Postpartum emotional and spiritual numbness

Have any of you felt spiritually and emotionally numb postpartum. For the past two months I’ve been battling myself in the basics of just hugging, hand holding, etc. my husband and children. I work in childcare so that may be part of the reason why I just want my space at the end of the day, but I’ve realized how this has affected my family. My husband complains about us not being intimate (from holding hands to love making). I don’t intend to cosleep the whole night with the baby (the crib is next to the bed) but each night I collapse from exhaustion that the thought of sitting up and breastfeeding is so unappealing. My husband feels like we are separate (and I feel it too), my mom suggests I switch to formula so that I can be there more for my family.

My husband does so much around the house since he’s home weekdays (he works weekends) but still complains that he prefers his wife’s touch to making dinner and complains that I don’t do enough around the house. I thank him all the time for all he does for our family. Some days he asks me to bring the kids with me so that he can get things done since it’s hard to do a lot of housework and other things (like cleaning out the garage) with them. It’s rare that I say no to this request and when I do, it’s for a legitimate reason.

We’ll be struggling financially in the new year since he doesn’t have many jobs lined up in the first two months and I know this bothers him. He complains about simple meals because he grew up poor and doesn’t want our kids to have beans as the main protein. He gets frustrated with the fact that we haven’t had money to paint the house, build a deck, etc. since we’ve moved here. He wants everything to be so nice looking like everyone else in my family (most of his siblings are struggling and he forgets to recognize how blessed we are in comparison to their struggles).

He just seems so frustrated and emotionally withdrawing and I’m trying to figure out ways to help him (yes, I pray for him). I come up with mini-dates inside the house when the kids are sleeping. I’ve initiated relations twice since I got the all-clear from the doctor (about 3 weeks ago). It just seems that if it isn’t elaborate as he wishes that he just doesn’t want to bother at all.

I’m just wondering if I’m not dong enough, what I can change to be more for my family. Also, I want to know if any of you have been through the “I don’t want to do anything and I want my space” feelings postpartum.

I read your post, first, just to pray for you.

But secondly, is there any way you can take a week off from work? It sounds like for a few months you’ve been on-call 24 hours a day. I know money is tight, but it seems like there could be something worked out. Is there any way he’d be willing to be a cashiere during the holidays? Malls and other stores are desprite for workers…people don’t want to stop collecting unemployment. It stinks, it’s minimum wage, but it may be just enough so you can have a break.

Also, see if your parish or other organization can help. There are orginzations that can provide day-old bread, veggies…and perhaps allow you the money to buy meat. It’s not wrong to take advantge of these things. Infact, many genrous managers of grocery stores donate this food in hopes it won’t go to waste. (and in our parish food pantry gets first dibs, then parish functions, then any&all parishonders…and often things STILL get tossed)

I actually have a two week vacation coming up so that will be nice (hubby will be out of town for the first three days of my vacation time, though, for his job). Don’t get me wrong, we have food to eat, it’s just he wants meat at every dinner. I’m okay without having meat all the time. It’s really interesting what our desires are, I grew up with having anything I wanted materially speaking (we’d have lobster dinners usually once every or every other month, for example) and my husband grew up poor (tortillas and beans every day). I have no desire for many material things (though I always thank God for indoor plumbing, heating, and central air because that is something I would struggle going without) and I wear my clothing and shoes until they have holes so big that I can no longer wear them out without embarrassing everyone :o. My husband enjoys finer things and has more of everything than me. We’re just trying to find a balance (he’s realizing that he can’t go all out just b/c now he’s not as poor as he was when growing up.

YAY I’m glad you have a vacation comming up!

About the meat… GEESE! it seems I know SO many couples who have this same sort of issue. For instance, when hubby is gone I’m sure you’d think mac’n’cheese is a good dinner…or soup.

Some of hubby’s fears are illogical evaluations based on past history. It takes a tremendous amount of healing to get past that. I’m with you on the clothing and shoes thing…I have 5+ year old footware that I wear every day. It’s LLBean so it travels well…but it is what one person called “bizarrly old” They aren’t in bad condition.

I would sit down and really try to hash out the food issue…where are you on meats, fast food, veggies, grains, organic? What do you see as a balanced diet and what does hubby? Will having cheaper international foods suffice? Perogies and Kelbasa? Thi noodles? Eggplant paremejohn? Yahoo has a great “a week of dinners” feature article that has cheap nutirious dinners (you can always make them cheaper and more nutrious b/c they often suggest things like pilsbury crescent rolls). Perhaps variety may sway his attitude. It dosn’t so much sound like a money issue but a quality of life…If the food is good, even meatless, perhaps it would be more appealing. Also, many people are now taking on meatless Fridays and Wednesdays for the poor souls in pergutory and reperation for the sins in the world…that gives you two days off. :thumbsup: And in regards to the lobster…come to New England…it’s been $3.99 a pound here for a few months.

As far as cooking dinner…the best thing I ever discoverd was “flash” freezing. I cook a dinner with alot of portions then before I eat I diivy it up into lunch-sized rubbermaid containers and freeze while still warm (though not hot enough to melt the plastic). When I re-heat it it tastes fresh-cooked. Cooking 10 portions as opposed to 5 of many foods dosn’t take much more time and then I don’t have to cook later (and I can also have good lunches).

I know that’s the least of your worries, but sometimes handling the small stuff and giving youself a break leads to peace in the larger things.

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