The Blands

The Bland's ultimate guide on keeping that spark alive

It's easy to neglect your relationship with your other half when settling in as new parents. Read The Bland's ultimate guide to keeping that spark alive.

There's nothing like having a baby. It's brilliant, incredible, life changing... but it's hard and there's really no way around that. In fact it's very hard. For the first few weeks you feel like you're permanently hungover and jet lagged at the same time but you still have to look after a real, kicking, screaming, vomiting little person and that's a job with no annual leave, no sick days and no flexitime. 

In fact there's no time off at all. And in the midst of all the carnage you've got another seriously important relationship to look after. It's easy to neglect your relationship with your other half - but hopefully these little tips might help make sure that doesn't happen and harmony reigns supreme.

We thought it would make sense to split this up - i’d offer some handy tips to the ladies before handing over to Rachael to tackle the gentlemen.

So...

  1. Ladies, cut us a bit of slack when we get things wrong. We don't know as much as you and we probably never will. But that doesn't mean we're not trying really really hard to work it out. Inevitably that kind of chaotic, learn as we go approach is going to bring with it one or two misjudgements, errors...call them what you want. A simple roll of the eyes will suffice.

  2. See it in your heart to give us a night off from time to time. Just enough time to go for a beer. Trust me, a few hours off is enough to recharge the batteries and we’ll come back ready to go again... most of the time. Bear this in mind if the gift of sleep has been given - see below!

  3. (Despite point 1) Accept that just very occasionally, we might have a point worth listening to. It’s rare but every now and then we’ll have one of those cartoon light bulb moments and when they happen, it’s worth taking note. Having said that, I’m struggling to think of too many that have borne fruit!

  4. Understand that a day spent at work isn't a walk in the park. I’ll leave that one there.

  5. Forget anything that might slip out of our otherwise angelic lips at 3am. We all say some things we don’t mean, particularly in the wee small hours, but if you apply this very simple rule (given to us by our health visitor) it’ll all be okay by the morning. Rachael, over to you!

Gents, at all times, please remember the following…

  1. Speed is of the essence. If you're asked to do something do it quick! Don't finish the round of pool you're playing on your phone while your other half sits there drenched in baby vomit…

  2. Give the gift of sleep. You may be tired but she will be so exhausted she'll often forget her own name. When it's possible let her have a lie-in or afternoon nap. Sleep is your most valuable bargaining tool.

  3. Resistance is futile. Do your best to follow instructions and don't argue back. Remember she's so tired she can't remember her own name but mother still knows best.

    (Steve: I guess this applies to both parents but it's a big one for keeping the peace when things get a little fraught. Even if it seems that what you're being asked to do doesn't need doing or could easily be done by whoever it is that's asking you to do it, just do it).

  4. Accept her shopping habit. Babies need a lot of stuff. A LOT. This necessitates buying things. And then MORE things. Deal with it. There's very little to do while feeding a baby at 3am - apart from order more baby kit. So yes, the baby does need another outfit and no, she doesn't need to explain why you need a baby carrier AND a sling.

  5. Little white lies make everything better. If your other half asks you about the state of her mum-tum the only appropriate response is 'What mum-tum?". Don't pause, hesitate, umm or err. However tread a fine line. If you try to tell her she looks hot while she has baby sick in her hair and her maternity underwear on, she will know you are lying. Follow these few simple rules and a happy and harmonious path through early fatherhood is yours. Unless she's having one of those really bad days...then just lay low, do as you're told and offer prosecco!

So there you have it - ten simple steps to keeping the peace when World War Three seems like it’s just around the corner. I don’t think you’re human if you don’t have one or two cross words especially in the sleep-deprived early days, so learn to forgive and forget.

In other Freddie news, next up for us is weaning! I’d have written more about this but I know very little about it (see point 1 above).

NB. I do have to point out that, to be fair, Rachael is very very good at following my five tips! I wouldn’t like to comment on whether I would pass a test based on hers!