Having a baby is a natural evolution for most marriages . When a couple decides to form a family, the nature of their relationship is bound to change and with this, something quite unusual in the mother’s eyes may occur, the jealousy of the father with the baby.
It is no secret that new babies bring a mixture of emotions to their parents. Together with love, joy and imagination, these parents will feel the responsibility to bring a new life to the world .
Emotions and Feelings of the Moment
They will certainly experience fear, anxiety and panic, not to mention total exhaustion. But what about jealousy? Although it may seem crazy to be jealous of a baby, there is no way to ignore this feeling in this emotional turmoil of parenthood, so it is important to be aware of not taking this risk.
Believe it or not, it is quite common for a recent mother to suspect that her husband is jealous of the baby. Sometimes the spouse feels neglected when the little one comes , which often leads to the guilt of being envious of such a small and helpless creature.
Over time, these feelings cause stress and tension between couples , paving the way for major relationship problems. Even though many parents do not foresee this obstacle, it is important to understand why this feeling that is so harmful arrives without warning, and to know how to prevent future conflicts.
Important: Working in a solid partnership between the couple, not only strengthens the bond between them, but makes them evolve as parents throughout the process.
Why Does Jealousy Happen?
When the woman is discharged and goes home with her baby, the time she had available for her husband is completely filled with the new routine of a newborn baby .
The first few weeks with a new baby can be incredibly demanding: the challenges of breastfeeding , lack of sleep , cramps , diaper changes will make the nights that were dedicated to special programs disappear.
The time with the partner decreases dramatically and this is undoubtedly an especially difficult phase for first-time parents, who could be accustomed to having free nights and weekends for their life as a couple.
A newborn fills all maternal attention, which means that even when the couple is spending time together, the mother’s focus will be on the baby, rather than the husband. No matter how many baby books you read, the world will inevitably turn upside down . This can affect the couple’s relationship in unexpected ways, including the father’s jealousy with the baby.
New parents need to keep in mind that, during the first six months of a baby’s life, practically all of the woman’s energies (and his too) will need to focus on caring for the newborn. There may not be much physical, psychological or emotional energy at the end of the day for romance and the enrichment of marriage.
Postpartum Depression in the Father
Some men may also experience postpartum depression or male baby blues as it is also called. This type of depression is usually a milder form. In most cases, it manifests itself in men with a tendency to depression, although several other factors may be involved, directly or not.
One of the main ones is the feeling of exclusion towards the mother and baby, who, in these initial periods after delivery , tend to be the center of attention. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that up to 10 percent of new parents experience baby blues.
This picture can lead to discussions that do not reach a consensus, in which neither feels that any change has occurred. Over time, this lack of togetherness can generate feelings of jealousy and insecurity among couples, especially when combined with the sleep deprivation that inevitably comes with a baby.
How to Overcome the Jealousy of the Father with the Baby?
Fortunately, taming the monster of jealousy is relatively possible. The most effective way is to protect yourself from jealousy in all its forms, and work to overcome it before and after the baby arrives.
Before the baby:
Put it on the scale – When considering a new baby, honestly assess how the relationship is going. Be realistic, imagine how a child will change goals.
For example, if the couple has always wanted to embark on an adventure abroad, it is important to think how difficult it would be with a baby. If they realize that they need more time to make some “couple” dreams come true, then the best alternative would be to postpone the pregnancy plan.
Do the math – Babies are expensive. Is the couple financially prepared? Often jealousy and resentment happen because the husband works for long hours, with no time to be with the baby or family.
To say that you will only have a child when you have enough money, perhaps it would not be a smart option, since it is very difficult to collect money. Who knows how to consider solutions such as day care, working part time or even setting up a home-office.
Keep the dialogue going – The couple needs to keep talking and, as far as possible, the father tries to be included in everything that surrounds the pregnancy, such as choosing the name, choosing the doctor, prenatal consultations, ultrasound, shopping for the layette , mainly, the moment of birth.
It is of great value that the woman invites her partner to be present in all situations and is not intimidated by a certain regression that can appear in the man’s behavior.
Adjust expectations – Prepare your husband for what lies ahead. It shows that while the woman is busy taking care of the baby, she will not have as much time to give it as much attention as before. Since both will be less available when the baby arrives.
Try to anticipate facts that can lead to jealousy. For example, it is normal for a woman to feel insecure about her body during pregnancy, which often makes her avoid a more intimate relationship with her husband. Making him understand what his fears and insecurities are, avoids future discussions. The man can also make her feel more beautiful with small gestures, including flowers, massages or a simple statement every day.
After the baby:
Continue with the plan – With a newborn at home, it is tempting to forget everything else and spend every second admiring it. However, “couple time” is essential for health and the relationship.
Continuing with the routine established prior to the baby’s arrival is critical, no matter how difficult. If you need to call for backup when you feel overwhelmed. Leaving the baby is certainly not an easy task, but it is a positive idea to let your sister take care of you while the couple spends time together.
Encourage involvement – The best way to lessen the parent’s jealousy with the baby is to build a consistent relationship between parent and child. Although he is unable to breastfeed, there are many other ways to contribute and relate to the baby, including playing time, changing diapers, bathing time and bedtime stories to ensure that he realizes that he is just as important as the mother .
Particularly if the woman is at home during the day and the father is at work, use the evenings to care for the baby and share the early morning cartridges as much as possible. After six months or more, life generally becomes easier, as babies start to sleep at night and adopt a more predictable routine.
Meeting at night. Make a plan to spend time together. One day of the week works well, as both are more likely to have a different schedule.
If grandparents agree to take care of the child on Thursdays, for example, they will have one night to spend on “couple” time. This can be anything: a dinner in a good restaurant, a cinema, a good wine, the important thing is that they have that day established to spend together.
Every parent needs support, encouragement, information, confidence and tools to help him be as involved as possible with his new family . Preparing for a new baby generates expectations and excitement.
Given this, it is easy for women to forget that they need to encourage and prepare the other party that is also essential to this plan: their spouse. Don’t let a little jealousy become a hindrance to a harmonious relationship.
And never think that this is your partner’s drama. The jealousy of the father with the baby is more common than it looks, the good news is that it is temporary. So stay tuned to this advice, and soon you will be enjoying your little one, each other, in the family.
See Also: Preference for a Child – Does It Exist?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.