Lately my husband has been coming home from work with this super intense energy. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it aggressive, but sometimes he’s just a real a**hole. What the hell? I’m tired too. I’ve had a long day too. He can’t just come home and start barking orders. I’m not his employee. I’m not sure how to handle it. Whenever I bring it up, he just says he’s really stressed at work right now. What do I do? -Wife and Mother (not a freaking employee!)
Dear Wife and Mother,
I’ve heard about this from several women. Once they had children and became primary caregivers and their husbands became primary income earners, there was a shift, an adjustment. Instead of sharing the financial burden and stress like they used to, the husband took on most of it, and the wife took on the majority of childcare responsibilities. As husbands worked towards employment related goals and promotions, sometimes they forgot to leave work related energy and stress at work. This is a transition my husband and I are still working on as a couple too, as I was the primary income earner before becoming pregnant, and sometimes my husband struggles to shake his work persona before he walks through the front door. He recently came home and told me, “What makes me good at work doesn’t make me good at home.” So we’ve talked about him taking a longer route home from work to give him some decompression time before coming home and being dad. He also spends most morning exercising. The more he takes care of himself, the easier it is for him to transition, and the better I take care of myself, the more patient I can be with him. I would encourage you to talk to your husband and try to find a few coping skills that work for both of you.
How do you know if you’re ready for another kid? My husband and I have two right now, and I’m wondering if we should add a third. Sometimes I feel super ready, and other times I just feel too overwhelmed and feel we should wait. Then I get worried about having too large of an age gap or having kids too late, and then I just start freaking out! This isn’t something I can rush, but I totally feel pressure to make a decision. -Curious Mamma
Dear Curious Mamma,
I wrote a post recently, 6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Having Another Child, that you may find helpful. It gives you a little check list of things to consider before taking the leap. In addition to this though, I would encourage you to do what feels right for you. Try to relinquish these rules you’re placing on yourself. You are deciding that you need to have children by a certain age or a certain number of years apart. Maybe let those rules go for a little bit and see if it takes the pressure off. Take it one day at a time, and if you consistently begin to want another kid, maybe that is the right time. And if you continue to feel overwhelmed, maybe it’s ok to stop at two. You can be a wonderful mother who’s doing what’s best for herself and her family either way.
I feel like the worst mother ever. I’m so thankful this is anonymous. Ok, so I’m 8 weeks pregnant, and I am SO sick. I can’t keep food down, and sometimes even water is a struggle. I just feel terrible all the time. How do women do this? I’ve never admitted this, but it makes me wonder if it’s really worth it. How am I supposed to survive this? And then how the hell do people do this a second and third time? -First Time Mom
Dear First Time Mom,
I think many of us have had these thoughts, if we were completely honest with ourselves. For some of us, motherhood is very hard, right from the very beginning. I was sick for my entire pregnancy with the twins, and it changed everything: my social life, my marriage, my work, my family life, my mental health. It was a rough transition for me. Luckily, the second pregnancy was a lot better, and I’ve heard from almost everyone that the first one is always the worst. It only gets better from here. But while you’re in the thick of it right now, check out my article on 11 Ways to Get through Morning Sickness, and be kind to yourself. You’re not a bad mom for having doubts. You’re not a bad mom for struggling. You’re simply a woman at the beginning of her motherhood journey. It gets better. Just wait until you hold your little baby.