels for work, so it is hard enough to find time. As it is, things are way way better than the first 3 months of her life, when she wouldn't go to bed until 1 or 2am (maybe day-night reversal) and get up at 11am. So I didn't go to bed with my husband or see him in the morning before he went to work. It was very sad and I hated it. I was so little prepared for the stress having a baby would take on our marriage. I always said that I thought I was getting a baby, not trading in a baby for my husband. It seems an unfair deal. My husband is also not a huge "baby person", like most men, I'd imagine. He also has 2 teenage sons. So with his sons taking time away from him spending time with me and the baby plus just his natural inclination to spend time working rather than doing boring baby-games and baby-talk, I often felt isolated and alone trying to entertain the baby during the first year or so. If he'd try to help, my daughter would cry and reject him on many occasions, so he eventually just gave up. She wouldn't let him change her diaper or even hold her. It was a real fight to get a 10-20 min break once a night by getting her to do the bath with her Daddy. She would most often end the bath really upset and crying for her Mom. It got better though. Now it's not so bad because she can talk so she is better company for me as well as being more willing to interact with her dad.


    • #3
      Me too

      I feel like I must have the same daughter as you! I found the same thing happened when I had my baby. She was so attached to me. My husband often says things like, "She likes you, any other woman, then me. I'm last on her list." He had so much trouble connecting with her. She is now 3 1/2 and she has finally figured out that daddy can be lots of fun and can do things for her too.
      It is really challenging though, I understand how you feel. I spent many nights "surviving" in my daughters bed. We finally decided we would all share a bed. Then at least we were together as a family at night. When my daughter hit 2 1/2 she started sleeping better, so I would put her to bed in the family bed, then my husband and I would spend time together, sometimes even sleep most of the night together in our other bed room, then if my daughter cried, I'd go to her.
      Another thing we did to make it work better, is we started having regular date nights. We trade off each week with a neighbour. We don't usually go out for our dates, but just spend time at home together. Then if the babysitter has a problem, we are close by, and it is not expensive either. It gives us alone time to be in our own space and just be together like we used to.

      Hope this gives you some ideas.