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ante-natal classes and reluctant husband... can I go alone?

(14 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:38:23

Have booked onto an NCT course in my area, tried to get onto one that had the minimum father element possible but they're all booked up so am now on one that has a moderate element of father attendance.

I should say that DH is a really wonderful husband and totally involved in our pregnancy. BUT any kind of classes are v v much NOT his thing. It's partly because he's hearing-impaired and so struggles with classes and social situations with brand new people, and partly just because he's just not that kind of person. If he were having the baby himself, he would never join a class.

So I am wondering if it will be very unusual/odd for me to go to the majority of the classes alone? I think I can persuade DH to come along to 1 (max 2!) of the ones he's required at, but I think that will be his limit. In addition, he can't come to the first one at all because he's abroad for work that week.

Anyone else have a reluctant partner OR been to NCT classes and know whether I'm being silly about worrying that he won't be there? I don't want people to think I'm weird to come without my husband!!! (if they think I'm weird for other reasons, that's fine grin...)

NAR4 Tue 11-Dec-12 11:53:00

I went to NHS antenatal classes alone, when I was expecting my first child. Didn't really want to go myself either but midwife was very insistant and I didn't feel I could refuse.

My husband went to the end of just one session because I managed to persuade him, to show the other particiapants that I wasn't a single mother (I was quite young and some other the other mums to be were rather rude to me, making it clear they thought I was single).

Having said this I do think things are differrent now and noone would care a less even if you were single. Maybe a friend could go to one or two classes with you, if you want the company or moral support.

Some of the mums from my post natal group went to NCT classes alone, because their other halfs didn't want to go. They both really enjoyed their classes and didn't find it a problem.

sugarandspite Tue 11-Dec-12 11:57:56

I had to go to a few nct classes alone as DH was abroad with work and it was fine, everyone was really nice and made a special effort to make me feel included.

However, given all the less-than-lovely stuff you are currently putting up with during pregnancy and still to come during and after the birth, I would be inclined to say rather clearly that I didn't really care that he didn't want to go, it's all part of him sharing preparations for the birth and early days of parenthood.

I appreciate he has some obviously very valid reasons for feeling uncomfortable in that kind of environment but presumably he has got through it ok at college / university / workplace training?

Our nct group formed very close bonds, especially between the separate groups of men and women and 2 years on still regularly get together. If DH hadnt been present from the start, I think it would be much much harder for him to feel engaged with the group and therefore he would miss out on a real supportive network of first time dads in the same situation.

Tbh I think I would put my foot down

ghoulelocks Tue 11-Dec-12 11:58:51

I like to do everything on my own regarding pregnancy, it's just the way I am. I notice I'm often the only one but I just brazen it out and people get over it. I was stretched to the limit though by the nhs homebirth antenatal group which seemed to be dominated by dads desperate to 'be part of the birth' etc.

ghoulelocks Tue 11-Dec-12 11:59:49

The only issue I had recently was a second admission for rehydration in pregnancy, mw kept asking if I wanted to call dh to come (no, baby and I were ok and he had toddler) and ended up asking 'is everything ok at home?'

sugarandspite Tue 11-Dec-12 12:00:35

Oh also, my DH was a million times better at supporting me in labour and birth and in particular, understanding and supporting breastfeeding because of being on the nct course.

I would have felt really fed up with being the only one to 'know stuff' if he hadnt gone too.

emeraldgirl1 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:04:54

Thanks everyone!
I think I'm halfway between your mindset ghoulelocks and yours, NAR4. I actually don't mind in the slightest from a personal point of view that he won't want to come to the classes, he couldn't be more involved in the whole thing from every other standpoint so I honestly don't mind at all if he doesn't come along. There are quite a lot of situations anyway where I'm actually more relaxed without him, as it can be a pressure worrying about whether he's totally fed up or not!

But I'm the kind of person who is sensitive to how new people perceive me and I wouldn't want to think that people were judging me in some strange way because I was on my own.

Am perfectly happy to go alone for all other reasons, though.

Sadly no chance of me being mistaken for a young single mum! I only wish wink

I think I may try and get him to come along for one of the classes (wish it was the first one but he's away) and hope that establishes that we're not really strange or anything!! Also he may well find it's not as hideous as he thinks and then pop along to one more...

emeraldgirl1 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:05:46

sugarandspite - you're right of course re the actual practical side... I wonder if I can find out the course content and suggest to him that there are certain sessions he might really appreciate being there for.

Ellypoo Tue 11-Dec-12 12:06:05

I don't think it would be a problem you going without DH - we only had 3 classes which were provided for free, and after the first one, DH was bored stiff and only came because we had friends in the group and would go out for a drink with them afterwards!!!

emeraldgirl1 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:08:03

Ellypoo ha!!
Yes, 3 classes he might manage (especially with drink involved!) but there are SO MANY classes on the NCT course! I think off the top of my head there are 8 or 9 and only a couple of those are women only...

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 11-Dec-12 12:14:56

I went to my NHS ones alone when I had my first child - a few women brought their partners every single time and I thought it was a bit try-hard ... either that or their partners were just taking any excuse for time off work grin Our course was daytime though, I guess there would be a higher number of couples together at evening or weekend ones. There were a couple of sessions fathers were officially asked to attend, and DH attended one but not the other - just not his type of thing. TBH I went mainly to meet other mums to be as I knew nobody locally with children at all, and wanted to build a friendship/ support network - DH had no interest in that and less need for it on a practical level. Just go along on your own, you won't be the only one and people will just assume your husband works long/ antisocial hours unless you feel the urge to explain.

TravelinColour Tue 11-Dec-12 12:22:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cmt1375 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:23:00

I organise NCT course, and I would say three things.
1) You will be made to feel welcome alone
2) If your husband is going to attend any sessions it is worth letting your teacher or course organiser know about your husbands hearing problem, including anything that can be done to help him get the most out of the session. I would do this sooner rather than later so they can be prepared, like everyone else NCT has to follow the DDA rules and makes our services available to everyone whatever their disability.
3) You should have a phone number for your teacher on your confirmation e-mail, I would give her a ring a few weeks before the course starts and explain the situation to her. She will help guide you as to which sessions will be best for your husband to attend.

HTH

Claire

emeraldgirl1 Tue 11-Dec-12 12:31:04

Thanks cmt that's really helpful actually!! I will call the teacher once I get the confirmation. But glad to hear you think I will be welcome alone anyway...

UKGRinch - yes, I'm mostly going to the classes to hopefully meet a few local mums, it's a new area for us (in fact we haven't even moved there yet) so I don't want to be isolated once the baby arrives. Like you said my DH doesn't really have an interest in that side of things, he's not some anti-social bastard (honest!) he just won't need anything like the level of support that I will as he'll be going off to work every day pretty much as normal.

I think it's good advice to take it a class at a time TravelinColour, tbh his work does get in the way quite often anyway, his hours can be unpredictable so it's highly possible he'd miss a class even if we'd planned for him to come along.

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