Bringing a newborn home can be one of the happiest moments in any parent’s life. Even the fairytales make us believe that settling down with the little family you’ve created with your partner should be the end of all your troubles- a happy ending.
But some of us are not as lucky with our happily ever after!
As a Reddit user named lizquizbluesclues recently shared in her now-viral post, the reality of being a new mum to her two-month-old is not what she expected. Especially since her husband has been an absentee parent, forcing her to do “EVERYTHING” as she puts it.
“I Have No Help From Him At All”
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The Redditor says her 41-year-old husband “was everything a person would want in a partner” before their baby was born. He was caring and compassionate when she was pregnant all the way to when their child was two weeks old as he spent that time at home with them. She also writes that her husband was still supportive while she had some issues with breastfeeding.
“I (33F) gave birth to my first child in January. Before she was born, my husband (41M) was everything a person would want in a partner. He was especially caring and compassionate while I was pregnant. He spent two weeks home with us and was really there for me because I had issues with breastfeeding and baby had high bilirubin so we were back and forth to the pediatrician and hospital,” she says.
But things started to change once he returned to work. While she has to spend day and night with her baby during her maternity leave, her husband would spend a short moment with their child before going off to do his own thing.
“One he returned to work, he went back to life as he knew it before. I am still on maternity leave and won’t return to work until April. I am with our baby day and night, all the time,” says the Redditor.
After coming home around 4:30pm, the user says her partner would simply just pick up their daughter to greet her then just as quickly gives the little one back to her mum. Instead of sticking around, the father would retreat back to his office where he would spend time playing online video games with his brother on Discord.
While he plays online, the Redditor is left to take care of their baby. She writes, “Everything I do, EVERYTHING, has to happen when she is napping. The evenings are terrible. Baby is a fussy baby, rarely content.”
She adds that her husband would come out later to ask for supper and might pick up their baby again to shower her with love, then once again just hands her back to the mum.
There was also a moment where she left their daughter awake with her husband only to find her afterwards asleep in her swing while still sitting on a dirty diaper.
“On the rare occasion that I am able to leave the house, it is to go grocery shopping. That’s my form of relief. A five minute drive to the grocery store to try and remember everything we need while slightly sleep deprived and on my own. I have to put her down for a nap before I go. I left him with her awake one time and found her asleep in her swing, sitting in a dirty diaper,” she shares.
The In-Laws Were Absolutely No Help Either
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Redditor lizquizbluesclues shared that while seeking help from other family members, she’s encountered problems with her in-laws as well.
She admits she doesn’t actually like her sister-in-law and mother-in-law but as they live near them, she still felt “vulnerable” and asked for their help in taking care of their baby.
But even though they vowed to help her, the sister-in-law went out for a month to look after her dad who has cancer. She claims, “There are other people to help him; she is only doing this to get his house and any money/possessions he has.”
As for the mother-in-law, she says is she is “worthless.” She would come over every Monday to have dinner with them, which means this new mum would have to use more of her energy in preparing the house for her visit.
“She is also as bad as my husband,” writes the Redditor. “She doesn’t change diapers. She feeds baby but as soon as baby fusses she hands her back.”
Feeling Alone And Tired
As overwhelming and exhausting as being a new mum can be, Reddit user lizquizbluesclues claims that she wished her husband wasn’t there with them.
“It’s just more work and pressure for me and his family is of no use to me. I feel so alone and down,” she writes.
She adds that trying to talk to her husband about it also ended in disappointment.
She writes, “I told him I felt down today and he giggled and gave me a baby talk voice and said “aw what are you sad about” and I almost lost it. I have talked to him several times and he promises to be better, but I’ve seen no marked change. I don’t know what to do. I’m just kicking myself for thinking he was going to be a good partner and father when we had a kid.”
As soon as the mum posted her ordeal, netizens left no stone unturned to call her husband’s bad behaviour. Some even went on to call him a ‘monkey’.
One Reddit user, M2704, commented, “So he knows how to make a baby, had 9 months to prepare and still ‘doesn’t realize’?What is he, a monkey? He actively goes out of his way to not spend actually time with his daughter ór his wife. That’s not ignorance, that’s just running away from your family.”
While another new dad, LordEew wrote, “I was like him. He doesn’t understand how hard it is. I don’t have a way to convince him other than telling him how hard it is and hoping he is the person you think he is. In my case, it took my wife being hospitalized and me having to do everything myself to understand how hard being a single parent is. Post pardum depression is real and that is where you are headed unless you say something. At the time, I thought my wife was being unreasonable and when I started writing this I wanted to say that it was both parties fault. However, looking back, I could have done more, I couldn’t see my wife struggling. I felt like the victim because I was the one bringing home the money. The reality is that raising a child is much harder than work. Put him to work.”
But majority of the netizens weren’t amused and advised the new mum to have a serious conversation with him. And then there were some that shared practical advice with her.
Netizens Advised The New Mum On What She Can Possibly Do Now
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Redditor lizquizbluesclues’ post garnered attention other users left supportive messages and other had even revealed they’ve had the same experience.
“You need to have a serious sit down conversation with your husband. This can’t and shouldn’t continue. He needs to be an actual parent,” writes user Toranightengale.
“He probably has no idea what is happening and believes the baby sleeps all day and that you have plenty of free time. He should be taking care of the baby himself at least 3 hours a day, and maybe cook,” advises user loch_inou. “24/7 slavery is no good for your mental sanity, you have to make him aware of this, and he needs to take responsibility”.
User vivifieddd also suggests, “No one knows how hard it is until they are doing the job. My husband told me to ‘just strap the baby’ on myself and carry on with whatever I need to do. I strap our baby on him. Just 5 mins in, he came to me asking how do I function with the baby at all.”
“It’s possible he has postpartum depression and is having a hard time adjusting to the change, which may be why he keeps promising to be better but can’t actually act better,” comments LittleMissPotatoe.
The Redditor also adds, “Talking through those issues, if they exist and I think they might, will help resolve them. You can’t overcome it if you can’t even talk about it, and it feels a lot less lonely if you are tackling that mountain together.”
As user OutrageousSea5212 says they went through the same thing with their partner, they write, ” State clearly that I was overwhelmed and needed more from him.”
“You could even literally list out everything you do and assign money values (ie, childcare, cleaning) to show what you’re bringing, if that is necessary for him to see how valuable the work you do is,” the Redditor advises.
Being a parent can be the hardest role you can have in life but it should also be a fulfilling experience instead of a disheartening one. So when you start to worry about how “my husband does nothing around the house,” never forget that you’re not alone in this and to always seek help when you need it.
Stay strong, mummies!