Helping a Depressed Stay-at-Home Dad

My husband is depressed about being a stay-at-home dad. He started off doing a great job, and the transition to staying home seemed to go really smoothly. But he recently told me that he resents the situation he’s in. He no longer seems interested in doing anything with our 8-month-old, he doesn’t shower very often, and he’s putting on weight because he uses food as comfort. What can I do?

What a difficult spot. There’s no question that he’s depressed: overeating, resentment, not taking care of himself, and losing interest in activities that used to bring him pleasure such as your baby) are classic signs.

I’m guessing, though, that the real issues is that your husband is having a crisis of masculinity. Most men are raised to think of themselves in terms of how much money they make and to see themselves in the role of provider/protector. It’s very hard for some men to get past this kind of socialization–even when logic and finances say that him staying home with the baby is the right thing.
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Your Husband and Breastfeeding

I’m breastfeeding our baby and I know my husband is 100 percent supportive. But sometimes I can tell that he’s feeling a little left out. Is there anything I can do to help him? How can he be involved in raising our child when so much of it depends on me and breastfeeding?

You know all about how great breastfeeding is, right? That it’s free, that it never runs out, and that breastfed babies’ diapers don’t stink are major advantages. But there’s a lot more. It gives you and your child a great opportunity to bond. It’s also the perfect blend of nutrients for the baby. Breastfed kids have a much lower chance than formula-fed kids of developing food allergies, respiratory- and gastrointestinal illnesses, or of becoming obese as adults. It may also transmit your immunity to certain diseases on to the baby. Pretty much everyone agrees that you should breastfeed for at least a year if you can.
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Eight Things Women Can Do to Get Fathers More Involved

Even though I’m married, I sometimes feel like a single mom. How can I get my husband to do more around the house and with our child?

About 90 percent of couples experience an increase in stress after their children are born. And the number one stressor, by far, is the division of labor in the home. Unfortunately, even the most egalitarian couples tend to slip into traditional roles, which means that you’ll probably end up doing more of the housework and childcare than your partner. Research shows that the more equitably domestic tasks are distributed, the happier wives (and husbands) are with their marriages. So resolving these issues may be critical to the health and success of your relationship. How are you going to do it? Well, if your goal is to make the division of labor around your house fairer to you, take a deep breath and read on.
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