Post # 1
I really don’t know what to do as it’s becoming an almost weekly argument. Sometimes I feel like ending it but am hoping things will get better
Our daughter is 5 months old and was much wanted after 3 years of trying and many miscarriages. DH was hands on for about 3 weeks then things quickly got old for him.
He moans he’s tired ALL THE TIME. He works from 8-5 but sleeps in the spare room and gets 8 hours every night. I’m still on maternity leave so look after her all day and am up at least twice a night. I go to bed at 8.30 just to try and function the next day. This week I’ve had mastitis. My whole life is my daughter but I don’t mind. I just feel so sad that my husband doesn’t want to spend time with her and doesn’t care that his wife is run into the ground.
He went out on Friday night so I let him lie in until 9.30 yesterday even though I’m still not feeling well. He was then out all day while I had her with my parents. When he got home at 6.30 I was putting her to bed and he said he’d have her this morning so I can have a lie in and then take her to his sister so I can have some time to myself. She woke at 6.30am and I waited until 7 to take her in. What does he say? ‘Can you have her until I take her to my sister at 10, I didn’t sleep well!’ Are you kidding me?! I said oh come on I have to a lie in yesterday and I’ve been ill all week. He said but you can go back to bed when I take her out. Like I want to go back to bed after being up 3.5 hours! I didn’t want to have it out with him in front of our daughter so here I am up while he lies in AGAIN. I know once he gets back from his sister he’ll think he’s done his bit for the whole weekend. It’s like he doesn’t know what to do with her.
Anyone had similar? Does it get better as baby gets older? I really despise him at the moment. I have no nice feelings towards him and that makes me feel so sad. He helps a bit in that he does all the cooking and bath time but I just feel like he doesn’t care about how run down I am.
Post # 2
Aw so sorry to hear that. I definitely think you’ve spoiled him and let him get away with a lot and you’ve suffered enough. He needs to put his big boy pants on and grow up. A serious conversation is needed asap or drag him to a therapist so he sees how serious you are. Good luck.
Post # 3
i am so sorry, that sounds really difficult.
Have you tried talking to him, calmly, when you are both awake, and explaining that this is entirely unacceptable and you need him to step up and be an equal partner? I would be very careful not to ask for “help” as this is his baby, too, and he is equally responsible. And then, outline exactly what you need from him so it is clearer than you’d ever imagine you’d need to be – this is frustrating as it should be obvious, but it’s important for there to be no ambiguity about what he needs to do.
A therapist might help mediate this conversation, so he understands how entirely rude it is to complain about being tired after having an opportunity to sleep that was built on YOUR sacrifice.
He needs to spend solo time with little one so he can bond and feel confident, so I’d start pushing to give that to him daily even if you just go for a walk or run out for errands alone.
Good luck, and hugs.
Post # 4
oh one other thought – has he been evaluated for post natal depression? It can effect men as well, and difficulty bonding and tiredness after a full 8 hour sleep are two big signs that would have me wondering.
Post # 5
I’m sorry bee that sounds dreadful and I wanted to comment because I was where you are when my son was tiny. It took till about 7 months for him to change and honestly that is because I told him I didn’t think I loved him anymore. I was so done with the lazy petulant child he had become and I felt so bad for our son.
I was exhausted and desperate for a help but my partner would lie in bed or go in a huff if I implied he needed to help. I did believe you have to just tell him that his behaviour has become disgusting and that you aren’t willing to tolerate it anymore. If he feels there is something wrong he can go to his doctor and talk it out or you are happy to go to counselling with him but he has to start doing his but and stop being so selfish or y iu may never recover.
I lost a lot of respect for my partner and it took almost a year for us to get it back. Now that my son is bigger at 3 his dad is much more hands on and seems to enjoy it more but it was touch and go.
I’m now pregnant with my second and I worry so much it will happen again but I tell you I will be speaking up more from the beginning. It takes 2 to have a child and he needs to think of you.
Post # 6
This reminds me of my lazy brother in law. He never got better, but i think its partially bc my sister in law and his mom always run to take the kids off his hands so he can lie about. The oldest is 9 now. She full on is aware that daddy sleeps in all weekend and is too “tired” to play. Sad as hell.
Post # 7
Your husband is being a crappy father and a crappy partner. No one is prepared for the relentless exhaustion that is parenting, but you step up, because they are your children and you are a team with your partner. And no, I don’t think it will get better unless you address it and demand and ensure changes are made – yeah, he probably won’t like it, but he can be a father and partner to your family and suck it up.
I have 7 month old twins. My husband and I are 50/50 in all their care, night and day, and I’d lose my mind with him if it were any other way. I’d probably even be questioning who on Earth I had married if he ignored us like that.
Post # 8
This was similar to my husband. He still has his moments, but he’s much better now. Part of it is that lack of sleep really does affect him much more than it does me.
Here are some things that have helped me:
* Give him choices as to what needs to be done. For example: do you want to put the baby to bed or do the dishes? Do you want to feed the baby dinner or give him a bath? It usually doesn’t matter to me which one he picks but I make it clear to him that I’m not doing it all myself.
* make sure that your husband is comfortable doing things with/for the baby. I know my husband feels like he doesn’t know what to do with certain things. So I make sure that I walk him through it the first couple of times.
* If I really need a break, I go out for coffee in the evenings or in the mornings leaving him on baby duty. Or if I am really tired and he is home, I inform him that I am going to go lie down and take a nap. Don’t bail him out. Let him figure it out. Unless it is a safety issue, we all learn by doing.
* And positive reinforcement. Men seem to need it so much more than we do! (eye roll)
ETA: since you are on mat leave, he probably considers it your job to be up all day and night with the baby. I know a lot of men think like this.
Post # 9
“Can you have her until I take her to my sister at 10, I didn’t sleep well!”
Post # 10
It may or may not get better. My sons father was this way. If I left him home with the baby, he would call my dad to drive 5 miles and change all diapers.
Son is 7 and ex’s new wife takes care of son. In between relationships, ex just didn’t get visitation with son.
Post # 11
bee, first of all I salute you because I would be enraged by this behavior. So well done for keeping your cool in front of your daughter.
you also must be exhausted, so again, you’re a friggin hero!
I do want to agree that I can see how you are letting him push you around, and I’ve dedinitely been there, so I’m not judging. It can be scary to simply say “no” to a petulant acting man baby, because (as we are taught by our culture) ‘he might not love you anymore if you’re not pleasing.’
This is the risk you need to face, because either way, you are facing losing respect for him and or ending things. So it’s worth being the bad guy here in his eyes, which is also frankly setting limits with him and not letting him whine his way out of them.
also, I would start phrasing things like “your wife and your daughter need you to do x” – in other words, instead of doing MORE the more he whines, I would do less. I would actually wake him up every other day for morning care or whatever it is. Don’t reward whining. Don’t let him act like a second child.
I don’t mean that his behavior choices are your fault. I mean that sometimes as women we are conditioned to be nice first, above our own needs, and this throws things out of whack.
“No, I can’t. Here she is.” And leave.
Rinse, repeat. He’s a grown up. He has a child. Time for him to step up.
Caveat: if you think he is having depression PND as PP mentioned, then insist on a doctor visit.
Post # 12
Does it get better? For me, it didn’t. My ex was a caring and involved father for all of a few days before he started showing his ass. Our first son had feeding issues that took six weeks to figure out; he cried a lot because he was hungry, and I remember a few days after we came home from the hospital, my ex grabbing his pillow in a huff and leaving our bedroom because the baby was crying and ex wanted to sleep. The pattern began. His needs and wants came before our kids, and one of the eventual reasons for the end of our marriage was his lack of involvement with the kids. It was odd because no one saw it coming, the kind of father he would be. He gave me full custody when we divorced and he is inconsistent about visitation – when he does have the kids, it still sounds as though he doesn’t put them first.
Post # 13
He doesn’t sound depressed. Depressed individuals aren’t “up” for socializing Friday night and all day Saturday with friends (and then visiting family on Sunday) and only “depressed” when the fun stops and the need to be a parent & husband kicks in. Nope. He’s just being a man-child. He needs to step up.
You, however, sound exhausted & bordering on depressed (which is completely understandable given your situation). You need to treat him like the child he is acting. Meaning, assign him tasks, set boundaries, and begin using the word “No”.
Post # 14
maybe it’s passive aggressive, but when my husband forgets I haven’t slept in for weeks, I do not let him go back to sleep if I’m up and baby is too. I’ll assign him getting baby dressed while I prep food (he’s older than yours). We will constantly come back to the bedroom until he gives in. I think I’ve done that two or three times. Now I can just point out that it’s my turn to sleep and he will deal, especially if he’s been away for work overnight or I had a rough night.
ultimately you just need to hash it out though. Maybe having a baby wasn’t how he thought it would be but tough tits. He needs to man up and be a dad, not foist everything on you and his sister. No more sleeping in the guest room either, what crap is that? Man the F up (him, not you)
Post # 15
I know it can be harder for men to bond to children, they don’t experience the hormones involved in giving birth. But it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get what being a parent is. And even if he comes to understand what a loser he’s being through therapy, watching him go through the motions isn’t love.
You definitely seem to be at the point of needing counseling, if at least to figure out what he thought having a baby would mean and if he’s ever going to change and put this little, vulnerable person before himself. If he just doesn’t care, I couldn’t live that way.