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DP says I am depressed...am I?

(10 Posts)
TeddyP Sat 10-Sep-11 13:12:42

I have 2 DCs (DS 2.5yrs and DD 8mths). DP and I have been together for 8 years.

I had a traumatic delivery with DS and he was quite a challenging baby (has never slept through the night, trouble feeding, v sensitive).

It was my intention to return to work once DS was a year old, but my employer was unable to offer pt work and I ended up resigning.

I love being a SAHM. Having children is all I ever wanted and I enjoy being with them more than anything. As DS is a real challenge, I admit that I am a bit obsessive about things like routine because that's the only way I feel I can keep a handle on things. He does go to Nursery for two mornings a week though, and he loves it, so I am not totally precious about being with him all the time. DD is much easier and I can be more flexible with her.

DP feels that I don't have anything in my life other than the children and should put them in Nursery for more hours (I think that two mornings suits DS well at the moment: he still naps and the rest of the week we are busy with other groups/friends). He thinks I should go back to work (not for financial reasons but because he feels that I should be away from the children), I should go out more and have more 'me' time (I am too exhausted to go out and just want to collapse in front of TV with glass of wine once the day is done).

I feel that he is critical of me being at home - I have always done all the nights, feeds, cooking, cleaning etc because I feel it is part of my role as SAHM. He works really hard and I am very grateful for that. I would quite like him to value the job I am doing. He looks at my mother who was a SAHM and had nothing in her life once we left home, and says that I am going to be like her. (I'm NOT, we have a v difficult relationship and I am trying to break that cycle).

He has been diagnosed with depression and stress and took anti-depressants for a while but hasn't been back to the doctor for more. Whenever I say that he should go back, he says that it is me who is depressed and I should get help. I don't think I am, I have bad days, but doesn't everyone and I do get very tired trying to hold it all together.

SageMist Sat 10-Sep-11 13:19:00

It doesn't sound like you have depression. As you say, it sounds like your DP doesn't value what you are doing for the family. But maybe he just doesn't realise how you really feel.

Have you told him that you love being a SAHM? Do you tell him about the good bits as well as the not so good? If you grumble a lot (like I do) then he may have the wrong impression (as my DH does).

TeddyP Sat 10-Sep-11 13:23:48

That's a good point, I have told him that I love being at home, but I'm often going on about how knackered I am.

morrisseysquornmince Sat 10-Sep-11 18:57:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Laquitar Sat 10-Sep-11 19:08:36

Projection?
Maybe he is back to depression himself?

Maybe he doesnt enjoy long time with the kids himself and resents you for enjoyinng them?

But tbh if money/time is not problem i would do something for myself once a week in your shoes. I'm not saying that you should but i find i'm happier when i do some exercise.

garlicnutter Sat 10-Sep-11 19:37:13

Yeah. I think he's projecting his own depressed feelings onto you. I also think he's trying to tell you he finds you tired and boring! Bear in mind that depression highlights the negatives, so that ties in if he's on a downswing.

All mothers are tired and boring with an 8-month-old baby and a toddler. I agree it's worth making a particular effort to highlight all the sparkly bits of your life as a SAHM. You didn't say much about his involvement with the DC: how about getting him involved with the nice parts - bath time? - and reinforcing positives all the way.

I wouldn't normally recommend this sort of "nurture the husband" approach. But, if it's a case of heading off a bout of spousal depression, principles may have to take a back seat until DD's a little bit older and you catch up on your sleep!

DontGoCurly Sat 10-Sep-11 21:27:35

You don't sound depressed to me. You sound like you are coping great in fact.

Bogeyface Sat 10-Sep-11 21:27:51

I am going to disagree with the majority and say that actually, he just sounds worried about you!

You are so wound up with your youngests issues, and 8 months is no time at all to get over a traumatic birth (actually, 9 years after mine I have come to the conclusion that you never quite do). Perhaps your DP is seeing how much you have changed and is worried that you will end up reaching a point where you have nothing in your life. Going to work for a few hours a week, even voluntarily, or putting the children in nursery for a say 3 mornings a week and using one of those mornings to shop or go to a gallery or take a course would give you interests out of the home.

I wouldnt immediately think that he is fed up and is projecting, not at all. His behaviour is far too altruistic for that! Men these days are far more clued up on things like PND and perhaps he is worried that you are exhibiting symptoms of it and is trying to head it off with encouragement to spend a little time on yourself.

Talk to him, find out where this has come from and see if you can reach a compromise on what you both think is best.

CailinDana Sat 10-Sep-11 21:55:19

I've had depression and I constantly worry about my DH getting depressed. I'm a bit obsessed with him getting out and doing things, having enough sleep etc. I don't know why really, maybe because I would absolutely hate for him to go through what I went through. I think you need to talk to him about why he's so worried and pinpoint the things that make him believe you're depressed. It could be that his depression is creeping back up on him.

TeddyP Sat 10-Sep-11 22:42:59

Thank you so much everyone, i really appreciate your thoughtful comments.

I have thought that he does project his negative feelings onto me...I feel that i was able to cope with 'holding the team together' when he was first diagnosed with depression. As time has gone on, I have felt more and more dragged down with his moods. He gets angry (not violent) with me and I do end up shielding the DCs from him. It's hard to be supportive to him when I don't feel I have enough strength or energy to go round.

He is a great dad and loves the children dearly but he doesn't do a huge amount with them. We now tend to lead separate lives :me with the children and him with work.

My priority is the children at the moment but i am a bit scared that DP will get so fed up with playing second fiddle to them that the relationship will forever be non-existent.

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