My husband does not enjoy parenting. What should I do?
Can a husband who does not enjoy parenting anymore still be helped to regain fulfillment? Here are some tips that could work
Parenting is not always fun, but there is always joy to find in even the most stressful of tasks. Knowing that nothing you ever do for your kids will be wasted, is motivation for a lot of parents to keep going, to keep striving to be the best parent they can be. But what if your husband doesn't share the same amount of interest and investment in parenting? Such is the dilemma of one user on the Q&A app ParentTown.
"My husband does not enjoy parenting. What should I do?" asked the user anonymously.
"That's a tough one! Having my husband help out a lot is what makes things manageable for me," responded Dazzle N. "I'd suggest to find parts of it he enjoys like maybe playing with or reading to your child, feeding him/her, maybe even the discipline part of things. Even if he doesn't "enjoy" it, you decided together that you will have a child so he has to pitch in."
Imelda P. suggested that they seek the help of a parenting or marriage counsellor to help them get to the bottom of the issue.
One reader on the site Baby Center also experienced a similar struggle.
"My husband and I recently had a heart-to-heart conversation, and he told me some disturbing news -- he no longer finds any joy in being a parent," she wrote adding that even though parenting requires a lot of work, she loves it and finds it fulfilling.
"I don't understand how he can feel that raising our sons is just something he has to deal with," she continues. "What can I do to help him regain the joy in parenting he once had?"
How to help a husband "regain joy in parenting"
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to this kind of problem simply because all dads have different backgrounds, points-of-view, and perceived needs.
In response to the question above, one dad shared that he has experienced similar feelings. He confessed that he felt like he was mourning the life they lost when they became parents. Aside from that, he had to deal with feelings of jealousy.
But some of his loss of joy was simply because he was physically tired from work and didn't enjoy having to work more when they got home. He has overcome these feelings and now tries his best to spend as much time as he can with their "amazing son."
What worked for them? He shares that they made dating a priority again. They would even have long weekends, where a babysitter or his in-laws would watch their son to allow them to reconnect. Getting some me-time also help him shake off the negativity and enjoy parenting.
"I chose to become a parent and it was time to stop whining and step up to the plate," he wrote. "It was an eye-opener and it has made my life as well as my relationship with my family infintely more fullfilling."
To help a husband find joy, try to be as patient and encouraging as you can be as a partner. Try to find what is causing his frustration and reassure him you're willing to work at it. Hopefully, with constant encouragement, he will come around, but the decision is ultimately up to him.