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frustrated new mum of 6 week old

(11 Posts)
Lstone Tue 04-Jan-11 19:05:02

Being a mum has been a bit of a shock,DH was the one that pushed to have a baby for years. Now that she is here he doesn't want her and wants to go out all the time.
I'm feeling like I don't have any support, my family live on another continent I have the baby all day until DH gets home at 8pm and then I have nights as well. DH's parents are completely self absorbed and it is more tiring to have them over than not. Don't want to be a nagging wife. I have some lovely friends but still can't help feeling resentful towards DH for going out. He doesn't help unless I ask him to and loses patience with the baby. Thinking of therapy. No question in particular just need to get my feelings out as I sit at home. Thanks for listening.

BrightonMum2Be Tue 04-Jan-11 19:39:23

Hi Lstone, my first baby is also 6 weeks and I know how tough it is :-( Congratulations though on your new arrival!

My husband is also out at work every day until 8pm and I do all the night feeds as I'm EBF, so we're in similar situations. Thing about all men is that they NEED to be asked, very few men in my experience take the initiative re housework or caring for a baby unless you ask. By asking for help you are NOT nagging, it's just what has to be done. We'd all love our men to have that female intuition when it comes to nurturing and keeping a nice home, but sadly they just don't have it. I now calmly ask my DH to help with certain things and he much prefers it than when I expect him to help and he doesn't and then I get annoyed with him for not being psychic!

Has your DH said he doesn't want the child? I'm sure he doesn't feel that way. It's hard for the husbands to get involved and feel a bond so early, esp when you're EBF. Also, my DH seems to think I have everything under control so when I let him know I could do with help, he seems genuinely surprised but happy to be asked to contribute. Maybe by asking for help you could improve the situation hugely - your DH will feel wanted and useful. My DH sometimes feels utterly redundant in his own home, which makes him want to go out and leave me to it. Make your DH feel like you need him, it'll do his ego a lot of good and make him feel like he has a role to play.

Not that I'm an expert but this is what has worked for me!!

Did you do NCT? My NCT friends are a lifesaver, great for ranting to when I'm in a strop and then poor DH doesn't get the brunt!

Sorry for waffling :-)

Casseopeia Tue 04-Jan-11 19:59:33

Men are useless! Either they do nothing, or they question everything you do with the baby.

You poor thing. You should let your DH really have it. How bloody dare he beg for a child then leave you burdened. No one tells you how that when the chips are down, the woman is responsible for they?

You will get through this - it will take a couple more months to get on your feet, then you will breeze through it.

I remember feeling like a complete fraud when I took DS for his first jabs (was that six weeks?). All the other mums just seemed like they were managing so well & I couldn't believe we had even made it out of the house and down to the GP's office in time!

But I digress. Your DH needs to start pulling his weight. And if he doesn't want to do that personally - he can fork out for a nanny to help you. Not kidding, perhaps you need some real live help. I had someone take the night shift for 3 nights a week in the early days. It made all the difference to me. That, and some anti-depressants!

Greeninkmama Tue 04-Jan-11 20:47:07

A lot of men find it easier to bond as the child gets older and is more responsive.

And a lot of mums find it easier too. It helps to find friends with babies of the same age (though it can take months to find people that you truly connect with). Loads of people struggle in these early weeks and months, and your situation does sound difficult and lacking in support. All you can do is take it one day hour minute at a time and make sure you eat well. Staying in bed with the baby can also help, as can daytime telly.

What do you mean 'he loses patience with the baby'?

Zombieladymum Tue 04-Jan-11 20:55:58

Hi Lstone - my DP sounds a lot like your DH. Though I made him fully aware of the massive life change and responsibility of having a baby, he still wanted to go ahead with trying (I wanted a baby too but I could've waited a bit longer).

When DS was born I wanted to BF and it turned out DS was one of those 'gimme booby 24 hours a day' kinda boy (God love him!) so he was literally glued to me for 4 months. Mainly because of this and the fact he works stupid shifts, DP gave up on doing anything with him, which has made me incredibly bitter.

Now that DS is going onto solids (he's 7 months now), things are a lot easier bit DP's still playing the 'but he's fixated with you' card. This no longer washes with me and I've demanded he do something with his son or else he won't be getting any nookie and I will be considering moving out.

Let's see how that goes. hmm

My point is: Do something now before it continues. Tell him what to do and show him how to do it (it's a confidence thing a lot of the time, esp when baby has no head control yet)
DS is fixated with me but we also live on a different continent to my family and DP's family live a 6 hour drive away so he has no other choice. If his dad spent more time with him, he'd just as easily go to him than me! I think my DP and your DH will regret not having spent more time with their kids in the long run.

Lstone Tue 04-Jan-11 21:37:03

Thank you all for sharing. I've asked DH to change one nappy in the morning before going to work. That 10-15 minutes helps. I often feel like I am in slow motion and can't get anything done. Being able to feed and dress myself by midday is an accomplishment. Did I mention that DD is colicky? DH has lost patience a few times by telling DD to "shut up" when he has had her for 20 minutes or so and she is crying. I might be being sensitive but feel after having her for 23 hours or more that 1. he is not trying enough 2.I really don't like him speaking to her like that even though she is so little. Also about the going out bit I think he feels he hasn't socialised enough in life. When we first met he didn't like to at all. However he has chosen when we just have a baby as the time to go out a lot. I want to support him in this but feel he is prioritising his own needs over ours. On the three day weekend he went out every night and I was home with the baby alone two of those nights. He keeps saying the baby needs to fit into our lives not the other way around.

I think that is good advice to let him know specifically how he can help. I also have a friend who offered to come around for an hour each day for the rest of the week. Otherwise considering hiring a helper/doula/nanny. I want to give the best to my DD and when I this tired I don't think I am.

Thanks again for listening.

parched Tue 04-Jan-11 22:02:54

I agree that men need and often prefer to be asked. Neither one of you understands what it's like to be the other. It's not unreasonable to ask your DH to stay home some evenings. Explain that you're not trying to restrict his social life but feel isolated and crave adult company after being at home with your baby all day.

I really struggled for the first 8 weeks and although DH was a great help I still felt resentful of him "escaping" to work every day.

Anything that gives you a couple of hours to yourself now and again will be a real tonic, so take up every offer of help and don't be embarrassed to give direct instructions to the helpers about what you need them to do.

Lstone Tue 04-Jan-11 22:17:00

DH says he will watch the baby by bringing her to the pub with him. I don't mind bringing her sometimes but she had already been out quite a bit. I am also trying to establish a rhythm of getting her to bed around 8.30 and think that going to a noisy pub two nights in a row is too much stimulation for a baby. DH thinks I am being fussy though. I am curious how much other people bring their baby out.

Casseopeia Tue 04-Jan-11 22:24:01

DH needs to pull his head in. He is being incredibly selfish and immature. 8.30pm is late for a newborn. And frankly a pub isn't the right environment for a baby. Follow your instincts. His argument that the baby needs to fit in around your lives is NONSENSE and a pathetic attempt to justify his selfish behaviour. The baby's needs take priority (or should). Babies don't go to the pub. They go to the park.

One nappy a day does not a father make.

I would be very upset too if my DH spoke harshly to the baby. It's not appropriate and he should stop it immediately.

Of course you are tired - and you need someone to help you who doesn't resent spending time with the baby. Otherwise, there's no way you can relax anyway.

He doesn't know how lucky he is.

Goldrill Wed 05-Jan-11 10:15:22

Good grief! My LO's also 6 weeks today (and asleep on arm so apologies for poor spelling etc) and I would be murderous if my OH behaved like this. I am very lucky as baby currently very easy to cope with and sleeps well etc. My fella is also very, very good and pulls his weight, but as mentioned by several others, he does still need a bit of steering and a gentle nudge to pull his finger out from time to time. No matter how equal we are in most things he still defaults to assuming i'm in charge of baby.

I think your chap is seriously betraying your trust as you went into this as a joint enterprise and he's not even attempting to keep up his end of the deal. Offering to take a tiny to the pub is rubbish too; if he's not much cop with her when sober he's not going to improve after a couple of pints. You sound extremely understanding and considerate; perhaps you're being a bit too nice about this? I'm not suggesting you kick him out or anything, but maybe you need to give him some ground rules and then some reassurance and support to help him get the hang of looking after her?

I've been bombarded by MWs and HVs with classes to attend and social groups to join - is there anything like that you could get along to?

Hope you manage to get it sorted out - this should be such a good bit!

WildhoodChunder Wed 05-Jan-11 10:16:52

6 weeks in is such early days, and so hard - you're still adjusting to this huge life-changing thing. Getting dressed by noon is an achievement, seriously - it was how I measured if it was a good day or a bad day for ages.

In terms of practical help - have you been to your GP to rule out PND? Your DH is out of order but you sound very down aside from that - the moving in slow motion, for instance. Of course, sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for but it might be worth getting checked out.

Is there a Homestart (I think that's what it's called) programme in your area? They might be able to send someone to help out a bit round the house. It's a free service for new mums I believe. Your health visitor should know more. Speaking of which, have you spoken to your HV? If they're any good they should be supporting you through this too.

It will get easier, but your DH does need a talking to. Did you discuss before baby arrived how he imagined life would be? Can you discuss it now? Although having said that, my DH similarly wanted kids earlier than me and then went down the pub a lot when the reality kicked in. I think the baby panicked him a bit, the whole 'now we really do have to be grown-up' reality; call it a mini mid-life crisis or whatever. Also, it can be hard when you're used to being successful and competent at solving all sorts of problems at work, to then be faced with a screaming baby who isn't responding when you think you are doing all the things you should. DH is pretty good, but I've shouted at my baby to shut up - not proud of it, but they're frustrating creatures. Rationally, what does it achieve? It's a temporary release, a better way for me is to just put DS down and leave him for 5 mins while I have a cuppa and cry or regain composure. Maybe you could suggest to your DH he tries that when he feels himself getting stressed?

It is completely the wrong attitude, IMHO, that "the baby needs to fit into our lives not the other way around" - it makes things a lot harder if you don't just accept that life now is different and will just revolve around the baby for a while. At this stage when they're feeding so frequently and not sleeping, it's impossible (for the mother anyway) to have 'a life' aside from surviving. And the father should be trying to make life easier for his family. I don't think anyone can truly understand the reality of what life will be like with a newborn until they are there, it is a shock all round how unrelenting and demanding it is, but you need to pull together as a team and he needs to see it is a team effort raising kids, not something he can dip in and out of.

Babies do get bigger though, and it gets so much easier and better - you will get some time back to yourself in the end. Hang in there. Hope you can sort things out with your DH.

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