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Overcoming partner resentment in early parenthood

In Features, Motherhood, Stories by Nicole Fuge

Partner resentment is a very real thing when you have kids. Especially in the early years. So if you’re feeling it, you are not alone. And the good news is, there is a solution.

By Charlotte Cruz

Do you find yourself seething with resentment at your partner snoring away while you’re up with a crying baby?

Or are you feeling an unspoken strain between the two of you as you navigate this new reality together?

You are not alone.


Adjusting to parenthood is as much about figuring out your relationship dynamics as it is about dealing with all the nappies and night feeds.

First things first, know this: it’s completely normal to feel this way.

You’re not a bad person or a bad partner. You’re just navigating an enormous life change – with sleep deprivation and hormones thrown into the mix.

So how do we transform these feelings into something more manageable and even, dare we say, harmonious? Here are some strategies:

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1. Open Up the Communication Channels

We know you’re tired, but opening up the lines of communication with your partner is crucial.

Discuss your feelings and concerns without judgement or blame. Remember, your partner isn’t a mind reader. Keeping things bottled up only allows resentment to fester and grow.

2. Share the Load

Parenting isn’t a one-person show. You’re a team, mama, and every player has to do their bit. Make sure both of you share the chores and the baby duties.

This is not just about fairness, but about fostering understanding and empathy for each other’s roles.

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3. Get Some Me-Time

And yes, that includes both of you. It’s important to have a break from the baby to decompress and reconnect with yourself as an individual.

Schedule some personal time for each of you, whether it’s a relaxing bath, a gym session, or just a quiet half hour with a book.

4. Date Nights Are Key

Remember those days when it was just the two of you? Bring them back!

Once in a while, get a trusted family member or a sitter for a few hours and spend some quality time together. You need to keep the romance alive, now more than ever.

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5. Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried the above and things are still tense, it’s okay to seek professional help. It doesn’t mean your relationship is failing. Therapy can provide tools and strategies for managing these new feelings and challenges.

6. Practice Gratitude and Patience

Lastly, remember that this is just a phase, it won’t last forever. Try to appreciate the little things your partner does, and show patience with their missteps. This is a new journey for both of you, and you’re learning together.

Early parenthood is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, sleepless nights, and countless nappies. But with empathy, communication, and a shared sense of responsibility, you and your partner can navigate these choppy waters together. And when you do, you’ll come out stronger and more united on the other side.