Postbaby Mood Swings

Baby blues have you taking out your anger on your husband? Find out why it’s happening and how to deal.

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By Kaitlin Stanford for The Bump

Maybe it’s the sound of his voice that suddenly gets under your skin or the way he chews his food with his mouth open. (Why does he do that?) Maybe it’s his superior diapering skills that have you seriously annoyed lately. Whatever it is, you’re not alone. Sure, you try and remind yourself that your husband is half the reason you even have your little bundle of joy, but even so – right now, you can’t stand the sight of him. Sound familiar?

Why You’re Hating on Him
If it comes as any comfort, you’re far from the only one unleashing major postbaby mood swings on the hubs. For one new mommy, all it took to lose her cool was one dangerously empty bag of M&M’s. “One night I went to have some candy,” she recalls. “And when I got to the bag, I realized my husband had left only 2 of them in there! I thought, seriously? Who eats all but 2?! I was so angry at him, I started having fantasies of hurting him over candy!” Fellow new mom Cytina remembers her own outbursts: “I had a very short fuse with my husband in those first few weeks, even when he was trying to be helpful.”

According to Dr. Shoshana Bennett, a postpartum depression specialist and author of Postpartum Depression for Dummies, it’s common, and totally normal for those sleep-deprived first weeks with baby to cause some bouts of irrational crankiness (and, yes, even a few crying jags). So how come your guy bears the brunt of your bad mood? Simple: “It can be easy to use your husband as a verbal punching bag,” explains Dr. Bennett. “When you’re frustrated, it’s easier to let yourself yell at another adult in the house rather than at an infant.” Part of the reason for your crankiness is what Dr. Bennett calls the common "myths of motherhood." She explains, “Women often find themselves thinking things like I should be able to do this all by myself or If I loved my baby enough, I shouldn’t need any breaks,” she says. “Once you change the mindset that you need to do everything all by yourself, a lot of your anger, resentment, and frustration will subside.”

If your postbaby moodiness doesn’t end there, finding the root of your anger might take a little more detective work.