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How did your husband change after you had your first baby?

  1. #1
    NewMommie is offline Registered User
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    How did your husband change after you had your first baby?

    I was wondering if I could get some stories/advice on how any of your husbands might have changed after becoming a first-time dad? There are a couple things I am worried about with my husband not being too mature and responsible and although my mom keeps telling me he'll change after we have the baby, I need to hear it from some moms my own age! Any stories you have would be appreciated. :)

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    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    I think the general consensus with people I know is that they don`t change - that`s that`s the problem. We go through a huge amount of change - after all, we carry the baby for 9 months, we have tons of hormones shooting around, we mentally prepare, we become maternal (many of us anyway), then we go through the whole childbirth experience - that`s more changing there. Oh and then we`re basically mostly responsible for the care of the baby, at least at first.
    My friend once told me `It takes a lot longer for a man to become a father`. Another friend confided that since she had her baby, she had a hard time looking at her husband like a man.
    And although it`s understandable because of all these things, it`s no less frustrating, aggravating, and angering when they haven`t changed like we have. Or is that just me? hehe. Sorry, if I haven`t given you too much optimism - it could just be my own experience...possibly exacerbated my my own bossy and domineering nature:)
    I sometimes feel like I have 2 kids now, even though I only gave birth to one:|

  3. #3
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    if your husband is kind, caring, considerate and wanting to make your life better before having a child, he'll be the same way after. he may even be moreso.

    however, if your husband is immature, only wanting to party, doesn't care about your feelings, looks out for himself first and foremost.... chances are he will be the same after having a baby. it IS possible that he will change, but i would not place money on it!

    if you can't picture him as a father BEFORE having the baby, i would seriously reconsider having a baby with him.

    of course, this is my personal view and opinion. it IS possible for men to change, i just think it is unlikely.

  4. #4
    aussie mum is offline Registered User
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    I couldn't imagine my husband as a father. He's a big kid himself. And yes two kids later he can still be a big kid. It's part of the reason I fell in love with him. But boy did he surprise us all as a dad. He's amazing. So hands on. A really wonderful father. He's not perfect and still likes to party more than I hAve the energy for these days but a lot less than life before children.
    I think it's important to talk about expectations upfront. I think that really helped us in the early days with our first child. ( we were in london. No helper and no family so it was pretty important he pulled his weight. I wonder if it would have worked so well here with a helper for him to pass things off to!!)

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    nbonnerf is offline Registered User
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    I think it depends on his age. the older they are they more they are ready. If they have unfinished business and think they have missed out on something then they may need a little more time to adjust. Some men just take to it so your mum may be right. hang in there it does get better. Its hard for men at first as mother nature isn't on their side to begin with so bonding etc doesn't really happen for the first year as men need something back and babies can't give that up front at least not in that way.

    N

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    carang is offline Registered User
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    i'm so glad to hear that aussie mum! i've just heard so many stories about men who don't change...

    on the other hand... my husband's best friend is a really wonderful guy. he would help anyone who needed it. but when he and his wife had their children, he was SOOOOOO stand-offish... didn't do anything to help (not a party animal, just didn't see the need). it was so bad, my husband actually felt like he needed to talk to him about helping his wife out.

  7. #7
    starbucks2 is offline Registered User
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    I totally agree that it takes men longer to bond with a new baby than for a mum - especially if mum is breastfeeding. Even so, I found the whole birth experience very surreal and my baby needed to spend his first night in intensive care so he was whisked away from me so quickly (and my husband went with him initially) and I was taken to my room. The next morning it felt like I may have dreamed it all - except for the pain I was in :)!! So in some ways the experience was more real for my husband than for me. But assuming you have a normal delivery with no dramas then I would recommend that Dads feed the baby from a bottle as early as you are comfortable so they feel they have a role and can bond. And also to give Dads a break and not snap if the nappy is not quite as tightly adhered as you'd have done it! Giving them tasks to do will help them feel more involved and allow them to bond better which in turn will make them better Dads (in theory anyway). Each man is different of course!

    We also found that we argued a lot more than usual - about routines for the new bub - controlled crying and the like. The downside of a hands on Dad!!

    SB2

  8. #8
    yonge is offline Registered User
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    My husband definitely took some time to adjust to our first. He still wanted to play video games and watch movies late into the night, go for late-night movies and supper, have lots of company over during the weekends, and do all the things we did together when we were pre-baby when it was post-baby! To tell you the truth, I did feel very sorry for him that I didn't have the energy nor the inclination to leave the baby at home anymore. Poor guy, he just lost his "girlfriend" to "motherhood"! He was traveling 5 days a week for work at the time, so he also didn't have a chance to see what it was like at home for me or the baby. I found that it helped to give him a brief download of your day to help him understand your own adjustments to better prepare him. It also helps him think in advance of ways to help you during the weekends, even if it's playing with baby for an hour so that you can get a haircut. As a "reward", we would try to go on a date every month or so - maybe a short dinner at a nearby restaurant, where I would also take the opportunity explain to him or to tell him how much I appreciated his support for things that may be really important but unfamiliar to him, such as breastfeeding. This went a long way to smoothing over all the other new rules on which I had to be firm in order to survive the first six months - early mornings/breakfast and dinners/bedtime for me, rescheduling our social gatherings from the evenings to the mornings/afternoons, etc. If you want him to be a hands-on parent, it's so important to build up his confidence, especially during this time when clearly you're the expert. Believe me, he'll be grateful for your support, especially when in public. It pains me when I see some women put down their husbands in public with respect to their children - not only would it discourage the husbands, but it would only reinforce to the children out-dated gender roles. It might help to hang out with more families with not-only similar-age children, but fathers whose parenting style and involvement you admire, but try not to compare them with your husband - even if you think it's not within hearing.

    Also, your husband must be a pretty great guy if you married him, so don't worry about making any wholesale changes to him. He'll be much more excited to parent a toddler than a newborn. In fact, I'm sure you'll appreciate him even more when no. 2 comes along - I definitely needed him to help give my elder one more attention, especially during those times when I'm trying to nurse the younger one or put him down for a nap. Nowadays, with two boisterous boys, there are often times I think he's the more energetic and creative parent as he's better able to keep up with them! You'll be living with your husband far longer than your children, so please remember to enjoy him as well as the children during this time. I definitely love and respect my husband now more than before the kids came along. Just last night, my husband and his male friends were all sharing with each other how wonderful their wives were, both as wives and mothers, keeping them level-headed. After 2 university degrees and 12 years in the corporate world, this compliment warmed me more than any "achievement" I had received. Good luck, keep communicating, and enjoy!!

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