Getting husbands to help outThere's nothing like a new baby to throw off the dynamic in a household, especially the one between a new mom and dad. "After the twins were born, my husband and I were more like individuals than a team," says Michele. "He'd go to work, then to the gym, and it'd be eight by the time he got home every night. I'd say, 'Come on -- you have to get home and help me. My job is 24/7 now,' but he just didn't understand. And that was such a disappointment."
Getting the help you need from your partner can also be tough if he's a little apprehensive around your newborn. "At first, my husband was timid when it came to everyday tasks, like diapering, dressing, and feeding," says Kristy. "It was frustrating, because those things take a lot of time. But now that Ryan is older and less fragile, my husband is more comfortable doing this stuff, which has been a huge help."
For Michele, too, there was a moment when things changed with her husband. "I left the girls at home with him and when I got back, he said, 'Thank God! Where were you?' It gave him a taste of my job," she says. "Now, it's not just me saying, 'Honey, I really need you to come home.' He gets it. It took a while for the lightbulb to go on, but now he helps me and I help him. Finally, we're a team."
"Sometimes, you just have to take your cell phone and leave," says Jenna. "If your husband loves your baby, he's going to take good care of her. You have to trust that he'll be able to handle things at home while you go out and do something just for you."
The group's consensus: If there are things you'd like your husband to help out with more often, talk to him. Having a baby is a huge adjustment -- it takes most couples some time to get used to the new living situation. "Remember," says Kristy, "even if your husband doesn't dive in with the parenting duties right away, don't worry. There's a good chance he'll come around."