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Baby-proofing your marriage - online chat with author CathyO Neill, Monday 26th Feb 9pm

(266 Posts)

Um, Rebmadrid, you do realise that one person typing long posts on a forum doesn't stop other people from having their say, don't you? I don't see how you can blame the brevity of Cathy O'Neill's posts on the other people who posted - two or more people can compose messages at the same time, you know!

lionheart Tue 06-Mar-07 15:47:09

Ha! Ha!

rebmadrid Tue 06-Mar-07 08:50:05

I enjoy reading the threads on mumsnet but I think a lot of you are a bitter twisted lot looking for stuff to moan about.

Why not try and enjoy your marriage and kids instead of bitching online the whole time. Some people seem to have an awful lot of time considering how little time they complain about having. If you give your husband or partner oral sex they just might reciprocate. Enjoy it.

It is a pity that the author wasn't really given time to say anything meaningful about the book because of all the egos who hadn't even read it.

LemurintheSun Sat 03-Mar-07 22:57:38

Just caught up with all this. Good knockabout fun.

I was almost convinced by her "just a laugh" line on the bj idea. That is, until CON (appropriate initials?) suggested that JARM give her dh the same adoring looks that the dds give him. Urggll! Yuck. Don't do it, JARM. As icod said, "30 yrs of female emancipation for this"?

Many of us have a bit of trouble at some point with the whole "fun Daddy" thing, where we do most of the hard work and discipline; while our dh's get to do the fun/generous bits and set up an exclusive mutual admiration society with the ds/dd. From personal experience, I'd suggest talking about it with dh. Let him know that you need some love and attention too. (And deal with any issues concerning your respective roles with the dds too, if necessary. You don't want to be left the outsider with them either). Phony adoring looks would just give my dh the willies and confuse him. He much prefers straight talking to silly games, thank god.

Cloudhopper Fri 02-Mar-07 16:19:13

I couldn't help finding this grossly over-anticipated. The funniest and most interesting bit of the thread was before Cathy came on line.

I was disappointed that I had missed it until I read the transcript.

It did nothing to make me think I would buy the book either.

Pruni Fri 02-Mar-07 16:15:31

Message withdrawn

lulumama Fri 02-Mar-07 16:15:25

i won a copy, so will be reading with interest to see if it is as bad as is feared....

mind you, i;ve had my children , so probably too late for me now !

Cappuccino Fri 02-Mar-07 16:13:03

to be fair she was probably expecting some naive young things from the ante natal boards

but she got cod and morningpaper

she had no chance

Pruni Fri 02-Mar-07 16:10:34

Message withdrawn

zippitippitoes Fri 02-Mar-07 15:58:22

pruni a brief account of the reasons why it is embarrassing as I can't bring myself to look..I just suspected it was embarrassing on the night

so embarrassing as in cringeworthy or embarrassing as in too much sex

satine Fri 02-Mar-07 15:55:16

Nadine Baggott and iCod made me laugh till I cried on this thread. Gawd bless ya, girls.
Far more sanity saving than the 'advice' (sorry, she lost me at the BJ).

Pruni Fri 02-Mar-07 15:37:52

Message withdrawn

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 23:49:08

I'm glad I was in for a bit of it.

hey ho

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 22:55:42


malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:11:11


CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 22:10:15

I'm signing off now. Thanks for having me. If you're interested in reading an excerpt of the book, you can find two at



Thanks, night

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 22:09:00

A friend today mentioned a book called One, Two, Three Magic or something like that. She said that it has really helped her with disciplining the kids. I haven't read it myself. Also, I liked that Siblings Without Rivalry Book.

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 22:09:00


NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 22:08:47

"If not, an evening out would be a good start."

but she said she was knackered when they went to bed

do people pay for this advice?

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Feb-07 22:08:39

Hi all

Well officially Cathy's time is up. Thanks to everyone for contributing and to Cathy for all the top advice. Hopefully Cathy will manage to answer the last couple of questions before disappearing - but if not I'm sure there are plenty of mumsnetters ready with some words of wisdom.

We'll try and get a transcript up in the next couple of days.

Night Night and thanks again to everyone


malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:08:22

Elaine Maslish and Adele Faber i think

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 22:07:32

I'm a bit reluctant to answer any parenting related questions because to be perfectly honest I'm still figuring all of that out myself! But I can say that in terms of how it impacts your marriage, disagreeing on how to discipline the kids is very undermining for the couple. I think it would help to start by listening to your husband, let him see that you are trying to understand why he thinks the way he does, he'll be more receptive to what you have to say if he feels that you are really trying to understand where he's coming from. Could you try to do things his way for a month to see if things are acually better with the kids. Assuming, that is that you are not all out opposed to how he wants to discipline. Could the two of you come up with a compromise style that incorporates some of his ideas and yours? Remember that at the end of the day you both want the same thing - to raise happy, healthy kids. Good luck!

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 22:06:37

malaleche - who is the author - can you remember, please?

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:06:15

or 'Siblings without rivalry' by the same authors

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:05:18

Mummypenguin - without taking away from anything Cathy may say - buy this book: 'How to talk so your kids listen and listen so your kids will talk'

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:03:17

Talk about Whiplash - after i gave birth the first time i felt like i'd been yanked back to prehistoric times, nothing like having a baby to put you firmly in your biological place...but still no excuse for DP not pulling his weight in this day and age

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 22:02:37


You asked how to get as much attention from your OH as he gives your girls. You need to get him away from the kids. Put a little distance between the two of you and them. While it's lovely that he's revelling in fatherhood, he does need to revel in husband-hood occasionally. If you can swing it, get away for an overnight stay. If not, an evening out would be a good start. Also, it probably wouldn't hurt to give him the same adoring look that your daughters are probably giving him!

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 22:02:03

nowt wrong with the 50's

"So they weren't as disappointed"

could be they were a good deal happier too.

No chasing up school league tables
Not having a whole class round for a 5th birthday party
No deciding what the frig was going in a party bag
Not having to manouevre a 4x4 into a teeny parking spot on the school run
Not having to resort to ready meals
Not having to look like the latest catwalk beanpole
blah, blah, blah

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Feb-07 22:01:09

And a couple more from below, Cathy:
One from Maggi:

How do you deal with very different views on discipline? I had agreed with husbands authoritarian and smaking approach but since becoming a childminder I have had to become fully devoted to the 'correct' method of positive discipline. This leads to many arguements between us of the nature of "I'm not being told how to bring up my kids by someone who wrote a book" which is my husbands view. How do I get him on my side all the time and not just when mindees are in the house?

And one from MummyPenguin:
How do I get my kids to toe the line? They are 11, 8 and 7. A girl and two boys. They are causing a lot of grief at home at the moment with their fighting (the boys, mainly) squabbling, laziness, not listening to us, having to be asked a hundred times to do the simplest thing. My Daughter (the eldest) won't keep her room tidy, and that is a source of constant friction.

It has got to the stage where my Husband and I feel like we are 'a family in crisis'. He in particular, is quite depressed about the way things are right now.

How do we communicate with them, without shouting, to make them see that we are fed up with their behaviour and the way things are, and we want it to change for the better? We all need to work together on this, but how do we make the kids realise that? What changes should we make? The youngest is very immature for 7, so is quite difficult to 'get through to.'

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 22:00:14

My mum was disappointed, she expected my dad to pul his weight financially if nothing else.

TheArmadillo Mon 26-Feb-07 21:59:31

You say your book is divided by giving the male and female perspective.

Why did you decide to do it that way?

Do you not feel that would discrimate against same-sex couples?

Does it not discrimate against those relationships where the father is the main carer or takes on the traditionally female roles?

Why did you put marriage in the title? What about those of us who are not married? For a start that would put me off the book?

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:57:39

How did our mothers and grandmothers manage?

I think one of the reasons it seemed so much easier for them is that they didn't have the expectations that we all have ... career, house, material things, a real domestic and parenting partner. So they weren't as disappointed! Also, many of them started having babies in their 20s a lot of us wait until our 30s after at least a decade of doing our own thing and it's hard to embrace the self-lessness of parenthood. Also, if you end up staying at home after working for a decade you can experience Whiplash - the sensation that you've been yanked back to the 50s. I don't think our mums had that.

PeachyClair Mon 26-Feb-07 21:57:14

Ctrahy- thanks! That amde an awful lot of sense you know- I will pnt Dh towards this!

jeangenie Mon 26-Feb-07 21:57:05

Nadine, I thought that about the ring too. Or, God Forbid, you don't have one (obviously didn't give enough BJs earlier in the relationship methinks)

JARM Mon 26-Feb-07 21:56:51

Of course they do, by which time I am shattered and want to do NOTHING!

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:55:41

JARM, don't they ever go to bed?

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:55:18

sometimes you just have to get through it, anyway you can....nowadays, we expect so much more!! and rightly so i think ! having a baby is such a life changing experience for all concerned. But it is sometimes irksome to have to ask for help. especially from a DP / DH !

on that note, thank you very much Cathy....will catch up on the rest tomorrow

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:54:58

well lulumama, like everything in life that's true for some and not for others. My mother got no help. Hell they managed when there was a war on!

JARM Mon 26-Feb-07 21:54:49

Ok, a question....

How can I get the same attention from my DH as he gives the girls?

The girls rule him 110% and I actually feel jealous of the attention they get over me.

Wise owrds appreciated.

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:54:34

Hespera - i live many many miles from my family and inlaws and it is very hard, you need to find some friends without kids who'll take them out or babysit sometimes

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:54:29

Reply for Peachy Clair,

My heart goes out to you. You have a hell of a lot on your plate. Here's a few thoughts in no particular order:

At least one night a week go to bed the same time as your kids. When you're not getting enough sleep your threshold for dealing with the smallest problems gets really low, so try to get as much kip as you can.

Try to take a team approach with your partner. As in all this work/crap is the enemy; not you. I know that is really, really hard but honestly the pile of work you have to get through is the enemy.

If you can, sit down with him and make a list of everything that needs to get done on a daily, weekly. monthly basis from the small stuff like paying bills to the big things like picking out schools or whatever. Then Divide and Conquer. Assign different responsibilities to each other.

Give each other Time Off. You both need some down time. One morning at the w'end he takes kid duty so that you can just lie in bed or read a book or whatever, the following morning you do the same for him.

Be nice to each other. Just start with "how are you love?" take 10 minutes to just talk about nothing at the end of the day before dealing with the "administration of the empire" ... leaky roof, bills etc.

Ask for help and accept it. Friends, relatives. people are usually flattered to be asked and like to have an opportunity to show how much they care.

PeachyClair Mon 26-Feb-07 21:54:15

nobody helped my Gran either- and she was disabled with sixteen and an alkie for a H. Thank goodness time have moved on somewhat

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:52:57

lulumama, no-one pitched in to help my mum with 4 kids useless husband who left when we were wee and she had her own business but no time to run it, am amazed she didnt go crazy

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 21:50:57

I didn't really think it would be, Cathy. Thanks.

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:49:26

I think the problem is getting DP to read this kind of book actually

Hespera Mon 26-Feb-07 21:49:06

Yes lulumama - and also you were more likely to live near your family I guess. I don't and this is another worry.

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:48:40

Lionheart - no, the books focus is not addressing shortcomings in men. in fact men get a fair shake and a loud shout. Even though we didn't alawys like what they had to say when we heard a lot of them saying the same thing, we included it. We didn't want this book to be a girls bitch session, because that's not really going to help anyone.

WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:48:14

lol capp at love tokens.

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:47:10

there is less help now from exteneded family, NadineBaggott, women are having babies later, their own parents my still be working, maternity leave is short for many, due to financial constraints..where as a generation or two back, everyone pitched in a lot more

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Feb-07 21:47:08

Hi Cathy
Wasn't sure if you saw PeachyClair's question from earlier?

My Dh works nights,a nd I am at uni much of the day. With three kids, two of whom ar disabled and don't sleep much, this often leads to argues that are clearly rooted in tiredness and also the belief that the other doesn't quite contribute enough ( I gett jhisa lot from DH- I amke the effosrt to do any claening etc when he isn't there to maximise our time, then because he doesn't see me scrubbing, although the loo is clean, he assunes that his washing up and putting clothess away is all that gets done)

This frequently causes rows and is slowly driving me nuts, TBh- I love heim dearly but I'm not entirely sure he values what I contribute any more. Any tips?


NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:47:00

what if you have a crappy engagement ring?

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:46:22

OK in-laws ...

One of my favorite sections in that chapter is called Clash of the Grannies. It covers how some grandparents often see the other set as the "opposition" and they start competing for the Title (who gets to be called Granny, or whatever); floor space (who's given more gifts) and wall space (who has the most photos of themselves w/ grandkids on the wall). The two of you can get caught in the middle in a sort of Tug of War.

That's just one aspect. There's lots more.

hunkerdave Mon 26-Feb-07 21:46:02

WTF sort of help do you need with one child that would necessitate taking out a second mortgage?

Triplets, maybe. But ONE?

gothicmama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:45:55

I don't think that solution would work for everyone, somethings represent different things to other people adn it also assumes the ring is worth money to sell - not everyone's are

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:44:07

Capp - I'm taking the writer's liberty of using exagerration to make the point that help is vital. OK - don't take out a second mortgage but seriously think about selling the ring. I am not joking. I would have and still might in the event of a third if needs be.

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:43:58

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NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:43:44

God how did our mothers and grandmothers manage

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:42:40

Hespera - that's the thing, he's not going to do it just right. he's not you. So you have a choice you hold him to your standards and point out when things aren't done the way you want and the odds are he'll make a big production whenever he does do something or moan at you that you're never happy no matter what he does. My advice is (and I have to remind myself of this all the time) lower your standards. As long as the kids actual safety is not in jeopardy let him parent the way he wants to. Remember motherhood is a trial-by-fire, learn as you go eperience for us. It is for the men too!

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:41:55

take out a second mortgage?

sell your engagement ring?

how is going into crippling debt and selling off your love tokens going to help your marriage?

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:41:38

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FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:41:23

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gothicmama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:41:10

hespera accept everyone does things differently or take inturns so you clean to you rstandards a couple of times a week

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:53

But the book isn't primarily concerned with addressing shortcomings in men, is it?

I appreciated the tips, cod.

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:47

yes VVV would like to hear answer to that

or what to say to fil when he turns up 2 days after the birth and says 'God Cappy, your stomach is huge, you look like you're going to have another' and is not joking

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:39

vvvq - I'd knit a trampoline

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:28

34m of knicker elastic?????????

Marscentio Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:18

I regularly leave mine for a week at a time. In fact I'm off to the sun without them again in April.

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:40:14

WWW - one of the things we say in the BabyBoom chapter that deals with the early months is GET HELP. Take out a second mortgage if you have to, sell your engagement ring. Just get help. Fight your instinct to do it all yourself. Also, we stress how important it is to let other women into your life. We should all let each other see that our lives are chaotic. No running around cleaning up before play dates ... presenting show palace perfection to our friends. Be real with each other. Cry on each others shoulders. Let our friends be friends.

When we're mums we need other women. no matter how fab your OH is he can't empathize with you the way another mum can. Don't get mad at your OH because he doesn't have a Mummy Chip, connect with other mums.

Ok so, inlaws are always in our whinge threads - tell us more about that bit

Hespera Mon 26-Feb-07 21:39:43

Thanks for your earlier tip cathy
What about when he doesn't do things right? I get annoyed with dh on matters of housework so what's it gonna be like with a baby when he's only around in the eves/weekends and I'm the one at home all day(in the beginning anyway)?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:39:19

Ah, now In-laws....this could take in interesting turn...

Now, I hope another MNer doesnt mind my asking on her behalf, but, what would you/your book suggest you do if your MIL buys you 34m of knicker elastic as a Christmas gift?

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:39:05

agree with cod

take the other weekend for example

I deffo didn't feel oppressed as I did the ironing in front of the telly

and dh spent the weekend on a frosty roof pulling slates up

<god does that mean I am not a feminist?>

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:38:28

Training weekend? oh my good god.

Oh yes, leave them alone with the kids for a weekend and they're full of admiration

for about a week (if you're lucky) and then settle back into lazy arsed husbandom

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:38:28

tell me more about scorekeeping

gothicmama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:38:24

marthamoo sounds good to me but reality is definitly different. Icod I'm liking your suggestion,

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:37:53

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Plibble Mon 26-Feb-07 21:37:05

I agree - it is an exchange of skills. It's when you start keeping score that the resentment surfaces. So maybe it is best to find the things you like doing and then divvy up (or outsource!) the rest. Getting a cleaner - the best thing I ever did - no more arguments about the flipping hoovering.

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:36:41

So what else is in the book ...
Chapters on:

BabyBoom: dealing with the initial shock of becoming parents.
Sex ( and again BJ is one of 30 odd solutions in there)
Ramping Up and Giving In (dealing with more kids)
Scorekeeping - the post-baby battle of the sexes. How the "who should be doing what" debate is played out at home
Balancing Priorities: can we have it all?

Every chapter is divided into the male and female perspective ... how she feels and how he feels ... laying out the reasons for the disconnect. Understanding why our husbands were acting the way they were was v. important to us. Then each chapter has Solutions for both, solutions for him, solutions for her. It's sort of a pick and mix. Some of the solutions will resonate with you ... others might make you want to fling the book accross the room. But we've tried all of them.

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:36:22

"my tips ( i am sure you are on the egde of your seats)

is to go out iwht your dh occasinally and get hammered:

solves all your pobrlems
*you get beer gogoles onand find him HUGELY attractive
*you find yourslef hilarious

*you leave the house

*and your hangover the next day stops you doing it too often. "

a cod classic - quote of the week

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 21:36:10

'tis nothing like the Piers Morgan session.

Not one of you has gotten dressed up, to type.

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 21:36:04

Well, gothicmama - you help him out a bit, do the washing up, bath the kids etc and then he performs cunnilingus to say thank you.

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:35:55

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WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:35:52

Cathy, is there anything about the support available to new first time parents and where to get it? Importance of social contact etc? Mumsnet/baby groups etc?

<Moo, fk me, better sort that! I did go back second time when dd was 4mos old and it was great! Dh was a sahd though>

NotanOtter Mon 26-Feb-07 21:35:23

my dp liked your tips cod - work for us!

gothicmama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:34:48

what happens if dad stays at home how do you baby proof the marriage then

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:33:58

I agree lulumama, it is an exchange of skills - DP is good at cooking so he cooks (and shops and hoovers) I'm good at making money so i do (a larger porportion of) that...sometimes i wish i was a kept woman tho (ducks to avoid barrage of post-femenism

hunkerdave Mon 26-Feb-07 21:33:24

I wasn't twisting my knickers.

I just find the idea of giving sexual favours to my husband for "being a good boy" pretty yuck, really.

WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:33:02

OK Cathy, fair enuff.

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 21:32:37

WWW...you sounded scarily like Xenia then.

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:32:36

hmm..not sure that would work ! i don't like to be treated like staff !

anyhoo...this book at 200 + pages is obviously about more than blowjobs..so let's hear a bit more.......!

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:32:31

Monkey Trousers - have you ever given your husband a Training Weekend? Left him alone with the kids for 48 hours. Does he understand what you have to do all day? Has he ever done it? Being left to man the kid ropes for at least a day and a night works well with a lot of men who are clueless about how much their SAHM wives do.

gothicmama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:32:10

cathy what else is in the book,

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:31:49

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WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:31:29

lol hunker, good question MT.

I'd like top ten tips too.

Mine would be go back to work asap, pay for as much help as you can get, marry someone who believes in equality and actually delivers on it.

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:31:19

people shouldn't expect their dh's to help

they should just tell them what to damn do

like staff

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:30:54

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FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:30:18

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CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:30:10

WickedWaterWitch - will call you WWW here on in for short ... that sentiment that men need to be partners not helpers is a key theme in the book. It's a big part of the scorekeeping chapter. It drove me mad when my husband expected a round of applause for emptying the dishwasher/bathing the kids. What he viewed as a "gold star" level activity, I saw as doing his fair share.

As a working mum what upset me was that I seemed to be the alpha parent. If we ran out of milk at dinner, who's fault was it? Mine.

One of the ways I worked on this with Mike was drawing up a list of everything I had to do .. all the responsibilities involving the kids. He didn't get it until he actually saw how much was involved. then I told him specifically what I needed him to do. the other thing, and this was harder, was that I had to lower my standards. I had to say "good enough is good enough." He'd do the shopping and buy the wrong milk, or put awful clothes on the kids. But if I want him to be a co-parent I have to get out of the way and stop treating him like an assistant mom.

Sorry WWW - more than you probably wanted!!

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:30:00

agree with cappuccino that things get harder with toddlers -that night time sleep deprevation is nothing compared to 12 hours non stop what? why? when? who? me me me that you get from 3 year olds

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 21:29:42

It's not anti-feminism. She just said she didn't advocate it instead of a full sex life, just an emeregncy contingency.

Stop getting your knickers in a twist!

NadineBaggott Mon 26-Feb-07 21:29:02

if only RL were like a book

Cathy, can I interest you in some pentapeptides?

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 21:27:41

My question is, and it's relative to the universal thing, is how can you get your partner to see that many of the problems you have as a couple re money, are fundamentally because of the low status society give to SAHM's? How do you stop your partner resenting you for staying home, working for free to support your infant, while he carries on generally doing what he would've been doing anyway, but having less disposable income for him?

In short, how do you stop the ‘cultural’ becoming the ‘personal’??

hunkerdave Mon 26-Feb-07 21:27:33

It doesn't sound like fun though - it sounds like anti-feminism.

Shit, is that the time? I have to primp myself in preparation for DH's oral pleasure - he bathed the children this evening, so it's only fair! <trills>

spudmasher Mon 26-Feb-07 21:27:32

It makes me mad when we talk of our partners 'helping' us.

The running if the home is as much their responsibility as it is ours!!!

Surely a partnership that works is one where the partners both take responsibility for the day to day smooth running of the household.

'I've done the washing up FOR YOU' for example.

SO WHAT you bloody should do it for the FAMILY not just for ME.

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 21:27:29

So what else is in the book? Leaving aside the BJs and sex stuff - how else do you babyproof your marriage?

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:27:27

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VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:54

So, top ten tips from your book Cathy?

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:38

Ok Cathy, but WHERE is the enlightening bit, that makes one wish t obuy the book and apply the princilpes??

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:19

what about as your kids get older?

cos you say that it gets easier

and it doesn't

it is somehow more draining dealing with little people with their verbally expressed needs than it is dealing with a bawling tiny thing that you can just bang on your boob till it falls asleep

when they're a baby you're the only two people in the house that can talk, and at least you can continue a conversation without being interrupted to be asked something about science/ poo/ Charlotte's Web

and they stay up later

is there any advice for this stage?

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:19

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NotanOtter Mon 26-Feb-07 21:26:13

i agree cod

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:25:45

you are right WWW....but it is how it is for a lot of women and a lot of relationships..

everything is an exchange of something for something else, surely, give and take,

hunkerdave Mon 26-Feb-07 21:25:36

(I read that as "trying to turn the cock back" )

Plibble Mon 26-Feb-07 21:25:26

Also - "gobbling his Chesney"?!! LOLOLOLO!!!

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:25:26

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marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 21:25:11

Mmmm, I'm not sure I like the idea either. The whole 'trade off' aspect of it - if men 'help' (grrrr) around the house a bit more then we'll be more inclined to put out. Smacks a bit of "I'll take you out for a slap up meal lovely lady and then you will be obliged to have sex with me" - and that surely went out in the 70s.

My experience is: life with a new baby is shit, you will hate your dh/dp and your life...you will feel like you never want to have sex again (it was about 9 months for us - mind you, I did have severe PND) but...gradually...things will get better and then...KABOOM...you think it would be a good idea to have another baby and the whole damn thing starts over agin

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:46

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VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:39

Do you think your book sits well with feminism?

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:37

Honestly, I don't want the bj to hijack the whole discussion. If you don't like it .. don't do it. Some of my best friends lobbied to get that page taken out so I understand where you're coming from. But seriously, it's not meant to be taken so seriously. The book includes a cost/benefit analysis of the bj. We're having some fun, not trying to turn the clock back.

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:15

It still makes a sexual relationship sound like an economic exchange: he bathes the children, cooks the dinner and then she'll offer the sex.

I wonder why there weren't any books that addressed these issues when you were looking for advice, Cathy.

Plibble Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:15

I agree that sex is an important part of a relationship and can be even more so if for some reason there isn't much.
But I really hate the presumption that it is always the woman who is not up for it and can think of a number of my female friends who complain of their partners' lower sex drives.
If you can't rely on a blow job to fix things, what then? Are you screwed (pardon the pun)...

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:09

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WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:24:08

We need men to accept that 50% of the responsibility for the boring crap that goes with having children is theirs. It's not 'helping' if they bath their OWN children, the same as it's not babysitting if they look after them.

Without that as a basic premise no wonder many women hate their marriages post babies.

hunkerdave Mon 26-Feb-07 21:23:53

I think if you scorekeep within your marriage, you probably have deeper issues than "am I not gobbling his chesney often enough", frankly.

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:23:16

And do you assume that things were great before the kids came along? What about people like DP and me who'd been together 15 years before 1st kid and didn't have a particularly great relationship, any tips for rejuvenating a very old relationship?

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:56


don't flounce becasue of me, I'm too delicate these days and couldn't stand the guilt

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:47

Cathy! Type quicker!

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:42

the whole housework / sex thing....

if DH actually helps, it makes you feel more like a partnership., a couple, rather than seperate entities, who are 'mum' and 'dad'

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:32

Best piece of advice ...

Not sure this is advice but it meant a lot to me when I realized that I was not alone. That the things I was annoyed about we're universal, that every man and woman we spoke with seemed to be going through the same thing, that in some respects we're all hanging on by a thread. That was hugely comforting - realizing that I was normal.

Also, realizing from speaking with couples who were 10/20 years ahead of us at this parenting thing that it really does get easier and that these early parenting years can actually be the most challenging years for a marriage. Their advice was to just hang in there becuase it gets better and it is worth every minute.

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:20

there must be other points other than the blow job one

what are the other points?

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:22:12

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WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:21:45

Are we back in the 50's? Have I slipped through a gap in the fabric of time?

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 21:21:35

Oh shurrup Cod!

Monkeytrousers Mon 26-Feb-07 21:21:18

Is this on now? I'm just about to go out dwg it!

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:21:01

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Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 21:20:23

has this thing kicked off yet?

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 21:20:14

agree with VVVQV. As a male, if I'd have though a BJ was about a 'quick fix', or being bought jewellery....it would cheapen me and whateverthe sex in a rel. meant.

it makes vast assumptions the size of an ocean about men and their 'sex needs'..pandering to a stereo -type.

A question - are we aiming necessarily for things to be 'the way they used to be'? Is that useful? Realistic? I think dh and I now have a very different LIFESTYLE (ito going out for eg) but a stonger marriage.... Agree with the idea that at some point there is a need to reclaim your relationship as adults (not sure I'd say 6 mths, but hey

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:19:51

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CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:19:01

Lulumama is right. When men pitch in more, we're more likely to put out. Of course, men can do a hell of a lot to make their wives more receptive to having sex ... like giving the kids baths etc. so that she can put her feet up for a while. If men want to get their wives in the mood they should start the process at least an hour before so that she gets so time alone and can get out of mommy mode.

malaleche Mon 26-Feb-07 21:17:09

Hi Cathy, what is the 'best' piece of advice in your book, would you say?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:16:56

Thanks Cathy.

Ditto what another poster said, surely a "quick fix" is not something a man in what youi are trying to make a good marriage wants? Surely it misses the point entirely?

YOU will never change your OH you either work you own ways of getting the best out of him and put up with the rest OR you leave

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:16:15

Hi Hespera,

Kids will change everything, but they can change everything for the better. As long as you and your partner make your relationship a prioirty you'll be OK. But honestly for the first 3 - 6 months don't beat yourself up if the things just aren't the way they used to be. Chalk it all up to sleep deprivation and hormones. It will be a crazy (and wonderful) time and there's nothing you can do about it. Once you get passed the 6 month period try to spend time as a couple. Or at least relate to each other as a couple and not just as so and so's mum and dad it's easy to fall into that. The thing is at the end of the day one of the best things you can do for your kid is to give them a happy mum and dad, to give them the security of growing up in the middle of a loving relationship. So even if at times it seems impossible to leave a toddler who is clinging to your leg so that you can have a night out with your other half, do it. Because in a way you're doing it for that toddler!

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:15:43

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FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:15:07

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Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 21:15:05

Totally. And where is Cathy?

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:14:05

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Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 21:12:38

it's you icod.

so what do you say about scoring then? I can here DH'd whine of 'stop scoriiiinngg' My reply is always that I have no need to score as he will never beat me

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:12:23

how do I get my olde worlde man put food on table - woman look after kids/house/work part time as well, to change his wicked ways?

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:12:18

x post ...thanks for the answer...still think it has slightly negative connotations,,but it is a relevant point and not one that is often addressed i suppose....

FluffyMummy123 Mon 26-Feb-07 21:11:41

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happybiggirl Mon 26-Feb-07 21:11:21

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lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:10:49

what about DH being encouraged to help you feel good about your post baby naked body , rather than you having to service him as it only takes 5 and then you can get on with mumsy stuff!

men would possibly get lots more sex if they lent more of a hand with the day to day nitty gritty !!

Yes that normally works with DH. I'd have had to do something terribly wrong for it not to make everything right in his world

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:10:32

The title babyproof is rooted in the idea that we spend so much time talking about how to "babyproof" i.e. prepare other parts of our lives for the baby from the baby's room, to the house, to our careers but we don't think about having a baby will impact our marriages.

The three of us who wrote this book are married to great guys but we were surprised at how pissed off we were with them after we became parents. In some respects we felt like a hand grenade had been through into our marriage when the baby arrived. And of course, it wasn't the baby's fault. Kids are fabulous. The problem was the way that we responded to parenthood ... the scorekeeping, the bickering, issues with in-laws, not enough action in the bedroom that sort of thing. It took us by surprise and we couldn't find a book to help us so we wrote one.

WideWebWitch Mon 26-Feb-07 21:08:19

Gosh, I'm a bit shocked at this 'bj to get you off the hook' idea.

My dh just bloody well had to wait until I felt like it.

happybiggirl Mon 26-Feb-07 21:06:09

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CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 21:05:48

Good evening all!

Great to be here. So, let's get right down to it ... The Five Minute Fix ... that seems to get a reaction out of
everyone. Honestly, we didn't expect it to hijack the whole discussion, it's 2 pages in a 260 page book. The thing is, it was written with tongue firmly in cheek
(sorry about that ... it's an unfortunate visual given the topic under discussion but I can't think of anything else). We're not telling women to give their OH b-jobs on demand or that their sexual needs aren't as important as their mens, because of course they are. We included the Five Minute Fix idea because a friend of ours mentioned it over dinner one night and it made us laugh and think, so we thought - what the
hell- let's put it in the book. We'd been talking about the supply/demand problem we were having in our marriages since
becoming mums, i.e. our supply of sex couldn't meet our husbands
demands. I know, I know in an ideal world you'd both want sex at
the same time (with each other) and it would be preceded by loads of
foreplay and afterwards you'd cuddle on a cloud or something. But
in the real world of nappies, and sleep deprivation and not feeling
thrilled about your naked self a lot of the time he's in the mood
and you're not (and I know for some, it's vice versa) so what do you do?
Our friend suggested that sometimes you try to redress the balance
with a bj. Because hey, it only takes about 5 minutes and he'll be
thrilled and you can go back to reading your book or whatever.
What's wrong with that? Obviously, we're not suggesting that you
reduce your sex life to a weekly bj, or that if you don't like
giving them you force yourself to do the act. If you really don't
like it, then of course, don't do it.

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 21:05:46

Yep, maybe a better warm up question would be about the title of the book and this idea of 'baby proofing'.


Hespera Mon 26-Feb-07 21:05:36

Hi Cathy
I've been married for nearly 5 years and we're really happy. I think we'd like to start our family in the next year or so and I'm worried about the effect that a baby will have on our relationship. We've been together for 8 year and have been able to do what we want, when we want. I am worried about not being able to do this anymore.
My friends with kids always seem to bicker and never go out.
What's your advice?
Thanks in advice.

zephyrcat Mon 26-Feb-07 21:04:52

So how on Earth do we make time to get up to anything in the bedroom with all these children?? The other morning we hid under the covers and when we stopped, dd was out of the cot and on the bed! [shame]

madmarchhare Mon 26-Feb-07 21:04:06

Ive seen that happen though lulmama

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:03:38

baby proof makes it sound like you are guarding against the inevitable disaster...

NotanOtter Mon 26-Feb-07 21:01:07

what if semen smell makes you gag?

lulumama Mon 26-Feb-07 21:01:07

and why babyproof? like a bomb that is going to go off and blow your marriage and relationship sky high?

madmarchhare Mon 26-Feb-07 21:00:49

Pah, you bet me to it.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:00:47

Apologies, I know that its straight to the point for a first question.....

wads Mon 26-Feb-07 21:00:32

well if the 5 minute fix is a blowjob, & I always go to bed before my DH as he never gets up in the morning with the 3 kids, when does Ms O'Neil suggest I give the blowjob? After the 1am or 4am breastfeed??

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 21:00:15

Explain this blowjob theory then, please?

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 26-Feb-07 20:59:58

Hi Cathy

Welcome to Mumsnet. There are plenty of questions here already and certainly more to come, so we'll hand over to you.


NotanOtter Mon 26-Feb-07 20:58:18

what fun

CathyONeill Mon 26-Feb-07 20:57:12

this is a test message

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 20:30:43


a weekly 69? How do you go about doing that though? I mean not how, but, do you book in a weekly slot, same time, same place? Is it quick chuck clothes off, do your 5 minutes and stop - irrespective of where you are at?

Same goes for a blow job. Do you stop after five minutes, whether he's finished or not?

Pruni Mon 26-Feb-07 20:22:14

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morningpaper Mon 26-Feb-07 20:15:24

I think that's the normal practice for most of us Scootergirl

Except without the money exchanging hands

Now I am off to bed, I hope you have a nice chat. I'm soooo tired and I've got a saucy book on the go (and a teething baby writhing in agony next to me ). xx

Scootergirl Mon 26-Feb-07 20:12:54

Do you think you can give them a tenner and send them off to sort out their own blow job, while you have a kip, and that would still work?

morningpaper Mon 26-Feb-07 20:11:19

Wow did she pay someone to cover her maternity leave?

northerner Mon 26-Feb-07 20:01:29

My dh works with a guy who gets woken with a BJ every morning by his wife She took a week off after birth of each child, then normal duties had to resume.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:54:55

That's exactly it, Cap. Little covers for hiding plug holes etc

Am at work Pann, dont forget.

Cappuccino Mon 26-Feb-07 19:52:50

babyproofing your marriage?

I didn't know you could get things to do that

Are they like the little corners on the edges of tables or more like the catches on cupboard doors?

are they washable at 60 degrees?

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 19:52:27


VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:47:15

Pann!!!! Email me!

Pann Mon 26-Feb-07 19:43:31

is this a morph with the 10/10 thread? I0 mins of blowing jobs, 10 mins of vacuuming? I see......maybe this is what La O Neil means.

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 19:37:28

Bloody hell, that's a good idea, VVVQV

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:36:30

Hmmm, marthamoo - could this be another scenario where you could kill to birds with one hoover attachment?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:35:54

what if DH gets a weekly blow job and your marriage is still shite?

morningpaper Mon 26-Feb-07 19:35:21

well marthamoo that's a bit harsh

it can't be any worse than changing nappies, or shopping at Lidl

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 19:33:02

I didn't say he was going to get a weekly blow job though...

Atm I am not inclined to hoovering or fellatio.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:32:37

Oh i mustve missed that bit .......

PanicPants Mon 26-Feb-07 19:31:03

Lol mp, soooooo true.

morningpaper Mon 26-Feb-07 19:24:30

Well there you go then

Just hoover for five minutes less and perform fellatio for five minutes

I mean you can see the logic of that

But the general argument is too phallocentric for me. Reminds me of that bit in Miriam Stoppard's pregnancy book, where she writes that "many couples abstaining from intercourse find that fellatio is a very satisfying alternative." (or something) COUPLES? What COUPLES find this "very satisfying"? HOMOSEXUAL couples?

marthamoo Mon 26-Feb-07 19:20:49

Sad to say, I think dh would be extremely content with a weekly blowjob...

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 19:17:59

Yep, the ten minute fix could be two blow jobs, couldn't it? One before breakfast, the other after supper. Bob's your uncle.

If we can find someone who has read the book we would be on firmer ground, though, wouldn't we?

And then you could ask your question MP.

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:14:02

oh you'll be up and about im sure MP

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 19:13:29

LH - are you thinking that "Give your DH a blowjob" will be a stock answer then?

morningpaper Mon 26-Feb-07 19:13:17

I went into the Library today to look for the book but I couldn't find it, and was too embarassed to ask for it because I had two children and I would have looked like I was a mad woman banging on the desk sobbing PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY MARRIAGE!!!!

SOooo I can't ask an intelligent question about the book because I haven't read it. But I would really like to know that if there is a "five minute fix" recommend which is REALLY a blowjob, then can I ask why a blow job was recommended, rather than cunnilingus, which I'm sure would be MUCH more rewarding for us busy mummies?

I'm in my pyjamas already so I'll probably be asleep by 9pm though...

lionheart Mon 26-Feb-07 18:43:13

Does she really recommend a blow job? If she does, seriously, I can't wait for this 'chat'.

PeachyClair Mon 26-Feb-07 18:18:52

Ok then

My Dh works nights,a nd I am at uni much of the day. With three kids, two of whom ar disabled and don't sleep much, this often leads to argues that are clearly rooted in tiredness and also the belief that the other doesn't quite contribute enough ( I gett jhisa lot from DH- I amke the effosrt to do any claening etc when he isn't there to maximise our time, then because he doesn't see me scrubbing, although the loo is clean, he assunes that his washing up and putting clothess away is all that gets done)

This frequently causes rows and is slowly driving me nuts, TBh- I love heim dearly but I'm not entirely sure he values what I contribute any more. Any tips?

VeniVidiVickiQV Mon 26-Feb-07 18:09:37

JARM, you sound like my mother

I hope she can answer this for you, I might pass the advice on for my DM....

JARM Mon 26-Feb-07 18:06:24

Ok, a question....

How can I get the same attention from my DH as he gives the girls?

The girls rule him 110% and I actually feel jealous of the attention they get over me.

Wise owrds appreciated.

PinkTulips Mon 26-Feb-07 12:50:23

heard this woman on gerry ryan and was in a spitting rage. she spent ages waffling on about how men feel excluded because the woman pays too much attention to the baby.... boo hoo hoo for the poor man

dp was irate as well as in his words 'of course the baby gets more attention, it's a baby ffs. who are these sad bastards who need to compete with a tiny baby?'

MummyPenguin Mon 26-Feb-07 12:35:57

How do I get my kids to toe the line? They are 11, 8 and 7. A girl and two boys. They are causing a lot of grief at home at the moment with their fighting (the boys, mainly) squabbling, laziness, not listening to us, having to be asked a hundred times to do the simplest thing. My Daughter (the eldest) won't keep her room tidy, and that is a source of constant friction.

It has got to the stage where my Husband and I feel like we are 'a family in crisis'. He in particular, is quite depressed about the way things are right now.

How do we communicate with them, without shouting, to make them see that we are fed up with their behaviour and the way things are, and we want it to change for the better? We all need to work together on this, but how do we make the kids realise that? What changes should we make? The youngest is very immature for 7, so is quite difficult to 'get through to.'

maggi Fri 23-Feb-07 19:43:06

How do you deal with very different views on discipline? I had agreed with husbands authoritarian and smaking approach but since becoming a childminder I have had to become fully devoted to the 'correct' method of positive discipline. This leads to many arguements between us of the nature of "I'm not being told how to bring up my kids by someone who wrote a book" which is my husbands view. How do I get him on my side all the time and not just when mindees are in the house?

Pann Thu 22-Feb-07 22:13:43

Careful MP! "MN's own Ian Hislop!"

tigermoth Thu 22-Feb-07 22:09:47

agreed so much with you mp, I posted twice, cunningly changing my words just a little.

what happened there...

tigermoth Thu 22-Feb-07 22:08:50

spot on MP

Keep thinking of married people snuggling up under a babyproof - a macintosh to keep out babies, or is that a condom?

tigermoth Thu 22-Feb-07 22:03:39

mp agree with your thoughts on this.

Keep thinking a babyproof must be sort of special macintosh to keep out babies that you wear once you are married - oh no, that's a condom.

Monkeytrousers Thu 22-Feb-07 21:09:14

BTW MP, your post of 20:39 was spot on. Far too phallocentric!

malaleche Thu 22-Feb-07 21:06:14

MP - i enjoyed the first year with dd1! Mind you, maybe nostalgia is clouding my memory...

malaleche Thu 22-Feb-07 21:04:39

Thanks oliveoil .

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 21:03:34

agree with that and add 12 months, lol

my darling angel is insisting loudly that daddy is not enough and MUMMMMMMMYYYYYYY is required


ta ta for now

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 21:01:58


Write off the first year COMPLETELY

Then maybe get a DVD and watch that together with a glass of wine

I really just write off the first year - it is a mess from start to finish

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 21:00:39

MT - can you go to relate?

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:59:44

stick with it

If I cast my mind back I was probably still crying 3 times a week when dd2 was 5 months, probably over nothing

can you get a babysitter and go out?


dd2 has just started wailing through the monitor (as per) and we haven't moved a muscle. 2 years ago we would have been arguing over whose turn it was to sort her out


Monkeytrousers Thu 22-Feb-07 20:58:07

Why you apologising MP??

Question still stands to Ms O'Neill

malaleche Thu 22-Feb-07 20:53:45

oliveoil - DD1 is 3.4 yo and DD2 is 5 mo
DP and I never talk, we only argue. DD1 constantly interrupts on the rare occassion we are only talking, so that we can't argue, iyswim.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:53:40

Sorry to hear that Monkeytrousers Didn't realise.

Monkeytrousers Thu 22-Feb-07 20:53:13

"I read a quote somewhere today (might have been from this book) that said that having a baby is like waking up and realising that you are now running a really busy nursery with someone you used to date"

except nursery staff ^get paid!!^

Monkeytrousers Thu 22-Feb-07 20:50:08

He moved out on Saturday MP. Fear it might be too late for us.

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:50:03

(having two death ray eyes is VERY IMPORTANT to preserve MY relationship)

what about oddballs that have a baby to bring them closer together?


morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:49:58

Yes VV - sometimes I look at DH and remember that he is having a really shit time too and that makes me feel better

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:48:38

<serious hat> MP - couldnt agree with you more there

Realising you are on the same side is a huge help too, I think.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:47:24

I read a quote somewhere today (might have been from this book) that said that having a baby is like waking up and realising that you are now running a really busy nursery with someone you used to date

made me laugh

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:46:31

having two computers is VERY IMPORTANT to preserve MY relationship

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:44:28

although he now wants the computer so I may need to stab him in the eye


<grasps laptop in iron-don't-mess-with-me grip>

FioFio Thu 22-Feb-07 20:42:58

we found it all fine
i dont need any advice

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:42:26

malaleche - how old is/are you child/ren?

I read on here once that someone said there should be a law that says you can't split up in the first 2 years and these are HARD YEARS

We laugh now but we hated each other!

We said we would have split up if it hadn't been for the children. But if it hadn't been for pesky non-sleeping brats we would have got on, luckily we realised this

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:41:39

The best way to babyproof your marriage is to not walk out on each other, and then you will one day wake up and think "Well that's over, now we can have a lovely time again."

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:41:03

malaleche YES YES YES remember the mantra: This Too Shall Pass. When they get Bigger, some days are actually PLEASURABLE. There are whole LONG MOMENTS OF ENJOYMENT to be had out of older children.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:39:43

Monkeytrousers: I agree with you. These sort of theories are all jolly nice for excitable husbands who want their lovin' when they've got it on their mind, but what about THE LADIES?

Which is why a Five Minute Fix which was a call to cunnilingus would have gone down much better with me.

It's too phallocentric.

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:39:01

<goes to google urologist>

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:38:55

Maybe OO's DH wears a G-string??? [boak]

malaleche Thu 22-Feb-07 20:38:41

oliveoil - so glad that light does eventually appear at the end of the tunnel - haven't been able to find anyone that will say that till now, maybe no-one wants to lie to me?

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:37:38

OO, i think your DH might need to visit a urologist....they dont look right

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:37:34

ok <serious head>

I saw a preview in The Times this week and I like your hair

Monkeytrousers Thu 22-Feb-07 20:37:23

My DP has a very low libido. He finds sex and blow jobs a chore. Some men do. What are the partners of them supposed to do? Weekly cunnilingus would make my world run more smoothly too, but for some reason he feels no compunction to provide this. What is the world coming to?? (Obviously, it isn’t coming anywhere in our house) ((and it isn’t because I’ve let myself go!))

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:37:17

oliveoil are you SURE your husband has a cleavage down there?

gosh it's been so long and it's so hard to see without glasses

I think I have forgotten

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:36:01

oh dear

I see this going the same way as Piers Morgan

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:34:25


VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:32:26

Well, if your DH got a 5 minute fix each week, his wouldnt be as burgeoning as they are.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:31:04

I think they are a bit small VVVQV

obviously your child-rearing has had a terrible emasculating effect on your husband

oliveoil Thu 22-Feb-07 20:27:55

well she has got a point

2 children in 22 months nearly killed us

blowjobs or not (mainly not)

fine now, but dd2 is 2.6yrs so light is appearing at the end of the tunnel


there, that's a short book

Chapter 1: Talk
The End

That will be £100K advance please.

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:26:42


morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:24:28

GAH think of the VIEW

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:23:32

Surely they can be efficient and do both at the same time?

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:21:53

The authors recommend a blow job as a "Five Minute Fix" for the marriage once a week

So you know, if you TWO jobs needing blowing...

Davenid Thu 22-Feb-07 20:21:29

I find regular blow jobs do make life run smoothly though

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:21:00

WTF is a "10 minute fix"?

Sounds like a crack snack.

yellowpoo Thu 22-Feb-07 20:19:15

Thought having a baby was part of my marriage, a development of our lives together. Things changed but after nine months we are as we were, plus one more, if anythig closer.

Our relationship certainly has'nt nose dived because of the arrival of DS.

Baby addition, not baby proof!

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:18:35

Or what about two dads? Do they need a Ten Minute Fix?

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:18:11

Totally misread the the word "deck" then

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:17:43

MP, just remember - "You cannot afford a lawsuit"

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:17:30

Along with How To Build A Bloody Huge Deck For Your Big Cheesy Splash Pool

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:17:12

I suppose it doesnt quite work for female same-sex civil partnerships either, MP [pernicket]

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:17:01

Don't worry I've reserved a copy at the library

VeniVidiVickiQV Thu 22-Feb-07 20:15:10


Stop angling for a free copy to read in advance

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:10:11

Hmm there is something about the book that winds me up already... I think it's the "baby proofing" - as though a marriage is something you need to prevent your child getting into, the same way that you baby-proof the sockets and the medicine cupboard...

Hmm and the use of the default marital paradigm makes me uncomfy. <shudder>

And why is this aimed at women? Why can't I find a single male reviewer of this book?

Bu the five-minute fix to your marriage being the Weekly Blow Job - I think this annoys me because it is assuming that the woman is the GIVER of sex and then man is the RECEIVER and again it's that awful message we hear so often that to be a successful woman you have to be GIVING out sex. See, if they'd made the Five Minute Fix cunnilingus I'd be nodding with approval.

But obviously I haven't actually READ the book and am quite good at pissing off authors so I might have to actually get a copy so I can make some more mature and considered comments...

Then I might have an actual question

Doublevay Thu 22-Feb-07 19:47:36

What advice would Cathy give to mums who have to combine motherhood with full or part-time work on how to cope with exhaustion, guilt and keeping their marriage safe?

jay9 Thu 22-Feb-07 19:02:14

I find it very difficult to feel sexy and attractive anymore with a saggy belly and loads of stretch marks. Plus being a Mum doesn't feel very glamorous so it's really hard to get in the mood. Any suggestions?

vavacroft Thu 22-Feb-07 16:32:44

how can I improve my libido and get back to who I was before, considering my 15 months old child has never really slept through the night and therefore I feel so exhausted.
I feel unable to relax and we have got no family to help us out with our baby...
Please help!!

itsmeNDaveP Thu 22-Feb-07 13:36:08

Really, mp ?!

I don't know this woman from Adam (or Eve) but the idea that a weekly blow job will solve any marriage problems is bizarre. TBH, if I read that on a 'self-help' book, it would immediately be put back on the shelf.

morningpaper Thu 22-Feb-07 13:33:01

This is more a comment than a question...

I've read reviews of this book and have been TOTALLY put off by the authors' key to fixing your marriage in five minutes: a weekly blow job.

Am I the only person who finds this a hugely depressing reductionist view of men?

carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 22-Feb-07 10:53:25

Cathy O Neill is co-author of Baby-proofing your marriage - How to Laugh More, Argue Less and Communicate Better as Your Family Grows and will be answering your relationship queries live here on Monday 26th Feb from 9-10pm.

We've got five copies of the book to give to the first five members to join the live discussion, but if you can't make the live chat, you can post your questions in advance below.

Thanks and hope to see you on Monday


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