to think people should be able to cope with their own children alone?(287 Posts)
I have two daughters aged 5.5 years and 9 months and can and do do everything with/for them. I have friends with similar aged children who wouldn't dream of giving the kids a bath/taking them swimming /shopping/out for the day without their husband or mum there to 'help They also expect husband/mum to take kids if they're ill themselves/take time out to help with kids if they're ill. AIBU to think it's a bit daft if a parent can't cope with their kids and basic day to day things alone?
You have a lovely age gap! I have 3 DC and DH works all the hours, blah blah blah so I do everything myself but that doesn't mean if I didn't have a decent mum, mil etc i wouldn't call on them to "share the joy"
Why shouldn't the father or grandmother be involved? I could usually cope perfectly well- but then so could dh. We liked doing things together. Where's the problem?
Well I kind of agree, although every child is different, and you have a large age gap which makes it easier ( speaking as a parent of twins)
As you mention parents, not just mothers, does your DH cope alone with them just as well as you do?
Im a lone parent, i have to do it all alone, can i have a medal?
Well done you.
Of course, the fact you have a large age gap between your kids means you are perfectly placed to comment of the lives of people who have a) multiple births b) young children close in age and c) those who want to involve their families.
But actually what I think you want is to start a bunfight.
Tbf Op refers to friends with similar age children
Depends on the parent, dpends on the child.
Enough threads on here to know (rightly so) that mental illnesss isnt a bar to being a decent parent - but it makes it tough - and again, enough threads to know the problems faced by traditional two parent families who have a child with a disability.
So, Op, I deduce you are having a bit of smuggery.
Wow. Smug? Much?
Some people call it "help" when the truth is they just like having the adults they love around.
If I was a single parent, I would have to do all of those things by myself. But I'm not, so why would I take my young DCs swimming/look after them solo when I'm poorly etc? It doesn't mean I can't do them - I just choose not to if I don't have to.
I wonder if your husband would say the same thing though.
YABU. It takes a village and all that.
<<hides smug thread>>
I'm perfectly capable of doing everything with my kids on my own, although not having a car makes some places hard to get to, and therefore some things harder to do,
But, when I was I'll in bed for a week with flu, and could hardly move, why the flip wouldn't I ring my Mum and all her to help out as I know she's perfectly happy to?
Or partner/ex/delete as appropriate.
Fair enough cee, I didn't read the OP properly.
On second reading I have to agree with Pendipity
And I still think this is all about the bunfight.
Had 4 in 4.5 years, including twins and one with ASD. Somehow managed to look after them all on my own for twelve hours, feed them, bath them and do bedtime, while DH was at work. Can I have a medal too please? Or at least a sticker?
As far as I can tell as a single parent it is much easier to look after the kids alone than have someone 'helping'.
I meant twelve hours every weekday, not twelve hours on one single occasion!
I think op has a point. I believe the confidence of lots of parents has been eroded by parenting books, nanny state, parenting tv programmes, to the point that some parents think they need help or a 2nd opinion for lots of tasks that they probably could do alone.
I have a smaller age gap and tbf haven't taken them swimming on my own.
Dont have anyone other than dh to 'help' though. However I don't know anyone who expects as much help as you say - I'm presuming you mean sahm because otherwise why would the dad not help when kids are ill ?
Personal opinion, before I get flamed! Sure some peoples' husbands/mothers/sistters etc are actually helpful. I prefer to do it on my own tbh.
Not being smug, just get fed up of being pitied because I don't have help available. If I did have my mum around I'd want her to enjoy the kids with me, not be expected to co-parent them.
Interesting that what I would perceive as both parents sharing the work and responsibility of their DC, you perceive as the mother being unable to cope. Or is this your DP's perception that he is imposing on you, alisunshine29?
What's wrong with expecting the children's father to co-parent them though, if he happens to be around? Why shouldn't he?
I don't pity you, but as far as my life is concerned, doing things together is something we enjoy.
Can I have a medal? Because I'm so super and can do all those things.
YAB completely unreasonable op. Everyone is different and their circumstances and how they cope are different too.
Even the best coper has wobbles. Lonliness can be crippling when it catches you, whether you're in a relationship or not. Both parents being 'copers' certainly makes life that bit easier.
YANBU to think that there are many people out there who, for no apparant reason refuse to even try to cope, but not reasons are obvious, so it's not really wise to get judgey... some great parents can't 'cope' with small babies but are bloody great with teens, the word 'children' covers a lot of difference!!
All children are different.
YABU to assume that every parent 'should' be able to simply cope with their own child end of... that's a HUGE generalisation.
In fact, YABU end of.
OMG, mothers who ask a man to look after his own children when they are ill? Lazy cows <shakes head in disappointment>
You do have a large age gap op, makes things easier imo.
Yes it is not on to expect our husbands to help with the children. Women! Know your places!
I am discusted, appauled and think people should be more discrete about there bad parenting.
I can't take my children swimming on my own because our local pool has a 1:1 ratio for under 5s. So if I want to go swimming with my children, I need to take at least one other adult into the pool.
I don't know how people have more than one kid. My night is all-consumed by my DD. Honestly, whenever my Dh/Dm/Dmil offer to help, I accept. Am I a bad parent?
If I had asserted my right to cope alone all the time, I don't suppose dh would have grown into the highly capable and confident parent that he is. Which would have been everybody's loss.
But my Mum doesn't 'co-parent' them she loves spending time with them, and if that time also means I can be ill in peace then she enjoys it more knowing it benefits her daughter if that makes sense.
If they're happy with the arrangement then it's obviously not a problem.
It wouldn't work for me - I need to know I can cope with my 3 on my own in case I don't have the luxury of help when I need it.
AIBU to think it's a bit daft if a parent can't cope with their kids and basic day to day things alone? Fair enough, yes, parents should be able to do this, and the vast majority (IME) do, but often, if help is available, they choose not to. Bit of a difference.
From your latest post, your AIBU should really read "AIBU to get fed up of being pitied because I don't have help available?".
Are you seriously suggesting that if you're ill, and you're lucky enough have a partner or mother who can help you, you should decline? Why?!
I absolutely expect dh to help when dds are poorly - we share through increased workload. There are 2 of us, why would only one do the work?
Wrt to swimming - most pools have strict rules and may not allow 2 non swimmers to 1 parent.
You sound like a lovely friend.....
I wasn't saying mother, I said parent. I agree parenting is team work but do think both parents should be capable of doing everything alone should they have to - I.e if their DP was hospitalised
It's great for a child to have the attention and support of both parents and extended family too.
I think the OP was referring to SAHMs being unable to take their own DC (presumably just like herself two rather than six of them and excluding SEN) to the shops/ for an activity like swimming without someone else to help. In which case, I do agree with her apart from the illness bit which makes no sense.
I think that some people who do have the option of lots of help can become a little frightened about their ability to cope when they would probably be fine if they didn't have the option or perhaps they become a bit lazy..
^ wouldn't dream of giving the kids a bath/taking them swimming /shopping/out for the day without their husband or mum there to 'help They also expect husband/mum to take kids if they're ill themselves/take time out to help with kids if they're ill.^
You said husband or Mum in the OP! I don't have a husband, my ex is a twat. My Mum otoh is mainly fab
I can do all those things by myself but by god if there is someone nearby with a hint of a pulse who can help then I'm taking what I can get!
And agree you have a lovely age gap.
OP, if you had phrased it differently then I think people would be more understanding.
Other people should not be pitying you for not having help available; it's none of their business and you sound perfectly capable.
But you shouldn't be judging others for making the most of that help when it is available.
I am not capable at all of looking after my dcs by myself. Simply cannot do it its far too much hard work!
I always need dh to help me (or my mum/sister if they are not busy) and I dread days when I know I will be alone as I get nothing done and end up incredibly stressed.
MIL is disgusted at me-according to her I should NEVER ask dh for help! Her words to me earlier this week were "men go to work and do the garden, women do everything else, I don't understand your new way of doing things but its making dh ill he needs to rest not be up in the night with children" !!!
I think it is perfectly reasonable to need help with dcs so YABU
Oh god OP you have not thought this through at all!
Everyone is different. To each their own.
My mil has been known to watch my lot for few hours when I've been ill. Yes please and thank you is what you say to that.
Glad you're so pleased with yourself. Really I am. You sound happy actually.
That's nice for you.
Everyone is different.
I don't have much help and have managed all the things stated by OP (with a small age gap) but if I'd had willing family nearby I would have bitten their hands off if they offered to have the kids while I went shopping etc!
Now I feel sorry for my kids that we don't have relatives at school events/ collecting from school now and again.
I can manage all these things but it would be really nice not to have to sometimes!
One of the things I'm most looking forward to when the children leave home is being ill. Oh to be ill and stay in bed and fester undisturbed.
I am not sure what business it is of yours but since you're asking I am a lone parent of two dc with SN. I've got so many medals it takes me two hours to put them on in the morning. I am thinking of changing my name to Mr T.
YANBU. When ds3 was born the other two were 4 and 7. I know plenty of other parents who were amazed when I took them all for whole days out on my own as they wouldn't dream of leaving the house with 3 without the help of at least one other adult. We wouldn't sit around waiting for H to have a day off or for my mum to come over - we just went out.
My neighbour's daughter has three girls of similar ages to mine and every night that her DH goes out or is working late she rings her mum to come over to help out with bedtime. Or drops one of them off for a sleepover at nannies as she just can't cope with all three together. Her mum told me that she's getting a bit fed up of it and thinks daughter should just get on with it.
But then again I know plenty of other parents with multiple small children who did "just get on with it", and, like me, actually enjoy/ed it. Oddly enough they're the ones who are my friends, and the ones who couldn't cope with more than one at a time are the ones who were stuck at home a lot.
I wasn't saying mother, I said parent. I agree parenting is team work but do think both parents should be capable of doing everything alone should they have to - I.e if their DP was hospitalised
my dh was hospitalised a few years ago. It was horrible as we didnt know whether he would survive. Luckily I have friends and family that helped out during that time as I felt my head would explode with the stress of it all. Yes I could have looked after my children somehow, but I was mighty glad people stepped in to help where they could.
I ain't gettin' on no fight thread you crazy fool!
Obviously that's "nanny's", there's only one of her.
When I was unable to move more than 6 feet from the loo last week with a d&v bug, I hadn't realised I was being a pathetic parent for getting my DH to work from home so he could do the school/nursery run. Thanks for enlightening me OP, next time I'll know that to win the smug parenting competition, one must be a martyr at all times whether or not it makes the slightest bit of sense to do so.
I think it depends on the extent of the reliance on other people. SIL has two DCs the same age as mine and MIL has them at her house seven days a week with the DCs sleeping over five nights because 'SIL likes to have the weekend off'. Off from what exactly!? MIL was at mine a few weeks ago and had to phone SIL to remind her to give the children lunch as apparently she will get her own but won't think to feed the kids - her own children, aged three and one.
MIL also watches the children when SIL works as SILs DH, who doesn't work, cannot cope with two children especially the 3yo who 'deliberately pushes his buttons and winds him up'. Even when they were newborns SIL would leave them at MILs as she 'can't deal with crying and night feeds' and her DH gets grumpy if his sleep is disturbed.
They seem to think I'm abnormal for spending "so much time" with my DCs and MIL often complains about how put upon she feels to have SILs children. Other relatives have told her that SIL will never learn to cope if MIL doesn't step back a bit. It's at the point where the rest of the family are completely left out and MIL is sat at home every day looking after two children, getting up during the night, doing potty training, 6am wake ups, etc while SIL and BIL basically live a child-free life (except when they trot them out in public for a spot of performance parenting).
I know some people do genuinely have trouble coping and as someone else said upthread some are rubbish with babies but great with teenagers however some people just don't want to bother themselves looking after their children.
I agree, I have 9, 6 and 2. I don't really understand why people plan such small age gaps such that they then can't cope with their DC.
Ok some pregnancies not planned, sometimes you plan for one and its twins and some children have SEN that could not be anticipated. And some parents develop mental health issues. But in most cases you are right....
Well I feel shit at the moment and I'm very lucky to have DH at home so.I could take to my bed and try to get better as quick as poss. I dare say I'd have coped somehow but it would have been miserable for us all.
I used to be afraid to take the kids out on my own. This was because I had anxiety problems and was equally afraid of going out by myself.
When I was unable to move more than 6 feet from the loo last week with a d&v bug, I hadn't realised I was being a pathetic parent for getting my DH to work from home so he could do the school/nursery run. Thanks for enlightening me OP, next time I'll know that to win the smug parenting competition, one must be a martyr at all times whether or not it makes the slightest bit of sense to do so
Well at least you know now, ok?
I agree, I have 9, 6 and 2. I don't really understand why people plan such small age gaps such that they then can't cope with their DC.
Well done you for super perfect planning. Lets hope life doesn't throw anything at you to make your situation harder.
I live away from family and husband travels a lot. I'm torn and think it would be nice to have help and that close family bond thing but to also like my independence and feeling totally in control of what is happening.
Military family with two very small schildren with small age gap - so have to just get on with doing everything solo or we would never do anything - on our own for approx 6 months this year. I can do it alone - but prefer it an far enjoy it when have others adults round to help. If I could have help all the time I would!! I undertand our sentiment though - fact is that I think almost any parent can do everything alone with kids if they really want to - but why do it alone if you have a choice not to!! X
If dh was hospitalised I wouldn't be taking dc swimming anyway; I'd be trudging up to visit him in hospital.
I've got a considerably smaller age gap than OP and for various reasons involving Dh's work and his full time course on top have done pretty much everything over the last 6 years.
I'd love to have some family support and I'd also love to be able to take to my bed or at least rest when I'll ill.
This does not make me feel superior - just envious of those with more support than I.
I don't 'mind' the all consumingness of it all per se - just wish I had a choice to make it less intense and have the odd weekend off.
Though actually, I tend to tell my dc to go to the beach on their own these days; I am busy arranging my sticker collection.
My SIL is another one who is unable to cope alone with her two pre-school children. It was bad enough when she was working part-time, PILs were drafted in regularly to help (this was with childcare AND a DH who got home on the dot of 5.30pm every night). But even now as a SAHM she still gets PILs to help all the time, as well as having paid-childcare. And this is not about enjoying PIL's company with the children - she frequently dumps her DCs on PILs and leaves the house.
Yes, it's good to have help, and I completely understand that when we are unwell or other scenarios such as special needs, twins etc do need help. But in a case with two children, a manageable age gap and supportive OH, you do wonder.
My children, my responsibility.
See now I feel guilty. But I think a better outcome has been had for the children. And it's the first time in 6 years I've been laid low in bed.
YANBU op. I hate it too.
I used to nanny and would have lots of children of all different ages on my own doing lots of stuff. Other peoples children too so I was super careful and hand on and very attentive (less so now with my own).
I personally think it is to do with women having children older. You just get more careful and maybe a bit fussy with age.
I'd love a hand. I'm often on my own and I'm tired and struggling.
Surely if help is available and offered you are daft not to take people up on it! It's like moaning you've got a headache and not actually trying to get rid of it. No medals for martyrs. Medals for those who have no option of help though.
I can and frequently do manage everything all by myself, its exhausting. My sister in law has far more help around. She shouts far less than I do. Pretty sure the help helps her be a better parent. I would rather be less shouty than 'miss does it all'.
I've just been watching my old box sets of David Attenborough and I think it's normal natural primate/monkey behaviour to want other members of the flock to pick up some of the slack. How much of a new development can it be if even tiny monkeys up in the rainforest canopy are at it? One species even made sure to have two males inseminate them so the females could have two willing helpers to offload their offspring on.
Is it a competition?
Shit - I never realised
Don't worry about it, OP.
I'm sure people who know you irl will have their own thoughts about you and things you should be better at.
If you are happy with the way you do things, others' lives need not concern you.
As others have said, it's your age gap that has given you these magical powers. You have basically waited for your first child to be Reception age (able to be reasoned with in most cases) before having your newborn.
Try 2 1/2 alongside a newborn and it is a different matter. I would do the supermarket and toddler groups but not swimming with my harder age gaps.
At 13 and 11 they are a breeze though....
I think often people don't realise what they are capable of if they've never had to experience "doing it alone". I'm an LP and obviously do lots alone now and it's fine (though still love time with my mum, my ex MIL, friends etc etc). When I was married I used to feel I needed support most of the time with outings etc etc.
So I think YABU, but I can understand you might be frustrated if people say or imply they "cannot cope" when in your experience doings things alone is perfectly possible!
I have one kid, and he is in nursery most of the week. If I'm on my own with him at the weekend (dp doing his hobby or whatever) I try to rope in help.
I find parenting really, really hard. But we're all different. I bet I'm good at some stuff that you don't feel confident in, public speaking perhaps.
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I have one (amazing, well-behaved, NT, 5.2) child. I need all the help I can get.
I'm a terrible parent, and I don't care who knows it.
DS thinks I'm fab, and that's all that matters.
I wasn't saying mother, I said parent. I agree parenting is team work but do think both parents should be capable of doing everything alone should they have to - I.e if their DP was hospitalised
My DH was hospitalised for a fortnight last year with a serious brain injury. He nearly died. Thank fuck I had the support of both our families to look after our then 11 month old so that I could spend time at his bedside.
How do you suggest I could have done everything alone? It wouldn't have been practical to have taken a baby into a neuro ward for hours on end every day. To have spoken to consultants whilst looking after a baby. Carting a baby round the hospital so I could accompany him to his scans. So I guess I would have stayed at home with the baby and left my DH on his own. That would have been nice.
OP, I bet your friends could cope alone if they had to. But they don't, so why should they?
he he morris. I am a single parent with 2 children, one with asd aand cope on my own...but public speaking, no way! you know when they say you knees knock? mine shook so hard in fright that they rattled together. and I had to hold onto the podium to stay upright. (proves your point that we are all diffeent and all good at something) ( oh and bugger you, knees have gone wobbly at the thought!)
Even with a slightly smaller age gap there are very difficult times. Like the toddler who will not sit in the trolley, requiring carrying, alongside thd 5 year old who you can't take your eyes off for a second. If you choose to go and do the main food shop with them both in tow, if you don't have to, then martyrdom awaits. And another trip to get all the things you forgot the first time.
Oh yeah Eaves, I'm right there with you on that one. Its bloody hard. And if you have friends and family around you, then quite rightly you ask for their help. Hope your dh is recovering now.
Most people cope perfectly well with their own kids when they have to, but if other parents/grannies/friends make it a bit easier/more fun then what's wrong with that?
I'm a single parent with no friends or family nearby and I cope just fine, but if I did have a husband I would certainly expect him to look after ds if I was ill. Or if I was fed up, or tired or had something else I wanted to do.
Er TheChaoGoesMu it's is what it is. Women are having children older.
I'm older now and a mum and I see how my friends are( obviously after being younger). Lot's of mums I know would not have been like this having children in their 20's.
It's a well thought out opinion over 25 years of looking after children.
What's with the "dickhead" comment?
Before we decide if this is a new development due to women giving birth older, shouldn't we try to ascertain whether women in the past did in fact spend less time drawing on the support of their mothers, friends, unmarried sisters etc? I am not so sure.
Not so long ago, middle class families (even ones with modest incomes) would have had at least one female servant, so there would be another female in the house for back-up. Urban working class families traditionally lived very close together which made it easier to work together in bringing up families. Read Family and Kinship in East London; it makes it very clear that families expected to support each other.
Let's also remember that a few decades ago, there was far less pressure on mothers to take their children out to activities all the time. And once children got to the age of 5 or so, they would be left at home whilst mum went shopping. Or playing in the street with other children.
Is it a well thought out opinion? Or just yours? Links to your research please.
It sounds like a bit of a sweeping statement to me, and as I fall into the older parent category, somewhat offensive.
That was to whatever btw.
TheChaoGoesMu Thanks. Thankfully he's made a full recovery - and as such, if I were ill, I would bloody well expect his help!
Absolutely Eaves. Its a two way street. Glad he's ok now.
Well thought out post btw Cory. And there will be some truth in that.
Blackeyedsusan, I know you're not looking for a medal but seriously, you deserve one.
Meanwhile, I had the entire golf club in hysterics at my self penned speech on Burns Night my knees did knock a bit, but I felt exhilarated afterwards. And drunk, that helped. Bit like parenting really.
I know exactly what you mean. I have friends who just won't do things if nobody can come e.g. Go to the park, shops... I don't think op wants a medal, it is an observation.., I see personally this happening in my village and think it is odd how upset some friends get at the potential situations which may develop if nobody can help them.
Get. A. Grip. We are all different. I do everything myself cos dh works silly hours & both our parents live abroad. And there's a 2.5 age gap between my dcs. You have your older dc to help you with baby. I don't post a thread on here boasting of my greatness as a parent who can do it all while passing judgement on those who are fortunate to have a support network & use it & why shouldn't they?? Co-parent my arse. The clue is in the name parentS grandPARENTS YABVU
I haven't read the whole thread but OP, I want to congratulate you on a brilliantly provocative post.
I had to conduct a choir for the first time last year. In the performance, my legs were shaking uncontrollably, which transmitted through the floorboards. Someone had set their camera up to record it, and when we watched the video, everyone wondered why the image was so shaky! I kept quiet.
It's a marathon, not a sprint.
I could do everything myself, but I like to save my strength for when I have to.
There's no way in hell I'd make DH look after DC when he's ill, unless it was totally unavoidable, and I don't see why it shouldn't be the same for me.
Nice smug OP. Well done.
I agree up to a point. It seems odd to be unable to bath children alone or get them to school on time (obv everyone is late sometimes but when its daily its taking the piss a bit). I have 5 ages 8,6,3,2 and 1 and I manage most things while DH is at work (he leaves when they get up and gets home after they are in bed most days).
HOWEVER so many things can cause a woman to feel unable to cope with even one child the biggest being lack of confidence and lack of planning. These are things you learn with experience. If after my first dc was born you had suddenly presented me with 5dcs and told me to get on I would have collapsed with stress - now I find it relatively easy. I would say that when you find someone who cant cope - help them learn, dont mock.
I agree with you OP.
I know mums who have to have help with everything. One doesn't work or drive, their mums live round the corner and pop in pretty much every day. They wait for their DH's to do the 'manly stuff' and can't take the DCs out on their own.
TBH, I feel sorry for them. The lack of independence would suffocate me but each to their own!
OP - It also helps to consider that people find different aspects of parenting challenging.
Your friends who struggle now may post a similar thread about you when your children hit their teen years.
Oh also when I am ill I expect dh to take over totally - the same as I do when I am ill. The rule in our house is "ill? go to bed for the day and be pampered". Cant understand people who carry on to the point of serious illness.
Does he take time off work to do that? I really struggle when ill and seen to catch everything going at the moment. Feel rough now but still got pre school run to do and a baby to entertain.
we are both self employed (in the same company) so we can take days off here and thereno problem. When he worked and I was a sahm if I was ill (not often once a year or so luckily!) he took annual leave.
OP isn't talking about the times when people are ill or parents with DC who have SN. It's people who can't do things on their own, always need someone with them.
YABU OP, and tbh it sounds like you may actually resent others for having more help than you.
Most people probably can 'cope', they just know they, and their children, might have a nicer time with more support at certain times.
Some people can't cope, due to depression, disability, or simply having a smaller age gap than you.
Either way YABU, but sorry you don't have the support you'd like, as I am guessing that's what this thread is really about
or just an attempt to start a bunfight
I have 46 children all 9 months apart. I do not need help, even when I am so ill I cannot get out of bed I would dream of asking DM or god forbid DH to help me. The very idea.
Seriously though, get a grip OP. Why on earth would you want to be sick, needing to rest and recover but not want your DH or family to help?
There's no prize for being the biggest martyr you know.
Most parents tend to find it much more sensible to accept help if and when it's needed. Not because they cannot cope without it. But because why on earth would you deliberatley make yourself suffer
Just so you can post on mumsnet about how you do it all on your own?
That doesn't make you a better parent you know.
Oh and I didn't take mine swimming on my own because there's a 1-1 ratio for non swimmers under 8. And dd and ds1 are only a year about. So there
All families are different. OP I'll bet you have Miss 5.5 fetching and carrying for you . Plus wouldn't she be at school during the day?
Now, my DD amazes me. She has 5 DC. Youngest 2 last week and the eldest 10 in January.
The only thing she doesn't do by herself is take them swimming. This is purely a safety issue.
Yanbu op, I understand exactly what you mean.
My neighbour asked me to come round and help her get her two dc to bed when they were a baby and a toddler when her dh was away with work.
I was totally because my dc were more or less the same age and I had had to put them to bed alone countless times since the second one was born as my husband was often away or working late.
She also had her mother living nearby and had a lot of help from her too.
She was just very needy and I thought it was a bit lame, really.
I'm with the OP on this one. Having children was out choice, so we should be able to look after them without help from family. If I'm ill and DH is away, I'm not going to call my mum to come running to help - she has her own life to live and I think it would be really selfish of me to expect her to drop everything.
though i did let my sister help me last weekend when I was so hungover I couldn't move
I realise I am "lucky" enough to only have one child at the moment, and I wouldn't comment on how hard it must be to have two or three children so close together. However, I don't have much time for people who complain about how hard it is if they are fit and well and have two or more healthy and non-SN children who are close in age, particularly if they're patronising about it ("oh, you don't understand"). If you didn't want a small age gap, you should have used contraception.
I don't want a medal but equally I don't want to listen to whinge about the path that they have chosen in life.
Wow. Nice, Mintyy, real nice. You've just restored my faith in humanity.
Your neighbour must have really needed your help to be brave enough to come and ask you. Did you just turn her away?
Rather than dismissing her as 'lame', did you consider she might have problems you don't know about? Pnd perhaps?
YANBU about the basic day to day activities we all muddle through, and I do have friends who exemplify what you say. I think if someone is ill that's a different story. DH is now trained to take DS away camping just the two of them for boys bonding
cos I hate camping.
MrsLouis the OP is including people being ill, she says:
"They also expect husband/mum to take kids if they're ill themselves/take time out to help with kids if they're ill."
This is the part I really object to. I mean, okay, fair enough, I think generally people should be able to bathe their kids on their own, although even then I wouldn't judge because some kids are absolute frights at bathtime.
But why on earth would you not expect your partner to help with the DC if you're ill? I think that's the very definition of partnership really.
WillSanta- why shouldn't people complain when they find things hard?
If you work, I'm sure you chose your job, but that dosen't mean you're not allowed to have a moan when it's tough going!
I have one child, a 15mo, and a very helpful and supportive husband, and I swear in all seriousness I do not have a CLUE how single parents cope. It's HARD! Let alone with more than one child. Sorry to fuel the smugness, but there we go.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Given your repeated threads OP about how your DP has effectively abandoned his children from his first marriage, lets hope his ex wife has your amazing strength. She clearly needs it.
There's moaning from time to time, but then there's the whinging that is like a constant background noise. Yes, there are time when work or being a parent (or both) are really really hard, and everyone understands that, but when someone is unable to do anything normal without complaining that I think the OP is getting at.
Well OP, you may have a point (up to a point). I have one 2.4 yo and a newborn. No extended family around so we never have outside help unless it's paid childcare. I can manage if dh isn't around to help (just lower my expectations a little) but I'd rather not. It's better for me and dcwhen there's a little help. I think the age gap makes a huge difference too. Being at school, fully toilet trained, reasonable (ish) must help a great deal.
However, I can't imagine how I would safely take 2 complete non swimmers swimming. Genuinely interested to know how you manage that.
(dh currently taken ds swimming while I'm b/f dd and doing laundry
recovering from c.s and mumsnetting
I sort of know what the OP means- I have a friend who doesn't bath her 3 kids unless her DH is there- and she often comments that having a DH working away must be a nightmare 'cos you'd have to do tea bath & bed all alone'. I have 3DCs, my DH works long hours and usually gets back after kids in bed. So I usually do it alone and think she's a bit fussy. BUT if I'm ill I will phone DH and see if he can come home- trying to prepare food for 3 kids when you have constant D&V is hard.
But if he can't come, I would phone a friend - I'm not a martyr.
If I need help, I'll ask.
(& if DH is home early then he co-parents)
Ffs, do you know my neighbour MadeInMarch? I very much doubt it because that would be an enormous coincidence. No, she definitely did not have pnd, yes, she definitely was someone who felt she could ask for "help" and "favours" all the time. "Brave enough to ask me" roffle.
Ok I know it's not on to post from other threads but I think it's kind of important here:
OP, what you are really doing with thread is seeking reassurance that it's okay that your DP does almost nothing to help raise your kids. I think you are trying to rationalise your current setup by telling yourself that you're a strong capable woman who doesn't need any help, whereas your friends (such as the one you mentioned in your other thread) are somehow weak or incapable because their partners help out so much more.
I'm really sorry to bring your other thread into this, but I don't think it's helpful for people to keep posting and possibly help normalise your situation, when it sounds like really you are not in a very good situation and you need to address it head-on.
It's okay to want your partner to do more. You have every right to expect that. It doesn't matter what other people do, what matters is that you have a good setup in your own house.
I have a similar age gap to Op, but my children are 4 years older. I don't cope that well. Bully for you Op. Really pleased for you.
Well i expect my DP to look after the kids when they're ill and get on with it best he can when it's him that's ill (same way I do!) because... Erm... they're his kids too!
agree OP, it's one thing wanting the company and appreciating the help
of your dp/dm, etc but being able to cope alone with your own children
is sort of crucial. Anyone who has someone on hand to take care of the
kids if they're ill is extremely lucky.
(of course it's just as important that your dp is able to as well)
I have no partner or mother, raised DS alone since birth and my mum died years ago. I have coped alone, but I wish I didn't have to! There's nothing fantastic about my situation.
Everyone's different OP. I admit I have thought the same at times like how come people are struggling with one kid if their mum doesnt help them or something but as everyone's said you don't know their circumstances, or if they have the option of help and it makes them happier then why not. I do think the more help people have the more they rely on it though, and those who don't have the option just have no choice but to get on with it alone which gives you more confidence in knowing you can do things alone. But i wouldnt take my dcs swimming by myself though! everything else, yes
I've got 3 with small age gaps, one with sn, other 2 waiting to be assessed for sn, dh works away or late quite often, he doesnt take time off if im ill but he will do sometimes if i need lifts to take dcs to appointments far away, or to mind a couple of them while taking one in hospital. I do cope but i have no choice, i just have to get on with it cos noone else will! I did used to have the same attitude as your OP but tbh now I understand why people would like having people to help them out and that it could make life easier, so good for them.
My mum offers to 'help' but i know her help will not be help more of a hinderance!! and shes not local anyway - so depends who you have around you able to help or not, if its someone who genuinely makes life easier and better for you all then why not, its probably a good thing.
Mintyy I had 2 DCs 20 months apart and when DC2 was tiny, yes, I found bedtime beyond stressful without DH. DC1 would scream at the bottom of the stairs while I gave DC2 his bedtime bottle. If I let her come upstairs, DC2 wouldn't take his bottle. I was also suffering from stress/depression and years later, I'm still tremendously grateful that my elderly next door neighbour/good friend helped me out by entertaining DC1 while I settled DC2 down. I hope she wasn't as sneery about me behind my back as you are about your neighbour.
Now I'm past the fog of depression, I realise I could have handled things differently, but at the time, I just couldn't handle it.
And to the poster who asked why people have children close together if they can't cope with them - er, how are you supposed to know that until it's too late . I found looking after DC1 when she was a baby an absolute doddle, so it was a bit of a surprise to find out that 2 children = 4 times the amount of stress/work!
We are a forces family so I have no family around to help out and never have had. I had 3 under 3 and it has been a hard slog. It was my choice to have those age gaps so I have had to suck it up. I do everything I need to alone with the kids as DH can be away for months at a time. If anyone offered me any help or a break I would jump at it. If you have help on tap you would of course be daft not to take it. As long as the other person wants to help and does not feel put upon.
OP having seen your other thread posted above, which you wrote about 4 weeks ago I think you are a very odd person. Why do you need to keep posting about how you do everything yada yada yada. Very strange.
You are not better than anyone else just because you choose to do everything. And tbh I agree with your friend, you are a bit of a "mug" for letting your DP be so hands off. I bet he loves it, all the lay ins, no getting up at night, no homework moans.
You obviously want everyone to recognise how you go above and beyond the call of duty .
Of course what you do isn't that different to what millions of single parents o everyday. Your friend has help. So what.
It's much better as my husband does a big portion of childcare, because then, if I need to work away for a few days, or go out with my friends, or do anything without them surgically attached to me, I can do so. I don't envy my friends who have done everything by themselves for the children for a decade or so, because it has entrenched traditional roles in their house which means the dad 'can't' care for them, and mum never gets a break.
If you have to do it on your own, as I often do, because my husband is away, so be it. But I don't see it as weakness for others to care for my children, I see it as sensible and building greater bonds in a more extended family.
Mintyy :"She was just very needy and I thought it was a bit lame, really. "
Dred to think what my ne3ighbours and freinds think of me, based on Mintyy's view.
Depends on circumstances though. I have 3 boys. all with SN's middle child is especially demanding and needs a lot of care so MIL helps us out a lot and my mum is moving down to be near us soon to help out too. I do what I can on my own but its not safe to take DS2 to some places alone. Swimming for example, he may freak out and hurt himself or others.
Of course you could say that spending every waking minute with your child
as you cosleep make that every minute and not even being able to go to the gym without your husband bringing the baby in/to wait for you in case of tears , is just as unhealthy as one parent not being able to cope taking their children swimming.
OP, did you really mean to say
My friend has a 5yo and a baby. When her dh isn't home for bathtime she has to call her mum in to help, and panics if her mum can't come. AIBU to think she should be able to cope, really?
My friends all have family around who like to help them with their children. I don't, and they all pity me because they think I must find it so difficult. But I don't. AIBU to get irritated by their pity?
I can easily look after my children by myself all the time, and anyone who can't or won't is an incompetent idiot who should man-up at once.
I need to know
Even with the help. I dont cope. Atm I am currently so run down I have the flu, thrush, vomiting bug, zero energy and the house is a shit tip. Bigger boys are at school and youngest has been with MIL since yesterday evening and he will probably stay there till tomorrow when I am feeling better. Yes I am extremely luck, but OP you dont say whether your DC have SN if not then you are extremely lucky and have no experience with ADHD or Aspergers. It is bloody hard fucking work. And he's only 6, this is forever.
I have a 1 year old and 2 year old. I cope fine. YANBU.
However if I'm ill, I struggle more but still do it myself anyway.
MrsLouisTheroux Actually the OP has said when people are ill too. She even posted that if a partner is hospitalised you should still be able to cope all on your own.
As a couple of us have posted, from personal experience, it would be very difficult to cope on your own - both emotionally and practically - when a partner is hospitalised.
I find the OP unbelievably smug and I hope she never finds herself in a situation where she NEEDS help.
If the mother is ill then it would not be unreasonable to ask their partner/parents to take the children for a while. There is nothing worse than feeling like death and all you want to do is go to bed for a few hours.
I have no family freinds or back up if i am ill. Gpd , how i wish I diud.
I find the Op so smug aswell.
*I have a 1 year old and 2 year old. I cope fine. YANBU.
However if I'm ill, I struggle more but still do it myself anyway*
That is very funny BlackMaryJanes i know, i know shouldn't talk about other threads but weren't you the poster whose husband had to take them to the supermarket every night to give you a break????
Mumsnet can be such a giggle sometimes.
This must be a bunfight seeking thread surely!
I agree with you OP actually, I have friends that can't/won't do some things such as shopping with their DC by themselves and they only have one, it fustrates me as I have 3 under 5 and one on the way and if I refused to do anything with them without help then they wouldn't do anything and I wouldn't get anything done.
But ruled, that's a good example of the can't vs won't argument.
I could take DS to the shop but it would then take three times as long and be really irritating for both of us. It's far easier to nip out while DH is with him, or for DH to stop in on his way home from work.
I know if I didn't have DH I would just have to get on with it, but why do it if I don't have to?
I do "stuff" with DD without OH because he doesn't enjoy the things we do. He hates days out unless we are on holiday, he hates shopping or going to art/craft fairs, he doesn't enjoy swimming unless on holiday and he doesn't enjoy the cinema, preferring to wait until a film is on TV.
He really enjoys walking, but DD has a problem with her bones and cant' walk too far or at the speed OH likes to walk at.
On holiday it is completely different and we will all go to a gallery/museum/castle/wildlife park etc without any grumbles from OH.
It's not "help" it's participation. Not good, especially for fathers, when you give the impression you can and will do it
everything all by yourself. Unless you are a lone parent (like myself) parenting should be a joint venture.
bunbaker sounds like your dh has a pretty good deal there.
Seriously though. Is it poss to take two tinies swimming without help?
My DP works away during the week.
I'm just recovering from the flu - debilitating flu, literally could not get out of bed.
My 4yoDD spent three days this week sat next to me in my bed eating cream crackers or whatever she could find in the fruit bowl.
My aunt and uncle live locally but they were too busy to help.
In the end my MIL traveled three hours to come and stay with us so that my DD could eat.
OP, what the f?
i wouldn't even think of taking my two small children swimming without another adult (at the swimming pool we use sometimes, a four year old drowned last year: he had gone swimming with his father and 7 year old sister and his father was distracted by his sister briefly). but i probably qualify for scorn because i found it extremely difficult to do the bedtime alone when the youngest was under one and bf. 2.9 year age gap, stroppy dd1, and i am not naturally organised.
yabu for thinking everybody is the same as you, and all children are the same as yours.
Surely you have the imagination to figure out that everyone has different children/coping thresholds/family set-up/health situations?
There is also the fact that your oldest child is in school, which effectively means you have one child to cope with for a fair chunk of the working week. That's very different to someone with a 2 year old and a baby, for example.
I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. DP works away at least 4 nights a week and I work 3 days and squeeze some freelance work in around the kids. I find it hard going. Yes, I can manage bedtime/bath-time/meals on my own, but when I do have another pair of hands around it makes things much more pleasant.
For example, DS2 tends to wake around the time I get up for work and will quite often start screaming blue-murder to be got up. So I'm trying to sort out breakfast for DS1, get myself dressed, get DS2's milk ready to a backdrop of hysterical screaming - this does not make mornings restful. Add to that the fact that DS2 has usually done an epic poo which needs sorting before breakfast, while he thrashes and wails because he's hungry, and the fact that DS1 will be yelling in the background that he can't find his spiderman t-shirt, it's a wonder we actually leave the house at all!
When DP is home, the morning is positively pleasant.
The swimming thing - I've only recently started taking them both on my own because I've found a pool that has no deep-end and DS1 is confident enough to splash about while I tow DS2 around with armbands or in a seat. Getting ready afterwards is still pretty stressful though.
Having said that, I do know some people who simply choose not to cope alone. It's not that they can't - it's that neither of them want to. They simply don't like looking after their children alone and will guilt-trip family into helping out so that they can do other things. But that's slightly different - it's more a case of trying to get out of looking after their children at all, never mind single-handed.
I have 4 children and DH works away in the week. Some people do seem very dithery. I do the best I can, just get on with it.
I didnt know you had another baby kungfuu - how lovely [whispers whilst wearing mackintosh - It is I, omni]
OP you are being a bit smug and/or jealous which is not a good combo.
However I will tell you what does annoy me as am in that sort of mood and work is not going well - women who cant do anything at the weekend on their own because their partners or dhs cant look after both dc. So if they are away for example then the dh is unable to take their child to a party as its all too much. Thats DOES annoy me. Mostly because I then have to take 3 dc to the party - picking up useless partners child on the way.
I understand where OP is coming from.
Some people do have expectations and a learnt entitlement. It's similar to that age group of women who never learnt to drive and expect everyone to squire them round. Because their husbands acted as chauffeur, they stand by the car not even opening the door, won't attempt to navigate and sit there like the Queen. They expect to be helped, just as some parents have every expectation that granny or whoever will come to all appointments, shopping, provide infinite childcare etc.
But OP included people who are ill. Illness. i.e; I just spent three days with flu unable to get out of bed or feed/care for my daughter. Sorry did I lose the competition of Supermum because I allowed MIL to travel down to stay with us so that my daughter could eat something decent.
AIBU to say to my 16.5 year old daughter that she can't smoke in our house? and that if I find tobacco etc in our house I will bin it?
OP, Two of my children are similar ages to yours and tbh it is a pretty easy age gap. Babies are simple and a nearly 6 year old can be reasoned with and pretty reliable behaviour wise too.
I also have a independent 2 yo and a cuddle bug 4 yo (who takes more parenting than the other three put together !)
I take my four out on my own on school runs, shopping, kids park etc but I also enjoy going out with my parents and DH.
I think it boils down to, if you are use to doing things on your own, it is no big deal but if you are lucky enough to have help, it can be taunting to initially do without it.
I have to take my four everywhere on my own, often on foot. So I am practised in doing this and I have my ways of handling this number of children (using a combinations of slings, reins, prams, threats and treats)
However my husband worries about taking four out on his own and prefers to take two of the older ones if he has a choice, lol.
I'm with mummabug. In fact we've had the same week it sounds like. I am just starting to recover from flu now, on Tuesday afternoon my son (8 months) was sat in the living room on his own watching a sing and sign DVD while I hurled into the loo. The following day my MIL came to give me some respite and ds some attention.
But do please disapprove of me OP for accepting help rather than being a complete martyr!! And I only have one dc too, don't know my luck do I!!!
When my mother used to come down to see us, she made things ten times worse by sitting on her fat arse wanting to be waited on hand and foot while she moaned on about everyone else in the family behind their backs.
I used to so envy people with actual help. But not people who just have mothers in tow.
Depends. Sometimes people need a hand.
But a good friend of mine has one and when she's going to be gone for the weekend, her DH takes their DD to his mom's for the weekend to "have some help". I roll my eyes every time.
I agree with the op somewhat.
I had my first child, (DS) when I was 21 years old. He is disabled and needed a lot of extra care and I just got on with it, we lived our lives and visited my parents as and when, but it was just that, visiting.
I now am a single Mum to two children, both with disabilities and I receive a little extra help from my parents when they're having operations etc but other than that I live my life and look after my childen and enjoy having them.
I have friends who are in their 30s who've only just had their first child and rely frequently on their parents help as they cannot manage.
On of them had both parents move in for two months when she had her first child, she has a husband who helps too.
This same friend will go to her parents house all the time with her husband and both of them leave the parenting of their child up to her mother and they have their meals cooked for them by her and don't lift a finger to do anything themselves.
This friends mother is always complaining to my Mum about the situation, yet does nothing to rectify it. I should imagine my friend just tells everyone "What's wrong with having help if it's there?" I doubt she thinks about her frazzled mother who simply cannot cope with the extra work and stress they all give her.
I have a lot of friends who are similar and don't understand it at all. Surely you bring up your own child and have your parents as grandparents not unpaid childcare?
YABU with your comments about the ill bit. I had flu when DD was 9 months old. Not just a heavy cold but proper real flu there is no way I could have cared for a baby in that state. DH had just had 3 weeks off work with it so couldnt help and my parents were back packing round India . Luckily my aunt and uncle took DD and I in and we stayed with them for a week. Dont know what I would have done otherwise. Not had help before or since but really needed it then. I would challenge the OP to care for a baby in the state I was in....
I had my children with only an 18 month gap in age and husband worked long shifts and weekends. Had no relatives or anyone that I could ask to help out even when I was ill with flu so just had to do my best and cope alone. So I do find it a bit bad when people feel that they are entitled to have their mothers come and help when they themselves want to take to their beds. If your mum offers then that is different but if she has her own life and is busy then that is fair enough too. Our parents have already done their fair share of parenting and its their time now to enjoy the rest of their life and if that means spending lots of time with you and their grandkids then that is lovely but if they want to go off and discover themselves.....well that is perfectly acceptable too.
I think its sad when people use words like "entitled" in relation to families helping each other out when in real need like illness. Bizarre.
This thread is a bit loopy (liking Cory's sane posts though).
The OP has posted before about her DP. She has posted about a rather grim situation with her DP and his young children from a former marriage (custody issues, he's doing nothing to resolve them, so consequently is simply not seeing his children. At all. One horrible thread with the OP describing him literally hiding at a swimming pool as he realised those kids might be there. www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a1690921-to-think-this-waa-an-awful-way-to-behave-re-estranged-DSC )
She has posted before about the fact she does pretty much everything with the kids, and wondering if she should ask him to do more.
And about the fact that she would like another baby but as her DP would not contribute any extra household costs with her not working, the baby would have to go to nursery at a very young age.
You know what? This isn't about what other people do. It never was. The OP is quietly bloody terrified that her DP isn't sufficiently engaged with their children - and if things go wrong, she and the children will be as easily 'detached' from his life as his first lot were.
I don't blame her. I'd be worried too.
I'm permanently ill... disabled actually. I can't cope with my two children alone, in fact I employ someone to do the majority of the childcare tasks, as well as to do the house work etc. I can't take my daughter out alone and I avoid going anywhere with the kids unless I have a companion.
I'm a great mum though. I adore my children.
Actually... it is worth (if anyone can bear it) struggling through that earlier thread from the OP about her DP.
To be fair, she posts initially to say she thinks he should be making some sort of effort to see his young children from previous marriage - she is unhappy about the fact he is doing nothing and has dropped all contact.
However - as the thread goes on, she makes a lot of excuses for him (it all seems to be the ex's fault, wouldn't ya know - despite virtually everyone on that thread being upset and angry that with these children only 50 miles away, he seems to think it is impossible to see them and makes no effort at all).
Anyhoo - the weird thing is, THE OP'S PARTNER AND FATHER OF HER BABY DOES NOT LIVE WITH HER. He seems to be living in some sort of work related accommodation nearby - and staying over from time to time.
That's why she's doing everything herself, with hardly any help from her dp.
This is one unhappy lady, trying hard to normalise a relationship that has an awful lot wrong with it.
On 24 th Feb you said you were coping alone a lot and were exhausted.
You have some serious cognitive dissonance going on and are trying to make out that it is other families who are not functional.
rain did you mean your post to come across as bullying? I think the op sounds very reasonable on that other thread. Still can't be bothered to read the whole of this one though
I had a two year old and a newborn and a husband who was away from the home for 14 hours a day and parents and PILS 250 miles away who worked full time. I coped alone, because I had no choice, bit there were days I would have almost killed for a half hour break! However, my DH was very good at the weekends so every weekend I got an "afternoon off" while he had both kids and a lie in on one weekend day! He got the same.
Of course I expect my husband to take care of our children when I'm ill.
I can see where OP is coming from (though a bit harsh). I know a few people who use family assistance for every little thing to the point where I think they'd be a bit fecked if god forbid something happened to that family member.
It's amazing what you can do on your own if you have to. Doesn't mean it's not nice to have some help from time to time.
I don't understand the thinking that if you would like grandparents to help out more it's considered co-parenting. I don't expect my parents or in-laws to raise my kids but would love them to visit more often - take the odd child out or help if I was ill but they don't and they won't and I often feel people think that my commenting on this is me expecting them to help me raise my kids - this sort of thread backs that up. You obviously don't have help and manage and that's great - I don't have help and do manage because I have to and DH works virtually spends 95% of his life at work - I feel envious of those that constantly have their mums or in laws round/go on hols together/ shopping together etc but equally sometimes I feel that they rely on that help alittle too much so I do get a little of what you might be saying - some people don't seem to do anything without their mothers by their side and you do wonder how they would cope if they didn't have that help - but whilst it's available then they might as well make use of it - face the childrearing alone only when absolutely necessary.
sorry but if you're ill and have no one to do everything for you then you
just have to crack on, what's the alternative? People can and do..
I have a long term health condition that makes me exhausted. I am also 5 months pregnant and the fatigue from the first trimester hasn't lifted. My 17 month old son wakes every two hours - every night. Oh, and my husband works away from home 5 days a week.
Can you explain how you have the right to judge me for wanting help - and taking it when I can - or is it just that you're a better parent than me?
I think you're jealous of people who have help in whatever forms they do..and you don't.
wanting help and being unable to cope without it are two different things...
and to pretty much tell someone, 'i have help and you don't, so there', is smug.
No, Bessie. 'Bullying' in what way?
I think the OP's other thread is very sad. I think other posters were near unanimous in their anger at her DP and his reluctance to see his children - I think they were also sensible to point out when they felt she was making excuses for him.
i think this OP is in a very difficult relationship, tbh.
A lot of this comes down to confidence -if you are lacking in confidence at taking your DC out alone you are less likely to do it. This could be a result of pnd, stress, or just not feeling like you have the strength to go it alone. There is no need to judge people for that though. Good for you if you are able to cope and get by on your own.
fwiw, I know of someone who's 11 month old drowned in the bath -he quietly slipped under the water while she was talking to her older DC. This has made me very nervous of bathing my DC on my own. Am I now lacking in confidence as knowing this has made me extra cautious? Yes, for sure. I would rather not be judged for that though.
If you're ill...crack on, what's the alternative? People can and do.
It's not about 'not being able to cope' without help when you are ill. DD and I were coping...she was just lying in my bed with me, foraging for food in the kitchen herself. Of course we would have both come through the other side of my flu still alive etc etc.
I just felt bloody awful for DD. She was being so good, but she was hungry. I LITERALLY could not get out of bed for more than 5 seconds without collapsing, I'm also 35 weeks preg so was finding it hard enough to breathe as it is. I couldn't really interact with her either, I had the flu - like - THE FLU (do people think this is some sort of common cold or something, seems like it).
Why on earth would anyone in that position continue to let their child suffer on...I made it clear to my mum and MIL what was going on and luckily MIL was able to come down. Does that mean I couldn't cope without help and just get on with it like other mothers? Am I weak?
I don't think so - I think I just didn't want my DD to be alone with her sick mother anymore, foraging for crackers in the bread bin.
Please also remember it is far more 'abnormal' for a mother to be alone 24/7 caring for her children than not. We evolved in close-knit tribes and communities, and even 60 years ago people lived with extended family just round the corner. In these situations they practically brought up the kids together, not alone in isolation.
Tis a modern cultural development that a lot of mothers are alone with little help these days, and I should imagine it's generally not that positive for a lot of their mental health. Feeling isolated and alone when you are alone with children is a very real problem, and those with extended family around them are very lucky and should not be snorted at for taking full advantage of it.
Sometimes there's no lonelier feeling than when your child does something wonderful and funny, and there's no one there to share the moment with or join in with your love for your child. And that is not about needing help or not coping. It's just being human and biologically normal in your desire to rear your child with family around you.
Look - just to contextualise - this is another thread from the OP (i agree Jamieandthemagictorch, there is a lot of cognitive dissonance going on here) - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a1686460-to-feel-like-crying-in-frustration
The OP posts about how hard she is finding things coping with very little support. She reports feeling like 'crying in frustration' (her words). She is clearly in a pressured situation and not being supported much at all in terms of childcare or her studies by her dp.
Then up pops this thread, upsetting quite a lot of people by the looks of things. The OP seems to have turned having to cope so much in her own into a virtue, and is now being critical of other people who do have help and support.
Which isn't nice. Implying someone is less of a parent (mother) if they don't do everything themselves. That said, I can't be too harsh on the OP because having seen a few of the threads she's started, she is genuinely stressed, under pressure, rather isolated, and I think there's a certain amount of denial going on.
I agree that in the past it was more the norm to have help - takes a village to raise a child and all that jazz.
Most people will cope when they have to - I did but t was hard and very lonely at times and I think I think it made me quite controlling with my kids. If you have the opportunity of help and support I guess you would be crazy not to use it. Obviously there are extremes which isn't desirable.
Sorry - but another thread started by the OP in December, about feeling exhausted and 'suffocated' because she has no help with her youngest, and has to cope with everything herself - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/a1641229-To-feel-completely-suffocated
I really think all the people who feel judged and upset on this thread need to be aware where the OP is coming from. She's not happy, she doesn't want to cope on her own - it's just all coming out as an attack on other parents who DO have support, for some reason.
rain i am aware of where OP is coming from as you have pointed out and I feel for her. I was responding to some comments on here by others also.
YABU. I've been very poorly past 24 hours so my mum had DS today and he has gone to his dads tonight. Also, I have mental health problems and in the past have had to turn to others for help and support. I'm still a good mum and DS thinks I'm awesome
mummabug, sure - I actually x-posted with you - I wasn't responding to you, though it does read that way!
I agree with what you said btw - they are good general points, wherever the OP is coming from.
Yabu when you have anxiety issues and people telling you that your a useless mum then it does help to have someone around.
Who looks after your children when you work OP?
I have a 21 month gap. DH has taken them both swimming alone but I haven't. I could, just its easier not too and we can all go together so why make life tough? Sometimes simple things like going down to the shop can be tricky if DS (3) runs way ahead and DD toddles along, I can't ensure both of their safety by the road. If I put DD in the buggy its no fun for her and as the point of the outing was to kill some time and have fun, it defeats the object. Similarly, if I or DH are ill and need help and there is some available, I'm going to use it. I have every admiration for people to have to do it alone but a) its not a competition and b) I worry slightly that such capable and slightly smug people will be less than sympathetic to those who ARE struggling - you only have to look at any post that asks the q "was AIBU to expect help at this station / situation etc" to see what I mean. Lots of responses that amount to "Yes, YABU- you had them, get on with it, cos I do"
I wasn't 'attacking' anyone. I'd just read the 'm husband should care for sick child and I rather than visit his hospitalised mother' thread and was reflecting that it is not a good position to be in to be unable to cope alone if for some reason you do have to.
I think people are being a bit dramatic about flu - I had it a few weeks back and yes I felt absolutely awful, I couldn't eat and lost over a stone. But to say you had to get help or your children would starve. Really?
ali just because you had 'flu' and were able to cope, it doesn't necessarily follow that everybody else should be able to cope too.
Maybe their flu was much worse than yours - lots of people I know define flu as feeling too bad to do anything, including reaching out for a million pounds if someone is flapping it under your nose. If you were up to doing some looking after kids then just maybe you didn't have flu, just some other nasty bug that was going around. There have been a lot of them around this year - nasty, but not flu. Or you had a mild strain of flu.
But no justification to bitch about people being 'dramatic' about flu just because it doesn't equate to your own experiences of flu!
Flu is a killer and pregnant women can be among the most vulnerable to it.
You are now implying that not only should all parents cope on their own because you do, you are now saying everyone should breeze through having flu because you did. Not nice.
Just wait. Pride comes before the Fall
OP You sound like my mother. When I so much as utter a complaint that my life is difficult for whatever reason she spouts out that pseudo-superwoman-martyrdom shite. 'I had five under two and three jobs and no husband with very little money' blabla.
It may be true (ish) but it's not helpful. It's sad when people don't want to help each other out and it's lovely when they do and it's appreciated.
My mother is like this because she chose to be independent in another country with no friends or family apart from my father. She suffered and so should I. She has forgotten the fact that her own mother loved looking after us when we went to see her abroad. She projected her own experience onto mine because quite frankly she doesn't want to see me getting something that she never had from her own mother.
<BearFrills -- in the case of your SIL and her H, I think everyone should be scratching the surface a bit more. I think the H there is making life difficult for your SIL. Any man who thinks it is ok to say out loud that his 3 yo child pushes his buttons and winds him up, and people are aware that he gets grumpy when his sleep is disturbed despite him being the father of young children is very possibly a bit of a human cactus and really difficult to live with - perhaps the SIL is trying to keep things calm at home by farming out the children, keeping the H from blowing his top?>
Of course I could manage if I had to. But it would be pretty bloody stupid to turn away willing/loving hands wouldn't it?
For what? Martyr points?
Mummabug I agree with your points there. I would have given my right arm to have had family near when my DCs were small. My family would have loved it too. It makes a huge difference for the children as well. The DCs simply loved having my mum for a visit and cherish all the time they were able to spend with her - still do though those visits are few now that she is almost 80. Don't begrudge people their closeness to their families. It's what makes the world go round.
I don't think you are bu! Except the husband bit. I was on a long train journey a while ago and saw a mother defer to her mother for every little detail of her childs car, even down to should she put a cardie on baby. Her mother looks exasperated! I was there with my 4 month baby on my own, not for a sodding medal or because I think there is something unusual or noteworthy in it, I simply think a mother ought to be able to care for her child on her own, if not I think it's rather pathetic. I know mums who need help from family to go to doctors appointments, swimming, any form of transport, going to next big city etc. What message does it send the child anyway? Mummy is a bit of an incompetent woose who needs to enrol the help of her mummy as if she is the child. I do it on my own too, with good husband and lovely friends with family who come to visit and play but don't do my parenting for me. It wouldn't irritate me in the slightest except for the fact that those with the most help complain about how hard it is the most. I knew someone who had struck up a fab relationship with her neighbour and said sodding neighbour was even dragged into parenting the child, taking her to nursery in the mornings so mum could have a bath, uh get a grip mum!!! Having quick or no bath in the morn is part of being a mum. I think this is all part of this terrific entitled thinking now where people expect a lot in life and put stuff all in. Rant over. Agree 100%. Husband needs to do 50% though as he is parent too!!!
Oh and does anyone else think it's bad form to drag up ops other posts?! If she wanted to discuss her whole situation she would have. Think this is none of anyones business to link up like this and is bullying.
Applet arts - Normally it is bad form but this op ha got. A lot of people riled and looked very like a bunfight so rain made a good point explaining the context.
I almost felt sorry for her til her post about flu.
Op- try having cancer treatment with a newborn and try coping without help with that. I would love to know how you take 2 kids along to have radiotherapy or sit still for 6 hours while you have chemo.
Mammabug had the right idea- why make your kids suffer if you can have help.
There is probably a valid point about people who dont develop coping skills (woman on train who deferred to her mum) but that isn't what op was saying.
appletarts - don't trivalise bullying. Seriously. Just take a look at the thread currently on AIBU about the mum avoiding the person who bullied her at school. Look at how it affects people and think twice before throwing the word around so casually.
The OP has upset a lot of people on this thread (and gathered some hostile responses) by implying they are inadequate parents when they have help with their children.
She sets herself up in comparison to them as someone who does not need help, who sees it as her duty to manage her children virtually single handed even when ill etc. Someone who is a Better Mum for doing so.
Given that most of her other posts on this board have been about how exhausted and unhappy she is because she has so little access to support of any kind, and is forced to cope with her children herself, it is at best hypocritical to start this thread. At worst, perhaps rather goading. My guess would be that she is unhappy at not having some of the support other mums have (fair enough) - but as she cannot change her own situation, she is wasting energy by criticising and undermining the other mums who do have what she wants.
Just because you can cope on your own, it doesn't mean that you have to.
The Op sounds very jealous of parents who have help and support.
OP it entirely depends on the fit between you and your children's personalities,how straightforward parenting is. Natural health and energy levels come into it too.
Two compliant little girls with similar personalities to their mother is probably the easiest type of family to corral.
I've got four and the two in the middle were a handful at about 5 and 2, to the point where it took me getting together with my mum to work out a way forwards. We are both qualified teachers and I am am ex nursery nurse so we are hardly lacking in insight. In the end we found out they both have SEN. I am sure there were plenty of people who watched me with them and decided I was a rubbish parent, but they didn't have the full picture.
Bear that in mind when you are looking at other people. You may not have the full picture.
As an aside - this sort of one-up-mum-ship IS damaging. My friend is having a lot of scans with her 2nd pregnancy - frequent hospital appts, a lot of hanging around. She is a bit of an anxious, self critical mum anyway (partner is not a lot of help) - and although she has friends who are willing to take her toddler for 4/5 hours while she is at hospital, she says she feels guilty, and usually takes him with her.
It always exhausts her - no matter how many books and games she takes, entertaining a lively toddler in a hospital waiting room for several hours is hard work. He gets whiny, she finds it tough and then feels worse about her parenting.
It would almost certainly be better for her and her toddler if she would accept the help on offer more on these days. He is a lovely confident little boy who is fun to look after. Of course, she copes in the sense that no one dies, they just have a miserable day. It's not just a question of being a martyr-mum, it's about having the confidence to accept help without feeling judged. And she clearly would be judged, by people like alisunshine.
I would add that to build a strong community, people need to ask each other for little favours, so they become interdependent because of reciprocal favours.
Boffinmum - yes, I do wonder how much the emphasis on 'people should do x without help' means 'I will not help you'.
But it is all an ecology of help - within families and a wider community. I am very very grateful for help when I get it! and understand that it works both ways, and needs to be reciprocated. I'm much happier with the idea of living in a community like that than one where everyone just looks after themselves and refuses to offer a helping hand to anyone else.
I'm guilty of this I think. Being too independent and coping.
I don't see it myself but DH, MIL and DM all comment on it and I can see my DCs developing this trait too.
I am a new mother, I could cope on my own if I really had to but have close family members willing to help from time to time. It's tiring and I feel I make a better mother if I can sometimes get a break.
I raised four on my own with little help and a ft job. So fecking what? That's how it was.
Now however I'm married, mum has retired and ds's are adults.
Damn right I have time to myself and help when working etc.
Why would I not?
Sorry you feel bitter op but don't criticise others because of it.
The op has an easy age gap to look after two dcs. One of them is at school for a large part of the day for starters.
A 5 year old can get changed for swimming themselves which makes it so much easier than taking a baby and toddler swimming.
Interesting that the op has a big age gap between her dcs. Wonder why?! It couldn't possible be because it makes things easier than running after a baby and a toddler.
I actually agree with you OP. I have a DH and my
Mum lives nearby but do most things for my children and with my children alone. People have been shocked that I bath them and put them to bed alone, because they've never done that. people were shocked that I do the supermarket shopping with them. Who would I leave them with? My mum and husband are at work all day! Last Friday someone at work asked if my kids were going to my parents for the weekend so I could 'have a break'. My kids have NEVER gone to anyone's for the weekend.
I have been really suprised by how much help other people have. I didn't realise it was that common. I'm not smug, it really never occurred to me to ask for help with those things. I didn't realise until quite recently that other people did.
handlebartash - just a quick question, because I am genuinely interested -
If your husband or mother were able and willing to help out with your children, would you accept that help? Or would you prefer to carry on as you currently are?
Just that something that has cropped up a LOT on this thread are posts saying 'of course I can do x all on my own - but if the offer of help is there, why would be the point of refusing it?
So here, let me wave my magic wand! Your partner is offered a great flexitime deal at work and says he'd love to do more with the kids on 2 afternoons a week. Your mum says she'd really like to take the kids on weekend trip, or just for a day out. Or would be happy to babysit/do bath and bedtime once a week at your house.
What do you say?
Op I sympathise with you, it is hard work doing it without much support.
I have to say I find it scary enough taking my nearly 2 year old swimming, I honestly wouldn't take 2 children swimming unless the oldest one was a very confident and competent swimmer who was well behaved all the time. Which probably would mean we wouldn't go swimming. Well done to you though op for being able to do this, I mean that very sincerely.
It isn't bullying. The intent is to help the OP by bringing up relevant information. Also, it is context for other posters. She's had more unkind comments frompeople who don't know the context ( that she is smug etc) than fromthose who have linked to her other threads.
interesting what you say about your friend
I had a hard time with 9mild) PND when I had a baby and a toddler. I was not coping and something had to give, so I had DS2 (then 8 months) go to a CM whilst DS1 was at playgroup, one afternoon a week. Initially, I felt guilty and pathetic. But it was the best thing for all of us. A few hours to recharge was the difference between me sinking or swimming.
Feelings of guilt, or the drive to be super-parent and pride oneself in not asking for help are especially common, I'd say, in people who are struggling
jamie, yes, I agree (that those struggling can feel very reluctant/ashamed to ask for help). I've been there with non-child related depression. "I can cope, I can cope, I can cope CRASH! Oh."
I also think this is a thread about mums rather than parents. As in, it's being assumed that the primary function of a mother to have exclusive care of the children - dads can 'help out' but a woman who can't do it all herself, or asks someone else to share care, is in some ways a bit of a failure. 'oh - you ask your partner to do bathtime, do you? And to put the kids to bed? Gosh. I do it ALL MYSELF.'
This doesn't mean that when I see women coping alone who have no choice, I don't sympathise, and don't think 'blimey, that must be tough when you're ill, and can't ask someone just to get the kids up and give them breakfast etc." But I think that's different. I'd quite understand them feeling a bit resentful, or just plain sad, if they knew that we have family nearby, and can (with a lot of limitations!) get help. If I felt they were contemptuous of me for having that help, I'd be very wary (I don't honestly think most women think like that though).
rainrainandmorerain good question.
My husband does do things with with children but he works full time, longish hours and I work part time (also long hours on the days I work though) so I do the lion's share. I did find going from one child to two harder than I expected at first, and would have liked more help from him then. I'm not sure about the flex-time deal idea - tbh I can't see him wanting to do that, and if he did I am not sure how I would feel if he did. My main thought would be the money we could save on childcare if he had two afternoons off a week!
My mum...I actually wouldn't feel comfortable with the kids staying there overnight, but I've no idea why really. I think I just like having them here at night? Bath and bed time to me feels like a parent's job so probably no to that (would love it if DH did it more though!). Taking them out for the day at the weekend? Awesome. I would love that.
Feel the need to share this - my health visitor was surprised I took the baby with me to collect my older child from school. Seriously? Do people leave their younger child with someone while they take/collect an older child from school on a regular basis?!
REally?!?! Isn't that normal?
Boffinmum's post about that sharing helps to build a strong community is interesting. I do think that giving and taking is what makes the world go round.
My dp was one of those 'why help someone when they should be sorting themselves out' people, like OP but over the years he has realised that selling stuff on ebay for peanuts may get you £10 richer, but if you give it away to a friend it is worth much more, in a lot of different ways.
Precisely, handlebartash - I also know people who do this regarding school pick ups.
Surely saying 'i could do it all alone but people will help so why should I?' Is not all that different a theory to people that say 'i could get a job but the government will pay me benefits if I don't so why should I?'
I completly understand what you mean i have 2 DCs i manage when im ill, you have to! i manage daily to get them both up ready DS at nursery and ready to meet a friend of mine on time! SHe has 1 DD 8 months and i constantly late and has to feed jars as she doesnt have time to cook even though she is a SAHM too. I wouldnt take both my DC swimming at the same time though as niether of them can swim on there own yet
I can and do do everything for/with my DC. My DH can/will do anything/everything for them but he finds it harder than me, not because he is less capable but because he spends less time with them so isn't as practised at it as me and doesn't know all their little habits/likes/wants/fears quite as well as I do.
I can't take mine swimming because the local pool won't let me take both in together on my own, everything else I do alone unless DH is with us at the weekend. I get a little bit jealous of friends who have mums and family that help out if I'm honest.
It's totally different alli!
Having grandparents who are nearby and happy to help adds another layer of love to a child's day to say life. The more loving people actively involved in a child's life the better.
And I say that as someone who has no family help btw!
I'm not saying having grandparents involved is a bad thing but being unable to cope - if forced to - without their help is.
But you did say that ali- " but surely saying I could do it all alone but I don't have to..."
I think you need to take a step back and look at why you're being so judgemental.
"Surely saying 'i could do it all alone but people will help so why should I?' Is not all that different a theory to people that say 'i could get a job but the government will pay me benefits if I don't so why should I?'"
You really think this is the same, really? I'm torn on this. Can sort of see your initial point as yes, I might get a bit rolly eyed if someone can't seem to get by without help, it can seem a bit feeble when I do and have done it mostly all on my own. But I wonder if there is a wee bit of jealousy and wishful thinking that it would be nice to have some help, some loving family or such closely involved in my children's lives. Maybe it makes me feel better to roll my eyes and feel a bit superior as maybe there is a little bit of jealousy.
And most people will cope if they have to, if they were just left to get on with it but does seem a bit crazy to if they don't have to.
Are you seriously suggesting that people turn down assistance from people who love them in order to prove some sort of point?
Why make it harder than it has to be? How utterly bizarre.
Of course the people you mention would cope if they were forced to. Do you actually expect that their children would starve and die?
Why would you take say 2 little kids swimming alone, when your Mum would like to come and therefore will make things heaps easier? Why not put off stuff like that until the weekend when Dad can be involved?
I have a large, loving and involved family and an excellent DH, this makes parenting a pleasure usually. I can't imagine why I would choose in those circumstance to go it alone. Obviously it isn't all take either, functional families look after each other. That is what family means.
And also, when I had my first very demanding, clingy baby with no family or even friends with babies around - it was quite lonely and isolating. Don't think I really felt that glow and complete happiness that some folk talk about when you've just had that baby (early weeks) - it was bloody hard and draining. It would probably have been more fun and less lonely to have someone to even just do things with me (walk with me to the park, shops, have a coffee etc) be there and show a level of interest and love that close family feel in these occasions.
When I had DS1, both Mum and MIL were around to cuddle baby while I had a long hot shower. DH did pretty much all housework for about a month, my good friends brought me food and cake etc. All in all making it a really special and lovely time.
With DS2 we were overseas, my SIL flew across the world to stay with us for 2 months to make things easier, and I have wonderful friends there as well who looked after me.
Whenever I am in a position to look after my friends and family I take it, why wouldn't you?
Why struggle unnecessarily? I can't get my head around it.
I can't imagine what it would have been like to have that kind of help and support though to be contrary, I also enjoyed doing it my way and not being under the influence of my mum or older sister who had been there and done it all - i think it could be easy for a first time mum to be undermined. Guess there is just no perfect way or pleasing everyone (for me anyway!)
It was wonderful. I have very low standards though, so don't really mind 'how' someone does things if they are helping me out, as long as it is getting done!
Low standards, the secret of a happy life.
Oh that sounds lovely. I've really struggled when often just having company or someone to ask how I am would have made the world of difference.
Seriously OP: you need to sort your own life.
If you seriously think that expecting your partner to be an equal parent, and accepting offers of help from loving relatives, is the same as claiming benefits when you don't need them, then you are in a very bitter and depressing place indeed. As is obvious to anyone who's read your other posts.
You think it's daft that mums don't do everything on their own? Isn't it daft for a mum who can do everything on her own to stay with a man who's completely useless as a father and partner?
I don't understand how you can think your own position is preferable, when you are so clearly miserable and exhausted.
OP I think the saddest thing is that your DP doesn't see his children from his previous relationship and isn't hands on with your children either. It does not bode well for their future relationship with their father.
I actually feel really sorry for you having also seen your other posts/threads.
Attempting to put on a face that you do everything with your children through choice isn't strong or a good path to go down.
Please talk to your DP, perhaps consider some counselling.
My point is that wanting/enjoying help and needing help are two separate things. Yes, I would like it if DP would take our youngest DD while I read the eldest DD a story. However if he couldn't/wouldn't then it doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to do it. I find the idea of waiting around to do things (for whoever said they wait til their mum/husband is there to go swimming/shopping) silly - I would hate to feel that I cannot do things in life by myself. I think it is important to not be dependent on others - how else do we expect to teach our children to do things for themselves if they see that Mummy can't do things without help?
how else do we expect to teach our children to do things for themselves if they see that Mummy can't do things without help?
But ali in your case it is because your DP chooses not to help. You are left to do it yourself. This is no better an example to them. As they grow up they may well feel like they should be able to cope with everything on their own. What if they just can't? Will they be a disappointment to you? Will you refuse to help them because you did it on your own?
I think the worst possible lesson your DD's are getting right now is that it is acceptable to have a father who doesn't even minimally interact with his children when their mother is around. You don't even have the space to read one DD a story one-on-one? That is NOT normal, not even close to normal. Rather than expending bitterness on others, you need to take your vaunted self-sufficiency in hand and stop putting up with this.
Well, we all need help to do some things, OP, even you!
I have 3 children age 5 and under, am registered blind, though have some remaining sight, and work part-time.
I have child-care for while I'm working.
DH is hands-on. He does anything that requires driving, or good eyesight (like taking DC1 cycling). There are situations he doesn't cope well with, and I take the lead in those. I would take one child swimming, but not more than one. As it happens, the older two do swimming lessons and we don't currently do swimming outside that - they are both progressing really well.
I do most shopping online. Can shop with all 3 children, but can't pay attention to what I'm buying!
There are outings with all 3 children that I will happily do alone, and outings I will only do with DH or grandparent - all depends on what's required. Some outings I could do alone, but prefer to do with someone else, as it's easier and more enjoyable. If taking one of DC1's friends along, then I will only do it wtih another adult, as don't feel confident of keeping a 'strange' child within reach (mine are well trained....)
Everyone's situation is different, and there are many ways of being a good parent. I also think that my DC benefit a lot from seeing how well DH and I operate as a team, and help each other. My 5yo is very into 'helping' at the moment (laying table for meals, tidying up living room, that sort of thing) and I see learning to co-operate as a positive thing. I used to work in a very harsh every-man-for-himself type of corporate environment, and people with that type of personality are not always the nicest to be around - learning to find ways of working with each other is very important.
Personally I have 3 dc and 99% of the time do in on my own. Dh works long hours and has a time consuming hobby. No parents to help and mil helps occassionally. DH only had one week off when dd was born. So on day 8 I was doing school run with 6 and 7 year old. Midwife was horrified as apparently at this stage I was only supposed to walk fo 5 minutes.
However, help would be lovely and no way would i take 2 under 7's swimming. Our pool wouldn't allow it for a start.
O and I never get help when ill either. Good job I am pretty healthy.
You are not teaching your DDs to be independent. You are teaching them that it's okay to stay with a man who does fuck all for his children (from multiple relationships) or his partner.
Do you want your DDs to end up with someone like your partner? Honestly?
Well fwiw I'm not getting into the old 'I have it harder than you' lark because it ain't worth it.
What I will say is that when ds1 was tiny, I lived near my mother and she did help a lot. I thought I couldn't manage by myself.
Then I had ds2 and I moved away and she was realy angry with me for leaving, though it was only a few miles. And I realised that I could cope by myself, mostly.
I have no partner or husband and therefore when I have an appointment or am ill, my parents do step in - not always but it depends if I'm just a bit ill, or cannot actually cope sort of ill. I prefer to manage alone if I can.
I don't think it's that good for my children having no one else around. It would be better if they did have another adult to rely on as well as me.
Some people don't think they can cope alone but then they find that they can. That's what happened to me. It's not something you have a go at them about though - you just wait till something makes them realise it for themselves.
I think if some people have lots of help from the start it can undermine their confidence and ability to care for their children on their own. Guess it's better if people feel confident enough that they can do things on their own when they have to but nice if they have some support and help that they don't have to do it all alone.
I have had both. Was on my own with first baby and when 2nd came along. Husband was there and helped where he could but often away for weeks at a time. It was tough but at leastI know I can cope alone when I have to. Then had full time help, an extra pair of hands and life was so much more ridiculously easy but I'm glad I still felt that I could do it all on my own when I had to. Friends who had full time help with all their babies really struggled and were less confident about coping without help.
All DHs/DPs should be able to look after their children without "help" from their DWs/DPs.
Could yours, OP?
... or more to the point, will he?
"Yes, I would like it if DP would take our youngest DD while I read the eldest DD a story. However if he couldn't/wouldn't then it doesn't mean I wouldn't be able to do it. I find the idea of waiting around to do things (for whoever said they wait til their mum/husband is there to go swimming/shopping) silly - I would hate to feel that I cannot do things in life by myself. I think it is important to not be dependent on others - how else do we expect to teach our children to do things for themselves if they see that Mummy can't do things without help? "
Cuts both ways imho. I think my children would be learning an equally shit lesson if they saw that their father was unable to deal with them without me there.
YABU and smug.
At one stage I had 3 DC under 2. (20 month old and newborn DTs). I also have bipolar.
I manage well and am independent but if I have the offer of help ill snatch their hand off.
Bully for you that you find it all such a breeze but you have a huge age gap. Your OP smacks of bragging and sneering.
On that note, tomorrow I have to take all three DC (rldest now 4 and DTs 2) to the dentist with me while I have my
very painful wisdom tooth looked at.
Would I rather have some help? Of course I would!
Have I got the help available tomorrow? No. So I'll manage but taking them to the dentist with me is not ideal and if it didn't hurt so much I would delay the appointment until a time when someone could sit with them or do you think I shouldn't and should just get on with it? If so I challenge you to pacify three kids under 5 in the dentist while trying to have an appointment.
You are proud because you don't allow/expect your children's father to co-parent them?
But one lesson I do not want my children to learn is that there is anything shaming in asking for help rather than sinking. A close relative of mine took an overdose because she could not admit that she was not coping. We none of us saw it coming. If she had asked, nobody would have judged.
We had a 1 year old with SN, a 10 year old and a 12 year old with cancer.
OH has MS
We managed alone.
You are a wuss OP
MrsDV as always, you are spot on
I haven't read all this thread because it's making me angry. Too many sweeping statements about the reason behind parents roping someone else on to help them with their child and very little thought as to reasons why some people might do it more often than others.
Yes, there are lazy or useless parents that take advantage of others and sit back and don't put the effort in themselves. But when people on here are slagging people they know off when they really don't know the circumstances then I find that short-sighted and plain nasty.
FGS, even those slagging off sahm's haven't given thought to the fact that maybe for some if them, visiting their mum most days might be their only conversation they have with another adult the whole week. Someone who works gets to actually speak to adults (imagine that!) and gets applauded for managing it all yet the parent who stays at home is somehow not allowed any interaction with another adult as that's being a bit pathetic really or lazy, according to the OP.
Just because people CAN cope alone doesn't necessarily mean they should. Yes, I'm sure I could manage my kids when I'm ill but my mum steps in to help out because, hey, guess what? She loves me and wants to make the difficult times in my life a bit less unpleasant for me if she can! A most difficult concept for you to understand, Op - maybe you don't come from the same kind of caring and thoughtful family that I do.
God help your own children if they should everneed you as parents - you will be the type to say "well, I managed on my own so you should too."
Just a cold-hearted way of going through life, it if it works for you and leaves you feeling happier knowing you do it all yourself, then martyr away! There are no prizes except your own self-satisfaction .
Perfectly put curly.
I am a sahm , very very rare do i have "help" once when i had a bad virus and once for a night out, i didnt know this made me a bad mother, [gives son child lines number ] i think op you are being very judgemental and stereotypical, yes there ate some lazy parents out there that pass there kids off when ever they can but most people just like having there partners mothers around i no i had a partner and was going shopping i would want him to come or if me and DS was going swimming of course id want him there, i go to see my mother nearly everyday not for "help" but to have a chat with and adult and to get out of the house and so my DS can spend time with his nanny!!
I would also like i add i do NOT cope with my son u dont cope with a child u raise a child and love a child and enjoy parenting not bleeding cope !!
I think most people can manage by themselves.
There are 15 months between my two. my eldest has a physical disability and they both have autism and my youngest has adhd.
I can manage.
But if I don't have to, then bloody great!
I think perhaps you are thinking that people actually think they would be incapable of managing and harm would befall the children that is not the case.
I think it's simply the case that it's nice to have someone give you a hand, if that's possible. Even if that means planning things round someone being able to help out. Why not do things in the way that is easier, if that's an option for you and it's what you want?
I am sure that if your friends were in a situation where there was truly nobody in the world to help them - they would be fine. Many, many people are.
I do almost everything with my kids without my DH. However if I''m bed ridden with illness, it's quite reasonable to expect partner to be in charge of the kids.
Unless partner works away. In which case it sucks. I think what is sad is that so many people take the support from mum or partner for granted and don't realise how hard it can be if you don't have that help. But that applies in all areas of life. I'm sure childless couples might say I take it for granted I have a child etc.
It reallyis tough with no support. Of course its better if its there!
I wonder if the OP is referring to people who simply refuse to do anything without help, or even try. I know people like this, and I can't help thinking how on earth they would cope if the worst happened. Surely part of being a parent is learning to cope alone to make sure that your children will always be looked after should something awful happen?
I wouldnt like to be the woman married to a man who cant take care of his own kids for an hour, let alone full time. What if I died or became fully dependent myself? Or, MH issues aside, be the woman who wont bath her own kids or go shopping without someone holding my hand. They may not always be there to do that.
Yanbu. I had a neighbour once who used to constantly try to rub it in that I was doing everything alone because dh works away and my kids are 1.5 yrs apart; they were then 4 and 5.5. She'd make comments like 'I don't now how you let him get away with it', 'I'd have a nervous breakdown if i were you', ' You poor thing, how on earth are you going to get through the week?', over and over again as if to wear me down. I honestly found it do-able and believed she was doing this because her own partner often left her with the children for no apparent reason and she couldn't cope so it would make it easier if I just broke down with her.
"SHe has 1 DD 8 months and i constantly late and has to feed jars as she doesnt have time to cook even though she is a SAHM too"
This was me with ds1. I had postnatal depression and OCD and no one knew, not even me. I just felt totally overwhelmed as we had no friends or family and I was feeling pretty anxious.
I never understand what people get out of assuming they are better than others when they really don't know what's going on with them.
Independence is an important lesson, and so is learning to look after the people you love.
If my DSs behaved in the way your DH does I would be appalled.
I don't 'cope' with my children, in my world parenting is not something to be endured.
'I personally think it is to do with women having children older. You just get more careful and maybe a bit fussy with age'
What does this mean?
Only read the op...when you say 'similar' age children, what age are you talking?
I would be perfectly able to do everything/go anywhere with a 5 year old and a baby. A 5 year old is pretty self-sufficient and low maintenance.
I did struggle hugely for a good while though when I had a only-just two year old and a newborn. I would avoid trips to town/shopping etc as it was just too stressful. That IMO is a completely different kettle of fish.
I never understand what people get out of assuming they are better than others when they really don't know what's going on with them.
That's great to hear PrettyKitty - 5 is in sight in this household!
I can't take my two swimming alone as you're supposed to have 1 adult per child aged under three and the pool is too cold for young babies. It's hard to cope when you are sick too; after all you're not expected to go to work when you're sick!
My eldest 2 are 18m apart and 18 m later dt's came along. I have no help, but would love some. Are you sure you're not a teensy bit jealous? I envy people who have lots of it, but don't really begrudge them. Usually! lol
I hate taking the children shopping and always wait until dh is home. If I have to, and sometimes I do, I can do it, but it involves HUGE amounts of patience. The dt's have been swimming twice in their 3yrs. It's just not possible.
But we just do it. We get one. I had them 'cos I wanted them, and that's great. Just be happy for your friends, and pleased you can go it alone.
Surely saying 'i could do it all alone but people will help so why should I?' Is not all that different a theory to people that say 'i could get a job but the government will pay me benefits if I don't so why should I?'
Yikes. There you go. Next time anyone asks for help when they're ill, or if a DP wants to be involved with their dear grandchildren, remember you shall destroy the fabric of civilisation itself.
Alisun - you are a nutter.
I can, and mostly do, manage 3 dc alone. But it's easier and more fun to have an extra pair of hands and some adult conversation. Plus DS needs to have a male role model for more time than the one day a fortnight he spends with his Dad.
I have an almost 9 year old who swims competitively and a 3 year old with no fear of anything.
I avoid taking them swimming by myself if I can because they are such different ages.
The 9 year old wants to do laps in the big pool and the 3 year old wants to splash in the little one.
As confident as I am in the big ones ability I am not willing to let him go off alone just yet.
We also spend lots of time at the beach, again they are in such different places that it isnt a good idea to have just the one adult supervising.
Of course I could do this stuff alone, but why?
Oh don't . I used to live in sun and pool land. It was very stressful doing the pool thing wth two youngish children and trying to keep both safe. Still have nightmares about a few few near misses.
How strange. How would you know why they have someone along to 'help'? Maybe they just like hanging out as a family. You come across as bitter.
I am a pretty laid back parent, except around water.
It terrifies me with the kids, we lose so many every year to backyard pools and lakes and rivers.
I both love it and hate it. One of the reasons DS1 is such a good swimmer is because I push, DS2 is pretty competent as well.
I have nightmares about them drowning all the time. It is enough to make me wonder about past lives actually because it freaks me out so very much.
My eldest has no fear of water and is a competent swimmer but obviously would never let her out of my sight. Youngest I am generally holding. I'm not bitter; I do wish people that have help appreciated it more than some do as they'll never truly know what it's like to have absolutely no-one and they're very lucky.
Alisunshine - if that had been your opening post, you'd have had a lot more sympathetic responses, and needlessly upset a lot fewer people.
As I and others have said - I am sorry you personally are not in a situation where you have more help, as it would clearly make things easier, and make you happier. I am quite cross at your DP - he has come across in some other threads as simply not willing to do any parenting without you present. Even when he has time (I'm thinking of the thread you started about him 'following you' around at baby and toddler groups on his days off).
You shouldn't assume that people who have help are not grateful. I make a big, big distinction between my DP parenting (they are his children too, and I expect him to pull his weight in this day and age) and other relatives or friends helping out, beyond any call of duty.
Also a lot of women have experienced different levels of support at different points of parenthood. Everything from where you live to changing relationships' and ageing parents, plays a role. Just because someone seems to have a lot of help now doesn't mean they have always had it, or had it with their first child, etc.
You never know the whole picture of someone else's circumstances at a glance, which is one reason why rushing to judge is a waste of time and energy.
I agree with rainrain
OP i do appreciate co-parenting, and I am fortunate that my parents are incredibly supportive an involved.
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