Hi, readers. Did you know that in addition to handing out my usual tips and advice for new dads on this site, I’ve also been fielding questions from new mums on the fantastic Mush app?*
Helping new mums with their queries has been extremely uplifting and insightful, so I thought it would be worthwhile publishing the answers on here too. Enjoy.
My husband seems quiet and withdrawn since we had our child – is he okay?
It’s tough to say. But given one in 10 men suffer from Post Natal Depression and you’ve noticed a change in his character, then “are you okay?” is definitely a question someone needs to ask him. This could be you, but since you’re really close to the situation, he may not be comfortable giving you a truthful answer, so I’d suggest you ask a third party to do the deed.
Like who? Like one of his close mates or a family member who he respects and you can trust to keep a secret. If you can think of someone who fits this bill, send them a message, tell them you’re worried about your partner and ask them to give him a call and set up a meeting. And then what? Then the friend/relative will either discover there is a problem (and hopefully push your partner to seek help from a professional), flag that there could be an issue (and hopefully offer to keep an eye on your partner), or reveal that there’s nothing to worry about.
Note: if you can’t think of anyone who fits the close mate or trusted family member bill, then you just have to be honest. Tell your partner that you love him, and have noticed some changes in his mood and personality since he became a dad, so wanted to check if he is okay. And then what? Then, he’ll either insist that he is or admit that he isn’t okay. If he says he is, give him a big hug and tell him that you’re there for him and he needs to let you know if the situation changes. And if he reveals that he isn’t, give him a big hug and tell him that you’re there for him and are going to ensure that he gets the help he needs to get through this.
P.S. ABOUT MUSH
*If you know about Mush, you’ll be aware of the great stuff it does for new mums. If you don’t, here are the basics. Mush is the #1 social app for mums. It helps mums arrange meet ups with people who live nearby and have kids of a similar age (2 million mum friendships and counting). And it provides mums with a platform where they can get advice from parenting experts, like sleep consultants, weaning experts and me going back to my agony uncle roots to answer questions from new mums.