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  1. #1
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Wife is feeling down after 3rd kid - suggestions?

    We have 3 kids. An almost 5 year old, a 2 year old and a 5 month old. I work full-time and finished school (bachelors) about 5 years ago. My wife is a stay-at-home mom.

    We just recently got back from a really fun family vacation (w/o the youngest), but being back at the house my wife is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the routine. With our previous two this came up, but not as often with our new baby girl - who is really, really high maintenance so far. My wife has said she just hates that she is always doing the same thing, every day.

    Once or twice a week we meet for lunch (her and the 3 kids) at eat at a nearby park. When she dropped me back off at work she said she has been thinking about going to school to get an associates or something similar. The motivation is not financial since we are not in desperate need of money, but she did say that she feels jealous that people talk about their education and that she won't be able to help our son in school.

    I don't think that she needs a college education to help our son through his schooling, but I think she is feeling like she is wanting to work towards something personal. I told her that I wasn't thrilled about the idea since it would take a lot of sacrifice of both of our time and money for her to get an education that she wouldn't use for anything (she isn't planning on working, and she is a fantastic mother). I think hearing that hurt her, but I want to offer something that would help her feel better about herself that won't have the same overall costs and as little value as an associates degree.

    The time wouldn't be as much of an issue when all of our kids are in school, but that's a lot of years away. It seems to me like the dissatisfaction would go away as our youngest is more than a year old and hopefully doesn't cry as often, but I don't know what I can do now to make it easier for her. A few weeks ago I was finally able to get the baby girl to take a bottle, so I do wake up to feed the baby a bottle every few nights and I can actually feed her and I will do the dishes when the sink is full but I'm really at a loss.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Did she sacrifice to have kids while you were in school? Do you want a wife, a partner, someone that you love more than yourself, or just someone to watch your kids and do the dishes?

    Not sure what your wedding vows were like, but perhaps you should find your wedding video and see what you promised her and make sure you are keeping up your end of the bargain.

    I would sit down and discuss her dreaams and desires, what she wants to do when kids are older, etc and find a plan to help her be happy.
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  3. #3
    Designer steppinthefunk's Avatar
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    Personally I think going to school for something without any plans of applying what you've learned is a waste of time.
    If she really wants to take some classes then I suggest she take something like cooking classes or wood working or beauty school.
    Something that she could have fun learning and will be able to make something of what she learned.
    There's no point in getting an associates degree in criminal justice if she has no plans of working in that field.

  4. #4
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    I would let her do whatever she wants. A 2 year degree at a community college is not very expensive. Sounds like she is willing to make some sacrifices but not you.

  5. #5
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    A happy mommy makes for a happy family. Raising children is all consuming and one of the hardest jobs on the planet. You should support her in whatever avenue she chooses to enrich her life.

    There is research out there that indicates that an educated mother leads to greater success in school for her children. Do you want your children to be the best they can be? Going to get an Associates degree from a community college is a fantastic idea. CC costs less and you will all benefit from your wife's time in school.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

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  6. #6
    Oh, my brake was on.
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    Boy that third one really throws you for a curve. Try having a fourth and see how that goes. Maybe you just need an even number.
    I believe it stopped being about the OP a while ago.

  7. #7
    Designer steppinthefunk's Avatar
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    I really don't understand all the angst in these replies.
    I understand that your wife is feeling a bit on the empty side but then again there is nothing wrong with you wanting to keep practicality in check.
    Raising three kids ain't no joke. Daycare alone for three kids could easily run you $3000 a month!

    How about you ask your wife if she would like to work as a daycare teacher.
    You'll get a discount on daycare for the kids and your wife will have something to do.
    She probably won't take home much as per paychecks are concerned but at least it'll be a change of pace.

  8. #8
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    Be encouraging, but logical. She obviously wants to do something to further herself. Encourage that. Jumping in an Associate program might not make sense though. Acknowledge that she needs something and explore different options. Maybe she can do a mentor program at some business, take continuing education classes at a college, or something along those lines.

  9. #9
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Did she sacrifice to have kids while you were in school? Do you want a wife, a partner, someone that you love more than yourself, or just someone to watch your kids and do the dishes?
    We got married when I had about a year and a half left and I had been working full time and going to school full-time so that I didn't have any student loans to pay off when I was finished. She had our first child after I was finished with school. I think your point is though, that since we are partners that I should be willing to sacrifice for her happiness which I totall agree with.

    I know I can be super insensitive, and maybe that's the root of the problem, but for me it comes down to 3 things:

    1 - We have talked about our financial plan for the next couple of years so we can move into a house, and doing this would extend that time frame by at least a year. We wouldn't have to accumulate any new debt, but it just delays the time to payoff existing debt (2nd mortgage on the duplex we are living in and a downpayment for a home).

    2 - To me an associates degree has very little value, and maybe that's because I am in an industry that it's uncommon so I could be way off, so if it's just any assoicates degree it's a waste of time. We both think it's important to have a parent at home with the kids instead of a paying someone to care for them, so she would be be at home with them at least until they are all in school (or me if I coudln't work anymore). I would be more open to the idea if she wanted to continue her EMT training which she has done in the past.

    3 - Since I'd be at work in the day she'd be going to school at night and I'd only see her a few times a week.


    The things I like about it:

    1 - She gets to do something she is wanting to do, and she gains new skills

    2 - It gives us a backup so that in case something happens where I can't work, she can. We do have life insurance which should cover debt and living expenses in the case of my death (and schooling if she wanted to at that time) but we dont' really have a backup plan for me being disabled.
    Last edited by CbadRider; 09-20-12 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Removed quoted post

  10. #10
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Did she sacrifice to have kids while you were in school? Do you want a wife, a partner, someone that you love more than yourself, or just someone to watch your kids and do the dishes?

    Not sure what your wedding vows were like, but perhaps you should find your wedding video and see what you promised her and make sure you are keeping up your end of the bargain.

    I would sit down and discuss her dreaams and desires, what she wants to do when kids are older, etc and find a plan to help her be happy.
    this!
    marriage is a lot more than just coming home from work.

  11. #11
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGoeder View Post
    Boy that third one really throws you for a curve. Try having a fourth and see how that goes. Maybe you just need an even number.
    You're not kidding!

    Our first son had such a great temperment, our second boy was hard to soothe (and wouldn't sleep) for his first year and holy crap this little girl has been insanely needy - so much crying. At this rate having a fourth would send one of us to the mental hospital for sure.

  12. #12
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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    We have 4 kids...wel, they are adults now.

    My marriage is, to put it succintly, falling apart. A lot of our current problems date back to the days when my wife was home raising the kids.

    I always made good money and I was able to support my family in a very comfortable lifestyle. My wife never had to work outside the home and, unlike many women I know, never had to juggle home life and work.

    I thought that I was doing all the right things by being a good husband, a good dad and a good provider. Apparently my wife wanted "more;" though to this date she cannot define what that "more" is/was.

    By comparison, my S-I-L is happy as a clam being a homemaker and mom.

    I mention this for two reason. First, women (and men too) are all different and have different goals/needs/aspirations.

    Second, you don't really know what is going on in a person's head until you have an open and frank discussion with the person.

    So my suggestion to you is that you find a way to have a weekend getaway with your wife (without the kids) and have a frank discussion with her about what she really needs/wants now and in the long term future. If you don't do it now, you may find yourselves 20 or 30 years into the future facing the same problems that my spouse and I are now facing.

    Good kuck.

    NOTE: BTW, she may be also suffering from post-partum depression. Seeing a doctor may help.
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  13. #13
    Found my way <3 2 Ride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somedood View Post

    2 - To me an associates degree has very little value, and maybe that's because I am in an industry that it's uncommon so I could be way off, so if it's just any assoicates degree it's a waste of time.
    I'm pretty sure you didn't read my post. That's the important part down there vvv. So her getting a degree isn't a waste of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    There is research out there that indicates that an educated mother leads to greater success in school for her children.

    Quote Originally Posted by somedood View Post
    3 - Since I'd be at work in the day she'd be going to school at night and I'd only see her a few times a week.

    So, let me get this straight. You're time away from her is okay, but she has to be there when you are ready for her? Grow up a little bit. Night classes last 1-2 hours a night a couple of nights a week and letting her have a little time to pursue this would be that much of an inconvenience to you? Let me clue you in if you really value a two parent household and not having someone else taking care of your children. When husbands don't take these comments seriously from their wives, their wives start to feel resentment toward the husband. That then turns into anger and hurt, which often leads to divorce. Your wife is asking for a very small thing. If you truly value and love each other, this should be a no-brainer. [/RANT]
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. - Jimi Hendrix

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  14. #14
    Designer steppinthefunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    NOTE: BTW, she may be also suffering from post-partum depression. Seeing a doctor may help.
    Very good point!

  15. #15
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    So my suggestion to you is that you find a way to have a weekend getaway with your wife (without the kids) and have a frank discussion with her about what she really needs/wants now and in the long term future. If you don't do it now, you may find yourselves 20 or 30 years into the future facing the same problems that my spouse and I are now facing.

    Good kuck.

    NOTE: BTW, she may be also suffering from post-partum depression. Seeing a doctor may help.
    That's a great suggestion, and I am worried about the post-partum depression being a factor as well. It's hard to feel well when being sleep deprived and hearing crying so often. I think I really need to step it up and have date nights without the kids at least once a week.

  16. #16
    Banned. ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somedood View Post
    That's a great suggestion, and I am worried about the post-partum depression being a factor as well. It's hard to feel well when being sleep deprived and hearing crying so often. I think I really need to step it up and have date nights without the kids at least once a week.
    best of luck.

  17. #17
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    I have a few thoughts:

    1. Getting checked out for the post-partum issues is an excellent idea
    2. Education is never wasted. Education can be much more than just to get a job ticket punched.
    3. There are so many online and distance learning options now, many at low cost, that she can get a great education without ever leaving the house.
    Regards, MillCreek
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  18. #18
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    I'm pretty sure you didn't read my post. That's the important part down there vvv. So her getting a degree isn't a waste of time.
    The studies I've read show that having parents, especially the mother, that pay attention to and spend time with their children is the biggest contributor to success in children.


    Quote Originally Posted by <3 2 Ride View Post
    So, let me get this straight. You're time away from her is okay, but she has to be there when you are ready for her? Grow up a little bit. Night classes last 1-2 hours a night a couple of nights a week and letting her have a little time to pursue this would be that much of an inconvenience to you? Let me clue you in if you really value a two parent household and not having someone else taking care of your children. When husbands don't take these comments seriously from their wives, their wives start to feel resentment toward the husband. That then turns into anger and hurt, which often leads to divorce. Your wife is asking for a very small thing. If you truly value and love each other, this should be a no-brainer. [/RANT]
    Where did I say my time away from her is ok? During the "working hours" of the day we are both at work, she is working full time caring for our children and I and working full time making money for our family. When I get home we can all spend time with each other and I can contribute to watching our kids. What I meant by that is I enjoy her company, and I wouldn't have that time with her if she were gone 3 hours a night every 3-5 nights a week. Do you think she would think it were a small thing if I were to ask her to have 3 hours, 4 nights a week and $4.5k a year to finance it? Things are shared pretty equally in our relationship including time and money.

  19. #19
    Senior Member somedood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCreek View Post
    2. Education is never wasted. Education can be much more than just to get a job ticket punched.
    3. There are so many online and distance learning options now, many at low cost, that she can get a great education without ever leaving the house.
    Both great points, thank you

  20. #20
    Senior Member bikebuddha's Avatar
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    Dood,
    First I would agree with everyone that she should talk to the doc about PP. My SIL had it pretty bad.

    Secondly husband to husband throw your financial plan out the window and let her go to school if that's what she wants. And don't just let her go to school be supportive of the idea. If she feels she needs a life outside the house away from the kids, then make it happen and even if you're not crazy about the idea don't let her know it. She may do it for a little while and decide she doesn't like it but the important thing is that it's her decision.
    The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.

  21. #21
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    She's a woman. Let her take some cooking and cleaning classes and keep her barefoot and pregnant.

  22. #22
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Support her and encourage her. Surely there is a University of Phoenix campus handy or something wherever you live.

    (My wife and I both have bachelors' degrees and successfully talked each other out of grad school years ago. She decided she didn't want to do the homework for her MS and I didn't want to spend the money for mine.)

    Mrs. A is currently on leave from her p/t job after the birth of our second. Her last work projects haven't really set her on fire, so she has been poking around for a new job in a slightly different field she actually cares a lot about for when she decides to return to work. I have been actively encouraging this.

    She was pretty down for a while after the birth of our first-- he was a tough one right off the bat-- and he's still a handful at 2.5 years old. Our second baby has been a breeze in comparison and there is a lot less mood swinging going on. Thankfully, I have a generous employer and have been around the house more to help with the kids.

    Also, we got a roomba to vacuum for us.
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  23. #23
    Oh, my brake was on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by somedood View Post
    Our first son had such a great temperment, our second boy was hard to soothe (and wouldn't sleep) for his first year and holy crap this little girl has been insanely needy - so much crying. At this rate having a fourth would send one of us to the mental hospital for sure.
    That sounds very familiar. Our youngest (and third as well) is almost three and I feel like I can see light at the end of the tunnel. My wife had a really rough time with the PP combined with some family drama at the same time. I'm not really sure how I kept it together but somehow we did. Trust me brother, you're right to think it gets easier and less frustrating.
    Im guessing you may not have family nearby that can take one or more off your hands for a couple hours now and then? If that's the case, look forward to this, your oldest will start to be able to be more capable of doing small things to help mom when you're not there.
    Take it one day at a time and try to make sure you (and your wife as well) don't feel guilty about "not enjoying all the little things" that people always toss your way when you complain about the stress.
    I believe it stopped being about the OP a while ago.

  24. #24
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    Stay at home mom with three kids. Who does she get to socialize with besides you and the kids? If you stay home most evenings it is possible she is starting to feel isolated and trapped.

    I think her attending college classes is a great idea. There is nothing wrong with learning for the joy of learning. If she really wants to go, check daytime classes also. Some CCs offer free/reduced daycare for students.
    We have met the enemy and they is us.

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  25. #25
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    You blew it when you criticized her desire to go back to school. You can't unring that bell, but at minimum you should tell her that you've seen the light and agree she should try going back to school. Further education is never wasted.

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