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to expect my DP to be more involved?

(31 Posts)
juniper9 Sat 27-Apr-13 14:40:12

I'm 18 weeks pregnant with our first child. I've always fought hard to have a very equal relationship with my DP and, before I was pregnant, we shared housework and decision making etc fairly. Being equal has always been a major issue to me. We both work full time and I don't see why having certain bits between your legs should determine who stacks the dishwasher.

My DP has done nothing at all about preparing for this baby. I am aware that I'm the one growing it and he can help very little with that, but he has left me to do all of the planning and preparing for it. At first I thought it was because he thought it was too soon, or because it seemed abstract to him, but I think he just doesn't see it as his job. I was thinking about it earlier, and realised that I might have well as been a single parent so far for all the help he's offered.

It is my sole responsibility to grow it and birth it, but in my eyes the rest of it should be a joint responsibility. I will be taking maternity leave so I know that I will be the primary carer, but I'm worried that he'll see his fathering role as the occasional pat on the head and then off to do something else.

It seems like a very antiquated approach, and I really didn't think I was procreating with a 1950s-esque man.

So am I being unreasonable? I am aware that hormones are making me a touch sensitive right now. He said earlier that he didn't care if the baby had fingernails, and that made me cry...

C0smos Sat 27-Apr-13 14:45:13

I'm also 18 weeks pregnant, what exactly did you want him to do to prepare for the baby. My DH has also done nothing, but then neither have I. I wasn't sure I was meant to be doing something.
You have plenty of time if you're talking about doing a nursery or anything. iME most men don't seem to get their arses into gear until a few weeks before the baby arrives so I really wouldn't stress.
Congratulations by the way.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 14:45:19

What do you mean by 'prepare for it'?

Decorating the nursery? Helping choose a pram? Planning maternity leave?

motherinferior Sat 27-Apr-13 14:45:34

YANBU...but at the same time he may be uninvolved in 'feeling' the pregnancy yet totally involved once the baby is born. My DP was - upsettingly at the time - really not clued up about my pregnancy. But he got on with it the minute I have birth, changed the first nappy, and generally behaved like an involved co-parent from then on.

Finola1step Sat 27-Apr-13 14:49:00

Hi juniper. On one hand, YANBU to want DP to be more involved (and I think you also want him to be more interested and excited). But what exactly have you needed to do in terms of planning and preparation at this stage of the pregnancy. Some specifics in what he has not done would be useful to then give a view on whether he is pulling his weight or not. It could be the classic "I'm shit scared and don't know what to say or do" reaction.

Finola1step Sat 27-Apr-13 14:49:52

And congratulations!

juniper9 Sat 27-Apr-13 14:58:22

Things like working out which pram system to get, what sort of cot, what sort of breast pump etc etc. There seems to be so much.

I know it's early on in my pregnancy, but a) I'm a natural born organiser (my to-do list isn't colour coded yet, but it's only a matter of days) and b) I really don't think it will change even when I'm 28 weeks, or 38 weeks.

I think he just believes it's my job. I have tried explaining to him that I'm finding it all very stressful at the moment.
Work is taking its toll (teacher + exam season + Ofsted threat). He's applied for jobs but hasn't heard back yet. He could be placed anywhere in London come August and I'm due in September. We live in a rented flat but want to buy before baby, but can't until we know where he'll be placed. Etc etc. The only certain thing is that my maternity pay is sorted.
It feels like there are so many things up in the air that I want at least something organised, ie which bloody pushchair to buy!
And breathe...

You are 18 weeks pregnant, you both have lots of other stress in your life just now, I think you should chill out for a bit tbh, endless discussions about prams aren't going to do anything apart from add to your stress levels (and if you expect him to have any opinion about a breast pump you will be very disappointed) relax and enjoy the pregnancy and decide what to buy when you are going to buy it not 3 months in advance, you will change your mind a million times before then anyway.

LindyHemming Sat 27-Apr-13 15:07:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DH is a very involved hands on dad, but he wasn't the least bit interested in prams, equipment etc or excited about choosing/buying stuff.

In the same way that I wouldn't be the slightly bit interested in all lots of his interests. Just because you are very interested in all that stuff, doesn't mean he is crap for not giving a toss, TBH.

Pram - just choose something that will fit in your car boot and is comfy to push
Cot - as long as the mattress is a good fit, it isn't really important
Pump - you may not want/need a pump at all.

I too like to plan, and worry, way ahead of time. But you can choose to make these things a big issue, or you can choose to just get a big order from Kiddicare and get it all over with in one delivery.

IMHO it's mainly a displacement activity to make sure you don't spend all day going

OMG I am going to be responsible for a small frail baby until it grows up and leaves home in 18/20 years, and they probably won't be able to afford a house then and they will have £2300000000 of student debt and what I do it all wrong and drop it on it's head or forget to change it's nappy or not notice it is covered in a massive rash and it's legs fell off and what if I eat Brie by accident and then I might leave it behind in a Sainsburys trolley and...

Enjoy your planning. Don't worry if he isn't joining in too much.

kritur Sat 27-Apr-13 15:09:09

I would say it's because that kind of stuff really doesn't matter to blokes ... As long as the baby has a cot and the pram fits in the car I doubt he'll be bothered what colour /make etc. And breast pump? Not vaguely in his area. And anyway I would wait on that, you may not be able to feed or in any case it's not advised to express before baby is about 6 weeks old.

FredFredGeorge Sat 27-Apr-13 15:14:35

Planning "which pram system you need to buy when you're 18 weeks pregnant" is ODD, sure if you want to do it because you're that sort of organiser then go ahead and do it - but it's not reasonable to force that desire to organise it early and unnecessarily on others.

You should realise this desire to have an irrelevant thing resolved isn't all that helpful - what if the decision is wrong once you have decided on somewhere to live... Focus on the stressful things you actually can usefully resolve now, and ask for and expect support in those, rather than other things.

You don't need a pram system now, or indeed even before the baby is born - you probably need some sort of car seat to get the baby home, but that's about it. He probably understands that so feels your need on the pram system is irrational - it is, try to reallise it to and focus on the actual needs you have. And he's an arse if he doesn't help with those - just placating the symptoms by going "That 900 quid pram thing" isn't actually the solution here.

Finola1step Sat 27-Apr-13 15:16:06

As a fellow teacher, I can fully understand the need to be organised but.., you are doing too much right now. Step away from the lists until after exams and reports are done. The only thing you need to do right now is relax and enjoy your pregnancy. You have time. You are not even half way yet.
I went to 42 weeks with my first after starting my maternity leave at 35 weeks. Seven flipping weeks of twiddling my thumbs! You've got plenty of time from July onwards. Some men don't get too interested until they can feel baby kicking or when you look really pregnant. This is his baby too, it's not unusual for him to be quietly panicking especially if he does not have a firm job for September. He needs to concentrate on that.

trinity0097 Sat 27-Apr-13 15:22:06

Loads of these things could be put on the back burner until your summer holiday when you have less work stuff going on.

HollyBerryBush Sat 27-Apr-13 15:23:15

I'm pondering in what parallel universe I'm in if I would even consider discussing breast pumps etc with my very equal husband. There are somethings I can do for myself without having a pow-wow.

Cot? oblong thing with bars? like a small prison? you put babies in them - you buy one that matches the decor of the house grin stained wood = teak cot, pine woodwork = pine cot. Do people still paint woodwork? in which case get a white cot!

Life is only complicated if you make it so!

firesidechat Sat 27-Apr-13 16:40:42

The only thing that my husband showed any enthusiasm for was the pram/pushchair and this is a man who is quite happy to talk about curtain fabric choices, so reasonably in touch with his feminine side. I'm pretty sure that everything else was left up to me. It's a massive generalisation, but men just aren't interested in this stuff and certainly not with 22ish weeks to go.

I would have got a very funny look if I had tried to discuss breast pump options with him.

I don't think we had a cot to start with and baby slept in a carrycot or moses basket. No baby changing unit either. In fact the list of things we didn't have is far longer than the list of things we actually bought. Tiny babies need much less than the baby business manufacturers would have you believe.

NeedaWee Sat 27-Apr-13 18:03:31

The thing is as soon as he expresses an opinion, many women trot out well its my body so you have no say in it. see it on here regularly so they can't really win.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sat 27-Apr-13 18:19:51

I'm 28 weeks with dc3 and my partner didn't really get a day in any of the things like pram except if he liked the colour, bottles etc are all my choice as I know what I want and will be doing 99% of the feeds etc. with the pushchair I needed it to do specific things, (I am a childminder so not only for dc3). Have you told him you would like his input?

pomdereplay Sat 27-Apr-13 18:34:02

Err. What most of the others said. You have a long way to go and it is no surprise he isn't massively buying in to discussing and shopping for things YET.

My DH is the most hands-on, involved partner and we did indeed discuss everything, including breast pumps. Just not at 18 weeks -- we both knew that the time would drag the further along I got and shopping/research would help pass that.

PotteringAlong Sat 27-Apr-13 18:40:26

In the nicest possible way you sound nuts. Calm down a bit - you're not even half way through yet and you're going to combust if this carries on.

It isn't real for your DH yet - you're already a mother, you're growing a baby. He's not. And I have the greatest DH who's a doting dad but never once in the 16 months I breastfed DS for did he ever care about how I expressed milk.

Bunbaker Sat 27-Apr-13 18:42:51

"My DP has done nothing at all about preparing for this baby....Things like working out which pram system to get, what sort of cot, what sort of breast pump etc etc."

First of all congratulations on your pregnancy. Sorry to burst your bubble, but I agree with the other points on here. Your expectations are entirely unrealistic. Men in general just aren't interested in preparing for a baby. I didn't expect OH to have an opinion, I just sorted it all out myself. The only thing I did do was make sure I got a stroller with a really long handle so that OH, who is over 6' could take DD for a walk without having to bend over.

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Apr-13 18:57:19

Concentrate on teaching, you'll still have loads of time to sort this stuff out when exam season is over.

Don't buy a breast pump till you know you need one. Shops will still be open once the baby is born.

Also, don't ask your DP this stuff, he'll be clueless. Ask Mumsnet wink

Minshu Sat 27-Apr-13 18:58:32

Don't buy anything until you need to if you are thinking of moving house before the baby arrives! smile

foreverondiet Sat 27-Apr-13 22:22:46

Yanbu - my advice would be to:
A) delegate a list of tasks to him - eg choose nursery furniture get baby room ready, but all stuff for baby
B) as soon as baby born leave him on own with baby for at least 90 mins at least once a week...... No excuses while you have time to yourself....

FredFredGeorge Sat 27-Apr-13 22:37:22

foreverondiet Remember if you delegate the tasks you can't complain if they're not done until they actually need to be done (ie shortly before or even after the birth...)
And on B 90 minutes a week is way too little - why would a father want such little time alone with their babies?

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