Let me first say that I was not up all night stewing, I was just up. The baby and I both get plenty of sleep, but due to a recent bedbug problem, we've been sleeping during the day, when we're less likely to get bitten. This is one of many stressers in our lives right now that don't help anything.
To add onto it, I just got a call from my mother, saying my pregnant sister is in the hospital with pre-eclampsia, and will likely be having her baby at 29 weeks.
Originally Posted by Nudibranch
... That is, the less I feel I can talk about the issue, the trigger is sharper and more problematic. To put it another way, when I sense a trigger, it points me to precisely the issues that need to be aired and resolved.
You say that your partner isn't, or wouldn't be, interested in closing to other relationships at present, which to me says he wants to reserve the power to neglect the primary other-than-mate relationship (with the baby).
So what is he really looking for in "polyrelating"? Depth of relating, or something that feels good (NRE-ish) on his terms? Whatever, I'd say he's evading being fully present for his child.
... In fact I'm less inclined to call your reactions "triggers" than prescient moments of dread to see just how low fathering rates in your partner's total mindspace, from your perspective.
... With all due respect, it sounds to me like "polyrelating" isn't what's really at issue here, it's you and your partner needing to have The Talk about what it means to be parents. You two no longer come first.
I do realize my triggers are telling me something, and I am working on pinpointing exactly what it is, but in the mean time, I'd really like them to not bother me quite as much. heh.
I would do counseling in a heartbeat, if I could afford it. It's much easier for me to speak freely with people who are not directly involved in a situation.
I really do not think he is consciously avoiding me or the baby. Now and then, he cancels plans to stay home with me and the baby when he knows I am upset, or leaves later than he would have if it looks like I could use his help with something.
When he goes out, it's for fun. It's to socialize and go out for new experiences, and of course to get laid. It's nothing serious. He's not really looking for relationships. About a month or so ago, a girl he'd been seeing since at least February had asked him where their little thing was going. It's not going anywhere. They stopped seeing each other after that discussion. He's not looking for a deep connection; just people to go out and do things with.
Admittedly, I get jealous of that because we don't have anyone to watch the baby for the two of us to go out. I have no family around here, no friends, and I wouldn't hire a stranger to do it.
As for me holding the baby, he is calmer with me. Most of the time, I love holding him. I just obviously can not do that, and do the dishes, and take a shower, etc..
He does need to offer to take him more often, and I told him that.
"Polyrelating" is still an issue, for sure. It's just all meshed in with all kinds of other stress factors, including being new parents.
Originally Posted by GalaGirl
Don't dream. DO.
I think the practical nurture act of bodily taking the baby off your hands would do WAY more help at this point than the mental bucket nurture act of anticipating your need before you ask.
Be nice to have BOTH buckets tended -- the mental bucket so you don't have to think it all out ahead of time AND take the body bucket tending so you get a body break from the kid.
But if you can only get one? TAKE THE KID! Then you can tend your own mental health bucket on the break!
You have a mom and brothers? Talk to them more by phone, skype. Consider participating when you can at mothering.com forums or similar -- where you can vent / destress with other parents who are in your Life Age & Stage to give and share support. It's a rough time. When you can, get out to see adult people -- become a library story time regular just to air YOU out.
The answer to that one is to greet him at the door with the baby, announce the baby is ALL HIS for the next 2 hours while you nap and restore yourself.
Do not ASK. Just GIVE him the baby.
I used to do that with my DH. I had to serve baby time as the Breastaurant all hours of the day and I had to serve time with the night nursing/parenting because DH had to sleep to be ok for work. So DH just HAD to serve his time in between in the evening so I could get a break and restore myself for the next shift of mine. Here's a bottle, gimme 2 hrs break so I can NAP!
Limiting himself to less going out of the house? Or Number of Partners? I am not clear there.
And what is your wish? To be saddled with a mess of kids once he kicks the bucket? Isn't one work enough? Where are YOUR wants in this Common Life Picture? How do you negotiate that?
If you suspect PPD for you - see a doc. And if he hasn't been checked for couvade -- he needs a check too.
The baby time is hard. Parents have to worship at the altar of selflessness in service to their infant and it is a hard, hard thing to do on poor sleep, poor couple time, and god knows what that whole first year until you catch your groove.
Hang in there.
I talk to my mother fairly regularly to keep up with things. The only brother I really keep in contact with is not much for conversations.
I don't drive, don't have a car, and won't take the baby on the bus. I live in an area of town I do not feel safe walking around in, so that's not an option either.
Eventually, he'll be old enough that I can actually go places with him. I can look forward to that, and look forward to the three of us being able to go out together.
I don't nap since I get plenty of rest. Mostly I get my breaks that don't involve household duties or bathing when the baby is napping.
I don't think either of us would be too happy if I just forced the baby on him for a couple of hours. The baby doesn't sit with him calmly for very long, maybe half an hour tops. After that, he needs me to calm him down.
I have trouble expressing/pumping much at all, so bottles are not really a good option as I refuse to use formula unless I absolutely have to.
Limiting himself to going out less with other women, or not at all. Not something he'd be open to, I think. It's not the number of partners that has bothered me (so far), as he has only been seeing one at a time for as long as I can recall. When he had another date with someone else when he was seeing the previous girl, it ended up cancelled. He does however talk to several at once.
I'd like at least one more child. How many, I'm not really sure.
When I say he has problems with his health, I don't mean he's only going to live another 10 years or something, and leave me with a bunch of kids. He is unsure of how long he will live (he's only in his early thirties), but I am thinking he has a long way to go. He takes very good care of himself, and appears much younger than he is.
He grew up in a pretty small family. I grew up with a large one. We both would like a fairly large family. We'd like to homeschool, have me being a stay at home mom if possible, etc. We'll see what happens. We haven't done much negotiating on it because I don't really have a lot of long term goals.
Maybe I'll find a way to see someone, be assessed for PPD. That may be difficult financially.
I've been typing this off and on since waking up. I think my son is picking up on my stress since my mother called, and he's not staying down for his usual nap, so my replies have been interrupted multiple times. Again if something doesn't make sense, I'll gladly clarify.