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Hello Fatherhood,

My Wife and I welcomed our lovely Baby Boy into the world this past November. He is just about to be 4 months old. Tonight my wife finally explodes telling me that I am a bad Dad....Some background.

My wife worked full-time up until the end of the first trimester. She was having a hard time coping with her boss and the stress was really eating away at her. It was my idea for her to stop working so that she could take care of herself so that both her and the baby would be OK. This also led to our decision that she was to be a stay at home Mom. Financially, I knew it would be tight but we would be fine. I opened my own business as an "on the side" type thing which is really taking off. So I work full-time during the day M-F and when I have spare time both at work and at night, I work on my business.

When the baby was born, I took off 3 weeks to stay home and help my wife. We had a schedule where I would stay up during the night and she would sleep so that she could be up during the day. It was a bit rough on her when I went back to work but we managed.

Now our son was diagnosed with reflux which causes him to be very fussy. For the first 2 months my day consisted of going to work, coming home, changing my clothes, cooking dinner, cleaning up the dishes and taking care of a screaming child until about 10 o'clock every night. Now my nights' consist of the same thing except he doesn't scream :)

Tonight, when my Wife told me I was a bad Dad, she said that I come home and she doesn't get a break...I said that I come home, I cook, and I clean and then I take care of the child. She snapped back saying "I don't care what we eat, I need a break" I am guilty that I sleep in on the weekends till about 10AM but I take care of the baby during the day, feedings, play time, changing him, putting him down for naps, etc.. And I enjoy every minute of it.

My question is, am I really a bad Dad? Or is my Wife just over reacting? I told her that I stress about paying all of the bills, I give her spending money each month and I pay for her car on top of all the other expenses for the baby. I don't complain about that, but to say I am a bad Dad really hit a nerve for me.

She continued to say that this is the reason she has not been intimate of "loving" We don't have sex often but I thought that was common practice with having a newborn in the home.

Is it time to have a long conversation with her? Is counseling something that should be considered here?
 

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Is this the same woman who cheated on you in 2012 and you rug swept the affair? You know, some things just can't be unsaid. For me, her words would have caused ww3. But if it's not a deal breaker for you, well, you can always try rug sweeping again.
 

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You have done more with your one child than my husband had done with 5 as babies (he is completely involved now and active just not when they were babies but that's because at the time he was a trucker).

You are not a bad father at all. Have you considered seeing a chiropractor for baby boys reflux (do a lot of research and find one that doesn't use rotation or torsion techniques, find one like the Aussie guy from Gonstead in Australia).

Also is baby boy on liquid form medications? Most of those are based in an alcohol base suspension liquid which actually makes reflux worse for babies.

Ask for omperizole meds, if they put him on domperidom they are uniformed, domperidom is a motility drug that is off label use for infant reflux and should not be used.

She breastfeeding? She has to watch her diet. Eggs and dairy are the two worse culprits for GERD babies while breastfeeding.

She was out of line with what she said too, having a 4 month old in the house stresses the couple out but it isn't an excuse for treating you like dirt either.

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Your wife shouldn't have said that to you, but she is probably exhausted and overwhelmed. You are being a good dad, but being a stay at home parent to an infant can be much harder than people realize. She probably didn't realize how hard it was going to be.
 

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So why not just put it back on her? Come home and take the baby and have her clean and make dinner. Having a new baby Is time consuming and draining. Sounds to me like you are doing your share she just doesn't like the share you're doing so give it back to her and let her cook and clean.

Don't let her get in your head with that nonsense. She needs to apologize.
 

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Is this the same woman who cheated on you in 2012 and you rug swept the affair? You know, some things just can't be unsaid. For me, her words would have caused ww3. But if it's not a deal breaker for you, well, you can always try rug sweeping again.
Hmmmm .... I would be more interested in OPs response to this before going any further ...
 

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I agree with everyone that you're going above and beyond to financially provide for your family while you all make the transition to the choices you thought were best for the baby, such as your wife being a SAHM. I have a colleague whose second baby arrived two months before she began her new job with us, and she had to cut back to part time because the baby wouldn't take a bottle for months. She assumed the second one would be like the first one, who went to the bottle immediately. But each child is different. My mother said I had colic for six months and it drove her crazy.

But I think there's something to what Wolf said. You may like a clean house or you cleaning and preparation of dinner may be a way of showing your love and support and appreciation for your wife and child, but maybe your wife just wants a break from holding him or feeding him or just having to spend every spare minute glued to whatever move the baby makes. I was just talking to a friend yesterday whose 4-month-old is sleeping through the night, going down for bed at 8 and waking up at 6. My friend said it is very weird that on the weekends, instead of sleeping in until 10 or so, they are up at 6 like clockwork and have the house clean and the errands planned by 10:30. Now, she says, since the baby sleeps from 2-4 every afternoon, she and her h do as well on the weekends, rather than sleeping in.

Babies rearrange EVERYthing. Now, I just gave you some practical input. As for why your wife would call you a bad father, I have no clue, other than she doesn't know how to ask for what she needs (or she's a b*atch). If she wants you to hang out with the baby when you get home so she gets a break, I don't know why that's so hard to ask for, but I also don't know why it is so hard for her to say, thank you so much for cleaning up and making dinner.

Maybe she feels like a bad Mom, and is projecting.

Good luck.
 

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Hmmm, you could do what I used to do with my kids.

Put the baby in a backpack with a 5-point harness and a mirror on it so you can see the baby, and proceed to make dinner and do housekeeping, washing up, laundry, take a walk, etc.

That way you get to have a good dinner, be a dad, and let your wife deal with her own blame game.

I think 10 is pretty late for any parent to sleep in. Regardless if you're working or the kid is up at night.

Think what you would do if you were a single parent, and act accordingly. I find that most stress comes from unpredictability and relying on people who aren't with the 'team plan' results in a lot of unpredictability.
 

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Does your wife have any friends or hobbies?

I know that my wife needed to get away at times when the kids were young. I would get home from work and she would leave for a couple of hours to go wander a mall or grocery shopping. Just time away from the house /babies. You might want to encourage her to get out a bit while you are home.

Another thing that really helped my wife was that she joined a Mom Group. A bunch of women, all with newborns. They would get together once a week with the babies. She also joined other things lilke swimming lessons (yes for newborns). Things that got her and the baby out of the house doing something more than what happens at home.

One other thing. If she is going to be a SAHM, then you need to do something about your finances. When you stated, "I give her an allowance" it made be cringe. No grown up wants to be given an allowance.
 

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Hello Fatherhood,

My Wife and I welcomed our lovely Baby Boy into the world this past November. He is just about to be 4 months old. Tonight my wife finally explodes telling me that I am a bad Dad....Some background.

My wife worked full-time up until the end of the first trimester. She was having a hard time coping with her boss and the stress was really eating away at her. It was my idea for her to stop working so that she could take care of herself so that both her and the baby would be OK. This also led to our decision that she was to be a stay at home Mom. Financially, I knew it would be tight but we would be fine. I opened my own business as an "on the side" type thing which is really taking off. So I work full-time during the day M-F and when I have spare time both at work and at night, I work on my business.

When the baby was born, I took off 3 weeks to stay home and help my wife. We had a schedule where I would stay up during the night and she would sleep so that she could be up during the day. It was a bit rough on her when I went back to work but we managed.

Now our son was diagnosed with reflux which causes him to be very fussy. For the first 2 months my day consisted of going to work, coming home, changing my clothes, cooking dinner, cleaning up the dishes and taking care of a screaming child until about 10 o'clock every night. Now my nights' consist of the same thing except he doesn't scream :)

Tonight, when my Wife told me I was a bad Dad, she said that I come home and she doesn't get a break...I said that I come home, I cook, and I clean and then I take care of the child. She snapped back saying "I don't care what we eat, I need a break" I am guilty that I sleep in on the weekends till about 10AM but I take care of the baby during the day, feedings, play time, changing him, putting him down for naps, etc.. And I enjoy every minute of it.

My question is, am I really a bad Dad? Or is my Wife just over reacting? I told her that I stress about paying all of the bills, I give her spending money each month and I pay for her car on top of all the other expenses for the baby. I don't complain about that, but to say I am a bad Dad really hit a nerve for me.

She continued to say that this is the reason she has not been intimate of "loving" We don't have sex often but I thought that was common practice with having a newborn in the home.

Is it time to have a long conversation with her? Is counseling something that should be considered here?
Hi there. I am in a similar situation to you (should probably update my thread).

I am also out of the house from 7-7 Mon-Thu and my wife acts like I'm being a bad husband and dad although she's not quite said those words.

I think you need to cut her some slack but at the same time don't go and chase every demand she makes. She is most likely sleep deprived and this does terrible things to most people. If you're anything like me it's difficult to let the nasty comments and aggression slide but it helps to wait until the right moment to raise any issues.

In summary it is tough, you're not alone in this and hang in there!

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You sound like a very good father to me, her comment was out of line but can be chalked up to being overwhelmed I hope.

I assume you have discussed the reflux with the pediatrician? My now 5 year old daughter had reflux as an infant. We were prescribed formula as a result and it worked wonders for her, both health wise and mood wise. Cannot remember the name of it, unfortunately. Icing on the cake was the prescription was much cheaper than the store bought formula.
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You appear to be a excellent father. Hands down bro. The issue arises when you ask if you are being a great H. In your narrative you have said nothing about time with the W. Welcome to marriage and fatherhood. We are friendly here. :)

Now, I recommend you start getting away time with your W sans baby. Date night. Baby sitter. Alone time with W. Time to reconnect with you time.
 

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I think it's time for a long talk with her. Marriage counseling never does any good so I would advise against it. The counselor would probably be just another women blaming you for everything and that would not be productive.

You are NOT being a bad Dad. I actually think you are doing way more than your share. A woman's job is to care for the child and if she doesn't want to do that she never should have had them in the first place. You have to set the ground rules as to what you are willing to do and stick by them. Women are always saying they need a break, the fact is that they really don't want any responsibility at all. If she's not willing to do her share, it's time for a divorce.
 

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sounds like she is having some post partum, but also do you and her ever go out even just for dinner? women often feel trapped in the home with the baby in the first few months if they don't go back to work. take her out once a week.
 

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I went through much the same thing. I was working full time, doing all the house work, she stayed home and baby had reflux. Suddenly, I was the enemy and to blame for all the ills of the world. I felt like I was doing everything I could but it never was enough. All I could do was tell her to tell me what she wanted and she never could. What it came down to was she wasn't happy and she expected me to fix it. I was basically the chew toy for her to take her unhappiness out on. She refused to go for counseling as a couple or individually. The marriage had always had issues but this was the beginning of the end for us. She could never let go of this hate she manufactured. I think some people like the idea of marriage and family in concept but for various reasons they just aren't cut out for it and that only comes to light after it's too late.
 

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First of all, congratulations on your baby! Being a new parent can add a lot of stress to a marriage, though, which is totally normal. What you're experiencing sounds like it's more than just new parent blues, though.

First of all, I would calmly explain to your wife that you expect an apology for her comment about you being a bad parent. That you are willing and able to talk about what you each need from the other now you're parents and not just partners. But that she needs to cut out comments like that. This is challenging for both of you since your baby has special needs. But you won't make it unless you can start off with a base line of respect. I think you're a wonderful father if you're doing what you say you're doing. You're struggling, and trying to take some of the burden off her.

I think you guys need to talk more about schedules after this. Sleeping until 10am weekends is acceptable - if you guys trade off, with one of you sleeping in Saturday, the other Sunday etc. etc. But if she is breastfeeding she likely can't do this. This means you might need to compromise a bit, maybe sleep in until 8:30am (which if you have a 4-month-old is an incredible feat, and I applaud you if you're able to sleep longer than that LOL). Talk to her about what she expects. Say what you want. And meet in the middle.

Things with my exH didn't work out. But I was pretty clear with him what i needed - him to take the baby for half an hour when he came home after I had been with the baby all day. I didn't get that. In fact he didn't take the baby ever unless I asked him to. It sounds like she has made it clear what she needs from you. Now you guys need to talk about what you both want and come to some sort of compromise. Maybe she could work on dinner if she finds cooking more relaxing, while you take the baby for a walk, just to get her a few minutes alone. Has she been exercising at all? That can help with the depression and isolation that come with being a SAHM. It's VITAL for her to get out of the house for a few minutes every day. Has she seen her friends much? She could join a local parents/moms group. There are even local moms jogging groups who take their kids for a run in jogging stroller.

Some of this comes from you guys not communicating. You ASSUMED she wanted you to cook and clean and did the good guy thing and took care of it. She ASSUMED you would take some of the pressure off her and spend some quality time with the baby by taking the baby for a little when you got home. You didn't do that. She got mad. You guys didn't talk about this stuff beforehand. Now's a good time to start. But it needs to start with an apology. Be appreciative of what she does. But make it clear that you expect her to be respectful and to work with you. It is NOT going to encourage you to spend time with the baby if she says things like "you're a bad father."
 

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In hindsight I was a bit heavy on the "doom and gloom" previously. You're not the bad guy here and time and a little tweeking might get things back on track. If things don't improve, I would suggest individual counseling for you. Having an unbiased professional to vent to and get feedback from was a huge help for me.
 
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