Dear Is This Normal,
Since I became pregnant, my partner is suddenly a workaholic. They spend so much time at the office, putting in overtime and using what used to be our free time to work more. It’s starting to make me worry about what it’ll be like when our baby is born. Is this normal?
Dear Workaholic Partner,
It’s hard to predict how someone will react once that line shows up on the pregnancy test. Elation and excitement are pretty normal. Shock, surprise, or uncertainty—sure, those are the easy ones.
Fear, stress, and a sudden need to start preparing IMMEDIATELY for the baby that will be joining the ranks in about 9 months? Well, that reaction is the oldest in the books. It’s very normal, and very valid, albeit hard to understand when you’re the one whose feels that way and it’s your workaholic partner is spending so much time away from home.
Your partner may be thinking of other things that come along with starting a family, like, for instance, money.
Having a baby is expensive. Not just preparing for the baby (which, get ready to spend spend spend), but the actual act of HAVING one. The doctor’s visits, the labor and delivery bills, stocking up on all the little things you’ll need once the baby is home. Becoming a family of three is an exciting time for sure, but when you start to crunch the numbers and see what you’re going to be spending (and how much you need to start saving!) stress can take hold.
It sounds to me like your workaholic partner could be putting in some extra hours at work to try and ease the financial blow that’s coming. They could also be having a hard time adjusting to all the oncoming changes. It’s … a lot. So, it’s important that, going into this new life stage, you and your partner keep the lines of communication wide open.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for communication to breakdown during pregnancy. But that doesn’t have to happen here!
It’s time for a heart-to-heart. This may very well be the way they feel most helpful and useful and that’s to be appreciated! But if you’re feeling like you want to make the most of the time you have left, just the two of you, you have to communicate that, too. There’s a middle ground here. You just need to meet halfway to find it.
All Work and No Play is Hard on Everyone,
Is This Normal