Hi, My wife of 9years and I have a beautiful baby boy, born in Dec 2008. He's doing well - physical, intellectual and emotional development wise, and is the most adorable baby on the block.
The past year has been very stressful for my wife. She took 5 months off work & then started back (full-time). Our son had bad acid reflux growing up and was on Prevacid for 12 months & not sleeping enough. He is doing much better for the last two months (off prevacid and sleeping thru the night for 10+ hours). However, my wife's stress level is becoming uncontrollable. She shouts at me at least a few times a day, can shout at the baby if he doesnt eat properly or wakes up from sleep earlier than usual. Occasionally for a whole day, she will get mad at whatever I do, sulk/shout at me. I try really hard not to shout back, in a couple of cases I have, she has freaked out and hit me. There are constant comments made of how I dont care about the baby. It's true that I have been super busy at work the past month, but even so, I have always come home in time to at least spend an hour with my son and put him to bed and spent all weekends with her and the baby, make him breakfast, feed him etc.
The other thing contributing to my wife's stress level - is that she always has been a super performer at work, and lately hasnt been able to keep up the super performance, because she cannot spend enough time at work (7-8 hours is what she can manage). So, she thinks that she is now "worthlesss" as an employee, even thought he folks she works with appreciates her past & current work and understand/know that she has to limit her work hours and are supportive of it.
I dont know how to deal with my wife's stress level. I suggested talking to her close friends, take a day off (I will take care of the baby), consult her doctor etc. It hasnt gone down well - she refuses to solicit any help.
We have a massage parlor membership she hasnt even used - even if I schedule sessions for her, she refuses to go.
Lately, it is gotten to the point where this is becoming uncontrollable and threatening our relationship. For example: i offered to feed the baby his apple/fruits after he was partly done through dinner - and she threw a major fit, rebuking me why I didnt ask her earlier, as to whether I should feed him dinner. After this happened last night, she said she was going somewhere and wasnt sure if she was going to come back for the night. I somehow talked her into not going away. Another example: is we decided to take our son to my cousin's place to play with her son, but 10 min later, she shouted saying this is not possible - as our son needs to sleep (even tho he wasnt really sleepy) & what kind of a dad am I to not care about my son's schedule & "cater" to my cousin's sons schedule
. I decided to take him there for a while (say 1/2 hour). but before I got there, she called me and told me she was going to the ER - and needed someone to talk to. I had to rush back and found her crying uncontrollably.
Will appreciate on advice on how to address this. Is she going through PPD/PPSD/nervous breakdown/other? Should we talk to a counseolor, her doctor or oa shrink?
She needs to talk to her doctor and you both probley need to get into counciling. If she won't willing go to either, when she has her annual Dr appt, call the dr ahead of time and let them know what's going on. The Dr can bring it up like it's normal and hopefully she'll talk. Just continue being supportive and good luck.
Married 29 Dec 2009
Dustin arrived 17 May 2010
Thank you very much for reading through and the advice. I will be following up to schedule a visit to a doctor & a counselor.
This could very well have been written by my husband. Your wife probably is suffering from PPD, but honestly, it sounds like she is suffering from perfectionism more than anything. I have it too, and it got worse than EVER when I had my son. My poor husband could not do anything right (according to me). The problem is that moms have tons of guilt as it is, but put on top of that that some of us actually think we can be perfect, and you have a recipe for disaster. I don't know how or who can tell your wife to relax, take it easy, not take everything so seriously, but that is essentially what needs to happen.
Only problem is, I would FREAK if someone told me that at the wrong time. So, wait for a time when she seems chill and see if she is into discussing the stress she is going through. I'm sure that if she was a super performer at work, pre-baby, she is AT LEAST a good performer now. This gave me some solace when I was at my wits' end. I realized that I had put in so much extra before my baby that I could look at that as some 'money in the bank.' Now that I needed to be more on the average side of things, I still didn't suck completely (and coworkers will remember how stellar she was and most are sympathetic to how challenging parenting is).
The other thing that helped me was at least attempting to let go of some control. This may take longer, but keep trying, be supportive (but if she is like me, it will be very hard to get the reigns--we don't like appearing to 'need' help). Also, women like me (us --maybe) like things done a particular way, so you may want to find a way to do it your way when she is out. Convince her that the baby will survive, but she deserves a massage (or something nice). Even drug-addicts can keep babies alive, so you should be able to (ha ha).
I'm sure that sleep and some relaxation will help. You could see if she will see a counselor/therapist. I did get borderline suicidal at one point (which is when my husband panicked and got me help). What really helped though was eating healthy, getting some exercise and a change of scenery occasionally.
I am nowhere near cured, but I am doing much better. Sometimes I yell just to release the pressure so maybe if your wife can find another outlet (I should take this advice). Sometimes I just need a hug and someone to hear how hard it is and not even try to solve my problem when I'm in the throws. But you are very sweet to be looking for help, it shows how much you care.
I do understand your problem and take time out to talk to her and inform her that she is doing great managing the office work and taking care of the child. I suggest that you both should be going to a doctor to have some counseling sessions, take it in a positive way and think that you can learn a lot. From the situation that you have described, your wife is afraid about the situation getting out of control so she like to always have the control in her hand. She is obsessed to perfection, a little talk and some time together would get her back on track like the old days.
You must take the help of a Counselor who can guide you in a right way.
after the birth of our first son... i went though something like this. it was months later when my husband just looked at me and asked if i was ever going to be happy again. that was when i called my doctor. when he saw me he decided that my "baby blues" had turned into full blown ppd. and i can say i was a mess. the doc went so far as to set a time line for me and said that if i wasn't feeling a little better after seeing a therapist inaddition to the anti- depressions meds he put me on... i would be commited to the hospital. i was lucky in that i found a wonder therapist and the meds helped alot. i was on the meds for about a year and in therapy longer. please get help. call the doctor- there are things that can help.
Agree, medical professional is absolutely necessary in this situation.
First, her ever EVER hitting you is NOT acceptable. So many people think it's a man hitting a woman that is so bad, but a woman hitting a man should also be just as unacceptable. Period. There is no discussion on that.
I hope you give us an update, I see it's been quite a while since you posted this thread. I hope to hear she sought professional help in some form or fashion and you two have reconnected.
*Proud mommy to a 6 year old princess and 18 month old bundle of joy son*
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