What do I say?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What do I say?
4
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 9:25am
DH and I were casually talking about babies the other night and he said that he thought the dogs were scared of being neglected when we have a baby. I laughed and told him they knew better than that and while a baby can be a lot of work, there would be times when the baby was asleep that it could just be me and the dogs. Plus, I think the dogs will be extremely protective of a baby because they're extremely protective of anything I have!

Anyway, he then said that he's afraid that I would neglect him (kind of that I'm just a sperm donor and then I'll be tossed aside attitude). It really made me mad and I told him that hurt my feelings that he would say something like that and especially that he would believe it. He said that it was inevitable that I would neglect him.

Personally, I think that is an unfair argument. I can't prove to him until AFTER we have a baby that I won't neglect him and some days no matter how much I shower him with attention he still feels neglected. I've fixed pancakes four mornings out of the last five (he had homemade hashbrowns, eggs and ham that day) and he was all insulted and felt neglected because he had to eat cereal this morning with fresh strawberries sliced on it. I'm in the middle of having all these tests run for arthritis, fibromyalgia, etc. and he's feeling neglected because ONE freaking day out of the week he has to eat cereal?

To those of you who have children, how do you make sure you don't neglect your husbands? To those of you waiting to have kids, has this issue come up and if so, how did you handle it? I've been in a "funk" (DH's word, not mine) since our conversation because I just don't know what to say or do. I don't like to make promises I'm not sure I can keep and promising that I will never have to neglect him because of a baby doesn't seem do-able. DH is an only child and I've never thought he was a stereo-typcial spoiled brat only child like his mother, who is also an only child, but sometimes he pulls stunts like this and it just makes me crazy. Any advice or words of wisdom you can spare will be greatly appreciated. This has really been bugging me the last couple of days and I know with the weekend coming up, this conversation is likely to rear its ugly head again.

Avatar for pitzerja
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: theraptor
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 10:49am
OK, as the wife of a high-maintenance/needy DH, I know exactly what you are going through AND we do have a child already (in addition to DH, lol!)

Honestly, he will get "neglected" a little bit, if he wants to look at it that way. You will be busy with the new baby and you won't have the mental and physical energy to baby him like you do now. LMAO at the pancakes every morning, sorry! ;)

My advice, when you get pregnant, try to include him in everything. Get him to bond with the baby before it is even born. It will probably be most difficult up front when the baby is small, but there are a lot of things you can do to make him feel more included. If you are planning to breast feed, be sure to pump and have him feed the baby the breastmilk with a bottle. If he is bonding with the baby and is busy, he will be less likely to feel neglected by you and he will also be getting affection from his new child. Also, as hard as it will be, TAKE time away from the baby to go on dates and have time alone with him. It is easy to get lost in parenting, you start calling each other "mommy" and "daddy", you spend all your time talking about the baby, and you can lose sight of the romance, excitement, and sexual side of your relationship, which is very important (especially the sex issue for guys).

He will survive, but you will need to work at stroking his ego and make sure he does feel like he is included in everything.

Hope this helps!

JenP - WTT#2, Sept 2003

Avatar for jlynna12
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: theraptor
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 2:53pm
that is a tough one. My DH has not brought it up, but I wouldn't be surprised if it does. I think it's natural for men to feel that they might be neglected. I know I've seen quite a bit of writing about it. I think the best thing is to just be honest, and say that there may be times when you will not come first. That is something he'll need to understand. If the baby needs to be fed, and is crying, and he wants to have a little "loving", the baby is going to come first. But he also should understand that it isn't intentional, it's necessary. Sounds like him being an only child might have a lot to do with it. He's used to having his parents all alone, then you....he might not know how to share the "limelight" with anyone else when it comes to someone's love and attention. Assurance that you love him is all i can suggest you to do. While you won't have time to make him pancakes and homemade breakfast all the time, the fact that you gave him fresh strawberries should be the affection.....when a baby comes, the only thing you might have time to do is write him a message in the fog on a mirror so when he fogs it up, he sees what you wrote, or slipping a love note in his briefcase or lunch, calling and leaving him a message that you're thinking of him and missing him. That will be the time when all those little "romance" suggestions will come into play big time! Good luck with all this!!!

Jlynn

 

           
Jlynn, Momma to Asher and Ada

Avatar for jlynna12
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: theraptor
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 2:55pm
you know, come to think of it, why do women never tell their DH's they're afraid of becoming neglected after a baby is born. Couldn't it happen to us just as easily?

 

           
Jlynn, Momma to Asher and Ada

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
In reply to: theraptor
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 7:11pm
First of all, if he's feeling THAT bad over having cereal ONE morning, then he's very likely to feel neglected when you're caring for a newborn. Is he going to blame you when you're in the hospital and not allowed to go home to cook for him? But seriously, this is a pretty common issue among fathers. They're kind of jealous of the attention their wife is getting (and then the tables often turn when the pregant woman, who has been showered with attention, suddenly has to take second to the new baby). I don't see how you could possibly tell him with any confidence that you'll never get behind with house work, you'll always fix him a hot breakfast (pop tarts not falling under that category), you'll have wild sex every night, and NOTHING will change b/c you two become parents. If life doesn't change b/c you have a baby, then something isn't right. What you can very honestly reassure him of is that you'll love him just as much and probably more as you see his love for his child and you take on the new role and partnership as parents. It's not your duty not to "neglect" him--if you don't fix his breakfast then he can fix his own. There are certain things only a woman can provide (wink) and breakfast is not one of them! I know it's just an example, but sheesh! You'll both take on a different outlook when you see that little tiny perfect human that you've created, and I think it'll probably wipe out this selfish side your DH is showing. If ALL of your time is spent caring for the baby, then one thing and one thing only becomes obvious: DH isn't doing his part! It's then not that you're neglecting him, but that he's leaving you to do all of the work!

Sarah

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