May 2015 Moms

Troubles adjusting to daddy hood ...

I know some of you hate when this forum is used to complain about our SO but I'm feeling very alone and frustrated and I don't want to complain to my friends because they don't have kids yet so I don't think they will understand so I'm hoping some of you here can relate and maybe some STM will have some advice....

My husband has been having a really tough time adjusting to "daddy hood" and it's really starting to drive a wedge between us. I think maybe I made things too easy for him before DD even got here. I made the mistake of saying I am lucky enough to have the whole year off so I won't make you get up in the middle of the night and stuff like that... Which he has taken super seriously. DD is now 4 months old and he has never been up once in the night, I bath her and put her to bed alone every night (even when I ask him to join us, he prefers to watch tv) and I get up alone with her every morning while he sleeps in. the only way lo would sleep for 7 weeks was in my arms in a recliner and once when I complained about my back being sore from sleeping sitting up he offered to stay up all night with her and give me the chance to sleep in a bed. Well when I got up at 1 am to pump he handed her over said he was too tired for this and went to bed.
I have tried returning to the gym/Zumba but he gets super anxious about being left alone with her for the hour and 20 mins that I am gone and picks a fight with me as I leave hoping that I will miss my Zumba class and not go.

Even when DH is home, I still bring LO with me into the bathroom when I shower or whatever I am doing because DH likes "me" time which he feels like he isn't getting enough of anymore.... Even though he plays ball twice a week with his friends and I have to beg to go to the gym even once a week and his favourite line is " why don't you see if your mom can watch her while you go?" .... Umm no you are her father and you can do it.

I am so happy to be a mom and it's what I've dreamed of my whole life but being home 24/7 without any help from my husband is exhausting and I feel like a zombie most days. He keeps saying he can't wait for her to be old enough to run around with him and I know he wants to be a great dad and he loves dd so much he just doesn't know what to do with a baby and I think he is still adjusting from being a "selfish" twenty something who got to enjoy all the free time that he wanted.... Please someone tell me that eventually he will adjust and things will get better (sorry for the long rant )

Re: Troubles adjusting to daddy hood ...

  • I feel the exact same way!!!! I also don't want to complain about DH because I love him like crazy and he is awesome with DS. I know that there are things he can't do - he doesn't have breasts so midnight feedings would be tough. But I definitely have had my share of tears in wanting more support from him. I also feel sometimes that he just hasn't "grown up" and needs to change his priorities.

    This weekend was the first time that I woke him up at 6 (after me being up most of the night) and telling him that he HAD to take DS because I needed sleep. Most weekends he sleeps until 11 otherwise. He also insists on having his "me" time which I don't mind but he will stay up until 1am playing computer games and then complains to me the next morning about how tired he is.

    I know that my own sleep deprivation and hormones are only making things worse. I think that once DS is sleeping through the night I will feel much more positive.

    I've also heard many times that women tend to feel more connected to LO earlier and men don't until they are older and more interactive. I already see a difference in how DH responds to DS now compared to when he was a newborn. So I think things will get better as DS gets older.

    All I can suggest is talk to your SO. DH and I have spoken about this several times and I do think things are improving, it's just taking a while.
  • A lot of males struggle if there is only breastfeeding ax it is in such high demand at the beginning and only the mom can make it work. Force him to figure it out (LO will survive). Put the baby in his lap and go get in the need for a conversation to be had. Let him get used to it for those 10 15 minutes and he will get better. I also started giving my husband our daughter when he was in the shower. Helped with skin on skin for them so she started to recognize him more so now they interact more.
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  • I feel your pain! My DH always stated before we had kids he has no idea what to do with a baby so it would be largely my responsibility. I agreed to this before we got married and before we got pregnant. I had a small hope he would get the hang of it and help more than we thought. Well he has watched LO a total of 3 times since she's been born and probably changed less than 10 diapers, never bathed her and given her a bottle probably 5 times. He plays with her and tries sometimes like when I'm washing dishes or eating or showering, he will try to calm her if she is fussy but as soon as I am done he hands her over. And I feel like I can't complain because I get to be a stay at home mom, something I've always wanted and he works hard to provide for us.
    I'm in the same boat when it comes to nighttime as well, I mentioned the other day how nice it would be to sleep in and he said when she is older he will get up with her and make her breakfast.
    So here's to hoping it gets better as they get older!
  • I agree with @odawg that you should just hand DD off. I do this all the time. Make the baby do something cute so he wants to hold her, then put the baby in his lap and literally run away. (Bonus points if you yell "Sucker!" during your escape!)

    He might need a baptism by fire. I get anxious too when I have to leave my DD with DH for and hour but the more he takes care of her the better he will get at it and the more comfortable he will be with her. She will be ok. I recently left my DH and DD alone for several hours while I saw a play my sister was starring in. He called me halfway through it because I had made the mistake of putting her in a onesie that buttoned in the back. He kept trying to pull it over her head without realizing he had to unbutton it first and she was not happy about that. He said he would just wait for me to get home to put on her pajamas. But by the time I got home she was happily sleeping in her jammies. He will either figure it out or he will wait for you to get home to fix it but either way everyone will be fine.
  • I went back to work 3 weeks ago and have been getting up at 2:30am so I can pump, get ready and go to work early so DD won't have to spend 11 hours a day in daycare. DH FREAKED out on me and told me I was selfish for this because he has to drop her at daycare (which is literally on his way to work..). He was off all last week and still took her to daycare every day so he could play video games alone all day.

    DH is so selfish he started sleeping on the couch while I was pregnant because I had trouble sleeping toward the end. And since DD was born he has spent 3 nights in bed and was extremely grumpy the next day even though he did nothing while I changed and fed DD. I'm ebf so he can't feed her at night but he could change her or get me a glass of water..or just be supportive in general.

    He's golfing this morning... Must be nice to just not care.
  • DMELDMEL member
    I would recommend couples therapy for those of you complaining that husbands are selfish- you shouldn't be going this alone! This child has two parents. Adjusting to s family of 3 can be really hard and you (as a family) may need help navigating it.
    None of these behaviors would fly in my house.
  • My husband is 43 and acts like your 20 something husband. I have noticed as my LO has gotten more interactive he is more interested. My husband didn't really treat me well when I was pregnant either. He apparently thought he was too old to have a baby. It took a lot longer for me to get pregnant than we thought. Just hang in there and hope for the best. I keep telling myself it has to get better cause I don't want to leave my husband especially when my LO is so young
  • I love my husband and he is great with my son...when he wants to be. But I have noticed he is very selfish and doesn't seem to understand that when the baby needs something whatever he is doing needs to be put down and the babies needs should be met first. His homework, tv show, video game, and cell phone will wait!!

    Also, I've found myself feeling very frustrated lately that everything mothers do all day is just expected, like no one seems to appreciate everything a mother does in a day, but if a father is out being a good father and taking care of their child they get praised like they're saints. I guess I'm just in the same boat as you guys and tired of a selfish husband (even though I understand he has a VERY demanding job that allows me to stay home with our son) I'm just tired of every him just expecting me to do EVERYTHING.
  • My husband is 53 and we don't use the word "old" in our house :) I carry 99.9% of the baby weight, but this is my second baby and I know from experience that a daddy's time to shine comes later. However, my husband has NEVER said no to me when I ask for help. That could be the difference in age. A grown man who plays video games would not fly in my home. I think men especially have a lot of growing up to do even as adults and it is the women who have to teach them!
  • DMELDMEL member

    I know from experience that a daddy's time to shine comes later.

    Nonsense. My husband is shining right now when he spends time with and takes care of our son. Without someone telling him to. No one should need to be reminded to care for their own child.
  • DMELDMEL member

    My husband is 43 and acts like your 20 something husband. I have noticed as my LO has gotten more interactive he is more interested. My husband didn't really treat me well when I was pregnant either. He apparently thought he was too old to have a baby. It took a lot longer for me to get pregnant than we thought. Just hang in there and hope for the best. I keep telling myself it has to get better cause I don't want to leave my husband especially when my LO is so young

    Didn't treat you well when you were pregnant?!? And having a young child isn't a reason to stay in an unhappy marriage.
  • My first child father acted the same as some of the ones mentioned here.. Probably worse. He didn't help do anything I could hardly get him to hold LO. He would say "he doesn't like me" well if you interacted with him maybe he would know who you are. I slept on the couch the whole time since he didn't want me to make any noise by changing or feeding or the crying saying he couldn't get any sleep we were making too much noise, etc. Then when I was sleep training LO later on he was crying and he would come from the bedroom asking me to quiet down the baby because he wouldn't get any sleep... Lol really. I was pissed off all the time and then he would sleep til noon on weekends then leave to do hobbies. As you can see the relationship didn't work out lol. Now with my husband now we both had a prior child so he knows everything about fatherhood so I'm thankful he's as hands on with our LO as I am besides the breast feeding part. I'm hoping things get better for you ladies!
  • My husband and I are both FT parents, and though my husband didn't help much at the beginning (not because he didn't want to, because the baby really only needed me -EBF) he has taken over everything else from the second she came home to help (cooking, cleaning, groceries, mowing lawn, making breakfast on the weekends, laundry, etc.) Once DD was past her newborn stage (around 2 weeks) they have bonded a lot more and he is definitely more comfortable with her and I get breaks for sure, or we switch (he takes her, I clean). Now that LO is here, the dynamic of our home has changed as we are no longer a couple, we are a family, and as such everyone needs to have a role to keep the harmony in the house. As all PPs have stated, it's a conversation that has to be had. If they are not helping much with baby now, perhaps a happy medium is for them to take over everything else, that way at least when baby naps, you mamas can take a break.
  • Not everyone has the knack for caring for babies. Some men do great from the start, others not so much. I personally prefer to do the infant care, and my husband has taken over with our older son and they are having the best times: fishing, swimming, canoeing, learning to do chores, reading stories, and playing cards. Like PP mentioned, we are pulling together as a family and each taking on different roles. I'm sorry for the mama's whose SO are not helping out so much- however I DO think they will get better with time, just keep working with them!
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