to be annoyed at DP prioritising his DSD (my DD) above his biological DC?

(50 Posts)
powersquawker Wed 09-Jul-14 22:17:45

My DD is 7. I was a single parent from pregnancy until she was three years old without any help or support, so we are extremely close. When I met DP, and subsequently DP met her, they both got on very well and were both happy for him to play a fatherly role in her life, as was I. We have since had a DS together, who is now 20 months. I am a SAHM so obviously I have DS all day. When DP comes home from work he'll greet DS but go off to chat to/play with DD rather than occupy DS while I'm cooking.

If we go to the park he'll follow DD to push her on the swings (even though she doesn't need help) rather than play with DS, he is always left to/with me even though DD and I have both openly said to him that we'd like to spend more time together because currently DS takes up all my time. If my DSC are over, he's very protective of DD if they are horrible to her, which is nice of course but I find it strange that he favours her and spending time with her over his three biological DC.

DD was in a ballet performance last weekend. I suggested we go separately (there were two performances) as it'd be boring for DS and we have no other childcare. DP insisted we all go together. After half hour or so, DS was getting restless and DP kept saying 'does he need to go out?', at the mention of which DS was frantically nodding and trying to head for the door. I said 'he will think he can go out now you've said it, yes' and DP just shrugged and carried on watching, expecting me to go with DS and miss DDs performance!

This morning there was a 'walk to school and get breakfast with parents and headteacher' morning. We live over two miles away so have to leave early and DS was up a lot last night with a cold so I said to DP, who was off work, that DS could do with staying in bed rather than being woken to go. When I went downstairs he had his shoes on ready to go with DD, presuming it'd be me staying with DS!

AIBU to be annoyed that I'm getting sidelined from my own DDs life and that his DC are left feeling second best?

MyFavouriteWordIsDazzle Wed 09-Jul-14 22:21:10

No, YANBU. That sounds really weird. Your poor DS.

Have you pointed out the inequality? What does he say?

SisterMoonshine Wed 09-Jul-14 22:23:14

It'll probably be that your DD is such easier company than a toddler.
Not on though.

Can you make time for you and DD regularly?

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 09-Jul-14 22:24:55

That is fucking weird.

Bloody odd behavior.

DoJo Wed 09-Jul-14 22:27:20

Could it be that it's a misguided attempt to prove to you and your daughter that he isn't going to prioritise your son over her just because he is his biological child? Or is it, as another poster said, that 7 year olds are a bit more interactive than toddlers and (in some ways!) less hard work? Either way, have you spoken to him about it? If not, then I wouldn't mention so much the bit about sidelining you from your own daughter's life (at least not at first). If he has taken on a fatherly role and genuinely sees her as his own, you don't want to alienate him by implying that you still see her as yours (true though it may be) and that he has less right to consider her his child (which again, whilst it may be true, it probably won't help you to have a rational discussion about it.).

cerealqueen Wed 09-Jul-14 22:32:53

Maybe he has bonded with DD and simply can't relate to his DS as he doesn't understand babies/toddlers. Clutching at straws. Have you asked him?

ApocalypseThen Wed 09-Jul-14 22:34:22

I've heard it said that many men don't find babies very interesting but really come into their own when the toddler stage is over. Maybe he just finds your daughter to be at a more interesting stage and feels that he can give her something special at this stage, but isn't as confident with the baby?

arethereanyleftatall Wed 09-Jul-14 22:37:42

Have you actually spoken to him about this? Maybe his intentions are good.

BobPatandIgglePiggle Wed 09-Jul-14 22:40:06

I'd guess at a combination of dd being easier than a toddler and a misguided attempt at proving his commitment to dd.

Tell him he needs to spend one to one time with ds and that on Saturday mornnings and Wednesday teatime (or whenever) you and dd will be doing girl stuff at the park / cinema etc.

extraneous Wed 09-Jul-14 22:54:58

I agree with others - in our house DH always chooses the activities with the older children. It's just a bit easier. Perhaps your DH is actually treating them equally, and just finds it easier to care for slightly older ones. He can't be the only man to choose the route of least resistance! I don't find it odd in the slightest.

extraneous Wed 09-Jul-14 22:56:09

Not condoning it mind - yanbu.

SquigglySquid Wed 09-Jul-14 22:59:56

Honestly, I'd rather spend time with a 7 year old than a toddler too.

But, you need to make him understand that he needs to practice being fair to DS because as he gets older he's going to start noticing the inequality.

Are you sure he's treating his own DSC as second best? I don't see telling them to behave and be nice to DD as favoritism.

If he does get along better with DD than his own kids, it's easy to play favorites. It's human nature to be nicer to those we like more. I'd maybe point it out to him, and how it can be hurtful to his other kids and that he needs to make an effort with them as well.

Sp1rals Wed 09-Jul-14 23:02:47

Are his other children boys or girls? What ages?

flyingtrue Wed 09-Jul-14 23:18:11

I agree with BobPatandIgglePiggle, some people just don't really know what to do with babies or toddlers- some have even told me they find them really dull and boring and have loved when they've hit three or four.

Sp1rals Wed 09-Jul-14 23:22:17

My only concern would be if his other children are also boys. I know this is a terrible question but does the attention feel creepy? Has your daughter commented on it?
Other than that you just need to have a word and ask him out straight why? But yes, generally men tend to engage better once children are a little older.

powersquawker Wed 09-Jul-14 23:27:22

Dojo I think it's both that he wants to make her feel equal and that he finds her more interesting/easy. I do see her as ours rather than mine but it's getting to a point where it feels like he's acting like she 'his' but not mine!

I think it's really unfair when people say 'men just find older kids easier' like that's acceptable. I much prefer toddlers to babies, but I don't get to opt out of the first 18 months!

I have said that I want time alone with DD but it's difficult because DS only wants me because DP is usually with DD, then DD feels guilty and like she's making DS upset by taking me away.

powersquawker Wed 09-Jul-14 23:30:14

The other children are two girls and a boy. They are much 'harder' too. I think he just likes DD because she is mature and sensible - no hysterics or tantrums ever and she's a pleasure to be around, whereas his older DC still cry for things in shops, have to be stopped from falling in rivers etc.

AnyoneForTennis Wed 09-Jul-14 23:31:19

Actually, IMO I think this is a bit worrying. It's been going on a while and he's going out of his way to spend time with her, excluding all others

Keep a watchful eye I think!

ChasedByBees Wed 09-Jul-14 23:36:10

He's being really weird. Of course you should be the one to stay at the ballet, particularly as you could have gone to a show uninterrupted but it was his idea to go together and he wound your DS up by mentioning leaving.

Please tell me you got to stay and watch? And who went on the walk? Why is he assuming he gets to take priority in the 'fun' parenting things?

brdgrl Wed 09-Jul-14 23:51:58

I think he probably just enjoys her company/finds her easier to be around, because of her age (and possibly a more compatible temperament in there, too?). He wasn't around for her baby/toddler years, and I guess you probably weren't around for his other DCs' baby/toddler years, so maybe this is just the age he is best with and woudl have been just the same with them.
Is it even possible that he finds it hard to be around DS at this age because it raises some sort of feelings about how things were with his older kids at that age? (am I making sense?)
It's also possible that he still sees DS as a baby, and a lot of men seem to see their role (and I think are encouraged in this), once there are multiple children in a family, as dealing with the older ones so that mum can look after the baby. I see this with my BILs, for example, who are really decent, helpful, amazing dads, and were/are very hands-on in terms of childcare and household stuff - but who always are the ones off with the older boys whilst my sisters are with the wee ones.

Anyway, I think if I were you I would come at it from the other direction, and attack the other problem, which is you not getting time alone with DD or feeling 'sidelined'. Put it to him that way - that you treasure your special relationship with your DD, and would like more time as mummy and daughter. Then schedule some activities for the pair of you, and don't let him do all the 'fun bits' and push the toddler care onto you every time.

kali110 Wed 09-Jul-14 23:56:20

I don't think its creepy! I think its nice that he obviously loves your dd and still thinks of her as his own even though you have a child together.

powersquawker Wed 09-Jul-14 23:59:01

Precisely chased, its not as if he's fighting to look after her if she's got d&v! Its the fun things he wants and expects to be there for.

I told DS that I was watching DD and if daddy wanted totake him out llike he'd mentioned then he could do. The annoying thing is, DS is easy to distract and I usually take him to lots of things like this without DP where leaving isn't an option. By DP making it an option he's effectively making my life harder in future, too. He'd already told DD he was doing the walk and the sad thing was she didn't even complain to me (though she had to him) because 'she didn't want DS to be upset' sad

Wibblypiglikesbananas Thu 10-Jul-14 01:46:53

Reading this, I actually feel a bit sorry for your DD. It sounds like she'd love to spend more time with you but your DP is monopolising her and her time. What do you want to change OP? How would you like family life to look? Would your other half be receptive if you sat down and had a talk about it?

MiscellaneousAssortment Thu 10-Jul-14 02:02:32

You need to talk to him and make him realise that he may be trying to be helpful ..

But in reality he is stopping you and your daughter from spending time together and that's bad for her and you. He's also stopping himself bonding with his son, and creating a dynamic which is splitting the family in half.

I hope you can have a rational and constructive conversation with him flowers

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