“Understand that when I cry it’s because I’m hurt
it’s not just for show”
Below are some practical suggestions of things that you can do to support the mother:
- Ask her how she’s feeling and let her talk.
- Reassure her that you still love her and will be there for her as long as it takes for her to feel better..
- Hold her and cuddle her (without any expectation of things going further).
- Take on more of the household chores or work for the children.
- Encourage her to talk with and see her friends or anyone she feels comfortable with.
- If she’s well enough, encourage her to do some physical activity – even a walk around the block can help change mood and stimulate endorphins. (Make sure that she doesn’t think you are suggesting that she needs to lose weight).
- Arrange for her to have some time for herself – even if it’s only a bath or 20 mins for a cup of tea – this can make a huge difference.
- Make sure that you know how to do everything for the children – eg sterilize and make bottles, bath them, dress them etc.
Here are some comments from our group members:
“Offer to let me stay in bed one morning a week and get up with the kids even if just for half an hour, we know you work and we are happy to return the favour but being a full time parent with PND is exhausting and sleep deprivation will make us feel worse.”
“Make me feel like I am doing a good job with the kids… or even acknowledging that it is in fact a ‘job’ (mine thinks I do nothing)”
“Tell me it’s OK that I am not contributing financially at the moment and that you appreciate what i am doing to be there for the our family“
“Tell me I ‘deserve’ a break now and again”
“Perhaps think about dinner and cook for me once in a while, you’d be amazed how much I’d appreciate it.”
“Give me my own money that’s not part of a never ending budget, without me having to ask”
“I think for me it is to listen without judgement and trying to fix things.”
“Be sensitive to how I feel whether you understand it or not, but take my feelings on board and not dismiss them.”
“Understand that motherhood is exhausting no matter how old your kids are and sex isn’t a priority it’s more for a nice to have. Also that not having sex every time you want it doesn’t mean I don’t love you I’d just rather sleep.”
“Allow me space and time to be alone guilt free ideally without having to ask for it.”
“ Stop pointing out why in not gazing lovingly at Little One at the precise moment he is.“
“To stop telling me part of my struggle is perhaps due to being an older mum (tiredness and weight gain)”
“See that I am still ME and not just a mother and a wife.”
“Be sensitive to my feelings, If you could stop telling me how fat I am that would be great.”
“How about don’t wait to be asked, just do, just do washing, just do dishes, just do cleaning, what I find frustrates me is that I have to ask every single time.”
“The not asking would make a huge difference in my life”
“I think the most important thing for me is letting dads know that women can sometimes lose a lot of self-worth when they are not contributing financially…. they need reassurance that their job (taking care of the kids) is just as important/difficult/draining etc….. i feel so incredibly guilty for not working that i feel everything else is my job and when he finishes work he shouldn’t have to help me with anything. I feel like asking for help makes me inadequate……. to myself as well as him”
“If he understood how tough being a full time parent was he might offer before being asked… and taking the kids for a few hours just doesn’t show them how hard it is… my husband thinks it’s easy because when he used to look after my daughter id come home to find the house a mess, my makeup spread all over the walls, the entire contents of my shoe cupboard on the floor, a full nappy and she’d be wired coz all she had for lunch was a packet of crisps and a tube of smarties… !!!!! Not a true representation of MY job.”
“Just a bit of empathy would be nice.”
“I’d really like some recognition of how bloody tired I am!”
“Getting up to sort out our daughters packed lunch for the day would be amazing.”
“Getting up to get the children up first, checking what baby milk/nappies we need.”
“Not stepping over stuff on the floor, but picking it up, would be most helpful!”
“I’m lucky if I can shower, go to the toilet, eat, sleep or have a simply conversation on the phone if the baby by the time the baby is asleep, I’m exhausted. I would love really appreciate it if he understood this and realised that going for a run, watching a game of football or just chilling out would be such a luxury for me”
“Recognise and give importance to my individuality”