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Walls are Closing In










QUESTION:

In addition to being a new father, our daughter also has a heart condition which makes it even more than then usual new dad jitters. She's 6 months, OK and just had her second surgery. Thankfully she is doing great and the outlook is also great.

That aside, I know having a baby means basically no downtime, but sometimes I feel very overwhelmed by this. By the time the evening bottle, bath, and making new bottles is over there is no time for anything and if there is we are exhausted.

Don't get me wrong; I love her dearly and would do anything for her and my wife; sometimes, however, I miss the freedom to just have some time to watch TV or unwind. My wife and I rarely get time to catch our breath...thank goodness for the DVR; but we are even two months behind on that.

Again, our daughter definitely comes first and I feel guilty sometimes for wishing I could just pop in a DVD or play the Xbox. We get the occasional date night thanks to her parents, but even then we are still calling home every hour to see how she is.

How does a dad balance all of the responsibilities and still try to find a few minutes to just breathe? Sometimes I get this 'walls closing in feeling' and don't know what to do.




ANSWER:

At six months most new dads have settled in (unless they’re dealing with their baby having a heart condition requiring surgery). New moms too. Calling home every hour when on a rare night out at six months provides a definitive diagnosis.

Time for both of you to give yourself a break; you go first; you need to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your family. Tell your wife you need to take a night off, do it and make it count (at a bar with a buddy with whom you can vent). Only rule is you cannot even think about your family. Then it is her turn and you may have to boot her out with a friend for a night out. You might even need to take her cell phone so she cannot call home.

Getting out of the house alone is huge for both of you to temporarily turn off the constant pressure. The jitters are contagious so both of you require this treatment.

Good Luck with your new family.

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