to think history is going to repeat itself with our new baby?

(38 Posts)
PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 22:43:06

We have four dc aged 9, 8, 7 and just turned 2. The 9 and 8 yr old are my dsc and only here sometimes. When our 2 yr old was born, dh would busy himself helping by looking after older dd, washing up, cooking etc which was great but now, 2 yrs on, our dd has very little to do with him if I'm there. She won't let him carry her or hold her hand on the odd occasion he tries, she won't be put to bed by him or settle with him if hurt or upset whether I'm there or not. She'll play with him and talk to him if I encourage her to but quite honestly, he knows little about how to 'handle' her which ends in her getting upset.

I'm pregnant and really want this baby to be attached to us both rather than just me. I haven'tbeen aanywhere or done anything without dd for two yrs and I want a bit of my life back. I said to dh that I want to express when baby is old enough so he can give baby a bottle at bedtime and stop the association with only me being able to put them to bed. However, he isof the mindset that 'babies need their mum's' and says he'll be responsible for the older dc.

I understand that some men find newborns daunting, but this is his fifth. He's upset by how dd is with him but I think if I'm left to do everything with this baby too then history will repeat itself. Aibu to think this and want him to do more with the baby so I can have some freedom and also get time to spend with the older dc?

ICanSeeTheSun Thu 10-Apr-14 22:45:29

Are you a sahm

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Apr-14 22:50:04

My dh was very hands on with all my kids. My dd is VERY clingy to me, it is partly her personality. She loves dh too, but always wants me at bedtime etc. I think he may be feeling overwhelmed by how much there is to do with a newborn and 3 other kids (I would be!). Someone has to take care of the older kids. Are you very close to them? Would they be happy if their Dad took care of the baby whilst you took care of them? In my experience, it is the existing children who have a hard time when a baby is born, not the baby. It's really important to think about what is best for the existing children.

The relationship with your dh and your dd can and will improve over time and with effort from both of you. She's still so very young. He can take her out for 1:1 time, read her stories at night, do activities with her. These are things I believe which create relationships, not who gave them a bottle at night when they were 3 weeks old. Having a new baby may be a catalyst for his relationship with your dd as he will necessarily have to do more for her whilst you deal with the baby. I think if you start thinking negatively about your dh's relationship with your dd and his yet unborn child, purely based on how much he does with them as small babies, you are setting him up for failure and not helping him become close with the child he already has.

wheresthelight Thu 10-Apr-14 23:00:07

My dd is 7 months and I bottle fed so that dp could be involved and she could associated both of us with food,cuddles and sleeping but she still wwon't settle for him!

He has no idea how to tell the difference between her tired/bores/nappy change/hungry crying but she absolutely loves playing with him etc. She plays much better for him than for me.

It will come in time, just keep encouraging them both

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:13:57

This morning she woke when I was in the shower. She sat outside the bathroom door screaming rather than have him cuddle her/play with her/make breakfast. Having the baby isn't going to 'encourage them to be closer' it's going to leave me dealing with toddler and baby while he 'deals' with older dc who are all pretty much self sufficient. The older dc are also reluctant to have him do things for/with them so ultimately I end up doing everything child related while he looks on. I've tried encouraging him to spend time with them one on one or all together but he'll run off to wash up or make a cup of tea rather than be left with them. I would love just have ten mins peace to wash up. It's pretty sad that I'd consider something so small a break!

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:17:18

Precisely merry I want to think of the older ones who want me and have the newborn, who knows no different, have the opportunity to become close to dh. I see no sense in me having to continuously have to fob the older children off or else sort them out while also caring for baby when they'd be happy if I dealt with them and baby would be able to learn to settle with him.

3boys3dogshelp Thu 10-Apr-14 23:28:35

My dad freely admits he doesn't do babiesand when I was a baby the first time he changed me was when my mum was in labour with my little brother! However he isan aamazing dad and grandad once children are able to talk properly and take themselves to the toilet :-). We are still very close today. By all means encourage your oh but don't force the relationship on both of them. From what you have said he pulls his weight by doing other jobs rather than looking after your daughter who doesn't want to go to him. There is plenty of time.

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:35:41

Not really there isn't 'plenty of time.' I want to be able to spend time alone with my 7 yr old, which I haven't been able to do for two years. I don't want to wait another three years and it isn't fair for her to have to. I too preferttoddlers but figure caring for them as babies is putting in the hard groundwork. It seems incredibly unfair that men can just opt out of that bit. Washing up and making a few meals is not comparable to doing everything else for the household and for five children. Yes, he works too but he should be able to help look after the children when he isn't imo.

craftysewer Thu 10-Apr-14 23:38:50

Is it the fact he is nervous of dealing with younger ones or has the fact that because dd prefers to come to you for comfort he feels rejected? I went back home to my parents to live when my dd was 1 year old and because exh had cut us off from my parents my dd would have nothing to do with my dad. It so upset him. Then my mum bought a glove puppet and he used to use to to encourage her to come near him and gradually they developed a fantastic relationship. I know it's not the same, but maybe something worth thinking about. Needs lots of work and patience on your DH's side but could be a way forward.

moreyear Thu 10-Apr-14 23:43:16

Send them out of the house -to the park, for a walk etc so they can't turn back to you.

My baby (now 20 months) was very, very similar. She was my little limpet. OH from when she was about 18 months would take her and our 3 year old son out for a walk with our doggies on a Saturday morning. It was only for an hour, they would have a swing, get a fluffy and so on - so lots of fun. They all love that time together so much.

She still only wants me if she is tired, upset, wakes up in the night and I am the only one who can get her out of her cot or she becomes very upset but all things being equal she loves spending time with her dad and will happily go downstairs for breakfast with him, be bathed by him or go for a walk, go out to shops together etc.

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:46:02

But sneaking off to wash up and leaving her to scream while I shower isn't going to improve their relationship. He isn't working at it, he's leaving it all to me which is why I don't want history to repeat itself.

If I wash up during the day or in the evening she'll go off and play because she understands I'm busy. He could use that time to bond, for example, but he doesn't. He gets up practically before he's finished chewing so I won't beat him to the Washing up hmm

TheRealYellowWiggle Thu 10-Apr-14 23:46:30

It's self-perpetuating if he thinks the baby needs its mum, so keeps out of it, so the baby will just need its mum... I think history will repeat if you don't talk now and set out some ground rukes .
The best thing for my DH's relationship with the dcs is being left alone with them - as regularly as you can, for reasonable chunks of time. It's amazing how well they can get on when there's no alternative. If they even sniff that I'm somewhere in the house though, they both come to me..

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:49:15

This is our problem moreyear he doesn't see it as enjoying time with the kids, he sees it as 'keeping them happy/occupied' until I return. I'm sure this feeling is obvious to them, too.

PuffyPigeon Thu 10-Apr-14 23:51:25

TheReal It still makes no difference though because he, nor the children, enjoy their time away together. They all see it as passing time until they can return to me.

moreyear Fri 11-Apr-14 00:10:18

That is hard and I do understand the almost claustrophobic feeling you get from thinking you will never, ever, ever have another minute on your own again.

My OH is similar if he looks after the children when I am in the house - which is why for us getting them to spend time together outside the house was the solution. We negotiated it (through tears I think on my part). Now I don't have to ask and he can't ' forget' - every Saturday morning unless it's raining they walk the dogs for an hour.

Knowing that break is there gets me through the nightly wake ups etc and it stops me being there to oversee their relationship. They do what suits them best and if that involves more sweets than I would like or an occasional sausage roll, well I don't know and frankly can overlook it for my 1 hour. smile

Being out of the house also meant he was completely responsible for then and couldn't turn to me when our daughter needed comforting and he he had to find a way to deal with it.

I know he felt quite isolated from our daughter because she only wanted me. I think it was quite a painful thing for him and maybe he didn't try as hard with her as he could have for fear of that rejection? Certainly he treasures it so much that she is so much more comfortable with him now.

I know it is harder in your situation because you have more children but maybe try and see if you can come to an arrangement whereby he takes your daughter to the park or wherever for 30 minutes every Saturday afternoon without exception. Hopefully their own relationship can grow from that time spent together.

TheRealYellowWiggle Fri 11-Apr-14 00:21:13

Not at all? Even if he does the 'treat' stuff - soft play, cafe, playground? If his face is tripping him the whole time the dcs will pick up on that. I think doing it regularly may still be the only way to make a change. Even if it's not much fun for them, still means you get some breathing space.

ikeaismylocal Fri 11-Apr-14 07:32:02

It sounds like he really doesn't like being a father, it is odd he made the decision to have 5 children if he'd prefer to do the washing up than play with his kids.

Can you insist he takes paternity leave? My dp was always as involved as possible when he was at home but he has become so much closer to ds in the last 4 months since dp has been on ppaternity leave.

3DcAndMe Fri 11-Apr-14 07:35:32

My oh and ds2 were like this until ds2 was about 3 and realised that daddy was fun. He was a hard baby and oh struggled with this.

Legologgo Fri 11-Apr-14 07:36:56

Why do you keep having babies with this crap man?!

NoisyNoraBackAgain Fri 11-Apr-14 08:15:06

I found that my DS (just 2) and DH's relationship improved significantly when I started having to work on Saturday mornings, so DH had to have 1:1 time for a few hours every weekend. Before, he did the occasional bedtime and looked after DS for an hour or so after work (until I got home) a few times a week, but DS was very clingy with me. I think the 'quality' time is what's made the difference.

Perhaps you're going to have to insist that your DH look after your 2yo DD while you go out with the 7yo (or the baby, when it's born). I think it makes more sense for you to be the main carer for the new baby, but once it's 1/walking/talking, I think DH (when he's forced to) can take charge and have fun.

My concern is your DH's attitude that he's just keepng them occupied till you come back. After 4 DC you'd hope he'd enjoy the company of children a bit more. If he really doesn't, I think that history will repeat itself, yes. Sorry. And, tbh, I don't think he sounds like a great father.

Driveway Fri 11-Apr-14 08:24:45

I also am confused as to why you decided it was a good idea to tie yourself to more years of this life which you seem to resent so much.

fluffyraggies Fri 11-Apr-14 08:30:14

It could be a self perpetuating situation.

- dad feels rejected
- retreats from parenting
- child not used to their dad parenting
- child rejects dad
- dad feels rejected ......... pattern continues ........

Talk to him about whether the above applies. Does he actually want to break the pattern? Is he, in fact, quite happy being a parent in name only?

Sorry to ask, but if he's always been this reluctant to parent why have you gone on to have more DCs with him OP? One child is a learning curve, two - you may have hoped things would improve, but 5 ... ? confused

Feminine Fri 11-Apr-14 10:11:00

I agree with those that are wondering why you have had more children?

Do you keep having sticking plaster kids?

I don't know what you are supposed to do?

PuffyPigeon Sat 12-Apr-14 08:03:53

The first two dc are my dsc, the third is my dd. We only have one child together. Baby will be the second.

He is great with them if we're on days out etc. or so long as I'm there too but he struggles on his own. He's had one on one time with the toddler but because he treats it like distracting her rather than enjoying her, neither enjoy it.

He just doesn't get how suffocating it is to have to do everything with toddler even though he's there. Last night for example, I felt sick and wanted some toast. Toddler refused her dinner, and I'd told her there was nothing else so I couldn't get toast otherwise I'd have her screaming in my ear All the way through eating it. Meanwhile he's munching on whatever he fancies and she goes nowhere near him.

PuffyPigeon Sat 12-Apr-14 08:04:34

The first two dc are my dsc, the third is my dd. We only have one child together. Baby will be the second.

He is great with them if we're on days out etc. or so long as I'm there too but he struggles on his own. He's had one on one time with the toddler but because he treats it like distracting her rather than enjoying her, neither enjoy it.

He just doesn't get how suffocating it is to have to do everything with toddler even though he's there. Last night for example, I felt sick and wanted some toast. Toddler refused her dinner, and I'd told her there was nothing else so I couldn't get toast otherwise I'd have her screaming in my ear All the way through eating it. Meanwhile he's munching on whatever he fancies and she goes nowhere near him.

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