Post # 1
Ughl, so I’m having issues! Our son is 10 weeks old now. It takes quite a bit to get him to sleep, and I find myself getting really resentful of my husband in the moment, when he’s on the couch or eating dinner while I’m struggling to get our son to sleep. There’s nothing he can really do to help, but it irks me when he’s eating dinner and sometimes it’s another 30-45 minutes before I get to eat. I’m also kind of blaming him for our son now refusing the bottle. Everytime I ask him to give a bottle to Baby T, he won’t do it if the bottle isn’t already ready, which it never is. So we haven’t given him a bottle consistently and now I’m going back to work in less than 2 weeks and he won’t take one and I’m flipping out!! I also find that when I apologize to DH, if he’s mad at me for over reacting or snapping at him, I get even madder.
I know I need to snap out of this and not take out my frustrations on him, but it’s just so hard when it feels like I’m doing everything. I’m sure that things will change when he’s home all summer and I go back to work, but this is our third night in a row of fighting and it’s getting to both of us.
He is an amazing husband and father. He does a ton around the house and loves Baby T so much. I fell like i’m jsut being crazy and irrational.
Post # 3
((hugs)) I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. Sounds like as great as DH is he needs to step it up just a bit.
There’s no reason why you should always be the one missing dinner… why can’t ya’ll get a system where ya’ll switch off? or something like that…. And well Hubby just needs to get over not making the bottle to do the feeding.
Don’t discuss things too late… expecially since a 10 wk old tends to create a sense of sleep deprivation. lol… tired talks always go worse than needed or intended. And remember that no matter what’s going on he’s not your enemy and you’re not his… try and remind yourselves that you ARE on the same team and that finding something that works for both of you is whats needed… Keeping Mommy & Daddy good is ultimately good for baby 😉
((hugs)) again b/c I know that newborns are hard and I remember not having all the help that I needed.
Post # 4
I have nothing really to say other than I love reading Amnysti’s posts. She always has really sage advice. 🙂
Post # 5
@mrstilly: Oh mrstilly, I am right there with you. I think it is hard when you are breastfeeding because the baby seems like he is always attached to you. I tend to find myself feeling resentful at 4 am when my husband is snoring next to me and the baby is wide awake. Have you tried pumping or warming up a bottle before you think your son will be hungry and have it sitting out for your husband so you can eat dinner first? Also, do you guys have an ergo carrier or a beco carrier? We’ve found that if our son is fussy or needs to go to sleep if we slip him into the ergo he is asleep within minutes and it gives us a chance to both eat dinner or do whatever it is we need to do. I’d maybe talk to your husband to see if you can do a pratice run of a “going back to work day” before you go back. So get up at the time you’d get up, get ready, leave the house and go do some shopping or something and leave the baby with your husband so he can give the baby a bottle, etc and maybe come home around 12 or 1 and see how things went. It will give you a break and help him realize what needs to happen so things will go smoothly for all of you.
Post # 6
@runsyellowlites: You said exactly what I was thinking, only more diplomatically!
OP, your husband needs to understand that his refusal to help out with bottle making and feeding is going to have real consequences for the baby when you start back to work. What’s he going to do? Stand there and let the poor thing wail with hunger because you aren’t around? I think not.
Ask him if it’s a matter of not knowing how or needing help the first few times. I know some of my friends’ husbands were just terrified that they would do something wrong and damage the baby for life, and became much more hands-on after some reassuring instruction.
Post # 7
@mrstilly: I totally agree with the other posters. I think that when you guys are calmed down (not right after you’re trying to put the baby down), you need to sit him down and talk to him about helping out. Make a rule that you have to wait for each other for dinner so that you’re eating together and not resenting that the other is eating while you’re putting the baby down.
And he definitely needs to step it up to get the baby’s bottle ready if he’s going to feed him. Or…switch off. If you’re feeding him, he gets the bottle ready. If he’s feeding him, you get the bottle ready. You guys are very much a team…you just need to get better at communicating that.
Post # 8
Sounds like you guys aren’t communicating very effectively about wants and needs regarding the baby’s care. I think you both need to step that up – he can’t read your mind! And he can’t help you feel less resentful if you don’t let him know what you need! It’s so hard in the initial chaos of a baby when you are all sleep deprived to tackle all of that, but never lose sight of the most important aspect of a relationship: communication.
Post # 9
Having a baby was the single biggest adjustment in our relationship; it can be really difficult at times, especially when you are already sleep deprived and feeling the pressures/anxieties of new parenthood. I don’t think you’re being crazy and irrational; I think you and your husband are both trying to navigate this life-changing event.
I don’t think this situation is necessarily black and white, either; at least for us, just saying, “I want you to do x, y, z” didn’t really solve anything for us. There were a lot of underlying issues we had to work out first. In the end, what helped was reading some marriage help books (I really recommend And Baby Makes Three by John and Julie Gottman) and attending some counseling sessions to get a better understanding of the true situation. We also saw a huge improvement when my husband got to take a month of bonding leave this winter.
For sure there are things you’ll need to work out, but just know that almost every couple goes through these same issues. 🙂 I’d be happy to talk more, if you want to PM.
Post # 10
@mrstilly: Having a baby can put a ton of stress on a marriage – there is a lot of research out there pointing to martial satisfaction going down after a baby is born, so don’t feel like you are in this alone! In relationships where responsibilities were generally split enter a place where one person has primary responsibility (often through maternity leave and breastfeeding) really mess up the dyanmics – throw in sleep deprivation and you can have quite a challenge! and i think babies can bring out relationship/communication issues that existed previously and are amplified with a baby.
What I would recommend is approaching this as partners – you are in this baby raising business together for life, and thinking about it from that approach can help. I found at times that I was also resentful to my husband – when in fact he wanted to help out more, but just didn’t know what to do or at times I wasn’t letting him help. Instead of getting angry, maybe just try saying “honey, it would be great if you could put baby down tonight, I need a break”. it could be that easy!
we also have gone to couples counseling a bit to help us with communication – issues that we glossed over pre-baby (eg maybe feeling resentful but putting it aside to avoid conflict), we are now dealing with and our marriage is so much stronger for it!
Post # 11
You’re NOT being crazy and irrational. The first three months or so of a baby’s life are, in my opinion, the most stressful time a couple can go through. There’s SO many changes and you have to learn to interact with one another in a completely different way than you’re used to. Talk it out. Let him know what you need help with, and LET HIM HELP. If he does it differently, bite your tongue, because you need the help even if you’d do it a different way.
This will get better. As you two adjust to being parents and get more comfortable with everything and your child grows and becomes easier to handle, it will work itself out. These first few months are just tough. Hang in there!
Post # 12
Thanks everyone! We did talk more last night. DH just has a hard time with our son being fussy or crying, and wants to fix it immediately. Since he gets home at different times, I don’t have a bottle ready and waiting, but I’m going to try that. It’s not all his fault either, because he had no idea that Baby T might refuse the bottle if we didn’t keep up with it and really get him used to it. I let it slide, rather than start our night off stressing over getting a bottle ready for a fussy baby. I can be a control freak too, so I know I need to work on that. We’re going to spend some time talking and practicing for my return to work.
Post # 13
1,000% understand how you’re feeling. I find that the lack of sleep does crazy things to people, that’s for sure. I also take on a lot of guilt getting upset with my husband since it is now my job to stay at home and take care of the baby, so I feel guilty asking for help sometimes or telling him things annoy me. But, communication is key no matter what is going on or how irrational you think you are (and really you aren’t for feeling how you are).
Post # 14
My husband has been really great and I’ve still gotten frustrated with him. Partly because there’s a limited amount he can do with me EBF right now. We’re going to try to introduce a bottles of expressed milk next week so he can help with some of the cluster feeds. I know he partly feels a bit helpless sometimes because when she’s hungry there’s only one thing that calms her down, so I think partly he feels a bit rejected at times and isnt sure what to do. But he’s found some good roles and I’m pretty explicit about asking him to do things and not letting it fester.
Post # 15
Oh I hear you, sister! DH and I have gotten into it along the way of being first time parents and needed extra help adjusting to the stress. We love each other and baby dearly but just have to figure out how to deal with the fatigue and new responsibilities. Be patient with each other…you’ll learn how to manage it together.
Thanks for the post. Good to know I’m not alone. I started thinking I was the only one. 🙂
Post # 16
@StuporDuck: re: Amnysti’s posts… In my short time here, I already SO agree!