Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: 2700 feet up
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I think you're husband's bang-on with his assessment of the situation, with two big BUTs.
It is true that a good new father should put much of his life on hold when he starts a family. It's a good sign that he recognizes this - I've seen too many dads-to-be in my pre-natal classes holding on to the idea that they can still go on with their same lifestyles, rather than accept that they have new responsibilities and priorities. So Neldavi, I'd suggest that you celebrate this a bit more.
The first BUT for your DH is that it doesn't take 20 years to re-start one's life again. Each man is different, but I've seen and experienced that 2-4 years later (and much earlier for some well-balanced men), there is space to start reclaiming self. Time to once again start writing or playing hockey or whatever things feed him. And this self-renewal energy feeds back into our parenting - we have more positive, centered energy to share with our children, and we're modelling a positive way-of-life for our kids. So please share with him that it's not a 20-year sentence, but a short-term sacrifice that will eventually right itself into a new balanced set of responsibilities and priorities.
The second BUT is about his choice of emotions. He may be realistic in his assessment of his new responsibilties and time commitments, but it's his choice how to react to it. He seems to be investing energy in focussing on what he's losing, rather than on what he's gaining. That same energy could go into a WOW experience, a "look at this new parenting adventure I get to embark on." For the next period of his life he has the opportunity to be an integral part of the development of a new human being, forge a powerful life-long relationship with the child, and discover or create new parts of himself in the process. It doesn't have to be viewed as a "sentence", as I deliberately worded it earlier. We can't control all our situations, but we can always control how we interpret and experience them.
So please tell your DH that he's halfway there. Tell him how much you appreciate his commitment to his family, and his willingness to make the changes that good parenting requires of him. Then support and model for him a positive attitude, the embracing joyful world-expanding love that only a child can bring us.
Mama~Blogger~Artist~Homemaker. Family = DH (married 6 years), baby Elinor, and our puppy Frances.