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"Darling, that's just not helping"

(34 Posts)
SharingMichelle Wed 21-Sep-16 07:03:38

Is what I said to my husband this morning.

I'm a bit torn between (a) feeling bad that I am not supporting him, when he always supports me, and (b) feeling frustrated that he is so bad at getting the kids out of the house in the morning.

I said it because he was having a go at our 8 yr old. The thing is, 2 minutes earlier I had also been shouting. The difference is that I yelled "DS! UPSTAIRS! TEETH!! NOW!" which moved us towards the goal of ds finally doing his teeth. Dh, instead, starting quizzing ds about WHY he was so unhelpful this morning. It went "Why haven't you cleaned your teeth yet? Why? Mummy asked you to three times already! Why haven't you done it? Why? Have you packed your bag yet? Why not? Where's your folder? Come on! Why aren't you ready?" And it was just horrid and badgering and I yelled at him that he wasn't helping.

Also, when I yell at the children, which I very rarely do, it is never in anger and I am sure it doesn't upset them in the slightest. If anything it's almost exasperated and funny. When I am genuinely cross I don't yell.

This snapshot is just an example of a common pattern; me doing everything 'right' and then getting cross with dh for getting it wrong. It's horrid of me to think it's like that, but although I do see how I'm in the wrong, I think there is a grain of truth in it too. I put a lot more effort in.

When dh is away I cheerfully get all children fed on a decent breakfast, time for chatting, everyone with the right kit, all book bags signed, and in to school in plenty of time. There's only grumpiness and shouting when he's here to 'help'.

At one point this morning I actually told him to go upstairs to get himself ready for work, like he was one of the children sad

I was thinking of talking to him about it. I want to say that I understand I'm a bit control freaky in the mornings, and I apologise for undermining him, but also could he please think about helping us to move positively towards the goal of everyone leaving the house by 7am, still on speaking terms?

I also want to ask him to have another look at HTTSYKWL.

Gawd, am I about to get a roasting? I do sound smug and controlly (because I am a bit, I do work on it and try not to be too unsufferable), but the issue right now is that my husband is probably feeling hurt and a bit unimportant in family life, and I want to fix that.

Clearmeoutchook Wed 21-Sep-16 07:06:45

You both sound immature to be honest. Poor kids.

flanjabelle Wed 21-Sep-16 07:07:49

The problem is, he thinks he is helping. That is him trying to back you up. I think a better way around it would be to say the kids seem to play up more for a reaction when he is involved, so it might be best to leave the morning routine to you.

Or go the other way completely and leave him to do it alone!

SharingMichelle Wed 21-Sep-16 07:08:37

Really? Wow. Which bit in particular makes us sound immature?

SharingMichelle Wed 21-Sep-16 07:10:25

flan he does think he's helping. And he always backs me up and supports me, which is why I feel bad turning around and saying "actually you're not helping!"
I don't think I want to tell him I'll do it myself. That's quite a rejection for him.

Lilaclily Wed 21-Sep-16 07:13:30

How old are the children and why do you have to both leave at 7am? Can't the kids have breakfast at whatever childcare option you're dropping them off at?

It all sounds exhausting

Haggisfish Wed 21-Sep-16 07:14:15

You could suggest you both read how to talk so kids will listen which tackles issues like this. It is tricky.

LuckySantangelo1 Wed 21-Sep-16 07:14:51

You need to tell him how best he can help you & the kids. Some times these things just need spelling out.

clearmeout the OP posted in relationships, not AIBU. No need for such shitty attitude.

JustGettingStarted Wed 21-Sep-16 07:19:03

I completely understand the op. My husband yells out of frustration. He's not as good at the leading by saying, for example, "OK, let's get the bags. Jack, where is your bag? Go look in the conservatory." It's more "Why have you misplaced your bag again?! We're going to be late!"

It just makes a grumpy atmosphere and nobody gets out of the house any faster.

rhiaaaaaaaannon Wed 21-Sep-16 07:22:40

You need to start working together, not you being the boss. You may do the job better but if you genuinely want him to help, and actually help then you need to treat him with respect in front of his children.

If he's hurt by the way you spoke to him I'd use that as your opportunity to sit down and say sorry. Explain you find it hard to not do things your way and see if you can find a compromise.
My dh can be a bit the same with our dc but I find if I wait for the right time to chat he's very receptive to my suggestions on how to tackle dc.

Make it a conversation rather than a lecture. Good luck!

ayeokthen Wed 21-Sep-16 07:23:23

I have to ask, if all the things that needed to be done had been done, would he still have been badgering the kids? If it's such a solid morning routine, surely the kids would know what needed to be done and when?

ChampagneTastes Wed 21-Sep-16 07:26:26

Oooh this sounds familiar. In our case I think there's a certain amount of DH wanting to stamp his own authority. It's damaging his relationship with DS though.

Oblomov16 Wed 21-Sep-16 07:27:35

Ahh. I do what your husband does. I get frustrated after telling them endless times. I will think about this.

You seem very jolly.
Maybe both you and your do need to compromise. Maybe you need to be stricter and get the children to be more organised?

Lweji Wed 21-Sep-16 07:37:08

Talk, talk, talk. Decide what needs to be done and by whom beforehand.

On the day, I think it's easy to get lost in the middle of you all.
Agree with him that if he wants to contribute, it's better to repeat your "orders" than to engage the children in dialogue.
Do as your mother said
Or
Come with me to the toilet
Work better in "helping".

But if he is away quite often, then yes he should leave the morning routine and mostly push things along.
He can be in charge of something else.

Karoleann Wed 21-Sep-16 07:39:05

I find it much easier if DH isn't around for breakfast time. The children seem to play up more when he is around and there's less conflict in discipline styles. Why don't you try taking it in turns to get the children ready in the morning?

Goingtobeawesome Wed 21-Sep-16 07:41:47

Mine are meant to get everything ready the night before but obviously there is sometimes last minute things. My youngest has just started secondary school after being at home for months so isn't fully focused on the school life yet and this morning needed something printed off. I will have another chat with him about life being less stressful when the mornings are just about eating washing dressing. He's up at 6:30/40 and leaves at 7:20 so not much time.

DH is fully hands on but when he is here if it's a hindrance then I'll just tell him. I explain its my job and I've learnt things flow better when done a certain way.

LumpySpacedPrincess Wed 21-Sep-16 07:44:54

He isn't parenting effectively, talk to him. Does he spend as much time organising the children, attending meetings, homework, sorting out pack lunches etc?

SatsukiKusakabe Wed 21-Sep-16 07:46:31

Where it's going wrong is you're both getting involved at the same point, telling them to do the same job.

My dh hustles them to get dressed whilst he is, I completely leave him to it, then we supervise one each for teeth unless he's running late and has to clear out earlier, then I take over for shoes, coats, lunches.

But to be honest, they have a shelf each for all their stuff and a box underneath for their shoes, it all goes back in the night before (I make sure of this) so they are in a good routine of knowing what is expected. So "bring bags in" and ”put shoes on" are responded to straight away. We have no TV etc in mornings so they are not tired or distracted.

I do see where you are coming from but I think it would be better if everyone had a routine and knew what was expected, there would be less room for exasperation. My dh is never around for the bit where we're getting out the door, so when he is we are often late because he is instructing the kids to do things at the same time as me, packing things too early so we end up looking for them and things of that nature. In that instance I usually say I don't need your help with this bit just relax love, or could you help with x, rather than you flipping blundering ape stop interfering. This approach makes all the difference, I think.

FlouncingIntoAutumn Wed 21-Sep-16 07:50:08

Take it in turns. One week you do DC Mon, Wed, Fri, Him Tues, Thurs next week alternate. Many right ways to parent.

Standback and let him parent (he will learn from being allowed to get it a bit wrong). His style may surprise you but if you take over you're making a rod for your own back for ever more and completely undermining him.

If you find it hard to stand back go to work 15 minutes earlier on his days the first couple of weeks.

Gatehouse77 Wed 21-Sep-16 07:51:54

It can be similar here too. DH is not good in the mornings and stomps around barking at people because normally he's up on his own and has wonderful peace and quiet to wake slowly. So if he's around it changes the dynamics.
Mine are older now but still need a nudge here and there which is, like you, a specific statement of what needs to be done.

My advice would be to set aside some time for you and DH to discuss how to work together on these things and then another discussion with the kids where the expectations of them are clearly laid out.

E.g. School bags need to be packed the night before, PE kit ready. DH will try to be more directive with his comments. You will try not to shout, etc.

I think there are many, many women who would empathise with you here! Mornings are so stressful anyway, let alone when you have children to get ready.

I do think it sounds like a complaint about the efficiency and effectiveness of your husband's techniques that is valid!!

Some other thoughts

- Sometimes you have to let things break. I know, as someone who likes to be on top of things, this is the last thing that you think you need to do. But actually, having a (small) disaster can help to effect change by convincing people that a different approach is needed. I learned this from an old boss who was a scoundrel at manipulation, but it is good advice.

- Shift some of the stuff into the evening. Make sure bags, lunches etc are ready the night before to ease the strain.

- Speak to your DH at a time when you're not stressed and cross, about his parenting style. Perhaps ask him to a be a silent and non-interventional observer of a morning when you are running the show, so he can see how much more smoothly it works. Ask him to make notes about what he could be doing to assist the process on, rather than obstructing it. Be prepared to accept criticism of things that you are doing that could be more efficient as part of this. Think about space as well - are there better places you could put things to ease the strain?

VioletBam Wed 21-Sep-16 08:13:46

Also, when I yell at the children, which I very rarely do, it is never in anger and I am sure it doesn't upset them in the slightest.

This is very telling.

ravenmum Wed 21-Sep-16 08:17:58

If I were your husband I'd probably find the "Darling" bit patronising and really annoying - sounds like it's just added on to make you sound like you are not being a bitch, when actually you are. Mid-chaos, in front of the children is not the time to start questioning your partner's parenting methods. (However tempting it obviously is when you are pissed off...) But I imagine you know that and are feeling a bit shitty about it, hence the question?

Not sure I can help much as this kind of thing was pretty much the lead-up to separation for us, so we never sorted it out. It was a symptom of the fact that my ex was not part of the family routine, and so his presence messed it up. He was away a lot for several years and never got back into family life. It might have helped if I had gone out of my way to be loving to him, greeting him with excitement on his return etc. Do you think you could do that or, like me, do you feel like it is him deliberately separating himself from you?

Oblomov16 Wed 21-Sep-16 09:15:33

'my husband is probably feeling hurt and a bit unimportant in family life'.
That's because he is. You actually have little respect for him. You admit to being a control freak and smug, and uninsufferable. Why don't you address these issues in yourself though. They are nothing to be proud of.
Are you perfect?

I don't think I could bare living with you. the undermining. The perfection. I'm fab at loads of things, and just as shit at loads of others. grin I can laugh at myself a lot. I think I'm finding it hard to read what you've written, just because I am the polar opposite of you.

Hope you find balance.
Do you actually love your husband? Maybe you should try showing him some love.

gandalf456 Wed 21-Sep-16 09:21:36

Your Dhabi would drive me mad too. Upstairs teeth now would be my method too, not a discussion. People asking why when it's not really a question but a criticism has always driven me nuts too.

I agree seven is very early too and support suggestions of breakfast at the childcare facility if possible

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