Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Not Holding My Breath

Re: my previous post:

Yes, that's grass in the back yard. Not very pretty in winter - brown spots, soggy, etc. We've had bleak weather lately to boot. But having grown up in upstate NY, I just say, "At least you don't have to shovel bleak."

Thanks for the suggestions about skin tags. And I've decided to forgo the wall mural. I liked that "moon outside the open windows" thing, but I realized it's too big for the room.

More recent news:

I looked at my blog ticker and it seems I barely have 2 months to go! Or, as Lorraine, at Elderly Ovary pointed out (after a very scary episode and trip to the hospital), sometimes things happen before you intend.

So, life is getting busy.

I signed up for some prenatal classes and last weekend my DH and I took the maternity ward tour. It didn't amount to much more than walking from L&D to the post partum ward and listening to the super-cheerful guide tell us how the beds worked, where to park and where to enter the hospital when we arrive in labor.

I have spent a ton of time painting. The baby's room walls, the closet, the chair rail, the touch-ups. I have breathed enough paint fumes to last me a long while.

I researched cribs (thanks, An Offering of Love!) and we went shopping to look at a few. I then researched the particular cribs we liked for recalls, safety issues and reviews. We are actually ready to make a purchase!

My co-workers announced that my office baby shower will be February 3rd. I need to go online Friday and get registered for baby things! I need to do a little research and make a list first, since I really have no idea what the important items are (other than the obvious big items - car seat, swing, bouncer, etc).

I have the name of a daycare facility located a few blocks from my office. I have yet to call them, but it's on the list of things to do.

I signed up for a breastfeeding class that I will go to next week.

I spoke with the folks at doggy daycare to let them know my due date and made sure they'll take the dogs when I get admitted to the hospital.

Do you see a pattern here?

Yes, the pattern would be that I am doing everything and my husband has not lifted a finger to help.

Oh, he went with me to the materinty tour and baby furniture store. And he sat next to me while I went online to get a furniture price quote. He emptied the dishwasher the other day and he rolled the garbage can to the curb.

But I feel like this baby is, and has been, my project, start to finish. And I have to admit, it's a little disappointing. I haven't asked him to do much, but one doesn't always want to have to ask.

One wants their partner to notice them swooning from toxic paint fumes and rush in to offer to finish the final two square feet of wall.

One wants to ask their partner if he wouldn't mind spending 5 minutes spray lacquering 4 little pieces of wood trim and get a "Sure, honey" response, instead of "Well, I'm going to be pretty busy today."

One would like if their partner noticed the fact that they spent 5 hours online after work researching baby safety issues, and ask if there are any other issues that he could help research.

One would really like if their partner noticed the gray film attaching itself to the bathtub and offer to scrub it with bleach so that his pregnant wife doesn't have to choose between breathing more fumes and showering amid gray film.

One would faint from shock if their partner actually purchased a baby item on his own. Any item. A single diaper even.

One would be grateful if their partner would, just once, have dinner ready when she got home from work.

You know? One just would hope.

Yeah, I'm a little frustrated tonight. There's a lot to get done and I can see who will have to do it all, plus work full time (and, BTW, the big litigation case did not settle. It's back on.).

Now you know I LOVE the idea of shopping and nesting and preparing for my baby boy's arrival. I even loved the painting although it eventually ceased to be fun and ultimately became tedious. And I know there are women out there who would give their pinky fingers to be in my position. I am eternally grateful for this pregnancy and wouldn't change it for anything in the world.

I just would like to see a smidgen of interest and involvement from my spouse. In the work that it takes to get things ready. I'd like to feel like I was truly half of a partnership preparing to bring a baby into the world. Not a single mom with a roommate in the back of the house, doing whatever it is he does, which inevitably amounts to addressing his own needs.

I'd like, just once, for him to ask me if there is anything he can do to help.

Just once. You know?
...

15 comments:

IF Optimist, then... said...

Sorry you've had a rough and frustrating time of it. Your hub better watch out or he'll be walking down a dark alley when suddenly a large group of infertile women will descend upon him with wet noodles ready for a lashing.

Mad Hatter said...

I do know. Based on my experience, his involvement in housework and nesting will ebb and flow, but as others have commented in the past, he will fall in love with his baby and enjoy being a daddy. The best advice I can give is to outsource the stuff you can to relieve the stress on yourself - doggy daycare, a maid service, etc. And continue to give him a chance to help you - keep asking, offering options...sometimes he'll surprise you and say 'yes'. Sorry to hear that big case is back on...try to take it easy if you can. Yay for your upcoming baby shower though!
Love,
Maddy

just me, dawn said...

It seems to be kind of the prevailing wind with the men....I like to think it is because they just don't know or think about everything that has to be done, like we do. we are reminded every moment of the upcoming baby.....they go to work, and focus on that while we don't get a break even if you work, the baby is constantly reminding us.
I say give him a list and show him yours...."here is what I have to get done this week, in addition to work, etc and here is your list"....only fair. or give him some choices, her eare 4 things that need to be done, which 2 do you want to do.....just a thought :) our babies will be here soon, I am so excited!

Lara (NoodleGirl) said...

Ugh, guys can be such buttheads. My DH is usually pretty good, but when be bump heads about me "pushing" him to do stuff and him dragging his feet, it works best if I give him a list and ask that it be done a few days later. Oh wait! I just refreshed and see that Dawn said something similar! Great minds!

But anyway, definite confirmation that your frustration with him is 100% valid.

So sorry to hear that big case is still biting you in the butt, grrr.

Monique said...

I think this should be made clear to your DH, early, before you develop hostility and resentment. It's good to get it out while you are calm and collected, don't let it stew/fester until the inevitable volcanic eruption of emotions. Sure, he might be a little defensive when you bring it up now, but trust me, it will be much better to have the discussion now.

anofferingoflove said...

So.... Which crib did you pick!? Put the word out if you want some thoughts on registry items.

I made my dp a list too, it really helped. I think there is just something different about carrying the babe that makes you think/plan/obsess every second in a way the non-gestational parent doesn't. It's totally frustrating!! :-)

musicmakermomma said...

I think you better not be holding your breath! Your dh actually emptied the dishwasher?!!! I am shocked, mine ALWAYS says, I can't tell if it is clean or not. There are little lights on the front that tell when the cycle is done, but he is incapable of seeing the little lights. Apparently his advancing age is interfereing with his sight.

I agree that you should HIRE HELP!!!! This is something I can't stress enough - I was so overwhelmed and my dh had NO CLUE when we had our baby, and even though he loved D, he really didn't do much except holding during happy times for the first year. NO diaper changes - and believe me that was NOT the way I envisioned things. He just refused. And what do you do? Change diapers yourself that what.

I wish now I had hired some help, with no family in town and I had moved so I didn't know any girlfriends - we had NO help beyond my mom coming for a weekend, and his mom for the next 5 days. Hopefully you will have more people you know willing to help - and TAKE THEM UP ON IT! People really do like to assist, (except our dhs) so ask people to come clean, or babysit while you nap, or just keep you company and talk like a grown up for a while.

Sorry I'm on such a soapbox, I hope your guy steps up and is your hero!

Holly said...

One the hubby front-I feel your pain...Adam is 14 months old and I had to tell him the other day that he is more like the babysitter instead of the Daddy...so-he may step up to the plate, or he may be like my husband(who, BTW, despite the previous statement is a great Dad, he just doesn't pay attention to the little details).

On the registry front-I had 2 of my neighbors, who had 2 year olds at the time, help me register. It made it sooo easy and quick, I can't stress that enough, it totally took the stress out of deciding what I do and don't need and what works, what doesn't and what they would and wouldn't live with out. It took us 1 hour at
Babiesrus. ONE HOUR!

optimisticallyhopeful said...

I can sympathize with this, but kind on a tangent. My husband wants to get the nursery ready, but he's not willing to let me take the reigns and do it. We disagree on what to do with it, but he refuses to talk about it. He'd love the girliest room ever, whereas I'm more inclined to go neutral. Where to find a common ground? I have no idea! I thought we'd come up with a compromise, but then it got downgraded to a "possibility" and there is has sat for months while the baby's room remains completely unattended to. So for me it's frustrating not only have no help to prepare the room, but to have no ability to just sit down and take care of it myself either.

Sigh. Like you, I KNOW that he will love and adore our baby when she's born, but the lack of interest in most things related to preparing for the baby is a little disheartening.

I agree with the previous commenters, perhaps the list idea is the way to go? Or perhaps one day he'll just wake up and realize that he should be doing things to help out, kind of like he did with his pruging episode a few weeks ago. Either way, I hope that you are able to find a solution.

Sorry to hear the case is still on...I'm feeling overwhelmed at work too, so I know how that feels.

optimisticallyhopeful said...

I can sympathize with this, but kind on a tangent. My husband wants to get the nursery ready, but he's not willing to let me take the reigns and do it. We disagree on what to do with it, but he refuses to talk about it. He'd love the girliest room ever, whereas I'm more inclined to go neutral. Where to find a common ground? I have no idea! I thought we'd come up with a compromise, but then it got downgraded to a "possibility" and there is has sat for months while the baby's room remains completely unattended to. So for me it's frustrating not only have no help to prepare the room, but to have no ability to just sit down and take care of it myself either.

Sigh. Like you, I KNOW that he will love and adore our baby when she's born, but the lack of interest in most things related to preparing for the baby is a little disheartening.

I agree with the previous commenters, perhaps the list idea is the way to go? Or perhaps one day he'll just wake up and realize that he should be doing things to help out, kind of like he did with his pruging episode a few weeks ago. Either way, I hope that you are able to find a solution.

Sorry to hear the case is still on...I'm feeling overwhelmed at work too, so I know how that feels.

niobe said...

Sigh. I know. I know.

cindyhoo2 said...

Sadly this is not a man v woman issue. I think most relationships have a person who can "see" dirty socks in the floor and one person who cannot. AND the fact that Mr BWUB is so happy to let you soldier on by yourself is quite annoying. He better be glad that we are not neighbors, otherwise I would give him a stern look while thinking mean thoughts! (wooo, scary)

Aside from that, it sounds as though you have really swung into gear. WEll done!

BTW: go to L.owes or T@rget and buy some organic cleansers. Better for you and baby boy. Another thought is that you could wrap up the cleanser as a gift for your DH. :)

stillhopeful said...

Sorry that you're not getting the support and enthusiastic participation you'd like (and deserve). I can't really identify with this as my DH was great with all the prep, but I can say that I did take over with "managing" everything that needed to be done. He had a detailed "honey-do" list in color-coded excel format a few days after the BFP (OK - in reality, it was more like a few days after the good genetic testing results, but you get my meaning!). It really worked well to have a list for him, and he was happy enough to work off of it, as well as add some things of his own that I didn't realize needed to be done (renovation type things). So if you don't mind being the "manager", and if he doesn't mind being managed, that could be a way to approach it...

It is overwhelming to figure everything out and get everything done. Just keep your "eye on the prize" and you'll get through it.

Lorraine said...

Oh, my dear partner-in-this! I hate that I so know exactly how it is, but I do. I am supposed to be on modified bedrest (allowed up for one activity in the morning and one in the afternoon, plus a shower/nighttime ablutions in the evenings) but my husband seems to have forgotten that I might need some help while I'm stuck on the couch. Like, maybe even an offer to put together some snacks for me in or bring me a cup of tea? I'm not asking for the moon.

It's so typical of men to not really get it until the baby is actually born - I hope yours really kicks it into gear once your little guy is here!

tireegal68 said...

Oh boy, big trouble in the nursery:( Pooh pooh pooh!
As you know I am not with a man, but I have seen plenty of men sit around doing nothing while their women did it all, so I guess I do get it.
I think ( gulp) that in my relationship I am actually more of the passive one - though I am still not feeling any empathy for him. But both S and I have about the same standards I think. Even though the baby project is definitely my big thing I really hope she does take an interest and get all excited about practical stuff too!
Cindy is right though - it's not all about gender although I am inclined to think that a lot of it is. Even my feminist brother used to say that his room did not need vacuuming when my mother asked him to do it- rather than just doing it - he would argue there was no need. My otherwise intelligent guy neighbor ( in our building) just can't figure out how to work the garden hose or the lawnmower ( we all take turns) - the ignorance defense astounds me? It seems that in the department of housework or yardwork or anything they don't want to do it's suddenly okay to be stupid!!!
I agree that you should hire help -or tell him that you can do xy and z and he can do ab and c but if he doesn't do his part the other option is paying someone .You might have to do that anyway, because he might agree to do stuff and then go back to his old ways.
I wish it were better. Keep talking to him before the resentment gets volcanic if you possibly can. Sending hugs and hope for the turning of a new leaf for hubster!