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Am I doing enough as a dad?

 
(@dad8611)
New Member Registered

Hi relatively new to fatherhood, Archie is 16 months old and the question that keeps ringing in my head constantly is, am I doing enough as a father and do I need to be more flexible/change my lifestyle to suit this new chapter in my life.

 

My partner was a primary school teacher before Archie arrived and had no desire to go back into teaching. So my partner looks after Archie Monday to Friday and i work as a freelancer 9-5 in central London and i try and get home for around 6:30pm to bath Archie and put him to bed. When he was first born i took 2 weeks off and also worked from home most days until he was 1 (since the beginning of this year). I finished my last placement in January 23 took 3 months off to have quality time with the family and only started my current placement this March where unfortunately there is no working from home and i get back later. Again its no issue to me as all i can do is follow where the work is and accept there will be some projects which will be better than others. My partner on the other hand feels i should leave later in the mornings and be back around 5/5:30pm which just doesn't work. So my first question is should i be more flexible with my hours to accommodate my family's needs? My partner feels i should quit work and find something that is more flexible. In my line of work i cant be too picky and i go where the work is, as my main priority is the bills and making sure we have a roof over our heads!

 

I also give my partner £1000 a month as an income, which excludes all her bills, maintenance towards her car/fuel etc and all of the household bills as I pay for it all. My counter argument to her is £1000 a month seems a little excessive especially as everything else is covered, which she doesn't agree.

 

As it stands Archie goes to nursery every Monday and to my parents on a Thursday and this August he will go every Wednesday. So I've said if that's the case that should mean the £1,000 a month should go down if the money is supposed to go towards him on days you have him? Its not my main focus point its probably more to channel her thoughts to not get too comfortable that she wont not have the desire to never work.

 

To sum it up, im being told i dont do enough even though im hands on as soon as i get home from work. Weekends i let her lie-in, I do Archie's breakfast and become more hands on throughout the weekend to make up for during the week.

 

I don't want to slander my partner as it probably seems it in this post. She's an amazing mum does everything for him, as well as keeping the house clean and organised. I just need to know if its me that's being unjust/not flexible as a new father?

This topic was modified 11 months ago by Dad8611
Quote
Topic starter Posted : 23/05/2023 3:07 pm
(@midori28)
Active Member

I think with early parenthood, life gets very very busy and its pretty common for both partners to fall into the trap of feeling that they are doing way more than their partner and it can quickly lead to resentment which is of course, not good for anybody.

From hearing your side of the story though, it does sound to me like you are being very accommodating already. If she wants you to be available more, surely some compromises need to be made? I don't know how possible it is for you to actually reduce your hours, but if you are going to earn less money then either less needs to be spent each month or she will probably need to do a little bit to earn the difference. This can be a really difficult conversation as she is probably exhausted from doing all the amazing things that full time mums do! My instinct would also be to look at the £1,000 a month, that does seem a bit excessive but everybody's lifestyles are different.

 

Best of luck with everything.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 24/05/2023 2:15 am
(@clarinet)
Estimable Member Registered

Hi Dad8611,

I agree with the above posting, and I also think from reading your post that you have played an excellent role in supporting your partner and your son Archie - just as any Dad should! You have been adaptable and considerate, and I think you come across as a very caring partner, but I agree there does need to be some compromise with the £1,000 allowance that your partner receives. Look for the easiest things that you can change, the afore mentioned being one of these.

Sometimes new Mums find it completely overwhelming.They have a complete lifestyle change, and a tiny human that relies on them for EVERYTHING when she is on her own with baby/young toddler. Hormones can also hamper thinking for a while too, perhaps you could have a gentle chat when you are both relaxed and ask her if she is feeling ok in herself? I maybe way off course but I think as new parents it should be considered how you are both feeling. Communication is key, it sounds easy and I appreciate that its not always easy to have a chat at the end of the day when you are both tired, so perhaps choose a time when you're off work to do this, but talking really does help. 

As you work in London, I appreciate how hard it is to finish work at 5/5:30pm. My partner worked in London for five years three days a week and did not get home until 7pm most times. But they always had family time at some point during the week. If you were not seeing your family hardly at all then yes, I would agree with your partner that perhaps you consider looking at your work hours, but you seem to do as much as you can already.

I hope this helps, try also to make time for you both to have 1-1 time together - you as a couple are important. Young children are exhausting but worth it. Mine are now 23 and 18. You do get there, so keep on going.

Best wishes, Spurgeons Parent Support

ReplyQuote
Posted : 25/07/2023 7:44 pm
(@djdad)
Active Member Registered

Hi

 

I read this and see many similarities with my own experience.

In my opinion I suggest that you are doing more than enough as a Dad. You should not have to feel or be made to feel that you are not.

I suggest being careful with the issue of your partner returning to work and gently encourage her to do so for her own benefit. This should allow you to be able to compromise on your hours. The outcome of this discussion will no doubt have future repercussions , don't forget she is not just a Mum but also a wife(partner), if this becomes secondary or forgotten then the relationship will be difficult to maintain.

In my experience the longer that they remain out of work the more entrenched this behaviour becomes, being a Mum and Dad should be a partnership not a one way street where one of you keeps taking and then expects more and more until it becomes untenable and you resent them for their actions.

Good luck

ReplyQuote
Posted : 27/07/2023 1:51 pm
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