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Mom Blames Me for Sick Baby










QUESTION:

I have recently become the proud father to my second daughter, now 4 weeks. My wife went on a trip for 3 days out of town leaving me to care for my two girls. I must say this was a difficult challenge for me, but I overcame all odds and we all three survived while my wife was gone. Once my wife returned she noticed our newborn was a bit congested and the following day the baby began crying uncontrollably.

My wife is blaming me for this and feels I am omitting crucial information, as far as what happened while she was gone. This has been extremely stressful for all of us, but I’m at a freaking loss. I did my best to care for a 4-week-old, a 5-year-old, and myself during her trip. I mean, I fed her breast milk that was pumped, burped her, bathed her, changed her, and all that jazz.

I know it’s not the right thing to do, but I almost feel like just letting my wife deal with the baby herself just so I can’t be blamed for anything.




ANSWER:

At four weeks post-birth, moms are still experiencing the strong hormonal flows they developed as cave moms to drive them to do anything they could to keep their baby alive. She probably felt guilty leaving her four week infant, was constantly concerned, and devastated when something was wrong, feeling like a very bad mother for leaving you all. Your doctor can help you figure out was it is - might be colic, which tends to really get going at 4 weeks.

Part of our job as new dads is to serve as our mate's punching bag as she deals with hormones, guilt, intense anxiety, etc. Usually I tell the guys to take those hits with pride, but you have taken almost a KO. Don't let it push you away from your child; consider her a tad nuts (hormones do that), don't take it personally (easy to say), give it time. If it doesn't get better soon, consider the prospect she may be experiencing post-partum depression, which can cause behavior like this. Hang in there, take care of her, don't back off your baby, and when she sees you with your baby asleep on your chest, giving her a bath, smiling at each other, she will come around and not only trust you with your daughter, but love you for being the dad her baby richly deserves.

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