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Thread: DH about to hit the wall... and I'm feeling disillusioned

  1. #1

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    Default DH about to hit the wall... and I'm feeling disillusioned

    hi there.
    our family: me and DH first time parents to Zac, 4 weeks old. DH and I both have depression - medicated, although DH is terrible at remembering to take his, and with the newborn baby induced blur I'm hard pushed to remember myself sometimes ;-)

    Anyhoo, DH has a habit of pushing himself too hard for too long and eventually crashing. And the crashes are usually pretty bad - we're not talking suicidal, but very depressed and angry and generally extremely unhappy. And the both of us can see that he's heading down that road now.

    He works a big job in the city so has an hour and a half commute each way, so that's not helping. Also, his contract is coming up for renewal, so that's stressful. And of course, there's the small matter of a newborn baby in the house - at least I'm not crying everyday now, but Zac is, and surprise surprise nothing much is getting done around the house

    Zac is gorgeous, but we're having ongoing dramas getting my milk supply up, which is stressful, and standard feelings of inadequacy, exhaustion etc.



    DH is fraying rapidly. I need to look after Zac, and I need to take care of myself in order to continue to do that, and somehow I need to look after DH - just when I really need him to be looking after us! (of course, he is 'bringing home the bacon')

    Has anyone else experienced this? He reckons he would much rather be living my life at the moment than doing what he is doing. He says he's feeling left out, but when he gets home all he wants to do is cuddle Zac (which is fantastic), but he gets upset if Zac is crying, doesn't change nappies anymore, not interested in bath time. I had these (romantic?) notions that DH would be doing nappies, mixing up formula (we're BF and FF at the moment), coming home earlier (not at 7.30 or 8pm), making me breakfast or a hot drink when I'm feeding...

    Sorry for the vent ... any words of wisdom will be gratefully received

  2. #2

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    Jan 2008
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    i think that frayed feeling is so common and your not alone in it at all, i think with both yours and dh's depression maybe you could get re evaluated by a dr?

    tips... who cares about messy homes, ppl come to see you not ya mess!
    i used to shower with ds when he would cry this calmed him down and bathed with him too and BF or bottle fed in the bath so he would settle. Are you able to call on a family member or friend just to do some dishes or house work for ya or maybe cook ya some tea so ya dont have to worry about it?

    just remember this is a normal time of frayed feelings its such a new routine for you both and its so full on plz do your best to drink loads of water and eat well. you are doing a great job !!!

  3. #3

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    Huggs!

    Do you have any support network you could call on to help? Parents? siblings? friends? If not maybe get in touch with a doc or community nurse or something and ask them about any support programs you could access in your area.

    Having a newborn is stressful for anyone, particularly so if you have other things happening in your life, such as depression.

    It is important (even if it sounds impossible) to try and get time out each day. For me that means 30mins in the bath, no kids, no distractions and a good book - but it can be whatever you want. Make sure your partner is getting at least this small amount of time out for himself too. If you can arrange it somehow (maybe when bubs is sleeping, or if you have someone to babysit and feel comfortable leaving them for a bit) try and spend some quality time with your partner - no baby talk, no money talk (you don't even have to talk at all if you cann't think of anything else to talk about) but just try and spend the time together.

    Good luck.

  4. #4

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    :hugs: sweety, myself nor my DH are afflicted by depression, so I am no expert, but perhaps getting him to see a counselor to have a chat would be the way to go...again I don't know.

    All I know is having a baby puts a huge strain on anyones relationship, suddenly there is this whole other person who's needs outweigh everyone else's. I'd say you need to look after yourself first and foremost so that you are able to look after baby and just be there to support DH but you can't look after him too IYKWIM. As for the romantic notion, well we all have that, a lucky few get it, some won't see it at all and a few of us get it in spurts. Your DH is kidding himself if he thinks what you are currently doing is easy, many studies affirm the fact that a mother of a newborn particularly work twice as hard as a man doing a day's work, I get that things are very stressful for him at work right now too, My DH works, and at the time when our kidlets were babies he worked, 14hours a day, so I certainly didn't expect him to change nappies and cook dinner when he got home, but I wished he would, lol. But handing bub over for a cuddle and a play was always great for him and me. I could get dinner on the table and even have a shower by myself ( ohh the luxuries) but I am pretty lucky as DH has always changed nappies and when ff he'd give a bottle, I'd even express so he could feed coz it was relaxing and bonding and they could have a good chat. Don't worry that the house isn't up to speed or that dishes aren't done straight after dinner or that you haven't done a load of washing in a few days, it doesn't go anywhere. If things are getting to you, go for a walk through the park, ring a girlfriend and go for coffee, and talk, it's important to offload and if your girlfriends have had babies they will understand and can offer support. Or come in here and have a chat. You can't look after your DH too but you can look after your relationship with him, spending some time together, just the two of you is important, you need to invest in your relationship, keep the fires burning so to speak. If you can get out together for an evening or for lunch, do it, it's really worth it. I hope I was helpful, big hugs to you.
    cheers
    Dee
    Last edited by Coolabahdee; July 30th, 2009 at 10:14 AM.

  5. #5

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    Can you bundle up Zac really well and get your DH to take him for a walk when he gets home? Bub will probably calm down, dad will get some exercise and you will get a little while to breathe and sort things out a bit. And they will have some Daddy-and-bub time too.

  6. #6

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    Maybe on the weekend you guys could leave the messy house behind & take baby Zac to the park for a picnic lunch.
    Things feel different with a NB out doors. They calm easier & the crying isn't as intense.

    The bath/shower with baby is a great idea too. I used to do this alot.
    I also used to have a shower every night after all babies were asleep & just sit in there by myself for at least half an hour.

    Maybe find something to do, just for 5 minutes at a time that gets you out of the house. Maybe some gardening or something? I started stupidly smoking again a few weeks after DS was born, just so I could shut the kids inside & go outside for 5 minutes alone. I wish I'd though of something constructive like gardening, lol. But I usually found the need to escape at night. Things are harder at the end of the day.

  7. #7

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    Something that was arranged for my PND mothers group was baby massage, and the partners were able to come in and have lessons too. This really helped me have some down time with DS and seemed to settle him down before bed. Apparently it's also good for fathers since they get to have some one-on-one time with their babies that is (hopefully) calm and enjoyable.

    I also used to be terrible at taking my meds. But because my meds make me so tired and wacked out (doctors won't change them because they say at least they're working and I'm not depressed as much), I've had to start taking my doseage at night. So I keep a bottle of water next to my bed with my meds so that I remember to take them every night. Before that I used to have to carry them around with me and set an alarm on my phone so I'd remember to take them at set times during the day. And even then I'd still forget! haha

    I never thought to take DS in the shower with me, I wish I had though. I ended up putting him in a bouncer on the bathroom floor just so I could get to have a shower without him screaming because he couldn't see me.

    There was also a children & family care centre which ran the PND mothers group who also had a free psychiatrist who let me bring DS with me to every session. Hopefully there is some kind of support system like that near you, if you aren't able to get the support you need from family or friends.

    Sorry, I couldn't think of much advice to offer you. I hope things improve for you soon. I know how hard it is to be feeling depressed and having to cope with so many stressors.

  8. #8

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    thanks ladies
    Fortunately DH managed to get outside in the weekend and did some 'manly' stuff around the block - by the end of Saturday he was much more like the healthy happy man I love. He recognises that he needs to do more of that just for his own sanity. A really nice bonus for me, apart from him cheering up so much, was that he became much more supportive and volunteered to do things that normally I've had to ask and ask for.

    So hopefully he can keep that up, and I can focus on keeping my own sanity in line :-)

  9. #9

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    Glad to hear things are going better. Babies (ALL kids in fact) can be incredibily stressful and threaten the sanity of even the most stable minded person, no matter how much you might love them - particularly when lack of sleep is also an issue.

    Good luck with everything.

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