As much as you may think you want to,
don’t get a divorce or kick your partner out in the first year of having a new baby.
Does this sound familiar to you?
You and your significant other decide that you are ready to have a baby. The pregnancy is great, you discuss how wonderful it will be, you are so excited, your husband says he’ll share the responsibilities and everything will be hunky-dory (just wonderful).
Then the baby arrives and you are absolutely sure that you must have lost your mind to sign up for this. Where is the help that was promised, why did your perfectly sane husband goes crazy and turn into one big baby?
I’ll tell you what happened, when you were making the plans for the baby and how the responsibilities would be shared, you were having two completely different conversations. The words seemed understandable, but the meaning was different to each partner. What we have to remember is that men and women do not speak the same language. I like to use the analogy of English from England and English from Canada. It’s supposed to be the same language but there are many times that I’m talking to my friend in England and something gets lost in translation… it’s the same thing for men & women.
Let’s take a typical conversation that most first time expectant parents have (I say first time b/c the second time around we already know what we are getting into)
Wife: Okay so we’ll split everything 50/50 and you’ll help with the baby right…?
Husband: yes of course, I want to be there 100%, I will be there to support you and help you anyway that I can.
Sounds simple enough right? Wrong
I’ll now translate, this conversation for what each of these sentences actually mean;
Wife: When the baby arrives, you will do all the basics such as feeding, bathing, diaper change, watching her so that I can sleep (and by watching I mean actually watching, not putting her in the swing while you watch TV, because that’s not really watching, what if when you are watching TV she somehow manages to get herself out of the swing and fall and hurt herself… so I mean really watching her b/c otherwise I won’t feel safe enough to sleep).
Also, you will cook b/c I will be too tired to do this b/c I’m only getting sleep in two hour increments. You help with the laundry, I will do the baby’s laundry because it has to be done in a special way (wash, rinse, rinse again… and maybe a third time b/c she has sensitive skin).
The doctor says I should take it easy for the first six weeks so I won’t be doing anything around the house, you will have to help with this. You will grocery shop b/c I will be too tired to do this and since you love me so much and you are so excited about the baby, you will have no problem doing any of this b/c all the other husbands do this (we really honestly think this before we start talking to other moms). You will also wake up in the middle of the night and watch the baby so that I can go back to sleep b/c I have a pump and there is pumped milk in the fridge, you will just have to warm it up and give it to the baby.
So the simple statement of “You’ll help” actually meant this and more to us and we didn’t think we had to spell it out because EVERY body knows that a new mom needs rest and will need lots of help and besides you love me and you are so excited about the baby, you probably plan all of this and a whole lot more.
Now for the meaning of the husband’s answer;
First of all, he didn’t know you meant any of this stuff, he thought you would understand that he still has to work and you are so lucky you the entire year off and you get paid by the government, so how lucky is that, he still has to go into work every day and do ACTUAL work, while you will be at home with the baby resting and playing all day, so you will have time, to do the groceries, laundry, cook, clean and make yourself pretty in time for him to get home, so he thought he’d just have to watch the baby while you put dinner on the table and then the three of you will have dinner in peace with the angelic little baby looking up at both of you adoringly from her swing, then we would all cuddle for a bit then she’ll be sleeping again b/c everyone knows that babies sleep all day… people are always making comments like “sleeping like a baby”, so once the baby goes back to sleep we would get some rest and good husband that he is, he will put the dishes in the dishwasher and make you a cup of tea and he would have “helped you anyway that he can” and be there 100% and anyways, why would you need him to wake up in the middle of the night, he doesn’t have bubbies (this is more for moms who are nursing) and he knows if you go down and start nursing the baby, he’ll go back to sleep and everyone can have a good night of rest.
So you see… two completely different interpretation of what seems like such simple statements.
So the #1 reason not to kick your husband out is, they are clueless as to the way we think, so we have to spell it out… we have to tell them exactly what we are thinking and what we want them to do… Yes it will always be this way, men just do not understand… and they can’t, b/c they are built differently.
I would love to hear your comments. I will posting the #2 reason in a few days.
Life with a baby... is lifelong learning process