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Before your DC were 1 year old, how much did your DH's actually do?

(74 Posts)
whereisswampy Thu 05-Feb-15 19:56:09

We had a baby three months ago. DH is very keen for me to plan when we are going to try for more kids. I do want other babies eventually, but DH has really surprised me with how little he has done the past three months.

Admittedly there's not a huge amount he has been able to do. I am EBF-ing. I find it hard to express for him to give her milk, so I am around DD most of the time to feed her unless we have a babysitter. That's why things like changing her fall to me, because I am "around" and if I ask him to do it, he just stalls and I end up doing it anyway. I do all the night waking. I do most of the comforting while she's crying, the winding, settling etc. I change her and wash her clothes.

DH cuddles her when he's around for short bursts, and first thing in the morning, but passes her back to me for anything else. He is immensely proud of her but is not really engaged. He doesn't understand when I have a problem with feeding or scheduling. He doesn't get that if she sleeps all day she'll be up all night. The times I have left him with her and popped out, he hasn't followed instructions or engaged with her and just let her doze off in a chair without checking in on her.

Four evenings a week he goes and does his hobby (tennis,) so I sit with her all evening and put her to bed. The other evenings we go out for client dinners (I leave her for three hours which is the longest she'll go without a feed - and I rush back.)

At what point did your DHs become more involved? I can't imagine having another child because I feel like I'm doing it completely on my own.

Katekoom Thu 05-Feb-15 20:16:00

I have a 4 week old and DH has been really good. He does a lot of nappies, bath time and has her in the mornings for 30mins so i can shower.

The most helpful things he does are washing up and cooking.

Perhaps if you gave him one duty to own, and be the best at e.g. 'you burp her because your so much better at it than i am'

AnythingNotEverything Thu 05-Feb-15 20:21:58

4 evenings off a week? Really?

DH would change and help settle DD in the night if needed ie if I was super tired, especially on a weekend. He did most of the nappies while he was home. Lots of holding/reading to etc - I found the more I held her the more milk she wanted.

He also cooked all the meals, did the main food shop (taking DD with him most of the time), and looked after me while I bf (brought water, snacks, remote etc). He mostly did bathtime too, with me around as a spare pair of hands.

Since we night weaned at 10 months we've shared night wakings entirely, and now I'm pg again and back at work he does most of them actually

There's a balance between what's your job as you're at home all day, and what he needs to do to have a meaningful relationship with his child and to allow you a break. Only you as a couple can find that line.

HearMyRoar Thu 05-Feb-15 20:22:29

I ebf but dh still did loads. He did all night time nappy changes and most when he was about. He always took her as soon as he got home so I could have a break. He also did most of the washing and house work. In fact I went back to work when she was 6 months and he took 3 months off to look after her.

The thing is though you do need to except that someone else might do things differently or a bit slower then you think they should. Maybe he feels he can't get it right because you sweep in and take over our that you prefer to do it.

I say this in the nicest possible way as i know it's hard, but I think if you want him to do more you will need to relax a bit and lay off the instructions.

Blu Thu 05-Feb-15 20:23:01

When he was in the house / at home DP did 50% of everything except breast feeding.
He did all the bathing because he felt that that would be 'his' thing that was intimate and special and he couldn't do the feeding.
He did not go out doing his own thing 4 nights a week, leaving me at home.

I think your DH needs to start seeing parenting as something both parents do. I agree - give him specific areas of responsibility, and leave him to it. Tell him that feeding is a job in its own right and ask him specifically to do washing clothes, changing etc.

And talk to him about how you are feeling.

HearMyRoar Thu 05-Feb-15 20:24:43

Gosh, sorry I completly forgot to say I think it would be reasonable to ask him to reduce the evenings out though. 4 evenings is a lot when it's just a hobby.

Have you spoken to him about how you feel?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Thu 05-Feb-15 20:28:07

I went back to work when DD was 5 months old. DH was a SAHP. He did everything.

Even before that he changed as many nappies as me and woke for every night feed to change her before I fed her.

Your DH sounds lazy tbh, and playing tennis 4 nights a week is taking the piss.

Fairylea Thu 05-Feb-15 20:29:07

Of course he wants another baby. ... he's not doing anything with this one to know how relentlessly knackering it is!

4 nights a week off is ridiculous.

I have to admit one of the main reasons I chose not to breastfeed my second dc (after a 10 year gap and a divorce in the middle) was that I wanted to make sure that my dh was capable of sharing night feeds and everything else right from day 1 and he did. The only time I ended up doing more was when he returned to work but as soon as he walked in he'd take over ds and let me get on with things.

My first dh was very much like your dh from the sound of things. It drove me utterly nuts and I grew very resentful. Make sure you tackle it head on and make it clear you expect him to do more.

NickyEds Thu 05-Feb-15 20:30:35

DP was completely involved from day 1, most importantly from day 1. He had 3 weeks paternity and for that time he would help with night feeds (I was bf) by me feeding ds then him doing nappies and resettling. He did all of the housework for the first month at least. He would take ds around the park etc to give me a break. By three months he was doing night wakings at weekends and he'd help out during the week if I was struggling. I was doing more of the housework by then.
Your DH sounds like a bit of a dick. Being proud and giving cuddles is not parenting, it sounds more like a grandparent or indulgent uncle. Going out four nights a week when you have a 3 month old is, frankly ridiculous. I'm not surprised you're feeling alonesad

AndreaZuckerman Thu 05-Feb-15 20:30:47

He did 50% when he wasn't in work. DD1 was bottlefed though so he could also do half the night feeds. Even on work nights I would go to bed around 9-10pm and get some sleep whilst he did the first shift of night feeds. I would then take over from 2-3am.

I think the least your DH could do is reduce the nights he goes out. I would also say he does need to pull his weight more before you have another.

When I had dd2, dd1 was 3. I did pretty much all dd2's nightfeeds because dd1 was having night terrors and still hadn't slept through the night yet. I would have been completely exhausted if he hadn't dealt with dd1 whilst I dealt with dd2.

pepperpigmustdie Thu 05-Feb-15 20:34:23

Not a lot and I really wish I'd voiced up earlier. Dp was quite happy to be a by stander, look proudly at his clean baby girl then pass her back when she needed Bf. I stupidly ran myself ragged trying to be super mum. Then I came on here one night and posted pretty much the same as you and it really opened my eyes so I really put my foot. I told him that if we were split up, I would actually have two whole days to myself. Two lie ins, two nights of pure sleep. He quickly seen my point of view.

Dp desperately want me to have another but the thought of having to do all the work in the early days again has really put me off.

Don't draw the short straw.

BikeRunSki Thu 05-Feb-15 20:37:41

Do your DH is out every night playing tennis or entertaining clients? I assume he is at work all day? If he wants to be more involved he needs to be around more!!!!

PopularNamesInclude Thu 05-Feb-15 20:38:35

He did everything except breastfeed! Changed nappies and washed clothes and shopped and went to baby groups and later softplay and even weaned both dc almost single handedly. No one makes coconut cream lentil dhal like dh. smile

WeAllHaveWings Thu 05-Feb-15 20:44:13

Dh is self employed and from 6 months (when I returned to work 4 days a week mon-thu) he changed his days and worked tue - sat meaning he had ds(now 11) to himself every Monday.

Bath time was always dh's time, and he did most nappies, winding and any cleaning up of sick etc when he was around. I ebf so did the putting to bed, reading story and night feeds, just because it was easier. Dh also did all nursery drop offs (i left for work earlier) and took ds to park often. He still does most school drop off/pickups and makes ds's packed lunch.

Groovee Thu 05-Feb-15 20:44:47

I went back to work when did was 6 months old. I did 2 evenings and a full day while dh had dd.

When Ds was born he actively took care of both or one of them with no complaints. He had ds and did his jags while Dd and I were on a playgroup all day trip.

But he did have to say to me when dd was about 4 weeks to let him do something, so he started bathing her etc.

PolyplaxSerrata Thu 05-Feb-15 20:48:08

DH always went to them when they cried at night ( he still does), cooked dinner for me and him ( I fed the kids), did bath time if he was home and put them to bed ( if he was home).
He also did a lot of washing and changed a lot of nappies.
He managed to talk me into having 4.

waterrat Thu 05-Feb-15 21:11:12

He leaves you to deal with the baby four evenings a week?! My h plays footy one evening a week and that is enough - not jut for me he would also be really sad to see so little of our children

We are now on baby 2 - but when dis was a baby DH did everything - all the comforting he possibly could, he would take over at bedtime after I have a feed and spend ages rocking or singing ds to sleep - he did lots of night care helping me get ds back to sleep or changing nappies at night in the early days

He did this even when he had a long day at work ahead - my day was just as knackerjng as his!

He did all the cooking and cleaning as well !

Your husband is short changing you and missing out on building a proper parent relationship

306235388 Thu 05-Feb-15 21:13:15

When they were under a year I did everything apart from dh did a fair bit of the nappy changes and weaning at weekends

BackforGood Thu 05-Feb-15 21:16:36

dh didn't need to 'become more involved' as he was totally involved from the beginning.
Your dh is missing out.

Mrscog Thu 05-Feb-15 21:19:51

I did all the BF then would hand DS for winding, nappy change and settling. He also made sure I ate and drank. On weekends pretty much 50/50 care time.

Bluecarrot Thu 05-Feb-15 21:20:57

My DP did v little. Only played with her/changes her nappy/bathes/dresses her when I remind him etc. She's just turned 1.

Hes a bit more interactive with her now she's more responsive though And I've seen him with toddler age /school age relatives and he's amazing with them. I cling to the hope that he will be the same with dd when she's a bit older.

SellMySoulForSomeSleep Thu 05-Feb-15 21:25:56

My DH did feck all for a long time.
He just didn't engage at first, practically ignored DD and went out at every available opportunity. This has only improved once DD turned 6 months and she has become more interesting.

She is 8 months now and he does spend more time with her, its slowly improving the more she can do.

PenguinSalute Thu 05-Feb-15 21:26:35

I had PHD and DP really had to pick up the slack. He often sat up watching boxsets through the night so I could sleep, as DS was a reflux baby who would only settle upright on someone.

I went back to work at 6 months and he had DS two days a week alone as well as sharing all weekend lie ins. He can be grumpy in the morning but is generally totally involved and it's a godsend as now, at 3, DS honestly doesn't mind which parent settles him etc.

DP often says he pities dads he knows who've never bathed and settled their DC, and thinks all the hard work has totally paid off in how close they are.

superzero Thu 05-Feb-15 21:30:06

DH did bath time most nights from early on.I EBF so I did all the night stuff which was fine.
I've got 3,each time I've had a new baby DH has been very good with the older ones and has seemed to enjoy them more once they can play and talk.
Your DH may find her more interesting as she gets older and want to help more.My DH ,although he adores our DCs,admits he found them boring as young babies.
You need a break though.Out 4 nights playing tennis whilst you've been with her all day?! Looking after a baby is so consuming he needs to help out more and let you have a bit of time to yourself.

ProveMeWrong Thu 05-Feb-15 21:30:16

I breastfed like you so did the lion's share. The main thing was he let me use him as a sympathetic ear when I had mastitis/baby had tongue tie, took him off me when it was all too much, helped bath him and watched my tv programmes with me. I think your dh needs to recognize that playing tennis four days a week and three client dinners isn't really on anymore and if he wants children in the future he needs to sort out his priorities.

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