How to divide the house chorse with a newborn(from an exhasuted daddy)

Rahman - posted on 12/03/2015 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hi,
My wife and I are first-time parents with a 6 weeks old daughter, and we are truly EXHAUSTED.

I signed up here, because I thought nobody can help me better than experienced moms. I am a full-time graduate student and make low income. I provide essentials for my family, but we can't really afford a nanny. Unfortunately, we don't have our parents available for help, either.

It seems like we always fall short on something, either schoolwork or housework. My wife is never happy with my help. So for example, if I do all the laundry/cleaning/cooking/dishes, she is disappointed that I haven't taken care of the baby. We have tried every possible housework division scheme and it just doesn't work. Early on, when our baby had shorter night-sleeps, I used to even stay up all night and bottle-feed her. The problem was that if she started crying, mommy would've waken up.

I do understand that breastfeeding is difficult for mommy and she can never get a full-night sleep (she certainly sleeps more than me, overall), but running around the house 24/7 is difficult for me too. The other problem is that although I help a lot, I'm not really a loving husband and I end up being like a servant (my wife has called me that a few times). Has anyone had similar experiences? I really appreciate your comments.

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Raye - posted on 12/04/2015

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Rahman, it sounds like you have been trying so hard... good for you. But it seems like your wife wants to put most of the responsibility on you, so she can be free like she was before having a kid. Sorry, doesn't work that way. I understand that dividing stuff up on paper doesn't always work when you find out exactly how much effort some things require, but she does have to compromise. Neither of you are going to have everything the exact way you want it. There has to be compromise.

If she wants to exclusively breastfeed, and not pump, then she has to be prepared for the interruptions. She has to learn how to manage her time so she can take care of the baby and get back to what she was doing or what needs to be done next. If her milk supply is not there, then you may have to supplement with formula.

I agree with the other's that your classwork comes before house work, and sometimes the dishes or the laundry may not get done that day, and it has to be okay for that to happen sometimes. But you both have to be putting in equal effort at home and with the baby.

It does also help tremendously if you find little ways to keep the personal connection between you. If you know that you're not the most emotionally supportive person, rather than saying "I'm not built that way", maybe you could try to find 10 minutes at the end of the night to rub her feet or shoulders. When her hair is a mess and she's feeling grungy, tell her she's beautiful. She will roll her eyes and tell you she looks like shit. But she will appreciate that you still find her attractive. And that could help lighten her mood. Hopefully, she will also do things for you to make you feel good about yourself.

Sarah - posted on 12/03/2015

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This can be very common for new parents. You two have to communicate with each other and set up your new "normal". Life changes after a baby, now you two need to figure out what things might be set aside in order to raise your family. Maybe she needs to cut back on some classes for awhile. Maybe no all the housework gets done every week. Comunnication and compromise.

Tara - posted on 12/05/2015

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Give one feeder of milk of similac or enfamil in night ....so that baby sleep for lil longer....first 8 months are mostly tuf then it becomes routine

Tara - posted on 12/05/2015

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Dont worry trust in Allah ...u r doing too much ...and yes your degree is important too house chores never end so set some priorities ..encourage your wife too..just be patient ...this time is lil bit tough for your wife too she shud also realise motherhood is not easy ....for house work set priorities for your wife its baby and kitchen work that she cud manage initially little hard but she will be ok ......remaining work will not be up to date like before baby so go on .....dn think.too much .i am also raising two toddlers they are like twins and my hubby not helped me much like u are doing ....but he just demanded for food daily .......but if he saw mess he kept quiet and day by day we came in routine in the beginning he helped with laundry thats it ...all night i woke up as he said he hav to go on work ...so u dont worry try to help ..as much as u can appreciate your wife and be patient ...take care ....

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Michelle - posted on 12/05/2015

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All I will say is that the housework will always be there tomorrow! You don't have to have a showhome, you have a newborn baby! Do the necessities like laundry and dishes but dusting and things like that can take a backseat for a while.
The most important thing in your lives at the moment is the little bundle you have created, not that your home is spotless.

Rahman - posted on 12/04/2015

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Thanks Raye,
Like Sarah, I, too, like the last paragraph and want to practice it in our relationship. I guess if I just a little bit emotion to my help (whatever it is), we will both be satisfied, even though some work might be left undone.

Rahman - posted on 12/03/2015

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Thanks a lot Sarah E.
Unfortunately, it's true. I wish I had learned to be emotionally supportive rather than physically helping. Sometimes I feel that my wife doesn't need me running around the house, but rather needs a little bit attention/affection from me, and I'm just not created for it.
As for your suggestion about me taking care of the baby for a while, we'd given that a try. Since mommy is now exclusively breastfeeding (not pumping anymore, as it seems her milk supply has been lowered since early days), I would have to take the baby to her any time I feel she's hungry. Sometimes I misinterpret her cues, but I usually guess it right. Still, mommy feels pressure because her nap/work would be fragmented if she has to breastfeed. Sometimes I feel we can't handle breastfeeding. :(

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