Originally Posted by MrsKatie
I have definitely moved past the "Baby Blues" and into the "Holy Crap What The Bleep Did I Get Myself Into" phase. I am beginning to feel the reality of my life with a baby. It is... a big adjustment. It's tough for me to relinquish control of my body. I'm hanging on to all this extra weight... and can't seem to do anything about it (yet). My boobs are huge and tender and leaky and... no longer mine. My sleep is utterly dependent on that of this tiny being.
There is no break. I had no clue how easy life was before!
Originally Posted by birdhappy85
I'm secretly feeling extreme bitterness towards DH for the fact that his life hasn't really changed at all with the addition of the baby... He sleeps the same amount of hours. He has the same routine as before. He hardly has to do anything... I don't tell him these things but it is really eating away at me, this resentment. It's not like he has much of an option since I'm the one breastfeeding all of the time so I can't really hold anything against him. I still feel this way, though.
What you two are feeling is TOTALLY normal. I cannot even tell you how often I felt resentment toward dh for what seemed like a much easier reality than mine as a SAHM. He would make the time to go on runs and go to the gym during his "work" day and yet I couldn't even get a shower in. I would seethe when I saw him sit down with a magazine to read or turn on the football game while I was doing laundry or nursing the baby. And don't even get me started on his grumbling at night when I'd wake him up to help with a diaper change or hand off a fussy baby that I had been comforting for several hours already.
Originally Posted by jbk21
And re: working husbands, those feelings of resentment will come and go too. It still pops up for me, and I'm nearly 3 years into this gig. I think it's easy, when we're feeling the most rundown and overworked and touched out, to look at our relatively unscathed husbands and think WOW he has it so easy! And in a lot of ways, they do. They talk to ADULTS at work, and are recognized for their accomplishments! They get out of the house and don't have these mama bear hormones pulsing through their bodies that make them think about their kids 24/7. They get to focus on other things. They get to take hot showers and eat hot meals and smell nice instead of reeking of sour milk. and they get to SLEEP! For the love of all that is holy, what we mothers wouldn't give for a good nights' rest. But we have to believe that it is hard for them to go to work for 8+ hours and then come home and be expected to be dad of the year. (if your DH comes home and sits in front of the TV then we need to have a serious talk....) It all comes down to the fact that we can't understand the other person's reality.
we had the usual "you have it better than me" discussions as well as "I work so hard all day and then come home and blah blah blah" talks.
YES! All these things are exactly what I feel about dh's day... adult conversation, using his brain, able to use the bathroom and eat when he needs to, breaks when he needs them, recognition for his skills and accomplishments... totally. Being a SAHM is largely a thankless job and really, only other SAHM's can understand what you're going through. And I still think that it's the hardest job there is. BUT, that doesn't mean that it isn't hard for the working dad, too. Hard to leave your kids each morning, hard to come home itching for quiet time and getting none, needing to dive into helping out right away, and dealing with the stresses of a paid job with little sleep. So J is right on when she says it comes down to the fact that we simply cannot truly understand each other's realities. We can guess and imagine, but we can't truly know. Oh, the "conversations" we've had (i.e. fights) about this very thing... they are pointless and hurtful words get said. But somehow we just kept on having them over and over again.
Originally Posted by Mal85
do not be afraid to ask your husband for help. I know you're home with the baby and he has to work, but do you get to clock out? I tell my husband once he clocks out at work, that does not mean his day is over. He still has responsibilities to his family. These kids are ours, not just mine.
The most important thing to me was to make sure my babies trust Daddy too. They need to know that he is able to care for them and meet their needs just like I do. They need to have a relationship and form a bond as well or else they would always be completely dependent on me.
So this is pretty much where we are, too. We had to make expectations very, very clear to each other so that no one is guessing what the other one is thinking and feeling. Air it out and come up with a game plan. If you're burning out b/c you're simply doing too much that will not be good for anyone, including your dh. The spousal relationship gets hit the hardest during that first year with a new baby. How can you possibly be expected to have time to meet your dh's needs if you cannot even meet your own needs b/c you spend all your energy meeting baby's needs? It just plain doesn't work. And if baby is totally dependent on you b/c you've been the only one to change diapers, nurse, put to sleep, comfort, etc. then you will be the only one who can do anything for about two years (give or take depending on your child's temperament). Daddy must play an active role in all the areas that he can so that both of you can comfort baby and get baby to sleep. Trust me, you will seriously start to go insane after years of sleep deprivation with no decent breaks from the baby. It really takes its toll. Just imagine the future for a moment... you have to be home for every nap and every bedtime. You have to be present for every feeding and every bump and bruise. You have to be there for every nightwaking and every illness. When dad can help out with any of these things life becomes much, much easier and if you want it to happen prior to two years of age (give or take) then he needs to be an active care giver from the start. So now is the time to figure out a healthy balance. Don't wait until you are thoroughly burned out and on the verge of a total break down.
A book you all might find helpful and interesting is And Baby Makes Three by John Gottman. Those of you from the Seattle area may have heard of him and his Love Lab at UW.
Anyway, I certainly do NOT have this all figured out and we're still learning here with baby #3, but I can say that this time around has been much better. Dh and I have been doing a great job of communicating and remaining respectful and nice to each other even in the middle of the night. I largely credit dh for it, though, as he has been totally on board with this baby- helping in every way possible, which was not true with the other two. I wonder if part of it is b/c he saw how hard the labor was and what a difficult time I was having those first few days. He has thanked me on more than one occasion for everything I have done to bring these three kids into the world- sacrificing my body. It's refreshing and validating and I know that it will lead to a better future for us as the sleep deprivation piles up and the realities of three kids hits hard over the next couple years until this little one is STTN, potty trained, weaned, etc. I hope we can keep it up.