No one enjoys the sound of screaming, crying, upset babies, but are they becoming reason enough to split two people up? According to a new survey's results, the answer may be yes.
When the show Bedtime Live on British TV station Channel 4 polled 2,000 parents on the amount of sleep they get and why they lose the most rest, as well as why separated parents ended their marriages, their findings were alarming: nearly a third of split-up respondents stated that restless nights were what led to their marriage's demise.
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Considering doctors recommend at least 7 hours of sleep each evening and parents often get less than six, it's no surprise that they can feel the effects of their restlessness both emotionally and physically. Because parents are exhausted after a lack of sleep, they can be grumpy, lethargic and upset. And just like anybody else in a relationship, this can lead to frustrations towards one another.
However, there are ways to work through this issue. Mental health counselor and life purpose coach Teresa Maples says that it's extremely important to communicate methods of how to deal with the crying: "Couples need to talk about how they want to handle their screaming baby. What strategy do they want to use together. Crying all night means the baby has figured out that someone will rescue them when they cry. The baby is then in control, Yikes!"
When parenting is viewed as a team effort rather than individual trials, the parents are better able to coordinate their attempts to get the child to stop screaming. Maples recommends using different ways of dealing with it, because otherwise "the baby figures out real quick that the old way doesn't work for them anymore." But be sure that you aren't criticizing one another's styles and that you agree on these separate methods, Maples notes, as couples who spend more time bickering on parenting styles will wind up just as unhappy as if the baby was still screaming.
As for how you can deal with the aftermath of the exhaustion and chaos of a new baby, it's important to look on the bright side. "It is a rough time for any couple," says Maples, "but if you rely on each other the emotional closeness grows. These normal ups and downs of life build your history together and fuel respect and caring for one another."
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The moral of the story: even though it's extremely stressful, you don't need to let a screaming baby break the two of you up. In fact, it could even make you two stronger.
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