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DP shouted at the baby(98 Posts)
I left 4 month old DC3 with her dad for an hour this morning while I went to collect DC1 + DC2 from their dad before school. It wasn't even a whole hour. She was fed and clean when I left, so should have been OK for an hour.
I got back. DP still in his pants, when he should have been getting ready for work. Both DP and DC3 were silent and had a look of mild terror in their eyes. DP handed her to me, got ready and went to work with hardly a word, other than to say he is going to the pub after work.
So, he just rang and confessed that the baby had been crying, he'd shouted at her and kicked the bedroom door, next to where she was lying on a mat on the floor. I had noticed splinters of the door's chipboard filler but there's no obvious damage to the outside of the door.
This explains why she has been so clingy. She won't let me put her down and is not herself. Poor little thing!
DP is always saying the baby doesn't like him because she cries with him. But if he's going to terrify her by shouting and kicking things, it's no bloody wonder! I know he's not a morning person, but you'd think he could cope for an hour with his own daughter.
It's all made me very sad. DP is a gentle man, really. He would never hurt her. But how can I help them to have a better relationship if he's going to freak out every time he's left in charge of her? He is pretty hopeless about doing anything with her - changes about one nappy a week. She's ebf, so he can't do feeds (we did try some expressed milk in a bottle, but she wouldn't take it). He just says he doesn't know what to do with her and she doesn't like him.
Was I wrong to leave her? I would have taken her, but she's recently taken against her car seat and cries the whole time in the car, so I didn't think that would be any good.
He's not a gentle man and I'd be very worried that he would hurt her physically. He's already terrified her.
Ok. I'm sure you'll get lots of advice, but for me, she won't remember this, she genuinely won't. It doesn't make it right, but he knows he screwed up and seems genuinely mortified by it.
I found babies crying draining and I rang dd consultant (reflux related) sobbing saying fix her or take her away. At my worst I also shouted at her and slammed doors far too loudly on occasion. She fine and we have a fantastic relationship now.
What was he like with your other dc's?
I agree he should be able o look after his dd for an hour. Does he engage with her when she's at home with you or does he just defer it all to you? Does he do bath times etc? These maybe times to help build his confidence and see that she doesn't always scream when with him.
She's 4 months old and has already been exposed to violence. That is not acceptable
Occasionally shouted I should say, not all the time, and I had to walk away to try and calm down. Mine was sleep deprivation related and sheer tiredness.
Poor thing, children are very susceptible to hostility and that's even before the obvious physical violence to the door. I wouldn't leave a baby with him. If anyone else did that you wouldn't leave her with them. It can be very hard for dads to bond with babies when it comes easier to mums sometimes, would he be willing to do some reading/educate himself about connecting with her?
Was coming on to say I was surprised this was his DC3, but just re-read and it sounds like she is his DC1?
I have had a baby with reflux and I have shouted and thrown and kicked things (not the baby!). Always horrified by myself afterwards. But that's after days and nights of listening to crying, not one hour...so, he will have to man up and get to know her a bit better by doing baths and nappies. Reassure him that by the time she's a toddler she'll be skipping off with him but only if he puts the work in now. It's hard and it's boring and demanding but there's only one way to get there.
Hope you're OK OP. Does your DP have any dad friends?
Madlizzy I know it sounds bad, but he really isn't an angry, shouting person. He obviously frightened himself as much as her by his outburst and was almost in tears on the phone to me about it.
Ratbag Thanks for your reply. DC3 is his first as DC1 & 2 are my exH's. DP is good and patient with them but then they are not his responsibility and I generally don't ask him to do anything with them. He doesn't tend to get cross with them.
He does defer almost everything to me regarding DC3. I feel bad about asking him to do stuff seeing as I'm on maternity leave and he is working (in a tough, physically tiring job). But I can see that I'm probably not really helping their relationship. I rather hoped he'd see that she can be cute and fun with me and he'd want to do more with her over time. But that's not really happening.
The good news: he rang and confessed, he knows it's not ok
Bad news: he reckons he can go to the pub? NO. YOU don't get to go to the pub after a hard
hour day, do you?
I'd be sorting that part out first.
I'd make him leave until he's had some sort of counselling, at least. I wouldn't put up with anyone treating my children like that, no matter who they were.
It's abusive behaviour and it doesn't come from nowhere. There'll be something at the root of it. But that's not your problem. Your problem is your child, who needs to feel safe and secure and loved, not terrified and in danger.
You weren't wrong to leave her, by the way. Your children should be safe with their father. You know now that they are not. He was wrong to behave in this way, hugely wrong.
4 months old is tiny, it should get easier for him when she is a bit older.
Why is he hopeless with nappy changing? Can he put the nappy on correctly?
Could he take her in a sling/carrier for a little walk perhaps at the weekend?
You're minimising. He isn't a 'gentle man' at all, gentle men don't scream at four month old babies and kick doors......
He can't cope? Well boo fucking hoo. How is he going to learn to cope when he pisses off to the pub after work? He's like a sullen child 'the baby doesn't like me'? Really?! EBF babies only want their mums, it's normal, he should be building a relationship with her by bathing, changing, singing etc not screaming at her when she cries.
I'd be telling him to fuck off out of the house, I wouldn't leave the baby with an aggressive man who clearly can't cope until their is a plan in place that ensures it NEVER happens again.
Sun16 He only has one close friend who's a dad and he lives about four hours away, so we hardly ever see him. It's surprising, really, because DP is 37. He just had 3 nights away staying with a friend and they spent the whole time playing computer games! Not very grown up, really. But when he came home, the baby was delighted to see him, and he seemed genuinely pleased to see her.
Some of reactions on here!
Personally i don't think it's a sign he could be violent towards his child- I've kicked many doors but I've never kicked a person.
Hopefully he's learnt from this and will find other ways of venting his frustration (kids are hard work and let's be honest we all get frustrated)
Baby won't remember but I'd be having firm words about it not happening again.
Sorry OP, but I agree with Martha- I think you're minimising this incident. Are you going to discuss it more when he gets home? Please don't sweep it under the carpet.
Exactoy what Martha said.
It's not at all acceptable.
Babies CAN be hard work and frustrating at times. If you're finding it tough you work through the mental checklist of nappy, too hot/cold, feed if necessary and put them somewhere safe like their cot and walk away to have a breather and a cup of tea. You don't have a fucking tantrum, scare the hell out of a tiny baby and then strop off to work and the pub! Wtaf?!
You weren't wrong to leave her with him, it's his daughter.
At least he confessed what he did ... many wouldn't and that includes mums too.
You need to have a talk with him about it though. It's not fair on the baby and it puts pressure on you too as you'll be sceptical of leaving her with him.
Babies do cry and it can be stressful and none of us know what to do at times, but kicking off and loud noises are scary for babies and he needs to know that.
If he wants to make things better and learn to cope he needs to look for suggestions online about parenting. It's a hard job, but him doing this is a worry for you and he needs to understand that loud and clear.
So none of you perfect people have ever lost your temper. You've never been so frustrated that nothing you are doing is working and just wanted to scream. Well good for you. When my dd was a tiny little thing that would just scream and nothing would stop her I remember screaming why don't you just fucking shut up and slamming her bedroom door. Did I feel guilty? Yes. Am I a bad parent? No I was just overwhelmed. But because he's a man we should say he is violent, he will be hitting her next yes? OP he was probably overwhelmed and didn't know what to do. I think you need to sit down and talk about how hard he is finding having a baby. My dh has since admitted having a baby was much harder than he ever thought. He needs more experience of looking after her, maybe he could start with bedtime/bathtime etc. He shouldn't have done it, he feels bad but she won't remember and now you need to find a way of dealing with this together, with understanding.
What exactly did he try when she cried? Did he take her for a walk? Cuddle her? Rock her? What?
Shouting at and violently kicking a door is an extreme response to an hour of a baby crying.
I can't keep up!
DP is pretty hopeless and sometimes I do get annoyed with him being so pathetic. But he's generally a decent man. This was one episode, out of character and I think the LTB comments are a bit OTT. I just want to know what I can do to help him and his DD bond.
I definitely need to insist that DP does more with her. I feel (wrongly, I know) that he'll like her more if I do everything because she'll seem easier. But I think I'll make him do bath time tonight, for starters.
He already said on the phone that he's probably not going to the pub after work - sorry I should have mentioned that.
And no I'm not perfect, my babies had reflux.... I would scream at the dishwasher, try everything to settle them, go for very long walks, not shout at them....
And this was after fucking months of crying not an hour.
Sorry but i agree..kicking the door next to a baby crosses a line of acceptability for me
Sorry OP - what a huge pile of shit to deal with when you've just had a baby
Firstly I wanted to say you are in no way at fault here - of course you should be able to leave your baby with her dad for an hour!
Secondly, obviously it's your call what you do now. But for me this behaviour would be an absolute deal-breaker - sorry. Babies can be hard work, but actually, I think it gets harder as they learn to walk and can follow you around with their 'noise' - and then harder again when they learn to say 'no' and argue back. I wouldn't want to give this man the chance to see what he will do when it does get harder.
For those of you saying that there's a difference between hitting someone and kicking a door shut, note that kicking a door shut is a violent act. When someone punches walls, kicks doors and so on it's counted as domestic violence.
I would be very, very wary.
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