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It’s a bit of a drag having a lazy wife

Nap time: A reader is frustrated by his wife’s need to sleep

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife seems to be a bit on the lazy side. She is always wanting to nap or complains of low energy. We get into disputes quite a bit over it because I just can’t seem to understand why she needs so much sleep. I can get four hours in per night and I am good to go. It’s a bit of a drag having a lazy wife. What can she do to give herself some energy?


Getting Bored

Dear Getting Bored,

I always find it interesting how people ask how their partners can fix or improve themselves whenever it seems that their significant other does not fit into their ideal lifestyle. How do you know that she is really lazy? Have you ever considered that you both just naturally have different energy levels?

In this case, there is nothing wrong with your wife and you could benefit by being a bit more tolerant and understanding. Next you will want to consider if she has always been this way, or if this is something new. If it is something that recently came about, you may want to have a discussion with her about the amount of sleep she is getting nights, as well as the quality of sleep. Whether or not she is waking through the night, is restless, is having vivid dreams, or simply not getting enough hours will affect her energy levels throughout the day.

There are a variety of factors including diet, lifestyle choices, illness and stress levels that will play a role here so if you are truly concerned about this, begin by having her get a physical from her GP. Note also that a lesser-known fact is that studies have shown that women require more sleep than men, and this need increases as physical and mental demands rise. Typically, it is said that the body needs no less than five to six hours of sleep per night for ample relaxation, repair, and rejuvenation — with eight being optimal.

However, eight is only an average and is targeted more for growing individuals so adults may very well need more. Overall, we tend to throw around the word “lazy” far too often as we are conditioned to believe that we must have endless supplies of energy to be on the go.

Be sure to check for illness, evaluate stress and quality of sleep and adjust activities while having an understanding of your wife’s energy levels. This way you will become less frustrated as she will begin to appreciate your concern for her, and you will be able to engage in activities that are enjoyable for the both of you which will most certainly improve the overall quality of your marriage.

Dear Dr Nekia,

My wife gave birth to our son seven months ago and has not returned to work yet. Of course we could use the extra money, but whenever I bring up the subject of going back to work she gets really angry with me. I do not know why. I see many other women who go back to work way sooner and they are healthy and so are their children. Is this natural that my wife doesn’t seem to want to leave the baby days?


She’s Gotta Work

She’s Gotta Work,

Congratulations on the healthy birth of your little one. However, let’s put everything in context here. Our capitalist-driven society has determined that women run more like machines and less as humans. Medical science has added to this by saying that a woman only needs this or that when it comes to women’s health issues, and society as a whole witnesses women taking on every and anything at once.

This has lea to us having a system of beliefs about the wellbeing of our women. First, we must realise that medical science is lacking in their knowledge of women’s health.

They do what they can, but much is left to be done in its advancement with respect to women. Secondly, we must realise that our social conditions may normalise behaviour and trends, but it does not make such trends healthy.

In other words, just because you see other women doing something without any seeming ill-effects, does not mean that it is the healthy thing to do. We live in a society where our social and political conditions demand us to function, not in our best interests, but for survival or what we perceive to be survival. I have also heard men use as proof to their argument how women of various traditional cultures give birth and then go to work in the fields. This is true, but they negate to note that the social climate of that culture is far different from ours.

There is a difference in partnership roles, stress, diet and spiritual beliefs, which all change the dynamics of wellness. Also to be noted is that these women traditionally have their babies with them and even strapped to them. This is important to note because there is still opportunity for bonding to occur between mother and baby as the woman works at a pace and in a capacity that is healthy for her.

She is allowed to take breaks and to breastfeed and tend to baby as needed. This of course is far different from the workforce where we are employed. Being employed requires the mother and baby to endure complete separation, while caregivers tend to their needs and provide nourishment via plastic bottles. More and more studies are showing that such practices have long-term effects on the psychological and physical development of the child, as well as the health and recuperation of the mother.

So to answer your question, yes your wife’s desire to remain bonded with her child is perfectly normal. And not only is it normal, it is natural, and it is ideal for optimal growth and development. The importance of mother and baby bonding is far too often downplayed, as we look at everything through sterile medical and uncompassionate social eyes.

If, however, your wife is displaying signs of severe separation anxiety such as depression if baby is not in her sight, an unwillingness to let you help care for baby, an unwillingness to sleep apart from baby, or difficulty in leaving the house and baby for even brief periods of time, this may indicate that she is an overzealous new mother or that she is forming an unhealthy attachment with baby that is based on fear and possession. In either case, she may need help from other experienced mothers who can calm her fears, or she may need the help of a professional therapist who specialises in this field who will offer her assistance void of simply medicating her for anxiety or depression.

•Want relationship advice? E-mail nakedtruth@royalgazette.com