I just have to follow up with you and thank you again for your response. Tonight was great and I was able to make my wife feel incredibly better thanks in great part to what you told me here.
She had a terrible night last night, barely got 3 hours of sleep because our kids woke up and got her out of bed several times. She left for work at around 8:30am and wouldn't be back home until 9:00.
I made a bigger effort today to have her just come home and relax. Other times she's come home late anecdotes the kids still up, some cleaning left to do, the baby hungry, etc. today I made sure everything was taken care of. By the time she got home all the kids were asleep and the houses was tidied up. We lay in bed for a bit while she nursed the baby and we talked a bit, then we went downstairs to get something to eat (we hadn't sat down for a meal together in a really long time) and just talked some more.
I asked her about the better part of her day, as you recommended. She told never was talking with a co-worker and really being able to tell her stuff. She said taking with her really helped because at that point in the day she was feeling really bad and afterwards felt much better. Then I told her I thought I had dropped the ball and had not been as helpful around the house to her without realizing how it was making her feel. She seemed to really appreciate that.
I told her that in part, my bad attitude around be the house was because I had been dealing with my own issues, but that only shows how interconnected we are. If I am having problems that prevent me from functioning and I stop doing my part around the house, then she has to make it up and that extra work worsens her own symptoms, which prevent her from functioning and then the cycle begins. I told her I feel I can break that cycle now thanks to therapy and subtly hinted that maybe she should find a way to get some help too because any problems I have are also gets and any problems she has are mine. (I'm having trouble expressing the true sentiment here, this has come off as harsh or me blaming her but I swear that wasn't how it came out with her).
We spoke about her mood a lot and she seemed overall much better. She told me this was the best end of a long work day she had had in a really long time because she felt she could come home and relax and just enjoy being home. It also helped (me) that the kids were a lot better behaved today and more reasonable and I had an easier time dealing with them so I was able to get my act together and get stuff done around the house before she came in.
Seeing how much of a difference simple things like these can make for her has really made me realize how important it is that, whatever problems I encounter during the day at work or with the kids, I shouldn't take it out on her and leave her to deal with the screaming kids because "I've had enough for the day", or leaving a mess for her to clean up because "I had an exhausting day at work and deserve some rest".