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Husbands relationship with infant
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Husbands relationship with infant

Our baby boy is now 7 months old. My husband has never changed a diaper, never fed him, never bathed/changed our son, wont watch him while I shower, wont grab him from his crib in the morning when he's crying and awake, and doesnt spend time with him at all.

When I ask him to just burp him, hand me a dry diaper, grab a onesie from the closet, and even just carry him into the store, he gets stubborn and upset.

I am so sad because Im trying and trying to get him to talk and interact with our boy even just a little.  Our son spends 24x7 with just me and I wish soo much for his father to be interested in him to.

Today for example, I asked him to spend a half hour with his son.  I told him how important it was for him to start building a relationship with him. He gave me a reluctant "ok", I handed him off and than sort of left the room. I watched him and in about 3 minutes he took and put our boy in his walker and than he watched TV for the last 27 minutes.

When I ask him why he doesnt even try to do anything with our boy he says - I work 40 hours a week. I told him well I work 12 hours a day 7 days a week to with no downtime and no days off.

I cook him breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything he wants when he wants it.  I fetch him drinks/snacks,laundry,dishes,sweeping,mopping,scrubbing,garbage duty,vaccuuming,dusting,organizing,shopping,bills,contact with friends/family,sexual favors any time,in addition to the child care. When he wakes up I even set out his work clothes for him and his packed lunch.

Am I asking too much? Anyone else have an aloof husband?
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158812_tn?1189759426
I guess what I'm trying to say is this:  It is not okay that he is behaving this way.  You cannot change his behavior, don't try.  You CAN change your own behavior.  You have to start giving him responsibilities.  Even if it is as simple as putting the child in his car seat and clicking him in the car when your ready to leave.  Start small, and don't even look at him for his reaction.  Say it, expect it, and walk away.  It is important that you start with the little things though.  

Don't be afraid to put your child in his care.  Start will small trips to the store when it is totally unneccesary for you to bring the child. This will give him private time to bond with the child. If the child doesn't behave, and dad has a hard time, that's ok too....he will see what you are ACTUALLY doing all day long...day after day...and may gain some insight as to why he shouldn't be SO TIRED after all.  I wouldn't waste much time getting started on this, before you know it you will have a school ager.
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150483_tn?1212172156
I've noticed that if you spoil your dh like doing everything 24/7 then he feels taking care of the kids comes with the package.That was me 12 yrs ago, with my first. I had a breakdown.Screamed & told him how I felt.Let him know this is your kid too.I did not make him myself.He was the one to teach HIS son how to be a man.Gave him my son,& left for like 3 hours.When I got back he was feeding HIS son.And little by little he started coming around.With my dd He knew,plus she's daddys girl.Now I"m prego again & he said he secretly wants a BOY.I guess he regrets not taking advantage of my son & wants to do it with this one.Now its diff. my son is 12 & their Best friends.Good luck,girl..nanis
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Avatar_n_tn
Basically I do everything so that when he comes home there is nothing for him to do or stress about.  

I mostly do it in hopes that he would see that he has free time to spend with his boy but instead it seems he takes it all for granted.  

He's tired and sore so I bring him his dinner with some advil for his aches and pains. I make the bed for him. I pick up after him.  

Yes I'm a stay at home mommy.  

Yes he works 40 hours a week.  

Should I just leave it alone?  Maybe as his son gets older he'll interact with him more? Should I stop catering to my husband so much (I enjoy it for the most part)?

I'm watching our son grow and hit these milestones and I get so excited over them.  Our son is at this age where he giggles at everything so easy.  I wish to share that joy with my husband.  I wish he could feel the love and joy I have when our child does things.

Will he ever?  Is it a lost cause?
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Avatar_f_tn
How was your husband parented? (or do I need to ask)
How old is your husband?
How long were you married before having a child?
Is this your first child?  
Does he have any other children?  
What is his occupation?  
Does he like his job?  
Has he ever suffered from depression?  
Does he worry about the responsibilty of having to now support a wife and child?
Did you believe he would automatically be a stellar husband?
If so, what did you base that assumption upon?
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Avatar_f_tn
Some things for YOU to think about...
How was your husband (himself) parented?
What is his relationship with his parents now?
Is he close to any siblings?
What kind of grandparenting goes on?
How old is your husband?
How old are you?  
Do you work outside the home?
How long were you married before having a child?
Is this your first child?  
Does he have any other children?  
What is his occupation?  
Does he like his job?  Does he feel fulfilled?
Has he ever suffered from depression?  
Does he worry about the responsibilty of having to support a wife and child?
Does he have friends, hobbies, social outlets?
Does he drink?
Did you believe he would automatically be a stellar husband?
Did you communicate well prior to having a child?

Do you see what I am getting at??
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Avatar_f_tn
sorry that other post stuttered before I was done!
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sorry that other post stuttered before I was done!
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Avatar_f_tn
Go with the second one, I did a better job of it!!!!
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134578_tn?1404951303
Honey, this sounds really serious.  Will he go with you to a counselor?  If not, you should go without him.  Really.
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Avatar_n_tn
Was this a planned pregnancy??
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Avatar_f_tn
I don't really know what to say here except that there has to be more to it than just being "tired."  I am a SAHM too, I KNOW you are tired too.  You still have the energy to get excited over all the "little" things your baby is doing.  When he gets his nights off to rest, you don't.  He gets weekends off, you don't.  See where I'm headed?  You are the one supposed to be exhausted.  You are basically raising 2 children by yourself if you do all of that for your husband.  

I know that my husband wouldn't be likely to open up to a stranger.  He has one really close friend that has been like a rock for him when he really needed him.  When I feel like something is eating my hubby up on the inside that he won't share with me, I call his friend.  Of course, I sneak around and call.  Kinda suggest a "visit" when me and the kids won't be around.  The friend NEVER tells me what the deal is.  He leaves that up to hubby if he wants to.  But, he will call me back and tell me that he talked to him and everything is going to be okay.  Maybe your hubby has a buddy he could talk to?  Just to let you get an idea of what the problem is.  Then you could take it from there...
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow ladies thank you.  You've given me so much to think about, change, work on, and also new directions!

To answer questions:

How was your husband (himself) parented? - His parents are loving with each other and his father was very involved with his upbringing.  His father fed him/changed diapers/etc.

What is his relationship with his parents now? - Great relationship with his parents. We spend one day a week with them so they can see their grandchild/talk/hang out.

Is he close to any siblings? - No. He hates his siblings because he thinks all they want is something from him or for him to do things for them.  

What kind of grandparenting goes on? Grandparents always want to see our son. They buy things for him and call us to bring him over.  They coo giggle and laugh when they see him. Our son gets a TON of affection and attention from them.

How old is your husband? How old are you? My husband and I are both 29.

Do you work outside the home? I'm a stay at home mom.

How long were you married before having a child? We were together for 7 years (married for 3) before conceiving.

Is this your first child? Yes. We tried for a very long time to conceive and this was a surprise for us.  

Does he have any other children? This is the first for both of us.

What is his occupation? He is a bartender in Vegas. Spends a lot of time on his feet, making drinks, cleaning and socializing.

Does he like his job? Does he feel fulfilled? Yes he really loves his job. He enjoys hosting parties for our friends also. He loves being the life of the party and making people have a good time.

Has he ever suffered from depression? When he was a small boy he was picked on a lot.  He was the fat kid with glasses.  Now he's thinned out, buff, and pretty good looking.  No depression issues.  

Does he worry about the responsibilty of having to support a wife and child? Yes. We talk about it a lot and he knows we are doing great. He has said that he wouldnt have it any other way. He likes and encourages me to stay home with our son.  I've offered to go to work to, even part time, and he says "no your son and I both need you at home right now." "Its more important for you to be with our baby" etc..

Does he have friends, hobbies, social outlets? We have a lot of friends, outings, get togethers, and his hobby is video games of all sorts. He plays his Wii a lot and enjoys MMORPGS.  I play MMO's with him such as EQ2, WoW and Vanguard.  

Does he drink? He dont like to drink himself.  Usually he's having others try this and that drink. He has fun guessing a persons favorite flavor etc.  

Did you believe he would automatically be a stellar husband? I think this is where you hit the nail on the head.  I guess I really did believe he would be a stellar 'father'.  He is amazing in every other aspect.  He hugs, kisses and cuddles with me. Always on time and dependable. Respectful, honest and never hurts my feelings or insults. He's funny and likes to buy me treats and gifts.  I really thought the love he gives me would roll over to our son as well.  

Did you communicate well prior to having a child? Yes we were both trying/happy and excited thru the whole thing start to finish.

He is a stellar person. Loving, affectionate, responsible, trustworthy, honest, dependable and well wonderful.  He isnt perfect though as we all have our quirks.  His quirk is he is like Cliff Claven from Cheers with information.  His family calls him COB (can of beans) because he can go on and all day about anything like a can of beans.  He keeps goin and goin and goin.  Thankfully in his line of work, a talker like that is helpful!  

I shared with my husband this thread and all the responses today and we had a very long talk.  He said "when you ask me to spend time with him, I just dont know what to do with him.  I dont know what to say or do."

My motherly instincts kicked in so naturally for me, I just never thought that maybe he needs 'daddy' training.

I'm going to try and help him learn to talk to his son and provide some activities for him to do.  Maybe this will help!  

You all are sooo wonderful!
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Avatar_f_tn
That is so cool!  I really get where you are coming from, you know?  
I am just flying out the door (watching my daughter and her buddies try on bridesmaid dresses, fun...??) but I just wanted quickly to say, take it one day at a time.  Having a baby changes your entire life, and the dynamics of your relationship.  Keep your relationship with yourself and your husband sacred.. and don't like Junior come before you, and your DH all the time!  I think you got some insight today just from mulling things over.  It's so great to not let things fester and boil over... then you are upset and you get into fight mode... keep communicating... and LISTEN to the feedback you get from your DH.  It is more difficult for men to give back to us, their brains aren't hard wired like ours!
Good luck!  Let the house junk go and get your sleep!
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Avatar_f_tn
i agree with peak. i think you dont realize the stress and work for a stay home mom is more than ANY 40 hour or more week job. i think he has become used to the idea that you do everything for him. maybe im wrong.is it possible he resents that your attention (even though you give waaaay more than most) isnt focused 100% on him? i do think something has to be done, you are going to burn out. you might start to resent him. he might start to look elsewhere for comfort. im not saying it will happen, but the sound of where its headed isnt good. its too bad, he could be a great dad, but he sounds like he is rather lazy and not so sure what his roles should be.
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Avatar_f_tn
Great!!  Glad to hear he's open to talking to you.  Maybe things will get better now.  

Daddy training 101 can begin and you can all have fun as a family.

Good luck!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Wow, I agree with the others.  I know my husband was scared to hold babies at first, but I had a rough recovery in the hospital and they separated my husband and baby from me to make me rest afterwards.  Kind of forced my husband to bond and hold our baby.  He still didn't do much for diapers and has yet to bathe our son who is 3 now.  He does other things though to help out.  It sounds like you are spoiling your husband too much, maybe he does get jealous, maybe he is just nervous around a baby, especially if he was not around one much before.  The thing is that at this point, he really should be building a relationship with your son.  Maybe you should talk with someone about this to see what you can do to help them along, or at least see what's going on there.  I do not stay at home, wish I could, but I know that you do so much and deserve a little help. Good luck.
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158812_tn?1189759426
My husband was so 'freaked out' by the whole thing, and I felt very much the same way you did.  He would hold our daughter if I got her to sleep first, and all responsibilites were cleared ahead of time.  I have been a stay at home mom for almost 5 years.

After the second child came 17 months later, HE HAD NO CHOICE.  I HAD to leave them with him when I ran to the store, no matter what the look on his face was.  I went anyway.  He would get so angry saying 'you had all day to go to the store, and you wait until I came home'....I replied 'you bet, and if you don't like staying home with them while I get groceries, then you may take them with you to the grocery store instead'.  In addition, I had to get my nails done, and see friends, and Christmas shop alone.  

After a few minor 'successes' with the babies, things began to roll in a more positive manner, and he gradually became much more comfortable.  Our children are now 3 and 4 years old, and he is an amazing parent, in fact, I have little or no complaints of him being a father.  Totally involved.

By the way, you sound AMAZING, and please realize that. You bring him dinner, do everything around the house, and make his lunch too?  And you'll even lay his clothes out?  AMAZING!  Seriously, some days my husband will have to go comando to work, because I didn't wash his underpants.  I'm a good mom, and a really bad house wife.  Your husband doesn't realize how good he has it.  Make sure to take the time for yourself that you need, to prevent you from snapping.  Especially when that sweet 7 month old turns into a crazy, destructive TODDLER! You will soon be cleaning the crayon off the walls with the majic eraser for a living!  Best to you!!
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172023_tn?1334675884
I'm late on this as usual, but I was going to say that many if not most men, really have no idea what to do with an infant or toddler.  You may have to give him some ideas, or even downright teach him some things he can do.  

It's probably about as much fun for us women to hang around the garage all day!  I have no idea what to do in there.  

But one thing you said struck a cord:  "Am I asking too much?"

No, you're DOING too much.  I had to rest after just reading what you do every day.  Chill, share the load, teach your man how to help, and be flexible about how he does it.  

Sounds like you basically have a good guy.  With patience and remedial training, he'll be a great one.
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173939_tn?1333221450
Hang in there. It will get better! I made the mistake to pack my infant son and my things for the same type of unbelievable neglect by my husband and moved out. Back then I felt I could not take care of "two babies". Little did I know that many new dads only warm up to their offsprings once they approach 3. My son`s dad is rather a klutzy type who would never have taken the time to listen to the little cues of communication a newborn and infant is sending. Thus he had to wait until our little guy actually started talking in full sentences. They do have their own type of bond now but the marriage is done and over. As someone said before - find a way to get your husband involved. He may need time to unwind after work first and he may prefer to have some alone time to bond with baby as new moms also tend to have that critical look on their face. Try to find an agreement. Otherwise you may just get more sleep deprived, exhausted and angry. Or let the grandparents convey the message to him. Best of luck!
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134578_tn?1404951303
I agree that it makes an unsure new dad feel dumber if he has a wife (especially one who is good at everything) standing by ready to jump in, or with an implied critical facial expression.  Let his dad give him the pointers.  Good for you two for talking about it!!!!!  There's a good class called "Toolkit for New Dads" that is available through our local HMO's education department that my husband is really excited about, and also one on infant massage.  See if you can find something similar, and have him go without you and learn some stuff that he knows and you don't, and he may warm up to the whole thing.  Again, bravo for you two having this conversation, and don't expect him to naturally know anything about babies.
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Avatar_n_tn
You all have just given me so much to think about.  Thank you. I think I've read this thread now 10 times and still picking up things.

It really could be possible my husband is resenting being #2 on my priority list... now that I'm thinking about it.  He'll ask me for a sandwich and than huff when I tell him he has to wait till I'm finished with our son. Hmmm...

I've got a lot of homework to do.  I need to work on getting him to start taking on more responsibility.  I have to teach him what to do with our son as well.  

Someone also mentioned I could be making him feel uncomfortable because I'm too critical being the new mom that I am.  Gosh, you are very right.  When he DOES hold him I watch like a hawk and say things like "I think his foot is getting twisted" etc etc.. He always references me as the "nurse" that knows how to do all "this stuff" (child care). I think that could be signs he is belittling himself yeah?

Changes changes.  Now where to begin.    

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Avatar_f_tn
Your husband feeling like #2 now may very well be the case.  My DH went through that stage after our DD was born.  I also watched everything he did with her and made comments, which frustrated him.  We talked through it, and he quickly became a wonderful father.  I rememeber he wouldn't change diapers, because he, literally, felt like he was going to puke.  So, he brought home a gas mask from work and used that.  He looked like Darth Vader, but he was changing diapers! It made DD giggle too.  I also loosened up on how he was holding her wrong, etc, and I found out he really was a natural.  Communication is the key.  You may very well have different views on why he is behaving a certain way.
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172023_tn?1334675884
Right!  Love the sandwich scenario!

As long as he is not just going around dropping the baby or feeding him nachos, he'll do just fine.
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Avatar_f_tn
Also try to remember that if he was tough enough to survive the birth process as small and fragile as they are at birth, I'm sure he'll survive your dh now. LOL

My dh never held our kids as gently as I thought he should either, but I don't think anybody's did.haha
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134578_tn?1404951303
Interesting example, the sandwich.  Try this one:

"Honey, could you make me a sandwich?"

"Sure, honey, here, you hold the baby."

(Walk AWAY after handing off baby, make sandwich, do NOT hover or even look back.  Make sandwich for you too.)

(Bring sandwiches.  Sit down at table with sandwiches, start to eat yours and show by body language alone that you expect him to continue to deal with baby.  If he starts to hand you baby, say, "Oh, why don't you hold him or put him in his baby bouncer?")

(Husband is astonished by this clear trust in his ability to figure out what to do with baby.)

Please remember, and this is a classic mistake new moms make, that there is more than one way to handle a baby, and men do it differently than women but babies like the differences.  The sooner he gets a chance to figure out what to do with this little guy, the sooner he will be confident in his capability to do it.  You are not going to get there trying to be his teacher, but letting him figure it out, even if it is by trial and error sometimes.

Good luck!!!

Annie





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Avatar_f_tn
I went thru the same thin til about 15months, I was so nervous after his response and resentment of our baby the first months I didnt argue or leave him alone for fear of him shaking the baby(no he gave no inclination to do so I was a very paranoid first time mom, I was up every ten minutes for 6 months to physically see him breath for fear of sids.). he stayed all three nights at the hospital with us and was in complete awe, but once we were home and he was back to work he was irritated and resentful waking all hrs of the night and felt it my sole job to be up with the baby since i didnt have to work, which was fine by me, but i couldnt even shower without setting the baby up in his swing in the bathroom, it was ridiculous. at 15 months when our boy was bigger they became best buds. Im guessing he was scared to go about it. I hope this time with the twins he participates more now that i am comfortable letting him..or anyone help me.not that he offered or tried before. hang in there it does get better.
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