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Father/children relationship

(58 Posts)
margaritadrakeina Sun 12-May-13 20:13:05

If your DH told you that your children were entirely your responsibility because you are a SAHM and he is the one who works, what would you say/think?

CoalDustWoman Sun 12-May-13 20:17:03

He would not be the man I thought I married.

I'm not sure I would even be able to look at him, tbh.

Has this been said to you? Is it a shock?

Hawkmoth Sun 12-May-13 20:19:07

"ok, bye"

fertilityagogo Sun 12-May-13 20:20:52

F off to the far side of F

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 20:21:30

I would say we both have children. Between 8am and 6pm your job is to go out and earn money for our family and my job is to look after our children. Between 6pm and 8am it is both our jobs to look after the children, each other, our family's home, and our family's future, with an even division of labour and an even division of leisure time each.

lovelilies Sun 12-May-13 20:21:36

Second "bye" plus pack your bags and we'll discuss maintenance when you are not at risk of being murdered by me angry
I'm 4 weeks pg so May be overreacting grin

margaritadrakeina Sun 12-May-13 20:21:54

Yes it was said to me. I wasn't shocked, just accepted it. I assumed it was the case for most people. (I'm shocked by the reaction of someone I told about it)

gingeme Sun 12-May-13 20:23:51

This is 2013 not 1913 start acting like it a hole !!

It's not the case for most people. I wouldn't marry a man who had those views. I grew up with a shit dad and it's important to me to give my children a better one.

Yama Sun 12-May-13 20:24:52

I would assume it was a joke. Dh wants to have the parent-child bond as much as I do. He identifies as a person through his role as a parent.

I wouldn't love him if he were not this man.

margaritadrakeina Sun 12-May-13 20:51:06

Ok, I'm not actually sure what to say now. But thank you for answering.

NatashaBee Sun 12-May-13 20:53:17

Waffly is absolutely right, and put it much better than I could.

LifeSavedbyLego Sun 12-May-13 20:59:19

I'm with Yama.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

margaritadrakeina Sun 12-May-13 21:36:36

I have absolutely no idea sad

Mumsyblouse Sun 12-May-13 21:47:52

I would think this was very weird, because my husband loves spending time with the children. How old are your children? What context was this said in? Do you do stuff together on the weekend? Why doesn't he want to do anything with the children?

I work full-time and also look after the children the majority of the time as my husband works away- imagine if I had his attitude!

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 21:52:02

I do have one friend whose husband has this attitude. He justifies it because he says he never wanted children, and only had them on condition that she did all the childcare and it didn't affect him financially.

So I suppose I sort of understand his POV but it is spine-chillingly cold. Have never met anyone else who thinks like this.

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 21:56:32

What does he actually do, rather than say, OP? Does he spend time with the kids?

I know someone who said that too, Wuldric. In reality his time and interactions with the kid are in line with many dads. He does more than some and less than others.

margaritadrakeina Sun 12-May-13 21:57:42

14mo and 3.5 yrs. we rarely do things together at the weekend. He either plays computer games if bad weather or goes off on his bike for hours at a time (4 usually). They interfere with his relaxation time. Both kids his suggestion.

WafflyVersatile Sun 12-May-13 22:06:15

It's not actually that unusual for ft working dads to not think kids should interfere with many of the hobbies they had before kids, even if they don't say it...

Sadly it is still commonly accepted that men work, women stay home until the kids are so old and childcare and housework is mainly the domain of the mother, whatever the other dynamics of the household, until such time as any sons are old enough to be taken to the football. Even if it is not openly voiced, the reality is often this.

You're not that alone.

LadyVJJ Sun 12-May-13 22:07:24

I know a couple like this. Everyone thinks the DH is an a hole. He has high standards for his DC and takes the credit for their achievements when it is all down to the mum!
If was your DH suggestion to have kids it is a very outdated attitude to have.

MumnGran Sun 12-May-13 22:14:53

OP - At the time I would have accepted it, although felt a bit irritated. Three decades and a divorce later I would tell you that it is an abuse of you as a woman...... you just don't realise it, when you are in the middle of it!! Reading your further posts, I would suggest that you are not being valued for who you are, and that your sense of self worth is already somewhere at ground level.

Only you can decide if you want to do something about it.

LondonJax Sun 12-May-13 22:26:01

When do you get a break OP? My DH works full time, sometimes away for a couple of days a week. Since DS was born he's done almost all the baths and bedtime stories when he's working normally so I can get on downstairs and we can both sit down in peace in the evening and Saturday is my 'day off'unless it's a family day out in which case we share. DS is now six years old (and I still get Saturday as a me day - sshh, don't tell DH I don't really need a day off now DS is at school...) A normal Saturday means DH takes DS out for most of the day - they belong to a kids and dads' club so they usually go off to do stuff with them or they go swimming or the park then have a treat for lunch. They get back between 2 & 4pm usually. Sundays are usually our 'doing stuff as a family' day - though that's not set in stone and I'll take over for the day if there are things DH needs to do that are easier without DS. Some weekends it's all of us doing stuff all weekend. And now and then it's like this coming weekend. I'm having a weekend away with some old school friends as we've all reached a BIG age this year so we're celebrating. DS and DH are having a boys' weekend, which will probably involve flume rides at the swimming baths, a visit to the local soft play area, a DVD probably with dinosaurs in it and a fair amount of pizza...I think those two are more excited about their weekend than I am!

I think I'd have just left DS with DH and gone shopping if he'd have told me DS was just my responsibility. It's a two way thing and, to be honest, DH and DS have such a lovely relationship because DS knows his dad looks forward to their 'boy only' Saturdays as much as he does.

exoticfruits Sun 12-May-13 22:27:18

I would announce I was going out for the day and leave him to it.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Sun 12-May-13 23:36:39

I would leave the bastard

anything else ?

badinage Mon 13-May-13 00:42:02

It's not actually that unusual for ft working dads to not think kids should interfere with many of the hobbies they had before kids, even if they don't say it...


It's not unusual for sexist throwbacks to think like this, but it's not the default in working fathers at all. In all my years of having children, I've met one arse who's like this and his teenage daughter hates him almost as much as his soon to be ex-wife does.

When is he leaving OP?

margaritadrakeina Mon 13-May-13 05:51:55

I do get a break when the children are in childcare because I am looking for a job. I have a second round interview this week. Since when is a 35 hour working week a ft job? Is it not 42 hours? If I get this job it will be part time.

He doesn't really spend time with them, no. Although I'm hoping that might change because he is away at the moment and he is missing them. I am trying to sort things out hence the question. People would seriously leave over that?

SwedishKaz Mon 13-May-13 06:06:47

yes, I would seriously leave after that comment. IF he actually means it. Your dh seems to mean it. Does your children get any time with him?

AndMiffyWentToSleep Mon 13-May-13 06:13:00

Omg I can't believe he said that! Or that people accept that!
Good luck with the 2nd interview.

HollyMadison Mon 13-May-13 06:22:10

What Waffly said in her first post.

You can also think about it in terms of leisure time. If one partner spends say 1 hour a day or 3 hours a week on computer games or gym or pub etc, other partner should have the same amount of time for his or her leisure. And that is leisure, not going to the supermarket!

SwedishKaz Mon 13-May-13 06:36:13

Sorry, I answered on the mobile and didn't realise you had already said that your dh doesn't spend time with them.

My dad was always there for me and my brother. He worked full time, mum was at home, but as soon as he came home - he took over. He was the main cook, the one who played with us and the one who took us out for fun stuff in the weekends. My dh's dad was the complete opposite. He was a bit like your DH. The caveman attitude of "Man brings home food, woman cook, clean and keep noisy children away".
I know which one of us have the better relationship with our father now.
My dh also tries extremely hard to do better than his dad in terms of being a dad, and to always be there for our ds.

Maybe it was a bit hasty to tell you to leave him.
Perhaps you should consider marriage counseling?

MortifiedAdams Mon 13-May-13 06:38:10

What has he done with them from birth? I know couple where OPs situation is the norm.for them and it starts at birth - either lack of confidence stops them doing things so the mums and do it all which leads to them always doing all OR they dont get roped in right away to help and so never start down that route of shared responsibility.

DH had bath/bottle/bed as his area every day even after a day at work (how some clutched their pearls - "you dont have his dinner ready for when he gets through the door?! - You make.him.bath the baby, he has been at work.all day!") and by two.weeks.old he was taking dd out and about to do food shopping etc. Now at 16mo, she regularly has weekends totally with DP while I work or go away (as he does on other weekends).

Iteotwawki Mon 13-May-13 06:38:29

I'd have a serious chat, including the points that were we to separate, the children would become his responsibility at least one night a week and every other weekend. Plus he'd either have to start paying for a cleaner and learn how to cook or he'd have to live on takeouts in squalor.

If he was serious, anyway. DH wouldn't say that (mostly because he's the sahp and I'm the full time breadwinner - but also because he isn't a twat) though.

He does all childcare while I work. I do all childcare when at home and he looks after house stuff like clearing up. Because he knows I want to spend time with my children and he knows that's as part of house chores as clearing away dinner.

We both sit down at the same time at the end of the day and if someone's still working the other will find something else that needs doing or will help to get the jobs finished faster.

Or what AF said.

Pozzled Mon 13-May-13 07:14:12

OP, leaving aside what the comment says about his attitude to you (which is pretty damn awful), it makes me feel incredibly sad on your DCs behalf. Can he honestly look at his two young children and think 'they're not my responsibility'? I honestly don't think any loving parent could think this way. Part of bonding with your child is surely that sense of responsibility that you feel when you look at them and realise how vulnerable they are, how they rely on you for everything. Without that- they're just someone else's kids that you might be moderately fond of.

I know of someone who was told this and he never changed his opinion (so do not put any more hope on a slim chance he will change). The mother is still with him because of the lifestyle he provides for them. Her child will likely marry someone of the same mould as her Dad.

badinage Mon 13-May-13 09:38:26

Too right I'd leave, but tbh I can't imagine ever deciding to have kids with a bloke who came out with this sort of corker or behaved that way. Nor can I imagine ever thinking this was the norm and being shocked when folk told me it wasn't. Do you live in some weird community of stepford wives and man-pleasers to have got to this age and think it's normal for fathers and husbands to behave this way?

But in any case, sod what everyone else thinks. What do you want for your children in the way of fatherhood? What do you think your children need from their father? Aren't those the questions?

35 hours is full time; that's 7 hours a day over a 5 day week.

CinemaNoir Mon 13-May-13 10:39:31

But when he comes home the kids surely gather around him? So does he basically walk straight past them?
Will he mill around /play with them in the evenings for an hour?
Take them to the park or one activity on the weekend?

That would be for me the absolutely BARE basics of a parent working a full time job outside the home who isn't "that much into children". It's sad and for me incomprehensible but I know it exists (btw full time work where we are is more 60 hours though rather than 35).

With that little input into family life I would also expect my OH take care of all family admin and actually pay for hired help with the kids and household chores.

PeppermintPasty Mon 13-May-13 10:49:07

You ask if people would seriously leave after that? I'd have a sharp talk with him first of course, but it would break my heart to see my children excluded from their father's life because he had his hobbies to catch up with or whatever. In a balanced life there's room for everything, but if he seriously believes that crappy statement I don't hold out much hope.

Mine is a SAHD at the mo and you would think he sees enough of them all week, but he still spends large amounts of time with them at the weekend/evenings. I'm not sure we I could function if he didn't.

margaritadrakeina Mon 13-May-13 13:15:31

What do you mean what has he done with them since birth? I've BF them, so any night wakings have been my responsibility. They do gather round him when he gets home, and he does say hello, then he goes to wash hands/get changed etc. He's usually home just in time for dinner so then we eat, he will usually play with them for a bit after dinner (the alternative is helping me clear up the meal things!) unless they are annoying him/too tired, whiny or grumpy. Then it's bath time and bed time. DD goes to sleep immediately and I put DS to bed. On the rare occasion DD doesn't sleep, then he will go to her, but she doesn't like people around her when she's tired, so it's not often at all. The one time I went out (someone from our group of friends was moving away so we all went out to dinner) I left to him telling the DC that "Mummy doesn't want to spend time as a family so she's going out". He's never taken them out by himself because when he is there we "should do things as a family".

I never thought it would be like this before we had children, and as he was the one who wanted them I did think he would be more involved with them. But he whenever I suggested something like him getting up with them once in a while or taking them out he made it sound like I was being totally unreasonable about it, so I just assumed that I was.

AnyFucker Mon 13-May-13 13:46:26

No, you are not.

he might have inseminated his semen to make a child, but he is certainly no father

You are enabling it though, love

Hoping the switch will flick in him just isn't going to cut it any longer, I am afraid

Squitten Mon 13-May-13 13:54:13

I could not and would not live like that OP.

I'm a SAHM but my DH does tons with the kids, both as a family and on his own. I do most of the chores but if the house is a tip at the weekend (often!) he pitches in there too. We are a team - it's what you do.

I really hope that you can see how absurd it is that his leisure time must not be interrupted by the kids, whereas your leisure time is an abandonment of your family. You are married to a utterly selfish twat.

cory Mon 13-May-13 14:17:24

My FIL didn't have this attitude and he was born in 1909. My grandfather didn't have this attitude and he was born in 1880. Throwback is putting it mildly.

Breastfeeding is no reason for not being hands-on from birth. Both mine were breastfed and dh was still fully involved in the nappy changing and bathing and soothing right from the start.

badinage Mon 13-May-13 14:40:39

You've been out once on your own in 3.5 years? shock

And when you did, he bad-mouthed you to the kids?

And you think you're being unreasonable to want more for yourself and your children?

There must be more to this situation than you're letting on. Unless you live in a cocoon or some sort of restricted community, no mother in 2013 would think this was a reasonable way to live and co-parent.

Was your own father like this? Are all your friends' husbands like this?

ClaireDeTamble Mon 13-May-13 14:50:50

I would tell him what WafflyVersatile said and explain to him that if he didn't book his ideas up, pull his weight in terms of housework and childcare and letting you have some relaxation and child free time without sarky comments about not wanting to do things as a family, then I would be leaving with the children.

I would also point out that this would then mean that I would get every other weekend off while he had his contact time.

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 14:55:49

Bloody hell, No your are NOT unreasonnable.

What kind of father tells his children that mummy goes out because she doesn't want to see them???
Just shows that when he really really thought what he said in your OP.

And no it's not normal to give up looking after the dcs because they are grumpy. Are you doing that yourself?
No it's not normal that he has never been with his own dcs on his own.
no it's not normal that you were and still are doing all the night waking.

It's not an issue about leaving a partner over such a comment. It's the fact he has no respect for yourself nor for his own dcs.

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 14:56:44

I would also point out that this would then mean that I would get every other weekend off while he had his contact time.

And that too!

Numberlock Mon 13-May-13 14:59:50

If your DH told you that your children were entirely your responsibility because you are a SAHM and he is the one who works, what would you say/think?

Sadly, this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. This seems to be the attitude of every single man at my level within my company, hence being available for any business trip at however short notice, never having to be the one to leave the meeting on time to pick a child up, and the reason why I still get asked "Who's looking after your children".

Hullygully Mon 13-May-13 15:03:12

I would think "Oh, that's really sad because now we are going to have to split up, bye bye"

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 15:07:46

Number I agree with the fact that in our society, the expectation is that the woman is 'responsible' for the dcs so their job comes first, the the dcs whereas for women, it's supposed to be dcs first then job.

However, the OP is talking about more than that. She is talking about the fact that her DH doesn't even want to take responsibility for one small evening of his dcs and only did so grumbling. The fact that he only looks after them when it suits him (ie they are not grumpy but fun). The fact that he wanted children, says 'he misses them' but can't be arsed to be dad.

Numberlock Mon 13-May-13 15:11:55

... and that's exactly what I mean by my colleagues. They are away most weeks from Monday morning to Friday evening, comment that they 'can't cope' with their children, and I doubt have any significant interaction with them when they are at home.

LadyInDisguise Mon 13-May-13 15:40:07

Yuck! I wouldn't want any of these men in life tbh.

Numberlock Mon 13-May-13 15:44:46

No and I can't imagine you'd enjoy working with them much either...

lynniep Mon 13-May-13 15:58:00

I would say you married a tw*t. Children are the responsibility of both parents. You are both full time parents. happens to work outside the home in 'office hours' You work inside the home. He is earning money by working outside the home. You are saving the familiy childcare fees by doing working inside the home. Outside of 'office hours' is family time and attention is required from both parents. A man who takes no responsibility for his children is not a father. He is a d*ck.

Numberlock Mon 13-May-13 16:01:51

He is earning money by working outside the home. You are saving the familiy childcare fees by doing working inside the home

... as well as enabling him to work uninhibited by not having to do any childcare during working hours (eg childminder pick-ups, school drop-offs, football training, dentist etc etc) which would be the case if both parents worked.

theduchesse Mon 13-May-13 20:52:28

He does so little for the kids you had to include that he says hello to them in your list of their interactions. That is not normal. Most dads want to spend time with their kids.

I would have said...
No, just LTB, far quicker. What an arse.

Snog Thu 23-May-13 20:21:08

I suggest you need to get a full time job then clearly everything should be split 50/50 in terms of housework and childcare.
If your dh won't pull his weight then consider why you would want to stay with him quite carefully

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