Post # 1
Bees, I’m really having a rough time navigating how to include my hubby in the pregnancy in a way that works for both him and me. Is anyone else in the same boat?
First of all, I’m grateful for a guy who wants to be involved. He is interested and excited, and that’s all good. He even wanted to sit beside me and wait for the result of our pregnancy tests so we could share the moment together when we got the BFP.
The challenge with my hubby is that his desire for inclusion sometimes makes me feel “controlled” so I explain this to him and we end up fighting. He is a detail man, and I am relaxed and chill about most things. The things that upset him are things I don’t even think about. Examples of this include the fact that I think it’s good enough to do basic research on pregnancy food/diet and aim for balance, including veg, lean meat, dairy, quality carbs, occasional sweets, and whatever I can stomach when I have nausea/vomiting. he, otoh, thinks I need to find (or design) a detailed pregnancy meal plan and choose specific meals a week in advance and shop ahead to make those meals. I have told him he can take on that project if he wants it, and he says he doesn’t have time, so we end up fighting about food a lot now, because he ultimately thinks I think his concerns about the baby aren’t important. Other things are his wanting to be the one to fill out the forms at my doctors appointments. He got upset at the first appointment that I was just rushing through what I saw as a long boring form without talking to him about it, so now I just let him do it and he asks me the questions. Other things include him wanting me to organise the medical file folder I’ve been keeping in a more detailed fashion and to improve the files we share on Dropbox. when I say I don’t want to do this stuff or think it’s not necessary, he says he feels that I don’t care for his input.
i really do feel for him because prior to pregnancy I doted on him all the time and initiated lots of sex. Now i am exhausted all the time and we have sex like once a week. He has been really good about generally understanding how tired I am, but he has also said he feels a bit disconnected from me since I’m acting so differently now.
i guess what I’m asking for in all of this venting is some advice on helping hubby not to feel so left out… but ideally in ways that are reasonable for both of us.
is dis anyone else going thru anything remotely similar with their husband?
Post # 2
This sounds less like him wanting to be involved, and more like he wants to be in control. No way would I be okay with my DH telling me to look up a meal plan, or having him fill out MY medical forms. If he wants to be involved, there are plenty of books he can read. He can start a registry, look up a childbirth class that you can take together.
Post # 3
AnonymousCupcake: I agree.
OP, how is he in general regarding your relationship? Does he try to control other things?
This is something you need to figure out though because if this is leading to fights during pregnancy, it could get worse once your child is born. How to raise a child can be a hot topic of debate!
Post # 4
I’m sorry but this screams controlling not left out. thats all well and good if you both want you to eat healthy for baby but it’s not always possible. I lived off French fries and burger king chicken sandwiches my first trimester and my baby is perfectly healthy.
The medical forms thing is just odd to me, sorry. he didn’t think you were doing it up to his standards?! No, just no.
I think you guys definitely need to get to the bottom of his issues sooner rather than later. This is just gping to get worse as time goes on and especially when baby arrives. I’m pretty sure I completely neglected my husband for a good 3 months postpartum because I was focused on nursing and keeping baby happy, and sleeping every chance I could. If you’re having fights now, it will be compounded when you are overwhelmed with a newborn and completely sleep deprived. We have an easy baby, didn’t have any “issues” beforehand and there have been trying times between us and we are only 7 months in!
Post # 5
Miss Mochaccino: Can he find a happy medium- like cooking dinner with you and going to appointments with you?
As others have said- it does sound rather “controlling” vs “being involved”.
I consider my husband to be involved in my pregnancy. He has come to every appointment he has been able to- and if I ever really, really want him to go to a particular one, I can give him a heads up to take off if work. He accompanied me to 3 ultrasounds, as well as a few of my weekly injection appointments, and 2 regular OB appointments. He listens to me when I need to vent about a pregnancy related issue, makes food with me, goes and gets foods that I am craving, and shops for baby stuff with me. He’s interested in what stroller we get, and is sleeping on the sofa tonight because he’s sick and doesn’t want to get me sick. I consider him quite involved.
Him filling out MY forms would be more time consuming, and unnecessary IMO– although if I asked him to do it, he would.
The day he starts dictating food to me is the day he can take an extended vaca LOL– although this has mostly passed, my food aversions were incredible for the first trimester. I went from being mostly carb free, to only be able to handle carbs. If I even LOOKED at fruit or veggies (which I normally love)- I would want to vomit. I ate rice tacos from Chipotle for a week straight– and ate what my body would allow me too.
My diet is a happy medium now– I eats tons of broccoli and chicken, salads, and definitely the occasional burger and fries.
It sounds like your husband needs to be the one to try and understand what needs you might have right now, and try to “involve” himself the appropriate amount– which is mostly to be supportive and a good partner.
Post # 6
Thank you for your help with this guys.. I have given it some thought and talked to hubby a couple of times, and I think the issue is not so much him feeling left out, but more him having some controlling/perfectionist tendencies — and his insecurities about my pregnant and having so much of my attention elsewhere (othe than him) have brought it out more… He has had some controlling issues (that came out as “constructive criticism”) in the past, and I pointed it out and he worked on being less critical / more aware of his criticism, and he’s really made some changes. So this is more of the same thing in my mind, and I know we can work on it, but I realize it will take work from both of us to keep an unhealthy dynamic from becoming entrenched.
Thanks again for your thoughts ….
Post # 7
Okay, I feel conflicted between thinking your hubby is being a jerk and feeling bad for the guy. Having a baby is a huge major change in life – maybe his way of dealing with the change and anxiety is trying to get control over the situation, in whatever weird way that means to him. I spent a huge amount of time researching the most RANDOM baby products while I was pregnant because it made me feel like yes, I was getting prepared, everything would be okay (diapers, detergent, baby soap were sooooo important). Maybe try to redirect his attention towards preparing for the baby’s arrival – have him research strollers or baby monitors. But then it also sounds like he doesn’t actually want to do the legwork (he can fix those file folders his damn self), and that’s not cool. Also, the food part is absolutely laughable. Have him talk to some women who have been pregnant. I cannot tell you now what is going to seem delicious or vomit inducing 30 minutes from now. And if the only thing I can stomach is french fries, then DH’s job is to get me those fries.
Post # 8
Miss Mochaccino: it seems to me that he used to be the center of things, at least in his mind,and now the fact that YOU are the one pregnant with a baby, the focus has shifted. It’s no longer about him and so he’s finding ways to make it about him or his way. He needs to back off and start focusing on his role in this, which is to support you and to prepare himself for fatherhood. A meal plan? filling our YOUR forms? jesus. I would be irritated beyond belief.
Post # 9
Miss Mochaccino: Has he read any pregnancy books from the partner perspective?
I gifted my husband with “Dude You’re Gonna Be A Dad” and “The Expectant Father” when we found out.
As far as the things that he requests you to do, but they’re not your cup of tea, so you tell him that if it’s so important, he is more than welcome to do it himself, but he doesn’t have time. Maybe let him know that you both don’t have the time, so if something is really important to him, rather than requesting you to do it in addition to everything else you’re doing, to come up with a game plan that involves both of you without being too taxing.
Snack prep at the beginning of the week can be something that he helps with so that he knows you’ll always have nutritious snacks available?
Post # 10
KitKatNYC: Yeah, I know what you are saying. I also feel bad for him in the sense that he has brought up how hard it is to adjust to how different I’ve been (fatigue, can’t run or cycle with him like we used to, not as much sex, more grouchy). He’s excited about the baby, but worried that he’s now “irrelevant” (his words) and trying to figure out what his role will be like. In his family, my FIL is totally on the “outside” of the inner circle of the mom and kids, and he’s said he really doesn’t want it to be that way for us (I don’t want that either!). To be fair to him and provide a full picture, he’s given me backrubs, made me dinner, brought me ice (because it helps with nausea), etc. He has tried to be caring. This irritating / controlling stuff is only a part of the picture, but it is definitely a problem that has to be worked out and can’t just be glossed over. Thanks for your reply.
stardustintheeyes: Yes, I think there is truth in this, too…. hubby is used to being the center of things and receiving lots of nurturing and attention from me. I didn’t really realize how much it meant to him until now. His mom totally doted on him when he was growing up as well (I can tell by how she treats him when we visit), which doesn’t help things in terms of his perception of normal. He does care for me and look after me in many ways, but right now I think he might be focusing on how he’s feeling neglected and how things are out of balance…. but the reality is I just haven’t had the energy to cope between working, pregnancy fatigue/sickness, and trying to do some basic stuff around the house.
nadnuk: Great suggestions regarding those boks, thanks so much! I will definitely look at them. I’m hoping between getting him some books and introducing him to other dads to be at our pregnancy classes, things will even out in terms of him understanding a bit more of what a dad-to-be’s role can be in pregnancy and early fatherhood.