DH Not Helping With DD


#1

I feel guilty for even posting this…

Curious if anyone else out there has a DH that does not help much with the care of their child. We both work full time but I pretty much do all of the parenting (along with the cooking, cleaning and grocery shopping).

Excuses I get from DH are that he is super stressed and tired from his job and just needs to unwind (in front of the computer playing video games or surfing the net).

I do have to confess that I was the one who pushed super hard for DD - we would have stopped after IVF #2 if we had his way. But I pushed and pushed (which strained our own relationship). We went to see a counselor while I was pregnant and that helped.

DH does say that DD is the best thing that has ever happened to him (but then doesn’t want to pull his weight). She definitely lights up his world. Every day he says how lucky we are that we got DD.

We have a wonderful, sweet, beautiful DD so it isn’t like she is a terror! Not yet at least… the twos are coming. She is fantastic! Not sure how to motivate him to help out with DD more. At this point I am getter very bitter and resentful. I am pretty much a single parent.

Because I am doing almost all of the parenting (and working full time) that I don’t get out much anymore to do things with friends, work out or even go on a date night with DH. Just having a pity party right now… tired, hurt, and sad. Some days I just don’t even think that I can make it through the day since there is so much to do (and no help). I think this family unit is doomed if we don’t change soon.

Suggestions on getting DH more involved with parenting?
:flower:


#2

Have you tried talking with him, let him know how you are feeling? As much as I would love my hubs to be super dad, he just isnt… but is wonderful when I ask for help…or guide him… Praying for you.


#3

Is there something you can hand over to him that he won’t feel is a chore - more like a treat? Maybe bathtime? I was loathe to give that up since it’s fun for me, but it gives them time to bond and I find that the more one-on-one time he spends with her, the more he [I]wants[/I] to do for her. He’s excited now for my once a month girls’ night out and plans for a week ahead of time what he’s going to make her to eat, what they’ll do, etc.

I think part of my husband’s initial reticence was he was scared he wasn’t going to be able to do things as well as I could, especially since he had no magic breasts to fix everything. But once he got his foot in the door, he’s now a terrific help.


#4

thanks cnorton and Essemkay.

Essemkay - I see your beta is going up! Congrats! Praying for a good u/s for you next week.

:flower:


#5

I’ve had that problem with DH and still do at times. His idea of watching DD is sitting on the couch watching TV well she wanders around. He usually gets a little testy after watching her for an hr, because he doesn’t realize how active she is. She’s now 11 months. However, as she’s become older, he’s been doing more stuff with her and has realized that I really do need the help. He’ll see me trying to watch her, while cleaning, loading the dishwasher (while she climbs on it), or doing laundry, etc and then will take her for a bit. What has helped is me giving him choices (almost like a kid, lol). I’ll give him the choice, either cook dinner or give her a bath. Or run to the store or feed her lunch. He usually chooses the errand or dinner, but I’ll take what I can get. I’ve noticed he actually does better when I’m completely not home at all. It forces him to play with her, feed her, etc and he usually ends up loving it. Good luck and I hope that it gets better!


#6

My DH is exactly the same. He was content without having any children and I continued to push for it and now we have our little 4 mth old miracle! For the 1st 12 weeks, DH hardly did anything, even on his off days. He wouldn’t get up for nightly feedings and I was bottle feeding so he could have totally helped out. It really put a strain on our relationship and we were fighting all the time. He works midnights so when I went back to work he was on baby duty. He struggled so bad because he didn’t know how to get him to sleep or to stop crying. Now that I’ve been back to work for a month and a half he is getting better and so is our relationship. I agree with some of the other posts, you need to talk to him and give him some responsiblity. For me since he watches him all day M-F, I do the baths at nights and the weekends are mine. Good luck!


#7

Thanks Geneen and Praying.

I should have had DH get more involved with DD’s care in the beginning but didn’t. DH was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor the week DD was born. So during the first few months we just wanted him to rest and focus on his health. Luckily, the tumor was removed and the cancer didn’t spread. He had his one year check up in March and is cancer free. But after a scare like that - I think it made DH realize how short life can be so he has decided that he wants to do what he wants to do.

DH won’t even watch DD so I can run errands - like grocery shopping or even do yard work (which he won’t do either). I either have to get a baby sitter or take her with me. It is ridiculous that I have to hire a baby sitter to watch DD while DH is at the house!

I think I am just having a bad day and a pity party in my head. Wishing I had more support at home. I’m lucky that I have such a great DD.

:flower:


#8

I say start small and give him little easy tasks. For example, give him the option of making dinner or watching baby while you make dinner. Also since babies like baths and those are pretty easy maybe ask dad to give her a bath or better yet corner him while he is in the tub (my DH takes baths all the time so this works well for me) just say “hey can you wash her real quick while you are in the tub.” This way they can see that baby is fun and not always work and thus will relax a little. While you are still doing the majority of the work by undressing and bringing baby to him to wash and then taking baby back to redress it is a start in the right direction.

Sometimes dads just don’t know what to do with the baby because they haven’t had to go through the trials you have so they have a hard time and then give up before knowing what babies likes or dislikes are because it is easier just to pass them back to mom rather than going through what you already had to back when they were born. It isn’t a good excuse, but it is just what happens. If daddy can slowly become more comfortable with the baby and see that she isn’t always going to scream when he is taking care of her then that may help.

I also recommend resuming your counseling. Sounds like he really needs to know that he isn’t the only one under tremendous pressure and you need to be able to express that to him in an effective way. Maybe counseling will help.

If all else fails–try ordering your groceries to be delivered. I do this and it helps tremendously. You can also hire someone to help clean and maybe cook. Sometimes that will motivate the man to help out because they don’t want to put out the money to pay someone else, but when they realize the only other option is for them to chip in because you physically cannot do it all then they may come around.

Cooking several go to meals over the weekend and freezing them can help too (you know like lasagna, meatloaf, etc…). This way on nights you are extra tired you can just pull out a meal and toss it in the oven. Using the crockpot may also helps as you can put the food in it and go and then it is ready when you get home from work.

I know how hard this time can be as I have been there before. Luckily this time around my DH is a very different daddy then he was with my first three. Age and being married so long has helped in our case I guess because he is much more involved with this one than he ever was with our others. But I know where you are because he didn’t help much with the others so…Totally understand! :grouphug:

Hope you are able to find a way to get more involvement and some of these suggestions help. Good Luck! :flower:


#9

[quote=Doggiemommy44]Thanks Geneen and Praying.

I should have had DH get more involved with DD’s care in the beginning but didn’t. DH was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor the week DD was born. So during the first few months we just wanted him to rest and focus on his health. Luckily, the tumor was removed and the cancer didn’t spread. He had his one year check up in March and is cancer free. But after a scare like that - I think it made DH realize how short life can be so he has decided that he wants to do what he wants to do.

DH won’t even watch DD so I can run errands - like grocery shopping or even do yard work (which he won’t do either). I either have to get a baby sitter or take her with me. It is ridiculous that I have to hire a baby sitter to watch DD while DH is at the house!

I think I am just having a bad day and a pity party in my head. Wishing I had more support at home. I’m lucky that I have such a great DD.

:flower:[/quote]

You should not need to hire a sitter. My DH will at least watch him when needed, yes he isn’t that pleasant about it and can be a bit crabby but you need is help. Put your foot down and leave the baby with him. He will have no choice. As long as you don’t think he will just let the baby cry or not even watch her…


#10

I agree that a sitter isn’t necessary if DH is at the house. Some men are scared to deal with babies when they’re young but your DD is at the fun stage now. My DH said he didn’t find DS much fun until he got to be a few months old.

The idea about hiring a cleaning service or cooking is a good one. You could do research and tell DH to pick between Company A and Company B … And this is what it’ll cost each week, twice a week, every other week, etc. He then might see how much will be saved if he chips in. If he then still doesn’t chip in (or says he will but then doesn’t) call one of the services and have them come in. If he complains, tell him you can’t wait until the cows come home.

This might be more effective than ordering for restaurant delivery because the bill for cleaning might be $100 or more per visit vs $25 every other night for restaurant delivery…and paying a big amount at once for cleaning might be a bigger eye opener.

I’m sorry you’re going through this.


#11

Some guys take a little longer to come around. My DH was pretty overwhelmed at first, and I had quite a few moments where I felt like I was always the “go to” parent. Which, because I breastfed, I guess I was. DH would always be good about finding another task to do…cooking, yard work, cleaning…so it’s not like he wasn’t helping. But what I really needed was a break from a very fussy baby.

Our son is almost 3 and things are SOOOOO much better now. My husband often comments that he loves having a toddler so much better than just a “blob of cells that cries all the time” (ie. a newborn). My best friend is going through the same thing. Her DH was pretty hands off until they had another, only 14 months apart. Now her DH always takes the older child so she can handle the newborn. I think a lot of guys are just uncomfortable around infants and don’t know what to do, so they sit back and let the mom take over.

I agree that giving him certain tasks would be good. With my DH, it was his job to dry the baby off and put his clothes on after bath. That gave me 5 minutes of “me time.” It was only 5 minutes, but I remember cherishing it like you can’t believe!!! Start with small things and work your way up. ANd have you been truly honest with him about how hard this is? I agree that continued counseling isn’t a bad idea, and nor is sharing your frustrations.

One final thing…the age that your DD is was a rough one for us. Our son walked at 14 months, and at 16 he was into EVERYTHING. THat was a tough stage of development because he required constant watching. Things were a lot better by 19/20 months…so there are some good times ahead, and I’m guessing he will really start to enjoy being a dad and do these things because he wants to.

Hang in there, you are doing a great job!


#12

[QUOTE=Prayin4MyMiracle]You should not need to hire a sitter. My DH will at least watch him when needed, yes he isn’t that pleasant about it and can be a bit crabby but you need is help. Put your foot down and leave the baby with him. He will have no choice. As long as you don’t think he will just let the baby cry or not even watch her…[/QUOTE]

A good idea to work DH into this would be to leave the house after putting DD down for a nap. Tell him she should sleep for how ever long she normally sleeps and that you’ll be back around a certain time. But tell him if she happens to wake up, give him a task, such as change diaper or something simple. Then try to be home within a reasonable time (if she normally naps 2 hours, try and get back in 2.5 hours). This might make him more comfortable because he won’t have to do as much because she’s sleeping, but at the same time, you’re able to get out of the house. Next time you try this, you could then gradually stretch the time if you and he feel comfortable.