Our expert says:
Unemployment is a common and distressing problem, but at least it should mean that the unemployed husband should have far more time and energy available for helping the mother with household chores and child-care, somewhat lessening her burden. He should not himself have been demanding attention and expecting to be a focus of attention when there was a new child and a sick adult in the household.
Some babys are indeed more restless and readily upset from the start, and I think some kids pick up tensions and worries in the family and respond by being this way.
Let's see what other experienced moms on the forum have to say here. I'd expect the older child to adapt to the father's absence before long - maybe he grew used to having dad around all the time during the unemployment, so the contrast is greater in his experience. I wouldn't expect him to be negatively impacted by this. Just continue to take it calmly, and remind him of why this is happening, and how it will benefit all of you in the longer run.
Yes, he probably wont remember how things were when he was 3 - children's capacity to form and access memories reliably doesn't form properly until nearer 4 or 5.
Remind the boy that he is loved by all of you, and that its none of his fault that dad had to go away for a while for work. Children can indeed form the view that somehow such family events may be their fault, especially where the absent dad used to shout at him.
These are very early days in his adjustment to the changed situation - try spending more quality time with him, maybe call in some family if it seems useful. Prepare the boy for the monthly visits by dad, to help him understand both why dad is coming back for a visit, and why he'll be going back away again.
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