‘This issue might sound very trivial, any stranger talking to him for few minutes will undoubtedly think that his wife is very lucky.’

Sharing an email.

What makes these issues appear trivial? Why is it that many of us don’t seem to see that each of these ‘trivial issues’ contributes towards male child preference?

Dear IHM,

I would like to share my friend’s problem here. She lives in a foreign
country with her husband, two kids and works full time. She and her
husband have their own differences about values of life. He is
materialistic, expecting from the girl’s family, expects the wife to
give her salary to him on first of every month, share all her online
credentials. Long story short – a typical yesteryear Indian male
husband. On the other hand, he doesn’t spend much, teetotaler, takes
good care of the kids in her absence, cooks occasionally, saves for
the future, plans vacations and any stranger talking to him for few
minutes will undoubtedly think that his wife is very lucky.

My friend doesn’t share her credentials instead spends for monthly
expenses and then gives him the remaining savings as a bulk transfer
when needed for common investments and manages his tactics as and when they surface. They have been married for almost ten years now.

This issue I am going to share might sound very trivial but it bothers
my friend’s daily life very much and would really appreciate your
readers suggestions.

Their second child is less than one year old and the husband is not
helping to put the baby back to sleep at midnight wake ups. He just
continues “pretend” to sleep and my friend has to wakeup at least two
times between 11pm-5am every single night to pat the baby back to
sleep. Sometimes the baby sleeps with a feed, sometimes she has to
walk around for a while which is challenging for her considering her
back pain and inability to carry weights for long time and sometimes
nothing works. The baby bawls and my friend struggles. As this
situation repeats, she gets more irritated with her husband resulting
in shouting at him, showing faces and going on a no talking strike for
few days. He also doesn’t change diapers, doesn’t bath or feed the
baby. All she is asking him to do is to carry the baby for few minutes
and walk around when the baby cries at night or take turns in handing
the baby at night. He simply says he is not comfortable with doing
them when she tried to have a conversion with him. But, the same man
carries the baby during daytime and plays with the baby. He definitely
loves his children and wishes the best for them. There is no doubt
about it.

How can my friend handle this situation? She can’t continue to wake up
many times every night as she starts to work early in the morning and
also have to take care of her elder one, pack dabbas and other sundry
works of the home. She can’t take a break from work as she feels that
the little bit self respect and personal space will be totally at a
toss. She has been working since the day she married him and even have
heard her husband’s relative referring her as a “golden goose” to him.

Thank you IHM and your readers.

Warm Regards

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A good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

An email: “I find it very hard to forgive my husband for all that happened at the time of my delivery.”

Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous.

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First name, Unwanted. Second name, Dad’s or Husband’s name.

‘How I am going to manage two toddlers, work, home, chores etc etc without any physical and moral support from my in laws?’

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And if a woman demands equality, she should behave exactly like a male…

59 thoughts on “‘This issue might sound very trivial, any stranger talking to him for few minutes will undoubtedly think that his wife is very lucky.’

  1. err.. how can he love the baby when he pretends to sleep while the baby is bawling away on account of hunger / new diaper needed/ etc. in the middle of the sleep?

    Or is it that he loves the baby, but doesn’t love the wife and is doing all of this so that she has to work more while he continues to sleep aaram se?

    Like

  2. She can possibly help herself by separating with her husband and only getting back together after going through intense couple’s therapy for a long time? I’d suggest she start by opening up her own bank account and not sharing finances.

    “On the other hand, he doesn’t spend much, teetotaler, takes
    good care of the kids in her absence, cooks occasionally, saves for
    the future, plans vacations and any stranger talking to him for few
    minutes will undoubtedly think that his wife is very lucky.”

    Really? I’m a stranger and I definitely do NOT think his wife is ‘very lucky.’ Doesn’t spend much? cheapskate. Teetotaler? boring. ‘Takes good care of the kids IN HER ABSENCE, cooks OCCASIONALLY’? He’s doing the bare minimum and I’d call him a neglectful parent if he only takes care of the kids in her absence.

    My parents were married about 30 years ago, in a traditional arranged marriage and my dad did far more than this. Saves for the future and plans vacations? er…that’s totally normal, nothing to depict that his wife is very lucky.

    I would say that anyone who considers this person very lucky should raise their standards much higher. This isn’t even the bare minimum.

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    • As long as he doesn’t beat you , cheat on you on your face , come home drunk and is stoned most of time or earn less than 5 figures …He is Good enough Indian husband . I have heard so many times women who ask for more are selfish bitches !!

      Hypocrisy much !! Th fact that we expect so less from an Indian husband except when it comes salary and education , they see no incentive in changing .

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      • I think we should all take back the word selfish. I expect much [MUCH] more from my husband if, in case, we have kids in the future. If traditional people call me a selfish bitch I’ll simply smile in their direction and say, ‘Oh yes, I’m very selfish and I love being a selfish bitch.’ To me, being selfish means making sure my needs are met and that I’m happy. I just don’t see as a negative label.

        I am appalled that the letter writer describes this man as a good parent. He’s an absentee, neglectful dad that’s only present for the ‘easy’ part of parenting. That would be seen as unacceptable in my family even 30 years ago–I don’t know how this is considered normal still.

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        • @ Kay,

          “Teetotaler? boring.”

          I pretty much agree with the rest of your comment but how can you infer that a teetotaler is bound to be boring? In fact, how do you assess a person by what he eats or drinks? Or is it that only the people who get drunk and then act crazy are the only ones who are interesting?

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        • @VK

          I’m not saying all teetotalers are boring–just that this letter writer stated that these particular facts would make any random stranger think he’s such a nice guy and that the woman’s very lucky to be married to him. I’m trying to point out that as a random stranger myself, I do not find her lucky because I do not necessarily value qualities like teetotalism and frugality.

          Also–there’s a difference between being a teetotaler and a crazy drunk. I find that most teetotaler’s can’t really differentiate between social drinkers and alcoholics.

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    • //Really? I’m a stranger and I definitely do NOT think his wife is ‘very lucky.’ Doesn’t spend much? cheapskate. Teetotaler? boring. ‘Takes good care of the kids IN HER ABSENCE, cooks OCCASIONALLY’? He’s doing the bare minimum and I’d call him a neglectful parent if he only takes care of the kids in her absence. //

      You nailed it Kay and probably that hurt the thumbsdowners’s ego. Hello thumbsdowners why dont you let us know why you dont agree with the above?

      Like

    • The women who have it much worse will consider this woman lucky. But it’s high time women are taught to raise the bar of expectations and not have to be satisfied with being treated slightly better than battered wives.

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    • >> Teetotaler? boring. <<
      🙂 I've always said this – never trust a teetotaler.

      That said, most happy couples (whether married or not) go for a common bank account – it has convenience benefits too. Typically (not always) some folks go for separate accounts when there's a lack of trust or if one or both of them are having an affair. Men probably do this more, but cheating husbands (and wives) often have a secret checking account in a small relatively unknown bank. But then these can also be called stereotypes – and I won't argue with that. *grin*

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      • Hahaha, my mom’s a teetotaler and it’s because she has a very sensitive sense of smell and gets nauseous at the smell of alcohol (she can even detect minute amounts of Malibu in pineapple juice).

        I share finances with my husband (all accounts) but this LW makes it seem like the wife hands over her paycheck (which isn’t sharing).

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    • Teetotaler boring?
      We must meet some time!
      I will regale you with stories and anecdotes and can promise you won’t be bored.
      By the way, drunks bore me.
      Regards
      GV
      (Fanatic Teetotaler and now full time baby sitter)

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      • There’s nothing wrong with being a teetotaler–I live with them, and I know them, and they are quite lovely. I just have issues with teetotaling being held up as a moral standard, while everyone else who even sips at a drink is denounced as a drunk and morally failing. Last I checked, having a drink didn’t mean that people are not kind, smart, nice individuals. And, as the LW’s friend’s husband so unhelpfully pointed out, just because you’re a teetotaler doesn’t mean you’re automatically a good person either.

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  3. The issue is definitely not as trivial a it may sound. That Woman needs more sleep and rest than he does,considering the postpartum problems that women face.He plays with the baby and carries the baby but doesn’t want to take any responsibility for the baby.He thinks its a woman’s duty to care for the baby and he just have to play with baby.
    I have been thinking a lot about the reason why people are knowingly or unknowingly Misogynist.
    My dad helps my mom in kitchen and doing laundry whenever he can.But he doesn’t want others to know about it.
    I guess its the fear that they would be thought of less masculine by others .
    Or pride that they are of superior gender..

    Secondly expecting her salary and online credentials clearly shows his lack of trust on her.She should never give her online credentials to him. If he really trust her he should share his online credentials too, which i am pretty sure “The Indian Hypocritical Husband” is not going to do.
    To conclude it quite clear that the husband doesn’t love his child
    and neither loves nor trusts his wife.
    She should force him to talk about and see if some compromise could be made.

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  4. Your friend is taking up more work than she can handle. So much that she is having health problems. This is no trivial problem.
    Why should her self respect depend upon her earning?
    If possible she should take a break from her work and try to take it easy. Hire a nanny and have some space for herself.
    If not, if her husband is pretending to be asleep, let her give him a zor ka jatkha so that he HAS no choice but to wake up from his pretend sleep.
    The problem here is just not about her husband not helping, but also about your friend being unable to draw a line on how much she can handle.
    Why pack dabbas in the morning when she is unable to get a good night’s sleep? her husband can do that right?
    if he has expectations from her, let him! she doesn’t have to meet them.

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    • @Sushma
      Loved the last line- “if he has expectations from her,let him! she doesn’t have to meet them”.
      I wish this were taught in schools to all little girls and boys.Because, in Patriarchy,the expectations of being a Shravan Kumar and Good Indian beti/bahu often kill them,literally and sometimes figuratively too.That one does not necessarily have to meet all these expectations does not even occur to the conditioned, brainwashed mind.Until one day,in the throes of desperation,and brimming with frustration from bending backwards all the time to meet everyone and their neighbour’s expectations, the poor ShravanKumar/woman is told ‘You were not born to please others,live your own life.’

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  5. This is a common problem. My husband is usually very helpful and hands-on with the kids, but noone likes night duty. Here’s something I would do occasionally: Wake up and pick up the baby, if husband refuses to. Wake up husband. Hand him the baby. Take off to another room, lock the door and go to sleep. Ignore crying. Husband will be forced to do the needful. Repeat when necessary.

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    • I’d do that on a occasional night but if that is how I am going to have to get my husband to share his parental duties everytime, I don’t consider that normal at all. I guess like Kay, I too am selfish and have very high standards for my husband. I’d like to point out that he has high standards for me too so we both take care of each other without sacrificing our own needs.

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      • My point was that you need to do it a few nights and then they get the picture and also they learn how to handle the baby and can’t give the usual “oh she sleeps better with you” spiel. I hear many men say “oh the baby takes so long to sleep with us and the mother can calm the baby so quickly”.

        The reason the mothers can calm the baby quickly is not due to some magical ability but because of having put in the hours, particularly if they’re breastfeeding and have no choice. When a woman is on maternity leave, it might seem fair for dad’s to skip night duty, but sometimes the mum does need a break from the constant waking even when she can sleep in the day because even in the day you never get a full stretch of sleep. And when both are working, who gets up becomes something to negotiate.

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        • Also, many men genuinely don’t hear the baby crying at night, that is not true only for Indian fathers but for all fathers. A mother may wake up in the middle of the night to check if the baby’s still breathing, or wake up at the slightest unusual noise.

          The LW doesnt mention if the situation was the same for the first child, nor the gender of children.

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  6. – First, has she clearly asked for his help. Not yelling/not making faces/not askiing why can’t you? But a clear rational, please help me now with the blah blah, help me by doing this. I am tired and it would make me happy/calmer if you helped me do this this this?
    – Granted, that such things need not be told & her husband is following the traditional patriarchal model of family, perhaps he needs a reeducation & not do what his dad did & think it is enough.
    – He can only be considered an ideal catch by old fashioned people who believe as long as husband does not drink/smoke/beat you, you are a lucky wife. Why do we have such low standards for men? If we are happy with such low standards, of course such behaviour will continue because they have no incentive to step up.
    – Your friend should realise that she has been putting up with old fashioned behaviour for quite some time and is voicing it out now. Glad that she realises it now but working on correcting older patterns may take longer.
    – Trivial things reveal the mentality and over time become big things. Sharing passwords and asking for all money every month should be opposed.
    – Stop giving money like that. Have a joint expenses. Sit down & learn where both of your money is going.
    – Online passwords? – That is too controlling.
    – try to have equal chore distribution. Ask him to do his share of laundry. When you have a kid, get the essentials done & delegate the rest. Let him do his laundry. Tell him you are too tired. That doesn’t mean she does his laundry 2 weeks after he sulks.
    – If he turns and sleeps, wake him up.

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  7. I’m sorry, but you totally lost me when you started talking about how he’s a good parent, then went on to discuss how he pretends to go back to sleep because he feels uncomfortable taking care of his own child, at the expense of his wife’s health and comfort, which are apparently of no importance to him. I suspect that if his wife repeated to exact same words to him, and talked about how “uncomfortable” she feels by waking up to care for her children, she’d receive a lecture in return about how it’s her duty as a mother to do these things.

    Parenting does not simply extend to playing with your child and providing for them. Parenting, when shared between two parents, is an exercise in teamwork. This means that both people need to shoulder all the responsibilities equally–both the good and the bad. You have to share the duties between two people, so that it affects both of you proportionately. It’s laughable to me that this man claims that taking care of his child in the middle of the night makes him “uncomfortable”, but doesn’t have the comprehension and critical thinking skills to understand that his wife is far, far more uncomfortable than he will ever be due to her health problems. Does he not care about that? That his wife is ill, and he’s still dumping these difficult responsibilities on her? And it’s wonderfully hilarious how he plays with them and takes care of them in her absence (which are some of the easier, lighter aspects of being a parent), but expects her to do all the heavy duty work such as waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers etc. I expect that he thinks that as a man, he’s somehow gone above and beyond by even blinking in his children’s general direction, and that everyone around him should be grateful for that alone.

    To me, if he simply refused to give a hand for the hard things, even when his wife is fully able, that would make him a bad parent. But the fact that he puts his comfort first, even in the face of his wife’s clearly OBVIOUS discomfort, makes him not just a bad parent, but also a bad husband. His behaviour smacks of selfishness all around, and when you factor in his expectations for his wife’s money, and her being referred to as a “golden goose”, well, that just makes that even more obvious.

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  8. He sounds typical. My husband slept in a separate room for almost 20 years during the weekdays as my younger one who is autistic would get up repeatedly at night. I shared the bedroom only on the weekends. He would refuse to get up. Because of the circumstances, my job was always part time or fixed hours. We got a puppy a few months ago as our younger one was really distraught after our older one took his life while studying overseas. He gets up for the puppy, cleans him, bathes him etc. Something he never did for our kids. He sounds exactly like my husband. I was also told by my mother that I am ‘very lucky’. I don’t feel like that….

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    • You know what such fathers forget? That every opportunity to care for your baby is an opportunity to bond. My brother is infinitely closer to my father because he was a sick infant and my mother found it physically impossible to stay up through the night. Dad would stay up through most part of the night and keep rocking him and patting him to sleep. Now that makes my brother a phenomenal father. Even though his wife is currently on a break from work, he’ll never shy away from caring for his 6 month old through the night because he feels like he doesn’t get to bond with his child through the day and won’t miss an opportunity to bond with his son even if it means missing some sleep.

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      • My younger sister had bronchitis asthma as a child. Her wheezing got even more painful in the nights. My dad used to hold her in his arms and they both managed to get some sleep that way. My mother would be busy with my youngest sister who was a year younger and still a baby. Now, after 30 years my sister’s asthma has returned. She lives abroad. The other day she called up to tell me how she woke up in the middle of the night and started crying, looking for my dad to ease her wheezing. How powerful memories are! And how they impact us, subconsciously…
        The reason she didn’t call him directly is because he would have shed a lot of tears and probably booked a flight.🙂
        It’s truly a pity fathers are not encouraged to bond with their children and demonstrate their love. In my daughter’s case, my husband wants to do everything with her the moment he’s home. It’s the way he de-stresses, he says.🙂

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  9. I think this keeps happening in every household through generations. But that is not a justification for it to be the same way any more. Men are waking up at their own pace, but expect women to update themselves according to the modern day technology. In India especially, there are not many parents who have shown that parenthood need to be shared equally. In fact in many of the households, if the father spends some 20-30 mints, that in itself is considered a great favour done to the mother.
    I think our mothers have also forgotten to draw the line. She might not have given him household work fearing it is an additional burden for him. But she has never understood that it is also part of the parenting.The movies of yesteryear show the dads sleeping comfortably and the moms taking care of the babies, and still wake up in the morning with a cup of coffee in her hands…..I think still there are some ads which show the same….all these has made the man go into a slumber thinking that it is not HIS responsibility. He contemplates “Did not my mother do it, and did she not wake up and do her work?”
    But I would like to ask them “Boss, did you ever ask your mom how she felt about it, and how her health might have been compromised?”
    The solution would be – please ask your friend to put her foot down and start asserting yourself. If it is not his job then it is neither hers to take care of it by compromising on her health. But it is not leaving the baby in lurch. Please suggest appointing a maid. Ask her not to quit the job as she can it rightfully to pay the maid without expecting anything from the husband. Your friend may be tested by her husband by trying to induce guilt by talking about his mother and how she managed and that your friend is not able to cope, blahblahblah…..just ask her to turn deaf ears to the same. Please suggest her to use her energy in enjoying being with the kids…. as it will bring more joy and the love will be understood by THEM more than any body else.

    To all the readers in general,
    I just wanted to suggest something to all the readers here….I have been following the posts in this blog….and am really happy that this is a wonderful blog, where many women are able to come out of their cocoons by asserting themselves and the readers get very good solutions to many thought provoking issues.
    But there are certain other sites, where they term such women as feminists and try to douse the sparks down. A woman who is a novice in such discussion may scurry back into her cocoon in fear of being termed as a misandry. Hence I request all of you who wish to empower women to write your opinions as you do here, by commenting under such articles also. The reason I say this is, outside such blogs, there are many articles, where men spew religious ideas and cultural taboos which are read by many women, who may get a wrong perception. I also feel that, under such comments there are not many assertive discussions which speak for women, as they do in this blog. Sorry to have used this comment section for this info, but please if true empowerment need to happen then all your voices need to be heard everywhere too….please post your comments here and also under such articles, so that our voices are heard. thanks.

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    • Agreed lee…you never know who you are helping by posting here. Just like the previous post. Also we to reread the comments just when people around make you doubt your own rationality.

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    • Voices that speak of women empowerment are few and far between. It is very easy to be pulled back into the traditional and patriarchal mindset, given that the majority belong to that tribe. It’s important that women keep away from such bombardment of Indian values and influences that reduce her to the lowest position in the social hierarchy. Majority of patriarchal voices can drown any voice of dissent. Mingling with people who are liberal and similar in mindset can work wonders for women empowerment. Alone it will take ages to bring about social change.

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    • Completely agree with the last part of your comment. We should put our opinions across all other platforms. In this blog most of the readers are lean on the feminist side. We need to spread our ideas to other, more widely read, blogs. Those blogs have hardcore patriarchal comments with little or no sane response to them. I do not believe in an eye for an eye but i think trolls in such blogs need a counter response from all of us. Times of India website, with a wide readership and an incredible presence of such people, would be a good start.

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  10. Another typical disgusting Indian male who is honored as the perfect husband material by the hypocritical Indian society. I do not see anything about him that says “good husband” or “good parent”, and as a stranger I undoubtedly think that his wife is extremely UNLUCKY to be stuck with him and babies. Why do Indian women have such low standards and expectations?
    Besides the baby situation, is the wife fully aware of what the husband is doing with their finances? Is she a joint account holder in those investments? Does she get and carefully review the monthly or annual statements? Does she have access to those online accounts/passwords. Do they together discuss the portfolio, risk involved and how to make changes. Please lady, you are earning your money, don’t blindly hand it over to this moron who wants your online passwords. Get your self educated on what is going on and vehemently demand to be involved in all these decisions and see all online/paper statements, otherwise refuse to give your hard earned money.

    As for the night baby situation, if it was me, I would kick that bastard in his balls and damn well make sure he doesn’t get a peaceful night of sleep either. Just playing with the baby is not sufficient, he needs to fully participate and take responsibility even when it is not convenient and comfortable. That is what makes a good parent in my book, and I would refuse to have another baby if the husband doesn’t fully participate. So he doesn’t wake up at night, doesn’t do diaper changing, what about when the baby is sick ? I assume the wife always stays home in those days? Why?
    DEMAND that he fucking get up at night and do his duty, refuse to get up yourself, eventually the crying baby will surely interrupt his peaceful sleep. Stop doing him favors and giving him a pass on his parenting duties. We women are partly responsible for giving these Indian men as easy pass, put your foot down and demand what you want, if that labels you a selfish bitch, so what? At least you get a good night of sleep, that is worth lot more to me than pleasing every damn idiot.

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    • I know of a case where husband and wife both earned well, but the wife’s money was used for paying all the bills while the husband’s money was used for investments. Now what do you have to say about this arrangement? Comments are welcome.

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    • Indian women typically marry without talking to the guy – 7/12 in my arranged marriage search, I put the blame solely on them. There will be idiots in every society, every decade and century. It’s their duty to stay away from them.

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    • Wow, I get 4 thumbs down, my opinion in not all that popular. Whatever, I am pretty ball busting gal and don’t appologize.

      As for husband vs wife bank account used exclusively for investment/bill paying purposes, may be it can work. But the woman must make sure she is a joint account holder on every single investment account, recieves monthly statements (mail/electronic) in her name/email and reviews them diligently. In addition, she should also ensure she has access/joint holder to husband’s bank account used for investments, so she is aware where the money is actually going. I hate listening to women who say I let my hubby handle all that, it goes over my head, I don’t understand it. That is hog wash bullshit, educate yourself on where your money is sitting and why. I would never ever trust anyone blindly with money, even if he is the most awesome husband in the world. Money is the biggest and only safety net in life when shit really hits the fan, don’t put that security in others hands. I have seen my own grandmother and aunts blindsided when their perfectly fine husbands passed away, they remained totally in the dark and were taken for a jolly ride by relatives and children.

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  11. Please don’t hate me but children close to 1 year old are capable of sleeping through the night and lack of sleep is very damaging to both parents (or only the mother in this case). There are many techniques but what worked for us is the Dr. Ferber method as infamous as it is. And I say us because my husband helped too in the 2 weeks it took us to have a baby sleeping through the night. Please try and look into it. I have nothing else to say about how the husband is unhelpful other than there is no point on being a martyr.

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    • Ferberization has been quite thoroughly debunked. Even if it wasn’t, parents who choose not to use that method of sleep training still don’t deserve spouses who refuse to share the burden of parenting.

      In short, please don’t use someone else’s unrelated problem as a channel to tout your own supposedly superior parenting skills. It’s like telling an amputee that you have way better jumping skills than they do. Irrelevant, off point, and quite disrespectful.

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      • That’s why I said there are many techniques and I know how awful it is to be sleep deprived so wanted to comment on that. Other posters have very well talked about the issue of the father not helping out. I didn’t mean any disrespect.

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    • babies grow and change at their own pace. there’s plenty of info indicating the Ferber method is harmful in the long term. not going into detail since this is not a parenting blog

      besides, your suggestion sidesteps the main issue – shouldn’t parenting be shared? why should the baby suffer because her father can’t be bothered to do his share?

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      • Yes it should be shared. Everybody has commented on that and I only wanted to offer some help. When you don’t sleep, you lose energy and the will to do anything.

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        • I dont see why people are pouncing on her. While her solution doesn’t address the main issue, she was just trying to help with the sleep issue. No where does she say that the problem of the lazy husband will get fixed.

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    • Never heard about the Ferber method, but my first two kids had “long” nights from an early age. I am always surprised by the number of kids who have bad sleep patterns nowadays. Then in our family sleeping is seen as bliss rather than anguish and the babies they were fed on-demand…

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  12. Well it works differently in every household and it is what has been agreed upon. I look upon our own case. After the first one, we took turns putting him back to bed, night feeds etc., and tried our best after 3 months to stop the night feeds and try to get him to sleep thru the night, but it didnt work till he was almost 7 months. we both took turns religiously. but i was more affected by that, i love my night sleep and am a late riser and couldnt handle the nightly disturbance. So much so that i didnt not want another child because of the work involved , especially the night work, Finally when we decide to have another kid it was under the agreement that he would do all the night feeds, i would rather pump and leave the milk than wake up at night, sure i woke up when i was home on maternity , simply because i could sleep during the day but the day i went back to work, i stopped, i gave her a shower, fed her and put her to bed around 10 and that was that .. EVERY single night my husband woke up for 8 months, changed her, fed her , rocked her back, he still had a full time job and infact drove longer and was more tired. So doesnt mean i was a bad mom, sure i heard my kid wailing and i turned around and went back to sleep, he however woke up and went to her in her room.
    i dont agree with the man asking for credentials etc., but if thats the way they agreed to share money and duties , then why cant he sleep.

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    • People’s bodies work differently, MR. If there is one person who’s more physically capable of doing a certain task, there’s nothing weird about them doing it. Sleep is your undoing and apparently your husband handles the lack of it better. What is the point of a marriage when a couple doesn’t complement each others’ strengths and weaknesses. I am sure that in your marriage there are other areas that you work harder at than your husband does.

      My gripe with the LW’s friend is that her husband clearly knows that she’s being physically affected by all the loss of sleep and yet he doesn’t step in. That not only makes him a bad dad, it also makes him a bad husband. Wouldn’t you watch your baby at night if your husband were to come down with the flu?

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  13. Your friend needs to understand better what to expect from her spouse. It’s too bad many parents don’t teach little girls how to value themselves. Instead they teach them the opposite – how to be grateful for scraps thrown at them.
    Basics of an equal, loving marriage –
    – both partners talk about money and come to some mutually agreed upon decisions.
    – both partners are fully involved with parenting.
    Night waking is a hard thing – especially if she has to get up and go to work in the morning. Yes it’s common sense to take turns so that both partners get chunks of uninterrupted sleep so they don’t go to work exhausted (and worse drive while feeling sleep deprived).
    Taking turns is such a basic concept, even kindergartners do it – in my son’s kindergarten class many many years ago, they took turns cleaning up the toys, they took turns feeding the classroom pet, and they took turns being the lunch helper. This is not considered ‘amazing’ or ‘great’, this is simply nice and expected from every child/adult.
    Being a considerate person was the first thing they learned, well before being introduced to academics. Maybe Indian preschools should teach kids common courtesy, kindness, and fairness before shoving academics down their little throats. Maybe then we will see more adults behaving like adults.

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  14. I know of a woman who broke her jaw because she was so sleep-deprived after the birth of her second child that she fell asleep while walking back to bed after fetching her older child a glass of water and hit her jaw on something. The husband who had till then happily offloaded all night-time baby duties to his wife then had the pleasure of looking after his wife plus two kids all the time till other help arrived.

    Keeping awake at night, night after night is difficult for *anyone*, I would suggest that your friend let the husband and baby sleep in one room and that she sleep in the other room with the other kid. It is kind of difficult to pretend to be asleep when a baby is bawling by your ear. If the baby is nursing at night, ask your firned to express some milk beforehand and put it in a bottle or a cup so the husband can feed the baby if necessary. If the wife feels kind enough, she can do this on alternate days instead of for a whole month (if in her place, I would totally consider doing it just to let the husband experience just how much “fun” it is to be sleep-deprived all the time).

    The husband has probably grown up listening to how it is a woman’s job to look after baby and how the father only gets to do the fun part of child-rearing. It takes a quite a bit other views life-experience to undo such conditioning. I cannot think of a solution other than make the husband take baby steps. The couple can also visit more with friends/relatives in whose families both the husband and wife share a more or less equal load of household chores so that the husband learns this is normal behavior.

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  15. First of all i will like to clarify one thing. Even in old school traditional weddings such behavior on the part of husband was unacceptable. If the wife needs help , the husbands were supposed to help and they did help. I am talking of reasonable marriages and not abusive or dysfunctional marriages.

    What if you had twins? Or the other kid needed attention? Or you were sick ? Or out of house for some purpose?

    Or just taking a shower? Or doing ‘women’ work like cooking cleaning grocery etc. All these have been present for ages and need supportive partners.

    Either your friends husband is being passive aggressive or being lazy. She need to figure out what it is and deal accordingly.

    But I will add one more thing. His being frugal/ teetotaler has nothing to do with this. Keep this about the child care issues and do not make it a personal character assassination. Else she is not going to be able to resolve anything

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    • @anonymous
      My thoughts exactly.
      The issue here is night time care of the baby and how the couple must share it.
      The husband must pitch in.
      His other virtues/vices are irrelevant here.
      Regards
      GV

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  16. All, Thanks much for all your suggestions and time. My friend will always be grateful to you all for providing her different perception about the issue. I will tell her to stand on her feet and talk in every opportunity about equal sharing of responsibilities at the least in the upbringing of the offspring. He has to understand that duties are beyond comfort-ability. @Anilu – I will also suggest to her to explore Dr.Ferber method. Thank you all again!

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    • All the best.
      Hopefuly, it’s a temporary problem.

      I read this rather late. Even then, allow me to pitch in with some of my thoughts.

      I have been going through this experience myself during the past year.
      My wife and I are currently baby sitting our one and only grandchild, here in California, during the day when the couple are out for work.
      At night, on some occasions, the little fellow would get up and refuse to sleep even after being fed and having his diaper changed.
      He would bawl uncontrollably. This would happen once or twice a fortnight .
      The paediatrician asked us to simply ignore it and said the baby will outgrow it.
      And he did, in fact. After 7 months, he would sleep all through the night, nearly every night. He is now 15 months old and the worst is mercifully over for all of us.

      Earlier he would get up at unearthly hours and shake up the entire household at least once or twice a week. Even my son in law cooperating and trying to soothe the little fellow was not enough. We the grandparents too would pitch in and slowly put him back to sleep after I personally carried him around the house, stroked his back and tummy, showed him the moon and stars through the window, played a lullaby on my ipad and finally tucked him in bed cosily between me and my wife so that my son in law and daughter could catch up on their lost sleep and be fresh next morning while going to work. I remember one particular night, when nothing seemed to work and we finally took the fellow out for a drive in the car at 2 am! The gentle vibrations as he sat in his car seat probably soothed him and he went to sleep in the car within minutes and we were able to return to our beds. I believe babies sometimes have nightmares and it takes some time for them to shake off the effects and go back to sleep. This is when other possible causes (like a wet diaper) have been discounted.

      In this case, I can quite understand, how difficult it must have been for the letter writer, if she has to face this all alone.
      She must have a frank talk with her husband and demand his cooperation.
      If he does not, simply put the bawling baby on his body, as he pretends to sleep. Let’s see how long the pretense continues.

      I feel other issues (his being a teetotaler, the family’s financial arrangements, the wife being considered a golden goose etc ) are not relevant.

      Regards
      GV

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      • ah GV , brings back old memories.. you are 100% correct, babies do sometimes cry for no reason, mine did, we had twins so no such taking turns etc., each one slept with one of them in diff rooms on diff floors, because if one wailed the other would follow, we had a night ayah who would take turns, but luckily for us both of them started sleeping around 5 months thru and thru. and then we started putting them together, they soothes each other. but those 5 months.. nightmare of the first order. i remember feeding them for hours one after the other. our cook mami, mali , wachman and watchmans wife all helped in and we were still buried🙂 such is the way of babies…

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  17. If she does all the night duty, she MUST catch on some sleep in the morning – make it her husband’s job to get the breakfast/lunch ready in the morning while she tries to compensate for her sleep loss, as some others have commented. Or, appoint a cook who will come home (husband has to open the door for the cook & manage him/her, of course) & prepare food – anyways the husband seems to be grabbing any leftover savings she has, so why not spend it usefully on paying a cook? It will help her… Ok, just remembered she is in a foreign country – are cooks available there? If not, there must be some other healthy options (unlike McDonalds etc) available there. Can she check with her colleagues about it?
    That husband – given that he “doesn’t spend money”, might object to appointing a cook or other alternatives.. in that case she MUST be firm & insist on it or make him cook & clean in the morning (and do as good as she does, else, she will go ahead and appoint & pay a cook or whatever)

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  18. I quite understand the issue your friend has and her problems. it is quite easy to say the husband is uncooperative. But there are always two sides to any story. Has anyone bothered to find the point of view of the husband? If a woman (or man) has to see that the marriage works, every issue gets solved only when both the partners try to understand the point of the view of the other person and not just complain about that person. If someone has to help this couple in their marriage, find out how one can help both the partners understand each other. Of course, your friend has every right to work on her pains giving importance to herself. She can’t go on torturing herself without her husband understanding her. But this is an area, they could get good help if they are with a genuine counselor who is prepared to help both the persons understand each other and make the marriage more successful. This is a long topic in which I can’t say much here.

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  19. The only practical advice I can offer this woman is to do things like tiffin dabbas, uniforms etc the night before. She’s the one doing them anyway so she may as well time things to suit herself and nobody else. Those who don’t like it can lump it. My son was also a difficult sleeper, so no advice on that. Would she be willing to consider a pacifier? (I didn’t and still wouldn’t but I know many mothers who swear by them.) I don’t know why her baby cries but in my own case it took me a long time to realise my own tiredness and anger was upsetting the already cranky child.

    It’s a ten year old marriage and clearly they have found some way of getting along so I’m not going to say she should up and leave. The child will eventually learn to sleep better. I’m just wondering what would make her life a little easier. Is it possible for her to have some meals home delivered every week? Any little thing that would ease her daytime burden.

    I am not leaving suggestions on how to get the father to help at nights. A few suggestions up here make sense (sleep elsewhere occasionally so the father has no choice but too look after the child) and frankly, not knowing the dynamics between the couple, I don’t know what will most likely work.

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    • Oh, also, perhaps pay for a cleaning service once a month or even weekly. Hire a cook. The husband will possibly be OK with these if the alternative is that he cleans/cooks/does the night duty.

      Like

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