Post # 1
So my DH works alot. Like a shit ton. If I’m lucky he has 3-4 days off from work a month. Alot of this is on call and requires him to go back to the hospital and strange hours. The amount he works is his choice, he can say no he just doesn’t. I have tried to explain to him that I need it to change when baby comes in June but he “doesn’t think that far ahead”.
I’m a pretty independent person, I do everything for our house and to take care of us and he supports us financially. Its also his passion and I am happy to let him work alot, I’m just nervous on what I can do alone with a baby. I have moved, travelled and done lots on my own and been totally ok with it. I’m fine being pregnant and keeping up with most of my duties – mostly because it just isn’t realistic to expect him to do much. I honestly have no idea what to expect once baby is here – how much help will I need, what do I need help with, what should I ask of him? His mom and sister are super supportive so I am counting on their help. I need to let him know my expectations now. This came up cause a girlfriend said her DH is taking 2 weeks off when baby is born… it kind of shocked me. Now I’m thinking about the day of, the day after, the week after and being alone… am I going to be ok or no?
Post # 3
I think you should expect what you want. I highly doubt you will be able to still run a household by yourself with a newborn who will require pretty much all of your time. It’s awesome that you will have some help, but he should be there too. Not only for you but obviously for HIS child. He will need to take time off.
Post # 4
@invisabee: how much time?
Post # 5
@bella128: There is no set amount of time. Some dad’s only take 3 days (financial reasons, not being able to get the time off etc) while others are able to do 1 week or more. It’s something you guys need to sit down and discuss. Tell him he has to think that far in advance–it’s no longer an option not to.
Post # 6
During that first week or two, you’re going to want all hands on deck. It is impossible to describe how jarring it is to transition from spending 0% of your time taking care of someone to spending 100% of your time taking care of someone. Suddenly every little task is a thousand times more complicated because of the baby. Things like … washing bottles, starting a load of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, getting something to eat. If the baby needs you at that moment and you don’t have anyone to hand them off to, then you can’t take care of much of anything else.
It gets easier, of course — pretty soon you figure out that the baby is happy in the swing for 20 minutes after the morning feeding, for example, so you can use that time to take care of chores …. and you’ll have naptimes figured out so you can make use of that time too … but it takes a few weeks to find that rhythm. So I’d say your husband will want to take a good WEEK off for sure, and then take all the help you can get from MIL and SIL after that! I cannot possibly overemphasize how valuable it is to have an extra set of hands around. Just someone you can hand the baby to while you go pee or take a shower. Because when you’re the only one home, your options are pretty limited!
Post # 7
@bella128: Also, if you have a c-section and are having trouble getting around, you will need him or someone there to help you even more.
Post # 8
It really hard to say how much help you will need or how much time he “needs” to take off work. Most husbands want to spend some time after birth with mommy and baby. Has he said what he wants? Is he excited for the birth? If his mom and sister are going to help that’s great but I guess I would ask him how involved he wants to be.
Post # 9
@bella128: I want FI home for at least a full week after the baby is born. I also am going to expect him to be doing the majority of the house work for the first 1-2 months. I know his mom will be around to help a lot which is awesome. you really aren’t supposed to lift anything heavier than your baby for awhile after giving birth and you need to be able to take it easy and just focus on learning how to take care of a baby 24/7. I’m a second time mom so I have a pretty good idea of how hard it is to get anything done the first few weeks!
Post # 10
You also have to keep in mind that you don’t know yet what your birth is actually going to be like, and what your physical and emotional recovery is going to be like. Some people bounce right back and find the transition to motherhood and caring for a baby very easy, but for others it is a lot more of a process. The fact that you are used to taking care of so much yourself right now probably will help, but I don’t know that it’s much of an indicator of how much you’re going to be able to do, and how quickly, after your baby arrives.
Post # 11
My husband took off a week. I really needed a trial run by myself before he went back, but we didn’t have time. That first week by myself was hard (because my no no square was annihilated) and scary (because I didn’t want for the baby to hate just me, lol) but after the first week by ourselves, I was the pro and Daddy was clueless and not so helpful. Lol.
Everyone is different but I am sure you won’t regret any of the time he takes off from work.
Post # 12
@bella128: My husband was on his laptop the whole time I was in labor and after the delivery. The day we were released from the hospital, he dropped me off at home and went to work. He never took a day off. He owns his own business, so if he’s not there, things just don’t get done.
He’s gone from 6:30 am to 7-7:30ish pm every weekday, and works from home most weekends. He travels for work a total of 1 week every month. So basically I’m my son’s only caretaker. But I knew that going in, and I was preparred for it.
Just like most things in a relationship, I think it’s all about expectations. If you expect him to help out and he doesn’t, you’ll be dissapointed (i.e. pissed) and he’ll be frustarated. If you don’t expect any help, then anything he is able to give is a bonus.
Post # 13
Hm, if we had the luxury of my husband working in a job where he could take off right after the birth, I would want at least a week of him at home helping me out. As is, we are due at the end of August and my husband will be starting a new teaching job, where he won’t have really any flexibility in the beginning. He’ll be there for the birth, but beyond that, I know he won’t be able to help much during the days. You better believe he’ll be helping at night though!
It makes it a little different for us though, as I know my husband would kill to be able to be there for the beginning, but he just won’t be able to take off.
Because your husband has the choice, I do think you need to set expectations that you will be okay with and discuss them with him. I’d set the goal at a week, and see if he is amenable to that.