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I need some input on parenting and my wife.

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by edible_chicken, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. edible_chicken

    edible_chicken Songster

    May 15, 2011
    I feel that my wife is not fulfilling her duty as a full time mother. We have a five week old son and is our first child. We agreed she will be a full-time stay at home mom for however long she wants while I look for a job and start working; I am currently unemployed for seven months, but about to start a new job in coming weeks. Our agreement has been she does majority of rearing our child. I take care of him as much as I can during the day, which equals to about 3-6 hours of the day. Sometimes more or less, depends if im job hunting or interviewing. We are living at her mom's. We relocated to the area in hopes I can find better employment. The mother's mom (Baby's grandmother) will take care of him for about 8-12 hours of the day and not at night. So, really the only time the mother has to take care of him is at night.....which she may take care of him for about 7 hours (from 10pm till 5am) and she insists that I and her mom take care of him from 5am and on rest of the day. His mom occasionally cares for him during the day, but sometimes it is sporadic, and very few times up to 6 hours, but she usually hands him off to me or the grandmother

    Now, I am becoming upset with the situation of her not rearing our child. She gets stressed because he wakes up every two hours at night either to eat or wants to be held. (The mother and grandmother will typically hold him for the entire day. When I care for him, I try not to hold him the whole time by laying him in the bassinet or swing.) I don't care what the professionals say "you cannot spoil" a newborn, because you most certainly can! I explained to my wife and grandmother, it is not about leaving him in the crib or bassinate while he is crying, it is when he is content and happy is when to lay him down. of course, my wife and her mother are not very receptive of my advice giving.

    Now, my question is, am I being unreasonable that his mother should start picking up more responsibility of caring for our child? I admit, I have a hard time caring for him during the night, which is why my wife takes care of him at night. I agreed to care for him during most of the day when i am home. I have to attend job hunting courses and other job hunting obligations couple times a week for 12 hours each time, so i dont always get to care for him more than couple of hours. But I am beginning to wonder if while i am at work, will his mother simply going to dump him off to the grandmother and not take full responsibility of care for him.

    Should I be concerned and confront my wife or am I not sensitive and should i be more helpful during the night. I don't mind helping her when he is extremely fussy and i typically do. But lately, i am having to care for him about 1-2 hours every night because she just lays there in bed and refuses to get up and tells me to take care of him.

  2. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    It sounds like your wife may be experiencing post-partum depression. She should see a doctor.

    Child rearing is a 50/50 endeavor. One parent should not shoulder all of the raising and responsibilities.
  3. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    Sounds like you are both stressed. Also you keep calling your wife 'the mother'.....which does not sound too nice. She is your wife.

    Parenting is 50 / 50 - especially as you don't work yet. When you do work full time you will still have to take an active role raising your child.

    I would be thankful you have your mother in law to help you look after the baby as well as you wife. 3 people will make is more easy than just 2.

    Your wife is going to be stressed and unsure what to do as its your first child - its normal. It takes time to get into a method that works.

    You need to be supporting her and making her feel she is doing a good job instead of criticising how much time she spends with the baby, or challenging the way she cares for the baby - like holding him, feeding and sleeping.

    You need to relax and start enjoying your new baby - and building a stronger relationship with your wife - help and encourage her to take an active role.

    In the future it might be she would like to go back to work and then your mother in law with be very useful - so don't annoy her!

    Good luck...
  4. MaryMouse

    MaryMouse Chirping

    Dec 21, 2011
    I second the take your wife to a doctor, and make sure about the post partum depression. Absolutely help out durring the night. Parenting is not a 9-5 job. Be prepared to take on most of the responsibilities of child rearing if your partner does not. That is a comitment you made to the child when he was born. As for working a job and being the primary care giver for the child, it can be done. I did it, had to. I worked full time, and did 90% of the child care, except while I was working (grand ma &pa helped out). My husband was just not into growing up at the time, so I did what needed done. No regrets here.
  5. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

    Feb 22, 2010
    Some good advice there.

    I question the wisdom of airing such issues on a public forum. It's very personal and your wife needs more support than do you.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  6. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    If you can't air things here, where can you air them? The forum is anonymous, and there are a lot of parents here that can give good advice and an objective perspective on things.
    3 people like this.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Nothing is all THAT anonymous. There's always extended family, friends, neighbors and workmates. Additionally, stuff posted on the internet lives on forever.
    Just sayin'.

    Seeking the professional help of clergy, medical doctors, counselors, and such is always good advice. That's about the best advice you can expect from a chicken forum, after-all.
    2 people like this.

  8. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    Without watching your wife interact with the baby, I really cannot make a valid opinion on what is going on. There are several possibilities that come to mind. She may be suffering from post partum depression, which is a very serious but treatable condition, by the way. She may not have bonded with the baby. Nobody ever talks about it, but some mothers, for whatever reason, do not. She may not know how to care for a baby or not know what to expect from one. She may just be tired. And lastly, she may be doing a better job than you think she is. Identifying the problem, and seeing if there indeed is one, is the first step in figuring out what can be done about it. Raising babies and children can be rewarding, but it is time consuming and stressful, and quite frankly, not everyone is cut out for it.

    Just a comment on your statement that you can spoil a newborn. You really can't. I have known several babies that were held a lot and even carried in a backpack while their parents went about their daily chores. These babies grew up to be the most secure, confident, and independent kids and adults you can imagine. Not at all clingy like you might expect.
  9. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    OK, deep breath here....

    Number 1: Your wife is still recovering from the very traumatic changes in her body post-partum. She is sleep deprived and working hard, even if you can't see it. The hormonal changes after a baby is born is like going through three years of puberty on fast forward, it messes with your body and your mind. She is probably still bleeding heavily, as well. She is getting up every two hours at night, and isn't getting any uninterupted sleep.

    Number 2: Baby's don't come with handbooks. You think she isn't doing things the right way, but you don't know any better than she does. Infants cannot be spoiled, and being held makes them feel safe. Look this stuff up, don't make assumptions. Experts are called experts for a reason. Even if you don't trust your wife's judgement on holding the baby, recognize that your mother-in-law has raised at least one child, and might have an idea of what she is doing.

    Number 3: If your wife is nursing, it is work. For many women it is difficult, and it can be physically and emotionally draining.

    Number 4: While you don't mention any of this, there is more to caring for a child than feeding, holding and changing it. It needs clean clothing, clean bedding, warmth, food etc. So do the adults in the household. If your wife is managing all of these chores too, then she is doing a lot.

    Number 5: Give yourself a break. Nobody figures this out immediately. If you think your wife will neglect your baby you have a legitimate concern; however, if you just have different ideas about parenting, you both need to give each other some slack. I remember when my first kid was born. It was an emotional roller-coaster. I cried more in the first six weeks than I have in ALL the other years of my life. When my husband got home from work, all I wanted was a break from the baby and time to talk to an adult. But all I had to talk about was the baby, because I hadn't seen anyone else for days. I had nightmares about every horrible thing that could happen to a baby. I didn't trust my husband to take care of the baby the way I thought was right. BUT, it got better. I realized that my way of doing things was just that...my way. It didn't mean his way was wrong, it was just different.

    Number 6: Get some sleep, and let your wife get some sleep. Parents of newborns are chronically sleep deprived, and the results of sleep deprivation are anger, depression, bad discission making and a whole host of negative things.

    My first born will be fifteen in three weeks, and comes with a whole new set of issues. But those first weeks stick in my head. The resentment that hubby got to leave the house, the extreme tiredness, the irrational fears about all the bad in the world, the distrust of anything different from MY way of doing things, the whole "touched out" sensation of a nursing mom, when I felt just one more person touching me would make me run mad; the wild mood swings from elation and delight to despair, all in 30 seconds...

    Take a deep breath, what is happening now is new, and won't last forever.
    4 people like this.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    So, you "have a hard time caring for him at night", but your wife should be able to do that (that you state you can't do) plus care for him all day? You have him for MAYBE 6 hours? And you're thinking she's not doing her part? What about YOUR part? You're not working either! So you're job hunting--what about the other 16 hours a day? When is the poor woman supposed to sleep?

    I say you get up with the baby for three nights in a row then do something really, really nice for your wife. Oh, and I can't even convey the trauma to a woman's body after giving birth! She needs to sleep and rest a lot and eat well, not having you stress her out telling her she's already not a good enough mom.

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