I don't know what to do — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

I don't know what to do

My husband and I welcomed our first child 3 months ago.  At first he was amazing.  He'd get up to help change her, wanted to spend time with her and he was very attentive.  Recently, the last month, he started acting more and more like he's in high school again (he's 31).  He bought $700 worth of "go fast" car parts (definitely not necessity parts), refuses to get up to feed her (she's FF), and yelled at me for buying her a new crib mattress.  He's being more selfish.  We had a fight about him taking her for the day b/c he "wanted to spend time" with his daughter but his mom watched her all day while he and his brother put the new parts on the car.  It's like the novelty of having a new baby has worn off and he doesn't care anymore.  He sits in front of either his computer or phone all day on his days off.  Yesterday, he was "watching cartoons" on his computer with his headphones in his ears while our daughter screamed on the floor next to him.  I don't know what to do.  How can I even approach him about his behavior w/o it turning into a huge fight?  I need a partner and a father, not a teenager.  Do a lot men go through this?  He's just being so selfish lately it's like he's not even the same person I married.  Please help. Thanks!
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Re: I don't know what to do

  • I would venture a guess that the men who post on this board would not be able to say that a lot of men go through this, as we are engaged enough to where we are posting on a board about being a dad.

    That being said, I don't think a great deal of men go to the extent that your husband has.  I would sit him down and ask him how he's feeling in a non accusatory, non confrontational manner.  Maybe he'll let you in on something that he's been feeling, but keeping inside.  There is always the chance that he'll just blow it off, but there is a reason why he's doing this.  Maybe he thought being a dad would be different and it wouldn't affect his hobbies and the like.  Maybe he's jealous of the baby and all the attention she gets and how he's now ceased to be himself and now primarily identified as her daddy.  Maybe he's going through a midlife crisis early?

    EDIT:  $700 on "go fast" parts for his car, is unnecessary, especially with a baby.  If he uses this car to transport the baby too, makes it even more unnecessary and unsafe.  That should elicit a discussion/argument over proper use of money and safety of the child.

     

     

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  • Terrible. Tell him to grow up. Also, he shouldn't be able to spend 700 on his own on nothing. Change that.
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  • If he's ignoring his screaming daughter, it's time to have a huge fight with him about it.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • Too much of what you wrote here sounds like a selfish child acting out (your husband).

    His behavior is unacceptable, and you need to let him know, in hardh, harsh terms that this is completely unacceptable, and it stops now.

    The spending of money like that is remarkably selfish.  Yelling at you about a matress for your child, in light of that selfish act?  Well, if that was my son, and I knew he was acting like that with his wife and newborn, his wife wouldn't be fast enought to beat me to smacking him on this back of his head!

    I don't care what little "crisis" he is going through, he is 31 years old and needs to start acting like a husband and father.

    No, a lot of men do not go through this.  Unless they are single with no responsibilities.  Your husband is not that, and you have to snap him back into reality in whatever way possible.  Start by throwing his headphones in the trash, right in front of his selfish face.

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  • Speaking from my point of view, after the novelty of a baby being born and the dust settled.. I did find myself getting a little jealous of my son. but for me, that lasted all of 10 min before I realized it was time for me to put away the video games and put on my Man pants.

     I could easily see how someone would miss that step entirely. Discussion is the best approach. Its normal to for a dad to be jealous of a baby but not discussing it and coming to terms with it, will do more harm than good.

     Talk to him, show him a little extra love and when you talk to him, do it with out the baby present. Its a probably a little intimidating for him to be yelled at for being jealous of a baby with the baby attached to your hip. Probably will set in his head that the baby has already chosen a side... stupid? yes. Normal? yes. 

  • I never understood the whole jealousy thing.  I get that it happens, and I can see how it would manifest itself in a dudes mind, but it seems so odd to me because I never went through that.

    The only time I was able to get my son down for bedtime at night was during the first month.  After that, mommy is the only one who can get him down for bedtime.  He will still fall asleep on me for naps, but not for bedtime.

    During bottle feedings, he concentrates much more for me than for his mom, but with the baby food he works much better with mommy.  He is much fussier for mom when he is being changed. I have always been of the mindset that his mother and I have different roles we are better at when it comes to our son. We both accept that and play off our strengths together to do what is best for the boy.

    I guess because I have never had that feeling of jealousy when it comes to the kid, it is hard for me to grasp the concept. I recognize that his relationship with me is very different, so I accept those differences as being very natural and healthy.  But I know it does happen, but us guys are probably not real good at expressing it.

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  • you brought up something I havent thought of pertaining to this issue.

     My son breastfeeds. I dont get that chance to bond with him while feeding... I wonder if that is why the jealousy flickered through my thoughts for however brief a moment it lasted. He was attached to her 24hrs a day, except when he wants to play then he was all mine. 

     

  • imageladyjenna13:
    I never understood the whole jealousy thing.  I get that it happens, and I can see how it would manifest itself in a dudes mind, but it seems so odd to me because I never went through that.

    I don't get the jealousy thing either. Did I occasionally get frustrating when my son was newborn and wouldn't stop wailing in my ear? Of course. I loved him, but in those moments I didn't really like the little guy that much. Still, I'm a pretty independant person, so I'm totally ok with only getting 10-20 minutes of face time with my wife a day. She suffered a lot more from the lack of adult human interaction than I did. Most of my frustrations came from a lack of sleep and a lack of sex.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • imageskii31:

    you brought up something I havent thought of pertaining to this issue.

     My son breastfeeds. I dont get that chance to bond with him while feeding... I wonder if that is why the jealousy flickered through my thoughts for however brief a moment it lasted. He was attached to her 24hrs a day, except when he wants to play then he was all mine. 


    And that's the great part about being a Dad. There's definitely a stage where Mom's the Refridgerator, Dad's the Television. Playplayplay... oh, baby is getting cranky? Here mama, feed the little guy!

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BhqjipgCIAAOz7H.jpg
    -My son was born in April 2012. He pretty much rules.
  • imageLuckyDad:

    And that's the great part about being a Dad. There's definitely a stage where Mom's the Refridgerator, Dad's the Television. Playplayplay... oh, baby is getting cranky? Here mama, feed the little guy!

    Haha.  That is a great description.


    image
  • imageLuckyDad:
    imageskii31:

    you brought up something I havent thought of pertaining to this issue.

     My son breastfeeds. I dont get that chance to bond with him while feeding... I wonder if that is why the jealousy flickered through my thoughts for however brief a moment it lasted. He was attached to her 24hrs a day, except when he wants to play then he was all mine. 


    And that's the great part about being a Dad. There's definitely a stage where Mom's the Refridgerator, Dad's the Television. Playplayplay... oh, baby is getting cranky? Here mama, feed the little guy!

     

    Lmao, I feel so bad for her when that happens too... We have our schedule down now and its amazing how he has adapted. When I am off on the weekends he wakes up at 7:30am and we play until 12-1pm when he passes out. When I am at work he just sleeps till 12-1pm. Its been only 6 months but I am definitely getting a lot more time with him and we have our thing together.  She and him have their thing together and now we have as a family our thing together... just kinda cool how it happens.

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