Our DS is 7 weeks old, our first bub and we are in our 30s and have been together for 6 years. DH has been supportive, particularly in the first few weeks, but I can sense the enthusiasm to help is waning and I'm starting to get a bit cross and resentful. I think when he gets home from work to when I head up to bed that we should be sharing the load 50/50 but instead I seem to be increasingly attempting to make dinner and bath/ feed/ bed DS all at the same time. DS has reflux so not an easy baby to put down. DH gets his feet up, tv on and laptop out. He watches footy shows, watches football all weekend and kinda seems to be living the same life he had before but perhaps with more tv because I'm not there to encourage him to switch it off. My life has changed so much, shouldn't his a bit too? I want to know if it's normal, if I'm expecting too much or if I should try to say something.. diplomatically but effectively!? I want to encourage him not whine and complain but I can feel the complainy comments simmering ready to come out and start fights that I don't have the energy for!
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27-07-2012 06:07 #1
Am I expecting too much from DH?
27-07-2012 06:17 #2
No you're not expecting too much, but yes. It can be normal. Especially with a first baby.
I felt the same as you after we had DS. I expected so much more from DH. Once I talked to him about it, I realized he was a bit scared and clueless basically! Thought I had it all under control and was scared he would hurt DS as didn't have any experience with babies.
I started getting him to help - I would put bubs in the bath and then "need" to go to the loo. So call DH and just never go back! Sneaky? Yes. But bathing has been his job ever since.
Or with dinner, if DS cried, I just started either putting DS in his arms or telling him he was needed. DH also got more involved as DS got older and now doesn't need to be asked or told as much.
Talk to your hubby. It's not unusual for them to feel overwhelmed. They just often don't know how or what to do.
27-07-2012 06:41 #3
I think some men are like this, others help out more.
I have no family or friends to help so my DH HAD to help. He's very hands on anyway. I / we made it his job to bath DS every night, he's 14 months now and DH still baths him everynight.
He also changes nappies etc all the time, feeds DS, plays with him, takes him for walks etc.
Maybe if u encourage you DH and tell him how much your baby loves spending time with him etc?
For things like dinner etc I normally cook now but in the beginning he did a lot coz I was always trying to settle bub. He was very colicky up till about 12 weeks so I needed help (sounds like u do too)
I hope you can sort something out. But there was no way my DH sat and watched TV etc. he doesn't even do it now until we have DS in bed asleep.
27-07-2012 06:46 #4Senior Member
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Years ago I banned tv before 8:30 and no one is allowed to watching any variety of football here, I hate it lol he hates soaps so they are banned too !!
Maybe try the no tv until everyone can sit and enjoy ? I've always viewers tv as entertainment and felt like it wasn't fair that everyone else got some entertainment whilst I got to work !!
Also when we had our last dd I got the whole I work argument from him (he works away from home for weeks at a time) so in turn I gave him a bill, including overtime for all my work.... Seemed to drive the message home
27-07-2012 06:47 #5
I don't think you're expecting too much wanting him to help parent his child at all. I wouldn't be nice about asking him to switch it off if you've already been onto him about it.
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27-07-2012 06:51 #6-
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Have a chat with him when you're feeling calm. Don't make it accusatory/about your dh. Make it about you. Say you feel overwhelmed in the evenings and need a hand. And on weekends you are so worn out from the week you need a hand to. Mention a 50-50 split when you are both at home. Sometimes men are daft and don't think.
I mentioned the 50-50 split to hubby since I was a few months pregnant. So he is pretty good at helping with bub/dinner etc.
27-07-2012 07:20 #7
No, I don't think you are being unreasonable at all . My main issue would be with the TV/ football watching, especially on the weekends. We have always made weekends our family time, even when DD1 was a little baby we would do something together, even just going for a walk to get a coffee or do the food shopping.
I think, as others have said, wait for a time when you are calm and discuss it with him. Others may disagree, but I think it is reasonable for him to have a bit of 'down time' as soon as he gets home from work, I usually give DH half an hour or so to go to the bedroom, get changed, have a shower, a play on his computer, before he comes out and helps with the family chores. Maybe you could negotiate that with him?
How much work do you put in making dinner? When DD1 was a little baby I think we lived on pre-marinated chicken and a bought salad! If you are busy breastfeeding baby your DH should be able to do that.
I would also consider decreasing your workload in the evenings by bathing DS during the day rather than at night when you are busy. Your DH might be less overwhelmed if there isn't quite so much to do at night, and he can maybe just sit and snuggle with DS for a while.
As far as the TV goes, I have no idea how to bring that up nicely! Banning the TV before 8 sounds good but I know my DH doesn't react nicely to being 'treated like a child' (that's what his words would be) in that way.
Good luck! Hopefully your chat goes well and DH changes his tune
27-07-2012 07:23 #8
I remember having a really honest conversation with DH in the first few weeks after my DS was born about all of this where I basically admitted to him I was struggling and had no clue what I was doing most of the time with DS either. The penny dropped after that and he gradually started to put aside some of his insecurities and help out a bit more with doing things for DS. It probably sounds silly but I also made sure I offered a lot of reassuring comments like 'see how much he likes that?' when DH was rocking him to sleep just to help build his confidence levels. Once they know what they're doing and feel confident in their ability to do it they do tend to be more involved.
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Gracie's Mum (27-07-2012)
27-07-2012 10:39 #9
My DH too had trouble in the beginning to know what he could do. I had experience dealing with babies but he hadn't and he was afraid in case he broke her. So his job was to hold DD between her numerous feeds in the evenings especially in those first few weeks. I'd bf then hand over to DH so he would burp/calm her whilst I had a shower/cooked etc. Then when she needed a feed again I'd come back etc. This built his confidence plus he was ok with it as he could still watch tv.
But Bath times are his. And he has become extremely confident with it.
With weekend football DH could and now can watch it only if I can nap peacefully. So he'd carry/rock either daughter whilst watching the footy and I'd get 2-3hrs sleep.
27-07-2012 12:49 #10
very normal in imo, especially for a first baby. it is overwhelming for the men, they don't have the baby in their tummy for 9 months, they don't know how you are suddenly immersed, 24/7 in looking after the baby the moment they are born. my hubby was exactly the same, and on now (10 years later and baby number 2) is he a bit more hands on. (still afraid to bath her though!)
as our son got older he got more involved.
babies are pretty scary, especially if you are a man and especially if you haven't had on before. some guys take to it easily, some take a while, some don't.
also, are you expecting him to do it or are you asking? if you don't ask for help, he won't know.
i'm a bit old fashioned and don't expect hubby to help out 50/50 when he gets home from work. he works 6 days a week, wakes up at 2.30am every morning and by the time he gets home i actually do want him to relax. i like to hand the baby to him while he is sitting there so i can get on with dinner etc.
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