Pregnant with Third: Tips for Dealing with Anger and Exhaustion

I have two young children and another on the way (pregnancy has been difficult). I am always yelling at either my husband, my kids or the dog. never had to leave my house. I used to enjoy shopping, theatres and movies but now I'm exhausted and just want to stay in bed. I don't know what to do.


Gayle Peterson

Gayle Peterson, PhD, is a family therapist specializing in prenatal and family development. She is a clinical member of the Association... Read more

Your apathy and anger are signs that you need help.

Young children require a tremendous amount of care. This pregnancy has challenged your usual capacity for coping. It sounds as if your anger signals a depression based on physical and emotional exhaustion.

Motherhood requires us to nurture. Your emotional health is crucial not only for yourself, but for the well-being of your family. It is important that you identify and seek answers to your own needs before your children and partner lose you to an angry depression.

Part Two: 4 tips for coping with anger and exhaustion

Part Three: More on dealing with exhaustion in new moms

4 Tips to Help You Cope

1. Carve out time just for yourself each day. Take at least one-half hour as relaxation time, where you have no responsibilities of any kind. You may wish to use a relaxation or visualization tape.

2. Bring in household help or ask your husband to take on more household responsibilities. This should help open up more windows of time for you.

3. Consider whether there are activities or interestes that you have delayed. Resuming interests you may have dropped or reviving dreams you deserted (music lessons, college classes, business endeavors) may be possible if the family reorganizes.

4.Ask yourself what may have triggered your feelings of anger. Make understanding these feelings a priority and do not hesitate to get help from a professional counsellor.

Part Three: More on dealing with exhaustion in new moms

It is possible that going back to diapers with your new baby is somewhat daunting for you. This may contribute to your gloominess about the future. If you are experiencing significant nausea or tiredness in this first half of the pregnancy, it may be difficult to imagine that you will be able to handle your present responsibilities and a new baby to boot.

Though you may feel better soon, as your body adjusts to the pregnancy, your tiredness and accompanying anger may return postpartum if you do not address your present need for rest or secure a plan for the future that does not overwhelm you.

Postpartum depression is often more evident in woman having their third (and subsequent) children, particularly when they are fairly close in age. Presumably this is because of the increased workload, as well as the physical stress of repeated pregnancies.

Act now to give yourself the rest and time you need to relax. No doubt your desire to stay in bed is a sign that you are craving rest and retreat from what you experience as an overly stimulating world. The needs of two young children combined with the hormonal changes of pregnancy may leave you emotionally raw at this time.

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