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To have second thoughts about my relationship after having a baby?

24 replies

HollyGoLoudly1 · 27/10/2018 19:14

Just that really. We've been together for years, rarely argued + I used to think he was the best thing ever. Since having our (very much planned and wanted) baby last month I feel like he's not stepped up enough, doesn't help enough with the baby and didn't look after me properly when I got out of hospital (slightly traumatic birth + ended up staying in almost a week). He disagrees and says he thinks he does his fair share. I'm starting to get so resentful and don't even want to be around him at times.

I've never felt like this towards him before. Is this normal + we just need to adjust to our new life with a baby? Or is it a really bad sign for the future?

OP posts:
Velvetbee · 27/10/2018 19:22

I think it’s normal, mine has irritated the very bones of me after each baby. We have 4 and have been together 23 years.

He did screw up a bit, once leaving me unable to move in bed without a drink while he ate a nice lunch with the kids on the patio; I could hear the chinking of cutlery and happy laughter, he couldn’t hear me yelling for help. However he’s not generally an arsehole and I’ve forgiven (though not forgotten obviously, said child is 11 now).

funkymum2017 · 27/10/2018 19:27

Yes I'd say pretty normal, my husband and I went through a bad patch shortly after

reforder · 27/10/2018 19:34

It’s only “normal” in so far as there are so many men like this once babies are born. Mine was the same OP, absolutely no issues in the relationship until DD was born then boom! The patriarchy reared it’s ugly head. We’ve been at loggerheads over his —lack of— parenting on and off for more than two years now ... I think it’s only a matter time before I finally throw in the towel, the resentment is hard to bear.

MasterSensei · 27/10/2018 19:42

Give it a few months the newborn stage is so hard. My DH was and is the most caring lovely helpful man ill ever meet. But I'll be honest in that first month I hated him for most of it, nothing was good enough. I resented him for sleeping and for going to work, I didn't feel like his life had changed as mine had. I doubted everything about our relationship. 6 months in now I'm back to loving him and we're good.
This is why I don't understand how people have babies to stay together if we weren't as strong as we are it would have broken us

redandbluehedgehogs · 27/10/2018 19:47

I felt my husband did his fair share (he's better than me with our DD a lot of the time) but we still ended up arguing loads despite having been together for ages (over a decade with very few arguments etc.) Honestly i'd recommend giving it time and talking to each other loads. We are out the other side now and very back to rarely arguing again 😁

Thehop · 27/10/2018 19:50

Don’t make any big decisions the first year

Starface · 27/10/2018 19:51

I agree with others. Don't be too quick. As well as the massive mood shifts that you might be experiencing in connection with the massive physical changes your body is going through, you are both transitioning to parenthood and all that entails, and re-negotiating both your roles in the family. Becoming a parent was definitely the biggest transition of my life. It took me a good year and a half (so well back at work) to truly feel comfortable with my fullest self as a working mother. I would say my husband only really stepped up as I would have wished after the birth of our second. Even now after the birth of our third I am grouching about how he does things but I also know that is about not being able to get up myself and do what I want so my home is run as I like it. Cut both of yourselves some slack and make a more measured evaluation in a few months or longer. Don't bin off the father of your child and your long term partner yet.

babbscrabbs · 27/10/2018 19:52

How much help is he giving you?

LivingForNaptime · 27/10/2018 19:55

You need to give it some time. A baby is like a bomb going off in a marriage. It can recover but it takes time. I thought our marriage was over for the first year of my DC1's life. It recovered and we had DC2. It's been tricky again but not as bad. The shock is not as intense.

I was constantly googling 'why do I hate my husband after baby' and similar phrases. It seems that it is very, very common to feel that way.

Try to up your communication levels with him, I'm constantly learning how to communicate with DH in our new life with 2 DC. There are changes and challenges unique to the situation. I do try to remind myself (and him) that we're a team and we need to face life together to do the best possible job for our kids but there are moments of pure rage and hatred...

Dotty1970 · 27/10/2018 19:59

Hang in there, our relationship changed when we had our first and I was similar to you, we hung in there and although it did change permanently which is normal I think 🤔. ... It turned good again and we went on to have 5 in total!

AlphaBravo · 27/10/2018 19:59

I had to have very strong words with my DH about 5 weeks after our baby was born as he thought 'stepping up' was just doing things when I asked, instead of just doing them off his own back, and only doing about 20% of the parenting work.

He had it very clearly spelt out to him that while he was at work, I was 'at work' too raising and looking after his child and it wasn't a piece of piss like he seemed to think it was. And that he should be doing AT LEAST 50% of all the other work at home and baby duty while I was recovering. (Traumatic birth, gallstones for miles, blah blah blah)

Teachtolive · 27/10/2018 20:01

As other posters have said, it happens a lot after a baby arrives. It doesn't help that youre both probably running on very little sleep so patience is thin. I would be a huge advocate of speaking very plainly about your expectations of him as a parent. If you don't tell him, he won't know

Tattletale · 27/10/2018 20:05

Op, after my first child was born, I went through about 3 months of hating my piir DH. He had done nothing to deserve it, but he irritated me constantly. I was seriously considering divorce even though I didn't know why. Thankfully, that stage passed and we have no been married nearly 16 years. Just go with the flow. Don't make any decisions now. If you were happy pre baby I an sure you will be fine. Take care.

Tattletale · 27/10/2018 20:05

Poor not piir!

LuvMyBoyz · 27/10/2018 20:11

I couldn’t bear my DH anywhere near me after the birth of DS1. When the baby was about 2 months old DH had a heart to heart with me and told me he was very sad that we no longer cuddled or even high-fived like we used to and that he really needed those hugs and touchy moments.

I felt wretched and from then on forced myself to respond to him and to give him hugs...and they were very forced to start with but I soon fell back in love with him. I have been a fan of ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ ever since. Give yourself a chance to get back to your old self before you make any decisions.

NeverKnowWhat · 27/10/2018 20:21

It's normal. You are both going through massive changes (some you share and some are individual). There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as torture.

Don't make any big decisions in the first year. Make time for yourselves and make sure you both have individual pursuits you can discuss so you aren't just talking about baby 24/7.

We never argued much but after baby arrived it was constant. I was disappointed in his lack of input, what he did wasn't good enough, I found him irritating and was very short tempered. Fast forward to baby being 11 months...I finally figured it was anxiety and depression, started medication... baby is 13 months and our relationship is back how it was before.

muffledscreams · 27/10/2018 20:26

I would say normal, I only really liked DH again a year after DC was born. Everything he did or said irritated me. I would say I thought about divorce multiple times a day. It does get better, I swear!
I would keep an eye and check in with the GP just incase you start to feel low or negative about other areas of your life - PND is a sneaky bugger!

mindutopia · 27/10/2018 20:31

Sit him down for a heart to heart. Put it in a letter if you have to. Having a baby is hard as hell even for the most solid of relationships.

My dh is ace, but we had to have this conversation a lot in the year after our first was born. It’s hard and an adjustment for everyone. If you need more, you have to make a fuss. And keep talking. Once you get through the initial fog (which I hate to say, lasted about a year for us, til I went back to work), it gets easier. Our first is 5 now and we have an 8 month old. We’re stronger and happier than ever now and the 2nd time around wasn’t nearly as hard, so hang in there.

ZackPizzazz · 27/10/2018 20:32

It's normal yes (I go so far as to tell friends and family members expecting their first that it's normal to hate your DH afterwards and not to panic). That doesn't mean it's always OK or always resolves though.

I definitely went through a stage of hating DH after the birth of our first. I resented that he didn't have to get out of bed all night, that he still got to go to work and have grown up conversations, that he could leave the house without the baby on impulse. I felt like every time he was holding the baby and he started crying I got "I think he's hungry" and he was passed back to me. I felt like even if we were both in the same room, I was always the "default parent" and responsible for dealing with it if DS started crying or tried to throw himself off the sofa.

We got through it. I had some calm conversations and also yelled some. I went back to work, breastfeeding tapered down and things got more even. We went on to have DC2 and he has been utterly fabulous with him. In hindsight, a big part of the issue was nervousness and not knowing what best to do on both our parts, but as the mother I didn't have the option of leaving it to someone else, whereas he did.

On the other hand, sometimes the birth of a baby reveals that a man who seemed OK is actually a selfish horse's arse. Talk about what you're feeling, try not to play the who-is-more-tired game, spell out to him exactly what you need, and give it some time. Honestly, a real turning point for us was when DH popped out for the papers by himself and then impulsively decided to run to Tesco, and I lost my fucking shit at him and shouted "DO YOU HAVE ANY FUCKING IDEA HOW RELAXING GOING TO TESCO BY YOURSELF SOUNDS TO ME RIGHT NOW?" He just genuinely had no idea how suffocating it can feel to be tied down to a newborn.

But if you communicate and give it a year and he can't or won't step up... think about whether you are prepared to walk away.

HollyGoLoudly1 · 27/10/2018 20:34

Thanks everyone. I already feel slightly calmer knowing it's not just me. I had worked myself into a state earlier worrying about whether we would end up splitting up, which I know is a bit melodramatic at this point. Think I had a bit of a fairytale idea of what our life would be like with the baby and obviously reality is quite different.

He hasnt done anything major wrong but a PP summed it up - it feels like my life has been turned upside down and his has basically stayed the same. I don't feel like he understands or appreciates at all how hard it has been, recovering, learning to breastfeed, being solely responsible for our baby when he went back to work - he just takes it all for granted and it's making me feel differently about him. Hope the wise MN posters are right and this too shall pass.

OP posts:
Larrythecat · 27/10/2018 20:50

I think some men have been raised to believe that the mothers do all the work out of maternal love and that we actually enjoy it and are better at it. I felt like that too and DH answer was "why don't you ask me to help if you feel like that?". Problem is, many like him understand stepping up as "help", as if it has nothing to do with their duty. It is usually preceded by pregnancy, when many mothers spend their free hours reading baby books, checking pregnancy stages and getting things ready. Many fathers only start the parenting process after baby is born, so there's a 9 month deleu there too. It doesn't help that they might go to work a couple of weeks later, "resuming normality" or pre-baby stage out of the house, whereas the mum tends to stay and deal with all of it. I found that the only way to stop being bitter was to tell him what needed to be done as in "Could you do X task, while I'm doing Y?" Definitely don't wait and hope he mindreads or understand the needs all of a sudden. Ask him to do stuff there and then, instead of complaining for stuff he has not done before. Eventually he will get into a routine and will see those tasks as his as well.

Larrythecat · 27/10/2018 20:51

*delay not delue


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SuperMumTum · 27/10/2018 21:15

My DPs behaviour and attitude after the birth of DD was crap. He came across ok but when it came down to it was a lazy, alcoholic, selfish shite. I kept going. Doing what millions of women do every day. Somehow we stayed together and had DS a few years later but the love had gone. His laziness and complete lack of interest in supporting me or being a proper family (he was and still is great with the kids, has a good job etc) was the beginning of the end. I started refusing sex so he quickly had an affair and that's it. I'm now a single parent (and a million times happier but that's another thread...) My advice is to deal with it now before you start to internalise it all and hate him and it becomes too much to address. Talk to him. Spell out what's wrong. Don't just ignore it and hope it goes away.

Sed1 · 27/10/2018 22:50

I too think this is normal. As much as it annoys me to say. Can only speak from my experience so far since having DS recently i found myself being hard on DH.
I think i find the hardest thing is to expect him to be the mirror of me with parenting and forgetting that despite me going through birth etc, he too has suddenly had this big change.
I resent him for sleeping when i am up all night and having my DM who is staying to help while we adjust stepping in to keep me company at night.
Managed to get him to open up to me
(which he found hard) and yes our DS is his world he is finding it hard to think the way i do. I.e. baby been up all night... He takes over in morning.
Sounds like you too have a good relationship just the change to its dynamic is though. Might be worth if possible sitting down while baby is sleeping and talk through what were your expectations of being parents vs reality and finding common ground to work on.
Hope it all works out x

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