How To Get Your Wife Through Post-Partum Depression
The birth of a child can be an enormous emotional drain on a woman as most parents can attest to. Seeing what can be only described as ‘impossible to control mood swings’ can be quite a burden to bear for the new or even experienced mothers, (although I’m only assuming because I don’t know for sure being that this is our first child but I digress). This is something no mother should have to deal with alone. Which means that you as the husband needs to step up in a way you never have before and help her through this maze of unexplainable emotions.
Go Out Of Your Way To Make Sure She Feels Loved
This might not be the case for all women but I think for the most part women love to know how you feel and and want to feel that love and closeness in that romantic movie sappy kind of way. And even if it’s not sappy just to know deep down that their husbands have genuine love and affection for them, is the key. There are a wide variety of loving acts that will make her feel great. It’s going to come down to what your wife likes and that’s for you to know. If you don’t know, just ask. It could be a surprise massage while you watch a movie at home, saying you’re going to watch the baby for an hour so she can go have a bath, or offering to cook dinner for her. Maybe she just wants some loving works of kindness randomly from you while you’re at work to show her you care. Maybe she wants to hear you say she’s a great Mom and she’s doing a great job. There are a million different ways to let it be known. If you know your wife doesn’t like that cheesy love you can still show major love without being too lovey-dovey. The whole goal is just to reassure her she is not alone and that she is surrounded by love and support. Now if you already do this on a regular basis then you simply just need to do more of it. Because she’s already used to you going out of your way before the baby came along there is the possibility that, with the emotions going wild, she will feel as though you don’t do anything for her. This does not mean you immediately defend yourself by listing all the things you do, because that will only make her feel bad. But instead ask her what she would like to have happen or have help with. You’re trying to help relieve some of the stress and ease the emotional drain she is feeling.
Know That Mood Swings Can Happen At Any Time, No Matter How Much Fun You’re Having
Let’s say you plan this great day for you and your wife with your new baby. You go to her favourite cafe for some breakfast and coffee. Afterwards you go for a nice walk through a beautiful part of town. You are having some amazing conversation. You’re feeling confident, she’s smiling and laughing and looks so happy and throughout all of this the baby isn’t fussing at all. You’re thinking this is perfect! And then BOOM, out of nowhere you notice her mood has done a complete 180 and she is at the lowest of the low places. This can be a normal occurrence and most times she won’t even know why this is happening and she won’t be able to explain it but she can definitely feel the shift within herself. Don’t clam up. Don’t be snippy back to her. Ask her calmly if there is something she wants to talk about and if there is, lend a sympathetic ear. If there’s not anything she wants to talk about and she doesn’t have an explanation of why her mood shifted, just try and reassure her that it’s normal for these mood swings to happen and that you’re not mad (because you shouldn’t be), you just want to help her through it and be there for her. This can help make what could be a stupid fight over nothing, be a great bonding moment she will appreciate. And BAM, you just saved the day.
Communication Is Key
Always have an open line of communication. If clear communication is not established it can make simple issues turn into big problems. If she doesn’t feel as though she can come to you with anything she will just bottle it up and this won’t help anything or anyone. It needs to be ok for her to express any concern no matter how crazy or selfish it may seem to you. It may seem like it’s not justified at first but maybe there is a deeper reason behind it. For example: Now that winter is here and snow is on the ground it’s time for me to take my new fat bike out for some winter biking. So after work one night I planned to go for a quick ride but after I came out of the gym Mama Bird was a bit off and I could tell that something was wrong. I asked and she said she was having a tough day of dealing with Baby Bird crying and also feeling like her and I did not get enough quality time that day. I completely agreed but I knew something else was going on because she knew that I was going to go for a bike ride after work that night (I didn’t decide to go spur of the moment), and I felt as though we had gotten quite a bit of good quality time together that day. So I took a pause from getting ready to go out into the cold and just talked to her. Come to find out that she was having a hard time not being able to come with me on the ride. You see, up until I got my new fat bike, the only times I have gone fat biking have been when Mama Bird and we have rented them and gone together. She didn’t want to get left behind and she felt like I would enjoy it more without her. I assured her that me going for a ride by myself definitely does not take away from my desire to ride with her. It’s just part of my exercise routine to go biking, but we will make sure we establish time to get rides in together if that means getting babysitters for just an hour so we can go. After talking it out she was all good and there were no problems. Crisis averted.
…can be tough for anyone to deal with let alone a new Mom who has a whirlwind of hormones and emotions throwing everything off. So chances are your wife is going to have some hard times with this issue whether it’s about not losing weight fast enough, feeling flabby, or very low energy to want to exercise. This is a time where words and tone can either lift up or tear down. It’s not about pumping her up and lying to her but rather being realistic and trying to motivate her. If she is feeling the pressure to lose the weight and feels like it’s not coming off fast enough don’t say something like “well maybe you need to work harder” or something so blunt. Instead assure her that this can be a long process but if she sticks with it, it will be worth it in the long run and she’ll be really happy she pushed through. Also this is a great opportunity for the two of you to workout together and help her get back into shape or get in shape together. Not to mention that if you workout together this can be some good quality time.
This area is the part that I have the hardest time with personally. Being that I am a personal trainer and know the ins and out of what it takes to get into shape, I find myself racking my brain for ways to communicate to Mama Bird that this process takes time….in the best of circumstances. I try to make sure she knows what to expect and knows that I’m there to help with every step along the way. Then I have these moments where I think to myself why is she asking me the same question, it’s like she doesn’t believe my answer. When I see this happen it appears as though she has a bunch of gremlins in her head constantly whispering “you look fat. You will never get back into shape. Just give up now”. So when those gremlins start to overpower her thoughts I need to be there to keep the positivity in her head to overpower those negative gremlins lurking in her mind.
No matter what she is feeling you need to approach it in an encouraging way. During this time it may be hard for her to be positive, so it’s going to fall on you to help keep her in a positive state of mind. Do your best not to let her slip into a negative way of thinking. Remember that technically you “did this to her” by getting her pregnant and it’s just as much your responsibility to help her get through this and take some of the burden and place it on your shoulders. This is not intended to come across as though your doing it wrong and I’m doing it right (because I don’t always handle it the right way. This is a learning process for me too) but it’s to provide you with possible scenarios and possible ways to deal with those said scenarios. This is not a time to stick to your principles and prove that you’re right even if you are. It’s a time to be there for your wife and become closer as a family, trust me it will be worth it. Let me know what you think in the comment down below and if you like this post and like what we do on this blog we encourage you to hit the social icon buttons below to like and share.
- Papa Bird
Thumbnail image taken by Amy Amirault Photography