Post # 1
Darling Husband and I are in the midst of discussing a LDR for 2.5 years. Before we got married, we discussed that he would finish his training as close to where we are as possible. He interviewed at a place near his relatives as an excuse to see them, and now loves the place that is 1000 miles away. My moving is very problematic. While we do not want to have children for a few years, I feel we need to discuss what happens if I accidentally get pregnant while we are stuck doing LDR. Obviously, it would not be ideal, and we both agree that moving a child back and forth is not best for the child. I ABSOLUTELY do not want to be a single parent (no disrespect to anyone, it’s a super hard job that I don’t want to do), which is part of the reason we are waiting (FH works long hours right now and having a child now would be similar to being a single parent). While neither FH nor I are baby people, he wants kids a lot more than I do.
While I know it is unlikely, if this happens, I think I would want him to take the baby while he is away. We were discussing this, and he thinks I should keep the baby here so I could breastfeed (he wants me to breastfeed, I am not sure), I have slightly more family support, would be working slightly less than he will, and “everyone will think I’m a bad mom.” Does this sound fair? Why would I be a “bad mom,” and he wouldn’t be a “bad dad?”
I know this probably won’t happen and I am sounding a bit like a lunatic. I want to have all of this ironed out before we decide, and this situation is just making me crazy. Thanks!
Post # 3
To be honest, I would take extra precautions to avoid pregnancy while you are long distance if you can’t/wouldn’t move. I think the immediate issue is your husband choosing to move 1000 miles away after you planned on him not being so far away. I don’t know his job or what control he has over his location, but I think that needs to the primary conversation, before you start talking about what if.
Personally, I could NEVER leave my child with my husband so far away from where I live if we were in a LDR. And I’m not even a mom yet! (7 more weeks!) It’s hard to really know until you are in the situation I guess.
Post # 4
I’m not sure what your question is? Are you asking why the double standard? I think, as much as we like to pretend that there is equality in child rearing, most of the time moms still take the lead role, at least with babies and small children. Just because it’s common, though, doesn’t mean that is the way it has to be in your relationship. 🙂
If I were in a situation where my husband and I were in an LDR with a baby, I would probably expect that we would share custody (part-time with me, part-time with dad) until he could move home.
Post # 5
i totally agree with @mrstilly. you will drive yourself crazy thinking about every possible “what if”
Post # 6
Yeah…just do everything you can do to NOT get pregnant while you guys are LD so you don’t have to deal with that. I can’t imagine being separated from my newborn/young baby for stretches of time. I think maybe it sounds easier to you than it actually would be…also, wouldn’t you get some sort of maternity leave from work if you DID have a baby? That would allow you to either be at home with the baby or go be with your Darling Husband for the length of your maternity leave.
Post # 7
I definitely think a lot of people have a double standard and I think it’s awful. I don’t want children at all, and I know in your situation the child would absolutely be his responsibility. I think it’s an unlikely situation to occur as long as you are careful with birth control when he is away and make it clear that you will not be having children in a long distance relationship. But in the event that something does happen 1) you may change your mind and 2) embrace the bad mom stereotype! I don’t think the double standard will go away until women feel less threatened by it. If he is the one who wants children more, he should be the one who is making sure that they can be raised in a supportive environment.
Post # 8
I’d do want I could to avoid the LDR. I know that wasn’t your question but they suck even without a kid involved and that’s a really long time with a kid involved. I think for that long an LDR for a married couple is a really, really, really, really, really bad idea. Really bad idea.
A lot of the double standard probably starts with pregnancy. Only one of the people is pregnant and then often times, especially if there’s a c-section involved, there’s a certain amount of recovery time that the mommy needs. Plus often breastfeeding is involved so there’s good reasons why especially for young babies they’re associated more often with mommies. That being said, you don’t have to do that, but you also don’t know what your maternal instincts will have kicked in or not kick in once the kid comes along. I’m stil wondering if something will change in me once our little girl comes along, I like kids but don’t identify with a lot of stuff mommies say they feel, so I think mommy instincts can also throw a wrench in leaving babies once they’re actually born, although this probably doesn’t happen for everyone.
Post # 9
@troubled: I totally agree with all of this. I would try to avoid the LDR if at all possible, and if I couldn’t do that, and got pregnant, the LDR would be over immediately. Being pregnant is not all sunshine and roses, and I am going to need my husband to support me. And I could not be separated from my child for any meaningful length of time. I just…couldn’t. You may think that it would be a workable situation, but I really think that you’ll discover it isn’t. I wish you lots of luck figuring everything out.
Post # 10
Don’t get pregnant. A combo of the pill/condoms/charting with abstinence should ensure that. As far as the double standard honestly I’d think badly of both of you. You accidentally get pregnant but then it sounds like you both want to focus on yourselves and not do whats best for the baby. My friend got knocked up when they weren’t ready and it meant her hubby had to put off a career change. It was a sacrifice he made and one that effected her too but sacrifices have to happen when you have a baby. There are too many ways to prevent pregnancy to create an issue like this.
Post # 11
Hubs & I didn’t have the LDR aspect of your situtation, but 2 years ago, when I mentioned that my job might make having kids (something we BOTH talked about wanting earlier in our 12 year relationship) difficult/not a high priority for me anymore, Hubs let me know that NOT having kids would be a deal breaker for HIM. Since HE was the one who wanted the kids more, we had many, many months of discussion…first, about whether we were going to stay together as a couple (weren’t married or engaged yet, at that point), then, once we decided we didn’t want to live without each other, we had even more discussion about how we would handle parenting FAIRLY. I think you and your Darling Husband need to have THIS discussion…whether the LDR is really what’s in your (as a couple) best interest & THEN, should you get pregnant, regardless of being in an LDR, how parenting is going to be handled.
For us, Hubs recognized that he would have to alter HIS career, rather than ask me to alter MINE…he was more motivated to have kids, so he had to make the sacrifice in order to make it happen. So, while I’m the one carrying our baby boy for the next 8 weeks, we’ll BOTH be at home for the first 5 months (I LOVE being a school teacher!) & then I’m back to the grind, while he takes over as Mr. Mom & works from home. This solution was a LONG time coming & we BOTH had to be open to compromise…but then, that’s what marriage (& I assume, parenting) is all about.
Additionally, your Darling Husband needs to recognize that pregnancy isn’t exactly a ONE person duty…since you ARE married, he needs to show his support by literally BEING THERE FOR YOU. You will NEED this support, I know I did & I’m a rather independent & physically capable woman…but those hormonal changes in your body will be a doozy! And, from what I hear & have learned in parenting & childbirth preparation classes, labor ain’t no walk in the park, neither! Plus, what with the newborn needing to eat every 2-3 hours (whether you breastfeed or formula feed), you’ll need some assistance in those first few months. I don’t think he’d be a very good husband or father is he expects to support you & his child from 1000 miles away when he has the choice & opportunity to do so by your side.
Post # 12
I agree with what others are saying- even if your marriage can handle an LDR for 2.5 years (which some people handle just fine), I can’t imagine that choosing that path during pregnancy and early parenthood won’t be a serious detriment to your cumulative careers (one partner has zero day to day parenting duties and a full-time job, and one partner has a full-time job and ALL the day to day parenting duties?), your marriage (one parent is ok with not being around their kid and the other is ok with having to do all the work? nobody gets resentful? I can’t really imagine that), and your child.
Now, plenty of military wives go through pregnancy, infant-parenting, or both, while their partners are deployed, but they also tend to have a lot more support for this (esp. from other military families, or from their own families if they choose to move back home while their partners are away) than most women do, AND pretty much all the women I’ve known who’ve done this were not also trying to have full-time outside-the-home careers, AND it still sucked. It was still really, really hard and I don’t know of any of these couples who wouldn’t have made at least some career compromises in order to avoid going through that time apart, if they’d had more/any choice in the matter.
Post # 13
Obviously none of us know you personally, but a couple of things you said in your post have raised some flags for me about your husband:
1)He changed his mind without really discussing it with you about the location of his training, knowing you couldn’t come with him.
2)He wants kids more than you do right now, but is willing to let you carry the burden of solo child-rearing while he follows his dreams 1000 miles away. He wants to have his cake without having to bake it himself.
3)He seems to have a lot of opinions on what he expects you to do (happily raise the kid alone while he is 1000 miles away, breastfeed), and yet you say you aren’t sure about any of this. Do you feel comfortable disagreeing with your husband and holding your ground? Because if he is making all the decisions for you without your consent and expecting you to toe the line, that is a big long-term problem.
Post # 14
Thanks for the wisdom fellow bees. I was in a really bad mood when I wrote the original post, and was trying not to have the post be way too long. FH has had to make a couple decisions in his training and has always picked the one that was closest. He has been really trying to find a place near here that’s good. The problem is all of them around here have significant issues with his education, and the one far away doesn’t. It is the only place he can learn all the things he wants to without a problem. He is still planning on taking one of the closer ones if he can, but I wish the far away place would be further down on the list. We haven’t settled on it.
Also, to clarify- I will definitely try not to get pregnant. I have an IUD that is 99.9% effective. I would never intentionally bring a child into that situation. I am scared and frustrated with the situation. I am a worrier, hence the question that came up. I think I am trying to point out to him what a terrible situation this could end up, so that he only takes the position if he absolutely HAS to. Thanks!
Post # 15
It would not be a great situation if that happened, but I wouldn’t think that possibility is the strongest argument to use in a discussion with your husband about where he should go. You can double up on birth control (e.g. use a condom in addition to just the IUD) making the chance of it happening virtually non-existent. I could be wrong, but it seems at least to me from my read of your post that you are blowing this tiny chance of happening situation up to persuade him to stay nearby, and posting here in order to gather support for how terrible it could be. (Maybe that’s in part because I was very confused as to what you were looking to get from Bees in your first post – argreement double standards are bad, agreement the situation was bad, support for not taking the hypothetical kid, etc.) I would simply be honest about why you want him near you instead and how much it matters to you.
Post # 16
My sister just had her first baby and she never got any of those typical ‘mommy’ things during pregnancy. She never had cravings, never got overly emotional, never got hormonal – she was fine. And after little guy was born, she didn’t have some strange transformation where she just wanted to stay next to him all of the time and couldn’t be away from him, lol. She couldn’t WAIT to get back to work that she really enjoys and back to adult situations and conversations. She loves her son dearly and completely, but she is still the same woman with the same drive and needs. She felt awful about wanting to go back to work and her doctor told her that it was healthy and normal and to stop feeling like a ‘bad mom’ because she didn’t need to be attached or worried that he was not okay with anyone but her.
Point is, you just don’t know til it happens how either of you will be. Her hubby wanted kids more than her, too. So she makes damn sure that he also does a total 50% in taking care of him – including feeding, diaper changes, educational play, getting up at night, staying home when she is at work/out – everything. To her, him doing less isn’t acceptable and her doing less isn’t acceptable. I don’t think you could accomplish that in a LDR with a baby. Someone is going to end up being the single parent or the baby will get shuttled all over the place.