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Unhappy father

(5 Posts)
Cbell Wed 01-Jun-11 09:59:28

This is a bit of an emotional dump but I feel my husband is not entirely happy being a parent.

We have a DD (5 Months old) . It was a planned pregnancy and my hubby has always been really keen to have children. However, now while I know that he absolutely loves our little girl he seems to resent the direction our life has taken.

He's concerned about his career. He doesn't like being the only earner. He feels weighed down with responsibility. He doesn't have time for writing or any other hobbies that he feel fulfil him. I also think he resents me being at home.

I do understand how he feels but part of me wants to scream 'Stop being so self centred'. I just wondered how other people cope when the babymoon is over? I am hoping things will get easier as she gets older.

I really must reinforce that my hubby is a lovely, kind sensitive man and father and I am not looking at giving him a bashing. More interested in other peoples experiences

Gurraun Wed 01-Jun-11 11:05:58

Hello. I thought I would share my experience.
DS1 born Feb 2010 - a planned pregnancy. My dh had been very very excited, and was knocked for 6 to find that the reality was a little person that turned our life upside down and didn't give much back.
We went on holiday for a week when ds was 5.5 months and in a way it helped as he had more to do with him than he had before (think he'd been a bit scared of him before!) but in another way it just cemented how different our lives now were.
However, as ds developped more character, laughed more etc he slowly started to relax and enjoy him more. DS now 15 months, and my dh absolutely adores him.
Looking back, he now acknowledges that his expectations of being a parent were unrealistic, and when he realised he wasn't enjoying it he was extremely hard on himself and felt that he was the only person to feel like this (I think really felt ashamed of his feelings). Other Dads had told him they felt the same way, but I really think he didn't believe them and almost felt there was something wrong with him for not loving his son enough. However, he has now found that like most relationships, love has blossomed as they've got to know each other etc and now he can't believe he didn't always feel like that.
For what it's worth, I went back to work when ds was 11 months and I think that helped my relationship with dh, but maybe that was more about my feelings about being at home 24/7 than him.

Cbell Wed 01-Jun-11 18:40:52

Thank you for sharing your experience.

I think I am finding it particularly hard at the moment as rather that this being a positive shared experience I feel my hubby is lamenting the loss of our past lives. I feel he has yet to really embrace being a parent.

It just doesn't make for the happiest environment for us or our little girl.

Iggly Sat 04-Jun-11 10:19:52

Is he unhappy in his job? I think you need to talkto your DH - maybe having a baby has triggered wider feelings of unhappiness.

Can you think about someone looking after your DD for an hour at a time to start with so you can both go for lunch or a walk? How is she at night? Can anyone sit in of an evening and look after her while you go for dinner?

Tootingbec Sat 04-Jun-11 14:17:45

Hi there. The description of how your DH is feeling is totally normal and common for men after they (you!) have a baby. All my friends who have had babies have described something similar to a greater or lesser degree - however planned and wanted the baby might be. Everyone expects and talks about new mothers feeling low (even depressed in some cases), anxious etc but very little is spoken about how men feel about becoming fathers.

To share my experience, I remember accusing my DH of "not bonding" with our 2 month old DD and many of the things you say your DH is doing/saying, he was doing the same. I realise now with hindsight that is very difficult for men to bond with small babies, particularly if you are breastfeeding. As mothers, we get so immersed in the baby, it is difficult not to realise that our partners have a hard job in doing this to the same extent. However, my DD is now 2 and my DH and her are as thick as thieves, to the point where I am now slightly envious of how close they are (she only ever lets my DH cuddle her!)

We now have an 9 month old DS and I was so so so much more forgiving of my DH when it came to "bonding" with our 2nd baby i.e. I enjoyed immersing myself in our son when he was tiny and I know that the time will come when my DH and our DS will be like two little peas in a pod together too.

Becoming parents is a really big shock to the system and I think men and women have idealised images of lolling around in bed with a smiling baby when you will know the reality is very different! I also think you have a bit of a false dawn when babies are really small as you can, to some extent, carry on a bit like before - you can go out for lunch and even dinner and the baby will sleep, you can visit friends and hold a conversation etc. As your baby gets older, more lively and needs a more constant routine, I think the walls start to close in a bit and you get a more realistic experience of some of the limitations having small children place on your life.

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