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First time vent about DH

Midwest Stepmom's picture

I have never really complained out dh on here but I think he has changed since the baby. Our marriage was perfect, we never had big arguments. Not we argue over the care of the baby. I have DS 5 weeks all day while dh is at work (dh has a nice sit down office job). When dh comes home from work he will only care for bs if I ask him too. We have talked about this a week ago when I said I shouldn't have to ask him to help me. Last time I checked it took both of us to make bs, I should not be the sole care giver. Today he changed 1 diaper, because I took a quick shower.

Other petty things he does that has been annoying me. He will take off his work clothes and leave them laying around. He does this with wrappers, soda cans and dishes. I keep a spotless house, so I get to pick up after my dh31. Tonight was a breaking point - dh left a mess upstairs, gave me bs (who was crying) and said he was going to bed. I walk I to the room 20 minutes later, still with a screaming baby and dh was playing on his phone.

From now on if dh leaves a mess, he will find it the next day in his front seat.

Also I've decided that sat-sun he will have bs the entire time. I've already written him an email explains why. I need him to understand and appreciate what I do all day. Dh will have a cleaning list and will also need to make dinner.

Oh, I forgot to mention, bs has colic.


Midwest Stepmom's picture

I'm pretty sure that dh thinks that since I have a vagina that I am the main care taker. I've tried explaining to him that I am not his ex wife, who believes she has more authority because she has a vagina.

I want to co parent our son and be equal partners. I shouldn't have to ask for help. If our son needs to be fed or changed, and I'm cooking or something, dh should just get up and do it.

Dh was raised by a sexist father. Dh claims he is not like FIL, but I'm starting to think maybe a few things stuck in his head. FIL never changed a dirty diaper, he would wait for MIL to come home.

Anon2009's picture

Good going!

I love my dh to bits but he made huge messes for years. He stopped once I started leaving those messes in his car, on his Harley, etc.

misSTEP's picture

I don't have any advice on your DH but when my DS23 was a baby, he also had colic (otherwise was one of the best kids ever, IMHO). Is your baby using formula? If so, my DS's pediatrician said to put a little bit of Maalox and a little bit of Benadryl in each bottle. Worked wonders as did many long car rides.

fakemommy's picture

This may help.

There was another article about really not liking your husband at all right after having a baby, but I can't find it. I think it is one of those things couples rarely tell you about, but yes, most women can't stand their husbands after having a baby. Mine became a baby himself, it was exhausting. I think he was jealous that I didn't pay as much attention to him and that pissed me off. He also had a harder time bonding with the baby. For a while, I understood why him and BM split right after skid was born. I probably would have left if we didn't have a baby together (haha).

Good news is, in a couple of months you won't hate him and things will start to normalize. Expressing your feelings to him is key (plus you have this wonderful excuse of "hormones"). My baby is 9 month now, and I still have to ask DH to change a diaper or wash bottles. In his mind these are my jobs and he's doing me a favor, but I also don't think he thinks about it. If I ask, he does it. Do I wish he would without asking? Of course (and sometimes he does and I feel like it is Christmas).

I guess my point is, your feelings are normal, your husband being a lazy selfish jerk is also normal (there is nothing called a dading instinct for a reason I think), and anyone who acts like their marriage was perfect right after a baby has either forgotten or is lying. Express your feelings and make him accountable.

z3girl's picture

My DH does squat for our two boys. He's not particularly messy, but I lose my patience every now and then. I remind him every so often that I'm with them 24/7, and even if I'm sick I don't get a break. He just agrees and says he doesn't know how I do it and continues. Since I didn't want to fight constantly, I accepted it. How I deal with it is this: If it's up to me to take care of the children 24/7, then he has no say in any decisions regarding them. When it comes to doctors, vaccinations, activites...I make all the decisions. I also don't keep a spotless house. I wish I could, but I do the best I can without stressing out and having two toddlers messing up the place.

fakemommy's picture

I'm totally with you on the house. Our house used to be perfect ALL the time. I'd rather play with the baby than clean 24/7, so I had to let some things go. You get used to it. You find a new normal (and you clean like crazy right before people come over so they think your house is always perfect, and you add in sorry my house is such a mess, ya know, the baby lol).

Drac0's picture

Yeah, taking care of little ones does take some adjusting. I should know, I have 2 bios.

I refuse to look at this as a gender issue. It's pure perception.

Case in point, I just got off a gruelling 10 hour shift at work. I arrive home and notice that a section of the Christmas lights on the roof was out. So I climb onto the roof, fiddle with it to get it to work and finally get inside and plop myself on the couch exhausted.

DW comes into the room and says "It's YOUR turn to change BD's diaper!"

Believe me, I was none too pleased...

Now, DW and I laugh about it because both of us are confident that each of us do our fair share to maintain the household. How do you get to that point though?...Well for one thing, you have to talk about it. DW may feel overwhelmed by the mountain pile of laundry but I won't know unless she tells me. Same thing with me in the kitchen (I do most of the cooking). If I have a complex meal to prepare and we absolutely have to eat by a certain time because we are on a schedule, I will ask DW to prep something.

BD still cries in the middle of the night and I am always the one to get her to console her. I do so because I know DW has a hard time falling back to sleep and she is an absolute wreck the next day. Me on the other hand, you can snap your fingers and I'll be out.

I guess what I am trying to say is - as couples go - DW and I have our strengths and our weaknesses and we do what we can. I mentioned above that DW does all the laundry. I can do it but before I met DW, laundry was separated into Whites and colors. DW separates the laundry into whites, colors - and 3 other catagories...

My sympathies on the baby with colic...DW and I tried some homeopathic remedies which eased it a little bit, but in the end you just have to ride it out...

fakemommy's picture

Uhh, it is a gender issue, and you have no clue.

Most women don't get to plop themselves on the couch exhausted until the kids are in bed and 1 million other things get done. I'm sure while you were changing that diaper, DW was doing dishes, or laundry, or cleaning, or something else. That is exactly what men do not get. I work all day too. I do crap right when I get home too, and I KEEP doing crap until I go to sleep, only to wake up the next morning to do more, and only to feel like I can never catch up. Men don't feel that way. You don't get it.

fakemommy's picture

I hate to be like this, but this is an issue that I really didn't "get" until I had my own kid. I would have said the same thing before the baby.

Drac0's picture

It's a gender issue because *YOU* are making it into one. If you feel overwhelmed, it is because *YOU* haven't spoken to your man about it. What is your SO supposed to do? Read your mind? LOL.

And FYI, I do feel stress,...I just learned to handle it differently. Like my grandmother once said "Drac0, some days you just have to be content at doing the minimum. If the kids are well fed and the house hasn't burned down. It's a good day!"

fakemommy's picture

I do talk to my DH about it. However, no one needs to tell me to wash bottles or change a diaper. That's the difference. You aren't seeing my point at all. That's okay, you are very condescending, I couldn't stand having a husband that talks to/of me like you do your wife.

ETA, I never said men don't feel stress. Everyone does.

Drac0's picture

So you've talked to your DH but clearly you haven't communicated to your DH what you wanted to convey because if he undertood, you wouldn't have such a low opinion of an entire gender.

Your personal experience is not data.

ETA: Whenever my wife asked me to wash/prepare milk bottles, I did so. She never complained - not once - that I didn't *know* it had to be done.

fakemommy's picture

It is always funny to me when you talk or try to talk like a statistician or researcher on here, especially when you don't know the backgrounds of the people you are talking to. I don't know if you do research or whatever, but you sure do interpret things wrong.

Drac0's picture

Oh really? This coming from someone who stated that I am "condescending" to my wife.

And FYI, my background is engineering.

What's yours? Suffragettes? There, NOW I'm being condescending. See the difference?

Midwest Stepmom's picture

Why should I have to ask my husband for help? Last time I checked we both had equally made this child. Is it because I have lady bits that I am the one that has to "know" to wash bottles and to change a diaper. And becaus my husband has his bits, that I have to ask for help? I shouldn't have to ask! I've talked dh about this 4-5 times now about this.

I'm glad you have a wife that is on the same page with you. Unfortunetly dh and I are not there yet.

Drac0's picture

>Why should I have to ask my husband for help?<

Why should a man instinctively know that the milk bottles need cleaning? Why should a man know that the house is a mess and is in need of tidying up? Why should a man know that the dishes need cleaning, or the laundry needs doing? Why should a man know that the toilet paper roll needs replacing?

It's frustrating. I know. I get it. Maybe there *is* an inhibitor in our brains that prevents us from seeing what needs to be done.

I don't have the answers...BUt I DO know that I am willing, ready and able to work. My wife just needs to point me in the right direction at times.

Midwest Stepmom's picture

Why should a man instinctively know that the milk bottles need cleaning? Why should a man know that the house is a mess and is in need of tidying up? Why should a man know that the dishes need cleaning, or the laundry needs doing? Why should a man know that the toilet paper roll needs replacing?

If a women ever said this we would be looked at as a bad mother and wife. But really, why should I have to know then in return? If we both played this as "just point me in the right direction", then nothing would ever get done

fakemommy's picture

No kidding. But don't worry MWS, this is NOT a gender issue, but please please excuse men for not just knowing okay???

Drac0's picture

So, it is not enough that there is an honest will to do the work needed. We simply cannot forgive a man for not knowing what needs doing? Is that what I am to take from this discussion?

>If a women ever said this we would be looked at as a bad mother and wife.<

Depends who is doing the looking. I knew a few women who didn't know how to care after their newborn children but they learned somehow.

None of us were born to become perfect parents, but many of us try...

fakemommy's picture

EXACTLY why I call it a gender issue!! Because MOST men don't just "know". Thanks for proving my point Draco!!

Drac0's picture

Fakemommy, you remind me of the women in that joke about women shopping for men in a department store... Blum 3

fakemommy's picture

I think you are having a difficult time understanding what I am saying. Or you are arguing just to argue.

Drac0's picture

Maybe. I am just having a hard time understanding when someone states they have talked to their husband about being overworked, overstressed, ect and the husband STILL doesn't put in the effort required to maintain a happy/healthy family. That to me means that either A)Message wasn't communicated properly or Dirol Husband is being a dick.

NOTE: The same rationale would apply when I tell some of my male friends who have wife troubles..."Either you DIDN'T talk to your wife about this, or she is being an ass". So the argument works BOTH ways and is not gender-specific

But if you want to just chalk it up to "Well that is just how MOST men are" then so be it. I don't feel the need to argue about it.

fakemommy's picture

Ummm I never said my husband STILL doesn't put in the effort. Where are you getting that? You'll notice I don't have blog on here, I don't have a reason to blog, when my husband and I communicate, we both put in effort to see the other person's POV. I am understanding that MOST men don't see things the way MOST women do, and that's okay, and is something MOST women (and probably men, I don't know) have to be reminded of. That doesn't mean I hate men or think my husband is a POS because he doesn't think about things the way I do. If you read my responses, I say that it isn't something MOST men think about. However, right after you have a baby, or when you are particularly stress (as OP is), it is harder to be sympathetic to these traits.

ETA: This is exactly why I don't think you are comprehending what I am saying very well. Maybe you are having difficulty or maybe you aren't paying attention or aren't reading all the way through. Just like a man to jump to conclusions without reading the entire story!! Geeze! }:)

Drac0's picture

Okay, I'll admit I didn't factor in the discussion about high rise in emotions after a baby is born. My wife and none of the women I know who gave birth exhibited those traits.

>I am understanding that MOST men don't see things the way MOST women do, and that's okay, and is something MOST women (and probably men, I don't know) have to be reminded of.<

Well that was what I was *trying* to say... Sad

But I probably shouldn't linger here any further...Where's the bloody escape hatch?

fakemommy's picture

You know when 2 people are making similar points and one makes it into an argument and the other is like ??? do you now see what I'm saying at all? Am I crazy? Are my hands typing something that I'm not telling them to? Where is the miscommunication? How does this person keep arguing even though they've pretty much said they agree with me?

Yeah, that's pretty much how I felt almost every time you responded to me or MWS.

Drac0's picture

Wow, never thought I had to analyze an argument for someone on these boards, but here goes:

This whole argument started when you said ....Uh, let me go back a page or two....

you don’t get it

I stated that I don't see this as a gender issue and you were insistent that it was.

I maintain that the solution to husbands and wives efforts to maintaining a clean and healthy home starts with communication. Oh how demeaning and “condescending” I must have sounded. I appologize profusely.

fakemommy's picture

Yes, and then you contradicted yourself by saying that most men don't just know what needs to be done, which kind of makes it a gender issue..... soooo....ummmm.........?

Drac0's picture

No contradiction. I was highlighing a complaint I hear often on these boards and in RL. And the women making those statements are quick to say "Oh that's just men! That's just the way they are!". No, it's not!

I could just as easily write "Why don't wonen know when it is time to change the oil in their car?". It's a deragatory comment. If the lady of the house wants something accomplished but is tired/overwhelmed/stressed out ASK YOUR MAN for frak's sake. If you have a healthy relationship, what is the worst that can happen? The same holds true if roles were reversed (as rhinodad pointed out)

And yeah, most men don't know what to do with a newborn. I also said the same holds true for some women I know. But everyone learns in the end...

Now who is arguing for the sake of arguing? Hm?

Rhinodad's picture

Maybe no one needs to tell you because you have more experience with it? Or because you are home all day with the child(ren)?

Again, drawing on my own experience as a father who is home all day - DW does not know things need to be done unless I tell her because she is not here. Diaper changing is different because we could both smell it when BS was a baby. Even if one of us didn't smell it, we rock-paper-scissored for changing duty. It was fun and there was no way to complain about someone always having to do it. Sure, sometimes one of us would go on a streak where we had to change like 5 diapers in a row, but the other would eventually get that too. Try that with your husband, or a coin flip. Guys like games.

In any relationship, with or without kids, you are going to have these moments where you have to ask (not tell) your spouse to do something for you. If you are demanding he/she do something you probably won't get results. If you ask nicely and explain why you need the help, chances are you will get it.

Midwest Stepmom's picture

Case in point, I just got off a gruelling 10 hour shift at work. I arrive home and notice that a section of the Christmas lights on the roof was out. So I climb onto the roof, fiddle with it to get it to work and finally get inside and plop myself on the couch exhausted.

This ^ is something my husband would say/do. The Christmas lights can wait, because there is a screaming baby inside. While my husband is away working a 10 hour shift, I'm at home for 10 hours caring for baby and the house. When the men "plop" on the couch, that's indication that my shift is not over.

This will need to resolve before I go back to work. I work just as many hours as dh. He has a nice desk job, I'm managing a big box retail store for 12 hour shifts. I maybe get to sit for an hour throughout the day. Do you think I will have pity then for my dh? Nope

fakemommy's picture

That's the point I was making. The plopping on the couch because you're oh so exhausted. It will get better though, probably even more so once you go back to work. Since you guys had a pretty good relationship before the baby, I'm confident you'll find a solution once you really talk about everything, and once he gets a real feel of what you do all day.

Like I said before, I know it is hard, but what you are going through and what you are feeling really is normal. MOST couples go through the same thing. You will find your new normal, and you'll probably look back and wonder why you hated him so much in the beginning (I do at least). Even though it doesn't fix things, hopefully you feel better knowing this isn't abnormal. What really helped me was venting a lot about DH.

Drac0's picture

Perception! That's what I am talking about. I just explained what happened with MY part of the day. And yes, I was exhausted

My DW was at home all day with BD. She too was exhausted.

I think the difference here between our situations is that we recognized what the other was doing and yes - to be perfectly honest - DW and I did find ourselves in the "who is more exhausted" - "who is doing more" debate game. But in the end we both want the same thing.

I used to work with a guy who would do tons of overtime. I asked him "Why all the OT?". He answered. "Why not? As soon as I get home my wife thinks her day is over and I have to do everything. So my work day never ends! I may as well stay here and get paid to work."

THAT to me is a sure-fire sign that something was wrong with his family life. I love my family and I WANT to work and help out around the house as much as I can but I don't "see" it as work. And yes, there are days where I am utterly exhausted and I will say "Not now dear, I am just too exhausted. Can you give me a half-hour to unwind?"

It's one of the reasons why I picked up jogging again. I want to get back into shape so that I CAN do more....

Rhinodad's picture

Why is it always the man's fault? Seems to me the women here are generally just as at fault. I am not a men's rights activist in the least, but for crying out loud, there are two parents. If you want equality, you have to look at it from both sides of the issue. If your husband will not accept any responsibility, frankly you need to reevaluate your relationship with him.

Sure seems like here we have an instance where the women are blaming all of their problems on the men. I've posted about the anti-man bias on these boards before. Clearly there are several of you here who are of the opinion that men cannot do anything right - at least when it comes to parenting. Maybe that is your experience, but again I caution you that it is just one among many, many men who are very good parents and husbands.

Perhaps you incapable of seeing both sides of the issue? Sure you work all day at home with the child, but your husband is equally working all day to make money. Are you comparing which one is harder? By throwing things at your husband when he walks in the door, are you contributing to the problem? (I'm referencing Drac0's "It's your turn to change the diaper" line here). Why not, in that situation, let the husband unwind for a little bit and then ask him nicely (not condescendingly) to do something?

I'm not a stay at home dad, but I work from home, while my DW works almost an hour away. I am at our house all day, everyday. We've had these issues where I work all day and because I work from home, I drop the kids off to school, pick them up, make dinner, do laundry, etc. A few times I've said "It's your turn to change the diaper" or "can you take care of (SD7 or BS3)" as soon as she's walked in the door. It did not go over well. I've learned to give her at least 15 minutes to decompress and then I ask her nicely to do something.

Even though I am working all day, I am home. I knew the bottles needed cleaning, or BS3's sheets need changing because his diaper leaked last night, or SD7 has not done her homework or got in trouble at school, or even that laundry needed to be done. She does not know this stuff because she isn't here - she doesn't instinctively know it, I have to tell her (imagine that!). So before you get on your high horse, try to mentally change positions with your spouse and see it from his point of view. Maybe talk to him and say, "Ok I realize work is difficult, but so is being home raising the kid(s). However what I want is that when we are both here, we are equal parents. I will give you some decompression time when you get home from work (15-30 minutes), but after that we share equally in the chores/parenting." I mean, is it fair to him that he works all day and then when he gets home you magically expect him to be the only one parenting?

AS for OP's complaints about husband's messes... I have the same complaints about DW, believe it or not. Lead to many fights. Her point was that she would get to it eventually, I hated what I saw as living in a pig sty. We eventually agreed that she would do a better job trying to keep it clean, whereas I would not be on her case as soon as I found something on the floor and would give her at least 24 hours before saying something to her about it so that she had the opportunity to clean it up.

Drac0's picture

Yes! I do my part, and DW does her part and neither of us feels one is doing *more* than the other...

Now...If only I could get SS to do HIS PART, I'd be living the ideal blended family life and wouldn't have to come on here to vent... Sad

fakemommy's picture

Luckily, my DH does not give excuses if I ask him or talk to him about it. He's great at making an effort if I express my feelings, which is why a lot of women gave the suggestion that she expresses how she feels. It is/was a lot harder to "understand" him not just knowing what to do when there were crazy hormones/body changes going on, especially since he already had a kid that he raised separately from BM (they never lived together).

And of course I know it isn't ALL men. I forgot that if you don't add in words like "in general" or most on this website, people will freak out that you are labeling an "entire gender". LOL!

Rhinodad's picture

I think it applies across the board.

Do you instinctively know how your husband feels?

I'm at home all the time and I can tell you that a lot of time my DW needs me to express to her how I'm feeling or something that I need her to do, or else it just won't get done. The tough part is saying that in a manner that won't piss her off - as I suspect is the case in many relationships.

fakemommy's picture

I'd say about 99% of the time I do know how my husband feels without him telling me.

In response to your other response, I work, most women on here who replied work also. I do not get to decompress for 15 min when I get home, so no, I don't think he should get to either.

In the cases where it is a SAHM, should they not get the 15 min too? Who gets it first? In a lot of ways staying at home is harder than working. All your time is about the kids. No matter how hard someone works away from home, they still get some time that is for them, whether is it lunch, a break, or just peeing!

Rhinodad's picture

Why do you not get to decompress? If you both work you should both get that opportunity.

If you are both working, perhaps you can take turns? Monday you get 15 minutes to decompress, tuesday he does, etc. You can switch the following week so one person gets 3 days, the other gets 2. This really isn't that hard to figure out. It's really about whether you/your husband want to put in the effort to fix the issue or just continue to complain about it.

DW and I take turns - one night I give BS a bath and put to bed, the next night she does. If your husband isn't willing to do that he's not a very good man, sorry to say.

Sure, if a SAHM wants the 15 minutes, that is fine. From my experience when I was home with BS3 I generally got that downtime when he was taking a nap. I had to carve it out for myself - so instead of emptying the dishwasher I would relax for 15 minutes and then go about my business. I'd let DW have her downtime when she got home. But if you still want to alternate that just-got-home-from-work downtime, why not? Seems reasonable to me.

Even when I was a SAHF with the kiddo and not working, I got downtime when he was napping. I didn't lie to my DW and tell her I was dealing with him all the time every day, because it just wasn't true. I had usually 2-3 hours where he would nap that I could choose to either do chores or relax. Probably not the case when you have older children, although on weekends we sometimes have SD7 go play in her room for 30 minutes while BS3 is napping so that we can BOTH have some downtime.

Another thing we have found helpful is to take turns sleeping in on weekends. I get to sleep in on Saturdays, DW on Sundays. The other parent deals with the child(ren). May not work if you have Church, but you could always rotate weekends. Again, it's all about the level of effort you/husband are willing to put in.

fakemommy's picture

My husband and I do alternate some things. Diapers aren't a problem, because I enjoy changing the baby's diaper, we use it as playtime.

But no, we don't get downtime when we get home. We have a 9 month old and an 8 yr old, dogs, a cat and a lot of stuff that needs to be done in a short period of time. Downtime doesn't get to happen until the kids are in bed.

Rhinodad's picture

All I'm saying is it could happen if you want it to. We had a 9 month old and a 5 year old. Now we they are 8 and 3. We make the downtime because we both realized we need it.

There have been times where my BS3 is making me so angry I have to say to DW "I need 5-10 minutes by myself or I'm going to murder someone." (I'm not going to murder someone obviously). But we've agreed to allow that to slide sometimes.

fakemommy's picture

I should edit, we have a 9 month old and a very difficult 8 year old, one that takes a lot more care than the 9 month old. I guess I could do 15 min after work if I wanted the kids to be up past their bed times and I wanted to stay up super late and survive on less sleep.

Rhinodad's picture

Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds like you are making excuses to me.

We have a very difficult 7 year old (my SD7, the reason I'm on this site). I guess I can understand if it is some form of severe developmental disability that no one would get downtime.

If you take the 15 minutes, your husband can deal with both kids for that time. I'm sure that won't kill him. It wouldn't put you past bedtime or anything, it would still be the normal time, but husband would be watching the kids for that time. Why would that suddenly throw the schedule out of whack?

moeilijk's picture

How does it go from on time to super-late in just 15 minutes? If your normal bedtime is 11pm, and now you take 15 minutes to decompress when you get home so everything is pushed back 15 minutes.... then your new bedtime is 11.15, right? How is the difference from 11.00 to 11.15 'super late'?

Sometimes we make our own problems.

This part is not a response to your comment, it's just my own thoughts.

I'm just not interested in a super-successful life full of stuff I did, I'm interested in a happy, relaxed life. For that I have to do stuff, ofc. To do stuff, I need energy. I need to make sure I get good rest and eat well and regularly. I do not enjoy life if I am on the go 24/7. So I am only on the go 45/60 minutes. Then I rest. There is nothing more important than my good life.

Chores will never end. The needs of others will never end. So I might as well take my 15 minutes here and there to relax and recharge. Whether I do or not doesn't affect my to-do list, but it does affect my happiness.

fakemommy's picture

The 8 year old's problems are so severe that 15 min off schedule will turn an 8pm bedtime to a 9pm bedtime and the 9month old's bedtime would be pushed back even more than an hour since the baby is so on-schedule.

I honestly have no problems. Like I said before, we've worked these things out.

Drac0's picture

I can understand this to some degree. My kids are usually in bed by 8:30. If it starts getting to 15 minutes past their bedtime I start getting aggitated. My bios have this weird sleeping phenomenon. The LATER they go to bed, they rise EARLIER the next day. I can't explain the logic behind it, but it happens.

Even though I am probably one of the biggest sticklers for keeping to a routine, even I know that sometimes routines need to get broken.

Rhinodad's picture

I'm still perplexed as to why if she is taking 15 minutes of downtime, but her husband is still parenting, why the schedule is now 15 minutes behind? Can't he do the same things she did while she is relaxing?

I get that late bedtimes are a problem for kids - our are no exception to that rule. But if my DW needs 15 minutes of downtime, the house doesn't come to a complete stand-still. I still make sure the kids do the things they need to do, set the table, get to the table to eat, etc.

fakemommy's picture

Probably because reminding my husband of the things that need to get done while I'm decompressing, is actually not decompressing at all.....

Drac0's picture

>I do not get to decompress for 15 min when I get home, so no, I don't think he should get to either. <

Eesh! That's a scary attitude to have fakemommy!

Remember what I said above about the guy I used to work with who stayed at work to do OT so he didn't have to go home? It's attitudes like that that run the risk of having one spouse take shelter in places other than the home.

Just sayin'...

Drac0's picture


Glad I made you laugh. Humor is great at releasing stress I hear...

You do have time to laugh right? Wink

Midwest Stepmom's picture

Dh and I had a chat and I once again expressed how I feel. This is difficult, because I'm still trying to understand why I feel this way. I also thought depression was made up, but now I get it. Dh laid on the guilt, he said he doesn't know what more he can do. That he goes to work and comes home to take care of baby. I explained that looking at the baby and actually caring for him are two different things.

I think I just need to accept the fact that my husband is a great husband, provider, and father but a crappy care taker. I would prefer to suck this issue up and deal with it alone then to cause issues in my marriage.

I just don't think he gets it and I'm not sure he ever will.

fakemommy's picture

The big wake-up call for my husband was when our baby just never wanted to be with him. It was always mommy, and the baby would cry for me for an hour if DH tried to do the consoling. I told him that I'm the one that comforts, changes diapers, feeds, does baths, and does bedtime. Of course the baby would prefer me! Now we kind of fight over who gets to do all of those things.

I think instead of talking about how you feel, ask him to do specific things when they need to be done. I told my DH how I felt, but it works better for me to say, hey can you go wash the bottles/diapers/etc?

Midwest Stepmom's picture

LO cried for hours last week and this was a night dh was willing to help (because I was crying because my eye lids would not stay open anymore). Anyways, dh tries to put LO to bed. There is a routine I do with LO and it usually works. Dh didn't know because he never had to put him to sleep. I tried explaining the way to do it, but dh refused to accept that he didn't know how to put his baby to sleep.

This showed me that he doesn't know our baby. And bs doesn't know him. Bs will look for my face when I'm talking, but dh is a stranger to him.

Drac0's picture

Midwest, I was getting frustrated at one point too when my BS seemed "unconsolable" at times. It seemed like only DW was capable of lulling him to sleep. A friend told me "don't worry about it, father's roles come later". Now days I can sing my children to sleep, or tell them stories. It took a while for me to get there, but I got there.

Now days, my children will ask for "Daddy" or for "Mommy" with equal measure whenever it is time for bed.

Rhinodad's picture

We never had this until recently, but now BS3 only wants to be with me - bath time, bed time, just sitting watching TV. DW is getting frustrated but I tell her it is because he knows now we're both boys, he likes boy things, and he can roughhouse with me. She just feels frustrated like she should be there for him more instead of working so far away. I get it.

Of course, as soon as he bumps his head or gets a boo boo all he wants is Mama - no amount of dad hugs/kisses seem to change that.

fakemommy's picture

Yep. And they do not want your help because they've done this and you haven't! They know how to do it!

I know I keep saying this, but we could be the same person. I've told these stories. It really really will get better. I know that doesn't help now.

fakemommy's picture

Some people argue just to argue sueu2. I just laugh, because some people like to act like their lives are peachy perfect and insult others just to make themselves feel better. Better to just let them live in denial.

fakemommy's picture

When your baby is crying and crying and crying and you know how to console them, and it hurts your soul to hear them so upset, and nothing your husband is doing is helping and you feel like your child is suffering and you could make it better in 5 seconds, or he could if he would take the advice you have to offer based on your experience with this child, you feel a bit different, especially if you are overtired, overemotional, and overstressed, especially if your husband would have a better idea on how to help if he helped more often.

moeilijk's picture


If you are a good parent, and a good partner, you allow your partner to develop his/her own relationship with their child.

It is not true that there is a 'right' way to console your child and that only you (or only one parent, or only the mom) know how. What hubris.

fakemommy's picture

We're talking about dads who aren't taking the time to develop the relationship in the first few months.

Drac0's picture

I'm sorry what? Did you say something? I was watching football, drinking a beer and just tossed my socks on the floor. Blum 3

AllySkoo's picture

Colic is the WORST, I'm sorry! My DH is better at some things than others, and I've found that telling him what I need actually doesn't help. (Scene: 3 am, a baby is crying for at least the 7th time that night. Me: "Babe. Can you get up with the baby? I've gotten 45 minutes sleep so far total." Him, with an irritated sigh: "Fine." He continues to lay there. I hear snoring. I wonder whether a jury could possibly convict me. Certainly not a jury of fellow mothers.)

About the only thing I could suggest (and I should note that DH and I have never done this, DH is SO not the type of guy to do this), would be to argue each other's view points. Role play - let him pretend to be you, and you pretend to be him, then have the conversation again. If nothing else, you'll figure out whether he's heard what you're saying at all.

Edited to add: Or I could suggest waiting it out. As others have said, it does get better!! For us, about 6 months was the turning point.

fakemommy's picture

I literally LOLed at your scene. So something that would happen to us!

I like your role playing idea, but I could see where feelings could get hurt pretty easily. I agree with the 6 months, maybe it was 4 months for us? It seems like a while ago, but time is weird with a baby.

PrincessFiona's picture

Sometimes you have to force the results you want. So when you are overwhelmed and DH comes home, tell him that. And tell him you need an hour or so alone to collect yourself. Hand him the baby, take your keys and leave the house. Give yourself an hour to do NOTHING. Take a walk, go to a park, go to the store and wander around, go to the library - whatever is available to you.

IT WILL BE HARD THE FIRST FEW TIMES ! You will worry and feel guilty but he needs the opportunity to feel your frustration. He needs the opportunity to learn how to care for a baby independent of you.

A new baby is an adjustment even if its your second or third. Don't put yourself in the role of the only one who can be the caregiver.

Maybe you need to schedule some time that you do something for yourself and leave the baby to DH. It will benefit you all. Infants are stressful and exhausting but colic brings a whole new level of it all.

Good luck and hugs !

Rhinodad's picture

But wait... what if the husband is also feeling overwhelmed from a bad day at work and needs time along to himself? How do you handle that if you both want the alone time? Do you just walk out and say "screw him?" Are his bad days not equal to yours?

What if you are not feeling overwhelmed and he comes home and tells you he is and needs to just go to for a walk for an hour? Do you let him? Or are you only allowed that opportunity because you are the primary caregiver?

I'd be interested in hearing the responses. Because if I hear anything other than "both parents should have that right" I will see that there is a clear double-standard at play here.

PrincessFiona's picture

Obviously both parents need and deserve the right to call mercy when necessary. But being the sole caregiver for a colic'y infant 24 hours a day is not in the child or the parents best interest. And working at your job for even 10-12 hours during a day does not compare to the emotional drain that a crying baby puts you under. Especially when it's likely that mother is pulling the night duty as well - to give the working parent the needed sleep to function at their paying job.

I've been on both sides. I have on occation told my DH when we get home from work that I need a few minutes to decompress before we jump right into the next job - dinner, homework, baths, bedtime routines. And he often tell me the same.

A marriage is a juggling act of compromising everyone's needs within the family. But an infant's needs must be top proiority as they can't do anyting for themselves. It's a short term situation as kids learn and grow so quickly.

Rhinodad's picture

Very well reasoned, and I definitely agree with your points!

Marriage is a partnership, really. And it should be so even when taking care of the kids, IMO.

moeilijk's picture

Poor you! My DD is almost 6 mos and I really remember being in your shoes. When she was around 5 weeks old I told my husband that I thought we should look for a family to adopt her because there was no way I could handle things the way they were. Partly exhaustion, partly undiagnosed PPD, partly a baby that didn't sleep, and partly feeling powerless.

You're right, he should be helping. For his own sake. It was also around this age that my husband tried saying that he felt I 'knew' her better than him. So I gave it some thought and we talked about it. Her bedtime is usually around 6-6.30 pm. He is home by 5.30 at least three days per week. Once he comes home, he gets about 15 minutes to change his clothes, rest a few minutes if needed, and then he's in charge. Daddy-duty. He asks me what I think she needs, but my answer is almost always, hmmm what do you think? Now he just announces what he's doing - I'm going to change her diaper, put her to bed, play with her...

He rarely does it the way I would. But he does it his way, and she adores every minute of it.

In general my husband has far lower standards than I do. I have come to learn that sometimes I make things unnecessarily difficult for myself. And sometimes he's lazy. But it's definitely not all black or white.

The other thing I did was create a schedule for my baby. This doesn't work for every family, but it did for mine, much more than I could have imagined. It's very 'parent-led', in case you want to look up parenting styles online.

It was hard at first, because I started by stretching feedings to 1.5 then 2 then 2.5 hours. Then I noticed her pattern was definitely Eat Activity Sleep. But she slept a maximum of 45 minutes at once. So, we still have that pattern. She very rarely sleeps longer than 45 minutes per cycle, sometimes she doesn't sleep at all or sleeps less... but she gets 45-60 minutes of downtime every cycle. She needs to recharge, to process everything... she can't be go-go-go.

For me, I get up between 6 and 6.30 and get myself ready. I don't shower every day, but I get dressed and makeup on (even if it's only mascara). I eat breakfast and enjoy a cup of cofffe. I can my baby moving around from about 6am, but I don't get her until at least 6.45-7.00.

7.00-7.30 - diaper change, dressed for the day, eat
7.30-8.30 - play (sometimes together, sometimes on her baby gym, sometimes sporty- tummy time, rolling over, etc)
8.30-9.30 - sleep
9.30-10.00 - diaper change, eat

Rinse and repeat.

PM me anytime and if I can offer any advice or tips, I'd be happy to help. Or even just remind you that although you might be feeling like you're losing it, you're doing fine.

fakemommy's picture

MWS, I have to apologize, your vent turned into some weird debate with a lot of insults. I usually try to steer clear of these debates, but I guess maybe I was bored today. Anyway, I hope that you are able to take some time to yourself, and find a way to get the help you need from your DH. I do think things will normalize and you guys will find some common ground in the next few months.

misSTEP's picture

Wow - I can't believe that this blog got so OT and, yes, man-bashing. Not all guys are that bad. But they can also NOT read minds. Something that seems of the utmost importance to a woman can be just a flicker at best to a guy. And vice versa as well.

A lot of women who come to this site post about how horrible their skids are or how horrible things are with the ex. But in reality, it comes down to their DHs' failure in some aspect, be it boundaries or parenting. So, I would say that those women on this site have DHs who are lesser than in some personality aspect.

Also, remember our ancestors. In general, women are gatherers, men are hunters. Women notice the small details while a man looks at the "big picture." It's not necessarily that they don't KNOW somethings need to be done, it just isn't on their radar like it is on a woman's.