DH issue- what would you do? — The Bump
Babies: 0 - 3 Months

DH issue- what would you do?

so DH loves our LO very much, but he really upset me last night.

she is 6 weeks old. but since im the mommy i am better at soothing her, getting her to sleep, etc than DH is. he tries, but usually i end up stepping in. especially during the week since DH works with heavy machinery, i get up with her at night and usually sleep in the living room just because thats what works for us and i dont want DH to be tired at work since he needs to be alert with the machinery. so anyway, last night he wanted me to get some good sleep so he offered to do a late night feeding so i wouldnt have to get up. i BF and pump so he was just gonna feed her a bottle.i went to bed, but i couldnt fall asleep because i could hear him out in the living room getting frustrated with her because she wouldnt fall asleep. he ended up getting pretty pissed. he was saying "shut up!" "God damn it Becca why wont you fall asleep!" etc etc etc. so i got out of bed and took over and he went to bed. it really worried me that he got so frustrated and angry with her. i dont know what to think about it. i can definitely understand his frustration, but if he cant be more patient and calm then im gonna be stressed every time he watches LO. what should i do? anyone else have a DH that seems to lose his temper with LO? it just broke my heart to hear him talk to her like that..... 

Re: DH issue- what would you do?

  •  dh hasn't lost his temper with our little guy, but he used to have some serious issues with handling his frustration. he would break things, throw things, etc. that stopped years ago before we got married when i told him it wouldn't be tolerated and he would have to find another way to express his frustration.

    i found, and pointed out to him, that his frustration was at it's peak when he was trying to do something quickly - he'd made one mistake, then rush trying to fix it, then make another and it would snowball. when i see him rushing or trying to get something done quickly, i always remind him to just slow down and take his time. he knows i'm just trying to save his sanity.

    all that being said, while i was pregnant i was sure to discuss with him that babies have their own schedule and he would need to just accept that as a new fact of life. we would be slower to get ready to go out, we would take longer to get out of the house, we wouldn't be taking many spontaneous trips anywhere, etc. the same went for when/how long feedings would take and when/how long the baby would sleep. we talked about it a few times. just last night we were waiting for the baby to wake up and eat so we could head to bil's and we ended getting there about an hour after dh said we would. dh called his brother and said "we have to go by the baby's schedule" and i could tell he was partly reminding himself of that.

    my suggestion is to discuss his frustration with understanding and empathy. he probably feels bad for talking that way already. just get it out there that it really is frustrating to work around the baby's schedule, but that has to be the way and you'll all just have to accept it. once you do, life will become much easier. let him know that if he gets frustrated, he can bring the baby to you, no questions asked, no judgement, you'll happily give him a break. hoepfully that will take some of the pressure off!

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  • IMO this may be cause for concern. This is how incidents of shaken baby syndrome happen. What if you wouldnt havd been there to take over? I think you need to have a serious conversation with him about his temper and let him know of your serious concern. If my DH spoke to our son that way I would be scared to leave them alone together. All it takes is a split second of losing your temper with an infant  to shatter their lives. It happens a lot more than people think. 
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  • Talk to him calmly about your concerns.  Ask him what he needs from you to help him be calmer when in charge of your LO.  And try not to take over as much. As hard as that is, your husband needs time to learn how to soothe your LO and for her to learn that dad is just as capable of caring for her and helping her get calm as you are. 

    Also make sure that your husband knows that if he's getting angry or frustrated with your daughter, to the point where he wants to yell at her, then he should ask for help at once.  If you're not there, he should know that it's okay to set her down and walk away once frustration builds. 

    With all of these conversations, convey to your husband how much you know he loves his daughter and emphasize all the good things he's done as a father.  No one wants to just hear the criticisms. GL.  I hope it gets better.

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  • image Sherbet Lemon:

    Talk to him calmly about your concerns.  Ask him what he needs from you to help him be calmer when in charge of your LO.  And try not to take over as much. As hard as that is, your husband needs time to learn how to soothe your LO and for her to learn that dad is just as capable of caring for her and helping her get calm as you are. 

    Also make sure that your husband knows that if he's getting angry or frustrated with your daughter, to the point where he wants to yell at her, then he should ask for help at once.  If you're not there, he should know that it's okay to set her down and walk away once frustration builds. 

    With all of these conversations, convey to your husband how much you know he loves his daughter and emphasize all the good things he's done as a father.  No one wants to just hear the criticisms. GL.  I hope it gets better.

     

    This is all very good advice. I'm sure YH was just really tired and having a hard time. I hope this is something you and he can resolve. Good luck to you and your family.

     

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  • In addition to the advice above, maybe your H could try again on a night when he doesn't have to be up for work the next day. That might take some of the pressure off.


  • image couliegirl:
    image Sherbet Lemon:

    Talk to him calmly about your concerns.  Ask him what he needs from you to help him be calmer when in charge of your LO.  And try not to take over as much. As hard as that is, your husband needs time to learn how to soothe your LO and for her to learn that dad is just as capable of caring for her and helping her get calm as you are. 

    Also make sure that your husband knows that if he's getting angry or frustrated with your daughter, to the point where he wants to yell at her, then he should ask for help at once.  If you're not there, he should know that it's okay to set her down and walk away once frustration builds. 

    With all of these conversations, convey to your husband how much you know he loves his daughter and emphasize all the good things he's done as a father.  No one wants to just hear the criticisms. GL.  I hope it gets better.

     

    This is all very good advice. I'm sure YH was just really tired and having a hard time. I hope this is something you and he can resolve. Good luck to you and your family.

     

    I agree -- you have to open a dialogue and one that doesn't come across as though you're talking down to him. I know I've struggled with that in the past and it's difficult bc as you said -- you do the majority and feel you know LO better. :)  

    My husband is a wonderful and loving father, but he too had some real struggles and period of adjustment with our first. His patience now is probably better than mine, but in the beginning with DD1, he had a hard time too. Let him open up to you about what would help him with patience. 


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  • Just my experience with my husband....he doesn't do well being awake when his body says sleep. He gets easily frustrated at night but is way more patient during the day. I just don't bother him at night, that's what works for us and I'm more confidant that everything is good and safe that way.
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  • Never let him be alone with her ever. Have him take anger management. Its sounds like the potential for child abuse
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  • image girlsonly:
    Never let him be alone with her ever. Have him take anger management. Its sounds like the potential for child abuse

    Seriously?   

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  • image girlsonly:
    Never let him be alone with her ever. Have him take anger management. Its sounds like the potential for child abuse

    Way to be supportive and helpful. :/

    OP are right. My h has problems controlling his temper. We have had many talks about it being ok to set the baby down in a safe place and let them cry. It's much better to let a baby cry while H sorted out his feelings then to say negative things to your LO. Things will be okay. This is a really stressful time in your lives. It's hard for anyone to adjust to having a new LO. Please talk to your H. Have him watch your LO during the day when they're in a good mood. Have him "wear" LO to sleep so he knows he can do it too. Most of all, talk talk talk. Things will get better.  

     

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  • image girlsonly:
    Never let him be alone with her ever. Have him take anger management. Its sounds like the potential for child abuse

    Oh FFS.  Was his behavior desirable?  Of course not.  Have most parents behaved in a way they would rather they hadn't?  I'd call anyone a liar who says no.  Obviously he was overwhelmed and the OP has gotten good advice for how to talk with him about working through it.  THIS, is not good advice. 

    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • Do not listen to the post about your not leaving your DH alone with your kid!  If he shows no other signs, then I wouldn't worry about that!  Having a kids is hard and having one that won't sleep is STRESSFUL!  I have many of times thought those things your husband said outloud.  Hell I'm sure I have regretfully said them before under my breath, and feel horrible after I do. It is hard when you have a LO and are just starting out.  But I have a toddler now (as well as my new LO) and there is no way I say that kind of stuff to him!  I think when they are that young it is easy to get caught up in our emotions and to accidentally let things out that we are thinking because we know they don't understand it.  Not justifying it at all, just trying to explain it.  I think other posters gave you great advice on how to talk to your DH about how to handle the situation.  It will get easier on both of you...just give it time :).  Good luck!
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  • image girlsonly:
    Never let him be alone with her ever. Have him take anger management. Its sounds like the potential for child abuse
    This is so ridiculous.
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  • Look up the period of purple crying.  Show him that newborn crying typically peaks at 2 months and gradually settles out over the next 1-3 months.
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    Olive is going to be a big sister! Grow baby Grow!!
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  • There's a BIG difference between saying something mean and angry to a baby and actually acting out physically against the baby. I have definitely said things along the lines of "dammit why can't you go to sleep already" to both my babies, sometimes not in the nicest tone. I distinctly remember one night when I tried to get DD down again for hours and she would not go to sleep and I came back in our bedroom and said to my husband "the baby's going out the window if I have to go in there one more time" (he got up and dealt with her). But I've never once even come close to shaking or hurting them. Sometimes getting feelings of anger and aggression out verbally can actually help calm us down.

    I would talk to your husband about it (at a moment when he is well rested) and ask non-judgmentally if he felt out of control and discuss how to handle these kinds of situations (if you really can't take it just put the baby down, close the door, and let it cry for a while, etc).

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