The newborn months are called “being in the trenches” for a reason. It is HARD. Even if you are parenting with a partner, you both are getting pretty much no sleep. Hormones and emotions are all over the place. Love, annoyance, joy, anxiety — you’re feeling all of it in a wild cycle. Call on your community to help! If you can afford to, outsource some of the additional labor. Order food to be delivered. Prioritize chores — it’s okay if the home is a mess.
One Redditor who just had a baby is struggling deeply, with her own anxiety over the baby’s safety from her husband’s outbursts. Both of these people need help and the knowledge that it will get easier and they won’t always feel so overwhelmed.
“I just had a baby a few weeks ago. I noticed once while I was holding her in a rocking chair, and I was dead tired, that I almost fell asleep holding her. Ever since then, I have been terrified to fall asleep and accidentally kill her. So since then, I do not pick her up at all if I’m sleepy.”
“Yesterday she was crying. She was hungry, but I have been pumping milk every 3 hours, non stop (at a lactation consultants suggestion), as well as taking care of a newborn, and was super tired. I could barely keep my eyes open. I bottle fed my baby my breast milk, changed her diaper prior to that, and swaddled her. I had to rock her bassinet and she fell back to sleep after about 10 minutes. It broke my heart to hear her cry, and I felt terrible not picking her up. Realistically, I could’ve probably been fine to make myself stay awake and hold her for a little. But I’m terrified to get complacent and suffocate her by accident some day. My cousin accidentally killed her baby this way. That is a long and sh*tty story on its own, but it’s become a huge worry of mine since I became a mom.”
“Her dad overheard some of the commotion and was angry when I explained. It does take longer to calm her down if I don’t pick her up. She is small and loves to be held. I don’t do this often, only when I’m exhausted (which has been twice). I told him that too, but he called me neglectful and told me I need to be a better mother. I’m honestly still upset about yesterday and feel like sh*t. The mom guilt is real, without someone else’s comments.”
“I also have brought my milk supply up to the amount I need, so I’m going to start sleeping at least 6 hours at night, with maybe just one power pump at 3am. Instead of Increment naps. So it won’t be forever that I’m doing this. Am I wrong? What alternatives are there that may help?”
Oh, mama. This is so much. And your husband is not helping.
The OP added some additional information about how her husband is struggling emotionally and that she is uncomfortable with him watching baby:
“I don’t feel he is a danger to her, but I absolutely do feel uncomfortable with him watching her due to how snappy and temperamental he has been. He is usually such a patient and kind person, so the huge switch also causes me anxiety. I’m trying to be there for him because I love him, but I’d honestly leave if he lost his temper on our baby. I did not tell him that, but we spoke about the temper and anger, and he agreed he will step back from childcare for now. I’m not making excuses. He is acting inappropriately. I’m also struggling with PPD and I’m not acting similarly. As for help, I can ask his mom. She’s amazing and has already been a big help, so I feel bad asking for more. But I think you’re right that it’s finally hit a point where I need to.”