Balancing parenthood’s struggles and sacrifices

Dear Annie: My husband and I had our son in February of 2023. During labor and delivery, I managed to get a herniated disc that leaves me in total body pain all day every day, and there are times when I can barely walk. My husband works Monday through Friday 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. as a sanitation loader, while I am a stay-at-home mom.

Over the last year I still managed to wake up early, get my husband up and ready for work, take care of the baby, etc. On Friday and Saturday nights, I ask him to wake up with the baby IF or when he does (it’s not that often, when he does wake, and usually takes about five minutes to put him back down for bed) just so I can try to catch a break and get rest for my back. Keep in mind, I have trouble sleeping because of the physical pain I am in and because he drinks and snores a lot.

Recently, he told me that he’s tired of doing it, and I need to step up and do more. When he is home, the only thing I ask him to do is change the baby’s diaper. I typically deal with the baby myself unless what I’m doing isn’t making him happy; then he’ll stop gaming and help with him. Am I expecting too much from my husband? Thanks for any help or advice. — Expecting Help

Dear Expecting Help: I’m sure when you read the book about what to expect when you’re expecting, you didn’t think you would have to deal with a husband who seems to be taking a bit of a back seat to parenting. It sounds like you are both tired and working very hard. When we are sleep-deprived, we are not our best selves, and people can say and do things they don’t mean.

It is important for you two to talk about just that — how hard this stage of parenting is. You might seek the help of a marriage counselor if he continues to put all the work on you. In the long run, he will be missing out because anything worthwhile is hard work. Being attentive to your son is hard work — but so rewarding for a lifetime.

Dear Annie: Thank you for letting people know the importance of donating pet food to food banks and shelters. Right now we are facing a record number of pets whose families can’t feed them! If everyone who could helped pets who have been cared for and loved their whole lives, they wouldn’t end up in a noisy, scary, crowded shelter — where they most likely will lose their life. Please continue to let people know how important this is. — Animal Lover

Dear Animal Lover: Thank you for your letter.


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