Father of two.
My wife suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of our first child, and this is how I dealt with it. Warning, It might not work for everyone.
A month after my first child was born I started my own business, and it was the best thing I could have done.
Being my boss meant that I controlled every hour of my day, which suited being a new father. I was able to set my priorities on my terms.
The priority I set, was the hours I worked. I made it a rule to work no later than 4:30, and only seldom on weekends. However, I would do my paperwork once everyone had gone to bed. By doing this, it allowed me the time to take my son out for an evening walk in the stroller and gave my wife some time to herself, which of course doubled as bonding time with my son. I also used this time to think about my business, ways I could improve it, and also unwind from the day. I would then return home, cook dinner, and bath my son.
These might sound like natural tasks that an active father should be involved in, and I completely agree, but don’t forget, not everyone does these, but they certainly helped my wife get through the first year. And within that year she was also able to meet a local community of Japanese mothers in our area with similar aged kids.
Thankfully, the business was going well enough for us to buy her a small car, which gave her some freedom from the house. The second year got easier but never perfect. Honestly, I never knew what I’d come home to, tears, tantrums, or togetherness.
Then fast forward to the beginning of 2013, my son was now two and a half years old, and we had to start thinking about kindergartens. I was behind the wheel driving somewhere; I don’t recall where, but I just had this thought, ‘What if we move back to Japan, in the next few years?’ I didn’t think it would solve all our problems, but I knew my wife would be happier there. Since my son had been born, they’d been back a few times, and I knew her mother was very supportive.[mc4wp_form id=”16061″]
Over the summer time that year, we went back for a vacation, and I remember looking at my wife and thinking, ‘this is where we should be.’ We immediately began the visa process that week.
We are now living in Japan, and have done so since November 2013. The move was a four-month frenzy of packing up our old life and preparing for a new one. We have also been blessed with the birth of our second son in August this year. I’ll be the first to admit, that moving countries might sound a bit excessive, but it came down to what was the best choice for our family. And that’s my main theme here, making a fatherly decision. This decision didn’t benefit my business or my career, but it did help the most valuable people in my life, my wife, and son.
During that time I also learned the valuable lesson that this is now MY family, and as one of the leaders in this family I have the wheel that determines the direction that my family needs to go.
It was a big decision to move back here, and thankfully my wife isn’t going through the stress that we had with the first one. We are all now happily enjoying our life in Tokyo together as a family of four.