New dad: how can I get over my jealousy toward my baby?
For the past nine months, you and your spouse have waited excitedly for the arrival of your first born. You make plans and dreams around the baby. But when the baby arrives you feel left out...jealous. How do you deal with that?
For the past nine months, you and your spouse have waited excitedly for the arrival of your first born. You make plans and dreams around the baby. I can still vividly remember how I promised my wife how I’m going to work hard in making him the best son anyone can ask for. “He’s going to be great in school. I’ll let him study martial arts, soccer, basketball, swimming. He’s going to be a piano prodigy.”
And with a naughty look I added, “And I’ll make sure he doesn’t go astray with vices. He can’t smoke. He’s going to be a scholar but he will also be street-wise. Boys will be boys, they will learn to drink and chase girls. So to make sure he gets the right perspective, I’ll make sure to be the first to offer him a drink, let him taste cigarette (“See son? This is why you shouldn’t smoke”), teach him to play cards, and take him to a girlie bar.” My wife will just give me that, “What-the-hell-are-you-talking-about?” look.
Just thinking about your very own flesh and blood coming out, a new being, someone who will look up to you, someone you can mold, someone that is “your” very own makes you feel giddy with pride and anticipation.
And then the baby arrives
And then you feel like it’s not what you expected. Just days after the initial jubilation, you’re getting the nagging feeling that you’re being left out. You wife and your baby seem to have created an exclusive world of their own. To make things worse, they seem to not mind you being not part of that new world they created.
You feel jealous of new baby
It is a normal feeling. You may feel your baby has taken your wife’s attention from you, or you may feel your wife is having the baby all to herself. I did have both these ugly feelings eating me up on several occasions. It’s a normal feeling, yes. But it doesn’t make it easier if you don’t know how to deal with it.
Jealous of new baby? Express yourself
Talk to your wife. Just make sure you don’t make her feel like you’re nagging her, or that you are bitter and are complaining. You can be honest and tell her exactly how you feel AND…it is important that you tell her how you are going to manage it. I was able to manage it with this three-pronged plan.
1. You, her, and the baby – Find time to be around to help her with care for the baby. At first it can be scary and awkward but trust me, you’ll get the hang of it. In no time, you will have mustered all the courage and skills to proceed to the second stage of the plan, which is:
2. Just you and the baby – Have your own time caring for the baby (and be a hero to the wife by giving her some time off.
3. Just you and the wife – Set sometime for you and your wife alone whenever possible. You aren’t just co-parents. You are a couple and your relationship should grow stronger with the arrival of a third member.