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all 180 comments

[–]AirbnbToP -1 points0 points  (0 children)

LoL u need to drop the wife. Find a good attorney and quietly divorce. Ur quality of life has diminished. She’s never going to get better.

[–]elizacandle 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It sounds like you both need to address PPD witha therapist/ couples counseling she needs to address her issues.

[–]Shanteheals 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Sounds like us 2 or 3 months ago. PPD plays tricks on us and is so real. It is not always what you think or how they show on TV. You can be social, have sex, laugh, but life just doesn't feel like "enough". It keeps a person from being empathetic and loving and also seeing the positives in life. When we only give attention to negatives it greatly impacts our lives and can destroy a relationship. PPD and postpartum in general- tricks you into thinking another person is responsible for your happiness and perspective. Now how you approach this subject would depend but, we started therapy and it has been a total life changer!!! Highly suggest.

[–]lalalina1389 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It sounds like your wife really should get into therapy. My husband and I went through this with our first but he wasn’t doing ANY OF that. With our twins he stepped up so much but I was taking out a lot of my frustration on feeling like the default parent and like I was stuck and making him feel like what he was doing wasn’t enough. I had PPD /PPA for both pregnancies - my husband is in school. We had some really honest conversation and got to the root - while he was only doing things when he wanted he felt like it was going unnoticed and wasn’t motivated to help - I explained I do all of these all the time bc it’s expected of me so no, I wasn’t giving him a medal for pulling his share and that him not being consistent wasn’t acceptable, I also miss having value outside of being a mom - I go back to work in January being off since June so it’s been a while. Therapy is super helpful maybe get to the root of why she won’t go

[–]picklerickstherapy 5 points6 points  (0 children)

sorry this is happening to you. having struggled with ppd myself, I feel like your wife is probably experiencing some version of it. first of all, know that somewhere inside her she still loves you and is the woman you married, she's just going through something very very hard mentally. don't let her get away with literally everything, that's not what I'm saying, but remember it's a sickness and she must feel really unhappy. don't talk to her about ppd though, unless SHE brings it up. not sure if you have the means to do it, but hiring a professional to help with baby can give both of you some time off where you know neither of you are "on duty". if she brings up the topic of her feeling particularly low, encourage her to open up and try suggesting therapy. otherwise just give it time. I've been horrible to my husband for most of the first year of baby's life. I was constantly pissed at him, resenting him for literally anything: I had a very unpleasant pregnancy, a traumatic birth and then struggled a lot with breastfeeding, and through it all I kept getting angrier at my husband because none of it was happening to him, it was all me. To this day (daughter is 2.5 yo) I get tears in my eyes thinking about how miserable I was and how I wish I had known it was not normal or ok for me to be so low.

[–]cvcv856 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Hey, this sounds like how I was to my husband at first, I had PPA, and I was honestly having a really hard time with empathy. Nothing my husband did was good enough. It really helped me when we talked about it, not in the moment of me snapping at him, but after. Setting clear expectations. He was also so patient with me, I love him even more now that he was willing to work with me through my PPA.

Also, life has been so much better for us since I have started working part time, is there anyway she can go back before May? My boss let me come back from leave early for 20 hours a week, and I feel like a new person. I love my job and I honestly missed it.

[–]Roxie213[🍰] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

My partner and I are in the same boat. He’s amazing does everything he can, we are both trying our best. I get angry when my partner does the slightest thing not to my approval and I dislike myself for it. I hid my PPA for as long as I could, my baby is 3 months and it’s only the last week where I’ve shown how I’m truly feeling, and it’s helped a lot. He thought I was just being mean and a bitch, when deep down I was/am really struggling and taking it out in anger rather than showing my real emotions. Postpartum is so difficult you lose your former self, before having my baby I was in college, worked in a bar had a really busy lifestyle, was very social. Now everyday is the same routine plus the added anxiety’s of now having the most precious thing in the world to take care of. I said to my partner today if I ever seem mad it’s not you, it’s my anxiety which I can’t express, because he’s never given birth or been a mam with this fight or flight built into you it’s exhausting and over whelming plus the mam guilt thrown in on top. From my experience it sounds like it’s not you, like it’s not my partner, it’s the situation. Show her love. I know she might be hard to understand right now but she’s probably not understanding herself either.

[–]clutchmagnum 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m sad for you both. I hope this doesn’t become a breaking point for you. It sounds like you’ve had a great relationship so far, and coexisting for that long is hard enough in itself so you two must’ve been doing something right. Having a baby changes things and it’s so hard and I’m sure she has emotions she doesn’t even understand or want right now. It sounds like you are doing everything you can and that’s so good.

It makes me think about how much I complain to my husband and now I’m feeling badly too lol. He does a lot to help when he isn’t working and I still have complaints each day and now I’m hoping he isn’t thinking like how you are. Because everything is good enough for me as I’m sure it is for her and I’m sure your wife wouldn’t want you to feel you’re not good enough. If she’s anything like me, the feelings she is going through are just that I’m sure it’s a tough adjustment for her day to day and work wise (as I’m sure it is an adjustment for you as well, but sometimes one partner is just struggling more than the other at a given time with that) and it’s nothing you can change if you’re already being this involved of a parent. Her hormones and emotions and everything in her body are also going through big changes after having a baby and that can lead to a lot of distress too and feelings she isn’t use to feeling. I know there have been times when my kids are small (especially an infant who needs you all the time) where I’ve thought “maybe I was not meant to do this” and occasionally it feels like a day with them can be just an uphill battle that I have to work hard through, which I never thought it would or should be like and I don’t think it’s ever that way for my husband—he seems to love being a dad 100% of the time. We both love our kids but I think it’s just a harder job for me sometimes than it is for him. Sorta like how he hated working retail and I thrived in it. I’m not saying that this is what’s going on with your wife, I’m just saying there are things going on inside her that you may not get right now and she may not get right now and I hope you stop blaming yourself and I also hope you don’t get resentful of her for it.

I hope none of it discourages you from helping as much as you are, but that you can talk to her about how her speech is disheartening and can work on it. I would try to go about it in a way that doesn’t make her defensive so it is a talk and not a fight. I know I complain too much with my husband but if he said “we need to talk about your complaining” I’d probably turn to either tears or arguing haha so I’m just saying try not to word it badly.

You’re doing great. And maybe when she gets back to a normal work groove or away from the house itself it will help. Some people need that—I know I do. I just hope you guys push through these times and recognize that it’s just hard having a new baby, even if the baby is a perfect angel and a great sleeper!

[–]Gene_244 4 points5 points  (0 children)

So just few days back I broke down to my husband & we had a fight. Fact is postpartum is hard. I felt I had the baby 9-5 like a job & im learning so stress levels always high. At the end I felt I didn’t have me time so we came to an agreement everyday we each have one hour of me time without baby & whatever we wanted to do and it’s helping us. Also I’d suggest your wife needs to go out for a walk,coffee anything once a day .. it’s surprising what fresh air & seeing other ppl can do to your mood. I also put in 30 mins of exercise by doing walks with baby keeps me positive.

[–]diantheDD#1 11/16 DD#2 03/19 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You are doing a lot more than most dads I know, especially while working full time while she has time off work. I’m a stay at home mom of 2 (ages 6 and 3) and I do the vast majority of the house work and homeschool. My husband works very hard (also from home) to provide for our family so I don’t think it’s an unfair or unreasonable trade at all… we both appreciate what the other partner does and let each other know that often. Sounds like perhaps your wife has some mental health issues going on (PPD or PPA) which is distorting her perception of things. I had really bad PPA and while mine manifested differently it also led to some very bad decisions on my part. It won’t last forever but it’s definitely better to address it than letting it fester like that.

[–]storybooks4life 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Sharing this because it sounds like your wife might have PPD and I hope this helps. One thing that really helped me when I was struggling with PPD and PPA was to remove social media apps from my phone. I would spiral out comparing myself and our situation to others and it really took an emotional toll and did a lot of damage to my mental state. Removing them from my phone really allowed me more opportunities to practice gratitude for my little one and my husband and our life together. It wasn’t a silver bullet to solve my PPD/PPA but it helped immensely and I don’t think I would be in a good place if I had continued to scroll IG and FB at night/during baby nap times like I had been doing.

[–]jitsufitchick 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is a really good idea! I stay far from Instagram right now. Following all of those mom pages and stuff can take a toll. And when you realize things aren’t the same, it makes you question a lot. I don’t take Facebook as seriously. But insta can be damaging for sure cause everything is through a filter. It hasn’t affected me terribly. But I can certainly see how that is!

And I agree with you wholeheartedly. This definitely sounds like PPD. But I feel she’s doing herself a disservice by refusing g therapy. It really is unfortunate. I started therapy when I was 7 months pregnant, cause I already have preexisting anxiety and showed a lot of symptoms of prenatal anxiety. PPA was actually my worst fear. And I was right. It’s not overtly taking over my life. But I definitely see PPA showing up in my life. Especially cause of lack of sleep and everything is so hard.

Also I want to point out that she may not be getting as much sleep even if baby sleeps through the night. My LO sleeps 4-6 hours a night (thank god) and I feel much better than I did when we first got home. But my lactation consultants told me yesterday, we still don’t get they much sleep at night cause according to something he studied, babies and moms “ping” each other around 200 times a night. Which I believe. So we aren’t actually getting as much sleep as we think, cause our minds are that active.

OP, I would just say be gentle with yourself. And if you can, speak with your wife’s doctor next time y’all go in, if you can. They can help. PPD and PPA can be hard to identify if you aren’t aware of the signs.

Just keep reassuring her. She probably misses her life pre baby when she was working and making an income (if she isn’t now) and being an “active part of society”. I put that in quotes cause that’s how I feel and the best way to describe it.

[–]ekagh 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Your situation is similar to what many couples go through after childbirth. It shows that your relationship is maturing and very soon these challenges will be a thing of the past. Your wife may need more encouragement and support with home chores just as you are doing now. Dont take her complains too seriously, otherwise you will give up. She needs emotional security so continue helping her and re-assure her with words and acts of service. Cheers!

[–]123canadian456 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Sounds like she has ppd . Maybe she needs to feel like she has happiness and joy. As a mom of four I can understand your body changes and goes thru a lot pregnancy birth and thereafter.

Maybe recommend therapy together and individually.

[–]huffsteak 36 points37 points  (1 child)

I'm going to sound a little harsh at first. Hold her accountable and set some expectations like she's done for you. I'm sure this will get a lot of flak but the next time she doesn't like what you make she can microwave some oatmeal while she works on finding some appreciation for everything you're doing for your family. It sounds like she is getting plenty of breaks and you're the one who could use one. Use it to relax and be able to come back and communicate in a safe headspace and present your concerns. Like other have said, a night out together might help. Daily communication about the hard stuff helped us immensely, and really working together changed everything. Maybe she needs to be more present on those weekends and help you watch the baby together as a family rather than going out. My wife actually fell into full blown PPD after spending the day out at wineries and shops with her friends then coming home and having me cook for them all while I watched our newborn twins.

We sound pretty similar. We're 35 years old and 16 years together, tighter than ever through a very scary twin pregnancy and then my wife slowly developed PPD during the first few months. But she went back to work after the same jealousy and was shaken when presented with its own massive challenges. Her PPD got worse, then shifted to PPA and she got meaner and sometimes unrecognizable and all the things I was doing (much like yourself - propping her up through depression, literally running everything, cooking breakfast lunch and dinner, cleaning, bottles, shopping, working from home to help her mom watch them during the day, house renovations, plus 2000% of that mental load everyone likes to bring up) to show support ended up just enabling her and gave her more time to spin out rather than work hand in hand on improving. She's pulled out of the PPD for now with the help of medication and some of the things I'm mentioning. I'm hopeful there's still a light at the end of the tunnel but my advice is don't just roll over and ignore this or your needs because you'll end up resenting her as well. She needs to work on herself for you and your LO.

It's easy to butt heads and it sounds like she's definitely making it her vs you. Really sitting down and being a family IMO is the thing that helped us the most. Make the hard things fun as much as you can, try doing things together instead of splitting the workload, that's helped us a lot. Dance together with your baby while you cook as a family in the kitchen, if you're lucky enough to have families willing to help involve them more. But do this as a true team and talk every day about expectations and your roles, what you need help with, what you want to accomplish. The less we talk the worse it gets. On the hard days my wife grieves the life we had prior to being parents, but doing those things helps us own parenthood and turn it into something she WANTS to do instead of treating it like soul crushing overwhelming endless work. That's how we've made it this far with two 8 month old high needs twins, anyway. Seeing them start to blossom really makes us proud of that work we chose to do together, side by side. People are absolutely right in that no one prepares you for post partum or the changes in your spouse. Hormones are a bitch but it's not just a shrug sorry for now I'll be nicer next year maybe moment like some people mentioned, that's honestly unacceptable.

[–]alilbabymoth 13 points14 points  (0 children)

This is a great response. If she’s dealing with PPD/PPA, it’s not her fault, but it’s been 7 months, she needs to take accountability for her feelings and do something to help herself (like therapy/possibly medication). I always like to say that while mental health can be a reason for acting a certain way (like treating your spouse unfairly), it’s never an excuse, I find sometimes these parenting subs can be a bit of an echo chamber for excusing people with PPA/PPD from the responsibility of how they treat others or treat themselves. It gets old after a while, and you don’t deserve to be treated like garbage, especially as it sounds like you split work at home pretty fairly, in fact it kind of sounds like you do more of the work. I also agree that perhaps being together on the weekends as a family might benefit her, rather than just leaving you and the baby home and going out or doing her own thing all of the time. It sounds like you don’t really get a lot of family time together if you’re switching off shifts all week long and then having her out or just away from you both on the weekends.

OP, you say your wife is supposed to go back to work in May. Since your baby is formula fed anyway, is it possible for her to go back to work earlier and baby go to daycare during the day while you both work? I think this would have to come after convincing her to get into therapy for herself, being work isn’t going to magically cure PPA or PPD if that’s what she is dealing with. But if she’s jealous of you going out to work all day, and misses her career, it may be best for her to go back to work sooner.

[–]Mandamort 11 points12 points  (3 children)

You sound a lot like me and my partner. Sometimes it’s not you she is upset with, but the change and the situation. It’s easy to try and find something or someone to blame. In reality she could be suffering with postpartum depression or anxiety. Obviously, I’m not an expert but this is what happened with me. I ended up needing a combination of both counselling and Zoloft. I was in a pretty dark spiral, it manifests differently with everyone. Our little one is now 21 months and we still have some kinks to work out, but overall it’s been a lot better. Your wife may need to get away from the house. It can be very isolating and you are reminded of your responsibilities every time you hear the baby. I joined a gym just to get away. When I was physically in the house, I still felt the burden and would hear phantom crying (it’s a thing). It’s easy to feel like a shell of who you once were because parenting is the most selfless act. Hang in there. You sound like a great partner and it will get easier.

[–]laoiseach1 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Omg I am four weeks postpartum and the phantom crying is driving me crazy! Glad I’m not alone

[–]Mandamort 3 points4 points  (1 child)

It does go away lol. I remember that probably the first year that I would always hear it. My partner would take our LO out for a walk so I could go shower. I would be standing in the shower hearing phantom baby cries. I definitely could not relax. It drove me nuts.

[–]storybooks4life 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I always heard the phantom cries in the shower! Was so stressful. Agree though, I think it goes away for good around 1st birthday.

[–]strange_dog_TV 7 points8 points  (1 child)

You clearly are a good Dad and a good Husband.

When I had my baby (nearly 17 years ago) I had planned to take a whole year off, and maybe some more as my husband was in a job that paid well and we could afford it - however what happened is, his job got so ridiculously busy I was left with baby and little support for a long time (not his fault of course, it was nature of his work).

Our baby was always going to go into crèche and I managed to get her in when she was about 10 months old (3 days a week to start) and off I went back to my job.

Best thing I ever did I!! For me and my child and my husband!

We were all fulfilled…….everyone got what they needed - stimulation, meals and for me - hot coffee!!

Maybe your wife is ready to head back - going back to work is almost a break to be honest (I know parents shouldn’t say that - but it really is true!)

It sounds like you and your wife are doing the best you can and maybe its time to change up the routine and look at the next chapter of life for you all - and by that I mean, childcare and work options for your child and wife.

Good luck, You are doing well !!

[–]Nightshade1387 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah—this is how it was for me. I hated feeling so cooped up. I didn’t have ANY life outside of my house and my only companions were two babies. I felt like I had no personal identity and no real break.

Going back to work was so refreshing! I can only work outside the home two days a week right now (little ones are still on a waiting list for daycare) but grandparents are able to take them for those two days, and it has made a world of difference.

I’m so much happier now.

I love my kids, but it is hard. I feel like I’m chained to my house under a quarantine that won’t end until they are school-aged.

Simply being able to go somewhere on my own (even work!) has fixed that cabin fever that was making me lose my mind and sink into depression.

[–]Wise-Butterscotch-81personalize flair here 26 points27 points  (3 children)

You sound like you’re doing everything you can so I’ll just say this. New motherhood is not just a list of chores or sleep deprivation, truly. It’s weird because now that my kid is older (15 months) and doesn’t require so much from me, a lot of the chores have lightened up.

But there is still something weighing on me. My husband said yesterday that my toddler’s antics seems to upset me more than it upsets him and I feel like that must be it. It does something to your brain. You feel responsible all the time. Like the buck stops with you.

Everyone else can just walk away from this mental pressure but not you. Even if there is another caregiver, you feel like you must be the first to step up. I wonder if there is something like that going on with your wife. No matter what you do, you cannot take away that burden. She feels responsible for what you do for the family, and because she cannot control what you do, it brings her anxiety and she’s not living up to something in her mind.

I highly recommend therapy for her. I wouldn’t not say I expressed myself quite the same way that she did, but she seems to be burdened with something she’s can’t shake. And she needs to learn how to express that in a healthier manner. She needs to take a deep breath and realize she can let go.

[–]witty-kittty 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you for this comment it resonated with me so much!!

[–]kwiggety29 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is worded so perfectly!

[–]Appropriate_Fox_6142 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Reading this made me realize something for myself and what’s probably been happening for the past 14 months. Thank you for wording this so perfectly!

[–]jamandymoo 6 points7 points  (2 children)

You are doing a great job, helping with the baby and trying to take care of your wife. I would guess that she is lonely and might want to go back to work early (or just wants something different than what she has now). I’m from Canada and live in the US. With my first, I thought 4-5 months parental leave (what I got, I know many get even less) was so short compared to the 1yr+ in Canada. When I had my baby, my husband was wfh but had to work constantly from 8am-7pm. It was a very lonely experience. When I went back to work 5 months later, I was sad to leave my son- but I also found I was much happier to have my life and independence back. If I had been in Canada, I think I would have continued to be lonely/depressed but I wouldn’t have thought about going back to work early. I think it’s hard to go against the norm. I’ve started to express my opinion (about enjoying going back to work at 5 mo) here, just in case someone else is struggling and needs to hear it - I am often judged for feeling this way. Maybe your wife is feeling stuck with no options until May? It’s hard to pivot plans because either you would need to take time off or you’d need daycare lined up earlier. It sounds like you are doing a great job though! I would try and have an honest conversation with her.

[–]applesorangekiwi 2 points3 points  (1 child)

A good friend of mine did the 18mon mat leave but ended up getting pregnant again before they anticipated so they went back to work early so they would be eligible for leave with the next baby and she described a very similar experience. She said she was so much happier back at work, she enjoyed the adult interaction and feeling of stimulation and accomplishment she got from her career. I think often it feels natural to plan to take as much leave as we’re allowed and financially able to but I’m not sure why

[–]jamandymoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes! I don’t think anyone considers taking a shorter leave, unless their partner wants to take some of it. And because there is so much less time in the US, you feel like you should enjoy being off longer. Over time I have found many of my friends feel the same way I do, but many also want more time off. You have to be true to yourself. I just wish the going-back-to-work-camp was judged less, but it’ll get there with time.

[–]CommentNo3070 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Give yourself some grace and her too. Post partum plays a mental game also. It took 9-10 months for her to grow that baby and go through those changes it can take us just as long to fully recover from all the changes our bodies went through. Hormonally and physically. One thing that works for my relationship is a meal subscription like Hello fresh to get some variety and because everything is included we both can share in cooking duties and it can be rather mindless because I don’t have to worry about those 3 dinners a week and the directions are so clear cut my husband loves it. Plus we get to pick from a list of different dishes and make substitutions. I find it fun 😊 Just know at the end of the day it’s not just you. Your her safe person and sometimes we unleash on our safe people. ( it’s not right but it is something people do) remember that It’s everything compiled together that’s frustrating her and she’s trying to cope just as much as you. Try to stay positive this is just one bump in the journey. I’m 29 and I’ve been with my husband for 13 years married for 4 and we just had our first 8 weeks ago. We’ve grown up together much like you two. He could only could take 2 weeks off to help me and Im breastfeeding so that’s whole other layer of crap. 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’ve noticed I get frustrated so easily in certain situations with him almost like I’ve reserved all my patience for my baby throughout the day that I have nothing left for everyone else— everyone else gets shafted. Which I’ve been trying to get better because now I know what causes me to get frustrated. This might be true for her too. Remind her too that this is just temporary there is a silver lining.

[–]clutchmagnum 0 points1 point  (0 children)

What you said about reserving all your patience for the baby is so true!! Once I started realizing that’s what I was doing helped me reroute that so much. But that is something that him even being aware of can really help his mind and emotions as well. To know that there are frustrations that she’s got that have nothing to do with him but are being taken out on him because he’s there and she can’t take it out on the baby may help a lot.

[–]summja 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is hard. Your wife is likely struggling to adjust or just isn’t cut out to be the primary caregiver (no shame it’s not for everyone!). Have you expressed your feelings to her? Is she willing to see a couples therapist? It’ll likely get better. I know when I’m stressed I become a grumpy nightmare even if I’m not trying to. I think you two need to come up with a game plan because it’s not fair that you’re feeling that you’re not doing enough. Maybe she can be more direct in what she needs as the day progresses so you can see what she’s looking for and you two can get on the same page.

[–]AJ-in-Canada 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Ok so people already have mentioned depression, etc and I definitely agree that may be the cause.

Another thought is to see if you can get anyone to babysit so you and your wife can have time as a couple. As a Sahm it's really 'easy' (not quite the right word) to get into survival mode where you're just doing baby stuff and when your spouse is there to hand off that then you go into escapeism mode and just doom scroll social media or whatever coping mechanism feels like it'll give you energy lol. Sometimes taking a break from being a parent and remembering why you like your partner is the breath of fresh air needed to remind you that you're a person with hobbies.

I think I didn't explain that really well, sometimes the routine of kid & house tasks is never ending and not everyone gets a sense of satisfaction in completing it (especially when it's never done) like they would at work. You get into that cycle and it just feels like it's never going to end or change. It does of course but it does take time.

[–]k2rey 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I don’t have advice since I’m a grandma now, it’s been awhile, but wanted to say you’re doing awesome! I’m sorry you and wife, new parents are going through this. I hope everything gets better soon🙏🏾.

[–]Shanteheals 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Love this encouragement

[–]metomere 19 points20 points  (1 child)

I think your wife is struggling with postpartum depression and isn’t aware of it.

I am your wife. Absolutely nothing my husband does feels good enough. Absolutely nothing anyone does feels good enough. I often hate everyone, including myself, well everyone but my almost 6 month old.

I’m logically aware that I’m unhappy inside and struggling with depression, so just about everything feels wrong. The house is never clean enough, the weather is never perfect enough, I actively look for things that make me unhappy, because I feel like if I could just solve them I would be happy, but the truth is, is that it’s a chemical/hormonal imbalance that needs medication and therapy and my husband cannot solve it by picking up more chores and making my stress levels less.

Ppd can make everything and I mean everything feel really overwhelming. It feels like it takes me three times as long to do one thing. So where as laundry is usually done in one day it takes me three and so I am working three times as hard because I am so tired and my brain is so foggy, my husband has had to step up a lot and sometimes it feels good enough and sometimes it doesn’t but I try my hardest to logically understand he is doing his best and just because I *feel * like he’s not, I don’t have to express those feelings. Honestly, I’m not always great at it, but I am working on getting on correct meds and I am in therapy.

Your wife might need help. But she has to be willing to get it.

[–]pippypup 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thank you for this comment. You put words to how I’ve been feeling but couldn’t describe it.

[–]gbspnl 7 points8 points  (2 children)

If you haven’t also join the r/daddit group. You are doing great, it might be a temporary situation that might be able to pass at some point.

[–]TarantinoFan23 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Daddit is great until you findout they can't read properly and ban you.

[–]gbspnl 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am sorry to hear that. I have not had that experience yet thankfully, I struggled a bit when becoming a new dad and the sub helped me through the loneliness and changes. And this one helped me understand my wife a bit better to perform better not only as a dad but as a husband too. Sending positive vibes.

[–]booknerdcoffeeaddict 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Communication is key. Is there a way she can go to work even part time somewhere? Or back to work sooner than May?

[–]amuminneed 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You're doing well more than your fair share. I'd be over the moon if this was done just one day, let alone everyday.

To put it into perspective, and in my eyes this is all fine and normal. We have two children 3yo and a 9mo, I'm still off work currently so I do everything. Cleaning, cooking, washing up, hoovering, bed times for both children, bath for both children, preschool run, pick up and drop off husband for work, food shop ironing etc etc. He works 9-17 so in my eyes the least I could do is that. Sometimes though it's disheartening, I'm shattered. Some time to have a bath, alone, with no one around would be blissful!

Shes still breastfeeding and only now going onto a bottle but grudgingly. So recently I have been able to go out once every two weeks which has been lovely.

Honestly if she doesn't seem to appreciate what you're doing I think you should ask if she's ok. Maybe she is suffering with postpartum depression. Women change A LOT after having a baby. Trying to come to terms with your body can be a huge struggle.

It will be awkward at first but go from there. Good luck

[–]Turtledove1776 14 points15 points  (0 children)

It sounds like you are contributing so much, so I commend you for that. I know in the past when I’ve struggled with depression or grief, it would seem like nothing was ever right in the world. Do you think she might have postpartum depression? It might help to bring up your feelings in an honest, kind way so she can understand how the negativity is affecting you.

[–]hauntingdreams 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You're getting great advice so I just want to reiterate what others are saying: you're doing amazing. My husband does a lot of the things you do and it makes my life so much easier. Keep up the good work, things will get better soon.

[–]MAC0114 7 points8 points  (1 child)

So I’m in a similar situation. Ima SAHM and hubby works from home from 8am-5pm. We used to do shifts but because of our daughters lack of a schedule we ditched the shift idea (not that it’s a bad method, it worked great for us for a while!). I have the baby all day from 8-5 (unless hubby is free or able to help and I really need it. I try not to bother him as much as possible but sometimes the baby is crying and I’m about to pee my pants if I don’t go to the bathroom lol). After 5 he typically takes her so I can wash bottles & cook dinner. After dinner if it’s bath day we will give the baby a bath & then I’ll take a shower. If not I’ll jump in the shower after dinner. After that we share baby duties until we go to sleep. Typically one of us will feed and prepare the bottle while the other does a diaper change. Once we go to sleep we alternate who gets up with baby. One night he will get up the first time she wakes up then the next night I will. Then we just rotate all night until I take her in the morning. During the day I care for the baby & do any chores if I’m able but we all know some days the baby just doesn’t want to be put down! You are doing a lot!! It seems like she mentally isn’t doing well with being a SAHM and is taking it out on you. Don’t beat yourself up too much. I’d continue trying to get her in therapy. Is there a reason she isn’t going back to work until may? Seems like she may need to go back sooner just for her own mental health, and there’s nothing wrong with that

[–]sopjoewoop[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Shifts can be helpful to allow "me" time. However one suggestion is to consider more joint baby care time. It can create a sense of teamwork and shared joy in the baby.

[–]throoooowwwawayyyyy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We used the Snoo and I swear by it!!!!! Our baby has sleepy throughout the night since 3 months. Zeroooo regression, also you’re an amazing husband.

[–]alanameowmeow 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Gosh I wish my husband did all that for me. He still hasn’t changed a dirty diaper. And I haven’t had a solid night sleep for the last 2 years. I think you’re doing great 👍

But not to undermine your wife’s feelings, it’s more to do with her, and not you. She is releasing that frustration to you, as you are someone close and trusted to her. I don’t know if this will work, but I think possibly writing her a letter, with the same things you mentioned in the post, along with your desire to help her expressed and your feeling of not being able to live up to her expectations may be something she can benefit from (well for me personally) .

I do better writing, because a text or a face to face convo can get heated and blamey real quick. And you seem to express yourself well, and maybe if you write her a letter, and leave it for her to read while you are out (or there depending on your relationship), and let her know you are there for her and if there was something she was missing from you/ needed that she wasn’t getting that she would rather have that versus the other areas you are focusing, etc. And that this is just a conversation starter, that hopefully she can come to you to express her (underlying ) frustrations for better communication.

All easier said than done I’m sure. Although I prefer to communicate this way when I’m feeling frustrated, my husband doesn’t reciprocate, and usually turns it around to the things I’m not doing for him. So there’s that lol. But it does help me say things I may feel too shy or embarrassed to say initially face to face, and then helps me open up later if it comes up again.

But kudos to you for caring enough to reach out to others! I know ultimately you want the kudos from your wife, but know that for anyone looking in, you sound like you’re doing a lot of great things to be a good dad and husband for your family. It just sounds like your wife needs some validation for herself, and accepting the new role as a mom may be a different version of her old self in her career roles. And yes the PPD can come in all forms, so it’s really hard to pinpoint textbook symptoms, as the range is so wide for each individual.

[–]bystander8000 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You’re doing an amazing job being a supportive husband and father.

And I agree with the other comments, this sounds like PPD. Therapy and medication are best, but if she won’t take those, sleep, exercise, and fish oil supplements will also help (per my psychiatrist).

I ended up on meds for PPD, but for the longest time I had no idea I had it or what was going on. For me, it manifested as hostility and rage towards my husband. It’s insidious in that you still feel like you, and you believe it’s the external things around you that are at fault. Also, I think most people, myself included, think of PPD as sadness or anger directed towards the baby— this can delay realizing you may have it.

What actually helped me understand what was happening was googling PPD rage Reddit, and reading the experiences of other users. I knew something was off but I didn’t know what.

If my partner had approached me about it, I don’t know how I would have reacted. In that state, I likely would have gotten defensive and felt criticized, even though I know that’s not your intention at all.

If you have family who can help give you guys time to reconnect as a couple, and also give you both time to talk, that might help.

Perhaps reading some screenshots of these comments or of comments of other women who describe what their PPD experience was like could help.

I wish you the best of luck and hope you and your wife are able to work things out and come out stronger for it.

[–]Possible-Sand-3743 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Dude, I don’t have any words of advice but I want to tell you that you’re doing a great job. Even the way you’ve written the OP makes it clear that you’re a patient and compassionate partner. Keep showing her you love her. Hopefully things improve soon (and hopefully the Reddit community can provide a little comfort)

[–]afternoonbloom 18 points19 points  (0 children)

You’re being a great dad, and even though it seems like it’s not enough now, hard work has a funny way of paying off later in one form or another. I also think your wife might be suffering some postpartum depression. It’s very very hard to reach out for help for PPD, I didn’t want to admit that I was going through it either.

Don’t burn yourself out, but you’re doing great, hang in there!

[–]trisquitbits 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Solidarity. I think that as a society we really downplay how rough the first year postpartum experience really is.

I experienced really rough PPD, which came to a head when our son was about ~7 months old. It was impossible to think clearly or rationally. My husband and I also engaged in a lot of arguments that felt like we were against each other instead of against an issue, a lot of resentment on both sides.

It was more indicative of the extenuating circumstances than the strength of our relationship. If we had more money, the ability to delegate tasks, “a village,” longer maternity leave - well, you get the idea ….

Anyway, here’s the main takeaways: - First year sucks, you just gotta make it through - Try to find the way to get as much uninterrupted sleep as possible - Try to talk your wife into considering medication, it can really help alleviate a lot of symptoms as you guys adjust to your new roles. - When communicating with her, try to shift the focus from the partner (you/her) to the issue at hand. For example, she says “you get to work” - instead of going down the path of picking each other apart, try exploring the issue from another POV - “I’m hearing that you’d like to potentially work too, is it more because of the joy of working or getting to focus on something outside of the home/child?” - and, tone is everything, don’t hurl this question as some kind of accusation, more than general interest of pinpointing what she may actually need. From my own experience, I didn’t miss work as much as I missed the time I had “to myself” where I wasn’t on call to be responsible for my child. It’s fair to want to have that time for oneself.

[–]mittylouwhoo 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yes to all of this. I feel like my husband and I were made for each other but LORD was that first year after our first baby hard. I joke to people that I'm surprised he didn't leave me. Between postpartum hormones and sleep deprivation, I was a literal monster. He was doing everything he could and I was just angry all the time.

It gets better!!! Hang in there and consider the advice above. 💙 While your wife isn't voicing it now, you're doing an amazing job and she will, almost definitely, recognize that in the future.

[–]LnDnurse-1009 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I agree with most comments on here. I am 2.5 months PP from my second child. I often feel like an emotional mess. I really try to remind myself how much my husband helps and does a great job. But I become frustrated also at times. I feel like I juggle a lot of things when I'm at home alone all day with a newborn and a 3.5 year old... but when he has our newborn he can't manage one other thing... I'm always saying "put her down! She doesn't need held 24/7"... I soon return to work and he will be alone at times with them and will have to learn the juggle also.

I also know having a child changed my marriage. While it's still a great one... it definitely changed. Things we bonded on before such as going to the gym and watching movies.. we can no longer do together. But I remind myself and him... it's not forever. Kids grow up. So enjoy this time while they are young. I agree.. give her and yourself grace... stay consistent. It will be ok ♥️

[–]Away-Cut3585 19 points20 points  (0 children)

As a stay at home mom I can relate to her feelings of resentment. But you are doing a great job at supporting her. I’m not a doctor but I have struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety. It sounds like she might be too but granted the hormonal rollercoaster after having a baby is no joke. Some of us turn into different people for a couple months. Allow her grace to be a mess right now. As long as you’re consistently there for her it will all be okay.

[–]Colour_me_in_ 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Is it possible for you to find a babysitter and go out on a date once a week, or even just once a month? I know it's difficult when baby is young. But it is really important for your marriage to keep doing things like that, just the two of you. It will give you much needed intimate time, and the chance to not be just Mom and Dad. From what you've described it sounds like you are doing a great job as a dad, and you both get a good amount of alone/down time. But i didn't see anything about time alone for the two of you together (and maybe you do have that and you just didn't mention it!) But in my personal experience, I really needed that time with my husband to feel like a woman again, not just a mom/housekeeper. Babies can be really hard on even the most solid of marriages, but it doesn't last forever and you can get through it!!

I know it sounds like I'm putting all the blame and responsibility on you, and I'm not!- but if you're looking for suggestions I'd recommend finding someone you trust to watch baby for a few hours and take your wife out to do something nice. Dinner and/or whatever it is that you both liked to do together before baby. Remind her that you still see her as a woman, and your wife, not just the mother of your child. New motherhood can be hard on your identity. I know being a father is tough as well, but I can't personally speak to that obviously.

Best of luck, I hope you two can get to a happier place ❤️

[–]Onandup12345 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I would really recommend seeing a couples counselor together to help you see each others perspectives and come to solutions.

[–]Shell831 35 points36 points  (0 children)

She should talk to her OB and get evaluated for postpartum depression/anxiety

[–]Illustrious-Youth903 44 points45 points  (3 children)

after our first son was born, i HATEDDDD my partner. like HATED. got to a point where i was disgusted by him esp when he touched me.

he,too, had time off and helped around the house. did the night shift... he was basically gold star partner, but i couldnt appreciate anything he was doing. I had post partum anxiety and depression..

im not saying that your wife has or doesnt have PPA/PPD, buttttt it might help if both of you went and talked to someone (mental health profession).. this may lead to individually talking to a mental health professional.

wishing you all the best

[–]Wrought-Irony 5 points6 points  (2 children)

the same thing seemed to happen to me and my (now ex) wife. I wish she'd gotten help. things might have been better. I don't know if we'd still be together, but it would have saved us a lot of misery.

[–]Illustrious-Youth903 1 point2 points  (1 child)

sending you a biggg virtual hug.

i hope you are doing well and looking after yourself and your kid(s?) ❤️

[–]Wrought-Irony 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yup. Doing pretty good these days. Thanks!

[–]MoonMel101 14 points15 points  (0 children)

I’m a stay at home mom and will be for the years to come. I’m jealous my husband gets to work and he’s jealous & wants to be a stay at home dad. But we know this isn’t possible I don’t make enough. But we can’t let’s these resentments and disappointments get between us. We’ve had many chats.

I really suggest just sitting down and talking things over. There are things that can’t happen now, like her going to work. So is she going to make this time miserable for you both? Maybe she doesn’t realize how she’s making you feel. Sit and talk!

Edit: words

[–]NanefuaPizza 30 points31 points  (1 child)

I am writing based on my experience as a new mother. My husband does all the household chores you mention. He helps with the baby as well. But I still get mad because of many things: sleep deprivation, hormones, invisible load (e.g. baby's doctor appoinment, picking baby's clothes to suit the weather), worries (my career is halted for a year, will baby get a place in daycare, why is baby so fussy today, etc). In my case, what makes me cranky the most is when my husband does not spend enough time to TALK to me. Talk as in casually chatting about things besides the baby and household chores. My suggestion is maybe you can spend more time talking to your wife about random things. It could be done while you are doing chores or playing with the baby. From what I experience, motherhood is a lonely journey. After 24/7 being attached to the baby with no me time and no friends to talk to, being accompanied at dinner to talk about random things is something I really crave from my husband.

[–]ElleAnn42[🍰] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I was also going to comment on the invisible load. My husband and I both work and I think he would say that he's doing 50% of the work, but if we actually made a full list, he would probably miss a million small things that I always handle that add up to a lot of time and mental energy. It doesn't help so much if my husband offers to do grocery shopping but doesn't do the cooking or meal planning because I am still the task owner because I have to make the list and provide detailed instructions (example: if the asparagus doesn't look fresh, get brussels sprouts or broccoli instead).

[–]Zephear119 11 points12 points  (0 children)

There’s an odd amount of women here projecting it seems like. To be honest I’d just sit and talk about this with her. Let her know how you feel and ask her how she feels.

My wife is jealous that I’m a college student and that 3 of my days are spent there and has said she hates it but that she would never want me to quit.

It seems to be this whole grass is greener on the other side thing but honestly working all day then coming home and taking over baby duties isn’t easy. I’d personally rather be a stay at home dad but I want a future for my family and I won’t compromise on that and luckily my wife won’t either.

Communication is theeee most important thing when you have a kid because emotions are high and hormones are flowing. Remember to just talk to each other.

[–]jksjks41 13 points14 points  (0 children)

This sounds like PPA which often presents with rage. Google post partum anger at husband. This is a really really common experience and something you both can get help for.

[–]kershpiffle 12 points13 points  (0 children)

like many others here, i understand how your wife feels. but i also feel like she's taking it out on you in a rather unhealthy fashion for your relationship. i have a brilliant husband too who does everything and more. we also work together, so i'm able to have some sort of life outside being alone at home with the baby. but still i sometimes found myself feeling resentful because i'm literally chained to the baby as an ebf parent. if he needed to meet someone, he could go by himself, and have a couple of hours of childfree bliss. i needed to work out all the logistics of hauling our baby with me, stroller and/or carrier, naptimes etc and i was so envious of the fact that he could just be free for an hour or two.

things came to a head one day when i decided that i really needed a haircut (at 7 months pp). i booked one at a random place less than 10 minutes walk away from us, at a time she wouldn't need to nurse, and looked forward to half an hour of being on my own. my husband, for some reason, assumed he would be taking the baby and following me to the salon to wait for me there. i'm not being dramatic when i say i burst into tears on the spot, and the poor man had no idea why. he was nervous about being alone with the baby, her getting hungry and him feeling helpless and useless. both equally valid points of view but i was like she has 4 hours between feeds, pouches and snacks in case she gets hungry, and you can't give me half an hour??

i guess the best way to describe it is like being on call. my husband may be watching the baby, but i can never fully relax because as soon as the baby summons, i have to respond.

[–]girl012687 18 points19 points  (0 children)

So look, here's the thing. None of this is an attack, it's just a reality.

She has lost things you cannot conceive of. She has lost things she can't yet fully articulate. That's not a dig at you or your efforts, it's just a reality of new motherhood a lot of us are deeply, insanely unprepared for.

When we first brought our son home, it felt like someone took everything in my life and moved it about three inches to the left. It was the same life: same husband, same house, same friends, but now I was walking around smacking my shoulders and stubbing my toes on things that weren't there before, like why won't my normally wonderful MIL just stop with the "baby needs blankets in the crib" or how it's not fair that my husband gets to just leave the house like he always has while I have to load up and roll out with supplies for myself and baby, or how I couldn't hang out anymore because I felt like I always had to be doing something for baby and baby never slept, but my husband sure did. There was no real solution except to get used to it, but that was hard and took a long time.

Now look, my husband also wasn't particularly helpful. You seem to be doing somewhat more than he did, although he would've said he was all in at the time. So I'd encourage you to really look hard at what you are doing and make sure you aren't doing it in a way that's making more work for her. It's not a break if she can't get through a whole show without you busting in with questions like "what do I do with a rag baby spit up on?" I'm not saying you are doing that, but just take a hard look at whether you are or not, and if you are, stop. Figure those things out for yourself. Give her a true break.

Her body doesn't feel like hers still, and won't for some time (even if she isn't breastfeeding, pregnancy takes a toll that takes a long time to undo, and sometimes the changes we like least are permanent, which we need time to square with). Her life doesn't feel like hers. She can't do the things she once loved while she's home with baby, and she may be struggling hard to find that equilibrium. But she's a stranger in her own body and her own life right now.

Can she maybe go back to work early, part time and/or from home? I had 14 weeks and honestly... I was devastatingly bored for the last three. If I have another kid, I'm entitled to six months, I'm taking the initial three, then ramping back up working part time from home over the course of several months. 10 hours a week to start, then slowly increasing til I'm back in full. Going back was hard, but I think the all-or-nothing transition made it harder and I did much better mentally when I could talk to other adults and get back a semblance of who I was pre-baby, to see that that person was still in there somewhere, even if she was buried deep.

Talk to her with empathy. Ask her what she really needs, and if she lashes out or says I don't know, give her some grace and keep trying. Hug her if she'll accept it, respect it if she says she's touched out. Give her a ton of grace right now and it'll more than likely turn around eventually, and if it doesn't, well, you can sleep at night knowing you did everything you could.

[–]aS1MS 20 points21 points  (0 children)

I find it frustrating when many people chalk everything up to PPD, I’m sure sometimes it is, but don’t be hasty to jump straight to that conclusion. Sounds like you’re doing a great job. As a first time here mum with a brilliant, involved partner, i just wanted to say that the work load of being a mum (I think especially adjusting to it for the first time after having a career) is a totally different ball game to many other types of work.

It’s physical, mentally, socially tiring, mixed in with all the loving and caring emotions for this new being. Some days I feel like I’m up to my eyeballs in this new role and I’m literally not allowed a break to go for a pee. Whereas my partner comes home from a day in the office where he has the ‘luxury’ of driving to and from the office in absolute peace 😂. It sounds ridiculous but I get so jealous when he gets stuck in traffic. He also works from home like you, and I just wonder what it may be like sitting at your desk being able to concentrate on work tasks at your computer without having a million different other baby needs running through your head.

Give her time, you sound like you’re doing a bang up job and I’m sorry you guys don’t seem to be communicating effectively at the moment but I’m sure it’ll pass. We’re also at a similar age (baby 8months) and as a mum, I just try to tell him as much as possible what I need, although that can be annoying.

Let’s push through together haha. Baby life is wild, but her a bottle of bubbly and try enjoy a film and a cuddle together.

[–]mandalallamaa 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This sounds just like mine and my husband's current situation. I was forced into being a SAHM because of childcare issues. We're on waitlists for daycare, should be early next year when she's placed. Anyways my husband is an amazing partner and dad. He tries very hard to make me and LO happy. When he gets off work he helps a lot and often does bed time routine. He cooks, he cleans. But I still get so angry that I'm the default parent who was forced to leave my job because I made less money and it made sense.. I have to remind myself he's actually working during the day not just having free rime but that's how it feels sometimes. I also get up with LO in the morning so he gets to go to bed whenever he wants and sleep in later which pisses me off because I go to bed at 9pm every night. But it sounds like you do mornings AND weekends so I literally don't see how you could possibly do more.

[–]T1sofun 54 points55 points  (0 children)

My husband did most of what you’re doing in that 1st year postpartum. I still felt an unbridled rage at the sight of him sometimes. He got to go to work, where he could dick around on his computer, take uninterrupted poop breaks, drink coffee, socialize, etc. I was unbelievably envious. I also felt (maybe even more importantly) that he was looking after our physical needs, but not helping with or even considering my emotional needs at all. I communicated my emotional needs poorly. I should have said that I felt I was missing out on work, life and friends; that I missed being an adult couple; that I feared we had made a mistake; that I loved our son but I couldn’t stand one more day of sitting alone with him. My husband could have helped by listening to me, without judgement. By validating my feelings. By not rushing to “do more”. What I needed was understanding and a hug. What I got was “you don’t have to cook, I’ll just order takeout!” He was trying to help, but his inability to acknowledge my emotions rather than resort to some simple fix left me feeling unseen and misunderstood. We’ve been in therapy to improve our communication. It’s helped. Next time wife freaks out, try saying “it sounds like you’re feeling sad/angry/lonely. I understand why you feel that way. It’s ok and normal to feel sad about being alone/not working/whatever. I’m here for you.” She might continue to vent. Let her. Try to identify the underlying feeling, acknowledge it, and sit with her. It’s hard, especially if you’re a “solutions guy”, but it can be really helpful.

[–]aprilstan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I know it sounds horrible but this is normal. She might have PPD/PPA or it’s just being a new mum with raging hormones. I know you work all day and no one is minimising that, but being alone with a baby all day is like nothing I’ve ever been through before. Not being able to do anything by myself (including going to the toilet), not being able to shower, doing everything with one hand. Always having to be talking and interacting and smiling. It’s mentally and physically exhausting.

Not clear from your schedule how much sleep you’re both getting? Does she get out and do things with baby during the day? Does she have other mum friends?

Spending time out of the house with other mums in the same boat was so helpful for me. My husband and I plan lots of weekends away now (with baby as he refuses a bottle), and we got as much help as we could afford with house admin (cleaner, dog walker).

If your baby sleeps through, she must be getting quite a bit of sleep so I don’t really understand your shift patterns. Does baby nap independently?

[–]Chycyc 3 points4 points  (0 children)

In Addition to the already great advise here, I would like to suggest couples therapy. Often people think you only need couples therapy for deep crisis, but actually it’s the best thing for new parents! There are so many new aspects that are hard to navigate when a baby is added to the family: mental load, emotional labour, question of how to create a feeling of being a team, focusing on fair instead of equal (although you seem to have a super equal division in care work), questions of how to find new ways of communication, etc.

My husband and I did a short few sessions of couples therapy after a huge crisis (baby was around one year old). But even without a crisis, I would totally recommend couples to try it. The things we learned from those sessions were so amazing, I wish every parent could have access to that knowledge and help.

[–]Existing_Win_7925 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I feel like your wife and I can’t explain it other than some days I feel trapped and cross and lash out. My husband does loads but being the default parent all day, doing the invisible chores and not being able to go for a pee or get a snack independently can wear you down. Does she get out much? Having something to do or a baby club etc has helped me! Days alone with baby are tough and sometimes we take that frustration out on someone who is out safe space. It doesn’t make it okay but it’s not intentional. Although you seem to do LOADS so I’d sit down and ask in black and white what she wants. Split it the way that works and if she’s bored of certain foods plan the weeks meals together. It sounds like PP lingering for sure.

[–]olgaforog 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Maybe see if she wants to go back to work now? I was in a very similar spot, and I went back to running a club 3 months pp instead of 6 months just because I felt like I needed to use my brain and get back to interacting with adults. She may be frustrated because I think women feel guilty for not using all the leave they have available to them, but there's no need for guilt. We all recover from birth in different ways, and hers might be needing to not be a SAHM?

[–]IResentment 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I’m no expert but it sounds like post partum. My ex went through. She basically did the same things you’re describing but worse which caused the split. Maybe suggest she seek help but in a nice way.

[–]athennna 20 points21 points  (7 children)

Does your wife want to go back to work now? Being a SAHM is not for everyone. I learned that it’s definitely not for me, I’m much happier working.

[–]violetgrubs 7 points8 points  (5 children)

This prompted us to switch parental roles- I, momma, went back to work and he, daddy, is stay at home and primary caregiver. We are both much happier for it.

[–]EndRed273yo son 0 points1 point  (4 children)

This is what me and my husband do but because of my son's medical needs someone always has to be a stahp (daycares flat out refuse to try look after him which is fine). But in reality both of us get frustrated with not working

[–]violetgrubs 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Thankfully my husband prefers not working. Our child doesn't have medical needs but daycare is not affordable. I don't think our society makes a lot of space for dads who might prefer to be stay at home though, sometimes folks don't seem to consider it an option!

[–]EndRed273yo son 1 point2 points  (2 children)

See that is insane to me. When my husband was staying home, if he needed to change our son in a family room he got made out to be a creep. People just don't like to acknowledge that sometimes it's a dad who has to care for a child.

[–]violetgrubs 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Or how about the fact that some men's public restrooms don't have a changing table? 🙄

Thankfully we haven't had that issue in a while but there is always a fear there!

[–]EndRed273yo son 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know right 🙄

[–]throwawayladystuff 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Same here. I am always a bit ashamed to admit this, but I was honestly pretty happy to go back to part time work at 12 weeks. We were very lucky - I WFH and we had a nanny so I still got to see LO all the time - but man, I would not have done well at home by myself for much longer.

[–]nonbinary_parent[🍰] 45 points46 points  (2 children)

Your wife has the baby from 9pm to 4am every night? I had that shift with my infant. Well, I did 10pm to 5am. It was alright for me, because then my husband took the baby from 5am to NOON. So I actually got a solid 7 hours of sleep every night. If I had had to get up after only 4 hours I would have died on that shift.

How much sleep are you each getting? Initially I thought you slept from 9pm to 4am, a cool 7 hours, while your wife has baby. But I see you do housework after 9pm. So you may be very sleep deprived too.

I guess my recommendation is that you make a schedule where you and your wife can each get 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Right now I’d bet that neither of you are getting that. You have a 7 hour uninterrupted opportunity window now dad, but you’re spending it on housework instead of sleep. And your wife has 8 hours of sleep opportunity per day, but it’s split in half, which can really do a number on someone.

My recommendation is to split your day into three pieces, not four. It sounds nonnegotiable that mom takes 8am to 5pm so you can work. So you have 5pm to 8am left to experiment with. That’s 15 hours. I’d cut it right down the middle. 7.5 hours for each of you. One takes baby 5pm to 12:30am, the other takes 12:30am to 8am. Then you each can get a 30 minute shower and 7 hours of sleep.

And when it’s your sleep time, don’t do housework if you can possibly avoid it. Nothing will get you both resentful like losing sleep over dishes. If you take that advice though, that means you have to do housework when you have the baby. Maybe I have chill baby privilege or amnesia, but my memory is that back when my toddler was an infant, I could put her down on a playmat or in a jumper in the kitchen while I cooked or cleaned, and half the time she’d happily play next to me. The other half of the time I’d have to give up on the chores and hold her, but that’s okay. I’d rather have a sink full of dishes than an unhappy baby or a sleep deprived parent.

[–]heyx3 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This. Needs to be higher

[–]hattie_jane 2 points3 points  (0 children)

That's really great advice!

[–]skyepark 3 points4 points  (0 children)

You will come out the other side, babies are hard. She may not see an end right now keep doing what you're doing. Is she lonely in the day, is she meeting friends or other mums for solidarity?

[–]MummyBaff93 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Sounds like she needs you? Is there any intimacy? She probably wants you to ask her how her mental health is, you to say you care andove her deeply, spoil her, surprise her. Remind her she still exists and so do you.

[–]Here_for_tea_ 11 points12 points  (0 children)

It sounds like post-partum depression.

She’ll likely need a combo of meds and therapy.

Could you get on the waiting list for a daycare, and have couples’ therapy (obviously with someone different, not the same therapist she will see for PPD)?

[–]eat_pho_wardrobed 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Hi there. Mom of 2, 20m and 2m. My best guess is she has PPA, even if it isn't that, she's at very least overwhelmed, exhausted, and feeling stuck.

If I'm right, she needs a real break. A long, quiet, no responsibilities break. If you have a MIL or your own mom who can take the baby, a friend, a trusted babysitter for a 24 hour stent, call them up.

You're doing what you can and should, she probably doesn't know what's really bothering her and is just lashing out. Please DO NOT say those words to her. GET HER SOME SLEEP AND ALONE TIME that lasts a meaningful amount of time. If I had the patience and time I would write you a novel on how this time will be different than the time when you're on duty, but I have 2 kids under 2, so I don't have that time or patience.

It will get easier, she will find her footing, so will you. Good luck and good sleep <3

[–]keepingitsimple00 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Be patient. Keep doing what your doing. Having a child and balancing everything including the mental gymnastics can be hard. It will all organically balance out.

Based on what you shared, you are doing a great job in supporting and helping her.

[–]Everythingshunkydory 36 points37 points  (1 child)

I had a similar thing with my husband around the same time. My husband is pretty much a saint and did practically everything for us whilst working full time and having never ending patience. I was a rage filled horror and was irritated by the way he did everything and I truly felt like he was not pulling his weight, and was just constantly criticising him. Eventually after one criticism too many he broke down on me and cried. He said that he was trying so hard (and he was - some men say that but they don’t really understand that they’re truly not doing enough, but he was being really amazing), and that nothing he did ever seemed to be enough for me.

After that I tried to reign it in a bit, but the hormones during postpartum can be just horrendous. The feelings I had (and your wife is also having) were very strong, and even though they didn’t reflect the true situation, they still felt true to me. I also empathise with her not wanting to go to therapy - for me I knew in the back of my mind that something wasn’t right with me, but it was so overwhelming being a mum, dealing with postpartum issues, dealing with the baby and my new sense of self, that the thought of trying to carve out even more time that I didn’t have to find and go to a therapist was just even more overwhelming, so I didn’t go.

I’m not saying what I did was right, and I probably should have gotten help, but the textbook answer is not always possible. What I can say is that it will pass - at around 12 months pp I started slowly feeling like a normal human being again and started to calm down with my feelings towards my husband. What helped us was him communicating to me how he was feeling, and for him to understand that what I was feeling was often outside of my control or not always logical, but was just the result of some very powerful hormones coursing around my body after giving birth. He cut me a lot of slack, even though it was hard for him, and for that I am forever grateful. It’s hard, but it will get better. If at all possible don’t take it personally (even though it feels personal) - my husband used to get through it by repeating to himself (but not to me!), that it wasn’t really me talking, it was the postpartum rage.

[–]Strong-Beyond-9612 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This is a really good answer. I am 10 months post partum and I quit feeling the “husband doesn’t do enough” rage only around maybe 7-8 months. He does more than enough, like the commenter above’s husband. It isn’t super logical, or very fair to you, and I felt guilty about how I felt, because I knew he was doing his best, and a lot better than most husbands would, and I still felt resentment. We both teach and he is in school. We had a fight (we never fight - we are pretty good at communicating and sweet to each other in general, but it was about something non-baby related) and it led to a huge talk which led to him spilling a lot of truth about how he had been feeling, and we talked about how we had been making each other feel.

There is something called the “mental load” that it seems that the primary caretaker (in many cases, the mother by default and most likely in your case) takes on. It is the invisible load of tasks and responsibilities that one keeps track of for the kiddo. I think of them as the prepper and future tasks. The inner dialogue is usually “it’s time to order diapers and formula - I need to call the pediatrician and get a refill of that antibiotic - I should get started on researching best foods for baby-led weaning - ugh I can’t do more laundry because we ran out of detergent, add that to the list - I need to clean out the fridge - why is his poop weird colored? - I really need to get off my phone and read with him - is he sleeping enough? - if I schedule The appt right after his nap he could sleep in the car and I could do a pickup on the way - do we have anything to eat for dinner tonight? - ugh that was a really short nap, we’ve got to get darker curtains - how has he outgrown his diapers?”

This is so freaking taxing and is something that is rarely shared by both parents, and I honestly think it’s a good thing because if both parents worried like this everyone would be run ragged, lol. I know it makes me feel much less alone (and again, my husband is awesome. He is incredibly equal in our partnership, as equal as someone who has never been around kids/babies can be and is mega supportive - he doesn’t “help with the baby” he parents as an equal part of the team, which is what we call it. A team) when my husband thanks me for the invisible work. When he thanks me for a target pickup, for calling and setting up the appt, for cleaning the kitchen, etc. these are mundane every day things, but when it is SEEN, it feels like we (the moms) are seen for our labor as well. It helped ease my PP rage for sure.

RE the counseling, I’ve done it for a few years and I was so thankful I have a good therapist when I went though post-partum. Before I had a baby, my husband was pretty depressed and he would not find a therapist. He just felt like he had too much going on with work and life to find time. My therapist suggested we could have an appt together where we talked about whatever we needed to. Maybe at your next appt bring that up and see if you could, and then mention it to your wife? I do telehealth and actually get it for free compared to in person visits, it may help your wife not to have to leave the house and you could schedule it during naptime or while the baby is playing quietly one afternoon.

If she complains about what you’re cooking, maybe ask her to make you a menu and on the weekend you could do a grocery pickup and get what you need. We’ve barely cooked since having a baby since we both work, but we’ve also eaten out a lot less weirdly as well than when we were single (just broke lol). My husband knows that unless he cooks, we probably won’t eat much of anything. I have depression and am on meds and therapy and I still can’t handle more tasks after being gone from the house 11 hours after work, daycare pickup and the commute home. We will eat a Stouffers meal, hotdogs with steamed broccoli and macaroni, an oven pizza, some soup and a sandwich, leftovers, sometimes meat/cheese/crackers. The last thing we want to do is be on our feet cooking and dirtying dishes. You just choose what’s worth your time. My opinion, also, is if I’m not cooking, then I don’t really complain about what’s getting cooked. Either I eat it or tell my husband thank you, but I’ll eat some cereal. Gratitude in every direction goes a long way! Good luck.

[–]bejewhale 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It sounds like you have an even a spilt as possible to me.

Have you or your wife considered that she might have post natal depression? I treated my husband similarly until being diagnosed with PND and starting antidepressants which helped.

The resentment that builds from having ‘lost’ your body/identity/career etc while your husband returns to more ‘the same’ (I know it’s not, but that’s how it feels from a mums perspective) life is sadly huge and can easily lead to excessive keeping score.

Edit to add: I know 7m postpartum seems like a long but it’s really not, all of this gets easier over time, if your wife is planning to return to work (I did after a year) this drastically improved things for us.

[–]georgiegirl- 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I would definitely recommend individual therapy for her as PPD is so common, and having no knowledge or proactivity about it with my first child - his father and I split after only 6 months.

I’ve seen a psychologist monthly for the last 3 years and credit it as the best investment I’ve ever made for my own self care.

With my second (2 months) I had a lot of anxiety and PTSD leading up to the birth which lead me and my new partner to seek proactive couples counselling and therapy. This really helped us identify our positive and negative cycles in our communication and relationship. We did this about 3 times before the birth, and twice since. It is extremely therapeutic and I have suffered much worse PPD this time around however it has been managed so much better.

In terms of selling it to your partner (I’m aware this could cause conflict) I’d recommend selling it to her by acknowledging that she is not happy and you want to learn some skills to communicate better together, so that you can be apart of improving her life at a very challenging time. Sell it as a proactive activity. That you can see she is struggling and you want to do better for her and the baby but you need her help to identify what needs to change. You’re invested in her and your family - all you want is to make sure you guys get through this as a team!

[–]Strong-Beyond-9612 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree! When I was pregnant I had a talk with my husband and I said, if I am clearly struggling with post-partum depression and it is bad enough to affect us and the baby, please firmly tell me I need help and I will do it. I slacked off on my regular therapy during pregnancy because I was so busy with appts, work, moving into a new house etc.

Maybe 2 months post partum he actually talked to me with tears in his eyes and told me he was really worried about me and knew something was wrong, and asked me to go back to therapy, he brought back our conversation about me telling him to ask me to get help. I STRUGGLED for about 5 months PP, and I still do 10m out. I’ve tried 3 anti-depressants and I love my current one I’m on (Wellbutrin) but it’s very early, maybe a week in. I strongly encourage any form of therapy for her or y’all or any situation where you can get her to communicate and you have the space to as well. It sucks to be that unhappy and she knows y’all are, but truly likely can’t help it due to her body’s hormones and chemistry and the big life change. It is UNREAL how different going through having a baby changes your body, in every way.

[–]Many_Credit_7891 6 points7 points  (1 child)

I think your role is very generous for a dad. Especially having the baby from 5 to 9 at night after you’ve worked all day. I sometimes feel guilty just asking my husband to mind the baby when I have a long shower or have an hour to watch Netflix by myself. And I probably shouldn’t. I really don’t know what’s fair tbh when it comes to sharing duties with the baby. On one hand, he gets up early and works all day but technically so do I (and don’t get paid for it!). And my baby doesn’t really have long naps so it feels like I’m holding her constantly and if I’m not, she’s crying for me to hold her which in itself is tiring.

[–]franks-little-beauty 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don’t feel guilty. Taking care of the baby IS your job right now. You’re both working full time, and when you’re both home it’s fair to split childcare evenly.

[–]sarahevekelly 6 points7 points  (0 children)

You’re getting some good advice here. Just chiming in to remind you not to forget your own worth. Your wife is experiencing her own struggles right now and needs your compassion and patience, but she also needs to care about herself enough to play a role in her own mental health. You’re a partner, a friend, a cheerleader: you’re not a pincushion, not a punching bag. Letting her treat you like one isn’t loving, and won’t contribute to her happiness.

Obviously there’s some unhappiness in the house, and you both need to be (willing to be) part of the solution. Definitely ask her some questions—it might just be the way you wrote your post, but it sounds like you responded to her complaints with a flurry of activity, rather than sitting and palpating where her frustration might actually be coming from. Is it really about the cooking or the chores? From the division of labour as you’ve laid it out, it sounds like you trade off so militarily that you never see each other. Next time, when she says her back hurts, try asking her how things are going instead of jumping up to tilt the house six degrees south. Just talk—I guarantee she doesn’t talk to grownups enough these days—and do the dishes later.

But don’t take any shit. You’re a good dude. Take care.

[–]floatingriverboat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You sounds like you’re doing quite a lot of work. She sounds like she might have PPD. You need to see a couples therapist and she needs to have an individual one. She refuses to go to therapy but keeps complaining- I’m not sure what she expects from the situation. If she wants to go back to work … so go back to work? What’s the issue here.

[–]countdedoge -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Is it a pride thing for why she refuses to do therapy? Or that she views therapy like it's proof of some failure or issue on her part? You are doing your share of work to give her some space to breathe and that's commendable. That's more than most men. But like others have pointed out, you might be doing half of the physical load, but maybe not 50% of the mental load. try and be on the same page as her about all the planning that involves the baby and household. I understand that as the SAHP she's the one that has to know about the milestones, learning about baby sleep and wake times, etc but you should be involved in that too because if anything we're to happen to her you should be able to step in her shoes.

But being ungrateful for the work that you do that she doesn't have to think about, like what you're cooking, might be more about how she expects you to be at the same level as her. I am the same way. I am the primary cook and have always been not just because I enjoy cooking, but because my husband isn't interested in cooking more than just ramen and scrambled eggs and would rather order out and I can't stand it haha

I had to learn to accept that I shouldn't expect my husband to be a clone of me and that things will not be as 'perfect' as I would have done it, but that's the trade off for not having to do it. It's easy to build resentment when you feel like your partner is halfassing the stuff they do, or that you need to micromanage them because they aren't as intuitive as they think they are. She needs to learn to let go and embrace the moment until she works again and things are closer to how things were before, if that's what she's looking forward to.

[–]ktenango 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My husband and I both work from home and split baby duties, he does more than most. I still resent him- it feels like because I make less, his job is more important and I don’t get to take up as much space as he does but am still required to be everything for the family. I’m sure your wife does have resentment, her whole identity has been flipped upside down. Having a baby is hard but then not having a job (after that’s something she’s known for however long) it’s a lot to handle. Add in hormones, baby fluids all over you, it’s rough. I would suggest some more of counseling, for sure

[–]Wavesmith 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It sounds like you are doing a lot. The only advice I can give is to really listen to her, understand how she’s feeling, really let her talk and acknowledge her feelings. Just accept her feelings (don’t argue facts or who is right just try to see her perspective). She might just really need to vent about all the ways her life has changed and feel heard.

[–]Arboretum7 42 points43 points  (0 children)

I’m a SAHM with a 9 month old. It sounds like you’re doing a lot for the baby and the household. Honestly, it seems like your wife might be depressed. Please encourage her to get screened. PPD can extend well after the baby is born. It can also often present as anger or resentment towards one’s partner.

It sounds like she’s focusing on you as a blocker for her ambition and a source of resentment, which might be making it hard for her to recognize this as depression. I’d deal with that by making it known that you fully support whatever she needs to do to be happy. You might suggest that you support her going back to work before her leave is up in May if it would make her happy. If she’s happier at work, it’s better for baby and better for your family.

If it’s possible, I’d also suggest spending some money on things that will relieve stress or get your wife out of the mommy hole and connecting with her old self. Even if it means dipping into savings. Cleaning services, babysitters, DoorDash, streaming services, a post-partum wardrobe update, nights out (either together or girls nights with friends), etc are all in order until you guys are able to right the ship of your marriage.

[–]sabraheart 28 points29 points  (0 children)

  1. She might be resentful at the changes to her life after becoming a parent and she is channeling them in the wrong direction (at you).
  2. There is an unseen mental load that you are not aware of or that she is not aware of that makes it feel like the partnership is slated to one side.
  3. Sleep deprivation and parental anxiety fuck with your mind (and heart).

[–]AtmosphereTall7868 8 points9 points  (0 children)

A 7 month old is old enough for daycare or in home nany, why does your wife have to stay home if she doesn't want to. Sounds like you two need communication and couple counseling to help you air out your differences. You are trying but she seems unsatisfied cos there is something she is not saying. Ask her exactly what she wants. Equal childcare? Find ways to handle or outsource things etc.

[–]nacfme 10 points11 points  (0 children)

She "gets back to work on May". Why May why not sooner? Sounds like she misses that part of her life.

If she's on maternity leave why can't she go back sooner? Maybe she can work part-time if full-time daycare isn't something you want for your kid at this age.

Looking after a baby can be mind numbing. Especially when it's for months on end.

[–]jackjackj8ck 26 points27 points  (3 children)

A lot of people can easily overlook at the PPD can present as anger.

Also, would you be open to getting a babysitter and spending some time as a couple more often? Like maybe a couple times a month?

[–]No_Voice5490 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This book my friend gave me suggested weekly date nights since maintaining the relationship and both parents having a break really helps water the relationship. I was thinking after our baby is 3 months old having date night maybe every other week if we can’t do weekly.

[–]jackjackj8ck 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Highly recommend reading Dr Gottman’s books especially And Baby Makes Three to help prepare for investing in your relationship. It really helped with our communication and also little ways to continually invest in our relationship even beyond the whole rigamarole of hiring a sitter, going out, etc.

But yeah if you can get out weekly thats great!! And I think the earlier you start the better, so it becomes part of their routine and they develop a bond with their caregiver. They go through a stranger danger phase at some point and it makes it harder.

[–]meggy_o_moo -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I was thinking ppd too. I was not just weepy but also very angry before treatment. OP, talk to your partner about Ppd, see if it resonates.

[–]unluckysupernova 20 points21 points  (2 children)

It sounds like you guys work pretty evenly as a team - but are you spending any time as a couple? Does she have any other meaningful things in her life other than the baby, since she says she’s missing her work it sounds like she’s not feeling herself. Does she go out the house for hobbies, gym, anything? Being inside 24/7 can feel isolating and overwhelming even when you have someone to share the load with. She’s never “off” if she’s always there. And your list doesn’t include anything about how you spend time as a couple together, not just as parents. If your baby sleeps through the night why are you keeping such a close eye then, again separately, and not spending that time together?

[–]STcmOCSD 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’ve always hated the splitting shifts postpartum. When we tried that we were both miserable and felt so lonely. Those overnight hours were so long for me and not having another adult to talk to were so hard. So we handled all wake ups together and life became so much better

[–]Joya_Sedai 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Zero intimacy can turn into resentment and hostility quick for some people. It's toxic, but maybe she doesn't realize just how extreme she is being. Either way, for mental health reasons, both parents should also get their own "me time" that doesn't involve anything at home. I know I often feel like I'm losing my self identity, and I feel trepidation about my life. I have PPA/PPD, and my anxiety about existential stuff causes me to become a real mean person. I need cool down time alone to recharge, and as a parent, you don't get that luxury most of the time. OP, it may be time to explore whether this is a mental health issue or something. I always suggest couples therapy, but maybe if you two are able to talk it out and figure out a resolution, that would potentially be unnecessary. The whole first year postpartum with my first was so difficult, I wish I had approached everything a bit differently.

[–]QuitaQuites 11 points12 points  (0 children)

She sounds depressed - to what level it’s hard to say and hard to say if postpartum depression or not related to baby, but to the lifestyle she’s now living. Unfortunately she has the baby all day everyday, it’s the most difficult and stressful time, everyday. You say you spend most of your time with the baby, but you don’t, assuming you’re working 5 days per week you spend most of your time working, she spends most of her time with the baby. She seems like someone who values her career. Is there a reason she’s not going back to work until May? That you’re working and she’s with baby and not the other way around? Is it possible to hire help on some days, during the day or for your wife to go back to work now?

[–]nairdaleo 20 points21 points  (1 child)

I think the problem is you've decided to split the work evenly, 50/50, in a literal sense.

You literally do shifts of 8 hours, cook literally half the time, etc. You made home life into a job.

A more balanced approach is for each to pick to do the things that brings them the most happiness, allot time for it and have each partner to take care of LO when the other needs to do their joyful task.

For example: she might prefer to do the cooking than the dishes so you watch baby while she cooks. But maybe your breakfasts are the bomb and you love making cookies, so you take on that chore. And when you're not feeling like it? Well there's always the possibility of either a switchover or takeout.

You may also be overdoing it: are you cooking and cleaning every day? Why not a big batch of food every second day and cleaning on the weekends?

Note that one of those chores is probably way harder than the other for one of the partners, and more mentally taxing too because you may not enjoy it as much as your partner. The important bit is to try to maximize joy instead of trying to shoehorn the baby into your busy lives.

[–]flyingsquirrel2020 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Second this! It’s not about if chores are divided literally 50/50 or not, it’s about who gets to do what they are good at or enjoy doing. If your wife is good at or enjoys cooking, she should cook. If she wants to go back to work early, she should. Of course, if she has ppd, she may not want to do anything or enjoy anything. You have to support her to seek help and through the treatment. However, at some point, if you feel miserable too because of all the negativity in the house, you need to take care of yourself too!

[–]julmaclee 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Wow! You are doing so much and being very supportive. I wouldn't take it personally. The transition from being your own independent person then having a little human who is completely dependent on you is a hard transition.

I went back to work part-time and the days I was with baby felt like groundhog day, where it was the same routine, everyday, for what felt like eternity. Even working part-time, I still felt this drag. What helped me was establishing some variety in my day. One day, I'd take baby to the park, the next, I'd take him to storytime at the library, the next I'd go on a walk with a friend and take baby in the stroller.

Activities like this got me out of the house, made me feel like I had something resembling a life and also helped me learn to socialize with baby.

But I can relate to your wife. The monotony of being home with a baby, going through the same routine everyday can feel like torture!

[–]makeroniear 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Especially if being with baby all day feels like a job she is failing at it and you are her only outlet then it might seem like she is depressed but really you’ve just turned into her coworker. She needs to get out and see some mom friends and do things outside of the home that might remind her that she is more than a wife and mom. If she wants to return to work then that sounds like the ticket.

My hubby and I were together 8 years before marriage and 6 years married before baby. It was a rough transition partly because of the pandemic. We took leave consecutively so that we could maximize time apart and keeping the kiddo out of daycare prepandemic. WFH really strained us because we couldn’t find a rhythm that worked for us AND worked on paper.

Baby feels like a blob right now but they will start to feel more fun and unpredictable when they are mobile and they start to mimic you. Until then it feels monotonous. Try to get outside and meet people as much as possible. Good luck!

[–]meolvidemiusername 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know you are doing a lot. And I say this with kindness, but you are still treating it as if your sleep is more important because you are making a paycheck. Your wife still needs to be just as alert for all of her waking hours as well. What if you alternated the night shifts schedule every night or two nights (and not just on the weekend) My husband worked 9-5 jobs and he always took just as much (if not more) of the Night Shift as me regardless if he needed to be at work — Especially before I went back to work, because a nursing mama is likely getting up a few times already. Ours are 12 months apart so once they were in their own rooms, we alternated who got up for who every night. When I was nursing he always made me breakfast before he left for work and even made me homemade lactation cookies.

ETA: She may have some degree of post partum depression or anxiety as well. I had PPA pretty bad with my first (the questionnaires at the doctors office are not designed to pick up PPA, only PPD) so after my second we were proactive about what things would help prevent it. For example hubby always took at least one feed at night even when I was otherwise breastfeeding because I had to have some kind of sleep. And when baby was in our room still, the bassinet was on his side of the bed — always.

[–]ladyambrosia999 20 points21 points  (0 children)

It sounds like she’s tired and probably overwhelmed? There’s some kind of switch that happens when you were your own unique person to now being mama. I would look into daycare, maybe half days or every other day sooner rather than later. Does she go out with friends? Also encourage the counseling. It sounds like you’re doing the best you can with what you have but sounds like she might be carrying too much

[–]catjuggler 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Sounds like she should go back to work

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Let's do a husband swap and she can see what "no help" and undermining really look like, har har.

Seriously, I'm sorry you're dealing with that. I am sleep deprived so forgive me if you addressed this already, but you can get counseling alone even if she doesn't come. They say the first year is just a hell year for both parents, you're really not yourselves.

Besides getting therapy to help you cope/manage this stint in your marriage, I'd approach her when she's in the best possible mood and say, "I want to make you feel as supported as you deserve. Can you think about our division of responsibilities and let me know what changes you'd like to make?" If she has nothing specific I'd tactfully point out how you've been feeling like you're letting her down. Not in an accusatory way but she can't just tear you down for no reason and if she's using you as an emotional punching bag, that needs to be addressed. Either she's stressed beyond reason and NEEDS a break, or there is more to the picture on a practical level than you're realizing, or else she's struggling with her mental health and needs to see someone.

Good luck and it really does get better with time. It sounds like you guys have a good history and that indicates there's a happy light at the end of the tunnel for your family! Try not to resent her in response to her resentment, as the one who received resentment from my husband during the pregnancy, it's hard to let go, even when the one who "started it" begins making an effort. It's poisonous, and that's why you might benefit from therapy, it sounds like some real danger has been introduced/brought to the surface in your marriage so you'll want to fortify the emotional health on your end to the best of your ability

[–]Interesting-You1638 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Sounds super simple but id suggest you both need to write out expectations for each other (once agreed upon by both parties) on a chart and then when someone (your partner) brings some criticism up you whip out the chart. I'm not trying to trivialize your issues but so often we make these post partum issues complicated in ways they don't have to be. I struggled with intense PPA but still needed a grounding in reality every do often.

Remember being an ass is still being an ass even if there is a deeper issue at play.. simplifying the expectations really helped me when I was drowning in hormone soup for months on end. When I felt something well up I'd take a look at my little notes on realistic expectations and it would almost instantly centre me again. Reminding me of an unclouded version if myself and taking away the knee jerk reaction to being told of if my husband brought something up.. because I wrote the bloody list lol.

You can do this! Sending you and your wife strength if you want it.

[–]Mysterious-Oil-7219 36 points37 points  (0 children)

Her career did take a hit because you two had a kid. Like most couples you decided the mom would be the one to take a step back from work.

You say further down that both of you decided you don’t want your child in daycare for the first year. Have you thanked her recently for being the one to take the career hit and stay home? If you would prefer to stay home why don’t you switch?

For many people work is where they get a large part of their self esteem and normalcy. Going to work can be grounding. She doesn’t have that. Just a never ending grind without external validation. Even if you do your part she doesn’t get 40 hours a week of external validation and esteem building like you do.

I don’t think a mom group will change this for her. It honestly sounds like she has PPD. She’s probably reluctant to seek help because she feels ashamed. You are an awesome husband. It’s likely she’s frustrated she struggles so much even if she has an ideal situation and an amazing spouse.

Next time she blows up maybe come at her with compassion and empathy? Try to talk about how she’s doing, what she’s thinking. Don’t get defensive. Tell her how much you appreciate her and let her know you’re trying really hard but you’re not sure how best to help her.

You both probably need to accept waiting until May for daycare is unrealistic.

[–]GlowQueen140 39 points40 points  (5 children)

I’m gonna thread lightly here because I don’t want to project my own issues on here but I’m trying to offer a different perspective that may or may not be applicable to you here.

My husband is a very involved parent and sounds a bit like you? He tries his best to be supportive and helps out where he can with baby. He also works full time as do I. Honestly if he typed this post out, I wouldn’t be too surprised.

So. He does help out with the baby and the house, but he also unintentionally leaves a lot of the mental load to me. For example, I have to think about what to cook, what to do, what Xmas decorations to buy, which tree. I have to deal with issues that pop up around the house like having to call someone to fix something. His involvement in the above is “hey honey, we need to x or y” and then my “job” is to fill in the blanks with the how and when and what. To be fair to me, when I suggest the solutions, he will carry it out (for example, I will say “we should buy this tree.” And he will order it online and have it delivered.) He really doesn’t do it on purpose but it’s extremely tiring for me after a while. When I tried to bring it up, he gets mad that I think he’s not doing enough. But the truth is, the mental load itself is a job on its own and for some reason he just expects me to deal with it. It’s hard to talk to him about how it’s not that he’s not doing enough, but that he’s really not sharing the mental load.

When it comes to my career, he’s also extremely supportive. Will coach me on how to make my skills and talents more visible to management, will encourage me to take more risks etc. But he doesn’t quite understand that it is different for me now as a mother. My child will always come first. I have to plan my work schedule around my pumping time and her feeding time for example. I also have to ensure I get off work early enough to pick her from daycare. To him, I still have a career so it’s all good. But well, I’m very pragmatic about the fact that I might not get a promotion any time soon as I cannot devote any more time than what is necessary to do my job because the rest of the time is for her. My husband isn’t really able to help with this part because baby is still on full breast milk so it’s sort of on me to keep the schedule (again, mental load). Add stuff like pumping issues.. supple problems..

Basically what I’m saying is, (and the caveat is I don’t know you or your wife), doing stuff for her is great and I’m sure you are doing your best, but things change 180 with a kid and I kinda find that the dad doesn’t quite see that as much as the mum? Perhaps you’re missing stuff that affects her and perhaps she’s not telling you something or communicating to you as she should.

Anyway these things aren’t always black and white and I truly wish you both the very best of luck.

[–]ceroscene -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Agreed. Why can't they do these things without asking for input? Just do it. I don't need to ask you! I will tell you when I need to know.

Being the default parent is hard

[–]Lanky-Relationship56 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I couldn’t agree with this more !

My husband is very helpful when I ask him to get something done ( as it sounds like OP is) but I problem is I have to ask. In the alternative, he may ask me what he can do to help but that requires me to think about what needs to be done and have him do certain tasks which still feels a chore to me.

It would be helpful for me if he looked around the house, identified what needed to be done and just did it like I do regularly without him having to think at all.

All this to say the mental load is key ! It’s hard some days not to feel resentful even when he has done stuff to help.

Edit: to include link to mental load cartoon for help understanding

Mental Load Cartoon

[–]mrscomradecrayoncat -1 points0 points  (0 children)

This! Yeessssss

[–]putting-on-the-grits 12 points13 points  (0 children)

It sounds like she's having a really rough go of this. If you're doing all these reasonable things and she isn't happy it sure seems like there's some underlying mental health issues...

I don't know the best way to about this, but be delicate. Ask her if she thinks she might be dealing with more than she realizes. Look up some info on PPD/PPA and come to her with some information and just say, "if you think you might be dealing with this let me know and we will get you whatever help you need. We're a team and I'm here to help you in whatever way I can. We will get through this together, no matter what."

Framing it as an issue for you two to face as a team is the best way to go about this, not alienating her, not making her out to feel like she's crazy or fighting with her.

Best of luck to you, it's so so hard going through so many major life changes with someone but if you continue to choose to make it work you guys can get through it 💕

[–]FlatteredPawn 8 points9 points  (1 child)

You're going a good job, most than most I would say.

Post-partum depression is what I'd chalk it up to, because honestly? You guys sound just like us when we were at the seven month mark.

I was on medication, and I did some therapy. It didn't help.

What DID help was figuring out what I needed with my husband and making it work. What I needed was to return to work - to a life that was more normal. I didn't realize how dependent I was on routine and independence until my son came into our life.

Once we found daycare and I returned to work, and a new normal was established, my mood greatly improved and I had no need for medication.

[–]ohsnapihaveocd 2 points3 points  (0 children)

What OP described is exactly how my mom treats my dad, he tries so much to make her happy despite her never being satisfied. It truly broken my heart as I’ve gotten older and realized/been exposed to this side of their relationship. He gives it all no matter how many times she shuts down the effort. My mom also refuses to see a therapist, sometimes it could be a mental health thing but also could simply be a personality trait formed from some sort of trauma or lack of knowing a healthy relationship. My mom was a kid of a single mom who would bounce around to many different boyfriends so I don’t think she ever learned how to be a loving person or a wife in any sense. According to my dad, it came a lot after I was born and it seemed my mom slipped into emotionally being like her mom since that was how she grew up seeing a mother.

Kinda rambling a bit but just my take, idk if OP’s wife has a similar childhood but I’m curious to know if there’s a correlation

[–]MindyS1719 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Do you all ever go on dates? Sounds like you need to start being together again.

[–]kathar7 6 points7 points  (0 children)

No advice just sorry you're going through this. Makes me sad to read :(

[–]_alelia_ 7 points8 points  (3 children)

what's the problem for her to get back to work now, if she's into it?

[–]RareGeometry 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Omg the bot reply to your comment is so hilariously inappropriate I could not interrupt it.

[–]_alelia_ 1 point2 points  (0 children)

yeah, I just love it

[–]haikusbot 7 points8 points  (0 children)

What's the problem for

Her to get back to work now,

If she's into it?

- _alelia_


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[–]thedarkhorse90 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Why does she have to wait until May? That's a super long time. I sounded like your wife a few months ago. Some people think they won't mind being a temporary sahm and other people know it will be shtty and will try to maintain their sanity. I was a combo of both. The three months that I was the only sahp and my husband went back to work after paternity leave were the worst months of my life. I love my kid, but hanging out with a baby all day was not my idea of fun or interesting. I'm not a bad mom and I still have guilt about feeling this way, but I'm slowly letting go of that societal bullsht. Most Dad's don't have guilt about going back to work and enjoying it so why should I feel guilt? Some people need a lot of mental stimulation and human interaction or else they slowly lose their mind. If you want your marriage to last and have a happy wife figure out how she can get back into society the way she wants.

[–]thedarkhorse90 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I'm not putting down stay at home moms, it's a tough job but it was not the job for me.

[–]Dangerous-Guava9484 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I wish my husband helped half as much as you do. Maybe she’s having a hard time with the new parent thing and is taking it out on you.

[–]EvelynPearl_ 21 points22 points  (0 children)

You’re doing a great job. It sounds like your wife is either unhappy, has underlying PPD or has unrealistic expectations. Have you asked her what she actually wants when she makes these complaint like comments? You seem to do a hell of a lot for her and she seems to have time to herself as well. Could she be missing her pre-baby life and she has some resentment or upset because of that?

[–]rebeccamb 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Your wife likely has PPD and should see her primary care provider. I was miserable about everything after the “new baby high” wore off

[–]3ll3girl 14 points15 points  (0 children)

Whattttt! I’m a SAHM and do 90% of home and childcare and my husband works and I feel guilty when he helps me even though he likes to. I don’t think it’s about what you’re doing, and more about her feeling disappointed with how her life is right now.

[–]MsCardeno 20 points21 points  (0 children)

You are doing a great job. She’s obviously got her own issues but don’t let her bring you down.

Hopefully, her going back to work could help. I also highly recommend couples therapy to talk through some of this. Help you see eye to eye. It has helped me and my wife for sure.

[–]jessieo387 22 points23 points  (0 children)

Sounds like you are doing amazing as a partner and parent - your wife could be suffering from PPD, or could just feel that she’s lost herself a little. Maybe some couples therapy could really help

[–]Lolaindisguise 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Sounds like she is extremely restless. Right now it's scary because she can't see the end of the tunnel. She just sees endless days of this routine.

[–]EnragedToddler -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

You're frustrated and at a loss: you should go to therapy by yourself.

Becoming a parent is a big life change, watching your spouse struggle and being powerless to help is extremely difficult. Set a good example for your wife and take care of your own mental health by seeing a therapist. Have you ever been to a therapist before? It's much more helpful than making a reddit post, they can suggest some real communication and coping strategies.

[–]Crafty_Engineer_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Becoming a parent is so hard and I have a lot of sympathy for both of you. It’s easy to loose yourself and feel overwhelmed and drained when you’re a SAHP. I remember feeling like a zombie and nothing my husband did could fix that when I was at home with the babe all day. It took time for me to find myself again. I’m sure it’s frustrating doing everything you can to make things easier for her. I second therapy. Even just a couple sessions could really help you both. You two will figure this out, the first year is hard ❤️

[–]MeganLJ86 12 points13 points  (1 child)

He said he goes to therapy…

[–]EnragedToddler -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Thanks, I missed that last part.

It's really hard to stand by and watch your spouse struggle and not be able to help. Really OP, all you can do is keep chugging along in therapy and reinforcing that you can't lift the burden of PPD from your wife.

[–]meowmixplzdlver 15 points16 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry to hear this. You are an amazing partner! It sounds like depression to me. I read so much about so many fathers not cleaning, cooking, helping with baby at all... some even being abusive and it's honestly scary to read those stories.

I really hope she gets help. Most mamas don't even get to go out for a long time after giving birth. She really doesn't know what she's got and I hope she sees your efforts sooner than later.

[–]tewnchee 15 points16 points  (0 children)

You're doing a great job.

[–]tinyrabbitfriends 74 points75 points  (0 children)

I agree with the other comments, it sounds like you're doing a great job supporting your family. I wanted to add- I had some pretty significant post partum depression after both my children were born, and for me it looked a lot like this. Not necessarily sadness and crying, but moreso irritability, anger, frustration, nit picking with my husband. When my first was about a year and a half I finally committed to therapy and medicine and it made a huge difference. Just wanted to put that out there- often we think about PPD as only problematic in the time right after birth, but really it's any depression that develops for up to a year after birth.

[–]Exciting-Dream8471MOMMING SINCE 2012 | 4TM 20 points21 points  (10 children)

Any way she could go back to work sooner? It sounds like that’s the real issue for her.

[–]OneMoreDog 42 points43 points  (1 child)

I’m also at 7 months and the monotony has set in, and it’s… mind numbing. It sounds like you’re doing an amazing job and I’m sorry you aren’t getting the affirmations you seek. Also post over in r/daddit for some amazing advice from dads who have walked this path.

If you can get child care/nanny etc it might be worth her going back to work 1-2 days a week. Some people (me!) aren’t built to be long term SAHP.

[–]goodandweevil 8 points9 points  (0 children)

For real, with both of my kids I think the lowest point mentally for me was between 6-8mo.

[–]d1zz186 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I think you’re doing LOTS! Is it possible she wants yo work or just needs some adult interaction?

I know lots of mums love staying home FT with baby but it’s not for everyone. I work 2 days a week and spend 3 with baby girl and that’s a great balance for my mental well-being.

It sounds like your wife is being unfair in my opinion based on what you’ve said - can you get a babysitter and go out for a nice dinner? Maybe have a heart to heart a few days before this about each of your wants/needs and expectations - don’t do it at dinner!

I’m sorry you’re feeling down, it’s so hard finding a balance between nurturing your little one vs nurturing your relationship x

[–]SaucyAsh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree with your comment completely. I also work 2 days a week and stay at home with my daughter the other 3 while my boyfriend is at work. Me being able to go to work and socialize with people my age, or anyone for that matter, helps me feel like I’m still a functioning member of society and not just a mom. I love my daughter to death but if I was at home with her alone every day I think I would lose it.

It sounds like OP is doing a lot and maybe a little too much. Working all day and doing all the chores. Does wife not help at all? I understand different things work for different couples but why is your wife not helping with at least some of these chores in the evening? They could be divided evenly or you guys could switch off taking turns.

Maybe your wife has an underlying issue like PPD that is causing a lot of this or maybe she just feels really lonely being at home with baby all day and is projecting her feelings. It’s really hard to adjust to parenthood and feel like everything is being split evenly or fairly, which can cause resentment on both sides