Hey everyone, new dad here, could really use some support.
My son Tom (first child) was born on March 18, and since then, I've been having a really rough time of it. About once a day, I wind up feeling trapped and useless, like I made a huge mistake by having a kid and now there's no undo button or or anything I can do about it. My wife is supportive when she sees it happen, but I usually try not to break down in front of her; instead, I go off to the bedroom or the bathroom and cry there. She seems to be handling things better than I am, but I don't want to put any more stress on her than I have to.
The worst of it is probably when he won't stop crying and I can't figure out why. I change him, feed him, swaddle him... all the things that the books say to do, and they usually work, but sometimes nothing helps. A couple times, I've gotten so frustrated that I've had to just leave him to cry in his basket so that I don't start yelling at him. Then I just wind up listening to a screaming baby from across the house, and I wind up feeling like a sack of crap for letting a crying baby suffer. I know it's better than yelling at him or hitting him, but it still feels like failure, like I really ought to be able to take care of his needs. My wife is exhausted from breastfeeding all the time, and so I don't want to wake her up if I don't absolutely have to.
I've been reading some of the older posts on this forum, and it's really helpful to know that other fathers out there went through this and got through it somehow. I guess what I'm really looking for are some milestones. When do things start to get better? Three weeks? Three months? A year? I'm trying to take things a day at a time right now, but I'd love to know how long before there's improvement.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.