to make a pact with OH about childcare if its you who wants the children?

(37 Posts)
burgatroyd Wed 30-Jul-14 08:41:11

...was very interested by a current thread about why some dads are disinterested in their children. A couple of comments came up with the theory that perhaps many fathers were persuaded into having the kids and this was the deal?
Out of interest did you have to cajole your OH into having children and therefore let him get away with little childcare input, or at least not attending children's parties?
Am quite interested?

Vitalstatistix Wed 30-Jul-14 08:46:38

hell no.
I wanted (needed!) children, he was happy to wait but went with the flow.
He has always done probably more than his fair share.
If he didn't want children and wasn't willing to be a proper parent, then the time to say so was before conception. By agreeing to have a baby, you agree to be a parent. You don't get to pick and choose which bits you want to do. If you don't want the package - you refuse it.

treaclesoda Wed 30-Jul-14 08:50:02

My dh wasn't keen on having children.

But once they arrived he has been very involved, got up during the night etc, looks after them without complaining. He sees us as a team, as equals, and it just wouldn't occur to him to not pitch in.

I actually think that the opposite could equally be the case. Some of the men I know who were madly keen to have children seemed to want to be seen to be manly, a father, head of the household, but without doing any of the yucky boring stuff.

SqueakySqueak Wed 30-Jul-14 08:50:43

No. He is an adult who is half responsible for baby's existence. The baby didn't get there on its own, he gets half the responsibility. Whether he wanted a child or not, DD is here now and needs a father and I expect him to be a man and step up to the plate. Also, men know how to use condoms and say no. It's rare they're "tricked" into having children.

If his attitude was "I didn't want this child so helping you is doing you a favor", I'd divorce him. As a child deserves to feel loved and wanted, no child should grow up around a father that didn't want them.

But as is, no I did not hound DH. I got pregnant unplanned, and we both decided to keep her and take responsibility for her. He's been an amazing father to her, always wanting to spend time with her, feeding her, staying up with her, being fair about taking shifts. smile

Gennz Wed 30-Jul-14 09:20:29

No way.

I am expecting our first and if DH pulled a stunt like that he'd need to make sure the door didn't hit him on the way out. We ummed and ahhed for years about having kids and if anything he was keener than I was.

Gennz Wed 30-Jul-14 09:21:37

If anything I think he should do more in the first year (chance would be a fine thing) to compensate for not having to go through the hell of pregnancy.

ballinacup Wed 30-Jul-14 09:25:00

My cousin didn't really want children whereas her DH really did. They had two DSs and she didn't do a thing to raise them until they were old enough for her to be interested in them. As it stands, this was when they were around 18mo.

Her DH did every night feed, gave up work for six months each time to look after the babies, did every docs appointment etc. They have since split up and the boys, now 9 and 6, spend most of their time with their dad. It's not just men that can take very little interest in their offspring.

Preciousbane Wed 30-Jul-14 09:29:50

DH was keener than me.

I have a friend who had to be cajoled and revealed that he really wasn't bothered at all about having dc and was hoping it wouldn't happen. They have just become parents so I will see how it all pans out. He is a friend who I would class more like a brother and we are very close so he says a lot.

DH and I were very much hmm about it all, maybe it will work out but I have a horrible feeling about it all.

Ragwort Wed 30-Jul-14 09:34:53

We were the other way round too blush - DH was much keener on having DC than I was and yes, he is a hugely involved Dad whereas I a just put on a good act of being a mum - sad, but true.

We didn't actually 'have a pact' about how we would bring up the children but he is, far more actively involved with bringing up our DS than I am and more to the point, he clearly loves and enjoys it. Much as I love our child, I don't particularly enjoy being a 'parent'.

I do agree, to some extent, with the initial statement and it does seem obvious in some families that one parent (usually the dad) was cajoled into having children rather than it being a positive life style choice.

thisonebreath Wed 30-Jul-14 09:37:50

DH always wanted children. When we met, I didn't. Then I got broody after about five years. Part of that was realising that he would make a great dad. Parenting is shared, although I do more of the day to day stuff because he leaves earlier and gets back later. If I was going away I would just go - I wouldn't be leaving lists or fretting. In the same way when he goes away for work he doesn't leave me instructions.

Andrewofgg Wed 30-Jul-14 09:41:48

I was keen when we were both ready and I wanted a few years as a couple without ties first.

And then we did it and never looked back and I adored it, yucky stuff and all. DS was ff and we competed over who got to do the next feed . . . except when BIL was there and then neither of us got a look-in.

Happy times. Now he's 29 and single and footloose and I want a GC - are you listening, DS?

MothershipG Wed 30-Jul-14 09:48:11

Someone I know had this kind of arrangement with her DC's father. They shared a house but he wasn't a very involved parent. To be honest I think she saw it as her only chance not to be an entirely single parent, although it didn't look much better to me.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Wed 30-Jul-14 10:03:37

No, we both wanted children. We parent equally in our house, DH has always done night feeds, nappies and looks after DS if I'm at work, he's a great Dad.

I couldn't have kids with someone who didn't really want them, it's hard work and not fair on the child.

AnonyMan Wed 30-Jul-14 10:09:40

I assumed that no-one in their right mind, male or female, could possibly want to have children. A small generator of noise and shit, inside your home, fraying your nerves day and night, no way to turn it off. What sort of mad person would want that?

However, having noticed there were lots of children in the world, I had to come up with a theory why this might be. I assumed that with women it was some sort of temporary insanity induced by biology, and that men went along with it in return for sex.

We discussed this before marriage. DW was adamant that she would kill herself now if she knew children weren't in her future. I agreed on condition she would bend over backwards to as far as possible do everything child-related, and spare me the horror...

(I have discovered that there is in fact an upside to having children, glad to have mine. Despite doing most of the child-care work, it is mostly DW who is better off and me who is worse off as a consequence of our being married, so please don't feel sorry for her. If children and financial considerations were not an obstacle to divorce, I'm the one who would be off like a shot.)

Rosebug258 Wed 30-Jul-14 10:12:05

I wanted children and my husband was adamant that he didnt, 7 years later we have 2 and he is an amazing dad, helps out as much as he can, weekend I don't have to lift a finger, apart from cooking (he works away most weeks)

He said he goal in life is to make me happy which he has done by giving me 2 fab kids.

Some people I know have pressured their partners into babies and its not ended well at all for either of them and I have found its mainly men putting pressure on the women.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 30-Jul-14 10:13:33

My DH bought up the subject of having a baby himself and I was horrified at the thought grin He asked again 6 months later and I still said no. Another 5 months later though I agreed smile

It's not always the women who wants the baby smile

Sapat Wed 30-Jul-14 10:14:47

I think it is fair to say that DH was not particularly bothered about whether or not to have children. When I declared I was ready he agreed, but we did have that conversation where we agreed that we would do this together, it was not him indulging my whim. He has never been interested in the pregnancies (not uncaring towards me or the babies, just not interested in interacting with the bump) but once babies were born he became a proper father and shares parenting equally. I have been the primary carer for the babies because I am on maternity leave and exclusively breastfeed, but every time I have gone back to work he does his fair share.

I think with men and children you never quite know. When I met DH almost 20 years ago he swore he would never get married, have kids (or live in an estate for that matter), well now he has done all three, of his own free will and I dare say is content with life. I think you need to chose the father of your children carefully, not as a sperm donor, but as a man who is capable of loving and caring for his children as well as supporting and respecting you. It is a bit of a gamble, but you must have stacked the odds in your favour. And under no circumstances must he be forced/bribed/tricked into having kids. Even if he loves them, there will be an element of resentment that will destroy any relationship as it must be based on trust and respect.

middleeasternpromise Wed 30-Jul-14 10:17:57

My OH was the one who wanted children and not me I made him contemplate a life without children prior to agreeing to marry as I really couldn't see it happening. Once together I felt it was selfish to deny him kids as he liked them so much BUT once here he turned all Victorian told me they were 'my' responsibility and did nothing unless he had no where else to go and then played with them. Hes since disappeared.

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 30-Jul-14 10:25:35

DH wanted a child and had to convince me, I do the majority of childcare due to his work patterns. He has had to have lots of direction from me.

FET14 Wed 30-Jul-14 11:52:33

Hello burga

I'm glad you've followed the other thread that I've started and that it's generated another one here. Both make for an interesting read!

Mammuzza Wed 30-Jul-14 12:17:56

I wouldn't assume that the person doing the greater degree of wanting is the one that does the bulk of the heavey lifting and being around for the long haul.

SIL was "take it or leave it" about children. My brother wasn't he wanted them. A lot.

She still did the bulk of the heavey lifting. Had a second becuase Brother wanted 2.

He left her when she was 8.5 months pregnant.

Talking to him as it happened, I probed a little, and the arse accidentslly revealed that he knew he wanted out (replacement already lined up), but didn't want his first child to have the oh so terrible curse hmm of being an only child. So failed to mention to SIL he was checking out once he'd finished using her as a brood mare.

Then when the youngest was 6 weeks old he fucked off entirely and nobody saw hide nor hair of him until six months ago. The oldest is now 14.

Arses are arses, be they playing the martyred "oh I never wanted them anyway" card, or the one pushing hard for procreation.

Thank god for SIL. She may not have been the one who was so desperate for kids. But she entered into it with emphasis on the concept of them being tiny human beings, who need and benefit from a hands on, non resentful, emotional connection. So regardless of her initial "meh" stance about starting a family, when she agreed, she did so on the basis of "all in" and no fence sitting.

Just as well really considering who they got lumbered with as their father.

BadLad Wed 30-Jul-14 12:54:03

I know I would absolutely hate everything that parenting involves. Getting up in the night for feeds / crying, sitting in soft play centres, choosing holidays based on how much the kids would enjoy them, changing shitty nappies, doing the school run and all the other rigmarole needed for bringing up children.

But if the worst had happened, I don't think it's remotely fair to insist the other partner does all that, just because I didn't want them. Therefore I have always been totally, completely, marriage-ruiningly adamant that I won't ever have them.

melissa83 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:56:53

Dh and I were really really broody before we had children. We are on number 3 now and we have already talked about the next.

MillionPramMiles Wed 30-Jul-14 13:02:00

Fathers often do less because society (and all too often their wives/partners) lets them believe its perfectly acceptable.

A father who happens to change a few nappies, do a few school runs, you know, basic childcare is 'hands on' or 'involved' whereas a mother doing as little would be tutted furiously.

Fathers routinely see their children two weekends a month after divorce and that's seen as the norm whereas mothers who leave the family home are reviled.

If you want equality expect it, demand it. It's irrelevant who's idea it was in the first place to have a child.

FET14 Wed 30-Jul-14 13:02:32

BadLad - good post. I like your honesty. Did you join Mumsnet just to post that though...? Just confused as to why you're a member of a parenting board, if you don't have kids and definitely don't want them in the future. Or are there lots of other MN-ers in a similar situation? Forgive my ignorance!

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Wed 30-Jul-14 13:07:42

We wanted it equally. Even if I had pressure my partner, I would get prey upset if they refused to do things because they hasn't wanted them anyway (I now someone who constantly throws this line at his wife whenever she wants him to play with them for 5 minutes). Personally I would only want children with someone who wants them equally. But then my parents wouldn't let me have a dog no matter how many times I promised I would walk it.

Vitalstatistix Wed 30-Jul-14 13:09:19

fet - there are loads of mners who don't have kids. This isn't really a parenting board, more a chat forum with a few parenting topics if you really want to use them.

I happen to have children but have spent more time discussing whether a jaffa cake is a cake or a biscuit than I have spent discussing my kids.

I don't think most people come here to talk to parents, but to have conversations with intelligent, articulate people.

For some reason, MN (ime) has more of these than many other sites.

Plus it's HUGE and no matter what you want to talk about or know about - you will always find someone.

Thisvehicleisreversing Wed 30-Jul-14 13:17:03

Things followed a natural path with us.

Ds1 was a happy accident. We both made the decision to have him so when he was born any looking after was definitely 50/50.

DH wasn't as sure about having a second child so I think I took over the baby care of DS2 more.

Now they're older DH tends to spend more time with them than I do as they share hobbies. I tend to do more of the school/doctors/buying clothes type stuff.

museumum Wed 30-Jul-14 13:22:28

we were probably equally as keen/nervous... but I was the one with really concrete worries about my career and stuff so we talked about childcare etc. I knew before I married dh that he worked in a sector that is prehistoric in it's attitude to parttime working and parenting and work/life balance... that was a big part of my nervousness and if i had married a previous boyfriend in a more similar field to me i wouldn't have been so concerned. we discussed this a lot and dh does a lot at the weekend and evenings when he can to make up for the fact he's still working a 45hr+ week while i've had to cut to 20hrs and do all the nursery runs.

museumum Wed 30-Jul-14 13:25:10

actually, correction, i have not HAD to cut to 20hrs, I could have continued to work 40hrs too - it was my choice, but I didn't want ds to do five very long days in childcare from a very young age.

[i've just noticed how easy it is to say 'i had to x,y,z' and am making a conscious effort to acknowledge that these things ARE choices, even if they often seem 'no brainer' choices...]

OneLittleToddleTerror Wed 30-Jul-14 13:29:38

DH was happy to be childless. When DD arrived, he's such a hands on dad even my mum commented how good he is with DD. I have to admit he plays with her more. While I'm happy to play with my tablet and let her play by herself. I'm pregnant with our second and again he said he'd prefer to have only one. Only time will tell if he's also very hands on with the new one.

Staryyeyedsurprise Wed 30-Jul-14 13:40:30

When talking about whether to have DC2, I was more for it that DH - he was more than happy with DC1 whereas I felt we should try for DC2 and see where it took us. I was pregnant very quickly - much quicker than expected and as such, I wondered whether I'd co-erced him into it. My husband is a lovely man and never ever gave me reason to think it but I did wonder whether we'd have any "no, YOU wanted the baby YOU see to them during the night" conversations. Of course we didn't. we did have conversations like "I'm flipping knackered - you do it"

Although I was the one who pushed for DC2, DH absolutely cherishes them and does more than his fair share.

BadLad Wed 30-Jul-14 14:21:02

Been posting occasionally for about two years.

FET14 Wed 30-Jul-14 15:42:43

I think mumsnet needs a new strapline?

Since we now know from another thread that BadLad posts with his willy, I think a <stern look> is in order.

DH wanted children more than I did and, in fact, he persuaded me to have DD. I still do more than he does day to day with her.

I think this argument is a red herring for lazy people who want to coast and have other people do the heavy lifting in life.

StrawberryMouse Wed 30-Jul-14 15:56:58

We had two unplanned pregnancies very close together so we are both equally screwed. Although DH's life is still recognisable.

Vitalstatistix Wed 30-Jul-14 15:59:55

yeah. Nobody takes any notice of the strapline, fet grin loads of people with no interest at all in kids hang out here.

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