Right now I am 99% mom, 1% wife, and 0% student. My wife stormed out of the house this morning because she is going through a big, stressful transition at work and I haven’t been emotionally supportive. I say words like “I’m so proud of you” and “this must be really tough”, but she can tell my words are empty and devoid of true empathy. I feel like I have no emotional support left to give. And the affection has been gone a while, too. I get out of bed at 5:30 to hug her goodbye every morning and I rub her back some nights (that’s me really trying after our talk about affection post-baby), but again, it’s hollow and empty. I am empty.
It’s not that I’m suffering from PPD and feel empty inside – I am teaming with love and empathy for the baby. But 99% of my emotional capacity is spent on the baby. Maybe it would be different if I weren’t alone in caring for her 24 hours a day, but honestly, I don’t mind being spent on her.
I just feel terrible that there isn’t more of me to go around. I also have no extra energy to think about school, and I often feel like a financial dead-weight in our little family. I just want to quit the PhD so I can go get some 35 hour a week paying job when Avery is in day care and at least take some of the pressure off my wife. Right now I can’t even remember what passion for my research used to feel like… Again, my love for Avery has cast everything else in my life into the shadows.
I don’t know if this is something I should be able to control, and if I need to somehow redistribute my emotional capacity. I don’t know how to do that. There is only so much of me to give.