Not too excited dad to be
So i have been told off by my wife, several times, for not being overwhelmed about our incoming little one. And she is right. At this stage, i experience far more of the "trouble" side of things. Worries about money and responsibilities, trying to be a good partner and all that. I am no attention seeker, never been, so it is ok for me if things are not all about me. But I feel like (she and the society in general makes me feel that way) i should be miles above the ground. Quite frankly i think it is normal to feel the way i do, but the majority of the imput i receive, contradicts this and the contradicton causes cognitive dissonance and ongoing stress. Both these have pretty bad effect on our relationship.
I mean, it is unreal for me yet, not so mutch for her as she is the one directly experiencing the whole thing. I do all i can to attend to my "duties", do the housework, rub her feet, cream her bump, pay the bills ect.. But i am numb on the emotional side yet! She is watching all these silly movies, and she wants me to be "that guy", but i clearly can not be, as real life is a little different then the one on the screen in my opinion. She has plenty flying monkeys, who knows nothing of our relationship background, saying that "yeah, he should be so excited, must be something wrong with him..." and so on. Her family - of course - supports her, and is "devastated" by my lack of excitment.
In any case i have the feeling that i am not enough, and I can not talk about this to her, because she just does not hear me, besides seems to focus on things i am not doing, meanwhile disregarding everything that I actually do. I can not talk/argue/debate with her because she just throws in the "i am pregnat", "you should be like this/that" and "i need more care" cards, like Aces. (So like i should have no issues now at all, just shut up and serve. Oh, and do it exactly the way i want...) Whatever I say, these are the ultimate answers all the time, wheather they makes sense or not. I feel like i am already sucked dry and simply have nowhere to give from, yet she expects me much more and on top of that, I should be excited and happy all about this. I mean what the hell is happening?
Anyone been in similar situations? Some advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Its hard to be expected to show outward excitement if you're not that kind of person. The nct website - nct.org.uk has info on dads emotions and suggestions on discussions which could be had now. These are on the practical side which might make more sense for you.
Thank you for being very open about how you are feeling. Can I let you into a secret? You are not alone on how you are currently feeling. There have been many parents- to- be that have felt overwhelmed and emotionally numb, when learning they are to become a parent. 21 years ago I was one of these parents and I felt so guilty that I wasn't jumping up and down and getting excited. But I'm pleased to say, you will get there and it does get better !
I would say that what you are feeling at the moment is completely normal. Worrying about things like finances, etc is completely normal. Becoming a parent is a life changing event, but if you take things day by day, and do pregnancy in bite-size pieces, then you will be fine. Because it's your wife that's carrying the baby, things are happening to her physically everyday that she is having to adjust to. Hormones - they have a lot to answer for - baby growing, cravings, lack of sleep and emotions all over the place, and for a while it feels like its all about the mum. BUT this is where you can come in. It sounds like you are already doing a great job in looking after her, so carry on. It may not appear that she's thankful, but I can assure you she is and will be. You have created something very precious and for both mum and dad-to-be it can sometimes be too much!
Here's a few suggestions which I hope will help you along the way:
1. Keep talking to your wife - at the right time of day - when your wife is resting and able to listen. Please keep telling her how you are feeling. Does she know why you are anxious? It is ok to be happy about a baby and to be anxious about the future too. What's important is that you keep communication open. Explain to your wife that you feel hurt when she compares you to the "film dads". Media has a lot to answer too!
2. Make time for each other - what do you love about your wife? What does she love about you? Spend some time over a meal for example, just talking about you two and not about the baby. Then perhaps over a coffee or a walk you can talk about baby and make some plans. This may help with finance - plan how much you will spend on a pushchair for example. Remember babies do not have to be expensive! They need love, warmth, food and a safe place to sleep.
3. There are some great charities that offer support to dads to be, if you're a reader - read some other fathers testimonies on how they coped. Fegans, Care For The Family, are two that offer this and other parenting bits.(plus the nct as mentioned above)
4. Have you a close dad friend you trust that you can talk with regarding your thoughts? Talking is a really good way to get things off your chest and to rationalise and sort through your thoughts.
I believe you and your wife will do great if you keep communicating with each other, appreciating each other and reminding each other why you got together in the first place, you will join the rest of us in the world of being a parent. You can do it !
Sorry for my long post, but I wish you all the very best and hope that you and your wife can experience lots of happy times together before and after baby arrives.