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(13 Posts)
dad23 Fri 12-Sep-08 10:45:48

DW soley BF 5 mth DD. She is doing a tremendous job and is a fab mum. I work during the week and every other wkend do activities with my other 2 DDs (prev marriage).
I think am pretty good at helping out. Baby sit so DW can go out, using express milk in bottle. I take DD out for walks to give DW time to herself. In fact, she has a better social life than me. I also help out well around the house IMHO.
I am caring, loving, grateful and provide all of these comments in feedback to her.
Recently though, my DW has become verbally abusive, shouts at me and no matter what I have done, it isn't enough. Apparently our house is a tip (it isn't), I am a pathetic excuse for a man, I am lazy and don't do anythig to help.
At risk of incurring the wrath of all the other hardworking mums out there, is this normal and what more can I do?

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 12-Sep-08 10:51:54


Am not making excuses but the hormonal storm after having a baby can turn the most level woman into a mentalist.

I am wondering if she is suffering from PND -
what was your relationship like before you had your baby?

And are you absolutely sure that you help as much as you think ?

I ask because my DP sometime waits to be asked to sort washing/take out bins/ do dishwasher instead of just doing it (grrr)

ConstanceWearing Fri 12-Sep-08 10:54:41

Is this DW's first baby? Such an enormous loss of liberty can be hard to get used to with the first baby.

It sounds to me like you are doing your best, and your commitment to your elder DD's shows you take your responsibilities seriously.

I wonder if DW is depressed?

Lazarou Fri 12-Sep-08 10:55:04

I had the same reaction as you BALD, awwwwww!

dad23, do you ever go out with your friends? YOu sound like you're doing your best, just tell her to stop havinga go at you because you don't deserve it.

dad23 Fri 12-Sep-08 10:57:21

I am a man! Yes I often do need to be asked to do things and sometimes I just don't see that bag/shoes/item of clothing (delete as appropriate)that needs moving. But I really do try.
I want this to work more than anything. I know what it's like to see you children brought up without your input and don't want that again. DW is everything I want in a wife, aside from the 'mentalist' tendancies (your words - not mine!).

Bink Fri 12-Sep-08 10:57:52

I am sure you don't realise (and other posters will mention this) but to say "babysit" when you are looking after your own child indicates that (at some level) you don't see yourself as the frontline of parenting dd (ie, that dw is the frontline default responsibility-bearing parent). As I say, I'm sure this isn't conscious at all, but the very use of the word gives an impression - and, of course, a place to start sorting this out!

Say to your wife: "I'm sorry, you have enough to do already, but if you can, would you please give me three or four ideas of what I can practically do to support you?" Don't make her answer right away (she's probably shattered & can't think straight from one moment to the next) but ask her to tell you as and when she thinks of them. And make sure she realises that you realise that asking her to tell you what to do may feel like yet another burden - as she probably feels you should know what she needs (having been through this before etc. etc.)

Then when she does tell you (it might be "Don't bloody roll over when dd cries in the night" or "Put your pants in the washing basket" or "Let me know with more than 20 minutes' notice what time you mean to get home" or "Don't sit down with the Sunday papers when you can see I've got a screaming baby") write them down and check that you are doing them.

If, of course, that doesn't work, then she may have some other issues (PND?) going on. But that sort of blunt straightforward What Can I Do would have been my dh's best strategy at that stage.

Marina Fri 12-Sep-08 10:59:30

What's your DW's health visitor like? Because, like others here, I am wondering if your dw has PND - or is just insanely tired.
You sound like you are doing all the right things, but the first year after a baby is born can exert a heavy toll on relationships. Have you managed at all to get out for an evening together? As the baby is taking EBM, someone else could babysit

MrsMattie Fri 12-Sep-08 11:00:44

I was like this towards my DH for a while after our son was born. I had extremely high expectations of what we should be able to achieve in terms of keeping the house tidy, holding on to our social lives, bringing in the money, yet still being The Perfect Mum & Dad. I think I realised pretty early on that I was 'failing' to do all this, and so started (unconsciously) to shift the pressure/blame on to my husband to keep up the whole charade.

My point is - something has got to give. having a small child is bloody hard work all round and it is unrealistic to expect everything - house, job, relationship, appearance, social life - to be all hunky dory all the time.

Talk to your wife. Find out how she is feeling deep down. Perhaps she is struggling to cope? Tell her how you feel, too. It doesn't have to be an argument.

Marina Fri 12-Sep-08 11:01:00

yy to What Can I Do. If she can't think of anything specific, then maybe she does need to talk things through with her HV or a sympathetic GP.

Ready4anotherCoffee Fri 12-Sep-08 11:03:06

bless you, it's hard for you men too. Tbh, you do a lot more than many men, I am impressedsmile

From your post, it sounds like pnd could be a real possibility. However broaching the subject could be tricky, is your HV good?

Don't forget to have a little you time too.

BoysAreLikeDogs Fri 12-Sep-08 11:05:46

lots of good advice here, good luck dad23 you seem a really caring chap

dad23 Fri 12-Sep-08 11:30:18

Thanks for all the helpful advice.

batters Fri 12-Sep-08 11:39:35

Good luck, dad23.

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