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dh not turning out to be the dad he wanted to be

(62 Posts)
poppet85 Fri 10-Jun-16 23:18:43

Our 15 month old was very much wanted by both of us. Dh comes from a big family being a dad was an easy obvious choice. Since day 1 hes really struggled I got it ,newborns are mummy time dads step up with its toddler time. So I go back to work and dh has one day a week daddy day,that was 6months ago and dh still struggles with these days. They never do anything more than go to the park ,we live in london and have a car they could do anything !!. Whats sad is dh knows ,he said "I think I am waiting until I can do things like cooking & art things when its a bit easier' and he comments that they dont do much and lo must be bored. . Dh suggested they could go swimming but would want me to go with them on the first trip which we agreed tomorrow . Dh has been out drinking all day I cant imagine him getting to the pool on time tomorrow!! He's never taken lo and given me a break not for an hour. Its always me moving us along to get ready for the day/taking lo out/starting bedtime. Its just sad because I know dh wants to be such an amazing dad but he shys away from any dad duties didnt help plan lo birthday/christening. Dh us a wonderful man I think hes utterly overwhelmed by fatherhood !!
Anyone else dh strugging ?

Vonnie2016 Fri 10-Jun-16 23:52:26

Yep, unfortunately for my family six years on and we separated. He never took intiative to do things with both DC's who are now 6 and 3.
Always had to be told what needed to be done, I was doing it all. He had never looked after my DD on his own for more than an hour until I was in hospital for a week having my DS.
The first time he looked after both kids on his own was after we separated and he had them at a weekend.
I really think you need to talk 'cause this will build resentment over time. And he needs to not be out drinking all day the day before he is looking after his DC.
We all get overwhelmed, I know I did, but I HAD to step up as a parent, it's no different for the fellas.
Have a good none judgemental talk with him, and try and get to the bottom of what's going on. Good luck.

SandyY2K Fri 10-Jun-16 23:59:32

My DH did more with the DCs when they were older. I took them swimming, to the park and to toddler groups. He was working to be fair.

I would leave DCs with him for a while though. Don't be tied down to only popping out for less than an hour.

Can you check out some local toddler groups he could take him to.

Babies are hard work and at least your DH is trying. That counts for an awful lot. Just keep trying to encourage him.

HeddaGarbled Sat 11-Jun-16 00:00:22

He's been out drinking all day?

I'm not sure you are focussing on the real problem here.

Out2pasture Sat 11-Jun-16 00:13:15

poppet, being a hands on dad takes a little time (but by 15 months I too would have liked to see more) but going forward are you able to find something similar to purple dragon if your in London you'll know what I mean. a play group where dad's are very welcome in other words and make it their thing on a weekly basis for starters??

Rainbowqueeen Sat 11-Jun-16 00:39:41

He sounds like he only wants to do what he considers to be the fun things. But that's not what being a parent is all about! Lots of it is boring and mind numbing but it helps to build that bond so that DC want to spend that time with you when they are older. His mindset seems to be that it will just automatically happen when he is ready for it without him putting any effort in. A chat would probably be a good idea.

I think you need to start stepping back when you are there as well and letting him take responsibility. Pop out for half an hour here and there. Get him to do stories and bedtime on a regular basis.

Do a list of places they could go.

If nothing has changed in 6 months, I would be reassessing your future

poppet85 Sat 11-Jun-16 07:01:19

Oh the drinking is fine its the end of a work project and he hardley goes out now but it does mean the next day is write off.He has refused to go to any toddler group which I kind of understand I told him about a very local pub which has childrens films on basically lo could run around and it would just be something to do on their Tuesdays but they've never been or the soft play which is 20min walk away .He has friends that are dads but none that live close by and I think hes struggled to identify as a dad and hates to cause a fuss and he worries that lo will annoy people when we're out .We went to a family friendly pub garden and I said to get lo out so he can walk around dh said 'ok but dont let him annoy anyone' I almost laughed !!!
I am not resentful (yet) but just bit sad for him. Lo is already very attached to me but your completely right dh doesnt get that its what you do now to create the long lasting bonds

DoinItFine Sat 11-Jun-16 07:21:33

On his "Daddy days" hmm you shoukd start absenti g yourself.

He doesn't need to "identify" as a father, he just needs to look after his toddler.

He will figure it out if you are not there to keep bailing him out.

Also, perhaps you both need to understand that EVERY DAY is Daddy day. That's what being a parent is - 27/7/365 responsibility for someone else.

It's not about them being fun or entertaining for you. They are not toys.

Seriously, what a fucking ridiculous child he is being.

SandyY2K Sat 11-Jun-16 09:37:13

What about a soft play centre?

smilingeyes11 Sat 11-Jun-16 09:42:37

I agree - he needs to stop being such a precious snowflake and get on with being a father without you calling it 'Daddy days' or micromanaging what he wants to do. This is not about him - he sounds pretty useless and narcissistic to me.

Cabrinha Sat 11-Jun-16 09:53:06

Oh for heaven's sake!
Struggling to identify as a father? I actually laughed at that. After 15 months?
Overwhelmed, my arse.
"Wants to be an amazing dad"? Like fuck he does. Lift the scales from your eyes and see that he's bone idle!

It partly stems from your attitude too - that newborns are for mums and toddlers for dads. Sexist and unhelpful claptrap. You've just basically said that care and donkey work is for mums, and active fun times are for dads. Think about how you will have subtly let that influence all the relationships among you. Other than breastfeeding there is NOTHING a father can't do for a newborn.

There's nothing wrong with only going to the park - a 15mo can get loads from that. If the child is bored - dad will soon know about it.

So - just let him get on with Tuesday's, park is fine.
Stop doing everything at home - say "can you put X to bed now please?"
As for swimming - OK, I'll let him get away with not wanting to go it alone the first time. But drunk yesterday doesn't mean no swim today. Cold pool excellent for hangover. At 15 months, half an hour in the pool will be fine and enough for you both to get your heads around swimming routine. Do NOT excuse him because he was drinking!

Most of all expect him to be an equal parent because all the while you yourself think that he's overwhelmed, or dads don't do xyz, you'll be excusing him from it. You wait - it'll be "well dads don't do school admin, birthday parties, taking to clubs... Oh but he wants to be an amazing dad!"
He's lazy, and you're enabling it I bet!

FlyingCat Sat 11-Jun-16 10:01:27

Sounds like he's suffering performance anxiety, wanting to be the perfect dad but worried about looking less that in control in public. And I hate to say it but dads do get judged a bit more harshly than mums when out and about in my experience (very unfair!)
Perhaps force a few public outings where he needs to take DS instead of you... Ie invent a clash. His reluctance may well fix itself as your child gets older and starts to get disappointed if let down so DH has to bite the bullet and get on with going out even if it scares him. I know one mum who has her DH take the kids to any kids parties just to force the issue.

poppet85 Sat 11-Jun-16 11:09:16

Flying cat your so right it is. We had a couple of epic crying fits in public when ds was little and dh was SO embarrassed. Because he doesnt have many dad friends hes got no-one to say its perfectly ok .

DoinItFine Sat 11-Jun-16 11:43:05

Dads who bother to take their kids out get given constant praise for being so amazing.

They get judged far less than mothers.

BirthdayBetty Sat 11-Jun-16 11:50:31

I'm with Cabrinha, ffs get real!

Fairenuff Sat 11-Jun-16 11:58:55

He's pulling the wool over your eyes OP. He's opting out of childcare because it's boring.

My dh didn't wait for his dcs to be toddlers, he was their father from the day they were born and acted accordingly. He's been puked on, pissed on, screamed at and sleep deprived just like the rest of us parents.

It's dealing with all the crap that makes you bond tbh. Anyone can do the fun stuff but it takes real love and attachment to soldier on through the hard, relentless slog of a colicky evening.

Tell him to stop making excuses and get on with it. There are no medals for 'daddy day'.

cowbag1 Sat 11-Jun-16 12:02:21

You're making too much of a big deal out of this and pandering to all this 'identifying as a father' nonsense. He just needs to do 50% of all childcare when you're together, so bathtimes, feeding, changing and playing. There's no reason why he can't do those things so stop making excuses for him.

I think men don't always have the best ideas for days out so suggest some to him but ignore all his crap about being embarrassed. How does he think you cope with tantrums when out and about?

He is slacking and needs to step up.

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Sat 11-Jun-16 12:04:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MsKite Sat 11-Jun-16 12:16:59

Lol at dads getting judged more harshly than mums. Fathers who take their children out anywhere without the mother are treated like they've fed the 5000.

prettywhiteguitar Sat 11-Jun-16 12:18:44

The term 'daddy day' says it all ! Seriously he needs to just get down to the nitty gritty of bring a parent not trying to make it more than it is

LadyLapsang Sat 11-Jun-16 12:22:23

You sound like you are trying to micro manage him a bit. On the day you go to work and he is with your LO let him get on with it. As long as LO is safe and cared for then it really doesn't matter that he doesn't want to take part in organised activities, the park is fine. He is your partner not an employee. Imagine if mums came on here stating their partners had told them taking the children to the park was not good enough, they should be going to soft play.

WellErrr Sat 11-Jun-16 12:25:13

Oh for fuck's sake.

Can I ask, OP - have you found motherhood easy from the beginning? Did pregnancy, birth and caring for a newborn just all instantly snap into place for you, and you never had an off day or a 'wtf am I doing?' moment?

No!?

But let me guess. You just got on with it, learned how to do it, and actually parented your child.

Like he bloody well needs to.

Stop pandering to him, and stop with all the 'daddy days' and 'oh he's struggling bless him' crap.

He needs to get a grip.

WellErrr Sat 11-Jun-16 12:26:10

Lol at dads getting judged more harshly than mums. Fathers who take their children out anywhere without the mother are treated like they've fed the 5000

And yy to this.

ElspethFlashman Sat 11-Jun-16 12:29:09

"Daddy Day"

Jesus Wept.

Yes, you are 100% pandering to him. Poor diddums. Just draw back. Try getting exasperated once in a while! Cos it sounds like you have 2 kids not one.

LyndaNotLinda Sat 11-Jun-16 12:34:44

OP - most dads I know have been taking their babies out on their own on Saturday/Sunday mornings since they were newborns to give the mums a break.

Stop enabling his feigned helplessness. He's a lazy arse, not a wonderful daddy

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