Ask a Dad Question

Balancing Baby and Mom’s Needs










QUESTION:

We have a 5 month old at home. I work at a hospital. My wife gets upset when I call the doctors there to ask them about my son. She feels I am going above her, but I just want to take care of my son. What should I do?




ANSWER:

New moms can sometimes be controlling about “their” baby. It cuts both ways because they are very attentive moms, but they push dad away without realizing what they are doing. Below is advice for brand new dads as they encounter this; suggestions for you are to continue to talk to the doctors on behalf of your son, but be subtle about it and try to understand where she is coming from. It is important that she recognize the value you bring to your baby as his father and that both of you understand the value of working together and talking directly about issues that tend to push you apart. Stay positive about this; don’t take it personally (it is just something new moms go through) and look for other ways to strengthen your relationship, like taking her on a date and leaving the baby with a babysitter. You may find she appreciates the balance this brings to her otherwise overwhelmingly “focused on the baby” life.

Let me know if this is helpful, and hang in there on being the best you can be as a dad.

Recognize Her “Gatekeeping” for What It Is

A mother has an intense relationship with her baby, and it’s not always easy, even if she is exhausted, for her to share him with you. There you are, primed and ready to do your part, and she’s hovering over you, scrutinizing everything you try to do. What do you do if your wife wants to do everything herself?

  • Remind her that you need the practice. Let her know how important being close to your son or daughter is to you, right from the beginning. Stand your ground gently, and suggest she’ll be glad for your involvement in the long run.
  • If she’s constantly looking over your shoulder and correcting you, take the baby into another room. Get out alone with your baby to prove to her that you are fully capable of taking care of your own child.
  • Understand that her life is wrapped up around the baby, and her “control freak” behavior is tied directly to her desire to do a good job as a mother.

Things will balance out in time if you keep pressing to be involved and do not let her push you out of your baby’s life.

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