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TOPIC: First-time Dad struggling

First-time Dad struggling 2 months 3 weeks ago #97607

Hi Dads. I'm really hoping I can get your help & advice in relation to my lovely husband. Our son is 4.5 months, but since he was about 2 weeks of age, my husband has exhibited intense anger in response to times when our son is crying and not settling easily. He was himself shocked and worried about these feelings, so he initially sought help and arranged to go to counselling. But he stopped going after only 2 sessions, claiming that he didn't think it necessary any more, believing things had sufficiently improved. But in reality, I just took over more, and/or intercepted quickly when I could hear or see him losing his cool. I started asking for his help again, and sometimes, he's great, but there are still occasions when he can't cope. Recently for example he's referred to him as a 'selfish little prick', when he tried to put him back to bed after a midnight feed and our son didn't fall straight back to sleep again. Not to his face, mind you - but when I told him that it upset and worried me to hear him use that language, he defended it, saying that he genuinely believed our baby capable of being a 'prick' sometimes.

I've tried to explain that our son isn't trying to behave in any particular way (least of all intending to upset his parents), but it falls on deaf ears. What worries me is that there will come a time in the not too distant future when our son does start to deliberately test our / his boundaries (as is normal), and if my husband is already reaching his limit now, then how will things escalate later down the line? I was physically abused by my father so I'm probably more sensitive to this than others, but I also don't believe that this is me projecting my past onto him.

My number one objective is the safety of my child, but closely followed is a desire for him to have a life-long loving relationship with his Dad. But if my husband won't acknowledge there's a problem, what can I do? He's due to take 3 months paternity leave when I return to work (admittedly not until our son turns one, so a few months away yet) - I obviously won't be able to intervene then so I'm particularly nervous about what could happen if / when my husband loses his temper when I'm not there.

Would love other Dad's perspectives on this. How can I best support my husband and my son in this situation?

Thanks in advance x

Edit: He's a brilliant, loving father in many other ways!!

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Last Edit: by Aussie_wife. Reason: More info

First-time Dad struggling 2 months 3 weeks ago #97613

  • Mojo
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Hi there

There can be lots of reasons why your husband isn’t coping too well with the crying. I can understand why you would be worried and it’s certainly something that needs to be addressed.

Having looked around for advice about it, I came across a thread on another forum called baby center, where the same issue is discussed. Some interesting responses... I particularly liked the OPs solution of composing a poem from baby to Dad explaining why he cries... it kind of humanises the situation and might help your husband realise that baby can’t control it, it’s their way of telling us what they want. Another post mentioned a book called the Baby Whisperer, which might help, heres a link


If you’re worried I would suggest some family counselling, perhaps doing it together will encourage him to stick with it.

All the best

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DadTalk Moderator...

I'm not a lawyer or barrister and my responses are based on my own opinions or experiences of the family court.

I may not be legally trained... but I have plenty of experience and common sense!

First-time Dad struggling 2 months 3 weeks ago #97623

Not sure i can offer much help on how to deal with the Hubby but from a first time dad perspective it took me a fair few weeks and months to work out why my child was crying.
eventually the routine for me became a bit of a check list.

Here is how we worked our out:

Q: Why is child crying? A: for one or several reasons....

- Wet Nappy - change it
- Dirty nappy - change it
- Hungry - feed them
- Wind - need burping
- Tired - pace the house rocking them / cuddling and rocking them etc...
- Poorly - speak with health visitor and or magic medicine (calpol type of thingy) if diagnosed to be poorly
- Too warm - remove some covers / clothes
- Too cold - add more covers / clothes
- Something shocked/frightened them - as per Tired, sooth them / rock them . cuddling, pacing the house with them, distract them with other things....mine loved being near a funky silvery light fitting seeing the reflections move as we moved.

For me it became a process of elimination, checking each one until they were eliminated, takes so much time but babies cry for only a few reasons not just for the sake of it to p*ss you off.

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i'm not legally trained....i'm just a Dad going through hell to see his child grow up and become a decent man and human being.....my goal is simple...to be the father to my child like my father is to me...my hero.

Started this battle 2010.....who knows when the fighting will stop!

Parental Alienation is real and is abuse!

First-time Dad struggling 2 months 2 weeks ago #97694

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I would definitely try to get him back to counselling, either on his own or together, it really can help to spot the signs before the anger rises, and to come up with strategies to deal with it quickly.

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