To wonder why some dads are so utterly rubbish and disinterested in their children?

(83 Posts)
FET14 Tue 29-Jul-14 21:53:52

To be clear, I'm not talking about complete and utter disinterest / abandonment, but more 'low level' disinterest and an expectation that minimal involvement in their children's lives suffices. This is where couples are (living) together too, not separated.

Examples:

- A mum who told me her husband would rather poke his eyes out than attend the birthday party of any toddler who's a 'friend' of our toddlers. Apparently he doesn't like babies and children, apart from his own. Mum and toddler attend any such parties without him. (Both parents and any siblings are invited along with the kids. Me and DH plan to go with our toddler. We don't know the other parents too well but like seeing our son interact with other kids.)

- A dad who is a season ticket holder at the local premier league football club and attends every home game plus after-game drinks and a fair amount of away games. He and his wife both work full-time so only have weekends as family time.

- A dad who won't allow his wife to organise a birthday party for his toddler that other little friends and parents are invited to because he doesn't want a fuss. His wife is very sociable with other mums, wants a party and is v disappointed.

- A dad who won't take his toddler to any baby activities by himself.

- A dad who has been on his own 4 day stag do abroad this year and will be going on another similar stag do of a friend later this year, leaving his wife and toddler home alone.

The disinterest seems surprisingly common and cuts across age, social class etc.

AIBU to think this attitude from dads is unreasonable? Either way, is it 'the norm'? Why do the women put up with it? Don't the dads care that they're missing out? Why are perfectly nice and normal women with such idiots?

VolDEmortIsOnMyLaminateList Tue 29-Jul-14 22:01:02

The first point...I can relate. DH takes DS to parties, etc, and I spend 'girlie time' with DD (7).

2. Nope. Hibu. Footie or family...

Stag do...IMHO Dp has commitments at home, so would have to decline.

YABU to generalise Dads though...some Mums I know have this attitude too.

FourEyesGood Tue 29-Jul-14 22:01:59

I have no idea, but don't see many examples in the fathers I know.

I know everyone hates a pedant, but I have to say: 'disinterested' means 'unbiased'. The word you need is 'uninterested'. Maybe the uninterested fathers are men who didn't really want children in the first place?

BetterTogether75 Tue 29-Jul-14 22:02:13

I hope it's not 'the norm'. My DH is not like this. A lot of guys are lazy because their partners let them away with it. Also, a lot of women and men alike seem to think they can have everything and do everything, as if we have unlimited time in this life.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 29-Jul-14 22:02:19

No, it's not the norm. There are millions of engaged and interested fathers out there quietly enjoying family life because they want to and always have.

Some men should never have become fathers. I suspect some of the ones you mentioned would not have bothered if it hadn't been for wanting to please their partners, or they think it's just the done thing.

FET14 Tue 29-Jul-14 22:04:26

Vol - I take your point, but I don't see many mums in my circle with this attitude, but I don't doubt they exist.

four - thank you! Am similarly pedantic about some things so correct away! smile

BetterTogether75 Tue 29-Jul-14 22:04:35

YY, Bitter. So often I talk to people and wonder if they made the decisions they did mostly as a matter of following convention.

ChocolateFreckles Tue 29-Jul-14 22:04:59

Some men just seem to leave everything to their partners so never get that interested or involved.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 29-Jul-14 22:05:17

Well I don't see how all of those are classed as being uninterested in your own children.

I have no issue with DH going on a stag weekend, just as he has no issue with me going on a hen weekend.

Not everyone enjoys children's birthday parties, I'm not keen on children apart from my own and my friend's children.

I would class being disinterested in your children as refusing to do anything with them, not taking a share of the parenting, refusing to do night feeds, change nappies, do bath and bed, and never let your OH have a lie in or ever look after the kids on your own.

And I wouldn't call it the norm, my DH is nothing like this. Parenting is a team effort in our house.

FET14 Tue 29-Jul-14 22:05:54

Better and bitter - that's reassuring!

My DH isn't like this either.

Bitter, you've summed it up well I
think.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Tue 29-Jul-14 22:08:27

Sometimes after reading various threads on here, I do wonder if some fathers have children as that's what their partner wanted and actually they weren't too bothered.

VolDEmortIsOnMyLaminateList Tue 29-Jul-14 22:08:30

It makes you wonder, though, why some parents even bother having kids. My 'D'sis could be the person you described in the Op. sad

MrsBungle Tue 29-Jul-14 22:11:45

I don't see all of those as being disinterested in ones children. My dh has a season ticket (home games). It's his hobby. I don't begrudge him at all. He takes both dc's swimming on a Saturday morning and then goes to football in the afternoon.

parakeet Tue 29-Jul-14 22:13:01

Actually apart from the footie-mad dad, I think YABU in your other examples.

I find other childrens' birthday parties a complete bore and my DH and I would never attend one together. I put off having proper parties for my own until they were about four - I share the sentiment there is no need to make a fuss for a young child who will be very happy with some presents and cake. Perhaps that makes me an idiot in your eyes, but not everyone feels as you do.

NickNacks Tue 29-Jul-14 22:13:32

I think it's a bit wanky when two parents acompany one toddler or child to a party. It's not a two person job, take it in turns if you both like doing it.

softlysoftly Tue 29-Jul-14 22:13:47

I don't think any of those points shows a lack of interestother than perhaps the footie one.

I found it very odd when my toddler circle pootled along as couples to all the 1 year parties as my family/friends group pre children (nieces etc) never did this. I thought the whole point was you tossed for who had to go and spend a weekend afternoon with a bunch of screaming sugar hyped kids confused

DH would also chew his left arm off before taking the DDs to baby gym class or to sing old macdonald with a bunch of mums but he's happy to take them on exciting trips round CostCo or fishing or whatever else they do as daddy and daughters fun that I just don't get.

So I think you need a little more insight before judging.

softlysoftly Tue 29-Jul-14 22:14:36

I don't think any of those points shows a lack of interestother than perhaps the footie one.

I found it very odd when my toddler circle pootled along as couples to all the 1 year parties as my family/friends group pre children (nieces etc) never did this. I thought the whole point was you tossed for who had to go and spend a weekend afternoon with a bunch of screaming sugar hyped kids confused

DH would also chew his left arm off before taking the DDs to baby gym class or to sing old macdonald with a bunch of mums but he's happy to take them on exciting trips round CostCo or fishing or whatever else they do as daddy and daughters fun that I just don't get.

So I think you need a little more insight before judging.

MrsBungle Tue 29-Jul-14 22:16:02

Yep we hardly ever attend birthday parties for kids together. One of us usually looks after the other one and we take it in turns.

dietcokeandwine Tue 29-Jul-14 22:16:14

I don't actually think many of your examples indicate a lack of interest or of being rubbish, tbh. Other than the football one which I agree is out of order and unfair.

What sane parent actually enjoys children's parties? grin They are sheer hell on earth. Especially toddler ones. I wouldn't criticise any dad for avoiding them if at all possible. (DH would do the same, and he is a lovely, hands-on, involved, supportive dad, but give him the opportunity to avoid a kids party and he'll take it!)

Similarly, nothing wrong with a one-off stag weekend, unless said father would refuse to allow the mother to attend a one-off girlie equivalent.

The rubbish, uninterested, waste-of-space dads are the ones failing to do the kind of day-to-day stuff that pobble cites, IMO.

PittTheYounger Tue 29-Jul-14 22:16:42

Grammar moment

It is UNinterested

Disinterested means impartial

partialderivative Tue 29-Jul-14 22:17:39

What a strange thread.

Some men are crap fathers, many are not.

How do you wish to establish whether this is the 'norm'?

I know some women who are crap parents...

I know some fat people who are crap parents...

I know some immigrants who are crap parents...

I know some posters who post crap threads...

MrsWinnibago Tue 29-Jul-14 22:17:46

Well I am a woman and a Mother and I hate toddler events, parties and shared classes....I don't do baby "activities" or toddler "activities" and I don't do parties in my home.

I am not a disinterested parent. All of the things you mention OP are social occasions and some people find them hard. I have also been away without my DH and without my DC.

Am I shit?

Softlysoftlycatchymonkey Tue 29-Jul-14 22:18:09

I actually don't see the problem with 1 or 2.

I bought a season ticket for dp. We both work very hard. If I want to go out I do. Dp prefers to go football when he can.

Both dp and I hate other toddler party's. I tolerate them a bit better if they are my friends. If they are dp friends - he takes her. Dd doesn't need us both to attend. The place would get rammed if every one brought two parents.

The others are shitty though

bunnybing Tue 29-Jul-14 22:18:46

Well my dh falls into the footie category - but he does take the DDs along with him.

WhoDaresWins Tue 29-Jul-14 22:20:15

Most of us find childrens birthday parties a complete bore - what makes these dads so special that they don't have to do it?

Sexist it may be but I blame the women for letting them get away with it. If I have to suffer soft play, then DH does too and he knows it.

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