How does one get out of "after baby" depression

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DustinLC, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    My little girl just turned one. As she is growing, I'm depleting of energy, hope and happiness.

    I work 11hrs a day so I get friday off and stay home with the baby (And friday is the roughest day for me). My commute is 1hr/day. My wife works 9hrs/day, 5 days per week and has a 3.5hr commute.
    I've sacrificed all my interests and rarely do I have an hour to sit down. We get home at 7:30pm, dinner at 8:30pm, 10pm bedtime, and the whole rough day starts again in the morning. I don't even want to get up anymore.

    Weekends are better but just as business. Work left during the week need to be done and my daughter is difficult 95% of the time.

    Now I've told myself a zillion time that how could 1 child take down two parents? There are people who have many children and jobs and are just fine. Well, I guess we don't have an ordinary child. While I enjoy my playing moments with her (she's cute, loveable and laugh a lot), those moments are few. When the moments are there, I'm too weak to enjoy it. My wife and I don't exercise anymore, we don't eat right, and we're more of a partner in babysitting to our girl than husband and wife. Both my wife and I have loss weight this past year.

    We both look forward to going to work where we actually get more rest. That is how bad it is and I don't even like my job all that much.

    I don't see a light through the tunnel. I'm tire, weak and depress.

    How did some of you get out this depression?

    I just want to say that is has nothing to do with how much we love our baby. If we didn't care, we wouldn't be so busy with her. No matter how much that is true, I can't deny that having the baby has taken my wife, my rest, my interests, and my sleep. I know it gets better we I need to ride through this.
     
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Any chance one of you can quit or go part-time at your jobs?

    When we had our daughter, we made some major sacrifices so my wife could be a stay at home mom. We sold the fancy cars, cut out all hobbies, stopped eating out 100%, you name it, if it was not a necessity, we stopped doing it. It paid off.

    It's been nearly 7 years and Linda is still a stay at home mom, I'd not want it any other way.

    Do what you can to cut out the work, it is second in nature to yourselves, your family and your daughter.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  3. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Ron, good advice and we have talked about it. Yeah, it will be really tight on our budget.

    But here's the thing. I stay home with her and keep up with her for 12hrs on Friday. I look at the clock and wait for my wife to come home every hour to relief my backaches from moving her to new location every 10minutes! I think I'll die if I stay home with her full time [​IMG]. I"m only 30 and I don't stand up as straight as I used to. The whole year has worn me physically so much. Not having time to lift weights and exercise just made it worst.

    I asked my wife if she wanted too. Nope! Even as I"m typing this, I'm wondering how could this be! It's just a 1 year old and we love her. Wasn't an accident. We knew what we were doing and getting into.
     
  4. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    Where to start..... sounds like you and your wife have too much stress in your lives. Kids, even one year olds, can recognize your stress and that could be why she is difficult. I know when I am tired and grumpy I butt heads with my 2 year old son. He sees me grumpy and I think he copies me.

    You need to figure out what is causing the stress and try to fix one at a time.
    Can you or your wife find a job closer to home? I commute about 1 hr a day and that is the max for me. Your wifes 3.5 hours is just crazy (to me anyway).

    My son is an early riser. He gets up with us during the week to go to School (daycare) and Sat. morning he is up at his usual time of 6:30. My wife and I take turns getting up with him. I get Sat. and she takes Sun. The other gets to sleep in.

    We also try and take a short nap when the kid is down for his nap. Makes it easier to keep up with him.

    Can you prepare meals ahead of time, like on Sunday, for the entire week. Could save you some time in the kitchen.

    You and your wife should take some time to develop a schedule. Schedules are great for little ones and tend to make them happier. Our evening schedule is dinner, some play time for the kid, I give the kid a bath at 7:30 while mom takes a shower, after bath I get him in his pj's brush hair/teeth and by 8:00 he is in moms lap for a story before bed. Mornings are similar we each have things to do to get ready for the day. Since it does not take me as long to get ready I get the little one dressed and ready to leave with mom.

    Everytime you start to feel some of that depression look into your wife and/or babys eyes and remember how lucky you are to have two wonderful people that love you!

    Good luck.
     
  5. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    From your description, between your jobs and commuting, you're both committed to other things 50-60 hours a week each, and that's BEFORE you even begin to consider the baby's needs.

    As Ron says, it demands sacrifices. You can't expect your life to stay the same, just with three of you instead of two. There are major changes you have to be willing to make.

    If neither of you is willing (or able) to cut back on work, it sounds like you might have had children before you were ready. [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Don't overcompensate by paying attention to her every free minute you're home or you'll develop other problems. She does need to learn that you're in charge, and that you won't cater to her every whim every time she cries or whines a little.
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    Children are exhausting, but I think this is the real root of your problem:

    "I work 11hrs a day so I get friday off and stay home with the baby (And friday is the roughest day for me). My commute is 1hr/day. My wife works 9hrs/day, 5 days per week and has a 3.5hr commute."

    You're worn out before you ever get home to even see the girl [​IMG] I would try to either: get jobs closer to your home for lessened commute (esp the 3.5 for your wife), move closer to where you both work to cut down on commute (San Jose I'm guessing?), or simply up and move to a cheaper part of the USA so you both don't have to work full time.

    My wife and I moved to Denver from Santa Clara despite neither of us having a job in the area. One house, two kids, and one stay at home mom later, we couldn't be more pleased with the decision.

    The eating like crap, not working out, and not going out part just means this is your first baby -- don't sweat it. That happens to everyone (seriously), you'll adjust to the needs of parenting by about 2 yrs old (and starting eating good again, working out, seeing a movie OUT, ...)
     
  7. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    It's the Bay Area. Cost of living is high. Everyone has to commute. We only work full time, no over time. Well, still the commute is a big issue.

    We don't really jump to her everytime she's cranking. She normally get her dose of 1-2hrs of crying everyday as it is. No, she healthy. As long as you play with her and keep her from getting bored, she semi manageable.

    Discussing this helps. I do realize that living here is a problem but it's hard to imagine living anywhere else and be happy. Something has to give I suppose.
     
  8. D. Scott MacDonald

    D. Scott MacDonald Supporting Actor

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    I'm a father of three (including a 10 month old) and I can relate with what you're saying.

    First, my wife made the biggest sacrifice in that she gave up her well paying career to be a full time mom. Many people think that this is easy, but now you know that they're wrong. It has definitely impacted us financially, but I fortunately make a pretty good salary so we can manage OK.

    Second, some children are harder than others and they require a lot more energy. Our youngest just started sleeping through the night, but image my horror when our first didn't sleep through the night until the she was over a year old. In retrospect, we did a lot of things wrong that could have made things easier, but first time parents usually don't know what to do. Most kids start getting easier at some point, but meanwhile ask yourself if you want some sort of pod child that will never assert her will?

    Third, you need to realize that while things will get much better, they will never return to the way they were before you had children. Try not to reminisce about the "good old days" too much - nothing good will come of it. I enjoy my children very much, but with the good comes the bad. For example, my wife and I haven't been out on a date for over 10 months. However, we know that it will get much better in few months, so we have the perspective not to sweat it too much.

    Finally, there may be some sort of real depression issue that you simply cannot shake off. Eating right and exercising can go a long way towards helping in this regard, but if not, you may want to seek some professional help.
     
  9. Brett_H

    Brett_H Second Unit

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    It doesn't sound like you're exactly "happy" living where you are, so I don't think this one makes sense.

    Nothing really insightful to add, because my wife and I are just now starting to consider starting a family. Best of luck to you.

    -Brett.
     
  10. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    Yes, I know... it's good advice and I will remember that everytime I want to watch tv or catch a movie or have dinner with my wife.... oh or sex [​IMG].
     
  11. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    If you're lucky, as most people are, your child will be only 5% as difficult as mine. Good luck.
     
  12. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    Wow... Where to start...

    I have a 9th month old and I can relate... A BIT...

    Our kid stopped fussing and started sleeping at 3 months. But we had to take serious actions to make that happen, it didn't happen on its own...

    Now he sleeps like, well, like a baby...Some days we have to actually wake him up...

    You're at a year and still no luck?

    I have to agree with whoever mentioned a SCHEDULE- HUGE!!!

    Ours is like clockwork, but when we deviate from it, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE! If he misses a nap during the day, FORGET ABOUT IT... He'll cry for hours....

    At two months though, he was eating EVERY 15 minutes, we were getting a few minutes of sleep a day at most, and there is just so long one can do that without getting sick.

    I'd also consider a serious change in diet... Something is causing the kid to be uncomfortable at night (either gas or hunger) or she'd be sleeping instead of making noise... These little ones need a LOT more sleep that it sounds like she's getting.
     
  13. DustinLC

    DustinLC Supporting Actor

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    yip. I can relate to that.

    Oh well, the doctor said some baby/kid are just more difficult than others.
     
  14. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    It sounds like Dustin has her on a decent schedule, the thing we all forget is that sometimes our schedule isn't their schedule. I think that if they both work as much as Dustin says that their girl REALLY wants some more time with Mommy and Daddy. That sort of thing can take a whole host of forms and I would put irregular sleeping right at the top.

    All I can think of to add is that she probably wants to be with you two a lot more, so you can change something to make that happen or resign yourself to living as is. I highly suggest you look at options outside of the Bay Area, as taking that $1,000,000 house price tag off your heads can really work wonders for a family. As far as surviving somewhere else goes, 469,000,000 Americans somehow find a way to eeck out a living away from SF [​IMG]
     
  15. Chris Hovanic

    Chris Hovanic Supporting Actor

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    I would second that.

    Check into the Baby Einstein videos. They are amazing and the youngsters just love them. On house cleaning night we would pop one of thoes in the DVD player and it gave us 1/2 hour of not tripping over the little one while trying to vacuum, dust or unload the dishwasher. Just enough time to get things done. But you need to watch them with her once in a while too.
     
  16. Erik.Ha

    Erik.Ha Supporting Actor

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    I did do the "cry to sleep" routine... HORRIBLE!!! Basically I would sit up all night waiting for him to stop crying, and when he did, Id run in and praise him... That lasted a couple of weeks, then the new problem was food... He was no longer crying to cry, he was crying because he was STARVING... so we started adding a quarter of a teaspoon of rice cereal to his 10 PM bottle... First time we did that, and every time after, he slept all night...

    Now hes on baby food. That seems to REALLY stick to his gut. He goes to bed at about 8:30 and like I said, sometimes we have to go in at about 8 am to wake him up...
     
  17. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    This sounds all too familiar to me. My son (now 14) was about 18 months before he finally settled down and got easier to care for.

    I worked nights 4:30pm-1:00am and got home about 2am each morning with what was and is still a 1 hour each way commute. I slept at most 3 1/2 hours each night, then got up around 6:00am to take care of my son when my wife went to work (same 1 hour commute for her) her 7:00-3:30pm job....My mother kicked in about 2 hours time everyday to help out in between our shifts.

    It wasn't fun. My wife and I argued constantly, and basically lived together like two baggy eyed strangers rather than as husband and wife. It takes a toll.

    But the thing is, it does get easier. My only recommendation is to find one night for yourselves. Get a babysitter, a relative, whoever...And go out as husband and wife. When my wife and I started doing this once a month or so, we started to feel better overall.

    If you and your wife aren't fighting, you're already doing a better job of this than we did. If you are fighting, when you go out clear the air and get back on the same page. Then enjoy yourselves for a night and live a little.

    I don't see any mention in your post about you and your wife getting out once in a while. There's nothing wrong with doing this, and it's pretty much a necessity in my opinion. It'll make you feel normal again, at least for a little while and that sounds like exactly what you need.

    As for the rest...Our second child (now 10) was much easier. She was a quiet baby, slept and ate without too much fuss and was all around pretty easy to raise. It's just luck of the draw.
     
  18. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    You people are going to hate me.

    Our first boy started sleeping through the night at 3 months, he's now 2.5 yrs and typically sleeps like the dead.

    Our second child is 6 mo and slept through the night (or 6 hours of it [​IMG]) at 3 weeks! He is exceptional, but we have an iron program we follow. It's tough for a week or two but then it is sweet slumber from then on out...
     
  19. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Just wait 'til she's a teenager. :wink:
     
  20. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    I think that is fantastic that you were so fortunate w/your kids. At least you appreciate it. There are people
    I work with that constantly complain about their healthy kids. I politely tell them to take it somewhere else. My 3 yr old has had medical problems since day one and sleep was always at premium early on. He had a digestive condition that made it difficult for him to rest comfortably. The result was many a sleepless night for my wife and I for the first year. Maybe, in a way, it made things a little easier for us because we understood why he didn't sleep through the night, but it did take its toll. Thankfully, my son is completely past his digestive issues and he sleeps through the night all the time. Getting him to stay in bed is another story.
     

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