The first trimester + high holidays and sukkot + hitting midterm time = I’m drowning. I feel as though I shouldn’t complain both because I don’t feel sick and dog tired myself and because I don’t want to make Lyn feel bad because she does feel sick and tired. But don’t worry; I’m going to complain anyway. I really am happy to take care of Lyn – after all she’s going through the first trimester for both of us and I’m glad I’m not the one puking. But I now have more chores to do, a messier house, and a spouse who just isn’t much fun. Lyn’s symptoms seem to vacillate between total exhaustion with nausea and the kind of crabby weepiness I generally associate with the worst day of PMS.

So we’re trying to lower standards (I thought they were already pretty low, but I think I’m about to discover I was wrong) and to remember that this too shall pass. By which I don’t mean that Lyn is suddenly going to be back to her old self (that won’t probably happen for a while since these symptoms will be replaced with other ones), or that suddenly there will be fewer chores to do (nope, in eight months or so there’s going to be a lot more), but rather than we’ll all adjust to the new normal, and someday we’ll look back on the old normal and say “We didn’t know how good we had it back then!”

So, I’m asking for your advice. I want to be supportive, care for my wife and daughter, and not burn myself out. To those of you who have done it before or are doing it now (especially but not exclusively from those of you who have handled a toddler plus a pregnancy):

  1. How do you cut back on the volume of work that needs to happen around the house? Do you have shortcuts, hire help, or just organize things better?
  2. How do you handle your own personal stress and fatigue as a non-pregnant parent/spouse/mother?
  3. How do you not turn into a jerk that takes care of everything, but uses passive aggression to subtly punish your partner for not being more capable?