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Team work?

(3 Posts)
pinkposey Wed 15-Jun-11 22:32:34

My husband travels alot, and hasn't been as involved as would be perfect with our son (now 6 months) to date. We live overseas and he wasn't there for the 3rd trimester or pre-birth classes, he missed the birth (due to early arrival and snow closing Heathrow not because of his not wanting to), he traveled somewhat during the early months which I found quite difficult. He works in development and we live overseas, and he is certainly a great and caring person. However, I'm stuck at home alot, and have to date had limited access to getting out and about, or meeting people since the birth which is also when we arrived in our current posting. So, I have and have had masses of time with our son, and he so far has had little comparitively, as even when we're in the same country, our son is asleep by the time he gets home from work. Also, I think he was a bit scared of our son, and left me to look after him at first and until recently. Also I EBF and didn't express, so I always fed him. Two things have happened, I feel I'm becoming slightly resentful, I feel I'm somewhat of a single parent, and husband is feeling really left out, lacking confidence and like he's made many mistakes (mainly not being there) and been traveling alot. Also, how often should he go out with friends? I can't get out on the evenings myself as I don't have a car, or a babysitter. I don't want to confine my husband though at all, and previously we had many interests. We love each other and our son very much, but we're wondering how we should balance life and balance each other - including couple time which we've had lots of but not quality now. (Finding babysitters is difficult and we live a million miles from family or real friends). Can anyone suggest how we can move forward from here? Ideas would be most welcome, for how he can become more involved with our son at this stage, how I can stop feeling any resentment and how we can become more of a team and work together from here on. Thank you.

trixie123 Thu 16-Jun-11 13:03:06

sorry you are feeling like this. Lots of men are a bit uncomfortable with the newborn stage as they don't have the obvious bonding method of feeding and probably have been around babies less generally than their partners. Now your DS is 6 months he will be weaning and starting to do more so your partner can get more involved. If he isn't there a lot he will need guidance from you as to what and how much to give him but beyond that try to step back and let him do it, doesn't matter if he does it slightly differently. Try to find things that they do together without you (swimming maybe, or a particular game or toy). This will help them to bond and give you some time "off". You say you don't want to restrict your partner going out but realistically, you do have to take turns a bit. Can you look into paid babysitters maybe once a month? 2-3 hours would allow you to have a meal out at least, or failing that, go out for nice lunches with your DS. I think you need to be quite firm that as your DS grows he will be more aware of his dad's presence or absence and so it is important that he does start to take more of a role. My DP is around a lot (home by 5-6pm most nights) so he and DS have always done the bath and bed thing together but recently when I was expecting DC2 he made a special effort to spend more time with him and took him away on a little trip for 3 days. he was solely responsible for food, naps, everything and it made a huge difference to his confidence and their relationship. That might be a bit of a big step for your DP but he could start by being "on duty" for a whole morning or day and let him figure it out - you had to and whats the worst that will happen?
Most importantly - TALK to your DP and be open and honest about how you are feeling. Don't turn it into a competition about who has the most stressful life, just work out how you can make your family work. Good luck.

betterwhenthesunshines Thu 16-Jun-11 13:38:24

Is there any time he can take as 'his time'? My DH was always a better morning person than me. Could he do the first nappy change before you feed in the morning? Things will def change as your DS grows up ( see other post about 2 yr old who now only wants Dad!). It's hard if he's always home too late, but I agree about it NOT turning into a competition about who is tireder etc etc.

It def sounds as though you could with a bit more support and friends in your area - what about baby groups? Spend a week making a huge effort - chat to people in playgrounds etc, if you see someone else with a baby the same age.

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