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New Dad, getting overwhelmed


diverp
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I feel like a big whiner, but I need to vent a bit. My wife and myself had a baby 5 weeks ago. A very beautiful baby girl. For the first two weeks, my wife's mother was staying with us. Now, it turns out, and my wife has admitted this to me without me saying anything, that her mom is a pretty selfish person. I won't go into details, but for the couple of weeks she was here, it felt like I had yet another person to take care of.

 

Going back to work was not easy either. It is ramping up to my busy time of year and our company has undergone some management reorganization and essentially, we, engineers, have been dumped on with massive amounts of work. So, the stress level at work has become very high. So, for the first couple of weeks back, it was difficult to handle work, come home, take care of my wife, baby AND her mom. To top that off, our baby is very colicy (sp?). I get home, make dinner, clean up, take care of a bunch of odds and ends and then take the baby by about 9 so my wife can get some sleep. We usually trade off at about 2 and I get up at 6. So, I have been getting an average of about 3-4 hours of sleep for 5 weeks now. Part of the problem is that my wife cannot pump breast milk and when the baby cries at night, I have to get my wife up. I feel really guilty because she is not getting enough sleep either. She won't put the baby down during the day because she is afraid that the baby is going to spit up and choke or she starts crying. I have gotten several calls during the day with my wife at her wits end because the baby won't stop crying.

 

So, her mom finally went back home. Then, some of my wife's friends came over on the weekend. One of them had a cold and now we all have it. I have been pretty miserable with a sore throat and headache and no sleep.

 

Yesterday, my wife's aunt is in town with her husband and they stayed over at the house during the day. The husband went out in the back yard with the dogs and started to play with my dog and I guess my dog nipped at him. This is a sore topic because my wife has already made me get rid of one of my dogs (black labs) and she has strongly insinuated that I should get rid of my other dog (although this dog has never done this before and my wife and her sister seem to team up on this one). My wife's dog on the other hand has his own set of annoyances, but I say nothing about these.

 

Anyways, there was definitley a string of things going on that has mounted up the stress. I tried to vent a little bit with a friend at work, but it is the old thing. This friend and his wife don't have children and act all knowledgable about what we should be doing. It just gets annoying to be preached to from someone who knows nothing about the subject. Just a little support would be awesome.

 

Thanks for letting me vent a little,

Paul

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Well, I'm single with no children, so I don't know if I can relate, per se, either. But, I've followed your threads for some time, and am definitely rallying for you as you get through this trying time.

 

However, there are some new things in this post that have given me pause for thought...I don't want to stir up any resentment between you and your wife with these thoughts, by the way...but gee. It sounds to me like you're taking on even more than your wife is here.

 

Why are you the one that has to make dinner every night? Why can't she let you get a full night's sleep, since she's not working and is at home during the day? And why is she making you get rid of the dogs, one by one???

 

Diverp, I am getting a sense here that you are making a lot of sacrifices, to the point it's really getting a bit unbalanced.

 

By the way, I'm going to send you a PM about the dangers of adopting out pets to people you don't know, if you don't screen them properly. I am constantly reading about people who give up their pets when a new child comes into the picture, and frankly, it's very upsetting for me to read.

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Paul,

 

Sounds like you've got an opportunity to streamline your lifestyle which can save you time and headaches.

 

When you're cooking, try making dinner for a couple nights at a time. Freeze a meal to eat a few days later, so this can help you cut down on half the cooking you're currently doing.

 

As far as sleeping goes, that's a must have. You might be able to skip a meal every once in a while but you can't continue depriving yourself of sleep. Whatever it takes, change it and get more of it.

 

As for visitors, let your wife know that visitors are welcome but preferred at a later time until you can work out a more solid schedule. If your dogs give you any amount of joy, keep them or one of them. Because it seems as if you're not getting much joy right now.

 

Finally, don't think like your life will be like this forever. As your child gets older, it does get a little easier. Your child will get into a routine of sleeping at a certain time, taking a nap at a certain time, and your life schedule will become more consitent and predictable. Hang in there.

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My wife is getting stressed during the day because every time she puts our 5 week old down, she cries very quickly. So, my wife can't sleep during the day. My wife can't really pump breast milk because she is having difficulty timing it so she feeds the baby and then breast feeds (you need an hour between either). So, she really doesn't sleep during the day. So, that leaves only the time that I may be able to get the baby to relax at night to let her get some sleep. I can see her side of it. It could be overwhelming.

 

I have always been the cook in the house. My wife definitely takes after her mom. She says that she just doesn't like to cook (her mom that is). I kind of snapped at her mom one time saying "well, I don't hate cooking, but it isn't in my top 10 favorite things to do either. Its something that just needs to be done". Its not a matter of liking to cook. Its a matter of sharing the load. So, unfortunately, I think my wife sees her mom's attitude and semi-accepts it.

 

As far as the dogs go, it breaks my heart. I got my dog from the pound and he was a scared little guy (well before I met my wife). He has made huge strides. It bugs me that her aunt and husband came in and assumed that it was alright to just mess with a dog that has never met them before and put him in that position, let alone my wife letting that happen while I am not there. THus brings up her argument that we just can't trust him. On one hand, I feel obligated to stick up for my dog. however, if I don't do anythign about it, I am a bad parent in people's eyes. It feels like I can't win this one whichever way I go.

 

But, that is just one small thing in the huge list of things going on.

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DON'T GET RID OF YOUR DOG!!! When it comes to the life of a pet, I get really mad! My parents made strong recommendations (with insults to my character and other maliciously persuasive tactics) that I put my five cats down. They were worried about toxoplasmosis - I am decidedly careful in dealing with the threat. Now, that's where I draw the line. I am probably one of the biggest doormats you'll ever meet, but when it comes to a life, NO WAY! DiverP, you owe it to your dog to defend him. Your wife sounds almost like she is enjoying pushing you around and I'm telling you, you need to stand up for your dog, if not for yourself! I am not going to accept that the dog just nipped at your inlaws without knowing the whole story. I honestly think you need to tell your wife to keep her dang family away from the dog. Post the fence so others won't mess with him and treat him like the beloved pet he is. SHE HAS NO RIGHT to make all of these changes in your life and then, stress you like this, and then, take away your baby (dog). I am growing more and more disdain for her by the day. Stand up for your dog - get a trainer in if you have to to do a temperament assessment. I think your inlaws are an antagonistic bunch and I WOULD NOT BACK DOWN to their bullying. You can cook all the dinners you have to and stay up half the night, that's your choice and no one is harmed but you by that. I would be very disappointed in you and you would too if you turned over your dog as a result of her insane tactics to control you.

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Do you think that maybe y'all need to be alone for a while - no visitors, period? It kinda sounds like your visitors are what are causing you a lot of stress. ESPECIALLY people with colds! For heaven's sake, what was someone with a cold THINKING visiting a newborn!??! (I have a preemie; I'm especially sensitive to things like this. I have to make sure that everyone that walks into my house hasn't been sick in the past week, and everyone has to wash their hands before touching my son. He wouldn't just get sick - he'd get hospitalized.)

 

With the dog, I'm sure your wife's just thinking about him nipping at your daughter - the very idea probably freaks her out. What brought on the nipping on the in-laws?

 

As far as the baby crying all the time, just keep telling yourself, "this too shall pass." By three months, the baby will pretty much be over it. I know you're thinking good LORD that's forever away - but almost every parent goes through this.

 

Have you tried the 5 Ss?

 

1. Swaddling - my son loves being tightly swaddled, because when he's laying on his back, he tends to flail with the fall reflex, and start crying. When he's all wrapped up, he can't flail, and he feels very secure.

2. Side/Stomach - laying a baby (supervised, of course) on her side or stomach. Also, try holding the baby with her stomach on your arm and her head to the side on your hand, legs and arm on either side of your arm. This can relieve some gas in the baby's stomach.

3. Shushing - Either "shhhhhh"ing constantly, or trying some white noise. Newborn babies are sometimes a little overstimulated from all the new noises, and white noise can be soothing. Oddly enough, my son likes the vacuum cleaner.

4. Swinging - hold your daughter securely and swing her from side to side, or even bounce her up and down on your knee. The bouncing works wonders for my son. This is supposed to distract them from whatever ails them.

5. Sucking - my son loves his pacifier. When he takes it, it soothes him almost every time.

 

Also, I bought a pillow for my son - of course I can't find a link for it - it's a wedge pillow because he sleeps better if he's propped up a little bit. The great thing is that it's got two little buffer pillows on either side that go around his torso, so I feel good laying him propped up on his side because I was afraid of him spitting up and choking too. If you go to Babies R Us, it's by Especially For Baby, but they don't have a link for it on their website.

 

Actually, it's almost just like this, but it's on a wedge pillow:

link removed

 

I just lean his back up a little against one of the buffer pillows, like the baby in the right hand picture, then put the other one in front of his stomach so he can't roll over.

 

Then again, there's always the old put the baby down and go take a shower for 10 minutes of not listening to crying trick. I can't really suggest that without being hypocritical though - I did it yesterday and nearly cried my own way through the shower because I felt so bad!

 

You're doing a wonderful job, being a great dad. You sound like you're doing everything you can to help your wife, and while she might not act appreciative now, I'm sure she is.

 

Remember, this too shall pass. Keep telling yourself that. Good luck.

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Yes, it's a tough one to read- but sadly it is the reality for many pets in this kind of situation....just ask any shelter worker.

 

Of course, a baby's health and safetly has to be the first priority, I just think that all others options should be explored before getting rid of the pet.

 

BellaDonna

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Okay on the topic of collicy babies. My son was very collicy, he is now almost 9 so this was years ago.

 

WEll, I was a first time mom and i was nursing.. I slept with he slept perhaps she should try that.

 

The vaccum cleaner seemed to sooth him, and so did putting his bouncy seat on top of the washing machine! Also carrying him around so that his stomach faces the hand and arm and he is looking downward can add pressure to the stomach and calm him.

 

She can also try driving around in the car, this seemed to sooth my son.. U know after all of that when I stopped nursing I found out that some of the things I loved to eat were actually causing him discomfort! I thought I was doing great to drink chocolate milk, lots of it, hey it was vitamin D and Calcium right? Brocoli too with cheese .... yup you got it, this caused gas for the baby and I may never know if that was the cause of his collicy type moods, or not.

 

Im puzzled as to why your wife is letting you get 3 hours of sleep a night when you have to work and provide for the family. She also should take up cooking, and if she doesnt want to cook then it should be a shared task.. You cook she cleans up afterwords... or better yet you can take turns.

 

She may not like to cook and may SUCK at cooking but anyone can cook frozen foods or boxed things.

 

 

About your dog.. Dont let her bully you about it anymore.. Im curious what kind of dog is he? Also, what on earth was her family thinking going near a dog that they dont know? Any dog will nip if they are frightened... Tell them to stay away from the dog.

 

Sorrry if any of this seems too harsh.

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Aww I hope you don't get rid of your dog. I'm afraid it will become just one more thing you resent your wife for.

 

Boy I can't believe how insensitive people can be. Visiting when they are ill!! You should put the message out that there should be no more visitors who are sick or no more visitors period. for at least for the next 2 months until your wife recovers-and you get a routine set up. If these ppl are not coming around to give you a hand then they are just giving you more work--that's my opinion.

 

Acknowledge your wifes concerns about the dog, she may need to hear it, but let her know that you will decide this at a later time. Too many things going on right now

Plus, she really should be helping out with the cooking, not fair that either one of you should get the heavier load. Maybe if you stop doing it she will pick up the slack, or you could at least take turns in the kitchen.

 

Doesn't your baby take naps? That's a good time to get some cooking, cleaning, sleep done...for your wife I mean. Have you talked to the baby's doctor about refrigerating the breast milk? I remember taking my bmilk to the hospital-my baby was a preemie-and having it "stored" for his feedings. Something you might want to look into.

 

Can you afford to get some help for the first 3 moths? You all sound like you could really use a hand. It might be worth the money.

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The type of dog in question is a black lab and border collie mix. He is fine around the baby. We have slowly let him and my wife's dog (a Corgi) near the baby without touching her. Part of the issue with the dog is that her sister had a border collie mix and it nipped a neighbor kid one time a long time back and instead of dealing with it, they gave the dog up. So, I am pretty much thinking my wife assumes the same will happen with my dog.

 

My wife tells me that the baby does not slee during the day. Or, if she puts the baby down while she is sleeping, then the baby wakes up within 5 minutes. My wife has tried to breast pump, but has a lot of difficulty doing so and says she is having a hard time trying to do that in between actual feedings of the baby (i.e. timing it so that the baby can eat, then not have to eat again for a couple of hours, etc.). I guess she describes it as painful and not a lot of fun and she only gets an ounce or so by doing this.

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Maybe she needs a better pump.

 

How would you describe your wife? does she tend to be somewhat selfish?, sorry I don't mean to offend just wondering as I hardly believe the baby never sleeps much. Maybe she is not used to having to care for someone other than self??...

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That is a good part of my wife's personality. She has lived on her own for a while, her mom is that way and it took the longest time when she moved in with me for me to get her to understand what sharing the chores actually meant.

 

So, for a bit at least, she is overwhelmed because she just isn't used to having to care for someone else. This week is a good example of that. She has been pretty stressed with the baby crying. I had the cold and was getting only a couple hours of sleep. I was feeling pretty miserable a couple of nights ago. My wife came out at night and took her turn with the baby and kept giving me this look like "why are you burned out". We had a discussion about this and all was good. Well, true to form, if I ever show any kind of weakness in the way of admitting that something hurts, very quickly, my wife has to chime in with something worse. Her mom and sister are the same way. In some odd way they feel the need to "top" anyone who is not feeling very good. Its strange, but I expect it as that is who she is. Because of this, I rarely say anything about aches or pains because it will open the floodgates.

 

That being said, last night, when I had the baby, I put the baby next to me on the couch so she could see me. She cried and I woudl comfort her, but not pick her up. Eventually, she cried herself to sleep. Now, I don't know if that is a bad thing to do , but it shows that my wife could easily just set the baby in teh bassinet and go take a shower or something like that. Instead, she says she can't put her down because she will cry. I don't understand that. Like I have told her. If she is going to hold on to the baby for the rest of her adolescent life when she cries, she will never, ever get to do anything for herself.

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Hey you do have reason to be burned out, no matter what your wife thinks. This time is stressful for both you.

 

I don't think that letting her cry a bit is bad at all, as long as your baby is fed and changed ... from what I've heard it will strengthen her lungs. In my culture we believe that picking up a baby each and every time they cry will "spoil " her... in the sense that she will ALWAYS expect to be picked up. That will start to wear on you. I think you did well to hold her, and be there but not pick her up each and every time. Your baby knew you were there, you were right next to her.

 

If this is any comfort, I had a toddler and baby twins to care for at one point --with not much help from my ex. I just held one baby and rocked the other, or I put them down and let them cry themselves to sleep, not too often but often enough. They were fed, they were dressed, they were just being babies. Got them used to napping every afternoon so I could have some "me " time. Hey, I had to shower and eat too

 

Every, if not most, young mothers go through this it's just part of the picture. If what you are doing works for you then maybe your wife will take a cue from you and do the same. From what you say about her personality chances are she will continue to complain to you...what do you think?

 

Your wife wants some sympathy, Let her know it will be hard at first but she will develop her own routine and she needs to figure it out. You both need some "me" time and as long as baby is cared for crying a bit wont leave any long term emotional scars.

 

If it's excessive crying though, I would see the doctor, just to be sure there is not something more serious going on.

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Colic can be tough to deal with. I'll never forget a woman who I worked with who had a 6 month-old. She came to work looking tired and worn-out every day. I didn't know her that well, but one day she began talking to me. She said her daughter had been crying all the time, virtually for 6 months straight due to colic. Like your wife, she also had a hard time putting the baby down when she was crying. I think she also took the crying as an insult. (i.e. no matter what she did or how good of a mom she tried to be- nothing worked) .

 

She was suffering from severe post-partum depression. Then one day she told me something that made me really nervous, she said "Sometimes she won't stop crying and I feel like throwing her out of the window!" This is what I told her to do and it may be something that you can suggest to your wife: I told her that if she feels stressed or out of control like that again, she should put the baby down on the center of her bed, or in her crib, walk into another room and take some really deep breaths.

 

As you had mentioned, most usually do eventually cry themselves to sleep- just like your daughter did when you put her beside you.

 

The good news: That woman's daughter out-grew the colic eventually and she became a much happoer mom. She even had another baby a couple of years later- so this too will pass for your wife.

 

Be understanding of the frustration she feels about the baby crying, but put your foot down about the other issues, such as your in-laws, etc.

 

I thought this was a good link:

 

link removed

 

BellaDonna

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This weekend was not very fun. I have had this cold that has made me miserable. I got it from one of my wife's friends who came over, I'm pretty sure. Anyways, my wife has had a little bit of it, but I just can't hear because my ears are clogged and my throat is sore, etc. I think the baby may have a bit of it too. I don't normally get colds, but with the lack of sleep and stress from work, I am sure that is what has allowed it to kick in.

 

Anyways, my wife had scheduled a baby picture appointment for Saturday. I have been trying to let my wife get a little more sleep at night. She will go to bed by about 9:00, I will stay with the baby and then trade off by about 1:30 or 2:00. During the week this stinks since I have to get up at 6:00 for work, but on the weekend, I may be able to get a little bit more sleep. So, this Saturday, my wife set up this appointment for 11:00. I went to bet at about 2:30. Well, my wife comes into the bedroom and lays our daughter down right next to me after having made noise coming into the room. Within a minute, my daughter just starts screaming into my ears. Kind of a shocking way to wake up. Okay, so I get up and am just miserable and sweating, etc. I decide to get up as I can't get any more sleep (can't breath very well laying down). So, I start to make some coffee to loosen things up a bit. TYpically I am the cook around the house. My wife has always been self conscious about that. She doesn't cook and shows no interest in it. Her mom is the same way. When she was here for a week, I was essentially cooking for her too. She just said something along the lines of "I cooked for my kids, and after that, I just had no interest to cook again, I just don't like doing it". Okay, well as an adult, not too many people love to cook, its just one of those things you have to do. To me, its kind of adolescent to say you don't like to cook.

 

So, my wife that morning asked for oatmeal as I do quite the job on it. So, I get that going, which really is only a 20 minute thing. Not a big deal. I then start in on some chores (feeding the dogs, cleaning some of the kitchen, tidying up, etc.). We eat and then I just want to relax for a few minutes. As soon as I show signs of wanting to sit back and relax for a few, then my wife almost always speaks up and has something she wants me to do whether it is holding the baby (which is fine) or getting her something, etc. This particular morning, I was a little peeved that I got up visibly sick and my wife is more concerned about making the baby picture appointment. So, I take a shower to wake up a bit and do a few other chores like vacuum the living room, etc. My wife gave our daughter a bath for her pictures.

 

So, we go to the picture, and finish out the day. Her dad and step mom came by and visited for a while.

 

 

So, that night I do the same. I stay up until about 2:00 and then trade off. THat morning, she does the same thing. She lays our daughter down at my ears and she screams and wakes me up. So, I get up again, make breakfast and try to read the paper (which I really couldn't).

 

We were invited to my wife's sisters 4 year old son's birthday party. My wife suggests that I stay behind and try to sleep. So, I do and get an hour and a half of sleep in.

 

We have stocked up on a lot of bake it kind of dinners from Costco. Nothing that needs a whole lot of prep. I ask my wife what she woudl like for dinner adn she says she wants this dish I make with turkey (we had leftover turkey from one I cooked earlier). I was a little peeved, but went ahead at 7:00 that evening and made the dinner. It took about an hour to do. So, I am still feeling pretty beat by the weekend. I am dreading going back to work the next day as work is in its busy time of year and things are pretty stressful. So, I was pretty quiet and not in the mood to chat much (although I really can't very well with my cold). So, she asks if I am mad at her. I debated saying anything because if experience has told me anything, responding to that can't be good. However, I decided to finally say something. I told her that I would appreciate it if she would share in the cooking and cleaning chores around the house. She took immediate offense to that. I tell her that I feel stressed at work, I feel crummy from my cold, I am really tired and I feel like the workload at home is not really that fair. She fires back that she feels that I don't offer enought to hold the baby so she can eat. I started to think about this. 98% of the time, I am making a meal for us. I used to just give her her meal and hold the baby then eat mine cold or reheat it. However, when it came time for me to eat, something would come up that would require my attention. So, I started putting meals down for both of us. However, I would serve them in such a way that she (or me if I were holding our daughter on occasion at that time) could eat with one hand without any problem.

 

She then starts saying that she has several times told me she feels sorry that I am not getting enough sleep. In my mind, saying you are sorry about something like that, but then directly doing somehting to limit your sleep seems a little contradictory. However, I could see where this was going, so I flat out told her that I am not going to get into a " well you do this. No, but you do this..." kind of argument. They go nowhere.

 

So, she gets quiet on me, sulks a bit, and then brings out the changing pad so I can change our daughter if I need to and then goes to sleep. So, now i feel like a selfish idiot. I ask her if she is mad at me now and she quietly says no and goes to bed.

 

I stay up with our daughter until about 2:00 and then we trade off. This morning, I get up, take a shower and get my lunch ready for today. I also get some toast ready. I ask her if she wants some hot chocolate or toast or anything and she just says, "no, I'll get something later". So, now she is being stubborn. Now, by bringing up the work load around the house, I am not saying I am stopping doing anything for her. I mean, if I am prepping somethign and I ask if she wants some, then I genuinely will make it and not whine about it. She is now being stubborn.

 

Its all very frustrating. I know this will all pass. I just don't know how to appease my wife and not end up having to take on more of a work load than I already have.

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Just reading your post made me feel tired- that's quite a schedule that you have there.

 

But I do think this stressful time will pass.

 

 

I ask her if she wants some hot chocolate or toast or anything and she just says, "no, I'll get something later". So, now she is being stubborn. Now, by bringing up the work load around the house, I am not saying I am stopping doing anything for her. I mean, if I am prepping somethign and I ask if she wants some, then I genuinely will make it and not whine about it. She is now being stubborn

 

I think you should just let it go when she does that. You were considerate and asked- if she says no, she says no. Leave it at that. You can't sweat the small stuff or it will just give you more stress.

 

I have had this cold that has made me miserable. I got it from one of my wife's friends who came over, I'm pretty sure

 

The sick people need to stay away from your home. That is one thing I think you should definitely put your foot down about. Isn't this the 2nd person that was sick which visited your home? The baby's immune system is weak right now- not to mention, you and your wife also don't need to be getting sick on top of all of this. I would never imagine visiting a family with a newborn if I was sick.

 

I know this can get expensive, but it might be worth it for sanity purposes: Why not hire a house cleaning service once a week or so, order take-out for dinner, and drop off the laundry and let someone else wash, dry, and fold it. It might help take the edge off all this stress....

 

 

BellaDonna

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You need to let her get over feeling " offended" that she was asked to help more around the house. Let her sulk and do things for herselft a bit now. She needs to know that you meant what you said earlier, don't second guess yourself out of guilt. She is good at making you feel guilty for your feelings is she?

 

You have a right and should set down boundaries, without them you will continue to be peeved and things will just get worst. You may end up resenting your daughter... you also are in danger of raising your daughter to be taken care of if things don't change around your house. She will learn what she sees. I'm guessing you don't need the extra workload.

 

Again, don't feel bad about telling your wife what you need. Just like she feels overwhelmed, you do too and she needs to accept that. I hope your wife wants to help after this.

 

If making a list helps then do that and divide chores or designate times to do them in. Don't do everything in one day either. Designate one day to vaccum and another for dusting... you need to take breaks.

 

Why can't you put down the baby to share a meal ? am I missing something here? Babies will cry, it's what they do..........

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My opinion is to set the baby down when either one of us needs to go to the bathroom, eat, etc. When we put her down, she will cry within a minute or two. So, my wife will immediately pick her up to stop the crying. I would prefer if she would get into the habit of at least setting her down when she needs to do something and let her cry. Its going to happen. Even though we have a bassinet with bumpers to keep the baby right side up and other similar items, my wife constantly feels like the baby is going to choke or something from spitting up or something along those lines if she puts her down. She is a little overly obsessed with SIDS. And, I can appreciate that. However, if you are simply putting the baby down in the same room as you are, that shouldn't be an issue. My wife, and the women in her family, are very much control obsessed individuals. I think they get a little overly obsessed with some things to the point of causing themselves stress. I am not typically that kind of person. However, when she gets stressed over a particular issue, I end up feeling like I must be a cold hearted person because I feel that she is overreacting. Its kind of hard without a 3rd party looking in on the senario to know if I am being cold hearted about some things or if she is overreacting.

 

I assume this is pretty typical husband/wife behavior for this sort of thing. I also assume that once the baby gets out of this colic phase, and we can possibly get some sleep, then things will get better. One thing that is just heavily annoying is the fact that "over information" is so accessible via books, the internet and well meaning relatives. Every time something out of the ordinary happens with the baby my wife is either on the phone with the pediatricians office, on the internet looking up symptoms, or talking to her sister who tends to tell her the worst case senario. I would almost like to have all contact with the outside world cut off so that my wife can make her own decisions and draw her own conclusions instead of yearning for the holy grail of information from an outside source. If there is one thing my wife does, it is to rely on other people or sources to make up her mind for her instead of ignoring other people and coming to her own conclusions on things.

 

That being said, I flat out reminded my wife yesterday that this seems difficult right now, but in teh big scheme of things, it is only for a short period of time. It will pass. You will look at this stuff later on and just wonder what you were so upset about.

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I remember picking up my baby like he was going break. Once I'd had the other two it was no big deal anymore. I could do it in my sleep.

 

I think it might just be something very normal that you will go through as you adjust and learn more as parent. Ugh I remember getting tons of advice from relatives, some not very good. Could your wife possibly ask someone-once of those relatives- to come and help for a few hours so the two of you can get some rest? If they are so forthcoming with advice maybe they could be with some much needed help.......

 

and yet more advice: you got yourself one of those bouncy or vibrating baby chairs? I've heard they work wonders to sooth a crying baby.

Picking up the baby every time she cries? Me thinks she will cry every time she wants to be picked up

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You did great by being upfront with your wife about your needs. Where you derailed was immediately second-guessing it when she took offense/got defensive. Now she isn't going to take your needs so seriously.

 

Diverp, for the sake of your marriage, don't let this become a pattern where you hold in your feelings, or take them back. Yes, you do need to state them in a way that won't make her feel defensive....i.e., "I need" and "I feel" kind of statements are best, instead of "You do/don't do this, you always do/don't do this."

 

You're in a marriage, and it takes work to learn how to solve your problems together. By shying away from conflict, problematic issues, etc., you're creating something much bigger and harder to solve: a recurring pattern of sacrificing your own needs to the point where you eventually disengage from the relationship without even realizing it. Which down the road, will make you really resent your wife, and could lead to an eventual divorce.

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My wife had her mom here for a couple of weeks. Now, she has her aunt and uncle here for a couple of weeks. So, she has someone at home to help out during the day....which just boggles my mind more. We do actualy have a bouncy seat and swing and sling (and, it feels like, just about every other baby gadget known to man that you can pick up in Babies R Us

 

That being said, I don't believe that I have shown my uncertainty to my wife about second guessing myself. THat is purely how I felt when I woke up this morning. It is my tendency to not whine about work to my wife. Its very stresssful and accounts for about half of the stress in my life right now. Not much I can do about it though. On the other side of that, I tend to relay my misgivings in a joking manner with my wife and hope that she can get my drift without me having to come out and get her upset. I have tried several ways of getting misgivings accross to her over the years so far. Each way makes her tend to feel sorry for herself. I think she feels like she is always doing the wrong thing. I am pretty sure she has an inferiority complex associated with that. However, she can go the opposite direction, ask my opinion on something then turn around and dispute my opinion. Anyways, regardless, the stress in my life is a cumulation of several things at once, my wife's actions just being a small part at the moment. I guess being run down has really made me more apt to being moody. If anything, I kind of expect my wife to understand when I need to have some down time or if I am being overwhelmed, but she doesn't. I like to think I accommodate her feelings of being run down when she is, but I guess not.

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On the other side of that, I tend to relay my misgivings in a joking manner with my wife and hope that she can get my drift without me having to come out and get her upset.

 

If anything, I kind of expect my wife to understand when I need to have some down time or if I am being overwhelmed, but she doesn't.

 

Hoping and joking are completely different from directly communicating, and it doesn't seem either method is getting your needs met. If you can't be upfront about your needs with your own wife, perhaps you two need to really work on how you communicate together. It may be hard at first, but will actually bring you two closer together in the end.

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Hi Diverp,

 

Having just had a baby daughter myself I know some of what you are going through. Totally agree with Paisley's advice. Give yourselves a break, cut down the visitors and no more people staying overnight. Babies need ROUTINE. People coming in and out all the time does not allow them to find a routine. Not to mention the stress it piles on you guys, as if the baby was not enough.

 

As Paisley says, the crying will pass and she gave you some great ideas to hasten that. Your wife should also think about not picking the baby up automatically in response to crying. The great secret with babies and toddlers is to "teach" them to comfort themselves somewhat. There are many resources available to assist you with that.

 

Re. the dogs. As another postersaid, ultimately the baby has to come first. Personally there is no way I would have a dog that was a potential nipper or biter around around a baby. There is one common denominator amongst all dogs that bite.....after a dog has bitten a person the owners always say "but he has never done that before, it's so out of character". It is the mantra of dog owners.

 

If you are 100% confident that the dog can never get near the baby it should be OK. If you are anything less then get rid of the dogs. I love dogs and have had one myself all my life. But a dog I knew, a family labrador 8 years old and the most harmless loving animal you could meet mauled its' owner's (my friend) 2 year old daughter. Her face will be scarred for life. You just cannot trust them with young children no matter how safe you think they are.

 

Being a new father is hard. I think we are often the forgotten ones in the equation but things will become easier as you guys get used to parenthood and the rewards will far outweigh the negatives.

 

Cheers

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