Husband going on trips leaving me and newborn at home

posted 1 year ago in Babies
Post # 31
Member
908 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

beebee19 :  If you’re not able to sit him down and have a good discussion with him about the reality of a newborn, I would try couples counseling before the baby is here. If he can’t have a conversation without calling you emotional then you need a mediator. Also do you have any friends or family who have babies? Maybe having a couples date where they advise both of you on new parenthood would be helpful. My husband connected with a fellow PhD candidate who also has kids and struggles without ADHD, and that really helped him learn to balance work and newborn care.

Newborns are really tough. I spent a lot of the first two months of my son’s life crying that I would never sleep or have any time to myself again, and my husband is a supportive and involved dad. It’s understandable if he doesn’t get it yet, but he REALLY needs to change his perspective before the baby gets here and you are both sleep deprived and overwhelmed. Don’t imagine that he will just get it when he sees the baby. My husband is great, but even he needs reminded sometimes that changing 1 diaper and feeding 2 bottles all day doesn’t not equal 50/50 parenting. You have to be able to have honest conversation with each other without him claiming  you’re emotional or irrational.

I’m a working mom like you, and you are absolutely right to assume you’ll need at least a few sporadic afternoons/days to yourself when baby is small. It’s really hard to go from a successful professional to a human pillow/milk machine and it’s important to take time to remind yourself of your identity outside motherhood. That doesn’t make you a bad or neglectful mom, and your husband needs to understand that. 

Post # 32
Member
2715 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

What happens to the hunting trip if you go overdue by ten days, and then have to have a C-section? That could put you at less than three weeks post partum, not able to do a whole lot because of your incision and unable to lift anything much (quite possibly the baby) or drive? Because if you haven’t asked him that question, ask him now.  His answer will be revealing, I think.  My sister had a C-section and it was the best part of a month before she could even think about doing anything around the house except keeping herself and baby alive.  And that was with a very very supportive husband and in-laws just down the road.

Post # 33
Member
752 posts
Busy bee

The more you update, the more your husband sounds like an immature entitled dick. Sorry. I’m sure he has many redeeming qualities but to tell you you’re being emotional for wanting to have a bit of fairness in your relationship, and to pull the ‘well you wanted to be pregnant’ card in order to maintain his social life when he should be stepping up is just reprehensible to me.

As the mother of a 9month old, I can tell you that you probably aren’t going to want an overnight getaway of even a night that soon but you’ll definitely want some time to yourself and that’s absolutely something your husband should be supporting you with

I’m so cross on your behalf

 

Post # 34
Member
7824 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

My husband had to go out of town for a work trip about a month after we had our baby- which was fine- it was work. I would not be cool with him just taking off for a pleasure trip right after having a baby. Like a PP mentioned, you might have a c-section or other complications. 

Post # 35
Member
1521 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

We just had our first almost 5 months ago, so the newborn stage is passed, but it is still fresh in my mind. I am so livid for you!

Honestly, I would be telling him that there will be no trips within the first 3 months, but that’s just me. At this point, it’s all theoretical. You have no idea what your birthing/recovery will be like or how your baby will be. You could have a really easy baby or one that is colicky. You could end up needing a c-section, which is major abdominal surgery and is no joke! My son has been pretty easy going, but he had issues gaining weight and so we were at the doctor several times in the first few weeks. I also had to have a c-section and depended on my husband more than I thought would. I had a pretty good recovery according to others but there were a couple times that I had to call my husband on the phone (who was downstairs) because I couldn’t sit up and get to my son who was in the bassinet beside me! Either way, birth is a kind of trauma to your body but while you are recovering, you also have to keep a tiny human alive!

I’d have serious issues with the planned trip when your baby is around 3 weeks old. That is when the sleep deprivation finally hit me. If my husband had taken off and left me by myself for 6 days at that point, I don’t know what would have happened. We probably wouldn’t be married anymore. That could be a really crucial time. He can always go next year. 

It really irks me when people throw the “you’re so emotional” into a discussion. I really believe it’s a tactic to keep women in their place and not complain about inequality. But fine, be super-rational about it. If he’s going to take off, his tasks need to be done or taken care of and he needs to have his shifts covered, same as any job. By that i mean,  let’ say there are three shifts – day, evening and night. He works during the day, so you do the day shift. He wants to sleep at night, so you do the night shift. That leaves him the evening shift, which is where you get to sleep or get out of the house. (obviously, adjust for your specific schedules). For us, I would sleep from 4pm – 12am and my husband would wake me every two hours to feed the baby. I couldn’t sleep if he was in the room with me because every coo, cry or squwack kept me up. So he wants to leave for 6 days and you don’t really sleep that week? That’s not okay. He needs to get someone to cover so you can sleep.

Also, before my son was born, I was planning on making and stockpiling food. Well he ended up being early and that plan went out the window. It was my husband’s job to make sure that we had food to eat. My job was keeping the tiny human alive. So if that’s his task, he needs to make sure that you will be ok before he takes off. 

During an event and major life change like this, you need support. We have partners for a reason. 

ETA: I would put it in terms he understands. Remind him that the first 3 months with a newborn are all about survival.

Post # 36
Member
524 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

beebee19 :  Mom of two, one of which is a newborn. It is so damn insane to think that you wouldn’t want a break once the baby gets here. For all the work of pregnancy, it ain’t nothing compared to newborns. The feedings, changings, sleeplessness… Take that personal time and enjoy it! Be explicitly clear with your husband that this is a tit for tat situation — he’s getting X days/nights baby free therefore you have accrued that same amount and will be cashing in throughout the year. Maybe it’s primarily weekends so he doesn’t have to use PTO, but you WILL be getting the alone time needed. And I agree with PPs — mother isn’t synonymous with martyr so never feel bad about taking a break. Your family is better served by a happy, refreshed mama than a burned out one.

Also, from experience — my husband, who is a wonderful man, did not get it the first time around. He went on bachelor parties and such while our firstborn was young (including maternity leave) and it is hard but it’s doable. Men can’t be of too much practical help if you EBF anyway. That said, the second time around he has been so much more help, including coming in during night feedings if I’ve been out of bed too long offering to take the baby and rock him/give him a bottle so I can sleep. He needed the experience to feel comfortable so i know you said you feel like your husband doesn’t get what reality will be like, and that’s possible, but if y’all decide to go for a second then he might be really different. (If that’s any consolation!)

Post # 37
Member
9210 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

as a mom and 2 little ones (2 and 6 months) my answer to is it fair, yes and no. and i see both sides.

my husband goes out, i don’t stop him. i also want my time out too.  when we just had one, i wanted to be home with my child all the time.  my husband has 2 standing dates every year.  he said he needs these dates and he’s going.  now if either of us go out with friends, we try to do it after bedtime.

but i joke to my husband that i am banking all his nights away.  and one day, when i am ready, i am going to cash them in a take a long trip somewhere (probably tropical) and leave him with the kids for a week or so.

 

is there anyone that can help you when your husband is away on his hunting trip?  can your mom stay with you or a friend?

 

Post # 38
Member
2298 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Ugh. I understand this hunting trip is 8 years in the making, and I might agree to it if I had some backup, like a mom, or friend, or someone who could, if not stay with me, at least agree to be on call if I needed help. But he would certainly owe me. I probably wouldn’t cash in on a 5 day trip though- but I think 1-2 nights when the baby was 3 months or so would probably be in my comfort zone. And certainly I wouldn’t feel bad about being gone all day a couple times while he stayed home. I mean, I wouldn’t feel bad about that even without the hunting trip.

 

But the bachelor party, in addition to his hunting trip, all during the newborn months? Hard nope from me. That he would even ask I think is out of line.

Post # 39
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Hey bee. I’m pregnant too for the first time. He seems to have no idea what life with a newborn is like. Apparently it’s full triage, all hands on deck and he will be NEEDED! Is he generally a supportive partner? If so, I’d chalk this up to cluelessness. I bought my guy the book The Expectant Father and it’s been really good about teaching him what pregnancy, delivery, and newborn stages are like. If he’s not a supportive partner generally, then ooof, you might have a larger problem on your hands.

I would allow the hunting trip, although request that it is shortened (what hunting trip needs to be SIX days?!) – provided your mom or sister or someone close to you and helpful can come help. I know how those once-in-a-lifetime hunting tags go. But NO on the bachelor party immediately afterward. A 5 days bachelor party is ridiculous. Or if he prefers, do that and bail on the hunting. 

As for you getting away, I too like the idea of that for myself. But I am also being honest with myself that even though it seems like a “double standard” that moms can’t leave new infants, for the most part, it’s that way out of biological necessity. You’re either nursing or pumping every 2-3 hours, your hormones are completely wack and centered around the baby, the baby isn’t soothed as easily by Dad or anyone else….. it’s just the way it is because we are the ones to grow, bear, and nurse the baby. 

But, all the research shows how important it is for the child’s development and for the family bond for the dad to have a lot of SOLO parenting time with a baby! So at least getting away for a half- or full-day to go to a spa, see friends, etc is really important for all three of you. I intend to buy some yoga passes and massage gift certificates to incentivize me to leave the baby with his daddy for a few hours or a day at a time on the weekend…

Post # 40
Member
6835 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2016

beebee19 : “well you wanted to get pregnant” 

This makes me absolutely livid! Stop hoping and praying he’ll come around when baby is born. Sit his ass down and tell him it’s time to be a fucking grown-up. What. An. Ass. 

Post # 41
Member
2413 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Ps after reading your updates, I’m worried for you about how much of “I had assumed he would share parenting duties” and “I had assumed his lifestyle would change” there is. Without very clear words and actions that show you this is a valid assumption, it’s never a good idea to assume that someone will change! Especially if his impressions are reinforced by everyone around him (the dads out having fun with the moms at home with the kids).

I would seriously consider getting into couples counseling so you two can hash this out before the baby comes. It’s gojng to be exponentially harder to discuss it rationally and kindly when you’re sleep deprived and overwhelmed 😬😬😬

For me, I’ve made it very clear the specific kinds of things that I expect my Fiance to do with the baby, especially in the newborn stage. “When you get home from work, I may give him to you for a couple hours while I sleep, since I’m the one who will be up nursing all night.” “Those first couple months, you will probably need to do all the dishes and most of the cooking / laundry.” Etc. 

Post # 42
Member
925 posts
Busy bee

Bee, you and your Darling Husband need to see a couples counselor ASAP. My ex-husband regarded his time as more important than mine or our kids needs and it caused lots of stress and resentment (and contributed to our eventual divorce). Ex even referred to his paid paternity leave as his vacation and wanted to spend it doing his projects rather than helping with his child – definite signs of the disconnect in how we saw our roles. Even now that we are divorced, he comes first and will cancel his visitation to attend to other things he wants to do. Please seek outside intervention now when there’s a chance someone can improve your DH’s perspective. 

Post # 43
Member
419 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

This would so not be okay with me. A father is a parent – no more or less because he has different genitalia than a woman. The first few months are by far (IMO) more demanding for a mom as you’re recovering from birt, dealing with possible hormonal/emotional issues, breastfeeding (if you choose to do so etc). but guess what? Your husband can HELP with all these issues. 

I had severe baby blues after and my husband was my rock. He held me when I cried and took me to my therapist appointments. I was exhausted trying to establish breastfeeding. He may not have fed her but he was part of the feeding. Every night for multiple feedings he would pick her up, bring her to our bed and if I fell asleep which happened a few times he’d put her back in her crib. He changed the diapers, stepped up with laundry, cleaning, picked up takeout & groceries and basically did whatever he could to be there for us. 

And yes he also takes time for himself, he plays in a weekly hockey league (it used to be 2 nights/leagues but cut it down to 1 post baby), he enjoys playing poker tournaments so when our daughter was around 6 months and I was fully comfortable with it he took a long weekend with friends and did a Vegas trip. I wasn’t comfortable with a long trip as breastfeeding but I did do a single night in a hotel in our city just so I could sleep in and relax. 

And the result? A daughter that adores her dad and vice versa. The bond between them is as strong as our bond and is a joy to see. 

 

Post # 44
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m surprised at some of the responses to this post. Your experience might be totally different from others and after a few months, you might need a small getaway. I know I did! Even if it’s not a weekend, getting out and having drinks/dinner with friends made me feel much better and like my old self. I would NOT call it selfish at all. OR you might find that you don’t want to be away at all…but I would def. discuss with your husband and keep the option open. 

As for his trips. I honestly think it’s too close to labor/delivery for him to travel. My husband is level 10 obsessed with hunting and fishing. I would probably (but maybe begrudingly) allow the hunting if I had someone else come stay with me for the week. There are lot sof unknowns esp. with labor and delivery and esp. with your first. As for the bachelor trip, maybe ask him to postpone making any concrete travel plans until after the baby is born or compromise on him only attending for 3 days…?

Post # 45
Member
1521 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I second The Expectant Father book. I should add that my previous comment was written from the perspective of my recent experience where I had no outside help other than my husband. My mother passed away a couple of years ago, all other family is on the other side of the country or over an hour away and wasn’t available. So he was it for help and support.

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