I'll be honest it doesn't sound like you want a baby or at the very least a baby with him, at all. My OH is very similar, plays video games all day (easily 6-10 hours if he's not working.) Plays on his phone obnoxiously loud and generally tends to be quiet and quite distant emotionally. I always frequently joke that he looses concentration so much that if we had a child and he was doing chores he'd end up accidentally mixing up the laundry and the baby.
However, when we are babysitting he's fantastic and blew away my presumptions. He may not always be interacting or even seem 'all there' but he's certainly watching which amazes me due to the contrast from his day-to-day personality/lifestyle.
What I'm trying to say is that you can't judge a person's current habits and hold that against them prior to having a baby. A baby is a huge deal and a life changing commitment. It may seem that he couldn't handle that but you can't judge him before anything's happened. Nobody is ever fully prepared for a baby.
What would I suggest?
- Babysitting. Ask around some friends (or family members) and see if you can babysit their
children/babies for some time. Chances are they'll be thankful for a break
(date night.) and you can both get some 'experience' with how your
relationship would work around a baby/children.
- AI baby I'm not sure where you can find one of these readily available but I know they use them in health & social classes in colleges. These are designed specifically to try and ready people for parenthood,
- Pet fostering Try fostering a dog or cat. This means you're doing something nice for the animal but also teaching your OH about responisbilities and seeing if they will be able to cope with the added stress. Plus you're not 'stuck' with a fulltime pet as this can cause more issues about stress and responsibilities when talking about babies.
Some red flags are:
I would not suggest getting a permanent pet. Purely because this adds extra stress for when/if you do want a baby.
However, if I'm being truthful I would say that the issue here is your own thoughts. You don't want to fail the baby so you won't or don't want to try. I'm not blaming you here I feel the same way, I was emotionally abused by both parents and refuse to put another being through what I did. However, the parenting is done by both parties. If you're there you would most likely not be emotionally unavailable for the a baby as you're petrified of repeating your family's past mistake.
As for worries of bringing up a baby alone, yes it's difficult. Especially without family members but it's certainly not impossible. There are more facilities around today to help cope with these matters. Not to mention that worrying about splitting up or anything that hasn't happened yet is useless as you can't predict the future. You don't wake up every morning and think or panic about "what if I get hit by a bus today." all you'll do by acknowledging this is fuel your insecurities.
As for feeling it's too late my OH's parents had their last child at 45 so don't let that worry you. In fact worrying without trying is futile!
If you want the baby, have the baby. If you don't want a baby, don't have the baby.
How do I communicate this to him?
Sit him down with no distractions, maybe at dinner or a similar setting and explain.
I'm nervous and don't feel we are quite ready to have a baby as it's a
big commitment and I'm concerned about our lifestyle/careers. Would
you consider (choose one or all of the suggestions mentioned above.)
as practice? I would like to see if we can cope with the added stress
and responsibilities before trying for a baby.
Do not have this conversation with him if you do not want a baby. Be honest with yourself. If you're scared he's going to end the relationship if you say no then everyone is better off if you end it now.
The reason I voiced the concern from your point of view instead of specifically saying things such as "I'm concerned you're not emotionally ready for the dedication a baby needs." is because people become quite defensive when it's about them. It also shows you have no confidence in him, which may be true but will do nobody any favours by telling him that. This way he should realise that you are concerned, with good reason and if he's really dead set on having this baby should then agree to these terms as they are more than reasonable and should put your mind at rest.
I think you are slightly influenced by the whole premise of being a perfect parent. After all, who/what would you consider "ready for a baby," look at or even ask some people you know who have babies to see if they ever felt prepared. I can guarantee you most of them didn't and that their partners also displayed or still display similar traits.
If there's anything I've interpreted wrong or missed, let me know and I'll ammend accordingly.