To think OH is being crap or is this standard?

(127 Posts)
appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 19:29:30

Todays scenarios....

1. Toddler pees through knickers, trousers and wellies when out. OH stands by the car with her for 5 minutes in freezing conditions waiting for me to come back to sort it out. He has car keys in his hand and there's plenty of spare clothes in the car (I haven't specifically told him that but one second of looking he's find them in boot).

2. Baby winging and whining, I call up why baby crying? He says it's this and that. 30min later I come up and baby has temperature. He didn't notice flushed cheeks, warm back.

Every day is like this in some way and I'm getting pissed off. He doesn't take initiative, are other dads like this? Is it really all mums work? On the plus side he is gentle, calm, sweet, plays with them beautifully and is a good emotional support to me just resolutely shit at doing this hands on stuff which makes me feel I'm on my own with the responsibility parts of it all. Is this normal dad behaviour?

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 19:32:30

In his defence though you didn't tell him you had spare clothes in the boot though did you.

Not noticing a temperature isn't the end of the world either to be honest.

The pluses you say far outweigh this other stuff.

You also sound a bit bossy to be fair.

AThingInYourLife Sun 24-Feb-13 19:32:37

Not realising a baby has a temperature is standard.

Leaving a child covered in piss in the freezing cold is not standard.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 19:33:00

Another "though" just for good measure grin

CailinDana Sun 24-Feb-13 19:33:06

Hmm, DH might miss a temp because he doesn't think of it but he would never leave a toddler standing in wet clothes. Thing is though, if I came back and he said he was waiting for me to sort it out I'd give him such an earful he'd regret it forever.

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 19:35:27

No. Not standard.
Dh would not stand in the cold with DC waiting for me to sort it out. He would not stand the DC inthe old regardless. I don't understand what your OH wa waiting for.

The temperature thing is a bit more difficult. He might not spot a temperature but if he was doing all he could think of to comfort a whiney baby I wouldn't be cross about his not diagnosing the problem.

Kooza Sun 24-Feb-13 19:36:44

Nah, my DH is a bit crap too.

Everything has to be my decision, my responsibiiity. He has very little initiative or common sense I'm finding.
He also has very little relationship with our youngest (because he doesn't spend any time with her) and then blames HER for it.

The bottom of a long list of things that are starting to get right on my nerves to be honest!!

Yama Sun 24-Feb-13 19:37:25

No, not standard Appletarts.

The first scenario makes him sound like an idiot.

The second is annoying but if it were a one off and not in addition to him being an idiot most of the time then it wouldn't seem as bad.

raisah Sun 24-Feb-13 19:42:04

My dh is a bit like this, I have to break things down into tasks otherwise he just wont do/ get it. It is tiring; I sometimes scream out if frustration. He ran out of baby wipes once so instead of using cotton wool he used anti bac wipes! It's hard, it's like they get baby brain without actually giving birth!

LadyApricot Sun 24-Feb-13 19:42:20

My DH is exactly the same. It drives me nuts. I have to find everything because I'm the only one who puts things away, I make all decisions, he would've done the same if our Dc's wet themselves too. I honestly feel more like his mother. You're not alone!

fluffyraggies Sun 24-Feb-13 19:46:02

1. Crap

2. Standard

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 19:48:07

Christ alive. People regard this as normal.


MidnightMasquerader Sun 24-Feb-13 19:48:39

My DH used to be a bit like this, but I blame it in large part on EBF and maternity leave, and the fact that I was thrown in the deep end, the vast bulk of it all naturally fell to me so I learnt it all by default, and he wasn't really able to get his hands dirty with it all, so to speak.

But it wasn't too long past weaning and several arguments that he began to step up to the plate. Then a temporary stint as a stay at home Dad opened his eyes like nothing else, and he fully admitted how much I had done, and didn't know how I coped.

Now he's brilliant. An equal partner. And the kids relationship with his is fantastic. I would say I feel lucky - and I am very thankful that he loves us all enough to actively want to be a part of family life - but I'm not lucky, per se. This is how it should be.

nilbyname Sun 24-Feb-13 19:51:14

I would livid if my DH stood in the cold with a soggy toddler when he had the bloody car keys in his hand. He could have took off her wet things, got the car running, tucked her up in his coat and they could have waited inside the car for you. I would be spitting feathers!

The second easy mistake, but, was he comforting her?

There is obviously a back story here.

nickelbabe Sun 24-Feb-13 19:51:32

oh dh drives me mad with things like that too!
it's a logical thought process, surely, so why can't he get the hang of it??

I'm the one that gets the bag of stuff together when we go out, even though he knows what we need! (nappies, cloth, wipes, food and cup)
if he does get it ready, he misses something out - usually obvious.

if she starts crying he doesn't try to work out what's wrong, he just holds her in a non-cuddly way hmm
we have to stop her scratching and cream her every time she's changed, and he doesn't make any effort to stop her scratching
at night, she gets upset because she's tired and I'll sit there saying "I'll feed her" and sit there with my boob hanging out for ages while he tries to shush her instead of handing her over confused

Looiloo79 Sun 24-Feb-13 19:51:33

My partner would prob miss a temperature but he would deffo change her pants! He would probably have to ring me first to let me know though and ask for advice ha

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 24-Feb-13 19:51:38

My dp would know that there were spare clothes in toddler's bag, and he would change her. He's quite good at knowing when they feel hot, and will use thermometer to check. I think the second one is ok-ish (depending on how hot she was really; was it worryingly high?) but no one wants to stand in the freezing cold in wet clothes!

Men can be thoughtless though, without being lazy or malicious.

nilbyname Sun 24-Feb-13 19:52:34

pag i am so with you on this.

My DH is a totally hands on equal partner. Why should it be any different?

travellingwilbury Sun 24-Feb-13 19:52:50

no it is not normal ! even if he didn't think there were any clothes in the car he would have put a soggy child in the car not outside in the cold at the very least .

nickelbabe Sun 24-Feb-13 19:53:16

I even have to tell him where he might find changes of clothes. even though they're always in the same place and I've written a list of all items and layers required there on the inside of the wardrobe door

BlackholesAndRevelations Sun 24-Feb-13 19:54:46

Oh I should mention that he sometimes packs the bags as well, and knows exactly what the dc need, as I have trained him (sounds patronising but it's true! He was willing to take just-trained toddler out sans bag with spare pants in until I pointed out that she might wet herself.... hmm)

Beamae Sun 24-Feb-13 19:54:56

No initiative here either. How ever many times I explain that I am as in the dark about what the babies want or how to stop them crying, he always looks to me for solutions.

He's good at other stuff and would definitely sort out a wet child if he knew where the dry stuff was. I don't think he would spot a temperature.

Fairenuff Sun 24-Feb-13 19:57:14

Well my dh wouldn't have left a wet child standing in the cold. He would not have been too pleased at her sitting in his car and getting pee on the seats but he would have used his initiative and put something down.

The temperature he would have spotted. But then he is a very 'hands on' dad and I trust him to get on with it, so he's had a lot of practice.

appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:02:14

I had THE bag with me with wet wipes etc in it but still logic should tell you to get in the car and look for some dry clothes. He phoned me when she first peed and I said I'll be back soon but didn't imagine he'd be stood there waiting for me. I suppose I could have told him there were clean clothes in the car when he phoned but bloody hell why do I have to spoon feed?! Reassuring to hear others are similar. It's not malicious or lazy but it's like the logic gene is missing here..AARRGGHH!

My DH would have opened car, started it to get some heat in, had a look to see if there were wipes/other baby stuff in and got on with sorting out toddler.

I mean surely this isnt your first outing as a family? Everybody knows that babies/toddlers require a bag of all sorts of stuff just to get out the front door!

Well, anyone with an ounce of common sense.

nickelbabe Sun 24-Feb-13 20:07:59

quick and easy test.

everyone right now ask these questions to your dh/dp
you have to factor in age ofchild and number

we're going to church. it takes 10 minutes to walk there, we have to leave at 9:30 and aim to be home by 12o'clock. the service ends at about 1/4past 11 and there's tea and biscuits afterwards.
1) how should the child/ren be dressed?
2) what do we need to take with us?

his answers:
1) vest shirt jumper trousers nappy tights
2) nappy couple of toys wipes drink food.

he got that all right. well done dh. we do do it every single week though and he never gets the bag ready!
you try it...

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 20:09:27

DH would have put child in the car with heating on and looked for spare clothes or improvised.
Why do we assume men are thick?
Dh is as competent as me. He has always been involved and hands on.
For my part I have never assumed he will do things as I do and have let him get on with it without assuming my way is right or sighing at him if he does differently to me.
I would lose a great deal of repect for him if being in charge of a small child turned him into a useless arse. It's really not a man thing. My brother was a widower with a two year old. His parenting gene kicked in just fine.

travellingwilbury Sun 24-Feb-13 20:14:21

I would like to know what happened when you got to the car .

did you take the toddler off him and sort said child out with clean clothes ?

or did you point him in the direction of the spare clothes and let him get on with it ?

BabyRoger Sun 24-Feb-13 20:14:45

Not standard in my house.

If DD wet herself, it would be sorted immediately by DH.

I went away for the night on Thurs and DH noticed baby DS had a temp and didn't seem well so took him to walk in centre (after organising a baby sitter for DD) to find DS has tonsillitis.

So, no not standard for my DH.

Paleodad Sun 24-Feb-13 20:15:31

as Pagwatch said, it's not a man thing.
It's a crap/lazy parenting thing.

Backtobedlam Sun 24-Feb-13 20:16:47

How long does your DH spend with your dd usually? My DH is very similar, will shout me or even ring for (what I think are) simple things. However, I'm a SAHM and he works FT so I do lots of things automatically...pack bags, know its time for a snack/drink, wee before we leave the house etc. If he doesn't often have dd on his own, maybe he's just finding it tough to tune in to his instinct.

Hassled Sun 24-Feb-13 20:17:59

My DH can be pretty dippy and it's fair to say he lacks domestic initiative but he would not have stood outside a car with a pee-soaked toddler. He wouldn't have spotted the temperature, though.

This isn't really a male thing though, is it? Aren't there just as many dippy/ no initiative mothers?

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 20:18:45

The OP and a fair few sound rather domineering so the partner is probably rather brow beaten and really can't make those sort of decisions.

bigkidsdidit Sun 24-Feb-13 20:19:53

FGS this is ridiculous

these are presumably intelligent men who, if they had pissed themselves / spilt water down themselves, would have taken their own trousers off and got into the warm car, adn looked for something to dry themselves with?

So it's not because it didn't occur to them. It' becaue they are being lazy and leaving it all up to you because you are the woman.

IWantWine Sun 24-Feb-13 20:20:52

A bit off track I know. ... but the country is run by men and from this site my opinion of men is at an all time low and I spend many hours wondering how different things would be if it was at least a 50/50 between men and women. When I read posts like this I despair.

BertieBotts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:22:10

Of course it isn't a male thing. I'm sure they manage to use initiative in other ways? It's because he thinks it's your job to know this stuff and not his.

BertieBotts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:23:24

I mean, surely everyone's come across people like this at work? Why haven't you sorted X out. Because it's not my job so I don't know how to do it. When in reality, anyone with half a brain cell could have worked it out, they just didn't see that they needed to!

BertieBotts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:24:14

And it's not an "inbuilt male" thing but it does seem to occur more in men, in my experience. Perhaps it's an "entitled male" thing in that case then.

PartyFops Sun 24-Feb-13 20:24:49

Sounds like my DH, he is good if you give him a list of what to do, but he just cant think out of the box!!

He seems to have lost the ability to change nappies if he is with her and I am elsewhere in the house/garden. confused

appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:26:07

Yes I am a bit bossy and domineering, it's true. I'm sahm for now, due to return to work soon, we have weekends together. We have discussed, I'm slacking off the responsibility a bit so he can pick up a bit. Agreed we've got ourselves into an unbalanced situation. Yes I spat feathers at the car and more fool me because I sorted her out while he packed baby up.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 24-Feb-13 20:27:07

The 'logic gene' is not missing... I'm sure these men function perfectly well at work, where I'm sure the use of logic is required of them from time to time.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 24-Feb-13 20:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lafaminute Sun 24-Feb-13 20:28:55

A lot of men don't get it unless it's spelt out to them - if you'd fallen off the face of the earth (instead of stying a few paces behind him) then he'd probably have figured it all out and coped admireably but you came along so he didn't have to! My dh would be like yours but I am told by a very reliable source that when I did keel over while out for a walk one day and disappear into hospital for a spell that he coped really well and knew where everything was kept in the house plus kids schedules shock shock shock
I'm amazed to this day as he reverted to helplessness as soon as I was vertical again smile

MidnightMasquerader Sun 24-Feb-13 20:29:54

So, basically, he just can't be bothered then. Nice.

Speedos Sun 24-Feb-13 20:30:03

My DH is a bit like this but probably wouldn't have left her outside, he may have got her changed and put on siblings clothes wondering why they were so tight - i might add this is a very intelligent man is all other areas however I have just about had enough of the 'useless' parenting side.

There are so many of these threads at the moment, is there something in the water?

NopeStillNothing Sun 24-Feb-13 20:31:46

In all fairness, if you had the bag with you, he had no reason to even consider the possibility that there were clothes in the car. I certainly wouldn't have thought of that as I don't keep spare clothes in the car myself.
It seems a bit gormless that he didn't even put dd in the warm car though. Maybe next time, tell him to deal with it rather than say "I'll be back soon" which roughly translates as "I'll sort it" he was only doing what you told him wink

1 - ridiculous. Even if he couldn't find clothes he could have got car open & warmed up and wrapper her in his own jumper/coat/whatever he could find.

2 - meh. babies whinge. sometimes it takes parents a while to work out why. I can forgive him that one.

pookamoo Sun 24-Feb-13 20:33:19

My DH used to do sahd one day a week for a year with dd1. Now I have been off work for 2 years since pg with dd2, and I sometimes often have to remind him when dd2 is likely to need a nappy change if he's with her and not me during the day. It's like he forgot. hmm

Having said that, he would have improvised with the first thing (soggy toddler) and put her in the car, and he would definitely have noticed the temperature, he's very on top of those kinds of things. Down to the individual, I think.

Pagwatch Sun 24-Feb-13 20:34:55

I am trying really hard to convince my 19 year old son that no one buys this 'men can't do x. Men just don't get it. Men can't chose presents. Men can't see what housework needs doing'
shit anymore.

It appears I am convincing the wrong person.


appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 20:36:07

That's hilarious Lafaminute!

Fairenuff Sun 24-Feb-13 20:37:53

It's not just men to be fair. Plenty of times my female friends have been caught short of a nappy, wipes, snack, drink. They would always come to me because they knew I would be fully equipped grin

I think it just depends on the person. Some people are happy to 'wing it', others like to be fully prepared. To me, it's just logical to plan ahead but not everyone thinks like that.

My dh is quite capable and I would expect him to deal with problems as they arise. So, even if he hadn't prepared for it, he would find a solution. He wouldn't need to turn to me to sort it out for him.

BlahBlahBlahhh Sun 24-Feb-13 20:43:38

Do you not realise that dads take their sons aside when little and explain that if they do a rubbish job of something when asked by mum/partner/wife, said mum/partner/wife will gradually stop asking and do it themselves. They think its a secret between themselves but I've got it Sussed wink

Allthingspretty Sun 24-Feb-13 20:44:35

Maybe hes just a but nervous of getting something wtong?

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 20:55:21

Im with you on this one allthings, he hasn't done anything terribly wrong.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 20:59:04

Now, if he had called OP and told her to get right back to the car now due to child wetting, then I'd have an issue but he didnt.

fairylightsinthesnow Sun 24-Feb-13 20:59:06

it's on here a lot that in the domestic sphere men are helpless but hold down high powered, complicated jobs. Eg, my friend's DH is an engineer. When their DC 1 was tiny and she puked up on him, he was yelling for my friend to come and help him clean up because he couldn't sort out the baby and the floor at the same time. What did he think she does when home alone all day?? As for the OP, both a bit rubbish but not untypical. DH often dresses DS in what he thinks is cute, or funky but doesn't think so much about warmth or what coat will go over it or if he is wearing wellies and therefore needs thicker socks etc. He is not great at dressing DD because he doesn't understand that tights are underwear and leggings are not, and that a longer top looks better with leggings for instance. I do organise stuff like cards and presents for birthday parties, even if he is taking DS because he will forget, not know what to get and then I'll have to do a rush job at the last minute. He will often forget something in the chnaging bag but then he also regularly loses / forgets phone, keys, wallet etc, so that's just him generally hmm He's a truly lovely dad who adores his kids and would always think of something if caught short but it does drive me just a little bit wild occasionally. Best one was when we went swimming and he put DS in the pull up that was for AFTER swimming, not the swimming nappy.

Spice17 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:02:20

This thread makes me feel cross on all of our behalves (is that a word?!)

DH loves our DD and is good with her but just has no sense at all, is inapable of packing a changing bag i.e. knowing what she needs without asking me and no matter how many times I tell him he forgets to give her medicine before feeding her (and then gets annoyed when I ' nag' him - can't win)

I honestly have to bite my tongue all the time and I'm really not very good at it he thinks I'm a bossy bitch I'm sure

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 21:08:51

Well all this cross stuff needs to stop really doesn't it. He's an idiot? how would you like it?

Explain properly and let the reigns go for a while, a few mistakes then bingo the other person whether male or female will get it.

The child won't die due to a few hiccups you know.

Let a person learn by their mistakes.

purplechocolate Sun 24-Feb-13 21:10:57

1. He phoned - you said you would be back soon and you had wipes anyway - he didn't know there were spare clothes in the car.....In those circumstances, my DH would have done the same and I wouldn't be angry. If he'd stood there knowing there were spare clothes and not done anything, I'd have had words.

2. Dh is pretty good at spotting temps but even if he missed one, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

itsakindarabbit Sun 24-Feb-13 21:14:37 dh hassled me on the phone for 10 mins telling me to hurry up and finish in waitrose as dd was screaming she needed a wee and the baby was asleep in the car.

He actually let her wet herself and was angry with me over it when all he had to do was park and let her do a wee in a secluded corner of the carpark. Couldnt work it out or deal with it on hos own at all.

nickelbabe Sun 24-Feb-13 21:15:16

I asked dh about toddler pissing herself and once he'd worked out I was giving a hypothetical situation, we did say without prompting that he would have taken off the wet stuff and put her in the car.
he was also confused thag your oh hadn't thought to do that when he had the keys

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 21:19:48

that is a totally different situation itsakinarabbit, your DH was an arse. The OP's isn't.

nickelbabe Sun 24-Feb-13 21:20:03

he did say

itsakindarabbit Sun 24-Feb-13 21:25:56

Oh i just needed an excuse to get that anecdote out, though. It happened at least 18 months sgo but still boils my piss whenever i think about it.

<cathartic rant>

greentea72 Sun 24-Feb-13 21:26:16

Mines just as useless! In shoe shop trying to sort out shoes for dd1 this weekend, he interrupts me whilst I am talking to shop assistant to tell me dd2 toddler is pulling shoes of the shelf and I need to stop her- didn't cross his mind to stop her himself even though he was just stood there.

notmyproblem Sun 24-Feb-13 22:35:37

Amazing how these useless men at home seem to hold down (well)paid jobs, manage to get themselves through life without falling off a cliff or leaving the house naked or starving to death. hmm

Too many of you are enabling them to be children. Stop it.

ClippedPhoenix Sun 24-Feb-13 22:48:46

People have different abilities so I really don't understand why everyone calls someone thick? It's just a matter of what you do surely, if someone looks after a child then they will know what to do when, the other won't unless taught to?

As for enabling people to be children, people who don't look after children regularly just purely don't know how to do it, same way as you wouldn't know how to do your partners job would you?

goldenlula Sun 24-Feb-13 22:54:52

My dh isn't great at using his initiative but
1) he would have stripped the soggy child off and put them in the car and run the engine to warm them up (he may have had a look for spares in the car)
2) I think he may well have noticed the temp as he tends to worry about their temps more than me!

CatsRule Sun 24-Feb-13 23:13:20

My dh is a great Dad however he has only changed a poo nappy once...ds is 1 nezt weekend!

He admits that he avoids it and I recently asked him what he will do if I wasn't there, out or at work etc...he said he'd do it then! So far it's me, my mum or nursery who change him.

Aparently he doesn't find poo nappies pleasant....I just love them! grin

It's just one of those things that need does annoy me that he will avoid them though. He will also hang about until I choose clothes for ds to put difficult is it to pick an outfit! I think it must be a man thing as he is otherwise great with ds.

MidnightMasquerader Sun 24-Feb-13 23:27:08

Jesus... One shitty nappy in one year.... People biting thier tongues rather than telling their partners that they're incompetent arses...

<shakes heads and wonders if has inadvertently wondered into 1970s Stepford>

LuisGarcia Mon 25-Feb-13 00:08:46

I think it must be a man thing


<<is a man

DoJo Mon 25-Feb-13 00:21:01

It's not a man thing, it's a crap parenting thing enacted by someone who didn't give a second thought to his daughter's comfort over his own desire not to get piss on his hands. If my husband did this I would be furious, not because I had to deal with it, but because he had left a child getting colder in wet clothes for no reason except his own apathy.

Illgetmegoat Mon 25-Feb-13 01:11:11

DH and I have been parents for exactly the same amount of time - he is as much of a parent as I am.

We do things differently but we arrive at the same place - I really don't care if he wants to take 2 spares or 1 spare of xyz, or packs the bag pockets differently or whatever it is he does. It works just as well.

I have seen friends get huffy, angry or even quite insulting to their partners because something isn't done to their exact liking and then spend ages moaning about how they have to do everything. If I was treated like that I'd tell them to take a running jump too and take a huge step right back.

However your first example is just crap.

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 02:06:34

It's not hilarious, it's ridiculous.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 25-Feb-13 02:14:20

Christ, you lot, don't you get furious that your partners see you as domestic vehicles, who just love changing shitty nappies and wee-soaked toddlers while they swan around doing their own thing? Oh, but they're so wonderful the way they play with their children. They even bathe them sometimes! You know, the lovely fun stuff. While you lug the nappy bag along, probably getting jokingly chided for always taking ages to leave the house, you remember all the little details and plan ahead while he looks down on such trivialities.

Don't you just feel sick about it? How can you laugh?

Want2bSupermum Mon 25-Feb-13 02:49:20

When I came home from the hospital with DD my DH made the fatal error of handing me DD when she needed changing. This started a conversation (well it was more of a lecture) about him taking an equal role in parenting. He told me he was nervous of doing something wrong. I had to take a step back and let him figure things out. I am not going to lie, it does annoy me that I have to prompt DH to do things with DD. He is far too quick to plug DD into elmo and play with his bloody iphone.

My DH is aware of the spare clothes, diapers, wipes, elmo teddy and food for DD that is kept in the boot of both cars. I would therefore be furious if the OP's situation happened. However, it probably wouldn't happen with my DH because I have made sure that he knows where things are and it helps that DD (19 months) starts to strip if she is dirty.

With regards to the temperature, we have one of those temporal themometers. DH loves a gadget and the first thing he checks with DD when she is looking marginal is her temperature. It annoyed me that I had to spend $40 on a bloody thermometer but he was confident using it on DD when she was small. In the grand scheme of things it was worth the extra expense.

timidviper Mon 25-Feb-13 02:54:56

Thes best thing that happened to us when DCs were little was that we were short of cash so I worked Fri evenings and Saturdays so DH had to sink or swim with them so they managed together.

Having said that, DCs are grown up now and DH still shows such amazing ineptitude at times that I am amazed that he holds down a good job!

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 03:04:22

Everyday sexism in action <facepalms. A lot.>

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 03:07:13

My ex was fucking USELESS when we had DS2 (our first DC together). He's still a bit clueless with him now he's 9yo tbh.

However, with DS3, he has really stepped up to the mark, and is able to pack bags, change nappies etc.

With DS2, I let him get away with the 'feigned helplessness' act, because I didn't have MN back then and was 7/8?years younger didn't know it was an act.

With DS3, I had been suitably educated by MN and RL gained enough knowledge to tell him to get on with it himself!

It's made a huge difference.

Except with sorting out clothes - but ex does have Autism, and struggles to wear matching or weather appropriate clothing himself, so I DO think he genuinely has an issue there - thick woollen black jumper with thin beige 3/4 lengths, anyone?! In below zero temps AND in 90• heat?!

So that's one area I DO still have to do - but then I often have to tell HIM to dress more appropriately!

(He knows he has a genuine issue with this. Doesn't stop him from packing a nappy bag or changing a pissy toddler though...)

MammaTJ Mon 25-Feb-13 05:31:22

Not standard. My DP is far from perfect, but he would know there were spare clothes in the car, because he would have been the one who packed them.

I have had one visit to hospital for myself since having the DC and several with one or other of them. I never worry about the child/ren left at home and keeping their routines because he is as much (maybe moreso) involved as me.

I can go to a friends overnight with no problems or issues too.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 25-Feb-13 05:45:48

Mine would have stripped the wet clothes off and had child in warm car. He mght have checked the boot for clothes... not sure on that one.

Common sense!

Grumpla Mon 25-Feb-13 06:01:14

It's called "learned incompetence" in our house.

DH had a few moments like that early on, then I pointed out to him I was not HIS mummy and HE needed to be able to take the initiative. Then I went back to work two days a week, that solved the problem.

It's depressing though, the number of women who say to me "Oooh, isn't your DH good?!?" like he deserves a fucking chufty badge for being able to meet the needs of his own children. Or who basically imply he is some sort of freak of nature for being able to do so.

Doing all the planning, packing, step-by-step instructing - that's a major part of the work of being a parent, and it's not as though men trip over their cock every time they attempt to do it!

If I were you I'd have a conversation along these lines, then schedule plenty of daddy days so he has a chance to put it into practice. Frankly it's pathetic that a grown man would leave his daughter wet and cold rathe than take the initiative and sort her out, just because there was a chance of palming the job off onto someone else. That is a special kind of selfish laziness.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 06:02:21

That's exactly what my DH would have done. To be fair he was brought up with 'sit down, don't touch anything, DON'T make a mess' and his Mum is a complete control freak so I think he learnt that somebody else does everything else and he's to just sit there, but it was a terrible shock when we had DD that he couldn't do anything, although we had been together 8 years, but not with a baby. When DD was sick recently and I hadn't slept for 2 days mopping up sick and changing bedding and clothes every few hours and washing everything I passed out twice. He still wouldn't look after her sad

Do people actually think men are so utterly foolish that they cannot use a bit of initiative faced with their own children?

I mean, are there people who think "it's a man thing"?

I have a DH. And a teenage DS. I certainley don't expect them to be idiots when in a "domestic" situation because they are in possession of a penis.

Surely, surely it's bloody obvious if you have to give step by step bloody instructions on how and when to put a wet child in the car/where clothes live/how to get a DC ready for school/when to feed them its not male stupidity it's because they don't want to do it

Mondrian Mon 25-Feb-13 06:17:19

I think we (Men) miss that all important mum gene so mum-ing is something that we have to work at. Some of us might be fast learners while some will be slow and a small minority just don't want to know. But in most cases all we need is a little training, some patience & understanding our shortcomings! Here is the scientific research behind the arguement

Paleodad Mon 25-Feb-13 06:37:29

Sorry Mondrian, but i don't think the onus is on anyone else to 'train' or show patience toward us.
When you become a parent you stepup. Yes you make mistakes, but leaving a toddler soaking in their own piss is not a mistake. it's lazy and smacks of a misogynistic attitude that says 'this is not mens work. You don't need a special 'mum gene' to work out when a child needs changing.

Agreed, Grumpia, "ooh isn't he good with them" is simultaneously the most depressing and cringeworthy thing i have heard as a dad.

MidnightMasquerader Mon 25-Feb-13 06:43:45

Please, Mondrian...

How do you think women learn? On the bloody job, that's how. Just get on with it. It's not rocket science. We all have to muddle our way through and figure it out.

That is the biggest cop out I've ever seen.

Men don't "get it" and need to be trained but women just know what to do??

ninjasquirrel Mon 25-Feb-13 07:25:32

NayFindus - you passed out twice and your DH refused to help you with the baby? You say he 'couldn't' do anything - really? Is he paraplegic then?

And CatsRule - refusing to change shitty nappies for a whole year? Why after a few days didn't you say "It's your turn."? Just why?

How do some men get away with this crap? Do women really value themselves so little?

Illgetmegoat Mon 25-Feb-13 07:33:04

Mum gene - that may go as far as biological changes that help meet the needs of infants immediately postpartum but parenting is learned, for everyone.

DH is a competent and intelligent adult there is absolutely no reason for me to expect any aspect of childcare or parenting to be beyond his mental grasp. If he were so incompetent with the DC as some here seem to be I would expect he would struggle with daily life to such an extent that I would never have wanted to have children with him. He would say exactly the same about me.

Why is this seen as ok? What happens if neither of you want to change nappies so fuck about looking gormless or make up some stupid excuse? A child with shit up to their armpits? No, because mum is just expected to do it and if you don't know other mothers would be tuttingly horrified you never bothered to learn. Those very same women will cluck around a man that is changing a nappy like he's a clever dog that's just led a blind person out of a fire, they can't wait to give him a pat and a biscuit. I agree with Paleodad and I think it's insulting to assume an intelligent adult is somehow doing something extraordinary due to the impediment caused by his genitalia.

Sad and frustrating. Very sad for the children of those fathers that don't believe their input as a parent is important so see it only as shit work that can be safely left to the other parent, talk about marginalising yourself.

RedHelenB Mon 25-Feb-13 07:37:28

As long as you wouldn't have yelled at him for not doing it your way I think OP has a point.

BabyRoger Mon 25-Feb-13 07:49:48

I agree, you have to learn to parent. I did. Dh wanted to learn too so he did everything from the off (except feeding) like me. We learnt together.

I can't fathom how a dad can only change one nappy in a year. Unless they live away maybe?

My Dh works full time and is away in the week with work relatively often, he still knows everything I do about what the dc's need. He'd never just leave it all up to me and as he is a great dad, he wouldn't want to.

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 07:50:57

Oh just to fill people in. OH wasn't worried about piss on his hands, he's held baby all night while he threw up all over him, I hate sick so that's his dept. He's done as many nappies as me and does his fair share around the house including the weekly shop with both in trolley (gasp how does he do it ha ha). Just demonstrating that I don't think this is a political issue made domestic rather a hapless bit of non-logic which I just don't get. Seems I'm not alone. Love hearing the stories ha ha ha.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Mon 25-Feb-13 07:55:04

I could never respect a man as pathetic as some of these examples, I am shock and sad that people actually live like this and worse that excuses are made for these 'poor helpless men'

Spoonful Mon 25-Feb-13 08:17:58

Did he know how far away you were from the car?
If I knew DH was a couple of minutes away with the bag of spare clothes and I didn't know he'd put extra spares in the boot, I would have probably waited, and assumed he would hurry.
Getting the toddler stripped off twice in the cold would probably be as unpleasant for the toddler as waiting for a minute in wet clothes surely?

And the temperature, maybe it had just come up!

Fairenuff Mon 25-Feb-13 08:22:00

I do organise stuff like cards and presents for birthday parties, even if he is taking DS because he will forget, not know what to get and then I'll have to do a rush job at the last minute

This is a classic example of not allowing someone else to learn from their mistake. Why do you have to do a rush job at the last minute? Let him do it. If he is responsible for something let him sort it out. You are basically saying that you think he is incompetent and unable to learn.

As for only changing one nappy in a year. Well, I think that mum deserves a big shiny martyr badge. Well done you! He has trained you well hasn't he. Perhaps he has the 'lazy arse' gene.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 25-Feb-13 08:26:23

YY Grumpla.

NayFindus, what is your DH's reasoning for him thinking he is more important than you?

WipsGlitter Mon 25-Feb-13 09:21:20

Why when he called didn't you tell him about the spare clothes? Agree he should have put her in the car

TheBigJessie Mon 25-Feb-13 10:10:52

No. My husband wouldn't miss a temperature or stand a toddler in wet clothes outside a car. Even if he didn't know there were clothes in the car, he would hop inside the car, strip wet clothes off, and snuggle toddler down in a coat or blanket.

I don't normally mention this, but... My husband has SN. And I don't mean the kind diagnosed off the internet as an adult. I mean diagnosed and statemented nearly two decades ago. I suspect he has more excuse for being incompetent than most men mentioned on this thread. But he isn't. He's not perfect and there are things he can't do, but he takes it for granted than we had children together. (He also loathes sexism) And he always puts our children first. You know, like parents are supposed to.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 10:22:41

It's just the way he was brought up ninjasquirrel and Doctrine. He doesn't actually say no, I'm doing that, but he makes it impossible. So for example, the 2nd time I passed out he did want to call an ambulance, which I strongly objected to as I knew I was just tired, and by the time I'd talked him out of it and told him I just needed to get some sleep he was like, oh great, and piled in with him and dd too. Cue untired child screaming to get out of bed, then screaming 'I want Muuuuuummmmmmyyy' when I wanted to stay there. I often find myself saying 'but I just can't believe you're that stupid....'. I really think he has genuine learning difficulties caused by not being allowed to play or make a mess. How do you learn anything if you just sit there like a donut?

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 10:23:06

Damn. Want donuts now.

Flobbadobs Mon 25-Feb-13 11:15:34

I did get furious. When DS was born he assumed that I would do all the necessary bits and he would come home and do the daddy bit. He also assumed that I would be a domestic goddess (like his Mother) and the house would be spotless all the time with tea on the table when he graced us with his presence...
12 years and 2 more children and he is embarrassed about the way he acted. The first time it had happened we had words. The second time he got told -ok, I screamed at him- that there wouldn't be a third and there hasn't been.
As for your examples, the first he would have stripped the child and wrapped them up as he has a cold weather kit in the car so blankets would be available. If one of us had put a bag in he would check in there.
Re the temp, he would have probably noticed. It helps that our DC's rather helpfully go white as a sheet and their eyes go very dark and hollow at the first sniff of a high temp so it's rather noticeable!
It's not standard, it's crap and it needs sorting.

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 11:45:06

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise! So what does one do in this situation? I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 13:31:32

* So what does one do in this situation? I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking. *

It's hard work, isn't it Appletarts? When I want to kill dh most, which is quite often, I've learnt to very calmly, point out the bleedin obvious. For example 'I'm covered in my blood (period) and dd's vomit/urine/food. Can you watch her for a bit while I go have a bath?' Or go get the shopping in, strolling around the supermarket leisurely then go home with a big smile saying 'are you okay' to everyone and handing out hugs (this is awful reading this back, this what I actually do), like he just did something really big. I think someone said treat them like dogs? That's it basically, lots of praise and simple instructions. And try noticing the good things he does and talk about those - 'oh great, did you put the washing out, thanks honey'. But tbh I do snap and say 'oh you are joking aren't you...'?

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 13:34:58

I mean when he's being a bit obtuse I do snap at him, as in when dd throws yoghurt everywhere and dh asks me to go get him a tissue. It's like 'really?!?'

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 14:01:31

Oh blimey I'm not on my own then! Thing is I think it's disrespectful to treat them like idiots or worse dogs, because then you're expectations are so low and you're sort of manipulating the situation rather than resolving things by communicating your real needs. Is there something in it that I do this all day long, 7am to 6pm and that just by sheer virtue of doing something for that amount of hours means that I would be better at it than someone who does it for 2 days a week? I bloody refuse to write lists or train him up and I accept I've colluded in this too. Hmm yes it's hard work!

itsakindarabbit Mon 25-Feb-13 14:03:30

Oh, we have had the yoghurt/tissue thing too.

Another one we have is me:"dh please could you sort the Dc's tea"

DH: "Ok. What are they having?"

Um, I don't know that's why I'm asking you to sort it!

nickelbabe Mon 25-Feb-13 14:14:11

have to say, DH is more likely to pick a colour-coordinating outfit for DD.
I tend to just pick the first thing off each pile (piles make it easier to find everything), whereas DH will spend fucking ages time working out which clothes go best together.

It's not the most important thing to me, but it works for DH.
He's very slow at everything, though, and I have to completely disappear when he's doing x,y,z extremely slowly, or I go all ranty and try to take over.
It's not that he can't do it, it's just that it takes him a lot longer than me! (but that's the same with everything, even in his own life - he eats really slowly too)
I have to remember to factor that in when we get up together - he gets up about half an hour before me and I get a lie-in because I know that it won't take me as long as him to get ready (which is nice, but it also means we don't have to fight over the bathroom etc). He still has to sort DD out on days when we're both in charge.

LivingThings Mon 25-Feb-13 14:35:15

My DH doesnt even remember to feed children if I am out at mealtime.
Has no idea what they eat or when despite youngest being three! Cant find wipes medicine cream etc even when its within arms reach!
Will sit witdh them in front of tv whilst on internet (babysitting!!).
Has never packed a nursey or going out bag ever but is very quick to criticise if I forget anything!
If he ever tries to do anything with kids i can guarantee he will be shouting for me within about 5 minutes cos he cant find something he needs which is probably right in front of him in plain sight.
Good job he earns a lot of money smile

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 14:42:08

*Another one we have is me:"dh please could you sort the Dc's tea"

DH: "Ok. What are they having?"

Um, I don't know that's why I'm asking you to sort it!*

yy Rabbit smile Or the 'She's crying' while standing at the bathroom door waiting for me to come out.

'Yeah I'm having a poo for fuck sake, COPE!!! honey, can you cope for a minute....' dere's a good boy, scratch tummy, throw biscuit..

TotallyBursar Mon 25-Feb-13 14:45:23

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise!

In what way wrong though? Not exactly as you do it or things that will harm or cause distress to your child? Do you expect your mother, for example, to do things exactly as you do and berate her if she does things differently or do you trust she knows what your views are and trust her to get on with it? Would she, in fact, tell you to wind your neck in if you spoke to her that way?
He is causing discomfort now, leaving a soaking shivering child wet and in the cold, but how has it got to this point?

You can't have it both ways. He is a parent, not your staff to be trained up - if you want him to parent, let him parent. You surely discuss how you want things to be and your shared style/ethos? If so the boundaries to operate within are set. If he can't do right for doing wrong, has his parenting undermined and is now in a situation where he gets to do fun stuff but abdicates shit work...seriously what would you do? I would say fine, I'll carry on playing, enjoying the good bits and leave you to moan over the nappy bag.

The expectation should be that he has 50% of the parenting - but you can't expect that and tell him he can't autonomously parent but must be the knock off version of you - like you but obviously not as good as the original- or his efforts are invalid. Everyone fucks it up now and then but you learn from it - unless you are prevented from doing so. Fathers are equal parents, this means they don't get to abdicate responsibilities and mothers don't get to veto the rights inferred by that 50% by being able to cast some kind of final vote on any decision.

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:09

God are some men really so pathetic? I became a dad at 44 and learned by doing, not waiting around to be told as my wife had about as much clue as I did, ie not much as we were both first time parents.

If something needs doing, it's obvious that someone needs to do it and it doesn't matter who that someone is, mum or dad.

Mondrian: I think we (Men) miss that all important mum gene so mum-ing is something that we have to work at.

Bollocks. If you don't know how to do something you work it out by making it up as you go along - just get on with it. Parenting is 100% teamwork.

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 14:49:48

'She's crying' while standing at the bathroom door waiting for me to come out.

Words fucking fail me. Really!

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 15:03:46

SonOfAradia where do you live, are you in Kent, be dh's new best friend I will PAY you... grin

ByTheWay1 Mon 25-Feb-13 15:12:59

Words fail me too - why exactly did you get together with these men?

Hubby cares about me and the kids always has, has always put us first and will see to the girls before he sees to his own needs - even after one spat yoghurt in his eye! (though , shamefully, I did laugh when he kept it shut and wiped her first....)

I find anyone - men , women, children - can be pathetically useless if you LET them . "Deal with it, I'm busy right now" should be the mantra......

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 15:13:10

Derbyshire, sorry grin.

Really though I'm completely gobsmacked that a full-grown man could lurk outside the bathroom door while his wife uses the loo, whining about his own daughter crying! Sort it out yourself, man-child.

TheSecondComing Mon 25-Feb-13 15:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lynniep Mon 25-Feb-13 15:17:39

My DH is a bit like this, but not as bad - for instance in scenario 1) he would have tried to do something. He would not have found spare clothes in car - even if I told him where they were - but he would have improvised craply to keep DS warm - even if it meant putting wet child into car to keep warm and soaking the seats in the process. He has little common sense, but he wouldnt make his child suffer.

nickelbabe Mon 25-Feb-13 15:33:32

DH was the same when DD started eating solid stuff, because if she was hungry, she'd have to come to me before.
then even when she started solids, she'd usually be having a milk feed when we had our dinner.
so, he wouldn't think to make her something to eat and i'd have to send him back to serve her something.
he's good at it now, though, even dished hers up fist so he can cool it in the fridge before it gets eaten.
mind, she's only 14mo, so it's not like he's had years to be a twat about it.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 15:44:57

Derbyshire, sorry

That's ok SonOfAradia, we can move :-D

Dh's do sound awful but we're only talking about their bad points. Dh does have plenty good about him, he's an excellent cook, he'll quite happily shop and put washing out and deals with all the household bills, but if he doesn't know how to do something it's like he has learned helplessness like the dogs in the experiment that don't even try to get away because they don't believe they can, sorry to go back to dogs again. But it is just like watching your oh be electrocuted, you can only watch and think why would you do that to yourself? All you can do is have patience cos murder's illegal and dd wouldf miss her daddy cos it's not all bad :-)

Fairenuff Mon 25-Feb-13 16:23:35

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise! So what does one do in this situation?

Stop hovering. You are helicopter parenting but you are doing it to your dp. Stop treating him like an incompetent child. Don't criticise. Don't even comment. If you are hanging around telling him he's doing it 'wrong', then you might as well do it yourself.

I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking

This is your problem, not his. What harm will come to them in his care? A little bit of discomfort is ok. When children are unhappy, hungry, tired, uncomfortable, they let the adult know by their behaviour.

Living ^My DH doesnt even remember to feed children if I am out at mealtime. Has no idea what they eat or when despite youngest being three! Cant find wipes medicine cream etc even when its within arms reach!
Will sit witdh them in front of tv whilst on internet (babysitting!!).
Has never packed a nursey or going out bag ever but is very quick to criticise if I forget anything!^

If he ever tries to do anything with kids i can guarantee he will be shouting for me within about 5 minutes cos he cant find something he needs which is probably right in front of him in plain sight

You seriously need to pack a bag, go away for a weekend on your own and turn your phone off. When you get home you will be surprised to discover that your dh did feed the children, did find the things he needed and managed to do it all by his little self.

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 16:36:12

If this had been my dh, then I think he probably would have done the same as you OP. If he knew I had the changing bag, then it wouldn't even have occurred to him that there might be clothes in the car, so he wouldn't have thought to look for them. I don't think it would have occurred to him that he could have put our the toddler in the car, even without the clothes either. He would have been focussed on "SoMuch has the change bag, toddler can't be changed without change bag, I will have to wait until she gets back". It woudln't have been a case of he didn't want to get his hands dirty/couldn't be bothered, he just wouldn't have seen a different way of doing things.

Whenever I went away/out for the day when ds was young I had to leave a list of what needed doing when for dh, otherwise he probably would have forgotten to give him lunch etc. And even then, once when I was away overnight and ds was 6 months old, dh phoned me up to ask where ds's trousers were. I hadn't hidden them or anything, but he had just looked in the chest of drawers, couldn't find them and was stumped. He never thought to look in the wardrobe, where they had always lived...

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 16:37:02

Not the same as you, your dh, OP!

weegiemum Mon 25-Feb-13 16:42:34

My dh would never have done this. We've very recently started separating tasks when we're both around, as dd1 is now 13 so there are things she needs me for, and ds is 11, and is getting to the stage he's very cuddly with me still but wants to do stuff with dad. Dd2 doesn't care as long as she's not left out!

But then (and maybe this is an excuse) I had severe pnd - up to and including hospital treatment - with all 3 dc so he had to be the person they came to. In many ways that's helped - we've never had a child whine "no, I want mummy/daddy!" (apart from feeding needs!) and they treat us equally.

My DP would not have done either of those things. He would have got the child in the car one way or another and he would have had the good sense to check the boot for clothes. He would also have noticed a high temp. There is nothing now that BF is done with that he can't do as well as me with the children. Nothing. The only time it is best if it's me is when they are ill, because they want me more. Even then he still takes equal time off work and equal night waking. I don't treat him like he's a saint for this, but I equally never roll my eyes or sneer if he doesn't do it the way I do.

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 17:10:51

I'm not sure whether dh would have noticed if ds had had a temperature when he was a baby. There was one time when I didn't notice, and wondered why he kept crying when he usually settled to sleep well, but to be fair, I had a temperature myself at the time, so he didn't feel hot to me when I picked him up!

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 20:01:18

SoMuchToBits that's exactly what mine would do, not look in wardrobe!!! I honestly started thinking he had bloody amnesia so I'm glad in a way to see others 'think' like this. Hilarious stories.

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