How to find a resolution over husband issue? Feel I cannot rely on him....

Jennifer - posted on 05/30/2012 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am a mother to an 11 1/2 month old beautiful girl. She is a such a wonderful, easy going soul, and I am currently 11 weeks pregnant with our second. Since I found out I was pregnant ( a surprise, but welcomed one) I feel SO much anger and resentment for my husband. He barely helped with any of the night feedings, or nightly anything with my first, and I'm terrified he'll be the same with our second. He said "It was just so tough to wake up in the middle of the night" Ya, no kidding, but you do what is necessary for your children. I've just returned to work, and so we are 'attempting' to split night time duties as my daughter tends to wake. Well if its his night and she wakes, he immediately gets angry and cannot comfort her because hes just pissed that he is awake. So I end up taking over, as she wont stop crying. I am beyond terrifed that he's going to be the same with our second and I'll be a permanent zombie caring for a 1 1/2 yr old, and a newborn. Kids wake up at night, for years, but he doesn't realize that. I cannot and will not be a sole caregiver, with him living under the same roof. Its like I'm the parent, and he only helps if its absolutely necessary, which isn't often anymore, cause I've given up asking. Theres always something else that needs to be done. How about spending time with our daughter, so she wont cry in the middle of the night, because its him and not me. Sorry for the ramble but I honestly feel I wont be able to forgive him for not sharing in the responsiblity of raising our children. Any advice, similar situations, etc, please share.

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Kelina - posted on 06/11/2012

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Some people simply aren't morning people. These people have a really difficult time during the night. When our first was born, my husband wanted desperately to help me because I was so emotional and tired. The problem was our son wouldn't take a bottle and when he did get up with him, to rock him back to sleep or whatever, I had to wake him up and then wound up staying awake the entire time he was up with baby because I simply couldn't sleep through it. So I figured it was better for our little man to have only one sleep deprived parent lol. I also felt like he worked so he needed the sleep. He drove deliveries all day so if he was tired, there was more chance of him getting hurt or hurting someone whereas I could just stick baby in his crib or call and ask for help if I needed it. When he got home we would switch off on things like diaper changes and he would play with little man in the kitchen while I made dinner. That help during the day was a blessing and made me less resentful. Would it help if he helped you out during the day? I know the getting up in the night while pregnant is not particularly fun(I'm pregnant with baby number 3) but someones gotta do it so you have to ignore your hormones for a minute and ask-are you going to be more stressed if he continues to get up in the night and bitch about it and do it poorly or if you get up and do the night work? Because as much as we'd love our husbands to have the same constitution that we do-they don't. MAny men just aren't built for getting up in the night like women are. It's rare that my hubby has to get up in the night now, and it's often only when I've already been up for an hour. When baby is born that might change a little bit but it's doubtful. He has a half hour commute to work now and to be honest I can't live without my husband. So he needs to be able to make that commute safely. It might help you to look at the bigger picture instead of just how frustrated you are that you're the one getting up at night. Does he help during the day? What other things does he do for you and your daughter?

Lisa - posted on 06/10/2012

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I understand the frustration. My two are 14 months apart and my husband CANNOT wake up during the night. He HAS to sleep for 6-7 hours straight. The only way we ever survived infancy was because I slept from 8 or 9 pm to midnight without any interruptions, while he would go to sleep from midnight to 7 am. I was rested enough to handle all of the night wakings while he was asleep. Until we came to this agreement, there was a lot of resentment.

Now my babies are 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 and one or the other is awake for an hour or two between midnight and 2 am for some reason or another most nights. The deal now is that I get to nap for about an hour after he gets home from work while he cooks dinner (I hate cooking and he loves it for some reason).

After the napping agreements, I have very little resentment (there is still a tiny bit). Some people do not function well with short periods of sleep but you need to talk to him and see if he will take the evening shift while you get in some much needed z's.

Sarah - posted on 05/30/2012

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I can see you're really frustrated. I would encourage you to take a deep breath first of all. You're hormones have been all over the map for nearly 2 years now. That and sleep deprivation make us less able to tolerate things. With BOTH of my babies, I can count on one hand how many times my husband got up in the night with them (mine are 22m apart). I nursed both and although he offered, I felt that I was nursing, there wasn't much he could do to help other than change a diaper, and I could nap in the day when the kids did. My husband had to go out to work every day and didn't have the chance to nap. What my hubby would do though is let me nap when he got home and he would tend to the baby. Something I would encourage you to do is find a good schedule. If your daughter is waking more than once a night, instead of taking turns on whose night it is, take turns on who gets up (you take first shift, he takes second, etc.). I would also encourage you once the baby comes that you try to get the baby down when your daughter naps as well. This would allow you to nap too. That old saying, "nap when the baby does" really is important advice to take. I would also encourage you to try to see things from his point of view too. Pregnancy and early infant days are hard on men too. They may not have the hormonal changes, but they have the pressure to work and provide, keep their wife happy, bond with a baby (women do that too, but they do so more during their pregnancy), etc. Sit down and talk together (calmly) about how difficult this experience has been on both of you. Listen to him. Don't interrupt, just listen. Then paraphrase back to him what you heard so that he knows it's clear to you how he feels. Then tell him how you feel. The key is to stay calm, take ownership of your feelings, and remember that many couples struggle during the first year of their child's life. It's a huge change and it takes time to adapt.

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Kate - posted on 06/18/2012

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I think that you should have a serious discussion with him about how his lack of help is making you feel. (consider doing it in a public place- that way both of you have to keep your tempers in check :) ) Let him know that you feel like you're doing it on your own. If he cant get baby to settle down at night ask him to get up with you for a few nights to see how you do it. Or maybe not to get up at night but get baby up, fed and dressed in the morning and breakfast made. Maybe doing all the laundry is enough to make up for not getting up at night. Whatever works for you. I've found that men tend to be somewhat dense- give him specific ideas about what he could do to help and ask him to suggest others. Having him just agree to "help more" tends to mean nothing in boy language.

When my now four year old was a baby (like 18-24 months) she would wake up and I would bring her into bed with us. My boyfriend hated it. I expressed to him that if he wanted her in her bed that he would need to be the one to sit in her room untill she went back to sleep. So when she wakes up now thats the arrangement we have. If I get her she comes in bed with us, she settles down right away and goes to sleep. If he gets her he lays next to her bed in her room untill she goes back to sleep. She's cared for either way and we both have a choice as to what happens. So consider too that just because it takes him longer or he choses to do things differently than you do as long as your baby is cared for it'll all be fine.

At the end of the day being a daddy is not just donating sperm. It's a major commitment and some times (like 3am) it kinda sucks- just like being a mommy.

Patricia - posted on 06/14/2012

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i have the same problem and i have 10 kids he is useless when it comes to helping

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/11/2012

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Gee, I thought I was the only one who could jump out of bed while hubby takes a bit to wake up...LOL...Becky, your answer reminded me of my hubby...but a good point, nonetheless.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/11/2012

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Well, to be quite honest, this is something that should have been agreed on before your first was born.

Our pattern was that I got up at night, because he had the full time job. He'd take over as soon as he got home from work, and I'd get my nap in, and then I was ready for the night. Mine were easy, though, sleeping through at 2-3 months, with only minor disturbances.

With the 2nd, even with me working full time, I'd get up, because lets face it, his job brought in more money, and was more dangerous. He needed to be alert, and we needed the paycheck.

He would get up on the weekends, though, which was great...Until he tried to bathe the oldest, and had a horrible time of that...After that, he didn't bathe until they got older, but he did still get up on weekends.

I was happier (when the kids were little) if he'd take them off my hands during the day, when they were full of energy. Night time was MY time to cuddle my boys...LOL...

As they got older, the duties stayed about 50/50.

Becky - posted on 06/11/2012

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My husband was the same way... But we figured it out. He literally can not wake up and get her with a smile on his face as quickly as I can... I jump outta bed like that. He needed to become awake first.. Ok. So his nights I wake him up. He has a min or two to pee, stretch, sit up.. Whatever it needs to be before he gets her. She's awake and crying, she's in no danger so crying a few more moments won't hurt her, it gives him enough time to get into happy daddy mode and then everything is fine. Create your game plan and stick to it. Just remember no oe can love like a mommy, but a mommy can sure whip a daddy's butt if she doesn't get her sleep!

Stifler's - posted on 05/30/2012

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It makes him angry because he's still used to having a whole nights sleep...

Amanda - posted on 05/30/2012

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I agree with Louise. The two of you need to figure out a schedule for caring for the children, especially since they are both so young. Does your husband know why waking in the night makes him so angry? This sounds very stressful for you. If your husband is unwilling to help, you might have to make some tough choices.

Louise - posted on 05/30/2012

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Get a routine agreed now. My husband used to do the night feeds on a friday and saturday night to give me two full nights of sleep a week. I was a stay at home mum so I did not have to get up for work or a regime. I would sit him down and tell him how you feel and get him to agree in advance how he is going to contribute to the raising of the kids.

If things dont change then, that is the time you need to sit down and think things through. If you feel that you are not getting any help then you are going to become quite resentful and a huge gap is going to open up in your relationship. Best get things out in the open as soon as possible and give him time to change his ways.

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