Post # 1
One of DH’s close friends’ little girl just turned 1 a couple weeks ago. She’s actually a pretty good kid, but is obviously starting to get more mobile and rambunctious. We had supper with them last night and while conversing with the wife (the guys were in another room) she mentioned more than once how hard its been since the gal has gone mobile and her Darling Husband STILL isn’t helping her. How she has to beg him to watch her while their at home for any amount of time so that she can get anything done, even though (she says) he claims he does a lot with her to other family and friends. She also mentioned to make sure, when Darling Husband and I have kids, to have someone around to help because kids are soo much work on your own…
She’s said this to me in the past, pushing that I should be prepared to raise a child on my own, even though I’m married, as is she. This has got me thinking about my Darling Husband and I. I’m not entirely sure of DH’s upbringing. I know he had a relationship with his Dad, but I also know Mother-In-Law was a Stay-At-Home Mom and therefore most likely did a lot of the child-rearing, as I’ve never heard her mention anything about DH’s Dad getting up at night, or helping with them until they were old enough to help him on the farm.
I’ve *kind of* mentioned this to Darling Husband and I know I need to reiterate it. Both the friends I’ve mentioned and a close cousin of DH’s have said, when they’re watching their kids on their own, without the wife, that their “babysitting today”. When Darling Husband told me this I said, “No, they’re parenting their kid! THAT’S what PARENT’S do!” Kind of pissed me off a bit and I told him if I ever hear him say that when we have kids that I won’t be happy.
Anyway, I digress… how many mommy bees have this sort of problem? If so, have you done anything to rectify it? Any pregnant or even TTC’ers discussed their DH’s parenting role? How did it go?
Post # 3
Only pregnant now and I do feel that Darling Husband will be very involved in parenting because his father was and I expect that he will have the as his role model. We have discussed that we both will be equal parents. That means we both get “nights off”. we both are responsible for putting them to bed, doing homework, driving to practice and anything else parenting will entail. If one is working longer hours than the other, than the one with more hours will do a bit more. If we need additional help in cleaning or babysitting or anything, then we will discuss it so that we get to enjoy life and kids and not always feel stressed and tired.
However, I do think its appropriate to make your expectations known prekids because some people do find that their own expectations dont match that of their spouses.
Also, people can think they are doing more than they are or they feel the burden of responsibility changes because of other factors. IE, Dad mows the lawn so he feels that means Saturdays he doesnt have to watch the kids. Meanwhile mom is doing laundry and cooking. Dad just doesnt understand that. It has be be made clear what is expected before the situation arises is best.
Post # 4
December 2013 mommy chimming in here. Fiance and I were not TTC… but we got a little unplanned blessing bun in the oven! Ha Ha. We have talked about it a bit. I do not plan on having Fiance get up during the night with the baby while he is working and I’m on leave. We have not totally discussed other options but my Fiance grew up with his grandparents and Mother. His father was not around much. I anticipate he is going to be fairly involved in helping with the baby. He is looking at my what to expect when youre expecting and done some pregnancy for dads googling. I admire it a lot :] He’s looking forward to the first U/S for things to really sink in and feel real. I also anticipate that because of daycare costs, I will most likely only work part time nights and weekends or otherwise My income alone will be a wash. Fiance is the breadwinner. His mother will be close and are hoping she may be able to watch baby one day a week.
However, If both of us were working I would talk to Fiance about splitting the night duties to make it fair on eachother. Though his job is labor and more difficult then mine. As far as nights go, If I’m taking care of baby and dinner, I expect Fiance to help with tidying up or whathave you. Fiance is already very good at helping we definitely work together. He will tackle kitchen and I will tackle living room. We split cooking.
I think it depends on your working situations. But I cannot imagine being the cooker, cleaner, and baby caretaker while also working full time and having Fiance just hanging on the couch. We are a team and he has always made that very clear. Thats what I love about him :]
Post # 5
October 2013 mommy chiming in. We were TTC and while Darling Husband joked about not helping out with anything, now that we officially have a LO on the way, he’s changed his tune. I always expected that he would be the helper type anyway. We have two small lapdogs and he’s very much hands-on with them, including taking them to the vet, picking up poop and doing food prep. We have friends whose Darling Husband is similar to your friend’s Darling Husband and we think it’s a little ridiculous. I mean, one of his friends used to panic when mom was even away for an hour and left LOs in his care. He literally would drive around with both of them in the car because he wasn’t sure what to do with them otherwise. I am glad to know that if something were to happen to me and I couldn’t take care of them that Darling Husband would know what to do. I expect to take on more of the workload because Darling Husband has a more demanding career than I do and he’s the main breadwinner, but I would not want to be in a position where I’m the sole caretaker.
I agree with PP. These are conversations that you should seriously have before TTC. Even if it’s not a dealbreaker, at least it’s not an unexpected, unpleasant surprise. Some women we know are totally fine with this arrangement but some are not. Either way, it’s worth cementing and discussing.
Post # 6
Darling Husband is just as involved in bringing up our daughter as I am. Granted I am usually in charge of researching techniques and tips, but he does at least as much as I do. I think his parents were the same. His dad was a Stay-At-Home Dad in the 90’s.
P.s. I also hate when dads talk about babysitting their kids or helping their wife with the kids. You’re not babysitting or helping, you’re spending time with/bringing up your kids!!
Post # 7
We are actually planning to have Darling Husband take some leave (he’s in the military) after my maternity leave is up so that HE can be Mr. Mom for a couple of weeks when I go back to work. I think that will be excellent for bonding and for getting him to feel like he’s completely and utterly capable of caring for baby on his own. I think a lot of men are resistant to helping much simply because they don’t know how and are worried they’ll mess up and hurt the baby. So the way we see it, if Darling Husband can be cured of that from the very beginning (while also getting baby just that few weeks older before getting sent to daycare all day), that will be a win-win!
Post # 8
Marking this as I’m interested to see answers. :o)
Post # 9
I’m very fotunate because i know Fi will be very involved. He is great with my neices and nephews, though feeding and changing diapers i dont really expect him to help with much. He has a baaad issue with smells. If the baby pukes he will too.
Post # 10
Thanks ladies! For myself, we will plan for me to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, so I know and understand that most of the child-rearing will fall onto me, especially during the busy season, but like how I’ve mentioned about friends and PP’s have mentioned about others, I don’t want my Darling Husband to be “afraid” and feel like its “babysitting” when it would only be him with the kids…
Post # 11
Darling Husband is awesome with little man. He is “on duty” when he gets home from work so I can get more done around the house. LM is much easier at 4.5 months than he was when he was younger, so mostly I’m able to get that stuff done during the day, but Darling Husband still takes on most of the play in the evening. On weekends, it’s 50/50. I do most of the nighttime care, because it’s required of me (we EBF), but if something’s off (he’s sick, he’s gassy, etc), Darling Husband will step up.
I do work part time, so I have to have time to get my stuff done, too, so Darling Husband works especially hard around the house (dishes, straightening, folding laundry) when he gets a chance while I’m feeding.
Definitely discuss this stuff pre-TTC or pre-baby though. Set out clear expectations (on both sides) about what you expect him to do/what he expects you to do. Be willing to step up for one another whenever possible. Even the most stable of marriages can encounter a rough spot when you’re both exhausted and the baby is crying…AGAIN. Work togethere and focus on communication.
Post # 12
Our daughter is due in July so we’ll see. But I have a feeling that he’ll be very involved with her. He’s excited to be a dad and because his father really wasn’t there for him and his sibs growing up he really wants to be there for his kids. He’s nervous about a lot of things like holding her and he’s really worried that he won’t be a good dad (once again due to his father’s lack of involvement) so I think he may try a little too hard. He has friends who have kids and he really doesn’t get the ones who don’t spend time with their kids. But only time will tell right???
Post # 13
My Fiance and I don’t have any children yet, but we’ve discussed the breakdown of parenting duties already. He is adamant that we will share responsibilities 50/50, and of course I agree. I’m sure his own upbringing has a lot to do with his views – his biological father was kind of a deadbeat, made ridiculous demands on my Future Mother-In-Law, and is now completely absent from his children’s lives. My Fiance doesn’t want anything like that to happen to us and our future child(ren). Even now with our two cats, we share their care right down the middle. I feed them on even days, he feeds them on odd days, we each clean out the litterbox while the other person is feeding them, we both go to the vet whenever they need to go in, we spend equal amounts of time playing with them and snuggling with them… they are 100% OURS, just as our child(ren) will be. Really, most if not all parts of our relationship are that way, so it just makes sense to do the same with parenting.
Post # 14
My husband won’t “help”. We’ll split it 50/50, just like everything else around the house.
Post # 15
@CherryWaves: I’m pregnant now and I have discussed it with my Fiance and as far as I’m concerned 50/50. Only time will tell though.
Post # 16
@ThreeMeers: I completely agree that it’s something that needs to be discussed beforehand so you both know what each other’s expectations are!
And OP, OMG YES to your vent about dads talking about having to watch or babysit their child! My Darling Husband knows better than to ever say anything like that! We are expecting any day now, I’m 37 weeks pregnant and we have talked about this a lot, because in his family his mom always did everything, she basically thinks that is the mom’s responsibility while the dad works, and flat out says that she didn’t want her husband’s help with the babies anyways because he would’ve just screwed it up and not done it her way. Ugh. So despite having many relatives who were babies when he was old enough to help, Darling Husband was kind of clueless on babies since she thought he didn’t need to know that stuff. So now he’s kind of anxious about screwing it up – it’s kind of cute though, he watches youtube videos on things like installing the carseat and changing diapers, haha!
But we have discussed this at length and it is not what either of us want or expect. I will handle most of the middle of the night stuff at least in the beginning because he’ll be working and I won’t be, plus since I’m breastfeeding he wouldn’t be able to do much anyways when our son wakes up hungry. Beyond that we’re going to work to find a good balance – I understand he needs a little bit of time to decompress at some point after he gets home form his very long work day, and he understands that staying home with the baby can be kind of isolating and wants to do whatever he can when he is here to make it easier on me and make sure we have bonding time for all three of us as well.