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  Recovering from pregnancy and birth – Role of husband
 
I cannot say that things are going too well in my marriage right now. My husband is completely baffled as to why I am so tired. Since I am home all day he feels he should be able to come home to a wonderful clean house and the aroma of home cooking. The reality of an exhausted and grouchy spouse is hard for him to understand. How do I explain this to him?

It is really hard for some men to understand what all the fuss is about. It is your difficult job to educate your husband without getting annoyed. You could start by asking him to care for the baby for a few hours on the weekend while you go and do shopping and other chores. Make sure he knows how to change the nappy, where everything is, and leave when the baby is newly fed. Stay out for a good few hours. This experience may be enough to make him a little more understanding. Try to make this a regular event. You are doing everyone a favour. Your husband gets an understanding of what it entails to care for a baby. Plus he will gain in confidence in caring for the baby. Allow him to do things his way when he is in charge, even if you don’t agree with the way he does things. It is good for the baby to do things a little differently sometimes. In addition, the relationship between baby and dad will become strengthened. Hopefully, it will become a special time for the two of them, and you may even be able to make it into an opportunity to do the kinds of things that you did before baby, like go to a coffee shop with a friend.

If that does not make any difference to the situation, you may consider discussing counselling with your health care worker. Perhaps if your husband hears from a third party the facts about how tiring and difficult mothering can be, he may begin to be more sympathetic. Being able to air your views in a safe forum with an impartial arbitrator can be helpful in aiding you to understand each other’s point of view.

There is another aspect to consider, and that is that your husband feels left out. He misses the wife he once had. He is grumpy because he comes home at the end of the day, and is greeted by a chaotic situation. The wife he used to share everything with is too tired and fed up to show any interest in his life. The sex life he used to value has disappeared. And possibly he too is exhausted and depressed because of the broken nights. Perhaps a little mutual sympathy and discussion will help him feel that all is not lost. He will regain the wife he once knew. In fact, a better and wiser version! It is not uncommon for women to be so physically fulfilled through caring for the baby that they are no longer warm and caring towards their spouses. Try and arrange your day so that there is a little less chaos at the moment he arrives home. Be pleased to see him, and include him in the evening’s activities. Perhaps he could be in charge of bath time while you potter in the kitchen. You are a family now, so make sure that everyone in the family feels that they are valued.

See also:

Recovering from pregnancy and birth

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Food faux pas

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Healthy food choices

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Role of diet

Recovering from pregnancy and birth - Simplifying healthy eating

 
   
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