My wife and I have been married for 5 years and we have 3 kids aged 4, 2, and a new baby. I have been at my career job for 10 years. I have always tried to help with housework as much as possible.
Lately, my wife has been feeling overwhelmed with taking care of the kids and keeping up the house. She’s starting to take it out on me and saying personal attacks towards me. These attacks are very hurtful. I’m worried things could fall apart soon with our marriage. What should I do?
Wow! Sounds like your wife could use some help, or at the very least a Mom’s day out!
Seriously, your question could be pointing to the tip of the iceberg. With a new baby, the change in your wife could point to postpartum depression, a condition where you must report this change to her Doctor. The personal attacks you speak of could be coming from her fatigue and feeling overwhelmed, or it can be more serious. Let her Doctor help you keep an eye on this probability because a postpartum depression can put both your wife and children at risk.
Regardless, your wife does need more help. While you are doing all you can, you may need to look at bringing in outside help for a period of time. Maybe there’s a family member who can help her out, or someone from your church. You can always look to hire a temporary housekeeper or childcare help. Maybe there’s a preschool you can send your oldest to that will give your wife a break. Two are easier to care for than three.
Also, help your wife sort through the tasks that are absolutely necessary from those household duties that are not. Let her know that it’s OK to lay down and take a nap when the children are napping instead of folding laundry, or that the dishes can wait until you get home. Or, the housekeeper can come in to do laundry and dishes as well as some cleaning. Or, my personal favorite, don’t fold the babies’ laundry. Just pull it out of the hamper when you need it. Baby clothes don’t wrinkle enough to bother with folding, plus you go through them so fast they’ll soon enough be back in the laundry!
I know you’re feeling hurt and concerned over the state of your marriage. Keep the lines of communication open. If you can muster the calm to do so, tell your wife in a non-accusatory way that her comments are hurtful. Then, tell her that you love her and show her your support. Not just with words, but by doing more to help around the house.
It doesn’t sound like your marriage is about to fall apart, so set that worry aside. Things just sound like a young family going through the growing pains of three young children.
You sound like a great Daddy and Husband. Keep up the good work and hang in there.
Embrace your Personal Power with Life Coaching~
• Do you think your wife might be in the throes of a postpartum depression?
• What can you do to get your wife more help, or streamline the household chores?
• What can you do to be supportive while still getting your needs met?
Young Mothers? Young Fathers? Do you have any advice for these young parents? Post your comments on this question. We learn from each other!
Click HERE to anonymously send Joan your question!