Jump to content

What expectations did you have of your husband before baby came?


  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Spring Chickadee

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:08 PM

As the title says… What expectations did you have of your husband before baby came?

My Husband and I are very much equals in our relationship, we don’t fight very often (when we do we are over it quickly) and both of us are happy with the current balance of responsibilities in the house. It’s naturally evolved to be the more manly stuff for him and cooking/laundry/ tidying for me. When we had full time care of a relatives children through Docs DH was extremely active and hand on in caring for them and I would leave for OS work trips with him happy to take on the full load while I was away.  I know he will want to be as involved as possible.

I’ve started thinking about expectations once the baby comes along.
  • I’m not sure how long to ask DH to have off work. 1 week…2 weeks?
  • While on leave and on weekends I would expect DH and I would share responsibilities (to an extent given I’ll be BF)
  • During the work week I would be doing all the getting up in the night. He is up at 5am and works with heavy machinery so for safety’s sake I don’t want him dead on his feet.
  • Housework wise, we currently have a cleaner come in once a fortnight with the inbetween stuff done by both DH and I. once I get into the swing of having a newborn should I takeover all the housework? Split it with DH?  I’d prefer to save the money whilst not working and it makes sense that If I’m already home while DH is at work I should be able to do it.


What were your expectations? What ended up being the reality? What do you think worked for you?

Edited by Spring Chickadee, 07 May 2012 - 09:09 PM.


#2 3_for_me

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:11 PM

We always just muddled through and did what needed to be done.  Can't help with the time off aspect as my husband is defence force and was lucky to make it to two of the births as we weren't living in the same state when any of them were born Tounge1.gif  Honestly he would have just got in the way anyway laughing2.gif

#3 I'm Batman

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:20 PM

I expect my husband to pitch in where its needed, if theres dirty dishes wash them. If I'm overwhelmed help me, I just expect that if there is work, do it. Basically I want my partner to pull the load, and there is a much larger load when children come into the mix, they take time, they make more work, its going to be a busy few years whilst they are little.

If you have the money for a cleaner, I would keep them on. For your own sanity and happiness. Children can be easy, sometimes they are not and the endless routine of destroy clean destroy clean is enough to get on top of people.



#4 Baggy

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:22 PM

DP had 1week off for DD1 and had one day off for DD2.

With DD1 he would do the morning feed before he left for work at 5am (he'd be up getting ready anyway) and I'd do the feed before that. With DD2 she was breastfed to sleep most of the time so I would get up and do it - if I was really tired I'd wake him up to get her for me.

With nappies, clothes changes and general settling/comforting, it would be whoever noticed it needed to be done first.

I do housework when he's at work and he helps when he gets back. On weekends if he's not working it would be whoever noticed the dishes/laundry etc needed to be done first. The only sort of 'set roles' we have it the cooking and the outdoor things. Only because I like to cook and he prefers to mow the lawn etc.

We don't really over think it much we just try to help each other out and do what needs to be done. If he sees me struggling or getting stressed out with something he'll generally take over, and I do the same for him.

Edited by Baggy, 07 May 2012 - 09:23 PM.


#5 podg

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:35 PM

I trust and trusted my DH to notice what needs doing and do it. He doesn't need a roster, requests or a list.

He took 2 weeks initially (as he was entitled), then a day a week (annual leave) off for another 5 weeks - this was fabulous.

He helped with everything including night feeds during the initial establishing breastfeeding period, and when we turned out to have a needy little girl he continued to expect to help settle her sometimes during the day (in his arms and later on his back), he accepted her in the marital bed, he held her while I ate, he cooked and cleaned and did laundry and shopping. And mowed the lawns, was and continues as the major breadwinner and considered our family in all he did.

We are expecting number four, and his work is very inflexible and not allowing him much leave at all as he has not been there long enough. Otherwise I would expect he would carry almost all the load of caring for our older 3 (under 5) during the newborn period, and do much of the cooking and laundry.

It is possible I have the best husband in the world.

#6 WaffleGrrrl

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

DH had about a month off work when bubs was born.

Given I was exclusively BFing and DD was a slow feeder and a comfort sucker (every 2 hours, for about an hour at the start!) and due to this I was doing the night-time settling too (once again, BFing every couple of hours or so) DH was more than happy to pick up the rest of the slack in terms of the household chores.  

He did: dishwasher loading/unloading, dish handwashing, laundry (inc cloth nappies), cat litter change, feeding cats, rubbish outside.  He used to go about the house doing things when I was BFing, as he called that my 'job' so he would get on with his 'jobs' during that time tongue.gif .  

The only things he didn't do were what he's really not very good at - general tidying (as he doesn't see things that need to be put away or notice things that are out of place), cleaning floors/bathroom/etc, and food prep.

Baby duties in terms of soothing a crying bub, nappy changes, and  settling we shared equally, or else whoever was less tired at the time.  

He does still insist I choose her outfits though - he has a fear of  choosing mis-matching baby clothes

#7 Baggy

Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:54 PM

QUOTE
He does still insist I choose her outfits though - he has a fear of choosing mis-matching baby clothes


When I was at uni DP used to have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off instead of weekends so he'd be a home. I used to come home to DD1 being in some really mismatched clothes laughing2.gif

I never said anything - it only mattered that she was comfortable anyway. I'd just have a little giggle in my head.

Edited by Baggy, 07 May 2012 - 09:54 PM.


#8 Divine 35

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:11 PM

QUOTE (Baggy @ 07/05/2012, 10:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When I was at uni DP used to have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off instead of weekends so he'd be a home. I used to come home to DD1 being in some really mismatched clothes laughing2.gif

I never said anything - it only mattered that she was comfortable anyway. I'd just have a little giggle in my head.


laughing2.gif it took mine i while to figure that out. He is great now though, he even does DD's hair really well !

DH had 6 weeks off with DD, 1.5 weeks off with DS.

Next time, we are going for 4 weeks off .

Edited by Divine53, 07 May 2012 - 10:22 PM.


#9 Chardonnay Buffay

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:19 PM

This is how it worked in our house!

DH took 6 weeks leave with each baby (although, that was his yearly annual entitlement original.gif )

moving forward, I got up during the night, unless on the weekend, then DH had to help.
I did early evening, bed, bath routine. DH cooked us tea.

Anything past 8pm, it's tag team time!! Babies never got the memo that I wanted to eat my tea too!!

#10 busymum01

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:25 PM

QUOTE
I had no pre-baby expectations, none at all.


Same. We have three children and DH took a day off for each of their births (or the day after as DS1 was a weekend) and then I was home and back to it. He goes to work and works hard, I run the household while working from home. If I want him to do something I ask him.

#11 roses99

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:34 PM

One thing that might be worth considering, is what you'll do if you get sick. I remember (pre-kids) a colleague of mine took a few days off because his wife was sick. I thought that was kind of weird at the time. But now I get it.

Depends on your DH's work, of course, but maybe have a discussion about whether he will be willing to take a day off if necessary to look after you. It can be hell to be sick and still have to meet the needs of a demanding little person!

#12 Queen Yoda

Posted 07 May 2012 - 10:58 PM

our biggest adjustments were actually when DD1 was 12 months old and I returned to work part-time.  Over the 12 months I was home as full-time mum, I had stepped up and taken on most of the housework, bill paying, buying groceries, errands etc.  Which was fine when I was home Mon-Fri.  But going back to work 3 days/week, I just couldn't sustain that.  And DH had gotten comfortable with me taking on all the domestic responsibility.  It took a while for us to figure out who does what when we both work.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 07 May 2012 - 11:00 PM.


#13 Harlekijn engel

Posted 07 May 2012 - 11:16 PM

Our situation is perhaps a bit unusual in that DH wanted a child and I didn't - so my biggest expectations were around him supporting me in continuing to do what was important to me.  I have to say he's been pretty good about that so far, but prioritisation is fairly ruthless.  Lots of things which would be nice to do or have time for just don't happen.

On annual leave, I suggest your DH take as much time as he can!  It's not just about physical recovery from the birth; so much of your life together changes, and going through it together was invaluable for us.

The question about housework....look, it all depends.  Are you planning to do anything else while bub is very small - study, go back to work, serious time-consuming interest of some other kind?  Those will skew your answer.  The truth atm is that neither of us do much housework, the house looks sadly neglected.  But I'm studying - there'll be time enough for housework in the mid-year break.  The other thing, too, is that a lot will depend on your bub and how much of your time and attention is taken.  Some bubs sleep well and are happy to be put down, and others not so much....that'll affect your time and energy dramatically.  You might have to see how you go and adjust as you need to.

#14 SnazzyFeral

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:05 AM

We did the bringing baby home workshop when DS was 9 weeks or so and it was invaluble. You can do it before or after the baby is born but I wish we had done it before because it covered so many basic things. It is not really that the content is so new but that it forces you to think about things that you have always taken for granted in the divison of labour etc.

http://www.bbhonline.org/parenting/parenti...e-workshop.aspx

#15 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:27 AM

DH ended up being my carer for the last 2 months of pregnancy, and the first 2 months of DDs life, so he did 100% of EVERYTHING.
I literally ate, slept and breastfed.
So all our plans went out the window.
This time he is taking maybe 2 weeks off, and is only parttime anyway. We are waiting and will go with the flow, depending on how things go.

#16 hiccamups

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:29 AM

DH took 6 weeks off with our first.  It was awesome, especially as I got very sick and had to go back to hospital.  

After that, we just muddled by.  I still did most of the housework/cooking etc but he did baby duty until midnight (I'd head to bed around 9pm) and I did night duty until around 6am.  He would then wake me around 7am.  DD didn't sleep more than 2hrs so each shift was hard going.  

We struggled on trying to establish routines for DD.  DH did things HIS way, I mine.  It was a real learning curve for us because he was so stubborn.  I wanted her to be put into her bed to go to sleep, whereas he would declare that if I wanted his help, I'd need to allow him to do it his way - which was to rock her to sleep in the sling, whilst watching tellie.  That was probably our first big parenting hiccup.  I'd read endless books, whereas he just did whatever came naturally to him, without any concern for the future (or how hellish it was to be with her all day if she didn't sleep unless being rocked).

But as for the housework, no, I really couldn't ask for more of him.  We were stretched, both of us, to our limits.  She was a tough first baby.



#17 hiccamups

Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:30 AM

Oh and I also took DH along to a parenting/sleep training course.  It helped so much because he wouldn't take my advice, but gladly listened to the midwives!  Stubborn ox he is.

#18 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:03 AM

Dh took his 3 days paid parental leave (!!) 2 weeks annual leave and 10 days carers leave as i had a section, and DS was in SCU for 10 days.

We had a long discussion about what we thought it might be like and of course it's nothing like that, but I think on the whole I expected him to be an equal parent. He's not really, in that I do the bulk of the physical parenting, and the bulk of the parenting thought load (research purchases, child rearing methods, CCC etc etc) while he does the bulk of the cooking, and those sorts of things.

So in short I expected him to pull his weight and he does. Sometimes I feel like he does a lot more stuff around the house, while I'm playing on the floor with DS!

#19 MintyBiscuit

Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:12 AM

Our expectations and our reality have been fairly different. My grand plan with being a SAHM was that after the initial newborn period (the first 3 months in my head) I'd have a lovely daily routine where I'd get all the housework done while the baby slept for 2-3 hours at a time, plenty of down time for me, fresh baked bread every second day, and DH would be able to come home and relax and spend time with his son. Weekends would be cruisy and easy family time because everything would be done through the week.

rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif  

In reality, DS has been a shocking catnapper and it is only now at a bit over six months that he is finally showing signs of decent sleep. DH has rolled with it the whole time and been his usual wonderful self, and we've both managed to muddle through with just the usual handful of tears and tantrums (from us, not DS wink.gif )

Leave wise, DH took two weeks annual leave, then two weeks working from home, and then when he went back to work he worked from home once a fortnight. I've always taken night duty up until the last few weeks, because up until then I'd feed DS to sleep after every waking. We share nights a bit more now, but just play it by ear every night depending on who is more tired (apart from the overnight feed which I still do).

I think if you guys are fairly equal already you should be fine. I agree with a PP and wouldn't be cancelling the cleaner just yet until you know what sort of baby you have - DS is by no means high needs and is a really happy baby, but the lack of sleep makes everything else incredibly difficult.

#20 ~Supernova~

Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:32 AM

Considering I never wanted any more children, my expectation was that DH would be there to support me 150% so I didn't lose the freaking plot...

I do most of the housework/cooking, as DH works long, hard days. He always does one night feed (usually the midnight one) as DS just feeds and goes straight back to sleep. DH can fall asleep at the drop of a hat, whereas I take forever, so this works for us. DS sleeps really well at night time, but is a shocking cat napper during the day. Some days are extremely exhausting, so DH will take all the night feeds a couple of times a week (I don't ask, he just sees that I'm tired so he takes himself off to the couch with the monitor and closes our bedroom door so I can get some sleep. When he gets home from work he relaxes for about half an hour with a coffee, then he takes over for the bedtime routine (feed, shower etc) while I relax (usually with a wine LOL). On weekends we share the load, with him doing the majority of things with DS and me doing more of the housework.

I expected him to be an equal parent, and that's exactly what he is. Sometimes I get a little cranky and have to remind him to help with a few things on the w/e, but he really is quite fantastic  wub.gif

#21 jeska~and~her~secret

Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:50 AM

I expected equality in all areas except BF, and that's what we have. original.gif

However I would also urge caution on cancelling the cleaner. DD hated to be put down, at any time, and although she did start sleeping on her own very early, I used a lot of that time to rest myself. I remember I only had two daily jobs early on: make dinner, and wash nappies. Some days that was a struggle, and I was the walking cliche of a mum in her dressing gown till after lunch. Luckily I had a gorgeous cleaner who came once a week and cleaned the kitchen and vacuumed for me. I think I would have found it even harder (and I found it  pretty hard) without her.

Good luck, OP!

#22 =R2=

Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:57 AM

I suggest not expecting anything at all. Everything is just a wonderful fantasy for you at the moment and the reality could be so different. People cope with sleep deprivation and groundhog days differently.

Just communicate your needs with each other as they come and thank each other when they are met. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're a single parent doing everything and feeling helpless or being the partner and feeling like you can't do anything to contribute because you do it wrong or not as well as you'd like.





#23 chocolatecrackle

Posted 08 May 2012 - 08:52 AM

DH and I had three things we agreed on - my responsibility was breastfeeding and my own sleep; DH was in charge of settling; DH had to be home on time from work, or give me as much notice as he could if he was late.

DH had three weeks off when DS was born. I think this was a decent period of time - I am glad he didn't have longer as I think I would have found it hard to cope by myself.

The most important thing for me in the early weeks was having DH home on time. I could get through the worst of days, counting down the minutes to when I could pass DS over and take the dog for a walk, have a shower or just have five minutes without crying.  When DH was running late, it was so much harder. I would have traded less paternity leave for more certainty that I could have had DH home on time.

As for dividing tasks, I was in charge of breastfeeding and getting enough sleep to be able to cope with a baby during the day. Everything else was a bonus.

Our agreement with the overnight feeds was that I would feed, and DH would settle. It turned out that DS was pretty easy to settle overnight, so I would only get DH to help if I couldn't settle DS within twenty minutes - it just didn't make sense to wake DH up for fifteen minutes of settling when I'd already beeen up feeding for an hour, especially given that I wouldn't be able to sleep with the bassinet next to me.

Everything else we made up as we went along. We tried to make time to talk for ten minutes at the end each day about what had worked, what hadn't, and what we should try the next day.

#24 Therese

Posted 08 May 2012 - 10:22 AM

We didn't really have any expectations.  He was happy to do whatever needed to be done.  We had always shared what needed to be done before we had kids so I knew that would continue.




2 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 2 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Win a $250 Visa debit card

We want to know about your health habits. Take our survey for a chance to win a $250 pre-paid VISA debit card.

10 fruits and vegetables you're probably storing wrong

To keep your produce fresher longer, remember these tips.

Here's to the friends who just 'get' us

Today, after a wonderful weekend away, I am counting my blessings for the friends that 'get' me.

27 funny ultrasound pictures

Ultrasounds give you a look at your growing baby ... and sometimes what appears to their womb-buddy, or your bub in an amusing position.

Couple welcomes 100th grandchild

Leo and Ruth Zanger could be forgiven for not remembering all their grandchildren's birthdays - after all, there are 100 of them.

Pregnancy food rules around the world

Are the dietary guidelines for pregnant women all that different around the world?

The trials of being a repetitive mum

Have you noticed that only about 10 per cent of your commands are met with cooperation? For the other 90 per cent of the time it?s all about repetition, repetition, repetition.

Let's talk about sex ... and pregnancy and parenthood

It's one of little life's ironies that the very act that results in our beautiful, adored children is one that takes a big hit once said adored children enter the world.

'I had a lotus birth and I loved it'

Lotus birthing is not all that common, but for a number of women it feels like the most natural thing to do.

Guilty secrets of a tired mum

Fake sleep, the nappy bomb, the mum uniform ... a mum shares her guilty secrets.

'I missed my baby's birth and was close to death'

Michaela McNally didn't just miss the birth of her baby girl, but also the precious first week of little Maggie's life.

Pete Evans releases controversial Paleo baby book

My Kitchen Rules' celebrity chef Pete Evans has released his controversial baby Paleo cookbook online.

6kg baby breaks records at Qld hospital

A bub weighing more than six kilograms has been born in a Queensland hospital.

Man stolen as baby reunited with mother after 41 years

A man has reunited with his mother 41 years after mysteriously being taken from her as a newborn.

When parenthood makes you anxious

Since becoming a parent my anxiety has exacerbated, because now there is someone little in the equation too. And I'm not alone.

Five ways my second pregnancy is second best

As I roll into the second half of "Pregnancy: The Sequel", here is breakdown of the differences I have found thus far.

Domestic politics

Why I felt guilty about having a cleaner

Coming home to a clean house was a pleasure – and yet, I felt uneasy.

'Ugly' hearing aid ad leaves parents fuming

When Alecia Donoghue found out her baby would need hearing aids she worried about him becoming the target for schoolyard bullies.

Have you seen these missing children?

The Australian Federal Police has released the following information to locate some of Australia's missing children through the Family Law Court.

Margarita time

Keira Knightley welcomes first child

British actress Keira Knightley has become a first-time mother.

IVF patients in the dark over which clinics are least successful

Couples with fertility problems have little way of knowing which IVF clinics are the best performers despite significant differences between clinic success rates.

Couple forced to defend their decision to become parents

They met, fell in love and got married. Then, just like couples everywhere, Simon and Vicky Moore decided it was time to have a baby.

The one parenting tip that made all the difference

Amongst the useless, ill-informed advice we're given as new parents, many of us also receive nuggets of wisdom that make our lives just that little bit easier.

Five lies you tell yourself when you're pregnant

You can see it all now: glowing mumma with her gorgeous babe ... you know exactly what you're going to be like. Or perhaps you know exactly what you're not going to be like.

Family expecting fourth set of twins

A couple is expecting their fourth set of twins in five years.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

The universal working mother experience

These days mothers need more than just traditional career advice.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

Obama feels full force of toddler tantrum

Shopping centres, restaurants, the White House ... the list of places toddlers like to throw tantrums is endless.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to winter!

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.