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Help with DP please

9 replies

Jasmum · 25/05/2003 11:57

I need some advice & words of encouragement please.
Long story but I will try to keep it brief.
After another potential row yesterday with DP I decided to change the pattern of behaviour & not let it get to another horrible row where we don't speak for 2 dyas have another row one of us walks out & generally DP ends up phoning asking to sort things out, which by then am happy to do so as the atmosphere has been so awful at home. We have an 8mo DD & I refuse to row in front of her anymore, so I calmly said we needed to talk as I wasn't happy to which he replied I don't want to talk I want to read my paper in peace for a couple of hours (DD lunchtime nap is 2hrs). So I went to the gym & decided that I wasn't going to go to his parents for the weekend as planned as I couldn't bear another weekend of rowing & sulking at his mothers house or the car journey there.
DP is quite highly strung & doens't handle stressful situations in a calm manner. He can be very moody & the crux of it is that I really don't think he can handle the pressure of being a parent. He seems to treat DP as a chore something that needs to be fed, rested & played with. Theres no doubt that he loves her & in most respects he is a good dad. But he never takes her anywhere on his own without me & on a Saturday mornign he likes to go out & have breakfast go tot he bank etc etc. He works full-time & has his own business & I'm a sahm so I really would like a break at the weekend. We don't seem to be able to come to a happy compromise I can't make him want to spend time just at home with his DD playing we always have to have something planned which always includes me. He say's things like I've had her for half an hour can you have her now. I suppose we better get the bath ready. Sorry you've got to look after DD on your own today. I was ill a couple of weeks ago & couldn't get out of bed so he had to take the day of work to look after her well he stomped around & did admit later that he really dodn't want to do it but he had enjoyed it.
I find myself not knowing what sort of mood he's going to be in or come home in. He's happy for the first 10 mins then does things complainng he never has anytime for himself.
He's driving me bonkers so after I said I wasn't going to his mums he went & took DD with him. He slammed around getting things ready I tried to help but he told me to f off & not talk to him.
I needed a break from him & I knew if he didn't take DD he'd of been back within an hour then the rows will of started & I just can't do it anymore.I beleive he lvoes me but that he just can't handle the change of life, the monotony & the routine but won't admit it to himself.
I called his mother last night to see how she was & then he arrived back here on his own to collect some bits for her, he completely ignored me event hough I asked how she was & then he stormed out again. I rang him this morning to ask when he's bringing her back & he said tomorrow...I really miss her & am worried I've done the wrong thing. Until he's ready to talk I stand no chance of getting near him I hope/hoped that the me not going would give him time to reflect on things but I only appear to of made him angrier & more resentful. When he gets back no doubt there's going to be the big rows & if I had my baby I'd probably run away now.
Sorry I've probably bored you all stupid but I feel better for writing it down.

OP posts:

WideWebWitch · 25/05/2003 13:15

Jasmum, glad you feel better for writing it down. I'm not sure I've got any words of wisdom here really but I don't think what you're going through is that unusual in new parents with a small baby. The whole thing is a big shock and actually, much as you might love them, they are hard work. Well, I think so anyway!

It's well known that many couples row a lot or split up during the first year with a new baby. Could you try talking about both of you getting a break for say, half the day on Saturdays and Sundays? If he spends a bit of time with your dd he may realise that what you do during the week is work too. Maybe he's resentful because he sees your not going to his mum's as you getting a break while he is responsible for your dd? I'm not saying this is reasonable (not AT ALL) but is it possible?

I also think that some men are nervous of looking after small babies on their own because they don't know what to do and hate not being capable and in control but they're damn well not going to admit it. Could this be the case? My view is that they'll stay this way unless they get some practice though so I don't think they should get away with this "I've been working hard all week I need a break" business, not at all. I don't know if maybe I'm being too generous towards your dp here, since it does sound as if he's not being very understanding or willing to resolve your problems. OTOH I do think sometimes men find babies boring and are shocked by the whole new parent thing too - it's just that they maybe find it harder to admit than women. It does sound as if some honest talking is needed here and he really needs to tell you how he feels and to be honest about it. You also need him to properly listen to how you feel (sorry if this is stating the obvious). Good for you managing not to row yesterday and good luck sorting it out.


runragged · 25/05/2003 19:51

Jasmum, poor you. From many many hours of comunal moaning with my other mum friends we can catergorically say that men are totally useless, bone idle, thoughtless and impossible and bizarrly enough even though in our little group there is a GP, gardener, newsman and maintenance they have all been created from the same mould. Our children are now all 3 but I remember the pre 1yo phase well. Generally doing any activity without me was only possible if I prepared the changing bag, explained where to park and gave him an itinerary. If I was to say sneak off at lunch time without preparing some lunch for DD she either wouldn't be fed or would have been given something totally unsuitable (I mean how hard is it to give them cereal if inspiration really fails!)

I could throttle my DH sometimes, he has to have a sleep on a weekend afternoon, finds it impossible to tidy up or find any clean washing unless it is in the drawer. One day shortly after DD was born I went down to visit my mum and all the washing was sorted in the spare room but I hadn't put it in the drawers and DH wore swimming trunks for a week because he couldn't figure out where his boxers were!!

I would tell you this though, I agree with WWW, men do find childcare really hard and in the beginning once the novelty wears off not very interesting. We spend all day every day with them and notice every little thing, rolling over, sitting up, a love of strawberries, where as mendon't, to them they are just babies. BUT and this is the big but when the children start to walk, talk develope a really cheeky sense of humour (about 18 months-2y) fathers seem to fall in love with them all over again and really enjoy their company. DH takes our 2 on the bus, to the park etc, still has to be pushed but is willing.

Once they become little people, they do become a delight and give you something to really talk about, instead of "Can't you shut that child up I've got to be up at 6" etc. WWW is right it really is tough for both of you in the first year but if I was to suggest anything I would say that use any really good friends you have to have big moans and tears and try to rise above it at home. Sleep deprivation is an absolute killer and makes all rows worse for every one so try to let less get to you. Try to have a afternoon nap, I swear by it - if you can't sleep become a Neighbours addict, oh and Doctors is very good. Perhaps he is hiding some kind of worry about providing for the family as he is self employed. Talking is always good if you can get him to do it but if you try to hard he may see it as nagging, there is no happy medium in this game!!!

I hope it all gets better for you, it is a long slog but if you can work through it things do improve.

I just read this again and it sounds like I'm suggesting you do all the "putting up with". I'm not I am making suggestion to help you cope because if you are coping he might improve by default.


emwi · 25/05/2003 19:53

It's good you're trying to stay calm and not row, it sounds like you need to talk about what expectations you've got about caring for dd. However, there are talks and talks. One top tip for "having a talk" with a man is to do it while out for a walk - it's something to do with them feeling trapped if they're stuck in a room with you having to discuss "issues". Perhaps a book on conflict resolution might give you a few pointers for avoiding rows in your discussions since you are willing to take the responsiblity for keeping things calm.

My dh and I have had some discussions revolving around the fact that we have a dd. Dw (me), dh and dd all have needs, and how are they best met. It's very easy to get cross and resentful when you can't do all the things you enjoyed before and until you realise what fun a baby can be. I found sleep deprivation turned myself and dh into somewhat testy co-habitees. This was resolved when dd started sleeping through.

Another slightly bizarre thing I worked out was because my day was starting one or two hours earlier than it used to I needed a really substantial snack at around 10.30 - poached egg on toast or something, otherwise I'd turn into a low blood sugar demon. I don't know if this might be affecting your dh - does he get very cross when deprived of food? The trick is to eat protein and complex carbohydrates not sweets and white bread.

Good luck with this issue.


sibble · 25/05/2003 20:24

I just wanted to agree with the other comments. There seem to be very few men who are interested and able to cope with babies and young children but they do seem to gain interest when they can "do things", talk and be more involved. My DS is now 3 and DH will (with a bit of persuasion take him for a walk, to the park etc so I can have a break). I was lucky when DS was small my family provided some support and from a young age he stayed there 1 night a week so we could have a good sleep, sleep in, go out if we wanted etc. I too was sick when DS was a few months old and DH refused to stay home so my poor Nan (nearly 80) travelled 2 hours each way by bus to help and spent the next 2 days in bed with same stomach bug. Is there anybody who can help other than your DP. I personally believe that men become jealous of the love, attention and bond you have with your children and "act up" for their share of attention. I bent over backwards to make nice meals, candlelit dinners etc (sometimes through gritted teeth) but it always eased the air. I eventually got too tired to fight about it.
My DH is a different person (not stroppy) when DS is asleep or elsewhere.
have read this back and probably not much help except to let you know you are not alone and it does get better. Hang in there.


Holly02 · 26/05/2003 00:20

Jasmum, when my ds was born, dh said "wake me up when he's 3."

He was being facetious of course but basically he meant that a) he knew what hard work babies & toddlers were because he'd been there/done that before, and b) men don't have a great deal of interest in babies until they get to a point of being old enough to interact and communicate with.

My ds will be turning 3 in about six weeks' time and things are definitely easier now than they were when he was 1 and 2. So if you and your dp can hang in there, you'll find that he will probably start to enjoy it more as your daughter gets older. Once your child gets a little more independent and is able to express themselves, it becomes a little bit less demanding on you and your time. Best of luck with everything.


Holly02 · 26/05/2003 00:46

Oops, I meant express 'herself' not 'themselves'.


Jasmum · 27/05/2003 18:53

Thanks guys I feel much better & had a good chat with DP after the predicted row, we both acknowledge we have to change the way we deal with things & quickly before we destroy what we have with silly petty rows.
I have some good friends to have a good moan to & we often marvell at how men sometimes can be so thoughtless & selfish with what appears to be no conscience.....
Weather he will take her anywhere on his own remains to be seen but the 24hrs on his own with her was very good for him & he came back absolutely knackered, it's like hello welcome to my world! They are such hardwork especially as my DD has just started crawling & is getting very frustrated as she's not got the speed yet & I keep being told that the hardwork hasn't started yet so we'll see what happens but right now it's back to smiles at my place which is a welcome change!

OP posts:

SamboM · 27/05/2003 19:26

Jasmum, as WWW said I think almost everyone goes through something like this. My DH, though very willing, was fairly like yours (DD is nearly 9 months) and I'm pretty sure it was mainly because he was a bit scared and didn't really know what to do with DD.

The reason I say this is he has just taken a week's parental leave to get over this, spent the whole week with her and it's like having a different person around her! He interacts with her so much better, can see to all her needs and feels more in control, doesn't have to ask me about every little thing.

After 2 days he said to me "OK you've proved your point, it IS very hard work" but I never actually had a point, it was his idea to take the time off! Then after about 4 days he had really got into the swing of it and told me how much he was enjoying it.

You are always going to have the problem of you both being tired and wanting rest, we take it in turns at weekends to get up and try to go and stay with parents every 3 weeks so we both get a lie-in.

Hope things improve, and if his business can afford it I really recommend that he spend time alone with your dd, the only way any of us learn to cope is through being thrown in at the deep end, let's face it!


codswallop · 27/05/2003 19:29

Agree with all this - they dont get babies..
However I have sen many friends go mad with the incessant sharing "My time " and "his time"
I woould lead by example and he may follow. Go on exciting adventures that exclude him and be very casual about them - he willl soon want to come

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