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, How do I get my husband involved more with the baby if he’s not a “baby person”?
I hear you on this! I definitely had a partner who was terrified of the newborn stage. Too small! Too delicate! That soft spot! Ah! Not all stages are our favorites, and some general acceptance of that being normal may be helpful. If he’s excited about older ages and stages and doesn’t prefer where you are now, try not to judge the excitement factor.
That said — it doesn’t excuse him from equal parenting, division of labor and (as you said) involvement. He can be less into a certain stage (it’s possible that you may not love a future stage when he’s all in), but he still has to be your partner and be loving and helpful. If dropping hints like, “The baby loves when you sing!” or “Can you read to the baby?” hasn’t worked, it’s time to up the ante.
Consider asking that he be fully responsible for certain things. This means he’s the breakfast guru or the bathtime expert while you disappear. Having a sense of independence, bonding and responsibility will hopefully show him the joy of this stage, but at the very least it will allow him to relieve some of the pressure on you. Plus, sometimes it helps when a parent discovers their own way of doing things.
He should also have tasks like diaper ordering, meal planning, or washing pump parts — not just bonding activities. The mental load of caring for a baby is immense, and sharing these logistical tasks also counts as involvement.
Lastly, when you do things together as a family, try asking him to step into the role of wearing the baby, pushing the stroller or swing, etc. Often you may feel natural in those roles, but asking him to fill those shoes involves him and changes the overall dynamic.