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How This California Couple Hacked Parenthood’s Crucial First Weeks

No one got angry or frustrated. We knew what our roles were and what we were supposed to do. 

A new mom says she and her fiancé assigned rigid roles to get through the first weeks of parenthood, to stop them from breaking up.

Laura Denham, 36, gave birth to son Weston in February.

She and partner Carter Rudnick, 33, worried the new responsibilities could split them up – so they each picked jobs.

Laura handled breastfeeding, soothing and putting Weston to bed.

And Carter went to him when he cried in the night, changed his nappies and did household chores.

Lauren, a recruiter from Los Angeles, CA, said both took one or two-hour breaks whenever things got too much.

And she said the only things she and Carter Rudnick, a real estate broker, would do differently are paying for cleaners and meal delivery.

Lauren said: “I enjoyed the newborn phase. I know a lot of moms won’t say that but I did.

“Assigning duties at the beginning was really helpful.

“Newborns are up every two hours to feed and they are obviously going to the bathroom every two hours.

“We decided early on that my fiancé was going to change the diapers, bring him to me and then I would feed him and put him to sleep.

“It meant every two hours we weren’t like, ‘Can you get up with me?’ ‘I don’t want to get up – just feed him,’ ‘Can you change the diapers?’ And going back and forth.

“It eliminated all of that.

“As I was breastfeeding and kids are so dependent on their mom early on, Carter really helped with household tasks – cleaning, taking out the trash, doing the diapers. It made it very simple as we had this process.

“No one got angry or frustrated. We just knew what our roles were and what we were supposed to do.”

“When you have a newborn you will definitely have resentment and frustrations pop up with your partner.

“In the moment, it is sometimes just not the time to get into them.

“The weekly check-ins allowed us to save those frustrations and just bring them up at one time instead of having five fights throughout the week.

“We made it a little event. On Sunday mornings we would walk to get coffee. We’d both be in a really good mood and we’d bring the baby and sit there and talk.

Lauren Denham and her husband-to-be Carter with their newborn son. The weekly check-ins allowed them to save frustrations and just bring them up at one time instead of having five fights throughout the week. PHOTO BY LAUREN DENHAM/SWNS

“‘When did you feel the most frustrated with me this week?’ ‘When did you feel the most loved by me this week?’ and ‘What can I do to make you feel more supported and loved next week?’”

Lauren and Carter would also take one or two-hour time-out breaks when they felt overwhelmed.

She said: “My fiance really loved to work out and he’d do that a lot.

“I need to get out of the house so I’d usually take a long walk or go and get a latte or some lunch. Sometimes I would just go to Sephora and walk around.

“Or I would take a really long bath and read some of my book.

“It is really good for the dad as well to have those one or two hours where he is solely responsible for the baby because it builds his confidence.

“Babies are so reliant on their mom to begin with and sometimes the dad can feel inadequate with soothing the baby and how to take care of him.

“I purposely didn’t read a lot of books on motherhood. I specifically wanted to have the discovery of motherhood and I wanted to discover ‘Oh this is what happens’ or ‘Oh gosh it’s like this.’

“There’s a lot of information out there and it can almost drown out your inner voice.

“There can be panic leading up to the birth and that motherly intuition, that divine intelligence that runs through us all, will kick in. Just trust yourself.

“I have not slept more than a four-hour stretch in three and a half months and I am still out here.

“Women can tap into this warrior mentality and you just go.

“A supportive partner is key in all of this.

“If we did it again, in all of the money we spent I would have included something for a house cleaner.

“I would have had someone come in and do a deep clean and also something for meals.

“Just to take that headache out of it about what we are going to eat.

“My fiance and I also didn’t communicate as much about when he was going to go back to work.

“We should have done that and he went back pretty quick, like within a week and a half, and it would have been nice if he had been at home for the full first month.

“But every mother’s experience is different and it may not be the case that you can be so positive. It’s important to ask for help when you need it.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Saba Fatima and Newsdesk Manager

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