Getting through to Dad--HELP!

Brittany - posted on 09/08/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I am a stay-at-home mother of a 7 month old (well, will be in 2 days) and I love every minute of it. My husband (who I love with all my heart) works 40 hours a week Tuesday through Friday. It was both of our decision that I would stay at home because we didn't want someone else raising our child. Not many moms have this opportunity and I'm thankful for it everyday. But here lately I have had a hard time getting Dad to even do the smallest things. I understand he works and supports his family but all I ask is that he maybe puts his son to bed or feed him his night bottle and he claims he is too tired or always has an excuse. My husband was brought up the same way (mother took care of the kids while dad worked) and I fear that he will be just like his father. Now don't get me wrong he has great parents but I wasn't brought up the same way. My dad was very proactive and hands on and my husband is not. I have talked to him, cried to him... and TRIED to get through to him but I can't seem to. I'm not asking him to do these things because I don't WANT to... I would do ANYTHING for my son. I'm asking him because my boy needs daddy time too. My husband is VERY proud of my son and has very high hopes and dreams for him but I fear that if he is around mommy 24/7 that when he gets older he will want to be with me (don't get me wrong, I would love for him to be a mamas boy, haha) and not with daddy... playing sports and doing what daddy wants him to do. I don't know how to tell him without upsetting him (and myself as well) and I don't know if it's worth it... you can't make someone do something they don't want to do... I just can't seem to understand WHY he doesn't want to. I love my husband and I know he loves me and our son I'm just a little confused, irritated, and hurt. Any ideas how to get him to come through or am I wasting my time and just need to come to realization that he will never change??

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Treva - posted on 09/22/2009

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You know my husband is hard headed too sometimes. But whenever I cant get through to him, especially when I would like him to do something. I pray. It has always worked for me. Just a thought.God Bless!

Nicole - posted on 09/22/2009

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Not to defend him or anything, but he might not know what to do with a baby! I kinda have the same problem, I'm a SAHM to a 9 month old little boy, and I have no problem doing all the baby work. My husband's in the military and works odd hours so I'm pretty much a single parent during the week, lol! Hubby's either at work or asleep. So I'm on top of everything, but I also think they need father son time. I've noticed though that as our son's gotten older and is turning more into a "big kid", Daddy's been more hands on. He still won't change a diaper, but he'll feed him every now and then and play with him more. So your husband just may not know what to do with a baby. That's still no excuse.

Christi - posted on 09/21/2009

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i am in the same boat you are sweetie. we are going to marriage counceling and it seems to be helping. my hubby works two jobs while i cannot find one and he expects everything to be run while he is away and then to come home and do nothing. a marriage or relationship is also a team effort, if one person is doing it all, what happens when she falls on her face. my hubby just now learned how to wash out son, he is nine months and that was after many many therapy sessions. he wouldn't even hold him in the hospital. i feel hurt everyday when he comes home and it seems like he wants nothing to do with me or my son. thing is if he wants a family, he has to take an active role. i would try therapy and if all else fails, don't stay where you are not happy. you need help too, it is not all your job. there is a saying that child raising takes a whole village, so don't do it alone.

Anna - posted on 09/21/2009

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My husband tends to not help from time to time. My mother-in-law gave me a tip give him a choice honey you can go get the baby's bath ready or change a diaper. Sitting down watching TV is not a choice. It seems to be doing the trick. Also I recently went to a baby shower and my little boy was asleep when I left. When I came home my husband told me he now knows why I am frazzled somtimes when he comes home. He only had the baby for 4 hours. Sometimes forcing them to jump in feet first is the best thing to do. If all else fails have him hold the baby and go take a shower and remind him he is as much of a parent as you are

Gabrielle - posted on 09/21/2009

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Hi! I know you love your husband and I understand what you mean about not wanting to upset him. I hate to fight with my partner too. BUT this is something that needs to be dealt with. Because if you don't address it now then it may always be like this. Letting him know that you need him to help you more doesn't mean you're not doing your job and it doesn't mean that he's not a good dad or caregiver. It's just that sometimes men just hand the kids off to the woman and let her do all the work. I think Tanya had a great idea about writing him a letter - whatever it takes. Or one day when he is off tell him that you have to go out and let him stay home with the baby to see how much of a full time job it is! Moms need a break too!!! Explain it to him exactly like you did on here and tell him that you exhausted. Suggest a schedule where he takes the first night feeding while you get some rest and maybe a day on the weekend or whenever he is off where you can rest or go out or whatever you need to do. He may get uspet but if he loves you he will respect your point of view.He may work 40 hours a week but you work 24/7 and that is the honest truth!

Venessa - posted on 09/21/2009

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hi there, I think it's time to put your foot down. When I had my 1st baby I did everything for the 1st seven mths and then I broke my arm and dh had no choice but to help and it is honestly the best thing that has ever happened us. He still, 12 years later, puts the kids (3of them) to bed, does their baths etc and does the dishes after dinner. It started with the bath because of my arm and gradually I built it up and now after dinner, every evening, I have an hour to myself. I go for a bath, read a book, a walk or the gym, something, anything for me. I have 3 kids and I babysit another child fulltime and DH works mon-fri 8.30-5.30. but I work from 7.15 (and sometimes earlier if DD decides she's had enough sleep) and I dont finish till I go to bed alot of days so in the middle of that I take an hour every day for me because I am afraid that I could have a nervous breakdown if I didn't. So maybe if you tell him that you are worried for your health, mental and physical and that you are afraid you will begin to dislike him if you don't have any help and that ultimately its your relationship thats at risk.

Nadine - posted on 09/21/2009

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I use the excuse that well yes you were at work and I gave you time to wind down now I need time to wind down and that means I need you to watch the baby for even just half an hour so I can take a bath or read a chapter in my current book. I may not get paid but this is my job and I need a break too. Also you need a relationship with your daughter take her hold her, play with her. Good luck

[deleted account]

Hi, when my son was born my husband was very similar. I found an internet artical that said that children are happier and more confident if both parents are involved in their day to day lives. I also asked him to bath our son in the evenings. I put it to him as a special thing that they can do together. I also put to him that while he goes out for work, I stay home and work, and while he gets to have a break from his job, I never do (don't get me wrong I wouldn't want to). Now he baths Joshy every night, he looks forward to feeding him is last bottle (though they both often fall asleep), and on Saturdays he give me a rest taking over most of Joshy's care for that day. My husband also works long hours and is out of the house at least 12hrs Mon-Fri.

Summer - posted on 09/16/2009

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Well, my husband is very much a man's man. He is one of those guys that if I tell him something he doesn't believe me or agree with me, but if a buddy or even sometimes a complete stranger (so long as it is a man) tells him the same thing two days later then he comes home and acts like I never said a word about it and he just met some prophet that told him the secret to life or something. Well, that is probably exaggerating but it's how I used to feel about it. I've kind of just learned to not take it personal because I honestly think he has absolutely no idea that he is doing it. He is fairly hands on with our kids, but I have had to do this concerning other things. Anyway maybe if you got some other man who he respects (like a father, friend, brother, coworker, etc.) to talk to him (make sure they don't tell him it's at your request) then he might give some merit to what you are trying to explain to him about how important it is for him to be a little more hands on. Also, when your baby gets older he will start to see how much more you are preferred and it will bother him. That is the time to bring out the "I told you so". I know that isn't much help right now though. Also this is kind of sneaky, but make up some small emergency like needing to go out because you are out of tampons and then leave the baby with him. Stay gone as long as you like and blame it on traffic or any other thing you can and that pretty much forces him to spend one on one time with the little guy.

Kelly - posted on 09/12/2009

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The suggestion about asking him to hold the baby while you go... and then don't come back. That's a good one.

As for why? Or how to change it? Well, you can keep on guessing, girl. Probably because he didn't have it modeled for him. He just doesn't "get it." I'm not exactly sure how you change their mind set, but you can set expectations, and then "make" him do it. That's what I had to do with my husband. He knew he could get away with not doing anything, and so he did. My husband had the "expectation" that the wife takes care of EVERYTHING at home, and it's his job to just go to work. WRONG-O! We are both parents, 100% of the time. (He also had essentially no father figure, and when his father was there, he was abusive. So he know he didn't want to be like that. And his mom was a control freak and OCD house cleaner.) And don't feel guilty. Do you stop parenting and caring for your child when you get tired or too busy? No. Don't accept his excuses. And trust me when I tell you if you allow him to get away with it, he will keep on doing it until YOU change. (I have 4 kids, #4 being a surprise I was not real happy about. In the months leading up to the birth I told him, I will NOT be doing this alone anymore. You WILL be helping me. ) I'm not a controlling wife, and very much know my place, but this is 2009.

And if he still refuses, then tell him not to blame you when his boy turns out to be a sissy or a mama's boy. ;) That otta motivate him. LOL

Anna - posted on 09/10/2009

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My boyfriend works 40 hours a week Monday thru Friday then an additional 12 on Saturday nights. He does get over tired as well but he finds time to sit and watch TV with our little girl or feed her once at night. I try not to make him do much just pick her up when she's crying if I'm busy cooking dinner or something. I take her back as soon as I'm free. I have left her with him a couple times while I've gotten groceries or gone for a doctors appointment. He doesn't really like the alone time because we're new parents and he's not use to having a little baby around to take care of. He loves our baby and it takes time for him to get use to what to do when she cries and what not when they're alone. I think it's best to just have your husband do small things at first, holding your son for a minute for you to grab something and progressively give them more time together. I think guys feel uncomfortable with babies because as mothers we are with them every waking minute but our working husbands aren't as use to the parenting aspect of things.

Crystal - posted on 09/09/2009

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I feel for you Im a mother of 3 and also a stay at home mom, my hubby works and I stay home and it is almost impossible to get him to help me do anything!!! he didnt interact with our children much untill they get to be about a year old, now he will take them outside and play with them and once in awhile give them their baths but he dosent want to be left alone with all of them if I am going some where I have to take atleast my youngest with me, my hubby always used the excuse that he didnt want to do anything with them as babies because he was afraid he would hurt them

[deleted account]

I started asking my partner to hold the baby while I go potty, and I wouldn't come back. He would have to hunt me down somewhere in the house 20 minutes later. It's time for you to tell him or make an excuse and leave the house so he can watch baby for an hour or something. No doubt you only want what is best and you love your husband as much as he loves the both of you. It's frustrating, especially when moms work 24/7 but give it some time things will out.

[deleted account]

hi there,its not wasting time if its what you feel and its hurting you...Us mothers tend to forget about what is important to us...

If you are having trouble talking to you husband you can try writting it all down and telling him read this when you have left for work so that he can think about it all day before discussing it with you....

You seem like a very understanding wife and he will see that eventually..

Men are so different to us and need to be told what to do as they just dont think to do things on there own...

If he knows how much this is hurting you and your relationship together im sure he will make some changes,for the both of you..I wish you the best of luck at least we have this to turn to hey,dont know how mothers did it 50 years ago...good luck..:-)

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