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Baby Proofing Your Marriage with Cathy O'Neill

Thursday, 8 February 2007


We have the book that promises to help keep both women and men sane and sexy when kids become part of your relationship, Cathy O'Neill, is here to tell us more.

The book reveals how to survive the cataclysmic shift from coupledom to parenthood. Between them, the authors have seven children under the age of five.

Cathy O'Neill is from Dublin, Ireland, currently living in Austin, Texas. In the pre-motherhood years she worked as a lawyer and subsequently as a marketing professional.

Today, she works part-time as a legal management consultant and has two children. Julia Stone worked as a legislative and political aide, received an MBA from the University of Texas and then worked in marketing in the educational services field.

She has lived in London but currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. Before becoming a mum, Stacie Harris Cockrell achieved an MBA, worked at Dell Inc., and co-founded a high tech company in Texas. She has three young children. 

Things that change after the child is born
. How we behave as parents - Your instinctive 'Mummy Chip' kicks in!
. The post-baby sexual disparity - his sex drive does not change and men told Cathy that they wanted the same amount of sex, baby or no baby!
. Division of labour - couples will fight over who does what, especially since there is so much more to do!
. Family Pressures(in-laws) - They were on the fringe now they jostle for a piece of the action.
. Who gets to sleep or have downtime on Sat - fighting happens over the precious scraps of free time!

How men feel is also an important part of the book
. 'I would stand over the cot and the first thought that would come into my mind was: I better go and make more money'.  James, married 7 years with 1 kid!
. The authors believe 'provider panic' is one of the overwhelming feelings of the males they spoke to!  Another, Mike, even though his wife was working in a well-paid job, said to her that the buck stopped with him if he had not saved enough to send the kids to university etc!  The problem here is that the males then developed a laser-like focus on work, money and career.  One male contributor felt such an overwhelming sense of provider panic, that when his first son was born, he got a taxi home from the hospital to savegard his welfare.
. They also have issues about what happened to the woman they married such as Barry, married 7 years with 2 kids, 'I felt like an old dog and my wife just got a new puppy'.
. Solution - Take time out; One couple apologised in advance for all the things they might say to each other!
. Humour - try to laugh about the baby sick your clothes as opposed to stressing about it.
. Get help - ask friends or family to help.
. Preserve your coupledom; Put distance between yourself and the baby after the first three months - not a lot, only the few miles between the baby and the local pizza place!
. Another solution to women feeling the men folk are not pulling their weight, is to have a training weekend - go away for 48 hours and leave your man holding the baby. The benefits are twofold - hubby bonds with baby while mum learns to let go a little and gets some freetime!

. Go on dates again.
. Small gestures of intimacy help too such as hugging and kissing.
. Escape when you can - take a couple of weekend breaks if you can as the time away will put both of you in a better place.
. And sometimes, make the move yourself - don't leave it up to the man, then its on your terms.

For more information
Baby-proofing your marriage is published by Harper Collins and is priced a €11.99