What do you do while waiting for your Partner to become a Father? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi,

 

I'm 26 and my husband is 27. We've been married for 3 1/2 years. We got pregnant with our daughter quite by accident. We were that wonderful mixture of scared and excited. She is now 11 months old.

 

About me:

I am so deeply devoted to her in a very primal way. I became a new person when she was born. So clearly a mother. It has been nothing but a privilege to care for her. I love every diaper change, every nursing, every bath. I do a very good job of using my time with her to actually *be* there with her.

 

About her:

She is an absolute delight! She has always been an extremely happy baby. Easy doesn't even begin to describe her. She is such an outgoing people-person. She loves "meeting" new people on the streets and buses of downtown DC and the Metro system. When I am walking with her, she is constantly peering over my shoulder to smile and play peek-a-boo with my shoulder and the people walking behind us. I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful and happy child.

 

About him:

He is a wonderful guy. He loves me so much and is devoted to me. He's not a perfect husband but he is a pretty darn good one.

 

So what's the problem? I think he is a terrible father

 

He "likes" the baby. He is affectionate towards her. He always asks me how her day has been, what she's been doing, etc. He would be a nice uncle. I can't see any evidence of a bond or deep love for her. I think he would be fine going weeks without actually seeing her. He doesn't want to spend time with her. If I do ask him to watch her while I take a shower or something (really it's always just a ploy to get him to spend time with her) he will simply block off the door and play on his iPhone or computer until I come back. She's easy enough to not demand any attention.

 

For the first nine (!) months, I happily did everything by myself, not resentful at all. I figured that you can't force someone to love a baby... maybe it's just taking him longer than it took me... once she's bigger/more interactive, he will naturally want to be more involved.

 

When I saw that he wasn't any more bonded to her or interested in being with her, I thought, "hmmm, maybe me being so happy to do everything is actually a hinderence. Maybe if I relied on him more or needed his help, he would spend more time with her and develop into a father. Maybe you really need to share the burdens and the joys.

 

So at this point (9mo old) I forced him to change her diaper for the first time.... yes, the first time. Just wet diapers, he's never changed, nor encountered a poopy diaper. I made him undress her, and bathe her, and dress her... all for the first time. I was there helping him for all of this. I am completely confident that he can figure it all out on him own. I'm not worried about her, she'll be fine. I don't care if the diaper or clothes are on upside-down or backwards. He really wanted me there coaching him along through every step, and I obliged.

 

Hmmm, no more progress. No closer to the baby than before. Everytime, I still need to force him to do whatever task and then "help" him the entire time.

 

So about two weeks ago, I tried another method.

 

I sat down and told him everything above. About how I was worried that he wasn't bonded to her. I don't see any progress. I told him I would like for him to be involved in her daily care to as much extent as he can. I told him that I've created a little bedtime routine and I would love for him to be actively involved in that and possibly even put her to bed himself while I'm getting dinner ready or something. (Really, I would be soooo sad to miss out on feeding her dinner, and her little bath, and smelling her sweet little clean head while rocking and reading her stories, and I would sooo miss putting her down and arranging all her blankets and her sweet little sighs as she settles down. BUT, I would be willing to forego this, so that he could spend some one-on-one time with her instead)

 

So how did that work out? It is SUCH a pain. Literally, I have to FORCE him to do anything. He doesn't like feeding her... thinks it's the grossest thing. He rushes her through her bath... no games... no connecting... just getting the job done. The ENTIRE time, he is complaining and trying so hard to have me there with him so that he can talk to me and have me "help" him. I'm trying to remove myself from the situation so that he can connect/bond with her, talk to her, and become confident in his own fathering.

 

Yesterday, I was so frustrated. I told him that he was doing a good job of making it totally not worth it for me to force him through this whole process. I said that I would waaaaay rather do it than try to get him involved. I told him I was mad because I'm sure that's exactly what he wants. I said the only thing that makes me keep up with it is that the baby does get to spend more time with him. It's completely forced but maybe it's still better than no interaction?

 

What can I do to help him become a father? How can I get him to fall in love with our baby? Just give it more time? Back off and let him come into it on his own? Continue to force him to do things with her? Find opportunities to leave him alone with her?

 

Is he just one of the ones that doesn't have fun until the baby is walking and talking?

 

Is he just a terrible father, oh well?

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO???

 

~ Wife-and-Mother.... married to Just-a-Husband.

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#2 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 08:52 AM
 
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Have you tried just leaving him alone with her? I imagine it's hard to bond with someone, with someone else looking over your shoulder, even if they claim they want you to.

 

Do you ever leave her alone with him? Go to yoga class, to coffee with friends, for a walk, do groceries by yourself. Turn off your cell phone when you do. See what happens.

 

You can to give them the space to form their own relationship. A big part of this will be accepting the ways he does things. He give her cheerios because he thinks applesauce is too messy = okay. He dresses her in non-matching clothes = okay. As long as she's safe, don't micromanage their relationship.

 

And he may just not be into babies, when she can talk in complete sentances, they may find more to bond about.


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#3 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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My husband had a hard time with our first when she was a baby. He hadn't had any experience with babies, wasn't able to console her because he lacked mammary glands (and she was colicy so there was a lot of crying), and seemed to be afraid of breaking her or something. He was interesting in hearing what she was up to, but really wasn't bonded with her or anything.

But it did happen eventually, as she became more of a toddler and started squealing "daddy!" with delight when she saw him, started interacting with him, brought him books to read her, etc. The two of them became very close in time. And when the younger one came along, he was more used to the idea of babies and had an easier time. And she was an easier baby, which I'm sure helped.

Honestly, I had a hard time bonding with the first one. I bet she was a year old before even I felt that rush of love and devotion. It doesn't always kick in immediately even with a EBF co-sleeping SAH mom.

I'd give him time, and maybe try to give some time here and there where they're alone together, even if it's just for a quick trip to the grocery store.
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#4 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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I agree with the leaving them alone together. You admit that you've kinda hogged her all this time but she and her dad can manage without you while you slip off to yoga or pottery class.

You said this baby was a surprise.. has he really gotten over that? Maybe he didn't want to be a parent. Would some third party counseling help?

Good luck.
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#5 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 09:50 AM
 
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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. 
 

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Originally Posted by Qestia View Post

And he may just not be into babies, when she can talk in complete sentances, they may find more to bond about.


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

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#6 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First of all, thank you everyone for your responses!

 

I am really in search of advice and not just looking for a place to vent. However, the advice quoted below leads me to feel that my post is being misunderstood.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qestia View Post

Have you tried just leaving him alone with her?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
maybe try to give some time here and there where they're alone together, even if it's just for a quick trip to the grocery store.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by philomom View Post
You admit that you've kinda hogged her all this time but she and her dad can manage without you while you slip off to yoga or pottery class.

 

To re-cap in more detail:

 

My first strategy was just to let him be as involved as came naturally to him... always welcoming, encouraging and asking/offering but not forcing him to do anything with the baby --- did that for nine months.

 

Second phase (lasted for six weeks), was forcing him to do things with her like changing a wet diaper, giving her a bath, or changing her clothes. I wanted him to just figure this out on his own and believe me I am totally fine with him putting the diaper or clothes on completely upside-down, backwards, whatever. It's not actually about getting the job done or done right... it's only about spending time with her and trying to take care of her. Anyways, my husband pleaded/begged/argued with me to stay and "help" him. That he needed baby-steps and help before being just left to figure it out on his own. I reluctantly obliged but hoped he would wean into caring for her by himself.

 

We are now in phase three (has been about two weeks) which consists of me forcing him to do things with her and forcing him to do them by himself. I am coming up with as many excuses I can to leave him alone with her:

Will you watch her while I take a bath?

Will you watch her while I take a two-hour CPR class?

Will you watch her while I work for four hours on a Saturday?

Would you please get her dressed? She can wear anything you pick out for her?

 

Last night, we sat and argued for ten minutes because I wanted him to give her a bath while I was in the other room and he wanted me to stay there and "help" him.

 

In all of the above situations, I am saying over and over again. You guys are going to be fine. I trust you. As long as she gets wet, you've given her a great bath. You can't make a mistake... it's just about spending time with her. You'll be fine... I'm just going to be downstairs/in the other room.

 

When I am at work or class or the grocery store, I do my best to ignore his phone calls. He spends the entire time holding her on his lap or blocking her from the door and calling me. I normally have about twenty missed calls.

 

I've run out of ideas on how to leave them alone together. I'm seeing zero progress. It isn't fun for me to force him to do things. I hate how much he begs me to help him. I hate arguing with him that there is no wrong way and that he can figure it out on his own.

 

I hope it doesn't sound like he is nervous or scared to be around her because that isn't it either. he always wants me to help because he enjoys being with me and spending time with me. If he's giving her a bath, he would rather spend that time talking to me and spending time with me. I'm trying to get him to focus and connect with her. He calls me twenty times not out of nervousness or any sort of crisis. he just wants to pester me about when am I coming home. Now? Now? Now? How about now? Can you hurry? Are you leaving yet?

 

The baby was a surprise. A very welcome surprise for both of us really. He genuinely likes her and is interested in hearing about how her day went. He really doesn't enjoy doing things with her. Like I said, he'd be a great uncle. He kind of treats her like a household pet.... he enjoys having her around but there is no deep love or bond. He'll pat her on the head as he walks by but would also be fine if he didn't see her at all for days.

 

I hope this helps clarify.

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#7 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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You can't make him love her on your terms, as frustrating as that feels.  It sounds to me, not like he is a crappy father, but rather he is not the mirror to you as mother.  But how on earth could he be when he is coming to none of this through his own initiative?

 

It makes you sad that he doesn't appear to love her as much as you do, but mama you cant force love nor can you make the determination how that love is shown.  I think that you are borrowing trouble to be honest.  If you are perfectly content to be the primary caregiver than let it go for now.  If you are stressed by having too much responsibility than set up a consistant schedule where he has responsibility for the kid.  Mornings are my husband's responsibility in this house and it took awhile before he got it right lol. 

 

Honestly whenever the kid gets a bath and both of us are home we are both in the bathroom with the kid because...well...we would rather talk to eachother than entertain the baby.  I don't see what is wrong with that.  Obviously your DH prefers your company to hers, and that is ok too.  As she grows up she is going to get much more interesting and compelling and he will become more invested in her.  But as a mother who finds babies to be totally boring (even my own) I have sympathy for him.  What I do not have sympathy for is that the child appears to be your responsibility entirely with you "making" him do stuff.  Have you given him the choice as to what he is most comfortable taking care of?

 

Anyway I know I am all over the place here, and I know that your post was mostly a frustrated vent.  But really what stood out to me was that it appears you have drawn an arbitrary line in the sand and are surprised that he is not able to become instant daddy.  Love is not something you can fake.  Plus it sounds like he is totally freaked out by having the kid...have you talked with him about that?  Twenty calls is pretty pathetic, but fear is a real and valid response that maybe he needs help working through.

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#8 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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I can relate to you in many ways, OP.  My son is three now and things are much better, but I recall many of your same feelings.  Except, my son was not a pleasure to be around ;).  Colicky, cranky, etc.  Things have really turned a corner...probably around the time my son turned 2.5ish, started talking, started expressing interest in daddy, etc. Before, there was just such a clear, in your face, preference for mama, that I think DH kind of felt left out.  Plus, it is a lot easier not doing baths and diaper changes.  It sounds like your DH is also not really confident in his skills.  My DH also *still* asks me to "help" him with seriously ridiculous tasks like dressing, etc.  Things do get better.  Your husband might really be feeling a lot of guilt also for not being really bonded to your daughter. Dads can have their own version of post partum depression too, especially when baby is a surprise. My DH and I had many conversations about his bond with our son, and I continually reminded him, especially when DS was a baby, that for some of us, bonding takes much more time and isn't something to feel guilty about.  Maybe a few sessions with a therapist to talk about his feelings would be a relief for him.  Part of this really is normal.  The other part definitely sucks, but I have a feeling things will get better as your daughter gets older. 

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#9 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:24 AM
 
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I remember feeling a lot like this when my first one was born.  He was a colicky, grouchy little guy who really only liked to sleep (in my armpit) and nurse (all the time).  I was with him 24/7 and did the vast majority of his care, even when dh was around.  Dh didn't like being 1:1 alone with him because he was afraid he would just cry/want to nurse, and he couldn't help with that.  He even thought the baby didn't like him (!) because the colicky crying started around 5pm, right when dh came home, and lasted until our bedtime.

 

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 didn't go out without ds for more than a half hour until he was well over a year and a half old, and even then, it was a pampered chef party that lasted two hours.  Ds was probably 18 months, and Dd was 3 months, and it lasted exactly two hours.  I hadn't left them alone for that long.

 

We lived quite rurally, so it wasn't like dh and I could go out for a date/I could go to yoga/I could take a class or anything - really, I pretty much went to the grocery store and walked in the woods/on the beach - but I wish wish wish wish wish wish wish wish I would have just pumped and left dh with the kids for something like 4-6 hours now and then.

 

I would have been a lot less crazy & 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.  Was he afraid I was going to correct him/tell him how to do it?  I don't know, but I imagine he was.  I can't imagine spending time with my kids with someone looking over my shoulder secretly thinking about how I should be doing it, or whatever.

 

My best advice is just to leave them alone a lot more and allow them to develop their own bond.  As your dd grows, she'll become less of a "paperweight baby" (leave her in one place and she'll play contentedly without an adult) and more into stuff and what he's doing & he will interact with her and they will start having their own "things" -- and when he starts getting excited about how she always gets excited when does ABC, etc., he'll start interacting more and they'll have their own relationship.

 

I guess this is a lot of stream-of-consciousness rambling, but this was my experience, anyway.  Time by themselves was really the best thing I could have done -- I wish I would have done it earlier.

 

(Also, in re: a lot of the baby care stuff, like getting up at night and such --- I did it all by myself for so long without involving him, that it sort of became an entrenched habit for all three/four of us, and now that my kids are 5 & 4, when they need someone at night, it's STILL me.  I wish I would have involved him in stuff like that earlier, but I wasn't that forwardthinking.  Whatever you establish as a habit/routine/way you do stuff now might just be the way you're doing it five years from now.....just saying!!  ;)  )

 

 

ETA:  I get that he enjoys being with you and just wants you to hang out --- it sounds like you want him to be involved with her and he wants most to be involved with you and I was focusing above much more on your perspective of him not being much more involved ----but in order to address his needs, could you reframe your requests as something like "I need you to help me by giving Little Susie a bath so that I can make dinner in peace for twenty minutes." -- help him to feel like he is addressing _your_ needs by addressing hers?  I don't know.  I'm fishing here.  My dh used to talk all the time about how we never had any US time, when all I really wanted was ME time (since I had 1-2 barnacles on me for time measured in years...) ---- and I learned much later that when I provided sufficient time for us together ("the us time"), he didn't have a problem spending time with the kids while I had "me time".  I wish I would have known that when the kids were quite small.

 

Anyway, good luck, mama.  :)


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#10 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:38 AM
 
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entertaining babies can be boring.  Heck, I find it mind numbing playing with my 2 year old.  Maybe he needs ideas for how to spend time with her without feeling like his brain is shriveling up and keeling over.

 

As for my husband, he wanted to be more involved, but he didn't trust his abilities.  It wasn't until kiddo was a year and a half and seemed more like a kid where he really started to get into it.  Once she was able to run around with a ball outside and could be entertained with funny drawings.

 

I agree that some people just AREN'T baby people and need more mental stimulation (such as wanting their wife around rather than being alone with a baby) and I also agree that not being a baby person doesn't give anyone the right to just check out of parenting til the kid is to a more preferred age BUT I do think not being a baby person requires allowances for parenting a different way until a different age comes along.  Maybe only doing small things such as JUST a diaper change before coming back to you rather than bigger things like bath time alone with a baby is what he needs.  Maybe sharing all the responsibilities and being present together for everything is what he needs.  Whatever works for the BOTH of you to meet each of your needs; yours to have some breaks and to know your daughter is developing a relationship and bond with daddy and his to have someone more stimulating around more assuming that is his problem.

 

and when you DO need to get away, I see no problem telling him he can only call you if there is a problem.. not just to bother you about coming home.  You deserve a break without stress.

 

Try to get to the root of his issues and have a heart to heart about making things work for both of you.. but it is also okay to have him a bit outside his comfort once in awhile.  He is your partner and a father and sometimes that means dealing with things you don't like very much so you can still have all the great things of being a partner and father.

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#11 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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You can't make him love her on your terms, as frustrating as that feels.  It sounds to me, not like he is a crappy father, but rather he is not the mirror to you as mother.  But how on earth could he be when he is coming to none of this through his own initiative?

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I would not leave him alone with her (and you seem to say this is not what you want either)-any force, fight, begging etc (IMO) is only going to make things far worse in your eyes.

 

You can't force or really think that it might change, some never do bond, some never take a role (that is desired by another) so many just become more resentful as a result.

 

I would simply not ask, beg, fight, etc--drop it and deal with your feelings regarding him not being what your want/need and not his feeling.

 

He doesn't seem the one with the issue.


 

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#12 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 10:56 AM
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hmm have you asked him how he feels about the baby??

I mean seriously, it's a pretty strong statement to say you think he doesn't love her. I imagine he does it just doesn't look like the kind of love you think it should be.

 

I don't know how forcing him to do stuff will accomplish your goals..I don't really know how to help you but I am figuring out for myself at least when I am asking hard questions on mdc sometimes those exact questions are ones I need to be saying to my DH...

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#13 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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My husband is the same. I tried some of the stuff the op did, but nothing changed. When dd1 was around 7 she told me she hoped if I die, she would die first as there would be no one to take care of her. Big reason there is such as space between dd1 and dd2. I knew that I would be the only caretaker. Now if I ask for dh to watch the baby, it's mostly dd1 to take the role.

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#14 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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Chel, that is just heartbreaking. Poor little girl :(

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.

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#15 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 11:44 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post

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. 
 


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 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.
 

 

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#16 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 11:54 AM
 
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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?


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#17 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 12:01 PM
 
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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? 


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#18 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 12:15 PM
 
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I hope it doesn't sound like he is nervous or scared to be around her because that isn't it either. he always wants me to help because he enjoys being with me and spending time with me. If he's giving her a bath, he would rather spend that time talking to me and spending time with me. I'm trying to get him to focus and connect with her. He calls me twenty times not out of nervousness or any sort of crisis. he just wants to pester me about when am I coming home. Now? Now? Now? How about now? Can you hurry? Are you leaving yet?


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." 

 

To the posters saying they enjoy spending their parenting time together, that's fine and dandy, but it sounds like it's something you mutually enjoy, and maybe the OP would enjoy that at times as well. But it sounds to me like she'd rather be off doing her own thing at least sometimes, and her DH is clinging to her like a helpless whiny child. Big difference, IMO. 


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#19 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 12:33 PM
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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?

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.

 


 

 

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#20 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 12:35 PM
 
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OP- have you asked your husband what he might LIKE to do with his daughter?  So far you've forced him to do all sorts of baby care (which he probably should be doing some of anyway) but you haven't mentioned anything he might like to do for fun with her.

 

What are his interests? Does he like to swim? He could take her to a parent/tot swim class.  Does he like to read? They could go to the library together. Does he like the outdoors? He could take her on a little hike. Does he like art? They could make finger paint (or whatever) pictures for the grandparents (or his cubicle wall!)

 

Maybe if you want to get out for a little bit you could take them with you and then separate for a while.  Say, go to the mall and let them walk and take in the world while you shop.  You'll be together for a while, but have some time alone as well.  He might not like being left home (as in left behind...)

 

Another thought: has he been around babies before? My DH, and some other young men in our lives, had never really been around kids before.  They didn't know so many things that seemed so basic to me. For instance, I had to teach/encourage DH to chat with our girls- you know that running monologue that is really just talking about the day and activities.   Songs, even!  For a guy that knows a TON about music DH seemed to have forgotten all the kid songs he had ever heard.  Maybe you could get a CD of kids music and encourage some family sing alongs.  There is GREAT kid music out there in all styles of music. DH has been playing/singing/teaching the girls They Might Be Giants practically since they came out of the womb!

 

One more thing, is he around other Dads of babies?  Maybe at work or church? He might just need a good example or role model to get ideas from.

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#21 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 01:35 PM
 
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I'm curious if you've really asked him about this stuff, I'm really just wondering what his feelings are on the matter. Is he willing to discuss it?

 

I also have to say, I'm not a kid person. Other peoples kids make me really anxious and uncomfortable and until I had kids I had very little experience with them at all.  I LOVE my kids, more than anything in the world but it is not all sunshine and roses. They make me want to tear my hair out and go hide in a closet sometimes and hell yes, I'd rather talk to my husband than sing twinkle twinkle little star one more time. I guess I'm saying, not everyone expresses their love for their kids the same way and for some people it's very deeply mixed with uncertainty and sometimes frustration. It seems like your DH loves the baby but doesn't quite know what to do to express it and it seems you have a pretty fixed idea of how to express love towards the baby.

 

I would be VERY frustrated by the lack of help, whether he's Mr. Rogers or not, it's still his child and he needs to pull his weight; meaning diaper changes, clean up, entertaining while you get things done and helping you out in whatever way you need.


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#22 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

 

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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.
 

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Originally Posted by Birdie B. View Post

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?

 

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Originally Posted by Qestia View Post

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)
 

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Originally Posted by MSWmama View Post

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.

 

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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

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.
 

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Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post

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!

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#23 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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OP, I definitely feel for you and think you've gotten a lot of good feedback. However, I do want to say that no matter why your husband is not stepping up to the plate as a father - and he certainly doesn't seem to be - it really isn't your job to fix it. You have tried all sorts of strategies and they haven't worked and I don't think you should try any more.

This is a problem your dh is going to have to tackle all by himself, and at this point, I think that should mean a third party, i.e. a counselor, maybe for both of you. I can only imagine how much stress it would give me to have an uninvolved father as a partner, and how, little by little, it would erode my respect and affection for him. Because once there's a kid involved, I don't think it's possible to say, "He's a terrible father. But he's a great guy and a wonderful husband!" Because great guys and wonderful husbands are, by definition, good fathers. Or at the very least, they try to be. And your husband isn't even trying.

What I would do in your shoes is to sit him down once and for all and say, "Look, this issue is affecting our marriage and it would mean a lot to me if we could talk to someone about it." And then make the appointment.
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#24 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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I don't have alot to add to what's been said except in my world, my dh is a wonderful, loving, totally committed to us, wonderful provider/husband/father.  That said, he was MUCH better with our children once they weren't so 'floppy', lol.  Yk, once they could toddle around and play and talk/babble somewhat coherently.  It's just the way he was.  With each child he would do MORE when they were a baby, but he still didn't blossom with them until they were small toddlers.  He would come home and pop a baby in a sling and go for a walk if I needed to finish up supper, or occasionally change a diaper or something when I needed, but as far as actual intentional playing/interacting, it wasn't happening alot until they were older.  Yes sometimes I'd get frustrated or worried, but eventually they all developed their own thing and it's great!  Yes, your dh needs to step up.  You are just going to have to figure out how that's going to be, and really it should be him figuring that out. 

 

Maybe when he comes home you need to just hand over the baby and let him figure out what to do with her.  Or maybe it would be better to schedule a family walk/outside time, etc. each evening, letting him carry the babe and you and he just talking?


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#25 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 03:55 PM
 
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I haven't read all the replies, but I wanted to tell you that my DH has told me that he only likes kids once they can communicate. Before that, on some level, they are sort of undifferentiated blobs of crying and poop, and he doesn't feel much rapport with them (although he has been the SAH parent because it happened that I had the decent job, while he was doing a PhD and then not finding work).

 

You said: He "likes" the baby. He is affectionate towards her. He always asks me how her day has been, what she's been doing, etc. He would be a nice uncle. I can't see any evidence of a bond or deep love for her. I think he would be fine going weeks without actually seeing her. He doesn't want to spend time with her. If I do ask him to watch her while I take a shower or something (really it's always just a ploy to get him to spend time with her) he will simply block off the door and play on his iPhone or computer until I come back. She's easy enough to not demand any attention.

 

You can't know how he feels about her, and he might not even know - if she got really, deathly sick or hit by a car, you would find out that he'd be devastated just like you would be. It's not that she's not easy, maybe, but she's sort of boring for him at this stage, or he doesn't think to play peek a boo or pretend to be a bear or whatever will make her laugh. My husband has said, in all seriousness, that the baby isn't really a PERSON to him until the baby can talk or communicate. In fact, both of our kids have been called "The Pet Human" during their toddler stage, but Pet Human no longer applies once they can form a complete sentence. It is true that he might just have a less primal bond with her at this stage, but it will grow as she does. Remember, you have done ALL the heavy lifting - nursing, bathing, most of the caregiving, so he also hasn't had the chance to do the bonding stuff. It's really okay though. It will come, and he will love her well -- look at how much he loves YOU, right? And, just to do a thought experiment - what if he's afraid that his love for his daughter could somehow supplant his love for you and he's holding back? What would happen if he ended up focusing his love on her and less on you?

 

When I saw that he wasn't any more bonded to her or interested in being with her, I thought, "hmmm, maybe me being so happy to do everything is actually a hinderence. Maybe if I relied on him more or needed his help, he would spend more time with her and develop into a father. Maybe you really need to share the burdens and the joys.

 

I'd say this is true for you to maintain your sanity, more than for them to bond. Even if he's not wild about it, he does still need to share the burden. But you wanting him to do this to help you out versus you wanting him to love his daughter in a certain way are two different issues.

 

So at this point (9mo old) I forced him to change her diaper for the first time.... yes, the first time.

 

You can't force him to parent exactly the way you want him to (and look at his family or origin to see if what he does reflects what he got from his own folks growing up). It will come with practice and the sweetness of time. If I were going to lay down any laws though, I would tell him to put the dang iPhone away and actually be present with his child - take her for a walk or put her in a mei tai and cook dinner or something.

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#26 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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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.


Hmm, it sounds like his pestering tactics work though -- he gets his desired result, that you frantically try to rush through whatever you're doing and hurry home to bail him out. What if you laid out the expectations (and maybe -- hopefully! -- got him on board) before you left?

 

Tell him exactly what time you'll be home, and that you won't be home a minute before then whether he calls and fights with you or not. If he resists, or starts in with the, "But maybe you can finish early, right?" then I would even say, "Even if I do finish early, I'm going to sit on a bench and read a book until 3:00 rolls around." And then come home at 3:00. No answering his calls, no calling him to let him know you're on the way home. Just breeze in the door at exactly 3:00 (letting him know your word is good), saying, "Hi honey, hope you guys had fun! Wanna go for a walk?"

 

But definitely don't appease his pestering by agreeing to rush, or finish early, or whatever. If you calmly smile and say (BEFORE you leave, because remember there will be no contact until you arrive back home), "I know you guys will be just fine -- have fun and I'll see you at 3" and then stick to that, it transmits the sense that you have complete confidence in him rather than that you're buying into his incompetence. I know it sounds strange, but when you say things like, "Okay, I'll finish early and come home," it sends the message that you agree that he's in over his head and needs help. It sounds like you don't actually feel that way, but it could be feeding into his sense that he can't do it alone. 


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#27 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post




Hmm, it sounds like his pestering tactics work though -- he gets his desired result, that you frantically try to rush through whatever you're doing and hurry home to bail him out. What if you laid out the expectations (and maybe -- hopefully! -- got him on board) before you left?

 

Tell him exactly what time you'll be home, and that you won't be home a minute before then whether he calls and fights with you or not. If he resists, or starts in with the, "But maybe you can finish early, right?" then I would even say, "Even if I do finish early, I'm going to sit on a bench and read a book until 3:00 rolls around." And then come home at 3:00. No answering his calls, no calling him to let him know you're on the way home. Just breeze in the door at exactly 3:00 (letting him know your word is good), saying, "Hi honey, hope you guys had fun! Wanna go for a walk?"

 

But definitely don't appease his pestering by agreeing to rush, or finish early, or whatever. If you calmly smile and say (BEFORE you leave, because remember there will be no contact until you arrive back home), "I know you guys will be just fine -- have fun and I'll see you at 3" and then stick to that, it transmits the sense that you have complete confidence in him rather than that you're buying into his incompetence. I know it sounds strange, but when you say things like, "Okay, I'll finish early and come home," it sends the message that you agree that he's in over his head and needs help. It sounds like you don't actually feel that way, but it could be feeding into his sense that he can't do it alone. 


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#28 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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How much time does he actually get with you?

 

Are you either wrapped up in the baby OR insisting that he be alone with her?

 

What's wrong with asking him to hold her while you cook dinner, and every few moments, dance with him (and her) wrapping your arms around both?  Go for a walk holding hands with him wearing her in the backpack or pushing the stroller.  Hang out and talk, with the baby present but allowing her to entertain herself?

 

Instead of asking him to do baby care because of your need to see him "bond" like you think he should be--can you ask him to do laundry/dishes instead?  When you're nursing, ask him to get you a glass of water, and then grin at him and say, "Thanks for taking care of us."

 

I get the feeling that you are kind of detached from him at this point.  It's not abnormal or anything, but I think for lots of guys they bond with baby first and foremost because of their bond with mom.  As soon as the baby starts to assert their own will and personality, they might enjoy them more for themselves (sometimes doing that BETTER than mom, to be honest).

 

So I would look at doing things together or with him first;  he seems to be pretty clear that he really misses you and wants to be with YOU.  I think that's a valid feeling too.

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#29 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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Tigerchild beat me to it - it sounds to me like your DH is missing you.  I'd try to find more ways to interact with him positively. 

 

I'd lay down the law on the phone too - tell him you're turning it off at work and then do it.  Abandon him with her and don't coach him through stuff even if he seems to want it.  I sort of see that as him just wanting you and your attention (which is fine, but I don't think it's about your child as much, and I think it just makes you upset with your DH). 

 

I think it sounds like you've fallen so totally in love with your DD that it may have distanced you from your DH.  I get it, it happens.  I think I'd work on restoring your love and relationship with DH. 

 

Tjej

 

 

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#30 of 54 Old 05-13-2011, 11:15 PM
 
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I hate to be the first one to bring this up, but the calling 20+ times while you are at work, and getting angry at you for not answering every.single.call sets off a lot of alarm bells in my brain.  Seems really controlling, and not very respectful of you or your work that you need to get done. 

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For The Love Of Rachel A Fathers Story , Blessed With Tragedy A Fathers Journey With His Preemiracle , The Intentional Father Adventures In Adoptive Single Parenting , He Really Is My Father

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