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New Dad - feeling left out amongst other issues

Community Member
Hi there,
I'm a new dad at 26 years old. My wife and I have have been together for almost 8 years now, and inside those 8 years we've been through some crap, 2x miscarriages and fertility issues just to name a few.

4 months ago we finally had our son who I love more than anything, but I'm struggling on a few fronts;
- Firstly. Feeling like the useless and unloved 3rd wheel. I know that our relationship has changed by introducing our son, and it's not like I didn't expect it. But now I feel like maybe I wasn't expecting the more important things.
- My wife is doing an amazing job with breastfeeding only. But this means that she has to be awake for every feed, so obviously she's tired and that's fine I get that. But I'm also working 60+ hours a week to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads and I'm just as tired but I don't feel like I can tell her I'm tired because she's got it pretty rough too, so I go to work, then come home and try to be the best dad I can and often feel like I'm falling short, only to wake up the next day, even after a solid 6-7 hours sleep feeling just as drained just to do it all again.
- When we are home together I can't help but feel like it's Her and bub then me, I feel very little love, even at bedtime, I know she's tired but I don't even get a kiss goodnight or "I love you" something we've always done and I've continued after birth of bub but it feels like it's all on me to make sure she's feeling loved even though I'm not. And I think this is causing me to want sex just to feel loved which leads to rejection whether it's bubs presence or wife not wanting it and I feel like I'm only going further down the rabbit hole into feelings of being unloved
- I've tried to explain to her just how useless I feel when I can't settle him and have to give him back and how I feel guilty that sometimes I feel like she's doing all this on her own to which she generally replies with "I try to let you help out when you're home" or "You're a great dad" but I still feel like I'm letting everyone down.

I don't know what I want out of this post, maybe just a vent to get it off my chest but thanks to those who took the time to read. I've always struggled with sharing how I'm feeling or asking for help. I just wonder am I thinking about it to much, is this how most dads feel?
2 Replies 2

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi BD93

Congratulations on the birth of your son, it sounds like both you and your wife have been through so much to get him in your arms so congratulations.

I can hear how tired and exhausted you are and my youngest is 13 but I remember this time in my house like it was yesterday. I will give you a perspective, which is just mine by the way, from a mum point of view and see if this perhaps is true for you and if in fact it helps.

Our son was born prem and after 10 weeks in hospital we finally got to bring him home..rewind a bit..the fact he was prem had me riddled with anxiety as I could not be there with him and our house was all "baby" but no baby there, so it was almost as if our baby had passed away, the house was full of what should be with a new baby..but he was at hospital. So when we finally did bring him home he was my prime focus, maybe a little like your wife in that you have been through so much to get him. My husband felt as you did, the third wheel, I was so consumed with keeping this baby alive that I actually didn't even have time for me, let alone him. Some days I would see it was 6pm, I had not showered and I had no plans for dinner. The fact that the housework was not done and no dinner left him feeling like a house mate...to fend for himself. He too would help where he can, obviously like you he could not breastfeed and I too thought he was doing a wonderful job, as you are.

There is a wonderful site called mensline:


I would check it out for sure...in the meantime I think you need to know that when your wife says you are doing a great job she really means it, why would she not, that when she says you are a great dad, she means it.

I think that perhaps you and your wife need to make some time for each other, even if that is 30 mins to have a coffee outside of the house...ask a friend or a relative if they can come so that you can start to reconnect in your new look family. It is new and the addition of your son means that you do not have 100% access to her as you did before, especially now while he is a baby, it will change as he gets older though, but you do have to share time with her now, and that is fine.

I think it is also fine to talk about you and to let her know how you are feeling, this does not discount how she is feeling but you still need to be heard and felt valued and wanted too.

This is the very reason that alot of parents have date night, to stay connected.

Huge hugs to you


Community Member

Hi BD93,

Welcome to the forum. I read your post and it reminded me of my relationship with my partner in the first 10 months of having our first baby. We too had been together for 8 years or so and we were surprised and delighted to be able to bring a child into the world.

The experience of our relationship in the first year wasn't something I expected. My partner felt similar to you - exhausted, like a third wheel and wasn't quite sure what to do. I felt like I was doing all the baby work (breastfeeding primarily) and felt my partner had it easier, just going to work with his routine unchanged. I was slightly resentful as I had to quit my job, have perpetual sleep loss and have a changed body. Plus this beautiful human attached to me wanted nothing except ...me! Having someone attached to me made me quite resistant to having anyone else touch me. This was really hard for my partner, the lack of ability I had to give affection.

The dad experience and the mum experience are so different but equally challenged. Advise given by a very good blog I read was that 'it is not a competition'. Reflecting back, what my partner did which was help with meals, change nappies before and after work and cut up food so I could eat one handed were the nicest things possible. In my head, I thought it was going to be like this forever. But then the moment came where our daughter said her first word (on Fathers Day) and it was 'Dada'. And then at 10 months, it was not mummy that she was always reaching for, it was Daddy. We also got away for a meal and then for one whole night together without bubs, I found I was still completely in love with my partner, I had just forgot to focus on this part as much. Once I did, I found it did not drain me, but filled me up with even more love and energy.

And before we knew it, breastfeeding was just feeding and sleep deprivation was something in the past (with exceptions of course). The parenting has evened out so much and our relationship, though different as parents, has grown stronger. We are both a lot more tired than we were before having a baby. This is something that comes with parenting I think, but nothing compares to the first hard year.

Here are a few resources just for you that you might find helpful:



Be kind to yourself.

Nurse Jenn