Preparing DH for life with newborn

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Preparing DH for life with newborn
17
Fri, 01-01-2010 - 11:51pm

I'm feeling a little frustrated with my DH lately and his concept of what life with a newborn is going to be like. Don't get me wrong, he has been great about helping me get the nursery setup (I think he's nesting because he wants everything setup like now, LOL) but when I try to talk to him about how I'm going to be feeling and the demands the baby is going to have on me, I just don't think he gets it.


For example, he doesn't seem to understand why I need a breast pump (still researching them) - just today I was telling him about him helping me with the feedings (if he could give the baby expressed milk) so I could get some sleep and his response was, "Couldn't you take naps during the day?" and I said, "Well she'll still need to eat during the day! Some babies eat every hour!"

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 4:58am

Besides our classes and talking we aren't doing that much.I am sure


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 7:52am

Thanks, Ash. You make some good points. :-) I guess the planner in me is trying to think ahead and make this transition as smooth as possible. I know we can't plan for everything and I know when the time comes, DH will buckle down and do what's needed.


Now I feel bad because DH and I were just chatting in bed and when I told him that I was a bit concerned about his lack of interest, he said he feels I don't trust him to take care of our baby. That is not what I meant at all, I told him that I was just trying to prepare him as much as possible for what life is going to be like so that it doesn't come as a complete shock. As long as our baby is fed, dressed and has

Avatar for berry81
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 9:54am

"I am just going to try and take Ella as an example for still making time for myself and for DH and I as this is what I most worried about and I think she has done an awesome job so far:)"

Wow Ash, what a sweet compliment!! Thanks :D

Christine - I would second what Ash said, and you are right that your DH most likely WILL buckle down and do what needs to be done once baby is here. But it's also true that there isn't *a lot* you can do right now to really prepare him for what's to come. Honestly, it *is* a shock in some ways - mostly good ways though! It's nearly impossible to prepare yourself or DH for what it will be like bringing your beautiful baby home. It's new, overwhelming, magical, difficult, wonderful...all wrapped into one... That being said, I think frozen meals are a great idea - and I have a feeling DH will eat them and not utter a peep once baby is here ;) Also, I'd say that you should plan on relying a lot on family in the very beginning, and please don't be afraid to ask for help. I relied so much on DH and my parents at first - and I'm not one to usually ask for a lot of help with things like cooking and cleaning around the house. But I couldn't have done it without all their help. There were days when my parents would bring us breakfast, lunch AND dinner, and because Eliza was nursing so often at first, I sometimes couldn't even feed myself so DH would sit on the ottoman in the nursery while I sat in the glider nursing, and he would feed me! It was so sweet and I will never forget those times... DH really stepped up and did a great job taking care of me so I could take care of our baby.

I say all this because I was also a little worried about my DH before Eliza was born - he didn't do any reading and he constantly joked that he would just "wing it" with baby. OMG I remember how frustrated that would make me!!

And yeah, making time for just DH and you to connect is another difficult thing, but a really important one. We went out on a date when Eliza was only a week old, and it was the best thing we could have done. We left her with my parents for just one hour and we went to dinner at a nearby restaurant. It got us both used to leaving her with someone else, and gave us a chance to actually *look each other in the eyes* for the first time in nearly a week!! Of course all we talked about was Eliza... but yeah, I'd highly recommend this! Since then we've left her with my parents at least once a week to go out and do something - even if it's just to go grocery shopping together! And, my parents love it. Now that she's taking EBM in a bottle, we can leave for longer periods of time (3.5 hours on NYE!). I'm a HUGE believer in making our relationship priority #1, though I know some might disagree and say that baby should be #1... but if there's no relationship between me and DH, there's no family for Eliza to grow up in!

Okay... sorry, that turned into a novel, and I kinda went on a tangent (this topic is kinda one of my soap boxes since it's my field of study!!! :) Hope you don't mind!!!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 10:07am

Ella,


It is a huge comfort for me to know that your DH was the same way! We talked about this in our Bradley class last week and my teacher said they should seriously make a book on tape for men. My DH piped up and said, "that would be great! I would listen to that!" I know in the end it will all work out, I just need to take a chill pill I guess.


And I agree that making time for yourself as a couple should be a priority. I definitely hope not to become one of those couples that won't go anywhere just because they have a baby. I am impressed that you started dates on week 1! Like you said, not only is it a break for you and Andy, but it gives grandparents time to bond as well.


And as far as family goes, I didn't mean we wouldn't take their help, I just didn't want to assume that they would provide all of our meals and wanted to have some on-hand so we don't have to rely on take-out. My DH is actually a good cook but his menu is pretty limited, LOL.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 10:51am

Christine - I did want to mention that DH and I had this very same conversation the other day. I sent him an article and he got upset and said "I have been reading things on my own". I had no idea that he was reading things on his lunch hour, so you never know maybe you DH is doing things in secret too :)

Ella - Thanks so much for your novel :) It really helped put things in perspective for me. I know that all our DH's are going to be great dads and when the day comes they will step up. My SIL didn't let anyone watch my niece until she was like 2 months old and they still haven't gone on a date (at 6 months) without her that I know of. and I know that I definitely don't want to do that. Everyone is different, I just know for DH and I that we are going to need to do what you and Andy are doing.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-30-2007
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 11:24am

With my DH there wasn't really much I could prepare him for because I knew he wouldn't totally 'get it' until William was here. Now that William is here, he has figured out what to do just wonderfully. As soon as he comes home from work, he takes William from me so that I can shower or have just a few minutes to myself. With getting up at night, we only both got up the first few nights home because William was cir'c and had a hematoma (sp) that if kicked could open and bleed so some one had to hold legs while the other changed. He also did the grocery shopping the 1st two weeks.

Once William was here DH stepped up. We also are lucky enough to have my dad living with us and we have been leaving DS with him for short periods of time to get out we also left DS with my parents to go out with friends and with DH's grandma to go out with his aunt and uncle. Being able to get out like used to is great- it allows us to reconnect as adults.

So I hope some of this makes sense although I am sure I have just rambled.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-13-2008
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 12:12pm

Just wanted to chime in here about the date nights.

One of the most memorable things that my parents did when I was growing up was going on dates. At first they were every other week, and then when I was old enough to babysit my younger brother, they went every week.

It made such an impact on me, that DH and I go on a date night every week. Even though there is no baby, those nights are important because it means that 1- I don't have to cook, 2- we don't have to clean, and 3- there are no distractions from us just talking like tv, or pets, etc. I look forward to them every week.

I passed on my date night idea to my friend who was having marriage problems because her DH was playing so much video games, she felt like they never did anything together, and it worked for her too. She now has at least one night a week where he plays no video games, and they do something together. For her, since money is tight, sometimes their date night is at home, but the focus is still on the two of them, and she said that it has improved their relationship a lot.

All this to say, that Ella is right, and your relationship should be #1, and a great way to do it is with date nights.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2007
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 9:22pm

I agree with everything said so far. DH can only prepare himself so much- 95% of it is "on the job" experience, meaning he won't have a clue until baby is here. But I felt as a FTM I was clueless too! But we worked as a team. We both got up during the night, both helping to change DS' diaper and dress his circ wound, DH making bottles and me feeding him. During the day, DH would wash and make new bottles for me while I fed DS, although DH still did some feedings. My DH understood somewhat my pain from stitches and such, because he had hemorroid surgery in the past.

This is not a luxury that everyone has, but PP mentioned getting someone to watch baby, even if for one hour, so you and DH can get out of the house. That's priceless. My parents, in the first 6 weeks or so, would come over, take DS and say, "OK, go, do whatever, we've got it taken care of." DH and I would go to lunch, go to Walmart, run errands, get our taxes done, or just go for a ride in the car. We were so grateful for that.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Sat, 01-02-2010 - 9:35pm

Similar to what Ella said, I really dont think I can prepare either of us for what life will really be like when the baby arrives.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Sun, 01-03-2010 - 1:59pm

I just have to agree with everyone about date night. My mother insisted we go out for dinner while she was visiting to see DS. It was great. We continued to go out every week - bowling, movies, etc but we had to take DS with us so it was NOT the same :)

I didn't realize it, but we pretty much did "date" things a couple times a week. That has always been the basis for our r/ship. I think if we were to let that go, we might have let our r/ship deteriorate in some way. That would be sad :(

As to DH, I think men prefer to just deal with what is in front of them. All babies are different so since you don't know what you have, you don't know for sure what you'll do. I had these plans - like no cosleeping (DH was dead set against it) and then we ended up cosleeping for the first 3 mos :) We both got to sleep through the night that way so we happily caved!!

Dee

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