Dear Ovia is an ongoing series where we answer your love and relationship questions. To submit a question, send us a message on Instagram. We answer all questions anonymously.
Dear Ovia, I feel like my partner isn’t putting any effort into preparing for our baby. I’m running around trying to make sure everything is organized. I’m reading up on parenting styles. And he’s just so low key about it. It’s annoying me/dampening my excitement. How can I get him to care more?
I hear you on this one! It can feel especially overwhelming and annoying because when you’re pregnant, you’re also doing the lion’s share of the work.
Some food for thought
If you enjoy this preparation, don’t let his perceived lack of excitement about it dampen your spirits. Talk to friends, family or whoever else gets excited about buying furniture, clothes, books, etc. Think about times in your relationship when you didn’t have the same level of enthusiasm for something. It’s okay to be different — even though baby related things seem inherently exciting to you.
Lack of organization or prep at this point doesn’t equal not caring about this new chapter. Pregnancy often feels a little less real for the non-pregnant parent. There may be some major anxiety or uncertainty at play that he doesn’t care to burden you with. Many partners will also say that time is not as pressing — he may feel like he has AAAAAAGES to get things done, whereas you know that’s not the case! This is not meant as a series of excuses, but more of an encouragement to allow a clean slate when you begin talking (which is what you’ll need to do).
So, how can you get him more involved moving forward?
Ask for what you need! Are you bored of picking baby items? Do you need something picked up or put together? Whatever you want off of your plate — delegate. We can all get tripped up on delegation (shouldn’t he know what to do without you asking him anyway?), but if you can start to let that go, you can begin to have fun with knocking things off your list as a team.
If you’re worried he won’t get a task done, I’d encourage you to say something like, “The stress of “X” and remembering these details is a lot. I’m asking you to do this, and I’m not going to remind you. It’s off my list as of now.”
If you’re excited about preparing for baby as a way to spend time together, frame it that way. “I’d love to do this class together so that we can both learn about newborn care.” Finding ways to come together, even if it’s small — like listening to a podcast or picking out family pjs — just get the ball rolling.
I want to end by saying this is not predictive in any way of how your partner will be as a parent! This is a very different phase than the one that’s coming, and it may be that his time to shine is yet to come.