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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default How to find the strength to do it alone?

    Just to start off with – I’m not pregnant yet. At this stage we are waiting on our PGD workup before we can start IVF.

    However, recently I have been wondering whether we are doing the right thing as far as starting a family. But on the other hand I really want to be a mum & have done for years.

    Basically my husband has a job which demands a lot of unpaid over-time on a regular basis. They often have big projects that last for months on end & that means he won’t be home till 8.30pm or later basically every night for that entire period. He also leaves fairly early in the morning – about 6.30/6.45am. He could get home between 6 & 6.30pm if he ever left on time. We have had many many fights about this but he says he doesn’t have a choice but to work back as the deadlines need to be met. Supposedly they are the expectations of his industry.

    So therefore I have some serious concerns about what’s going to happen if we have a child. He says things will be different then, but I have asked him to demonstrate to me how that will happen & he can’t do that – therefore I don’t believe anything will change.

    Which basically means if we have a child I guess will be doing everything during the week as far as care – as by the time he gets home the child will already be in bed (and I probably will be too sometimes). I really don’t know if I am strong enough to basically raise a child alone – I’m scared about being a mum anyway (as I’m sure all first-time mums are) and I just don’t know if I could do it without his support.

    My parents will help out as much as they can, but they also have full-time jobs & their own lives & I can’t expect them to throw all that away just because my DH is at work all the time.

    I don’t feel like I should have to deprive myself of experiencing motherhood just because DH is constantly at work, I just really don’t know if I can do it alone.

    How will I know if I'm strong enough? I don't want to have a baby and then find I can't do it.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    I am facing a similar situation. My husband does professional sport so he works all day from 6 till 5 then at training till he gets home at 8.30. (not.pregnant yet either). But this is how it's always been and I also have no idea if I will cope. I think you just do sometimes. People get into difficult situations my brother is fifo 4 on 1 off leaving his wife with two young kids to look after, and she just adjusted, leans on family when needed. I think it's something you will never really know till it happens. You hope for the best and make sure you have layed out the expectations before hand.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    OP, you will be amazed at the strength you find when necessity calls. Most mums do the lions share of raising kids anyway. Your situation would be very normal.

    Just think of all the single mums, or partners of shift workers/FIFO/army etc that do the majority on their own for a full week. You would at least have your weekends shared

    You become an awesome multitasker as a mum! You will be fine

    To be honest, I'd be more concerned about his comment regarding the situation changing once kids arrive. If it's that easy for him NOT to work so much unpaid overtime, then why is he still doing it now? Why does it take a baby to change that behaviour?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    I'm in the situation you are worried about. In fact is 8:30pm and my dh still isn't home. This is quite normal for him. And he often spend several hours in our home office on the weekend.
    It does frustrate me. I often talk about the long hours and that I feel like I do everything alone. On top of it we have a baby that is 5 months old and was born with a serious heart condition. I often do hospital stuff and medical things alone.
    While it can get lonely, my biggest thing is that when he's with us he really needs to be 'present'...like in the moment with us IYKWIM. Which is hard because he's often tired aas well from work and wants time out. So it's hard to find the right balance. I would say you really need to talk about expectations on weekends etc. So you both know what you expect from each other.
    Eg. On the weekend will you expect him to help with night feeds/nappy changes in order to give you sleep. Or will he expect you still do that stuff alone on weekends because he's tired from work. Just one example that I can think of.
    As pp says. You will be surprised by what you can do and will want to do for your Bub.

  6. #5
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    I do the lion's share of the caring, and while I do resent it sometimes, there are benefits ie doing things the way you want to, putting the clothes you want to on your bub, having the nice cuddles and seeing the milestones first! Yes, it's tiring, but it would be tiring anyway. I also have no family to call on to help, and very busy friends, but I'm positive your family will help you as much as they possibly can. Don't be too proud to ask.

    My answer is you absolutely can do it. Are you in a position where you can be a SAHM and have financial security? If so, then your husband is contributing to the care of your family in a major way, just in a slightly different one. It may help to think of it that way - and to value the pressures and fatigue he faces as much as he should value yours. If you can afford it, you could consider daycare one day a week when your bub is older, so that you can have a you day.

    One thing that really helped me was changing my language, so I'll now say 'I'm going out for an hour' instead of 'is it alright if...?' I will say 'he's been fed at ..., he's due for a sleep at ... Etc.' and then I give a big smile and say 'see you!', because no matter what, everyone needs some downtime.

    If you want it, you can make it work. I promise.

    ETA: Hi Pesca and Tam! We keep popping up in the same places :-)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    It is very difficult, especially in the mornings when DS is screaming and I can't settle him and DF doesn't even budge because he's just done three days in a row of working day and night on an 1 or 2 hours sleep each night. But you'll definitely find the strength, all you need to do is look at your baby and you just feel a surge of strength to keep going.

    DF works 5 days a week and anywhere from 3 to 5 nights a week. He leaves at 8AM, is home around 2-3PM and then if he has a night shift, leaves at 5 (gets home at 2AM) or leaves at 9 (gets home usually 6AM) and often does that 3-4 nights in a row. He actually gives me the strength to keep going as well. I watch him falling asleep putting his shoes on in the morning, but he still manages to walk out that door and work a full day of work, come home to have a nap and play with DS and then leave before dinner and do it all over again. And he does it so I am able to be a SAHM.

    I don't think we get enough credit sometime for pretty much doing it alone often (single parents most definitely included!!), but they're also doing it alone, and that's a lot of pressure on anyone!

    DS and I have a great flow, we have so much fun throughout the day, go for walks and adventures and then spend DF's days off as a family. I try get him to do things like feeds, bedtime, if we go out he does the carrying, etc so not only does he get quality time, I get a baby break!! it definitely gets easier once you get into a nice routine and know what you're doing, but you have to make sure you have amazing communication!!! It is SO vital. If you're struggling and need help, let him know, and make sure he knows the same goes for him. I also find DF struggles not knowing what goes on during the day (or night), so I send him lots of photos and update him on EVERYTHING!

    Like the other day Nathan was home for the night so I got him to do bedtime. I hadn't told him how many scoops of formula was needed because I just assumed he knew. He thought DS was still only on 2 scoops (he has 4 for bed) and he almost had a breakdown over the fact that he doesn't know anything and feels out of the loop communicate, communicate, communicate! Even if you think it's silly, it'll be appreciated.

    Anything is doable, you just need to be willing to work at it and sometimes compromise

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Achievements:Topaz Star - 500 posts
    We have the same sort of thing happening here.

    My DH leaves before DD is up and gets home after she is in bed, 4 - 6 days a week. It's not ideal, but after 15mths it is getting easier.

    In the first four months I was terrified of doing it on my own. You sit and think about how overwhelming it all seems (and it is some days), but it gets easier as you and your baby get to know each other. I think also this little person needs you and it becomes just second nature.

    Anyhow I'm rambling, in summary you can do it, and when things get tough come on to BH!!!


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