AIBU to think dh does too much for elderly relatives

(14 Posts)
peppajay Sun 28-Feb-16 14:00:11

Hi AIBU to get pissed off at the amount of tine my DH spends caring for and doing jobs for our elderly relatives. He is fantastic and without him they would really struggle. He finds family life and being with our kids really stressful but loves doing things for anyone over the age of 70. If I ask him to take one of the kiDS swimming or help them with their homework he won't do it but if an elderly relative needs a light bulb changed he will be there straightaway. He is brilliant with old people and my nan who is 98 has a bad cold at the moment and he says it isn't fair to leave her on her own all day -she insists she is ok as she saw my mum yesterday bit he wI'll now go and spend all afternoon with her instead of with us. He promised us he would go out with us this afternoon for a cycle ride kids were getting excited as is rare for daddy to do anything with us. He says the old people need him and the kids don't they have me the elderly relatives have no one. My mum and uncles think he is brilliant what he does for my nan. But I hate saying it but I think he uses them as an escape route from his own family. If I asked him to do something for me ie look after kids for 2 hours he won't do it but if any of the relatives phone he will do anything for them. It sounds like I am jealous but he does sod all for us but everything for them. I should be grateful coz he makes a huge difference to their lives but at the detriment of ours.

anniroc Sun 28-Feb-16 16:17:23

Can he not take the kids with him occasionally? I'm sure your elderly relatives would love spending time with them. He does sound a bit U.

mrsmeerkat Sun 28-Feb-16 16:34:43

I get you.. but I think you at going to have tread very carefully. I think be possibly has a fear of having very little time left with elderly relatives and he sounds like a very good man.

In saying that, he needs to cop himself on regards what you need. I would refrain from criticising him and actually give him loads of praise for being so good but spell it out that he is not there for you and your children will grow up with very few memories of being around.

I had quite similar issues with my dh when our baby was born. He would spend all of his weekends with his parents ans he came home to me one Saturday evening crying and in a state. I think they are good but it is sometimes easier, quieter and less stressful to be with elderly parents. Also they lap up the praise.

In saying all of that .. it's easy enough to change flowers

WhereYouLeftIt Sun 28-Feb-16 17:06:47

"He promised us he would go out with us this afternoon for a cycle ride kids were getting excited as is rare for daddy to do anything with us. "
sadshock. Yes, he is abdicating his responsibilities as a father. Would your mum and uncles think he was so fab if they took on board that his children were excited because time with dad is is rare? Why do your children have to come at the bottom of the heap?

Is he a glory hound? As in, he gets off on the praise of caring for elderly relatives, but there's no praise for parenting so he doesn't --do- value it?

DinosaursRoar Sun 28-Feb-16 17:12:43

Wait, it was your nan, not his that was ill, but rather than you go to see her and him keep to his promised bike ride, the solution was for him to go and you have the DCs alone again? Did you even suggest that you go and he stay with the DCs if he felt they couldn't be left alone - can you ask him why he thinks it has to be him that goes, because it looks like he doesn't actually like his DCs.

Agree it sounds like he likes the glory of being "indespenable" and "a great family man" without doing the dull, quiet bits of being a family man.

PortobelloRoad Sun 28-Feb-16 17:13:48

Is he English? It's just that DH said this kind of thing to me in the past. I'm from a culture where the elders come first and everyone rallies together to look after them in their old age. My children helped as they got older and I hope they do the same for me when I'm old. Western culture is very child centric, others not so much.

Also he sees me, him and the kids as "his family" whereas I see everyone no matter how tenous the relationship as family.

He might just be a glory hound ditching his kids but if he's from the same kind of culture I am it's something to maybe consider.

BertPuttocks Sun 28-Feb-16 17:31:27

Does he realise that neglecting his own family like this means that no one is going to give a shiny shite about him when he's elderly?

He sounds like a glory-chaser and no, I wouldn't be grateful for it.

Spandexpants007 Sun 28-Feb-16 17:46:21

Buy him a book. the 60 minute father by rob parsons. It will help him reflect on his absences. He won't get those years with the children back. By opting out and being mentally absent, he is failing to bond fully and establish meaningful relationships with his own kids!! He is creating a life long relationship problem with them. Because as adults they will remember just how rubbish a father he was!! He is failing to model good fatherly behaviour and your children could potentially inherit the same crap fathering style because they won't know any better

He's a bit like a workaholic in many ways. Hiding from his own children, who are his greatest responsibility. Pretending he is needed more elsewhere. Validating his poor escaping behaviour under the thin veil of caring for elderly relatives.

He is failing to support you or give you a break.

Send him a link to this thread. Get him on a parenting course to help him cope with the bits he finds difficult. Get him to read the rob parsons 60 minute father book. Tell relatives how he little he gives of himself to the children. Talk to his parents and siblings about the poor bond he has with the kids

Spandexpants007 Sun 28-Feb-16 17:49:27

He has to invest time into his own children now if he wants their attention as an old person. If there's no bond, his children won't even ring

peppajay Sun 28-Feb-16 18:58:05

No he is English. We live closest and all live within a 4 mile radius of us whereas other relatives live a bit further away. No one else does anything for the elderlys as they are too busy with their own lives . His sister gets cross with him as she says she is too busy making memories with her family and he should do the same. When he was a little boy he spent alot of time with his nan and great aunt and uncle and he was and has always been really close to them. My nan now lives next door to his great uncle so it makes sense for him to see her at the same time. We do sometimes go as a family to see them and they do love to see the kIds but there are 8 of them altogether and most days one of them needs something. He sees them all as vulnerable as they need help with the little everyday things but is also things like doc and hosp appts and food shopping now -but his own kids don't need him as they have me!!

Spandexpants007 Sun 28-Feb-16 19:27:11

So have you challenged him?

Are you going to buy him the book?

Thymeout Sun 28-Feb-16 20:37:50

'without him they would really struggle'

Especially since his dsis seems to have opted out. Her comment seems to show that she's resentful at being shown up.

Sorry - I think you will have to accept that at this time in your lives, you will not have as much time together as a nuclear family as you'd like. By definition, it won't last forever.

But by all means have a gentle word about the dcs missing out on his company, and perhaps you could share the load so that you do more of the visiting and he does more of the childminding.

I don't like these comments about being a 'glory hound'. Caring for the elderly is often hard work for little recognition. 'Oh I won't go and help granny today, or someone will think I'm being a glory hound.' Nasty.

Spandexpants007 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:37:06

I don't think the DS has opted out. She's just putting her young family first, which is totally appropriate.

Yes it's important to look after the elderly but not at the expense of bonding with your own children. He needs to find a proper balance so that he's not opting out if family life.

DinosaursRoar Sun 28-Feb-16 21:42:39

Ithink you need to get a balance, if he really feels it's his job to look after the older people in both yours and his families, then perhaps you need to share that job so he is freed up to spend time with your DCs, if he really felt someone had to go see your nan today, that someone didn't need to be him, it could have been you and him spend some time with the DCs. I would ask him if he would be happy for you to go instead and him spend time with the DCs instead. That would be removing the 'excuse' from him, then challenge if it's a case that he really doesn't want to spend time with the DCs, then you have a different issue to deal with.

Do not all go as a family, if you go, you go instead of him, not as well as, he must spend some time alone with his DCs.

If this really is "work" that needs to be done within your family, then you offer to do it to break the habit to an extent, I would say he needs to spend at least as much time with the DCs as the minimum contact time he would have if you separated, so every other weekend and a night in the week. If that means you have to take on the 'elderly relatives' or arrange for soemone else to do it on the 2nd weekend, so be it.

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