Breastfeeding Mom Resents Husband’s Lack of Warmth and Support
For some couples, romance seems to fly out of the window with the arrival of a new baby.
Yes, expecting a baby could be one of the most exciting periods of your life as a couple. But, the moment a baby is born, everything in your life together and your own individuality undergo change. You’re not just lovers now but parents. In fact, a lot of the fire and passion in your relationship may fizzle out for some months or years as your baby slowly grows.
According to ParentCircle.Com, these are some of the challenges that new parents often face:
- Making lifestyle changes. A new mom must bear the responsibility of nursing and taking care of the baby. She must not forget to take care of herself at the same time. A new father must learn how to lend a hand because feeding and nurturing a baby is 24/7 work for the mother.
- Lack of sleep and exhaustion. Taking care of the baby is a day and night duty. And yet, there are other things that need to be done at home. All these duties can totally drain a woman, and she can’t even have enough sleep while caring for her newborn child who tends to wake up any time of the day or night. This is why her husband needs to support her in every way he can.
- Lack of intimacy. After childbirth, a new mom’s life is centered on taking care of the baby while the father goes to work and continues with life outside the family home. This creates a distance between a couple, which they must resolve by taking a break from parenting and spending time together.
Unfortunately, these are the kinds of challenges that this mom and her husband are unable to overcome at this stage of their marriage, even though they already have a 2-year-old daughter. The arrival of their baby son has changed their lifestyle to the point that they are growing more and more distant each day.
With the username Chumbibi, this Original Poster published her story on Mumsnet, and she began with the following details: “We have DD who is 2.4 and DS who is 5 months. DS been in-room with me since birth and since then, DH has moved into the spare room. DD and DS both EBF, so DH has NEVER had to do a night feed. DD has always been a good sleeper, slept through at 6 months and has always done a solid 12 hours. Maybe one or two nights a week she will wake up, and a couple of phases where she’s woken once a night for a couple of weeks here and there.”
However, according to OP, her husband has insisted on sleeping in their house’s spare room since the birth of their son. His reason was he needed a peaceful sleep so he could get up early to take care of their daughter and go to work. He also told her that he would only return to their bedroom when their son was sleeping in his own room.
OP continued to write in her post, “I will probs move him at 6 months, but beforehand, we need to move DD into the spare room so DS can go in her cot in her old room, but I want to do this a few weeks beforehand so she doesn’t feel like her brother has turfed her out. DH is refusing to sleep in our room and says he will sleep on the sofa. Told him I’m upset and that I miss him in our room and feel it deprives us of connection and intimacy. He doesn’t get it and says he needs his sleep to help me in the day.”
At the end of her post, OP also revealed more hurt feelings: “I’m severely sleep deprived. Full of cold and mouth ulcers. He says I don’t know how lucky I am, given that he helps so much. Which he does, but I think he’s lucky he doesn’t have to do nights! AIBU?”
Well, commenters are divided in their opinions concerning this situation since the baby is exclusively breastfed. Adaptation could be made if at least the infant is able to feed on expressed milk in a bottle. Then the father could participate in baby feeding to help the mom out more. Though, ultimately, if a man really wants to help his wife, he will find a way to ease her burden and take the opportunity to shower sweet affection on his child.
Here are some of the relevant opinions and advice from other parents on Mumsnet:
Willowrose63 wrote, “Someone said to me before I had my daughter ‘there’s no point in both of you being tired.’ I’m sure you can guess that was the husband! I think that’s absolute bollocks! I did all night waking for the first few weeks with our child alone, and it was bloody awful. We then changed it up a bit and during certain hours (I think before midnight and after 5 am), he would get up and bring baby to me to bf, and then he would change nappy and settle her back to sleep. Everyone’s situation is different, but I think there really isn’t a reasonable reason why one partner has to do every night waking every single night. It’s torture!”
PinkPlantCase commented, “You absolutely can share night wakings with a breastfed baby, from around 6 months me and DH took it in turns to do the night wake-ups. In the newborn days, DH would get up, change the nappy, and pass the baby to me. Intimacy in a marriage is also important. Your DH is being selfish. Can you approach from the point of view of you needing his help? Might be more receptive to it being phrased that way.”
Meanwhile, strivingtosucceed shared these words: “I slightly see where you’re coming from, but I don’t really understand the benefit of your husband being awake with you at night when he’s going to take care of the 2-year-old in the morning and then go to work, especially if the baby is ebf. He should definitely be helping if the baby is unwell or unusually distressed, but I’d be wanting him to be as well-rested as possible so he can a) get to work and do it safely and b) be fully able to take care of the kids when he’s home so you can have some rest. Seems like you’re a bit resentful that you are getting broken sleep while he gets some good continuous hours in. It sucks, but seems to be the best way forward for now.”
DashboardConfessional’s experience as a mom is also worth noting: “DH stayed with me in our room when DS was breastfeeding, but I got good at waking as soon as DS snuffled, quick feed, and back down. DH didn’t often wake. But when we had bad nights with cold/teething/general sleep issues, he would do hours up at a time. For me, it didn’t make sense for him to wake with me at 5 months. The real test was when DS used to be awake randomly from 2am to 5am, and DH would deal with it.”
What do you think they should do?Whizzco