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getting dad involved

  1. #1
    hkmom1 is offline Registered User
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    getting dad involved

    Hi,

    I've like to ask for some help here. My son is 8 months old and I'm growing more and more frustrated with my husband. I realize that dads have a different type of connection to the child but I just really have a hard time with how he prioritizes time with our son. He works a lot on weekdays and I realize he's tired but it seems all he wants to do on weekends is sleep or lay on the couch and watch TV instead of spending time with our child.

    Have other mommies here deal with that and how?

  2. #2
    dany is offline Registered User
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    Hi hkmom1,
    This is really the crucial time, 'coz your husband will surely regret if your son doesn't follow him in the future. How about joining some parental/child playgroups for both of them?

    Dany

  3. #3
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    my husband was yours hkmom1 in the beginning - but now that our daughter is 20mths old he spends a lot of time with her - from changing her, playing with her, feeding her, swimming with her etc. when i talked to my husband about why he didn't seem to be interested back then (1st year more or less), he says he didn't know how to handle something so small and also something that really didn't have any reaction in a sense....all I'm saying is, it will get getter - men are perhaps like that, I am sure there is nothing major to worry about particularly since you have a baby boy - ball games and stuff like that (more typical male I guess) will come along as they grow older....one thing my husband will never get is how to tie up our daughters hair the way she likes it! :)

  4. #4
    jvn
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    It's a tough one because as you say dads do often have a different connection and, when they're at work all week and the baby doesn't see them much, the baby can often want the mum or helper more anyway!

    I don't have too much advice but I wonder if it is really that he wants to sit on the couch or is it that he is wary of doing something wrong/making the baby cry/not knowing how to play/looking stupid/getting criticised and is covering it up by saying he's too tired?

    Depending on what you think might be holding him back could you get him excited about a trip to toys r us to get some 'boys toys' - big lego or a truck or something and then pop out and leave them on their own to play with it for a bit. Then if he's feeling self concious about playing he can be silly with your son without witnesses!

    I don't know much about babies as I never knew any before I had my son and sometimes I look at my helper for cues about how to play, songs to sing and what will make him laugh so I can imagine how much more difficult it might be for a dad who is at work all week.

    Dany, I think it's a good suggestion about the playgroups but a lot of them have circle time with singing and dancing and, no idea what your husband is like, but some dads would feel massively uncomfortable in that environment, I know mine would!

    I guess it all depends what your husband is like and what you think is behind all the baby avoidance hkmom1! Good luck.

  5. #5
    ssheng is offline Registered User
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    My husband has similar hours and sometimes I feel like he could focus more on our baby - for him it's not couch and TV, but gym and internet surfing.
    What worked for me was just to 'show' him how to play with our baby. I think your husband might be insecure about that since he's working during the week. We have a play station and I would ask my husband to play with our daughter for 15-30 minutes while I was getting ready in the morning on Sunday (helper's day off)...show him how he can show her the toys and explain them to her, etc. That way, he has to watch her since there is no one else to do it, and it's a limited amount of time, so it's not overwhelming. And, SHHH, I admit that I also made it more fun for him because when I came back to check on him he was super excited that she had grabbed a toy on her own, and I made a big deal out of it, even though she had already done that for the first time earlier that week. :) It was worth it though...he was so proud and it made him want to play with our daughter more so he could 'teach' her more things!

  6. #6
    Shenzhennifer is offline Registered User
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    I wish I could offer some advice, but I'm in kind of the same situation, and my boy is 16 months old. My husband likes to 'relax' a lot on the weekend and doesn't seem to make a big effort to play with our son. I guess he doesn't really know how to...anyway, I have to admit it's really affected our marriage, at least my opinion of him. I can't wait to read more responses from women who have gotten past this stage.

  7. #7
    southside852 is offline Registered User
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    it's a hard situation. I actually don't think most dad's are good at "playing" at home with their child until they are 4-5 yrs old. I know my husband doesn't really have the patience to paint with our 29 month yr old at the table or do play dough. It's fine with me and so I do that a lot during the week when it's just me. Most dad's work all day (if you are a SAHM) and then the weekend is usually for them to rest. What works for our family is that I always plan 1 thing on Saturday and 1 thing on Sunday for us to do together as a family (without our helper) whether it's in the morning or afternoon. It's usually something more physical - Ocean Park, playgrounds, museums, beach, zoo etc...This way, my husband doesn't have to think about what to do and he can take it easy during the other part of the day. I think another factor that plays a role in how involved they get is how their father's were with them or if their older sibling (if they have one) has children. My husband's brother is 5 yrs old and very involved with his children and he sees that as a model too. Sometimes I schedule with another friend's daddy a daddy playdate outdoors or even at our hse, but I am just not home. My husband knows he's in charge of swimming in the pool with my son b/c he loves to swim. This is their time together and my son loves it. He's in charge of going to the market over the weekend and always takes our son with him too. I guess it's a different kind of playing, but the bottom line is that they spend quality time together and then we spend quality time together as a family. My husband knows this is his time with son and he likes having that responsibility too. It has worked extremely well for us!
    Last edited by southside852; 05-25-2010 at 07:25 AM.

  8. #8
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    When my daughter was first born, my hubby was almost scared of her. He did get over that stage though and now at 19 months, he's brilliant with her, very involved...

    My hubby's dad was never a kid person and I don't think that he did much with my hubby until he was even older - probably in school. My FIL is very "intellectual" and relates better to people on that level. Very hard for a child to relate like that!! But anyway - I can see that he tries with his granddaughter but he's somewhat clueless ;) I do think though that he's been a great dad for my hubby, even though he probably never "played" with him like that. When you look at a whole life, that stage really is so short and there are so many other ways that a dad can interact with a child. It's just finding what works for that dad/child... And encouraging them rather than condemning them.

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