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Second Time Mom Making All the Decisions without Dad










QUESTION:

My partner and I are expecting our baby in 9 weeks. This is my first so I'm feeling pretty much textbook emotions towards this, but the problem starts with the baby being my partner's second.

She has already decided raising techniques and things like that and it's like I have no say. I have tried talking to her about it but she gets emotional to a point where it doesn't get resolved and I end up adding guilt to my list of negative emotions. Being a psychology student isn't helping this situation at all because I can't find any case studies on people in similar situations.




ANSWER:

It is tough enough for first-time dads to deal with first-time moms, who are innately inclined to “gatekeep”, a hormonally supercharged drive to control all things baby. A second-time mother with “experience” could be significantly more difficult, and her resistance to even talking about it is a big red flag. Owning the baby is not something she actually thinks about, it is driven by her feelings, which will become more intensified after the baby comes. A few things to think about as you keep talking to her:

  • Her baby raising techniques might be good for the baby, but the way she's not discussing it and deciding together is bad for our baby’s family.
  • All the research is finding huge benefits from dad doing it his way; by just being different from mom, an involved dad adds a great deal of stimulation to a baby’s brain development.
  • 2/3 of couples find their relationship takes a dive after having a baby; is that what she wants happening to you?
  • She will have to back off the care of her other child, creating an opportunity for you.
  • Once your baby arrives, you will have a variety of opportunities to do it your way – just do it.
  • Get out of the house with your baby early on (a walk around the neighborhood with your baby in a front pack or stroller to start). This is how dads and kids develop their special relationship; when they are on their own together.
  • Be patient and persistent about being you child’s dad.

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