10 Mar

When is a father born?

I have heard many times a saying that a mother is born when the child is born. I completely agree with it also. But when is a father born?

When do they start to bond with the child? Is the bonding only there when they are involved in the child’s activities? Or is it that it just finally dawns on then that they have a child now! How does it really work?

I am really perplexed as to how and when do they feel anything for this child that they have fathered. I have a husband who will not  do anything , and by that I mean as a regular routine. Her bath, sleep, feed, nothing. All he does is play with her for exactly 10 mins everyday. Is this because she is too small to demand or she is too small to play with. I play with her, I read her books, he just does not seem to do anything. Is this normal? I am very very disturbed frankly with what I see. Its like I am a single parent at times, except for the monetary aspect.

My daughter turned 10 months, he has not bought her a single toy till date. He feels she has no liking towards toys and she does not need any toy, rather she will play with the toys she has. I feel very sad. I do buy her things, but I feel why is it that he has never had an inclination to buy anything for her. It has been always me who even has to say about getting her new clothes or anything. It just never comes from him.

I am frustrated.


5 Responses to “Father”

  1. Nandini's Niche March 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    Okay, I am going to share an insight with you that I have learned from having two children.

    When you make your husband responsible for babyWORK, he will automatically begin to also like babyPLAY and show babyLOVE. This is because if you don’t work for something, you will never see its value.

    Now, I bet your husband has no idea at all how much work goes into caring for this baby. My guess is that he thinks it’s easy, that you have an easy life, that he does all the hard work in your household, etc. But that’s not true at all, is it?

    Your husband goes to work and earns money for the children. And then he comes home and… what? Gets time off to himself every single morning before work and evening after work and night when he wants to sleep. He also gets weekends and holidays and vacation days off. He gets sick leave and emergency leave.

    But what about you? You are ALWAYS on duty. You have to be available for your daughter 100% of your time, day or night, weekend or holiday, whether you are sick or whether you have an emergency. You NEVER get a vacation. Even when you go on vacation with your family, you are “on duty” caring for your daughter. You NEVER get time to yourself when you are completely free.

    Childcare is real, difficult, essential WORK. Your husband needs to do his half of it. The hours that he is at work, you are also working, right? So when he comes home from work and during his weekends and holidays off, he needs to be doing half the baby work!

    And of course, most important of all, your daughter needs a real father. How much your husband would enjoy fatherhood if he allowed himself to experience it. How much you need an equal parenting partner to share the highs and lows of parenting with.

    Here’s what you do. And you do this TODAY.

    You talk to the man. If he is the reasonable sort, that is.

    You sit him down and you explain to him that your current arrangement is unsatisfactory to both you and your daughter. Tell him she needs a father who is present in her life, not some stranger who is just interested in paying the bills. Tell him you need an equal parenting partner, not someone who assumes the enormous burden of 24/7/365 childcare is “women’s work” alone.

    Tell him that from now on, when he comes home from work, he is responsible for half the baby care. Just… hand the baby over to him and start reading a book.

    Every weekend, he will change half her diapers, play with her half the time, and feed her half her meals (if you are breastfeeding then he will feed her ALL her non-breastmilk meals).

    Every month, you will take one weekend day off completely to yourself and he will handle the baby. (Be sure you leave the home for the day so that he doesn’t keep pestering you saying “where is the diaper pail” and “how should I put the spoon in her mouth”.) He can also take one weekend day off per month if he likes, all to himself.

    And so on.

    Make a list of all the baby-related chores that you do every day, if necessary, and make sure he does half of them on weekends. It will help you as well as him to see the whole list and do a measurable half of the work.

    Trust me, when you make him responsible for half the baby WORK, he will automatically fall in love with the child and want to spend more time playing with her. Working at something makes people like it, become invested in it, and take pride in it.

    If you make him do the work, he will fall in love.

    • JustAgirl March 30, 2012 at 7:18 am #

      I did try doing what you suggested. Sat him down and spoke to him. He says he does not like to interfere and then be told to do things in a particular way, so hence he chooses to keep out of the way.

      I said I would not mind if he did things his way and I would not interfere but he has still refused.

      I wonder if this is the true reasoning or is it just something to say.

      • Nandini March 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

        What the hell, he “refused”? How can he “refuse” to do his job???

        You need to be firm: ask him how he would like it if YOU refused to do your duties also – no cooking, no cleaning, no making the bed, no laundry, no washing dishes, no contact with his relatives and his parents, no festivals celebrated in the house… How would he like that?

        Remind him that he is a father. A FATHER, not a bill-payer. What does he think fatherhood is???

        I am so angry on your behalf 😦 I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I can hardly believe that someone in my generation has to still fight this battle. {{hugs}}

        Another idea: do you want to write to IndianHomeMaker about this? Maybe the community there can be more helpful than me. They are much better experienced with traditional Indian marriages than I am.

        • JustAgirl March 31, 2012 at 7:27 am #

          I am so angry myself. I am tired of thinking every waking moment about this and being angry. I have just sort of start feeling things will just never get back to being the same. Its been 6 months and nothing has changed, I have tried, and now I think forever I shall hold a grudge against him for this.

          I did think about mailing IHM, but then I wanted to try a little more before I decide I am totally lost. Maybe it is just a part of me still hoping.

          • Nandini March 31, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

            You know, IHM is not an option of “last resort”, you can try them for help even when you are not totally lost… Who knows, they might suggest a better approach than what you intend to try?

            In the meantime, I have to tell you how proud I am of you as I read your blog. You are facing such a terrible, lonely burden and you seem to be doing it with a lot of grace and tact. You must have a lot more strength than I do… But it might be stopping you from getting what you deserve.

            In the first few months after my son was born my husband let me down hugely, and truly broke my heart. He was always an excellent father to our son but he was terrible with ME and MY needs. He just didn’t seem to realize that I was weak and sick and needed his help, even when I told him. He didn’t see how my life had turned upside down because he was preoccupied with the baby. He didn’t see I needed his support and empathy and companionship… to me it felt as if he was neglecting me to play with the shiny new baby we had.

            I reacted with a lot of anger, a very bad temper, lots of talking, and yes, even holding a grudge for more than three years because he just didn’t get it. It’s only recently that we have been able to finally resolve the issue and put it behind us… and that was only because my grudge came out and showed itself in my actions, loud enough for him to notice.

            In my heart of hearts I believe that if I had not made such a big fuss about it, SHOUTED about my needs and fought and fought and fought for them, he would never have heard me and he would never have changed to the extent that he did.

            Take from this what you will. You know your husband and your relationship and your personality. I don’t know if you will feel comfortable fighting as much as I fought, but I can tell you that for me it has been worth it. My relationship, after going through a rough patch, is now stronger than ever. I feel heard, my needs are being met, and my husband has learned how to listen…

            I hope with all my heart that you can find a way through this. Stay strong. Use your strength not to stay silent but to remind yourself that YOU ARE IMPORTANT. Your needs matter. Fight for them.

            {{HUGS}} as always. Take care.

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