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My DH seems to hate my baby girl.(137 Posts)
I am so upset to be writing this.
I had my beautiful DD 9 weeks ago. My DH and I live in Australia and all our family is in the UK so we have no family support. Its been hard. I had a bad case of baby blues for the first few weeks but came through it and I'm now knackered but completely in love with her.
For the first few weeks DH seemed smitten. He was so hands on and full of adoration for her, enjoying cuddles and willingly changing nappies and comforting her when she cried. A couple of weeks after he went back to work everything started to change.
He has become more and more distant. He's stopped helping out with stuff in the house and I'm now doing everything again plus baby care. He does cook, but that's it. I have to wash up, clean the house, do the laundry, put it away, walk the dog and the baby only sleeps for 4 hours a night. If I bring any of this up, he tells me to ask him for help. Sometimes i just want someone else to notice what needs doing so I'm not stage managing the whole house whilst my brain is fried from sleep deprivation.
The last couple of weeks DD has become a lot more high maintenance, sleeping less in the day, needing a lot of entertaining and being very grizzly in the evenings. All normal baby stuff for her age. DH has just completely checked out. He will practically do things like change a happy but doesn't otherwise engage with her at all, just passes her straight on to me when she needs settling because 'he doesn't have boobs'. I've tried to ignore it hoping things will improve. This week my mum arrived from the UK and it made me realise something is really wrong. Mum has helped me with everything before I've even needed to ask and immediately steps in to soothe DD with cuddles, enjoys smiling at her and playing games, all the things my DH isn't doing.
I've noticed when he comes in from work he doesn't kiss me, or DD. Today she was sleeping on me and I nudged him to show him (just because she looked really cute) and he said 'what about her?'. He hadn't seen her all day.
He says it is really hard to be stressed at work all day then come home and be stressed at home faced with a crying baby. I get that it's hard doing both things but feel pretty pissed off that this gives him an excuse to be miserable because my job is 24hrs a day non stop and I'm shattered.
Tonight I fed her and she was lovely and sleepy and I passed her to him just so he could have a cuddle. She murmured a bit when I passed her over so he held her job in the air and made silly noises at her until she was then fully awake and crying so I had to have her back.
Tonight I tried talking to him, coming from an angle that I was concerned about him and wondered if he might have a touch of depression ( genuine concern). He got really cross and asked me what I wanted him to do. I get flustered when we argue as he is very difficult to argue with. I said it feels like he is a bit distant and has lost the affection he had for DD. He said she gets nothing from her which is understandable when she just eats sleeps and cries. He said (this is the worst part) 'it's just a creature'. I'm absolutely devastated, for myself and for DD. He thinks this is all normal for dads, he doesn't need help and I'm being massively unreasonable. He also pointed out that there is bound to be a gulf between us because there is always a baby between us and we haven't had a real relationship for almost 10 weeks. We haven't had sex yet, tbh I'm knackered, I have no desire, and I had a tear which makes me nervous about it.
Sorry this is so long. There is much more I could say. Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Right now I feel like my marriage is over and I just want to go back home to the UK.
Oh dear. Breaking it down OP
1) yes it can be hard for new parents to bond with their babies - mums and dads. My daughter was "just a creature" to me for ages but
2) you fake it till you make it - you show love, affection, interest, even when you are exhausted, stressed, can't see anything coming back - that's parenting
3) having a full day at work is nothing to what you are going through and he needs to step up.
Bottom line - yes it's hard and no he's not doing this right. I cut him some slack for the not being bonded yet bit - that can take time to come. But the rest of it is just him being useless and not demonstrating that he understands that he is now a parent.
This was so not my experience. My husband did everything while he was off work and then would come home and take my DD while I had a bath and he cooked dinner and tidied up. I breastfed her, so he couldn't feed her, but he did everything else and would virtually run through the door to see her, he couldn't wait to be back home with the baby.
When he says you've "not had a real relationship" does he mean sex? Because that's something major that's changed and he needs to realise that it will continue to not be that sexy in his world for a while. That's normal and he shouldn't be emotionally cold with you because you're not offering to swing off the lamp shades the second the baby is down for a nap!
Having a baby changes your relationship massively but you should be feeling supported and looked after.
Has he any form for being a dickhead? If not it dos sound like he should see a doctor to rule out depression.
Listen I am going to be honest with you.
You are having it very tough at the moment. Little or no family support, bar your Mum visiting.
This is your first baby. It can be over whelming. When I had my first I felt quite the same, it was exhausting. I do remember my mil coming to visit for a few days, I will never forget the help she was to me in those first few weeks. My rule of thumb ( have 4 dc now) has always been it takes at least 12 weeks to just get used to having a new baby in the house. It is tough
One thing my mil said to me when she visited was " men are not really into small babies, its only when they can talk and do things, they get interested ", I thought this so strange at the time, but she was right, I did notice as time went on, my dh was only interested with the older ones, now he has great time for all four, he absolutely loves taking them to sporting events.
What I am trying to say to you is, don't worry, some men are just not into little babies, but it doesn't stop them being brilliant dads in the long run.
OMG, a creature, he sounds vile OP.
Bad enough he won't engage with his own child but he's leaving you to clean up after him!
I'd tell him to shape up or ship out, you don't need that negativity or such distain towards your own child.
If he really cared about you he'd at least help around the house whilst you tend to the baby, after all, he wants fuck all to do with her, sorry but so angry on your behalf, stop pussy footing around him, tell him exactly what you have said here, if he is still not interested, get rid.
You sound very alone. I noticed you said 'my baby girl' rather than 'our baby girl' in the title. I hope you have some more practical help from him when your Mum goes home.
I'm so sorry, you must be feeling very lonely. I have no experience of this situation but I didn't want to read and not reply.
Hand hold wolves. Your DH doesn't hate your DD at all I'm sure. She's at a stage where she really needs more from you than her dad. The first few weeks are hellishly hard with you all getting used to each other. I'll no doubt get flamed on here but I think parenting a tiny baby isn't always instinctive to some dads. They can take a little longer to learn.
DH admitted recently that he didn't really know what to do with DS when he was born, and for the first few months TBH. He loved him but didn't quite get what my DM and I were getting so excited about. He said 'He's a baby! They all look alike!' I was so focused on DS that DH felt like a spare part. He was also scared of doing things wrong. At least your DH will change a nappy - mine didn't! Not till I'd stopped breastfeeding.
But fast forward a month or two when DS became more of a person, not quite so floppy and was able to smile and respond to him, things started to change.
I'm sure your DH will get more confident with time and DD will wrap him round her little finger.
Give it a few months until she gets more interesting op. Apparently quite a few men go through a jealousy stage because it's not just you and him anymore.
He may well turn into a really great dad once she's a toddler and bouncing around.
I hate coming home from work and having the dc around. It doesnt mean I don't like or love them but I need an hour to zone out before I can enjoy being around them.
Male postnatal depression maybe. Talk to midwife and run it past her. It's a huge life change. Babies are hard work and not that interesting but hopefully the bond with grow over the upcoming months
There is some information if you google postnatal depression and dad
Basically he's throwing his toys out of the pram because he isn't getting any, and he's blaming his tiny daughter. What an amazing father and husband
I would tell him you expect better from him, that you are disappointed he isn't even trying to be more supportive of you. If he can't yet bond with his child, what about the bond he has with his wife? He needs to man the hell up.
What Scott said. Might he be feeling a bit pushed out? People are good at different stages of parenting; I am bored with newborns and crap with teenagers but love all the stages in between. Hang on in there.
well lots of people find new babies uninteresting, that doesn't mean as a dad you shouldn't help out with caring for them. It's a big cop out imo.
he needs to start pulling his weight, depression or not. Is he acting this way at work? probably not
Am so sorry wolves
Honestly I think you'd be better leaving him and Aus behind and going home to UK with your Mum
I worry it will only get worse for you in this relationship
Could he be just plain jealous of baby because he is no longer your 'primary concern'? If you want my honest opinion, I think that's what his 'real problem' is. He's pig jealous, the prat. I honestly don't know what to tell you to do, other than to tell him that you do love him, that things are topsy turvy for you right now too, and things will get back to 'near normal' as DD settles into a routine. What I wouldn't do is pander to him, baby him, or have sex just to pacify him. Actually, I'd like to knock him upside the head.
I don't buy the 'men aren't into babies' thing. My DH and the men I know (bar one, who acted just like your DH) have been very 'into' their babies. They may not have been as 'hands on' and some were even afraid they'd 'break' them, but they were interested in them and 'did' for them even if it was less than the mums wanted or needed.
Did he do his fair share of domestic work before the baby arrived?
What do you mean he's "hard to argue with".
It's worrying that you describe not having had sex so soon after the birth and tear as not having a "real relationship": he shouldn't be pressuring you about that in any way.
if this was you it would scream PND. Can men get it too?
You have my every sympathy- this sounds really rough.
However, men can and do get depressed, and can and do suffer PND. This is a huge life change for both of you, and he does sound down to me. Not that that helps you, nor that it is fair to expect you to pick up all of the slack. And obviously, you want your other half to be there with you, marvelling at the amazing creature you made together.
A lot depends on whether he is prepared to get help. If he isn't, or sees no problem with his behaviour, then Houston- we have a problem.
As for lessening your load, perhaps you could take a look at exactly what he can do to help, practically, and give him a list? If he feels that he can't offer the help and support that you need, workwise, then look at getting a cleaner in.
Also, just to echo what some other people have said, my other half has since said to me 'well, she was just a sandbag until 12 weeks'; he did have the decency to fake it though!
I get that he find the adjustment to having a baby at home difficult, that has FA to do with doing his fare share around the home, it was you that gave birth, not him, he sounds really selfish and self centred - and yes, what does difficult to argue with me, that's weird.
Are you sure he's not up to something and has checked out of life with not just the baby, but you also, sorry but he needs to explain his actions cos he's acting like an arsehole.
What was your relationship like before you had your dd? Often the arrival of a newborn will turns cracks into chasms. You should be supporting each other now.
I would acknowledge to him that, at this age, caring for the baby is a pretty thankless task and it can seem all encompassing and eternal. But babies change all the time and some things will get easier, others harder.
He does need to play his part now that he is a parent. The best way to do this is for you to feed her and then leave them alone to get on with it. If she cries he will have to soothe her. You go out of the house for an hour to give yourself a break and give them time to bond. Do this regularly and he will become more confident in his parenting skills.
Preminstrel said exactly what I was going to say.
You fake it till you make it - you show love, affection, interest, even when you are exhausted, stressed, can't see anything coming back - that's parenting
^ this is so true!
has your Mum noticed anything?
My sister's wife had a much-wanted baby three years ago. (My brother was the donor.) I remember my sister calling me a few weeks after their daughter was born. She was feeling very distraught, because now her wife's attention was primarily on their baby girl, and because she, my sister, was not yet feeling a strong bond with their daughter.
But within a few months, when the baby started to be more awake and responsive, she got much more attached to and involved with the baby. Now they are very much equal parents.
Give it time-not everybody takes to parenting immediately.
The trouble is that opting out of looking after the child because you haven't bonded yet means that the whole thing lands on OP! The child needs to be looked after, no matter how you feel. I too took a while to see both my babies as actual people, rather than little things that I just had to look after - I expect DP did too (and I know my BIL did because I've spoken to him about it), but you step up and look after the baby, you try to give your partner a break because you're both knackered, and you hold on until the day their personality starts to shine through.
DP didn't behave like this - he took DS1 for baths if he wouldn't settle, he'd walk from window to window in the middle of the night when nothing seemed to make DS happy etc. most of the fathers I know have been similar.
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