Fighting in front of baby

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 31
5892 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

forkintheroad :  Oh man, Bee. I’m really feeling for you. New motherhood is an intense transition. New parenthood is an intense transition. In your shoes, as soon as my husband said anything, I probably would have told him to shut the fuck up and fold the laundry 😉 (cause I got through my own new motherhood phase and now I’ve got different priorities which is generally “You are welcome to vent your spleen while you do your part to fold or clean, but if you aren’t doing those things (or haven’t just finished doing them), you have nothing to say that I care to hear.”)

My husband told me that part of his reticence to holding our son when he was a baby was his own discomfort with what to do. Because of our birthing exeperience, I was really (really) hands on and anxiously taking care of everything in those first months and then once the baby got a few months old, I knew him in a way that my husband did not and so my husband didn’t have a chance to learn those cries and how to soothe him (also, if he took too long to do it “right”, I’d jump in and take the baby because I couldn’t handle him being distressed for very long when I (the mommy supreme!) knew what to do.)- I didn’t give my husband the space to figure it out like I got to do each day.

Meanwhile, there is also the fact that our babies’ cries are perfectly designed to discombobulate and distress us so that we DO SOMETHING NOW!

I wonder if some of this is also going on with you and your husband- you are wanting to make the most of the time you have with your baby (and doing entirely too much without leaving the space for him to take on his share of the new burdens) and your husband’s discomfort with his ineptitude is becoming hardened into not even trying or helping. He’s doing a half assed, shitty job and (probably) thinking that he can do more once the baby is older and he understands her more.

I LOVE Gabor Mate’s work and I found his talk on stressed parenting really really helpful for myself to hear when my son was little (the first 3-5 years are so critical for our babies’ neurological and emotional development and those are also the hardest and most stressful for parents).

For you:

For your husband:

I hope he can get on board with his new role and the associated responsibilities. Otherwise, he runs the risk of becoming yet another man whose wife comes to the realization that life is much easier when she just focuses on parenting the child she birthed and sends the child she married to go figure his own damn self out.

Post # 32
1891 posts
Buzzing bee

You still aren’t getting it OP. Stop asking him to take care of his daughter more. Just MAKE him. Walk up to him and say please change her diaper, thanks! Then walk off. Same with bath time. Go do errands or take time for yourself outside the house and leave her with him. He can and will figure it out. Stop asking him to step up, just start handing her to him and in the moment having him do things. Take this step by step. Let him doing things become a pattern, just keep handing him the baby and having him do things until that is his new normal. 


Post # 33
1276 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

ladyjane123 :  this is the exact advice I gave to my bestie when they were having the same issues and she didnʻt take it till much later and said that that was a mistake. THIS IS SOUND ADVICE to turn this around 🙂

Post # 34
9245 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Two. Whole. Diapers. When you had the flu?! What a gentleman. A round of applause, please.

Why can’t you just…hand him the baby with a shitty diaper. 

Post # 35
1454 posts
Bumble bee

forkintheroad :  so as a new mommy I’ve become a crazy germaphobe….when you had the stomach flu, did it not cross his mind that his baby would be exposed and could contract it and thus put her life in grave danger? What the hell…

Post # 36
521 posts
Busy bee

This really does sound toxic OP. Bc honestly i think the yelling is the least of your worries.

You seriously should hand him the baby when she HAS a shitty diaper & let him figure it out himself then maybe he’ll realize what you do every single day. 

Post # 37
1580 posts
Bumble bee

Being blunt he sounds like a poor excuse for a father and husband and you would be better off as a single parent to your daughter.

Post # 38
162 posts
Blushing bee

I have 4 kids. My husband would take our colicky babies from me and walk them in circles during their evening fussiness. I took care of all the nighttime stuff because he had to work the next day, but he always was a parent when he got home from work. Your husband isn’t being a parent.

You need to pump some bottles and book yourself into a hotel and let your husband be a parent for the weekend. Seriously. You’re going to demur, you couldn’t possibly, but that’s bull. Your husband needs to learn how to care for his baby on his own. I booked myself into a hotel a few times when we had small kids and I need a break from someone being attached to me at all times. It was amazing for my sanity and wonderful for my husband to understand what full-time care of a child actually entails. Or if a hotel isn’t going to work financially, stay with a close girlfriend and get some me time.

Your husband needs to step up.

Post # 39
2458 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

I am kind of laughing about this thread. These problems and concerns about how to manage things with a first baby have been going on, since the Stone Age. There have been mothers who thought fathers were sloughing off in medeival times, the Old West, the Roaring 20’s. 

Now you are going through it, OP. Good luck.

Post # 41
7286 posts
Busy Beekeeper

chocolateplease :  actually if she’s nursing she should keep nursing even while sick to pass on the antibodies so that her baby won’t get sick (or at least not as severely). By the time mom’s puking her guts up the baby was already exposed – every doctor and lactation consultant I’ve ever seen tells moms to keep nursing (but make someone else deal with everything else so mom can rest!). 

Post # 42
6670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

DanaWeddingGuest :  So because some cave men were also crap fathers means OP has no right to complain? Way to contribute absolutely nothing to the conversation! 

Didn’t you also post a response to some thread a week or so ago telling a woman that unless her husband was abusive there was no reason to get a divorce?

Post # 43
2458 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: NJ

llevinso :   pinkglasses :  No, I think if the OP is unhappy she should definitely get a divorce. Any man who cannot take care of his own child is no man. 

I am sure there will be plenty of men in the future who will be happy to help her.

llevinso, what a memory you have! Yes, what I have learned over 26 years of marriage is, that you just have to let some things slide. I have let some annoyances slide, and I am sure my husband has, too. 

pinkglasses, don’t swear at me. I don’t like it.

Post # 44
38 posts

Damn this sounds frustrating.  Parenting is hard, but if there’s a partner in the picture who shield out on parental duties, it’s just plain messed up. Yes, early on a mother has to do a bit more (especially if she’s breast feeding), but her co-parent/partner should at the very least be supportive of her. As in, changing a diaper more than twice, taking the kiddo for a few hours so that mom can get a break, arranging for childcare so that they can have a few hours alone. 


This dude has sat on his ass, has done nothing and then had the nerve to criticize you for doing chores he could’ve easily helped with. If he had such an issue with you taking the baby to the basement to do laundry, HE should’ve held her while you went downstairs. While you shouldn’t’ve let things slide early on, at the year mark he should want to take care of his child and take pride in being a parent. 


I think that you’re past resentment at this point and I don’t blame you one bit. I’d be pissed. You did the right thing by remaining as calm as possible during that fight. There’s a handout called the 30 rules for fighting fair. Rule 17 is to never fight in front of children. Children have little control over their environment, and seeing the adults they equate to stability fighting is distressing. It has the possibility to cause emotional issues later in life and it’s bad that the person who isn’t being a parent in the scenario is the one exhibiting the shitty behavior.


I were in your shoes, I’d book a spa/girls day (make sure he doesn’t have work/shit planned for that day). When the day comes and he’s sitting watching tv relaxing, hand him the baby and a chore list. Tell him you’re going out, that you’ll be home in a few hours and that you’d be super appreciative if he could have all this done by the time you get back. Before he can push back or respond make your way to the door and thank him so much for helping (I know this is petty, I can be a petty person at times). Have your mom or a trusted person on speed dial if you don’t think he’s responsible enough to take care of her properly. He shouldn’t get gold stars for doing the bare minimum/things he already should do as a parent. I honestly think that the only way he’ll engage as a parent is if his parental duties are thrust upon him. See if he honestly changes as a result.


I’ll leave you with this question; While this man is the father of your child, what qualities does he have that are worth seeing this relationship through, ESPECIALLY if he hasn’t done anything to parent her and nothing to support you? Just think about it.


Post # 45
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I grew up in a home with a lot of fighting. Please don’t stay together for your child. It does more harm than good. And he’s a terrible dad

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