Gransnet forums


The invisible thread between mum and baby

(8 Posts)
Imperfect27 Wed 27-Jan-16 07:38:27

Three weeks into new motherhood, my daughter asked her husband what he would be doing over the weekend. He reeled off a list of busy things that involved jobs in his workshop, going out for this and that and in general, nothing that apparently featured the new baby :0). My daughter then said 'My ambition is to have one hour where I can have time to myself and have a nice hot bath without being interrupted.'

She wasn't being critical of her husband - just beginning to realise that he simply doesn't think of life with a new baby through quite the same lens. Her DH is a fantastic husband and could not be faulted in his loving support of her and he is totally besotted with his little boy - all the workshop jobs are related to home improvements and setting up the nursery , but he just does not have to think about parenting in the same way as she does.

I said I think the balance of thinking about a baby's needs is unequal. That is just the way it is, not because of any fault, but I think this is the same for all men. Through the job of carrying and birthing (and also reinforced by breast-feeding) I think women have a kind of invisible thread of attachment to their child/children that means we always think of them first and rearrange the rest of life, including our own needs around them. Men just don't have to think in the same way.

That's my take on it smile what do you think?

Imperfect27 Wed 27-Jan-16 07:39:52

P.S. She got her lovely long bath smile smile smile

rubylady Wed 27-Jan-16 08:06:46

But then men are the hunter gatherers, or were. I am sure some men are left holding the baby and have to think in terms of what he/she needs on a more personal care level.

My invisible thread to my son has so many knots in it where it has broken by his unkind words (like last night when he told me he can't wait to leave home) and re-tied again when he says sorry and does something nice to make up.

I think some people act on a practical level when babies are born, both mums and dads and some are for the hands on approach, both too. My DD didn't breastfeed, went back to work pretty soon and her partner did as much hands on as she did. I stayed at home with both of mine and breastfed both for over 6 months. Horses for courses these days.

I am glad that your DD and her family are thriving with their new little one and all seems happy and that she has got some "me" time, even if it was only for her 60 minute break for a bath before being back on duty! smile
(Although I bet she was twitching to get back to baby, I used to be.)

Imperfect27 Wed 27-Jan-16 08:41:32

Ah rubylady there is that saying: 'When they are young they break your arms, when they are older they break your hearts.'

I can think of a couple of times when I told my parents I hated them and I couldn't wait to leave home in my teen years (loved them to bits and had a really good relationship with them both through later adult life) and then it came full circle to bite me through my youngest son who told me how useless I was in no uncertain terms when he was 17! He now tells me he is my most loyal and best child because he is the one that 'lives near you and will look after you when you are old' LOL.

I am glad my daughter can say what she needs and her husband is great with the little one and really steps up at the weekends in particular. It's not that men can't do a great job - I just think they don't have the same starting point and it is easier for them to be detached / not think baby-first for obvious biological reasons. But it is wonderful to see this little family evolving and (with something of relief as the 'MIL') I feel closer to my SIL as I see him morphing into a lovely dad.

rubylady Wed 27-Jan-16 09:26:11

My ex husband was mortified when I bought my son a doll and buggy at aged 2 years old. I was put out because they were all in pink (not that boys can't play with pink things but they should be more generic, IMO) but I was insistant saying that at some point he could become a daddy and so needed to learn how to care for something other than a train! smile

He now says that he isn't having any children. We'll see, shall we, I'm not bothered either way, it's his decision.

Congratulations to Grandma (Is that what you are being called?) Imperfect27, you deserve a pat on the back bringing up a very competent daughter who knows how to care for her family, well done. As parents we sometimes don't give ourselves the credit we deserve. flowers

Imperfect27 Wed 27-Jan-16 18:14:43

That is very kind of you - I'm blushing!

Funnily enough, we bought our daughter a toy garage and cars and a shape-sorter with wooden blocks that needed hammering in for her first birthday. She always preferred dollies tho ... smile

Deedaa Wed 27-Jan-16 19:54:44

There is also the invisible safety thread! DD was sitting by the pool on holiday when a toddler wandered over to the edge. She said all the women jumped out of their seats and all the men carried on with whatever they were doing grin

Marmark1 Thu 28-Jan-16 09:11:29

Men are from Mars.
My son does almost everything in his home,plus caring for the children.Bigger fool him sometimes.
When he lived home I waited on him hand and foot.So all the people who used to say," he will never cope on his own " where wrong.