Brief Synopsis: Joe and Kim can’t seem to see eye-to-eye ever since they welcomed their new baby into their home.
Couple: Joe and Kim
Challenge: Kim is stressed and overworked caring for new baby Zoe, and it comes out in the way she is short and critical of her spouse. However, when Joe tries to help out, Kim gets frustrated because he doesn’t do things the way that she would do them, and she doesn’t think he is as skilled as she is at soothing the baby.
How they cope: Kim is the household manager, in charge of every decision that happens under their roof, and the result is that she feels overworked and Joe feels marginalized.
Where they’re stuck: Joe wants to help out more and be more hands-on with the baby, but Kim doesn’t let him step up. When he does help, he often receives so much negative feedback that he simply gives up.
Dr. Berman’s homework:
Let your partner step up. Moms often have a knack for taking care of their baby, but that doesn’t mean that dads can’t have an equally special and important role. Your baby wants time with daddy as much as mommy, so step up and give him the opportunity to do so.
You can’t do it all. When moms try to do it all and micromanage everything that happens under their roof, the end result can be that you will be overworked, stressed, and miserable. Everyone needs a break and a chance to de-stress, and without down time, you won’t be able to be the best mom you can be.
Show your appreciation. It’s easy to give negative feedback, especially in the heat of the moment, but it’s even more important to give positive feedback and be a supportive partner. Work as a team and celebrate tiny victories and milestones together, and offer daily appreciations to your partner to stay bonded and close.