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  • Gareth Ellis

Teamwork makes the Dream Work

I’m a very lucky man.

I’ve currently been with Jess for just over seven years (married for two) and we have a beautiful son together. We live in a lovely home and have wonderful family, even those watching over us.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t think that sometimes having a son can put a serious strain on your relationship.

Now before I go into this I have to say that I am as happy with Jess now as I ever have been, this is not a ‘Dear Jane’ blog for her.

But sleep deprivation can do funny things to you. It can make you say things that are just so wrong (more on that later) and think things that a rational brain shouldn’t.

For example, in the early days of Ru’s life I was holding him at the end of our bed, rocking him trying to get him back to sleep. After what seemed like four hours (it was likely about 45 minutes) and at 2am I turned to Jess and said: “I think there’s something wrong with him. I seriously worry for his health.” Sleep deprivation also makes you overly dramatic apparently.

Seriously though, Jess and I have to work hard to make this work. Some days she gets exasperated with things and some days I do. It’s genuinely not often that we both feel down at the same time though and one can usually ‘talk the other one down’, and make them see that life isn’t that bad.

I genuinely think that if we weren’t as solid a team then life would be so much harder.

During those exasperated times though we sometimes snap at each other. It can be something as trivial as one didn’t make the other one a drink for dinner, or it can be something more serious like one doesn’t do enough around the house, or for Rupert. We know that those things are utter rubbish as we both work our arses off for our boy, but like I said, sleep deprivation can make you say and think awful things.

Another tough part of your relationship when you have a baby is getting time to go out without him. Jess and I would often go out on date nights with a few hours’ notice. Now, we’re lucky if we can have one date night a month.

Then, when we take Rupert out with us, who gets to eat their food while it’s still hot and who has to hold him so the other one can wolf theirs down? We’ve genuinely had that dilemma where one will have to settle Ru while the other scoffs their dinner quickly, before we swap over.

We also take it in turns to have a night off. We haven’t both had a full night off since June so we have to take it in turns. It’s hard for me as Jess is still breastfeeding at night, so biology is stopping me helping in that respect. But I can still settle Ru at night when he cries.

We are fortunate to be going away for a few Ru-free nights at the end of October, so we will look forward to that

The thing that helps, and always will help, is compromise. I love Jess spending as much time with her friends as possible and she encourages me to do the same. We both try and do the same amount of jobs around the house and when it comes to giving Rupert a bath and putting him to bed we both do our share. And for all the rubbish jobs there’s always rock, paper, scissors.

Family Pic Teamwork
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