First baby frustrations

Stacey - posted on 07/20/2013 ( 21 moms have responded )

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I keep on hearing that my husband will eventually fall into the rolls of a more active participating parent to our 5 month old daughter. I get it, he's really not a baby guy, but to honest Im not really a baby baby person either. I don't get to chose? I feel like he just puts hes so tired and what I do will never be to the extent of his job. It saddens me, bc I wouldnt give up this time with my daughter for the world but I just I feel im losing myself having her 24/7, feel like a single parent :( Any suggestions?

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Amy - posted on 07/29/2013

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When our kids were smaller (like baby stage), my husband wasn't really helpful, mostly because I stayed at home and he worked, and I breastfed so that was all on me. :) However, a few things I learned 4 kids later is.....utilize naptime, while the baby is asleep, don't try to do all the dishes or laundry, sit down and read a book or watch a movie or take a nap, do a hobby, etc. Also, you really do have to tell your husband what you want him to do, it DOES NOT come naturally to them to know what to do. You have to say "Here put their pjs on them", "Here, give them this bottle", etc. My husband is a gem and a great dad, but he doesn't see things the way I do and once I figured out that he was willing to help if he knew what I wanted him to do, and once I reached my breaking point a few times, I learned to not wait for his involvement, but to instruct him to get involved. LOL! And once the kids got bigger and more interactive, he got lots more involved. It's a learning process for everyone. :)

Joyce - posted on 07/23/2013

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YES! I SO understand what you're going through.
When we got married, I wasn't so sure abt having children, either, but he really wanted them. I felt a terrible un-ease abt raising small children, but he had younger sibs (I did not) and promised he would be a great father (he had been super!!! w/ my very young nephew), so it all sounded like it would work out.
After 33 years of marriage and 2 beautiful daughters, 31 and 26 (w/ Asperger's Syndrome, who was 15 weeks early), my husband opted out of being involved immediately. I felt abandoned and so very hurt...all these years.
His excuse was that he was juggling the finances of her birth and many, many medical expenses and insurance involvements, etc., plus his very demanding job, as what he was doing was for the benefit of the famly.
He would come home from work and announce he was going golfing or to the gym, etc. I never got a break; 24/7.
He never changed a diaper, walked the nights with a sick child, etc., bc he needed his sleep for the job.
I cannot express how sleep-deprived I've been all these years. And it wasn't like he ever announced any roles, it all just sort of happened.
And of course, I asked for help, and I asked for time off when I was sick too, but it never came in the form of real help. He would do one or two things and somehow drift away to his "other commitments".
Money was tight bc of our youngest, so I even had a job for abt 20 yrs or so, as a teacher, which demanded so much of my own personal time. He has no idea what he's missed after all this time or what a fool he's been about it all. These, now women, really don't have relationships with him; and he wonders why! As for our own relationship, I do still love the man, but in a cooler way.
I cannot count on him for any kind of support, so I don't.
YOU must create your OWN support system of friends, neighbors or colleagues that you come to trust. Begin by taking your child to small places like the local park and as you watch him/her play, greet other moms. I once made a golden friendship when my oldest was 2; we went to a Mc Donald's and saw a mom and daughter of her age. The little girl got messy and the mom had nothing to clean her up. I sent my daughter over with a canister of baby wipes...little things can create lasting, meaningful friendships!
As far as the marriage has come, I recently announced that THIS IS MY TIME now. I'm not raising anything anymore, not rushing for anyone, etc. Our oldest is married and everyone still lives with us...5 adults in the house and my expectations are GREAT and all 4 follow through.
We are in our mid-50's and retirement isn't very far away...no WAY will I have my husband around here acting so demanding or childish. I no longer work outside the home and I have some serious ortho problems, so I stay home and do as much as I can. After dinner, I go to the family room or outdoors and do as I please. I put the reins on now and I tell the team in which direction to go.
You can try to enlist his help by telling him frankly how you feel and he may come around and, I so hope he does, bc you deserve this. There is nothing more heart-warming than seeing a whole family totally engaged with their kids out there in the world.
Love that child with everything you have bc s/he deserves everything great and wonderful. Keep your sad story out of the picture, never let on abt any of your own personal fears, etc., so the childcan have a life w/o hesitations and "write" their own story. Best of luck, young mom!

Jessenia - posted on 07/26/2013

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Start a photo album of memories. Share the album with their daughter, remembering funny pics of moments together. He'll see and notice not as many memories with him; hopefully he'll want to make more memories together.
Good luck

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 07/23/2013

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I've learned that a majority of men are actually terrified of babies. This fear might make them seem distant or like they don't care but it's usually insecurity at the root of the problem. I know I was overcome with instincts when I had my child and my husband would marvel at how " easy" I made it seem to care for our daughter where as he had none of the maternal instincts I did. My daughter is now 18 months old and my hubby is absolutely terrific with her. He has learned how to care for her over time and is way more comfortable now. Plus our daughter is older and isn't so fragile and can communicate a lot of her needs without having to Just instinctively know What her needs are. I always knew he loved our child but felt safer when she was in my hands. Motherhood is exhausting and amazing, and it might seem that moms get the short end of the stick in some ways but you will also always have a little special bond with your kid that a father can't quite understand

Staci - posted on 07/23/2013

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My husband is terrified of newborns...well really any baby under 1! lol We have a 4 year old and an 18 month old, both daughters. My husband does/did actually want to help out...he just didn't want to do it in the form of physically holding/caring for them when they were babies. I just put my foot down and had to be very direct with what I wanted him to do for me - make a bottle, get me a diaper, get me her clothes, change the crib sheets, get a toy, etc... When I was getting to the end of my second pregnancy I flat out told him that he was going to have to start really helping with our oldest - giving baths, dressing, feeding, etc. and he DOES! Try giving him specific tasks to do that are not directly having to hold or care for the baby, but will make things a little easier on you :) I also do not do his laundry any more and make him help with dinner...if he doesn't do his laundry he doesn't have clean clothes and that effects him directly so he actually does that and it's one less thing I have to do. Also, when my girls were babies I would swaddle them and let him rock them to sleep and I think that helped him bond with each of them :) Good luck girl!!

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Momoffour - posted on 08/01/2013

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with my first daughter I had to tell my hubby want to show him how to change a diaper and how to make her bottles after that when he came home he would just come and get her from me and let me rest or do something that i wanted to do

Belinda - posted on 07/29/2013

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I completely understand where you are coming from. My husband puts everything ahead of spending one-on-one time with our son (almost 4). About the only time they do spend together is if I pack a picnic for them and push them out the door to the park.
Not easy in your case at the moment tho lol. The only thing that saved me from turning into a bitter angry person was the knowledge that he is missing out on something that he will never get back. I have the most thoughtful loving little guy now and really find it hard to remember the hard times.

Donovansmom - posted on 07/28/2013

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I know what you are going through my boyfriend is great with our son.we both work and both get home tired. And he tells me in tired you grab him,why are you tired? I'm a receptionist but I'm not sitting all day . He has always been like that my son is now 2.5 and I'm expecting my second and hell play with him and spend time but that's because I tell him grab him spend time with him he misses you all day when your gone. But if I were to entertain my son all day everyday he wouldn't get up it's very frustrating . we need a little time to cool off. I would say hand him the baby don't ask him.

Jessenia - posted on 07/26/2013

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It's ok to feel overwhelmed. We all do at some point. Just take a breather and relax. One step at a time. You can do this. Now don't be afraid to ask for help. And if all else fails, GOOGLE it baby. And in your case, literally Google baby. If you're not breastfeeding, you need a drink. Just make sure your baby is safe and chill, it's ok to have fun, just be adult about it.

Karlee - posted on 07/26/2013

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I think he will fall into roll when she's a little older like 8 months...my hubby did the same thing..didn't really play with our child, feed, rock, nothin.' He loved the baby but just was unsure how to literally handle the baby. Now our baby is 2 and my husband has taken a very confident and active roll. I think it's time, trust, and a little push from us women. Do you work-out? Or do something for yourself every day even if it's during naps? That helps in not losing yourself. Look for ways to include your baby in what you normally do :)

Stacey - posted on 07/26/2013

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I do, however we live in CA and I dont have a car so the one downful is it takes 45 min to an hour to get to my families house and then I get punished sitting in traffic on the way bk. But we are looking to move back home which my family and his are so I think that should help us out a lot. Its funny how involved he is around his parents lol. I'l take it though :)

Joyce - posted on 07/26/2013

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Lindsey Burris, You are so correct. Husbands seem to be a little more "push-buttoney". It's like if the baby doesn't respond to them immediately or enough, they lose interest and find something else to engage themselves! Forever middle schoolers, maybe?
I like your way if doing things. Wish I had thought of it all 30+ yrs ago!!

Marilyn - posted on 07/26/2013

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Stacey, do you have any family or close friends nearby? If so, give your daughter to one of them for half a day and go pamper yourself! I always felt extremely guilty going away from my children (still do!), but taking care of yourself is SO important.

If men feel lost, they turn to TV. At least, that's my experience. Maybe when you're leaving your little one in hubby's care, you could play a little peek-a-boo (if she's ready for that) and say, "Oh, she'd just love it if you played with her a while! She really loves pat-a-cake too!" Or maybe put baby on his lap with a bottle and turn on Baby Einstein. Then the TV's already going with a kid-friendly show (haha!), he probably won't get so wrapped up in it that he's ignoring his daughter, and I know my kids loved Baby Einstein from a very young age! Plus it's great father-daughter cuddle time with an activity he's actually interested in! My son's favorites: Baby Monet, Baby Neptune, and Neighborhood Animals. Good luck!

Lindsey - posted on 07/25/2013

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My husband loves our son very much but everything I ask him to do has to be extremely directed. If I ask him to put his pjs on him I have to get them and lay them out, get out a snack if I ask him to feed him, ect.
I did notice once our son started walking and interacting more with us my husband has been a little more inclined to do things without direction.

Staci - posted on 07/24/2013

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Thanks Joyce! My husband and I have a great relationship...one that you unfortunately don't find very often :) We can joke and laugh off little pokes at each other but when it comes down to it I can tell him what I expect of him as well as him telling me what he expects of me and we can then correct/try to fix our little quirks we have with each other. When I see him trying to correct something that bugs me it makes me feel good...that he's trying to make what we have work and it's not all on me to be strong and keep things going smoothly! I hope other moms find my "method" helpful and can take what we do and make it work for them and their families :)

Joyce - posted on 07/24/2013

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@Staci Harris I so appreciate your self-confidence and frankness as a young mom. Wish I had had the inner strength to do just that. My own lack of self-confidence at that time kept me from doing so many positive things for myself and I think what you have said here is wonderful for all moms, new and veterans.

Stacey - posted on 07/23/2013

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Thanks that really helps. Yes, he has said in a lot of discussions; you need to tell me what to do! And it frustrates me, because when I ask him to watch our daughter for an hour while I shower or get things done around the house, you think as her father he would think to see if she needs her diaper changed but I look over and shes scooting around in her scooter while he's watching tv?/ oh i gets to me, but I guess you do have a point and I need to take more time explaining what I need from him.

Joyce - posted on 07/23/2013

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It's not your fault. Men are odd and awkward by nature. He may feel huge and fumbly with the baby, terrified if dropping her, etc.
My own story above, is bc he derived a temper as a yeller, which for the 5 years we dated and were engaged, he never demonstrated. I didn't know how to react to it, so I demurred. Plus, I could never had left bc I had no where to go.
Times were very different and in the words of Dear Abby: Are you better off with him or without him? So I stayed.
33 years has been very complicated, but I ride the horses now and it's grand. I am nice to everyone, just w/ great expectations.
Very much a Grande Dame.

Charity - posted on 07/22/2013

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I can totally relate to all that you are feeling when I had my firstborn. it was tough on me and daddy didn't get why I felt so frustrated and overwhelmed and he did not know what to do with a little baby. Then my second pregnancy turned out to be twins and somehow the whole role of daddy taking care of fragile little newborns was a necessity and he has turned into such a loving, hands on daddy. I hope that eventually you and your husband will all find a role and it will all work together. It's true men don't always have that maternal bond as we mothers do and sometimes it takes time and suggestion. Being a first time mom is a big adjustment all the sudden you can't do everything you used to do and now a little human depends on you for everything. What you are feeling is pretty normal.

Stacey - posted on 07/20/2013

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Thanks for the reply; Sometimes I wonder lol, but not going to be throwing in the towel or anything but would wish he would try a little more but I think its partly my fault too, I expect him to help out but I need to pull him in more rather than wait for some miracle :) I will be waiting a long time lol.

Krystal-Tess - posted on 07/20/2013

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honestly, men dont know squat for the most part when it comes to babies. especially on the first one. you're the mother, you naturally know what to do. its just harder for men. honestly if this is the first baby i wouldnt expect him to play an active roll until your daughter can at least crawl and do babble-talk, or say a few words. babies are less "fragile" and more fun to play with starting at this age, so your husband will just naturally join in.

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