Last year I wrote a post all about the most common arguments between new-ish parents. Back then Rory was seven months old and I could only imagine what life would be like a year down the line. It turns out that the things which caused friction back then, still ring true with a toddler in tow. If you thought sleep deprivation was bad in the first few months, give it a try eighteen months in!
The problem with toddler life is that it brings with it a completely new set of challenges. You've just got to grips with parenting, then your baby finds their feet and everything goes to shit. Let's be honest it isn't all bad. They become these hilarious little humans who find spinning in circles euphoric. It's like they develop overnight, learning new skills everyday. But as their personalities grow and your little one becomes increasingly independent, tensions start to build.
Take for example a simple trip to the supermarket. In the newborn days things were easier. Sure you didn't leave the house until midday but at least back then car seat came with you! Now even a quick dash for essentials requires a full size trolley, a banana, a grab bag of quavers, nearly a full packet of wet wipes and the mental state to deal with a catastrophic meltdown in aisle three. All this before you've even begun toilet training!
With frustrations running high and tantrums on a daily basis you're obviously going to turn on each other. Clearly you can't blame the child so the only reasonable thing to do is it take it out on your other half, that's what they're there for right? We've all been there. Caught up in the middle of the same ridiculous argument before you've even had your morning coffee. Knowing neither of you are really to blame but having to see it through because you're just too stubborn to admit defeat.
So what exactly do parents with a toddler fight about? Here's our top five.
- Who's the most tired - It was true back then and it's still true now. Ask any parent, sleep is precious and there is nothing more frustrating than knowing your other-half is getting more than you!
- Who's done the nursery run - In our house, I'm the master of the nursery run. Mainly because Ryan is shitty at early mornings but also because it's a great way for me to collate points.
- Sex or the lack of it - I wouldn't say this is something which we necessarily argue about but we definitely have a difference of opinions. While I agree sex plays an important role in maintaining a healthy relationship, after a long week I'd much rather snuggle in for a cuddle on the sofa.
- Point scoring - Remember those points I mentioned earlier? I seem to subconsciously accrue them over the week in poor attempt to use them to my advantage later down the line. The result is always a tit for tat squabble over something trivial.
- Different parenting techniques - It's inevitable that somewhere down the line you'll encounter a situation which you will both approach differently. Ryan is quite old-fashioned and I tend to overthink things. It's something which we need to work on otherwise it won't be long before one of us is playing bad cop!
People say you don't get to know someone until you live with them. While that's true, I don't think you really get to know them until you have a child together. Nothing brings out your bad habits like procreating. Take some solace in knowing you're not alone. Just remember all couples have disagreements, parents just have more cause!
As seen originally at MommyandRory.com