how to: deal with issues

Every marriage is bound to encounter a few bumps along the road, especially when you're first starting out. We're here to help you out with solutions to couples issues and common newlywed arguments. First, find out about the tried-and-true stuff your parents probably wish they'd known. We've sorted out the newlywed "rules" you can ignore from the relationship mistakes you need to avoid. Learn the right way to handle a fight and the solutions to the most common newlywed arguments. We've also got help for couples issues that are specific to the modern marriage. For example, the four rules of Facebook for couples, how to deal when you're married to a metrosexual, and handling coworker crushes. You can also read our expert Q&A for dealing with all kinds of couples issues. Find tips on making friends as a couple, managing work stress as a pair, and avoiding common newlywed arguments about stuff like cleaning and entertaining. We'll help you solve issues with everyone -- your honey, your couple friends, your in-laws -- and find solutions that work in every part of your life, from the bedroom to the office. From whether it's okay to tell friends about your issues to breaking out of a sex rut, we've got you covered. And don't forget your fellow Nesties! We've pulled together lists of real couple gripes and likes, Nesties' marriage secrets, and their most ridiculous fights -- you're sure to relate to something! Or find even more sympathetic ears with our relationships message board.

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Could You Two Handle a Baby for the Day?

One kid-free couple plays parents for an afternoon. Not smart.

Photo: Gregoire Vion

My husband and I want children, but we’re not quite ready to give up last-minute getaways, expensive dinners, and eight hours of sleep a night. So when our friends asked if we could babysit their 10-week-old son, Connor, we thought it was the perfect way to test the waters without taking the plunge. Besides, how hard could it be?

1:00 In hunter-gatherer style, I heat up a bottle for Connor while my husband makes a food run. Armed with my instructions from Connor’s mom, I feed him two ounces of milk, burp him, feed him another two ounces, and burp him again. He grunts and coos as he gulps down milk while simultaneously farting on my arm. This kid’s got talent.

1:30 By the time my husband returns with lunch, Connor’s diaper feels like a wet towel. I haven’t changed many diapers in my 33 years, so I don’t quite expect it when Connor claims his territory by peeing everywhere. I try to figure out which end of the diaper goes under his rump. Then I put him in a clean blue-and-white striped onesie.

1:40 I sit down on the couch with Connor in my arms until he falls asleep. I examine his long eyelashes and tiny fingers and see how it might be hard to do anything other than stare at your baby all day long. My husband watches the Yankees game, which is okay because he gave up tickets to babysit with me instead, exhibiting one of the essential ingredients of parenthood: sacrifice.

2:00 I finally scarf down my lunch (do moms ever eat?) while my husband holds Connor, who’s still sleeping like a -- well -- baby. Minutes after Connor’s mom calls to check on him, he opens his eyes and starts to cry. The crying becomes air-gulping hysterics that make his little face turn a bright shade of red. 

2:45 Connor is still screaming bloody murder as my husband and I stare at each other, wondering what to do. I heat up another bottle, and after several tries, the baby takes it. Sweet silence. We put Connor in his bouncy seat. While he naps, I scour magazines and my husband looks for a higher paying job online. I wonder if having a baby on the brain has this effect on all men?

4:30 The baby stirs, and I pick him up. check to see if he needs a new diaper, but it’s dry. He seems to like it on the changing table, so I talk to him while he laughs and kicks his little legs. A short while later, Connor’s relaxed parents return. Hallelujah!

The verdict
We still want a little one, but even one afternoon of babysitting is exhausting. Once our own bundle of joy does arrive, we can kiss those lazy weekends good-bye. One thing I know for sure is that my husband will be a great father (he didn’t think twice about wiping spit-up off Connor’s chin), and I’ll be an equally good, if not slightly neurotic, mom. Until then, we’ll be a happy family of two.

Think you're ready to have a baby? Check out our Ovulation Calculator and read more baby-planning tips from the experts at The Nest.

-- Tara Bruno

See More: Couple Issues , Getting Pregnant , Love & Sex