Don't know what to do with DH

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-18-2012
Don't know what to do with DH
3
Sun, 11-04-2012 - 10:11pm

Hi all. I'm not sure this is the appropriate place in the forum to put this but since you are all such awesome ladies I thought I would try here first. My DD is 9 weeks old. I'm EP'ing and despite a bumpy start and getting into a routine and actually starting to really enjoy her. However, this week my DH totally had a meltdown. He's struggling with feelings of inadequacy. He thinks the dog and our daughter hate him. If I leave to go do errands he says she "screams the whole time" while I'm gone. He says he wants to figure things out by himself and he doesn't want me swooping in to help but he gets so frustrated and upset. It's not that he's incapable, he's just impatient and then when all he's trying isn't working, he gets angry. Which makes him about as soothing as a chainsaw to our daughter. Then when I manage to calm her, he gets even more angry. I am not the kind of mom who has to do everything myself. My husband works from home so while I've been home on leave he gets to see her multiple times a day. He's the primary bath giver, he feeds her in the evenings so I can have some time to myself, he puts her to bed and changes lots of diapers. He's involved. I can't figure out how to support him. I keep telling him he's doing a great job and that we're both still learning. I offer suggestions when asked but stay quiet when not. I'm trying to encourage him to talk to his friends who are dads but I know he thinks it would be like admitting a weakness or failure. Thoughts ? Suggestions ? Recipes for some extremely awesome dessert that will make me forget how frustrated I am ? Wink I can't keep being the full time baby and dog caregiver ( oh yeah did I mention that my dog gets EXTREMELY clingy and nervous when anybody in the house gets angry or raises their voice ?) So I'm constantly tripping over the dog and trying to sooth him, and my baby, and my husband. HELP !!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2013
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 4:42pm
I am so there! my DH was fabulous with our son, but is totally a stressball with our twin daughters, and takes it out on all of us, me, DS (now terrible 2), dogs, and DDs. I had to kick him out one night when the girls were having a scream-a-thon and tell him to go get a beer, or three. That worked. He took the hint and has self-regulated better, asked for help more, and taken more time off since. I'm a little jealous of how well he gets to take care of himself (18 holes of golf last Sat!) but my life is more sane when he's happy, so I'm going with it, for now ;)
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2012
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 9:30pm
I really hope things have smoothed themselves out for you and your husband. I did have to laugh and share your post with my husband. I told him it sounded familiar. But those days seem so far away and I hope they do now for you. My line I kept telling my dh is that she was in me for how long, she's used to the way I move, talk, etc. Things get so much better! Good Luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2004
Tue, 11-06-2012 - 12:47pm

I think it's great your DH does step up and do whatever he can...it takes time to become a great parent (with lots of bumps along the way!) and even more time to realize that staying positive and calm when our LO's need us most can be challenging too - and that's ok!

Obviously his DD does not 'hate' him...he bathes her, feeds her at night and tucks her into bed!  If she 'hated' him, she'd express it every time he tried to do anything for her!  Babies are interesting creatures...they don't come with a handbook and sometimes they just want Mom and sometimes just Dad and hey, sometimes NOTHING works!!  When my DD was a newborn, DH had a better way to calm her to sleep/settle then I could.  Sometimes I could get her to settle, other times she just wanted to lay on his chest and sleep...not whatever I was attempting to do to get her calm!  I think your DH is likely going through some stress with a newborn and a family pet that is also demanding some attention too can add to the stress.  Alot of times Dad's can take some time to really bond and understand their babies since Mom is often primary caregiver...but it sounds like your DH is available at home which is good! 

I think you are doing whatever you can to help everyone adjust.  Supporting him when asked and staying out of it when not, is likely best, since otherwise you'd be taking over! LOL! Wink

Hang in there...you guys are doing a great job!  Maybe a quiet talk with your DH one evening after little one is in bed about what you notice and what is good vs not so good would help!  Make sure to tell him he's appreciated for all he does do too...they like that! Wink