Originally Posted by limabean
I agree with leaving them alone together (as in you leaving the house). But I imagine that you're concerned that he'll just play on the computer the whole time you're gone instead of interacting with her. It must be hard to see him so indifferent to her presence -- I'm sorry that's happening.
Yes, this is what saddens me. The whole reason I'm leaving them alone is not so that I can get a break but so that they can have the time and opportunity to develop their own relationship. I'm not expecting him to parent like I parent or be as involved as I am. Part of that is just how I am with her. Part of that is just the difference between being her mother versus being a father.
Originally Posted by limabean
People say this a lot, and while I understand that some people aren't "baby people," that doesn't relieve them of their familial obligations, you know? They can feel one way, but they need to act another way because that's what you do when you're a parent. I'm not "into" teenagers, but that doesn't mean that I get to check out of parenting for a few years and foist everything onto DH when our kids reach that age. I need to be an involved mother anyway.
I agree so much!!! It's okay if he didn't bond right away... I know he's different. Maybe he's not a baby-person. He's a man. He didn't have the help of having carried her for nine months, given birth to her, and breastfeeding and all of the bonding hormones. What's not okay is not trying. Not parenting. Not being involved.
Originally Posted by hopefulfaith
One thing I did - and I sincerely wish I would have done more of - is left dh alone with the baby much, much more than I did. I was so deeply into AP & the mother/baby bond that I really feel like I neglected the father/baby bond more than I should have.
... I think it would have helped his relationship with them (and my relationship with him). Also, I think that even the time I spent with him while he was with the baby/babies was detrimental sometimes ---- he wasn't going to change a lot of diapers or play with them, really, while I was around.
This is how I feel! I think that I was so all about lovin' on my baby that I didn't pay attention to the father/baby bond. Now I wonder what things would have been like if I had pumped occasionally instead of nursed exclusively. Or had him get up in the middle of the night instead of me. I think I was just so eager and excited to do all of it. And he was so "meh?" and that just worked for us until nine months rolled around and I was sad that he wasn't any more bonded or close or involved with her than from day one. I worry that if I had needed him more, he would have stepped in more.
Originally Posted by Annie Mac
Forgiven, I think you are doing all the right things. My husband has been very upfront about how left behind he feels with the baby. I mean, he loves her and all, but things really are different, and it's hard sometimes for men to remember that this is just a temporary phase. Eventually they WILL get their wives back and feel a bigger part of the family, and know where they fit in it, but especially if this is their first time, it's difficult. Also, my husband has mentioned that this is kind of an unacceptable thing to say, so there's really no one to talk to about it. If a guy says something like "my wife just had a baby and yeah, she's cute and everything, but goddam, when do I get to have sex again? What about ME???" he comes off as a bit of a selfish jerk. I don't know if that's what's going on with your husband or not, but if it is, it really might help if he could talk to another male friend who has been through it. My husband does have one friend whose children are now teenagers, and I know the conversations with this man have been quite cathartic and given him some perspective.
Your husband does sound like a good person who is just having some trouble redefining his role. I would give him time, keep doing what you're doing, and if he's the talking sort, talk to him about it. I'm sure he really does love his child, he just needs to learn how to relate to her, to himself and to you as mommy as well. It's a big thing.
Thank you! I feel bad. I do think he's been left behind to a certain extent. I've felt really convicted about this lately. I am so committed to having a great relationship with him. I always co-slept with the baby and nursed her all night long. It really prevented us from having a sex life.
Anyways, I felt like he needs me too. And it is more important to this baby for us to have a great marriage than to have 24/7 access to mama.. but she's too young to make that decision. So, I have successfully (yay!!!) weaned her into her own crib and she goes down early in the evening and we have so much more time to spend with eachother.
I don't think my husband or any husband is a selfish jerk for feeling this way. I think it would help him immensely if he had a friend to talk to about being a father. We really are alone in this. We don't have any friends with babies and I think he really does feel isolated.
I am going to try and see if we can find someone for my husband to relate to.
Originally Posted by Birdie B.
I agree a lot with this. Sure, babies can be boring, but OP, I would be heartbroken too if my husband showed no interest in our child.
I havent' been in your position, but I have seen friends struggle with it. It's really challenging and sad for the family. My father was like this, I think he is glad we were born, but he has never shown much interest in us. I married someone who was the complete opposite, because it was pretty awful growing up and feeling like one of your parents doesn't even care about you.
I wish I had some good advice for you, but maybe if you just keep talking to him about it, you can find out what his real issue is and help him work it out.
I think it is really sad! I feel so torn between 1) let him develop into an involved father on his own timeframe and 2) thinking "ack! maybe early intervention is better". I can't stand the thought of my girl growing up with a distant relationship with her father. It's too early on to know whether that's just the way it is or there is opportunity for change?
Will he suddenly get involved and bonded when she is more of a child and less of a baby? Or it's just not really going to happen but could have been prevented if he had been more hands-on, forced or not?
Originally Posted by Qestia
I had another thought--do you have any negative thoughts about parenthood at all? Can you dredge any up? You sound so over the moon. Frankly I wonder if that's alienating your DH a little. It would alienate me if you were my friend. Really, everything about your DD is just perfect? Maybe if you shared a bit of the non-amazing wonderful isn't everything great stuff, like "I miss sleeping eight hours in a row" or "Remember when we could just go hang-gliding whenever we felt like it" he might be able to open up, and be a bit more authentic, if you know what I mean. Maybe he just feels he can't live up to your over the top positivity, and is holding back a bit, because he's afraid to let any negativity out, in fear of disappointing you, but if he knew you had those feelings too (if you do), it might actually deepen their relationship and yours.
Does that make sense?
It does make sense. I will think about this. On one hand, this very truly is the way I feel. I'm no Pollyanna. She is an extremely easy and happy baby. She really is a pleasure to be around. I know she might be a handful when she's going through the Terrible 2's or a teenager. But, she really is this wonderful right now and I am loving every minute of it!
I do try and talk about "remember how easy it was to just go and do this?" or "remember what it was like to have ample money and no responsibilities?"
(For the record, he heartily joins me in commisserating, haha)
Originally Posted by MSWmama
It sounds like you and your DD have such an amazing bond! But ... maybe your parenting style is a lot for him to live up to. I mean, I love my DS, he is the light of my life, but I could not honestly say that every diaper change, every bath, etc, has been a joy. Sometimes, I'm just getting through the day until my DH comes home and I can have an adult conversation while DS plays with rice on his highchair tray. My DH and I both feel that way sometimes.
Babies can be fun and hilarious and a joy and the best thing that ever happened to you ... but they are also at times boring, and scary, and frustrating. It sounds like you have an unusually positive view of even the day-to-day drudgery of parenting a baby, but most parents do not feel that way. Honestly, when I read your post it made me feel kind of anxious, thinking about trying to live up to that as your partner. I don't know what you can do about that, assuming that your feelings are genuine and that you've never felt bored or irritated or just wanted your DD to play quietly so that you can check MDC or Facebook or whatever ... if you HAVE felt that way, I would encourage you to share that with your DH, to let him know that parenting isn't always wonderful, even for you, and that's ok. If you really do enjoy every single aspect of parenting your daughter all the time, I would encourage you to allow him the space to feel bored and frustrated, and to develop his own relationship with DD.
I hope this makes sense. I'm not trying to tell you that your feelings about parenting are wrong, just that they are unusual, and your DP might feel like he can't really live up to that so why bother trying, you know?
Please see my response above. I think it applies here too. I really do want him to have the space to have his own relationship with her. It would have been nice to have both been so over-the-moon but honestly, if it had to happen to one of us... I'm thrilled it happened to me.
I really do mean it when I say that I am fine with him having a relationship with her as her father that looks different from mine. I am NOT fine with a weak/distant relationship and no involvement and like I said above, I'm worried that maybe i'm in some golden period where you can easily bond to her that might not be there... say, when she is tantruming or back-talking. Right now, it's easy and fun and I want him to jump in now for these joyful parts.
Originally Posted by limabean
Okay, the bolded is abnormal IMO. It does sound like he's nervous, scared, or something. I would lose my mind if someone (especially my child's OTHER PARENT) called me TWENTY TIMES while I was out for an hour or two. What do you say when he does that? I'd say, "I will be home in another hour. I won't be home before then, so don't call to ask that question. Good bye."
I know, right?!?
The first couple calls are pleasant:
oh, i'll be home at three. can't wait!.
Honey, if there's not a problem, try not to call me too much so that I can wrap up my work and come home early to you guys.
Husband, I'm working as fast as I can. I think I can get done ahead of schedule, please try not to call so much.
Husband! Seriously! I can't get any work done with you calling constantly!
Ok, I will be home at three. I can probably hurry and get done faster. Please do not call me anymore
Stop calling me. I will call you the second I finish.
then I just ignore the calls (hence the twenty missed calls) and he get's really mad that I won't pick up and we have a big argument whenever I do finish and call him.
He isn't nervous or scared. Just bored and quite honestly, probably nagging me for leaving him alone with the baby.
Originally Posted by Ldavis24
eh I was going to leave it alone because sometimes people have a hard time admitting that they don't love EVERY SINGLE SECOND of time with their baby...Like you are a bad parent if you admit that once awhile your kid stresses you out or whatever..
Babies are great and awesome but they aren't perfectly pleasant all the time. Now OP, when your darling baby becomes a screaming toddler just remember that it passes as well (I keep telling myself that)...
Your DH does sounds scared TBH...or unsure or nervous or just not ready to handle a lot of baby stuff yet. I feel bad for you because that means it is all on you, no matter how much you love your baby that is still a lot of work.
Does the baby cry a lot with your DH or something? Or is she mellow with him as well? Maybe he had a bad time when you were gone once and it scared him, he might have been afraid to tell you about it because for you everything is perfect all the time you know? That is really hard to live up to.
I know that some people have a hard time with their babies and some babies are colicky/high-needs. I fully believe that. But I think sometimes the flip-side of the coin happens. Some people (undeservedly) have an abnormally wonderful experience and have incredibly easy babies. I think it's luck/random. I'm so glad it happened to me. i know it can change tomorrow. That's all fine. I have loved these eleven months though. I really really have!
She doesn't cry or fuss with my husband at all. She's easy, happy, and mellow with him too. I think his only complaint is that after an hour or so of him playing computer games or on the iPhone with her locked in the room that she eventually finds her way over to the computer and starts pulling on the cords. Or if he holds her, she'll try to bang on the computer.
whew! that is a lot of responses. Thank you all so much for weighing-in and replying to my post!