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How does your DH respond to the Kids when he gets home from work?

(55 Posts)
dontputmeinanoldcot Fri 02-Aug-13 13:32:29

I am a SAHM With five month baby twins and a 30 mth DS. When my DH gets home from work, he doesn't really acknowledge the DC. It doesn't matter too much with the twins because they are still very small, but it's very disconcerting when my DS looks up with joy and my DH sails past him and flings his keys in the pot and then starts chatting to me. He only acknowledges my DS when I actively tell him to, i.e. "say hello to DS, look at him as u do it " I only prompt him because poor DS is looking at him with such expectationhmm
Once we had a blazing row because he was in a bad mood and objected to me prompting him. He said that I was in a foul mood and taking it out on him. I wasn't! I was merely asking him to notice his own son!i do think he has empathy issues. He loves the DC but only on his terms. He's very much a children should be seen and not heard type of guy. My sister has observed our relationship and thinks that he views the kids as very much secondary to me. I find this off putting...to elaborate he doesn't put me on a pedestal by any means, more as a surrogate mum at times...(!)
He is quite needy-I do nag at him to take out DS in the weekends (eg to parks, national trust etc.) but he'd rather we 'all go together' which is a nice thought but really impractical with baby twins and poor DS gets sidelined as the twins are quite demanding when out...and if i suggest taking out DS on my own for 1 to 1 time, he says the same thing - "let's all go out"...

not sure why I'm posting, just getting it off my chest, I suppose...

Ohhelpohnoitsa Fri 02-Aug-13 13:40:51

I was thinking about this issue earlier today actually. when i was in my late teens, my best friend's mum used to line up my bf and her two sisters at the door when their dad came home. Now I can see it is nice to be appre iated, but really. he. must have hated it - a bit of downtime through the door must be more welcome? My dh cime in and gives them a hug or a tease or something, then he goes to get changed and have 5 mins to himself. I would despair (like you by the sounds of it) if he ignored them. Some people just aren't children people are they. Maybe have another word with him. Their relatiinship will suffer in the long term if dcs arent made to feel secure now. good luck.

BlingLoving Fri 02-Aug-13 13:44:29

Well, I'm assuming that I can say how I respond to DS when I get home as I work full time and DH is SAHD? And I always acknowledge him first and give him a hug and a kiss. He doesn't understand that I'm tired, he just wants to know that mummy loves him.

DH encourages me to then go and get changed etc, and DS is fine with that. But in those first few minutes, DS needs to my attention.

I remember fondly how my dad would greet us with enthusiasm when he got home from work. Often it was just a few minutes because then he'd go out to his sporting event or go change and get chores done, but we never for one moment doubted that he was happy to see us at the end of the day.

Sorry, but your DH is a plonker. I totally sympathise with not wanting to engage with a small child at the end of a long day, but tough. It's not about you. The three year old does not understand your tiredness and needs to know you love him.

fubbsy Fri 02-Aug-13 13:46:21

It's just normal politeness to say hello to another person who is standing in front of you. Maybe he doesn't quite realise how much understanding a 2 year old has.

Sounds to me like you need to discuss your concerns with him. Rather than 'prompting' him as you have been, sit down and have a discussion at another time when you are both calm and the kids are not around/in bed. If he has different views to yours, but it would be good to reach some compromose about what you both want to do.

lljkk Fri 02-Aug-13 13:46:44

That is sad. sad

Bit of sexism in the question; When I (the female half) get home from work the kids all jump on me with requests and questions, so no chance of ignoring them.

Do you think you get enough time alone with your partner? I imagine not with the baby twins. Sounds like he misses you.

AaDB Fri 02-Aug-13 13:47:24

We both greet enthusiastically. I tend to hug and kiss more; DH jokes and asks questions.

fubbsy Fri 02-Aug-13 13:48:22

I meant to say If he has different views to yours, that's ok, but it would be good to reach some compromise about what you both want to do.

PeoplesRepublicOfBerkshire Fri 02-Aug-13 13:48:32

Dh comes in and gets knocked flying by two very excitable boys usually grin. He gives them both hugs, then me a kiss, then goes to get changed. The boys will often follow him upstairs and he doesn't mind at all.

He is a very hands on dad though - we're lucky.

Your dh does need to see things from your son's point of view.

Satnightdropout Fri 02-Aug-13 13:51:23

Partner instantly acknowledges both our children when he comes back from work. And when he's finished his evening job he'll go upstairs first thing to say goodnight to son (daughters still a newborn).
I, however, hate being pounced on when i get back from work. I'll acknowledge the kids but I like at least 20 mins before I start playing etc... But, it's not just the kids I'm like that with, it's partner as well!!

Potteresque97 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:56:20

I think you should talk to DH and advise exactly that he makes a fuss of DS at hello and goodbye, then goes for alone time. Gretchen rubin ( happiness project) says making a fuss of each other at the start and end of the day makes a big difference to happiness. He sounds like he just doesn't understand why it matters...

Hulababy Fri 02-Aug-13 13:56:44

DH always comes in and calls upstairs(main living room on 1st floor) a hello to me and dd. When he gets up the stairs we will normally get a hug or a kiss, and always a hello. He does then go up to the bedroom and get changed, but is back downstairs within a few minutes. Then he will be chatting to us both - when DD was smaller he would play with her, usually while I finished cooking.

I think your DH does need to spend a bit more 1:1 time with your DS though, in your circumstances. Possibly you might like to as well, whilst he has the twins.

slipperySlip000 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:09:41

OP, this is exactly how my stbxh (don't let that put you off!) was with our two girls. Actually some may disagree with this, but I tend to think that if your dh was truly emotionally available to your ds, your ds would not hesitate to run straight to your dh for hugs/tickles and a connection. The fact that your ds stands back is telling. As is the fact that your dh doesn't see the need to spend time with the kids one-to-one. My stbx would also prefer being out 'as a family'. Not because he revelled or took joy in this experience, but because he found them fundamentally hard work.

I used to hate the 'disconnect' between my stbxh and the kids. It was a huge drag for ten years. We intermittently had chats about it, me asking him to be 'proactive' (hello kids, what have you been up to today) rather than 'reactive' (please will you be quiet/put that down/tidy that up) and asking him to say goodnight to the kids, or even help with bedtimes instead of barking at them from the sofa. Ad nauseam. From his point of view, he would complain that time between 5:30 and 7:30pm was fraught and not enjoyable, yet could never see that he could act differently and enjoy it.

I know my sister found her partner initially reluctant to interact with her new baby, they had words about it. My nephew is now 2years old and has an incredibly close relationship with his son. So it can definitely be done if the fundamentals are there. I never achieved this with my stbxh. Family life was a drain on him and I couldn't live with that. After ten years I asked him to leave.

I would say that you need to fix this issue now before it becomes deeply entrenched like in my situation. Not sure how you should address is, but I think you really should. Good luck, OP.

PeppermintPasty Fri 02-Aug-13 14:12:07

Yes, this is sad for your little boy.

I am the working parent and I don't have a choice as my 3yo and 6yo run and jump at me and just about knock me over. They do the same with dp when he is working (he's currently sahp).

I would always acknowledge them, I generally go and seek out my 6yo if he's watching tv and ask about his day etc.

Have you tried stressing the importance of this in relation to yours and his relationship <badly worded>?

I had one or two issues with my dp around acknowledging stuff our ds had done or said and I kept on ramming it home that frankly, I couldn't really be happy if our ds wasn't happy.

Longdistance Fri 02-Aug-13 14:16:15

My dh gets greeted at by the door by two enthusiastic dd's 2 and 4, screaming 'daddy'.
They both get a kiss off him, and then he heads for me.
Very twee smile

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 02-Aug-13 14:20:19

Yes he should greet them, absolutely. It's common to need downtime after work - I am often spaced out when I get home and unable to do much with DS or process everything he is trying to tell me, but I always greet him enthusiastically when I pick him up from the childminder's and try and respond to his questions etc even though my brain is a fuzz.

Does he not take them out alone ever? It sounds like every time you suggest it, he insists you come along. And then I guess you end up doing most of the work...?

MrsHoarder Fri 02-Aug-13 14:20:27

When dh gets home he comes and finds us, ds will toddle or sprint-crawl to him and gets picked up for a big hug. Then he goes and puts his bike away, changes into dry clothes etc.

I am the one who usually leaves the home to work in our household and always smother the toddler in kisses when I get back. Her face is pretty much all I want to see after a day of idiotic conversations at work.

My head is usually spinning when I get through the door and my husband sometimes has to say stuff like, "The little one's trying to give you something" simply because I'm too exhausted to notice what she's doing while I'm sitting trying to figure out how to take my shoes off.

I'd be really upset if my husband behaved as yours is doing (ignoring him, avoiding time alone with him). Your poor little son.

dontputmeinanoldcot Fri 02-Aug-13 14:22:36

What prompted me to post this was that I often hear people say, I love to see my DC's smile as I walk in through the door, etc etc. which makes me feel sad...
unfortunately, we have discussed but to no avail. I've said look at it from DS's pov but it's like water off a duck's back. It's odd, he can switch the parental instinct on and off like a switch. To make excuses for him, when he's tired, he can be an absolute prick of the highest order! all reason goes out. But I'm not asking him to go all out and play, just a greeting and a smile...
He doesn't really understand the importance of this. He agrees but then on the third day or so, he'll revert. Hypocritically,if I'm preoccupied and don't acknowledge him immediately when he's chatting to me, he gets really annoyed!i'll try to talk to him again but I can tell this means nothing to him,just another of my idiosyncrasies.

Elsiequadrille Fri 02-Aug-13 14:22:41

How long does he take to address your DS without being prompted? I don't see, however tired or harassed he may be, why he couldn't manage a quick greeting, however perfunctory.

As to the weekends, I don't see why you all can't often go out together. It is more of a trouble with twins, but definitely manageable at that age. And I think, in this, your DH is right to expect.

Tommy Fri 02-Aug-13 14:23:32

mine is the same - wonders in and starts moaning about work, the journey, what i have/haven't done.
sometimes I do tell him to say hi to the DSs but he wouldn't do it otherwise. I have told him to go to the pub for half an hour before he comes home in the vain hope that he might be in a better mood when he does arrive..... hmm

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 02-Aug-13 14:24:33

I think the thing is that children don't really let you have downtime even if you desperately need it. And as much as he might need downtime, so do you - it's not fair on him to opt in to downtime on his terms. If you are happy to arrange a mutual thing where you both get a break, great. If it's just him getting a break and you don't, then that isn't right.

SirChenjin Fri 02-Aug-13 14:25:08

It's a mad dash to see which one of the DCs can get to the door first to see their dad and there are big hugs all round.

slipperySlip000 Fri 02-Aug-13 14:31:22

SirChenjin that's exactly how it should be, for children anyway.

Livvylongpants Fri 02-Aug-13 14:35:25

I get in the car from work (DD Nearly 2) will be in the back. Ill go through the usual 'hello sweetheart have you been a good girl for daddy' etc. more questions to my OH but at least make her think i'm talking to her.

When we arrive home she gets a cuddle when I get her out of the car and then I make sure we have a bath together in the evening, which is really important to me as its half an hour we get to spend alone with no tv etc and just play smile

OH has always been a stay t home dad but starts work in 4 weeks when I go on maternity leave, I imagine he'll be good with her when he gets home, as he thinks hes going to struggle getting used to not spendin g all day with her

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 02-Aug-13 14:39:40

Were his parents like that with him? Not that it excuses him if you have repeatedly asked him to address this. Any excuses of, "I don't see them as much as you do", "I'm not very good with little kids" or that ilk are rather weak now that DS is rising 3.

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