Back to work, concerned about DD

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Back to work, concerned about DD

    After 5 weeks home with DD, I'm back to work this week.  I'm the breadwinner and I carry all the benefits, so even though I'd love to be home with DD, I have to be here.  DH works nights (6pm to about 1am), so he's home with her during the day.  This was our plan all along, and DH was more than okay with it.  He was actually really excited to be a SAHD during the day.

    However, this week isn't going as I expected.  DH is in a miserable mood and all he does is complain about being tired (not sure how he didn't expect this -- I'm tired too!).  Before I'm even out the door in the morning he's trying to get DD to go back to sleep (even though she's already slept for about 10 hours and she's always wide awake in the morning).  He'll feed her even if she's not due to eat in hopes that he can make her tired.  He spends the whole day trying to make her sleep so he can get a nap.  I don't think he even really interacts with her all that much.  On top of that, while on maternity leave I got DD into a really good routine where she sleeps well at night, and I'm afraid he's going to jeopardize that.

    Yesterday was the breaking point for me.  I've been very vocal with DH about my concerns regarding bed sharing.  I know some people do it and it works fine, but it makes me nervous.  Especially considering DH sleepwalks AND has night terrors -- you would think I wouldn't even have to tell him that he shouldn't have DD in the bed with him.  Well, he was so determined to get his sleep yesterday that he put her in bed with him and they both took a nap.  I had a talk with him about it yesterday, but of course, I caught him trying to do it again before I left for work today.

    So now I'm leaving for work every day feeling sick to my stomach because I'm worried about what's happening at home.  I'm not sure how to have a conversation with DH about it, because I don't want seem like I think he's a bad father (he's definitely not).  But I know I can't just let these things go.  How would you ladies go about this?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Well, I don't think that the arrangement can work out that well to begin with unless the baby switches to DH's schedule which isn't practical to begin with.  The problem is that if he gets home and into bed at 2:00 a.m. every night, and you're out the door at 7 or 8, he only gets at most 4-5 hours of sleep a night and it's most likely slightly interrupted sleep anyway.  There's no way that seems like it could work in the long run.  Is there anyway to get some help for DD in the morning until noon or so, so that DH can have a normal chance at sleep like everyone else?  Even if you're up with the baby at night a couple times, it seems like you could get better sleep since the baby is sleeping 10 hours at night and you can just go to bed earlier.  

    Your DH most likely can't interact well with DD because he's exhausted.  

    Sorry, I just don't see an easy solution unless you hire someone to help out a little bit in the morning.  
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Lost, I should mention that this schedule is only 3 days per week.  He's off on Thursday and Friday, and I'm home on the weekends.  So Monday - Wednesday he might not sleep as much as he wants, but the rest of the week he's either not working or I'm home.  I work until 3 and I'm 5 minutes from home, so he still has a few hours to himself before work on M - W.

    I've suggested that he call his mother or his sister to come by sometimes during the week to watch DD for awhile, but he won't do it.  So I'm kind of at a loss as to what else to do, you know?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    I can only speak for my experience: I went back to work at 10 weeks, and my DH was home with DD for the next 10.  It is hard!  As great as it is to have had her home for that extra time, I was often second-guessing what DH was doing.  Also, I think that as great as dads are, they can have a hard time with the infant stage: baby's not as demanding of play time and, honestly, not as fun, so the change/feed/sleep pattern can really take hold. 

    It wasn't that he wasn't doing a good job, but he can get easily distracted, so for both of our sakes we made up a schedule for him to follow, and that gave me some piece of mind and helped him keep her occupied (tummy time, walks, hanging in the bouncy seat, reading stories, all was mapped out)   He also would set the alarm on his iPhone so that he would feed her every 3 hours. 

    It's hard to give up control, too...it's not going to be done the way you would, but it's okay to ask for a schedule to make sure the baby is getting the care and stimulation s/he needs. 

    It does get better...and as the baby gets older, you'll all be getting more sleep and into more of a routine. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lostgrouse. Show Lostgrouse's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Okay, so if it's 3 days a week, I still think that he needs help.  It's just too bad that he won't get someone to help him out.  Is there any way that you can go into work a little later on at least one of those days and work until 5 or so?  Granted you won't see each other as much, but that way he can sleep a little bit in the morning instead.  (unless you're a teacher or something and flex hours are impossible).  

    Also, at 5 weeks, your daughter won't be doing too many exciting things, so maybe he doesn't see the need as much to interact.  However, around this time, they usually start to smile and then everything seems better with the world.  Good luck!
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Notanewbie. Show Notanewbie's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot and you were home and potentially feeling overtired and overwhelmed and maybe thinking that the stay at home thing was harder than you thought?  And on top of that, were facing criticism from your partner about how to do things?

    I ask this from the perspective of someone who was in sort of a similar situation, but on both sides of the issue.  My husband was the breadwinner in the sense that he made a lot more money than I did, but I had to go back to work since I carried our benefits (he was a self-emplyed IT consultant). DH often stayed home with DS in those first few weeks or took care of getting him to daycare...no, he didn't always do things the way I did, but I know DS was safe and well cared for.  Then, our situation changed when DS was about 15 months old and I got to become a SAHM.  At that point, DH became critical of my parenting style.  I was overwhlemed and concerned that I wasn't giving my son as much socialization and stimulation as he had been getting in daycare.  I was teary for the first few weeks being home...it was like the baby blues all over again...and I WANTED this!  My husband kept reminding me too!  I finally sat him down and told him it was an adjustment for all of us and to give me some breathing room.  I needed some time to figure things out.  Maybe your DH does too?

    Do you really, really think your husband's actions are putting your child in jeopardy?  If not, you need to relax and let him be a parent.  He has just as much right to make decisions as you do regarding your baby's care.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Thank you for your input.  It especially helps to hear from someone who's been in his position before.  Like I said, I don't want to come across like I'm criticizing him or that he's not entitled to make any parenting decisions, but I do think it's important that DD has a schedule that we both stick to. 

    I'm thinking about maybe asking him if he thinks DD should be in daycare a day or two a week.  I'd hate to put her in daycare this young, but if he is having that difficult of a time at home then maybe that's what we need to do.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Why is your DH so tired on days besides Mondays and Wednesdays?  It's not ideal, but most adults can function on 4 or 5 hours of sleep if they need to as long as they're sleeping well on the other nights.  I'm not a morning person and I enjoy my sleep, but even when my two were infants and I had a couple nights in a row where I got 3 or 4 hours total of interrupted sleep, I still went to work and managed to do what I had to do. 

    At 5 weeks, I'm assuming that the baby sleeps several times a day and really shouldn't be able to stay awake for more than 2 hours at a time (I know predictable naps won't regulate for several more weeks, but babies sleep a lot on their own without being forced).  It seems like your DH should be able to power through on Mondays and Wednesdays and just sleep when the baby sleeps.  If he isn't willing/able to do that, then he has to accept that he needs to have someone come over for a couple/few hours in the morning so he can stay in bed or go back to bed.  When I was on maternity leave, my mother came over 2 or 3 mornings a week and watched the babies while I got some uninterrupted sleep and it made all the difference in the world.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    I agree with Daisy about the sleep issue, however I know my DH (and many of my friends' DHs) cannot seem to funtion on the same lack of sleep that the moms function on.  Not trying to be sexist - it's just the reality of myself and many of my friends.  Pugs - how was your DH with lack of sleep before the baby arrived?

    At 5 weeks old, it's ok if she sleeps much of the day.  She'll let your DH know if she's not going to stand for it.  She's still little enough that she doesn't need the same kind of socialization/play time as, say a 5-6 month old (and up).  I would say give DH 2 full weeks and then reassess the situation.  It is so hard to be alone with a 5 week old baby when you're just exhausted and not yet really used to the whole thing, then if you are immediately made to feel like you're doing it all wrong it's just not going to go well.  I'm sure your DH is probably feeling badly that he's so tired, and it just becomes a viscious cycle, which is not going to help him be positive about the experience. 

    Maybe you and he can talk and "decide together" to assess how it's going after 2 weeks (or whatever time frame makes sense to you), and then don't mention anything about what he is/is not doing (unless you feel the baby is in danger for any reason) for that time period unless he brings something up (as hard as that will be).  If he's feeling like you have his back, he will be more able to realistically get a sense of how the situation is going and whether or not it's good for both him and the baby going forward.

    Has your DH been a napper in the past?  I'm wondering if he's likely to sleepwalk/have sleep terrors during a nap.  Do you have a bassinett or something that can be put in your bedroom during the day so they can nap in the same room without being in the same bed?

    It's tough - I definitely have had a hard time on days when DH is alone with DD.  But ultimately I think even if they don't do things as we would, they will keep the baby safe and everything will be fine.  Keep us posted!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    I'm sorry you have to worry about this.  My sister's husband sounds similar, except he doesn't work at all and has no reason to be tired - just a lazy slob who watches tv and plays video games and always needs a nap. She works and he stays home and ignores the kid.  Now he's an active 14 month old, so I can't imagine what the heck he does with him now.  Nobody can tell him anything.  She just smiles and says he's a great dad because she knows we all warned her ahead of time, but deep down she has to be going nuts.  

    I don't mean to project all my anger from my BIL onto your husband, but I would insist that he either suck it up and stay awake, ask his mother or sister to help him out, or tell him the baby needs to go to a daycare. Since you've already expressed concern about various things and he doesn't seem to listen, it's not going to go over well, but I'd rather know the baby is being cared for properly.  And really, it's only three days. Things change when you have a baby.  

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Funny, in our house it's DH that can get by on 4 hours sleep and I am the one who needs more... something about a paper route when he was a kid :)  He's also a napper, and I am not, at all, so maybe that is the difference.

    Pugs, I feel for you!  Lots of good advice as always here, and I'll add one more tidbit.  If you're LO is only 5 weeks old, you still have a lot of hormonal stuff going on that may impact how you feel about things (Not minimizing the situation here, it doesn't sound like one I would like either) but between hormones, sleep deprivation and all the emotions that come with going back to work, try and cut yourself, and your DH, a break.  It hasn't been long yet and it may take you guys a few weeks to get into a groove you like.  As long as your baby is safe, no real harm can be done in a few weeks with a lack of schedule, not enough books etc. <ETA: I know there is nothing I hate more than being told I am hormonal, when I am hormonal... the hormone thing was my experience and I'd say it took months, not weeks before I felt 100% myself - admittedly nursing may have extended it somewhat />

    Also, many men, my DH included, with both kids, aren't really that great about interacting with really small babies... I saw a definite change around the 6 month mark (seems ages away for you now, I know, but trust me, it will happen fast!) with how DH connected with both of my kids.

    So hang in there, it will be constantly evolving for a while, trust DH and work together, it's the two of you against the kid!  :)
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    I'd like to start by saying it's only the first week; it can only get better from here!!  Keep your chin up, Pugs.

    I agree with Daisy and Poppy that DH needs to do his best to suck it up/sleep when the baby sleeps.  That sounds harsh, but it's true.  And maybe after another week he will have come to terms with that.  It has definitely taken me time to adjust to certain things that seemed like such a big deal at first.  As Poppy said, I hate to generalize, but my DH is not doing as well with the lack of sleep.  Now that he's working, it's understandable.  But when we were both home the first week, he'd be nodding off on the couch all day.  It drove me crazy because his eyes would be half closed when I was talking to him!!  (That still does drive me crazy!)  I honestly think that we have some kind of motherly adrenaline... not that I haven't nodded off several times while BFing in the middle of the night.

    You and I are at the same stage (DD was 6 weeks yesterday).  Does your DD sleep during the day??  It varies for us of course, but I'd say DD typically sleeps twice during the day for at least an hour each time.  (DH gets home around 4:00, so up to then is what I mean by during the day.)  For me, it's really difficult to sleep when she sleeps because my mind is always racing about whether to shower, do laundry, vacuum, clean, write thank you notes, get on the computer, etc etc etc... But if your DH is anything like mine, he'd have no problem conking out as soon as the baby does!

    Do you think your DH trying to give DD the bottle is partially him trying to "solve the problem"?  You know how the stereotype is that women want to vent about problems and men want to fix them?  DH and I are struggling with that right now.  He wants to give the baby the pacifier all the time.  I finally said to him yesterday that the pacifier literally does not cross my mind ALL day long and then he comes home and wants to jam it in her mouth every time we're trying to soothe her or get her to sleep.  He also wanted me to give her prune juice when she didn't p00p for almost 3 days, even though the nurse said not to worry until day 5.  And then he wanted to give her Tylenol for her cold, so I made him call the ped's 24 hour hotline.  If he won't believe me, then he can call and hear it straight from the experts!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from SAW73. Show SAW73's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Pugs,

    I feel for you!  I am in a very similar situation, I work 7-3pm and DH works 3-11:30pm.  DS goes to the babysitter at 1pm and I usually get home by 5pm. 

    What we had to do was shift DS's schedule so that he goes to bed later and sleeps later in the am.  What I never knew because I am of course fast asleep was that eventhough my DH gets home by midnight, he rarely winds down enough to go to sleep until 1 or 2am.  I was nursing when I went back to work at 12 wks, so I would get up at 4am wake and nurse DS, have him back asleep by 5am and be out of the house between 5:30 and 5:45.  Then he would sleep until 7:30/8am. 


    On mornings when DS would not go back to sleep DH would get and deal with it.  But it was tough!  I have found having a later nighttime routine is better for me, because it leaves DS and I some free time that is not scheduled. 

    I am not sure DH really enjoyed his time at home with DS until DS was about 8 months and they really had their own routine.  And I went to work every day sick to my stomach, worried if I didn't hear from DH and panicked if I saw our number show up on my phone.  DS turns 2 this month and I think DH really loves being home with DS, although terrible 2s have begun. 

    I hope this helps a little bit!

    SAW Smile

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Pugs - I just wanted to say that I am so sorry that you have gone back to work already - I can't imagine how hard it must be for you.  I also know that I had some difficulty on the days when my husband stayed home with DD - this has gotten much better. I do think men and women interact with infants differently. I think Poppy has a great suggestion to see how things go over the next 2 weeks. 

    BTW I found this time period 5-8 weeks to be extremely difficult.  I found staying home to be isolating and have been much happier with combination of work and staying home one day per week. My daughter was in the hospital for about 10 days during weeks 4-5 but I think even if all had been well I would have found it extremely difficult.  One of the most helpful things to me was that when my husband came home he would always say "I don't know how you do it" . He really validated my feelings of how tough it is to stay at home.  I loved that!

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    I know most men don't interact well with babies, but DH has always been the total opposite!  He's one of those rare men that just LOVES babies.  And he has experience with kids, since he helped raise his oldest niece.  So all that, in combination with him talking for the last 9+ months about how excited he was to be home with her, I guess I just expected things to go a lot smoother.  It probably would have been easier if he prepared more while I was home on maternity leave, but instead he kind of took advantage of it.  He hasn't had her alone for a full day until this week.


    I'm also thinking another option could be suggesting he drop one night at work.  We could handle it financially, so maybe that would help him feel less overwhelmed.  I'd rather go that route than spend the money on day care if we can.

    Canuk, you make a good point about the hormones and the sleep deprivation -- I might be more patient otherwise.  Not much more, but a little more.  :) 

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from PugsandKisses. Show PugsandKisses's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    SAW, how did you go about changing DS's schedule so he went to bed later?  Right now DD goes to bed around 9 - 9:30, simply because that's just what she's done on her own for the past few weeks, so we stuck with it.  It's like clockwork -- she can be wide awake, but then once 9:00 hits she's out shortly after.  She'll get up to eat again around 2, then again around 5 - 6.  Most days she'll go back to sleep until 8 or 9, and if she doesn't she's ready for a nap shortly after she gets up.  I'd be fine changing her schedule so she went to bed a couple hours later if it would make her sleep later in the morning.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from SAW73. Show SAW73's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    Pugs,

    You'd think i'd remember better what I did when DS was little.  But our schedule was not far off from yours.  Bedtime used to be 10 or 10:30 and i'm sure there was a 1 or 2am feeding (but I'm still sleep deprived 2yrs later).  I think the big thing for us was DS only cat-napped prior to 6 months or so, 20 minutes at a time.  DS was in his crib in his own room when I went back to work, so I didn't wake him up getting ready for work after his 4am feeding. 

    I have a better recollection of the schedule after I stopped nursing, which was up around 7:30-9am, (depending on which teeth were coming in)  nap 1:30/2 to 4:30ish, dinner at 6pm bed at 8pm.  DSA has always been a good sleeper once he's sleeping, going to sleep is another story. 

    As he got older he was happy to babble in his crib for 20-40 minutes after waking up, if he wasn't upset and crying we would let him be.  This is a huge benefit at nearly 2yrs old!  He will stay in his room and play for sometime up to an hour before for he insists on us being up. 

    You might want to think about getting a play mat and/or a mobile for DD's crib.  I know we bought the play mat before I went back to work and DS loved it and it gave DH something to do with DS. I remember being resentful DH was home and I was at work and angry because I was getting as little sleep as DH.  I think you have to remember that the schedule needs to work for everyone and be flexible. 

    It will work itself out, I promise Smile
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Back to work, concerned about DD

    If he's totally enjoying having a baby and loves playing with her and interacting with her it must be a safe assumption that if he's choosing sleep over that it's imperative that he get that sleep.  That's regardless of what most adults can or think they can do - if he could stay up with her and keep her on her day/night schedule he would.

    So, he either needs to change his schedule or get help.  Obviously, DD can't sleep all night and all morning, too.


     

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