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  • #31
    Originally posted by NewMomMD View Post
    We are a two-physician household and recently had our first baby. We waited to start a family and are a little older and very financially secure. We both work full time and have decided to continue to do so for now. We have hired a nanny for child care.

    My husband is mid- to arguably late-career (one of the more senior partners in his group) and had always said he would start working less/take fewer shifts once we started a family. Well, now the baby is here and he is doing the opposite. He is actually picking up extra shifts, arguing that his group is short staffed and things are busy. Now he says he'll cut back when he makes it to age 50 in a few years, or some days he'll say it's when the child reaches school-age. There is no financial need for him to keep working at all, and certainly none to work extra. Thanks to his many years of a high income and high savings rate with sound investment and next to zero spending, plus the addition of my income which is nearly equivalent, we are financially secure.
    .
    One thing not being addressed here is what exactly is the husband avoiding at home. You have hired a nanny who presumably takes care of the baby. You as a mom presumably are spending time with the baby and maybe breastfeeding the child. What is he supposed to do. Cook and clean and do chores around the house? Maybe he dislikes those. He was hoping to spend more time with the baby and instead all he is asked to do is more household chores. He takes an easy way out by doing more shift work, which he likes more and brings in the greenbacks.

    All this is conjecture but if all I were asked to do was do more household work rather than interacting with the baby, I might also have spent more time at the office. I think he should be given a minimum time alone with the baby as his quality time. Maybe hire a household help for the chores rather than a nanny? or a person who can do both.

    As time went on I actually loved time with out daughter more. After after 6 months it really perks up and at 1.5-5 years it is truly a magical time.

    Comment


    • #32
      It sounds like you and your spouse need to talk more about how each of you feel. It sounds like his motivation is keeping up with the partners at work, and not keeping up with the new baby at home. Have you started any conversations expressing how you feel, what you are concerned about, how you would like things to be and then listen to his responses?

      When our kids were young, after the second one came along, my spouse decided to quit the job, to exit the high powered career path. It was a tough decision, but there was a desire to be home with the kids. After we became a one income family, I started taking a lot of extra in hospital overnight on call shifts. I used to joke that I slept more on the calm overnights in the call room than I did at home. It was actually a respite from the night time feedings to be in the hospital.

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      • #33
        Just because we are the dads, it doesn't mean we can skirt parenthood/household duties just because it's a PITA. If you can't hire out the assist to do the menial tasks, it falls unto BOTH the adults in the dual income household to pull their household work that's left.

        Remember, BOTH spouses are working. As a primary care physician in academia, we have lots of dual income physician families, it is WAY too prevalent that the woman pulls the additional family duties regardless of income intake. Frankly, it's a bunch of BS and is felt at that highest level of our leadership unfortunately.

        It's too easy to work for $$ and scut monkey the house work with the excuse of 'doing your part' for the family --- especially when the family is already financially secure.

        This is first world problems and first world resolution is to get the other spouse to sit down and realize his actions whether purposeful escape or feeling needing to provide where it's not needed. He needs be more an active participant of the household. Family is not ETF passive investing.

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        • #34
          Babies are blobs and it is hard for men to feel useful until the babies are more interactive and older. Having said that, this is not an excuse to retreat to work and leave your wife with the baby. Your sticking around helps create a feeling of emotional support, even if you feel useless.

          I had my baby when my spouse was a resident. He was working 100 hours a week and was dead-tired. One night, the baby was so fussy, he said, "This is going to be one of those nights." Then he went to sleep. I was seething. It was going to be "one of those nights FOR ME, apparently!!!!" Intellectually, I understood why he went to sleep. He worked hard in residency and he didn't have boobs, the only thing that could relatively calm a baby down. If he wasn't much help to the baby, why have two people be up and miserable? What he needed to know was that by his being up with me, even if he wasn't doing anything, he was supporting me emotionally. I was so jealous of him, being able to interact with the world, have normal adult conversations at work while I was stuck inside with a screaming baby.

          Also, women need to speak up and ask men to do things with babies. Sure, they may put the diaper on wrong but let them learn and don't step in to rescue. In addition, paternity leave is so short that men don't get to know how to do things right and then the baby care burden falls onto the woman as it is easier to just to do the task than have your husband make a mess.

          I'm generalizing but I see these dynamics over and over with new parents.

          Rant over!

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by juststarting View Post
            Babies are blobs and it is hard for men to feel useful until the babies are more interactive and older. Having said that, this is not an excuse to retreat to work and leave your wife with the baby. Your sticking around helps create a feeling of emotional support, even if you feel useless.

            I had my baby when my spouse was a resident. He was working 100 hours a week and was dead-tired. One night, the baby was so fussy, he said, "This is going to be one of those nights." Then he went to sleep. I was seething. It was going to be "one of those nights FOR ME, apparently!!!!" Intellectually, I understood why he went to sleep. He worked hard in residency and he didn't have boobs, the only thing that could relatively calm a baby down. If he wasn't much help to the baby, why have two people be up and miserable? What he needed to know was that by his being up with me, even if he wasn't doing anything, he was supporting me emotionally. I was so jealous of him, being able to interact with the world, have normal adult conversations at work while I was stuck inside with a screaming baby.

            Also, women need to speak up and ask men to do things with babies. Sure, they may put the diaper on wrong but let them learn and don't step in to rescue. In addition, paternity leave is so short that men don't get to know how to do things right and then the baby care burden falls onto the woman as it is easier to just to do the task than have your husband make a mess.

            I'm generalizing but I see these dynamics over and over with new parents.

            Rant over!
            Two doc couple. We took shifts. No sense keeping both of us up all night. Changing diapers and warming bottles not overly complicated. Re: other comments as to other household chores, certainly if one spouse is doing lions share of baby care the other needs to step up otherwise. If they would rather work more then hire out some duties instead. I think I would actually go less crazy staying home with an infant, she needed to get back to work ASAP during maternity leave

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post
              I hate not to agree with all of you dads, but I don't believe this situation is quite so simple or straightforward. It's not like this is a girl who always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom for her role in the marriage (although, I have no problem with that - it's what I chose to do for many years). They are both doctors. They have both decided to continue with their careers. They made a joint decision to wait until they were FI to start. I'm sorry that he may be shocked at what it entails to be a new father and not "feel" like being involved, but this is what it means to be an adult. This is what it means to support your spouse. Most of you guys, I think I know fairly well online and I would be shocked to learn you behaved this way:
              "...had always said he would start working less/take fewer shifts once we started a family. Well, now the baby is here and he is doing the opposite." The nicest thing I can say about that is that he is immature and his word means very little now that he is not the center of attention. I'm not a psychologist (although I play one at work) so I'll just rely on what Mayo Clinic has to say: Narcissistic personality

              If either of my boys had behaved this way, I think I would have changed my will. Agree this is not an "addiction", as if he is helpless to the pull of work and, therefore, not responsible for how he responds. I agree that women are more nurturing but this dude married for better or worse and took a vow to love and honor.

              Also agree she should join a women doctors' forum as most of the women here don't seem interested.
              I don't think it's fair to label dad as we, nor wife, know what is driving the behavior. Sure, he could just be a giant tool, a narcissist or whatever. But she probably would have noticed that about him by now and she seems genuinely puzzled by what is going on. So I suspect there is a deeper drive (he may not even be aware of), that is behind his actions. I can't remember but I don't think she said she has concerns about him when he's home with them (ie not interacting with baby, not helping with baby or household chores) it's just that he's not there enough. All this to say that further investigation and conversation is needed.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by The White Coat Investor View Post

                For sure. The first year sucked for me and maybe for many guys. Maybe many ladies too. I mean, for the first kid it is okay (but I was a PGY2 so didn't really have the option to be around much) but after that...it's all kind of the same. Now when they are 4-12 years old....that's magic time. I'm even enjoying the teenage years. But diapers and feedings? Sorry, didn't enjoy it with any of the kids. Work was definitely better.
                C'mon. No one enjoys diaper changes and late night feeds. Literally anything is better than that. But it's not fair to dump that on your partner either. If that is why anyone is working more, it's pretty lousy. I certainly hope that isn't what is going on with OPs husband.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by wideopenspaces View Post

                  C'mon. No one enjoys diaper changes and late night feeds. Literally anything is better than that. But it's not fair to dump that on your partner either. If that is why anyone is working more, it's pretty lousy. I certainly hope that isn't what is going on with OPs husband.
                  I did 95% of the night time rocking the baby back to sleep. And we were co sleepers. With 2 kids, I think my sleep cycle was jacked for like 4 years.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by wideopenspaces View Post

                    I don't think it's fair to label dad as we, nor wife, know what is driving the behavior. Sure, he could just be a giant tool, a narcissist or whatever. But she probably would have noticed that about him by now and she seems genuinely puzzled by what is going on. So I suspect there is a deeper drive (he may not even be aware of), that is behind his actions. I can't remember but I don't think she said she has concerns about him when he's home with them (ie not interacting with baby, not helping with baby or household chores) it's just that he's not there enough. All this to say that further investigation and conversation is needed.
                    Thank you so much for posting your perspective. I needed to calm down and shut up.
                    Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by burritos View Post

                      I did 95% of the night time rocking the baby back to sleep. And we were co sleepers. With 2 kids, I think my sleep cycle was jacked for like 4 years.
                      Bless you. I'm just a gosh awful sleeper and I passed it on to my children. Just the worst sleepers for the first 2 years of each of their lives. Didn't matter how we slept, what they slept in, how we tried to cry it out, who was putting them back to sleep etc, etc, etc I was always awake the WHOLE time and then couldn't fall back asleep for the 2 hours they deigned to sleep. That *may* have accounted for 95% of the reason the kids are 8 years apart. I would not have survived kids closer in age. It's truly an evolutionary adaptation for babies to be so darn cute. Otherwise I probably would have eaten them like other animals do ;-)

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                      • #41
                        Closed until OP responds. Just message any moderator.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Hi! I just wanted to add an update to my original post.
                          Thanks so much for all of the responses, which I read with interest. I took the advice and have been having an ongoing discussion with my husband about this, which has been positive. Even in the past couple weeks, I can see changes in him as the baby goes from "blob" to more interactive little human and he becomes more interested in him. I see him getting more excited to spend time with the baby when he comes home. We are even talking about ways for either or both of us to work part-time in the near future. Also, for what it's worth, my husband does plenty of chores around the house. I am very fortunate that he contributes a lot at baseline, so it's not as if he's shirking off all household responsibilities. Anyway, you all really helped me with suggestions and mainly feeling like we aren't alone during a particularly low point, especially the other dad docs who shared so frankly about their experiences. Thank you so much - I really appreciate the feedback.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by NewMomMD View Post
                            Hi! I just wanted to add an update to my original post.
                            Thanks so much for all of the responses, which I read with interest. I took the advice and have been having an ongoing discussion with my husband about this, which has been positive. Even in the past couple weeks, I can see changes in him as the baby goes from "blob" to more interactive little human and he becomes more interested in him. I see him getting more excited to spend time with the baby when he comes home. We are even talking about ways for either or both of us to work part-time in the near future. Also, for what it's worth, my husband does plenty of chores around the house. I am very fortunate that he contributes a lot at baseline, so it's not as if he's shirking off all household responsibilities. Anyway, you all really helped me with suggestions and mainly feeling like we aren't alone during a particularly low point, especially the other dad docs who shared so frankly about their experiences. Thank you so much - I really appreciate the feedback.
                            Can you let your husband know there's an extra shift available tonight.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by NewMomMD View Post
                              We are a two-physician household and recently had our first baby. We waited to start a family and are a little older and very financially secure. We both work full time and have decided to continue to do so for now. We have hired a nanny for child care.

                              My husband is mid- to arguably late-career (one of the more senior partners in his group) and had always said he would start working less/take fewer shifts once we started a family. Well, now the baby is here and he is doing the opposite. He is actually picking up extra shifts, arguing that his group is short staffed and things are busy. Now he says he'll cut back when he makes it to age 50 in a few years, or some days he'll say it's when the child reaches school-age. There is no financial need for him to keep working at all, and certainly none to work extra. Thanks to his many years of a high income and high savings rate with sound investment and next to zero spending, plus the addition of my income which is nearly equivalent, we are financially secure.

                              When I talk to him about this, it sounds like it comes from this uncontrollable drive to make as much money or work as many hours as his other partners. He very much focuses on the comparison with the other docs in his group. He even admits that he does not derive joy from work and has to spend at least 30 minutes complaining about it to me at the end of each day. I truly think he is actually addicted to working and/or earning money.

                              It is difficult for me to understand this as I have absolutely no such similar feelings. I recognize the opportunity cost of working extra and am happy to not take on extra shifts, or even to pass some of my assigned shifts to my partners, in exchange for the free time it allows. He, however, cannot seem to grasp the opportunity cost concept at all. He would work all day and then come home and spend 2 hours doing yard work if it meant saving even $20.

                              Right now I feel sad that my husband is going to be trapped in this work addiction for the years which I feel like we've been looking forward to all our lives. I want to be spending time with our new child as a family, working only when we want to and traveling or otherwise enjoying family life the rest of the time, which we can afford to do. Instead I am picturing me doing things by myself with the baby on the weekends.

                              Does anyone have advice or experience that would help me? Will his attitude change as the baby grows up and becomes more interactive/fun? Is there any other argument I can try to make to appeal to someone with his attitude toward work? Right now my only solace is that there is a global pandemic so there isn't much we could safely do anyway.
                              Yes the newborn phase can sometimes freak out new dads a bit and it’s a stressful time to be home around a baby that does little other than cry, drink, and poop. So maybe that’s part of the problem. But from your description it sounds as if he was a workaholic before the baby came around. That’s a tough one to treat like any addiction. My wife was somewhat of a workaholic at her job (which she recently left after being offered a severance pkg due to the pandemic). Now that she’s home she’s finally fully present again like she was during maternity leave. I think it can be a personality thing too. She is the type of person who throws herself into her work and has a hard time turning it off ever (even at home). I battled her for years with this before we had our daughter. In years past the only way I could get her to be present and turn off her job was to travel somewhere far away or remote (used to do a lot of backpacking). It would take her several days of no cell service before she would snap out of work mode.
                              Maybe this is his personality too?
                              The only way to get to the bottom of that IMO is lots of counseling. But you need to figure it out because your concerns are quite valid and it’s not fair to you to be stuck with more of the childcare responsibilities when you’re both working full time.

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                              • #45
                                I don't believe that he doesn't derive joy from his job, he's just saying that to justify being there. In reality, he's thinking: hanging out at the hospital seeing patient's making some coin >> crying baby at home.

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