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Dad is the at-home parent

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  • Hi everyone. This is my very first post as I am new to the site. I decided to search for a little “mom support”. I live in Portland, OR, I am 33 years old, have been married for 7 years. I have a 12 week old baby girl named Alice. My husband and I fought for the past 7 years to start our family. We experienced 3 miscarriages, struggled with my fertility and ability to get pregnant, but finally we were blessed with our daughter Alice in August of this year. I am a working mom and have been back to work for 3 weeks now. My husband stays home and cares for our daughter during the day and works part time on evenings and weekends. We made the decision for him to quit his job and be the at home parent while I was still pregnant. He was working full time as well but the more we thought about it, it just made more sense to have him quit and stay home with her. I really did not want to put her in daycare but also it just made more financial sense. I make more money and have a better career path so my being the at home parent, as much as I always dreamed of it, was just not an option for us at this time. It also just didn’t make sense to have half of his pay go into daycare to have someone else raise her. We went through so much to have her that I just couldn’t bear having someone else essentially raising her. At least now I know she is in our home, with one of us and she is being interacted with and not just sitting in a crib all day long.

    As I said before, I have been back to work for 3 weeks now. This has been quite an adjustment for me and we have gone through quite a few changes in a short time period. Not only with me going back to work and leaving the baby but my husband started his new job so we are now apart a lot more than we ever were before. We have been together for 10 years in January and we have never not had our nights and weekends together. When I was pregnant I was hoping so much that we would not just be passing each other every day but it seems that this has kind of been the case so far. It’s been a real adjustment on so many levels. It’s proving to be somewhat of a challenge for us as far as our relationship goes. We seem so distant from each other and seem so disconnected in a way we never were before. We moved to Portland about 3 years ago from Phoenix. We are here with essentially no support system, no family and very, very few friends. We really have been pretty much inseparable since we moved here so this sudden shift in the amount of time we have together as seemed to distance us in a way that we never were before.

    I’m also finding that I am extremely jealous, insecure and a little resentful when it comes to his time and relationship with our daughter. I have convinced myself that she is going to forget me and that she will prefer my husband over me. He spends all day with her, she seems to really light up and respond to him. I feel like I have to work SO hard for a smile or even to get her to look me in the face. I cried all last night because I couldn’t get her to look at me or smile at all. I was just sure she hated me or that I am a stranger to her. I know all of this sounds petty and immature but I’m just being really honest here. I’m the mom. I’ve always thought that the mother/baby bond was so strong and secure and especially in these early months she would really be attached to me. I feel resentful that he gets all day with her and I don’t. I know this is the arrangement we made and I know that it makes the most sense and I am SO grateful she is not in daycare but I sometimes find myself wishing she WAS in daycare so we would both be on a more even playing field regarding her time and attention. Obviously I am not going to put her in daycare and I am being a total drama queen but knowing my feelings are irrational and making myself not feel them are two different things. I’m afraid she is going to forget me or really just not care that much about me. Again I know all of this is silly but I can’t help how I feel. I have never had a child before. I had all of these ideas of what it would be like, what the relationship would be like and what I expected to feel but so many of the things I expected have proven to be wrong. I fought SO hard to have her and have gone through so much loss and pain. She is all that matters to me now but I just constantly worry that I’m not doing things right or that I am broken because I don’t feel that she is loves me back. I just want to feel secure that she won’t forget me because I’m not there. I don’t want to feel BAD because my husband has a good relationship with her. How stupid is that? I’m upset because I have an involved, participatory husband who loves our daughter. I feel so ashamed for feeling what I do but I just can’t seem to get myself together!

    I just feel like I am a total jumble of emotions. My relationship is going through some major changes apparently and I don’t know how to get it leveled back out. I’m completely insecure about my time and connection to my daughter and I really have no one in my life who can relate to any of these feelings. All of my sisters were at home moms. None of them worked and had to struggle to balance their work, their marriage and also fought to stay relevant to their kid. I guess that’s what I’m most afraid of. That I won’t matter to her. She will just attach to Dad and I’ll just be in the background. It makes me resentful and defensive when he tells me how to do something to calm or care for her because I feel like he’s telling me that he knows how to do it better than me because he is with her all day long. I feel like I, as the mom, should be the one telling HIM what she needs, wants and likes. Again for the 50th time, I KNOW this is all petty and childish but I really am just trying to be honest here. I don’t know. I guess I’m just hoping someone else out there knows how I am feeling, can tell me it’s somewhat normal and that I’m not completely broken emotionally and can tell me how they dealt with it. As of right now I feel completely alone and have no one that can relate to anything that I am feeling.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Christy on 10th November 2010
  • Hi Christy, wondering if things have gotten better for you and you feel better about your situation. I too am the bread winner while my husband stays home with my daughter and am equally jealous of his time with her. She is 7 months old now and I've been back to work for 5 months. I do find that our bond is special and I can comfort her in ways my husband can't. I hope you have found this as well and you've had the chance to get used to being away from her. I remember being panicked while at work and away from her - it didn't go away until she was about 6 months old. I do sometimes worry about the day that she won't smile and want to come to me when I walk in the door... I hope that never happens.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Allyson G on 31st March 2011

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