HOW DO I GET MY HUSBAND TO HELP WITH THE BABY?
This is the question many new mums ask – way more often than you would have thought!
It’s no secret that having a baby puts a strain on many relationships.
There is no wonder!
Your life as you know it changes from one day to the next.
You struggle to adjust to life with the baby.
You are sleep deprived and often feel you like can’t cope.
You feel stressed and overwhelmed.
You try to get your partner involved but talking to him often feels like talking to a wall.
Every effort to get him to understand you ends up in an argument.
You feel lonely and unheard.
You tell yourself – Men have it so easy!
You speak to your mummy friends and ask them if their partner helps with the baby.
You share your frustrations with them hoping they understand.
If this is you, I feel you mama!
You are definitely not alone in this!
Many mums out there struggle to get their partner involved with the baby.
The solution is not simple though!
There is no magic trick that will make all the difference from one day to the next.
It’s long-term work that requires a lot of patience on both sides.
But the good news is it IS possible!
How To Get Your Partner To Help With The Baby
In today’s post, I share the best tips on how to get your partner to understand you and help out more!
But before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about the foundations of a relationship for that’s where it all starts!
They are not helping, they are parenting
The first thing I want to point out before getting to the tips is that fathers are parents too.
They are, therefore, not helping, they are parenting.
Saying they should help can make it feel like a chore for him.
Plus, rephrasing it in your mind also helps to put things into perspective.
Many new mums DO NOT WANT their partner to help.
They feel they need their rest because they work.
What they are forgetting about is that dads are parents too and they NEED that time with their children.
Yes, this includes night feeds.
Does our relationship have a strong foundation?
Another thing I want to point out before getting to the tips is the relationship foundation.
Having a strong foundation is The most important thing in every relationship and every relationship problem.
If the foundation is missing, it’s much harder to work on other things.
In other words – it doesn’t make sense to fix the bricks if the foundation is not stable.
So if you want to get your partner or husband to help you with the bab, you need to ask yourself the following questions first:
Are other aspects of your relationships strong and healthy?
Do we have the same values?
Do I feel loved and supported in other areas of our relationship?
If the answer to at least one of these questions is a NO, then there is a strong chance your relationship is missing a strong foundation in which case the solution to the problem ‘my partner is not helping with the baby’ is more complex.
In that case, I would, therefore strongly recommend couple counselling.
Truth is that many women believe their partner is not supportive when in fact, he IS.
Many times, women look for support and romance in the wrong places and miss all the amazing things their partner is actually giving them.
But that’s a different subject I might elaborate on another time.
Now, assuming your foundation is strong, here are my bullet-proof tips on how to get your partner to get more involved with the baby!
Many times, women complain to their friends or family members but do not talk to the person who is actually concerned – their partner!
Talking to them is therefore crucial!
I am not talking about talking during arguments. (Arguments are important for getting the emotions out but they do not solve a problem.)
I am talking about talking in peace – when both of you are calm – and effectively!
Communicating effectively is an actual skill that when you master, there is (almost) no problem you cannot deal with!
If you want to learn HOW to communicate effectively, get your partner to understand you, and as a result HELP YOU WITH THE BABY, keep on reading!
2. Do not attack
The number one rule is to express your feelings and say what you need without judging and attacking.
When we attack another person, they automatically go into attacking mode – and so do we.
These conversations, therefore, don’t lead anywhere.
The same goes for judging.
Now you may think, I don’t judge!
But we all judge – often without realising it!
Here’s an example.
When you say You have nice shoes, you are judging.
When you say I like your shoes, you are not judging; you are expressing your opinion.
Here are some more examples of judging:
- You never listen to me!
- You don’t understand!
- You don’t help out!
- You are always busy!
- You are always away!
If you want to solve an actual problem and get your partner involved with the baby – talk about your FEELINGS.
Talk about how their action/inaction affects your feelings and offer a SOLUTION.
It can be hard to NOT slide into attacking and judging mode when expressing our frustration, but it is very important to NOT to.
Instead of saying You never help me, try to say When you are not helping, it makes me feel overwhelmed/lonely/stressed (whatever you feel).
Then offer a solution.
Just like this:
When you_________________ I feel ___________________. So I want you to_________________ instead so that I can feel___________________.
This doesn’t create space for attacking and actually opens space for a meaningful conversation and effective solution.
Especially during arguments, people tend to talk a LOT but only rarely do they listen.
When our partner talks, we simply wait for them to finish so that we can continue.
Remember that if you want your partner to understand you, you need to understand them first!
And you can only do that by carefully listening to him.
So try to quiet your inner chatter when your partner speaks.
Let him talk and think about what he said before speaking back.
When we communicate without judging and attacking and actually listen to the other person, we often find connections we didn’t see before.
We often discover something we have previously missed or didn’t pay attention to.
This allows us to UNDERSTAND our partner’s actions.
4. Find and agree on a solution TOGETHER
The aim of your conversation should be to find a solution that works for you both.
First, offer your solution, then ask him for his opinion, and then try to find the best solution together.
Do not settle for anything you are not happy with.
If finding the best solution means you need to talk for a week, then be it!
Remember that you DO need help just as your partner DOES need to be involved – for you, for the baby, but also for HIMSELF.
Finding a solution is therefore non-negotiable.
5. Be Patient
Sometimes we need to explain things more than once.
It’s normal, common, and understandable.
If your partner doesn’t get you right away, don’t give up!
Sometimes it takes time for things to set in.
If helping with the baby is not natural for him and something he’s lived with for years, you cannot expect to change it from one to the next.
Be patient and keep explaining things to him from different angles.
However, if you feel you have exhausted all your opinions, do not be afraid to seek professional help!
There is no shame in admitting you have a problem and need help.
When you have a toothache you don’t feel bad going to the dentist, do you?
The same goes for problems in relationships.
If you can’t resolve it yourself, get the professionals to help you.
How To Get Your Partner To Help With The Baby
There you go!
I hope these tips will help you connect with your partner on a new level and find a solution that is best for you both!
Which of the above tips do you like the most (and why)?
Let me know in the comments!
PS. If you feel your relationship is getting off track since the baby has arrived, if you are struggling to adjust to life with the baby, if you feel sad, lonely, and like you can’t cope, I invite you to check out my book Motherhood – The Unspoken.