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To think OH is being crap or is this standard?

(127 Posts)
appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 19:29:30

Todays scenarios....

1. Toddler pees through knickers, trousers and wellies when out. OH stands by the car with her for 5 minutes in freezing conditions waiting for me to come back to sort it out. He has car keys in his hand and there's plenty of spare clothes in the car (I haven't specifically told him that but one second of looking he's find them in boot).

2. Baby winging and whining, I call up why baby crying? He says it's this and that. 30min later I come up and baby has temperature. He didn't notice flushed cheeks, warm back.

Every day is like this in some way and I'm getting pissed off. He doesn't take initiative, are other dads like this? Is it really all mums work? On the plus side he is gentle, calm, sweet, plays with them beautifully and is a good emotional support to me just resolutely shit at doing this hands on stuff which makes me feel I'm on my own with the responsibility parts of it all. Is this normal dad behaviour?

Want2bSupermum Mon 25-Feb-13 02:49:20

When I came home from the hospital with DD my DH made the fatal error of handing me DD when she needed changing. This started a conversation (well it was more of a lecture) about him taking an equal role in parenting. He told me he was nervous of doing something wrong. I had to take a step back and let him figure things out. I am not going to lie, it does annoy me that I have to prompt DH to do things with DD. He is far too quick to plug DD into elmo and play with his bloody iphone.

My DH is aware of the spare clothes, diapers, wipes, elmo teddy and food for DD that is kept in the boot of both cars. I would therefore be furious if the OP's situation happened. However, it probably wouldn't happen with my DH because I have made sure that he knows where things are and it helps that DD (19 months) starts to strip if she is dirty.

With regards to the temperature, we have one of those temporal themometers. DH loves a gadget and the first thing he checks with DD when she is looking marginal is her temperature. It annoyed me that I had to spend $40 on a bloody thermometer but he was confident using it on DD when she was small. In the grand scheme of things it was worth the extra expense.

timidviper Mon 25-Feb-13 02:54:56

Thes best thing that happened to us when DCs were little was that we were short of cash so I worked Fri evenings and Saturdays so DH had to sink or swim with them so they managed together.

Having said that, DCs are grown up now and DH still shows such amazing ineptitude at times that I am amazed that he holds down a good job!

BertieBotts Mon 25-Feb-13 03:04:22

Everyday sexism in action <facepalms. A lot.>

MerryCouthyMows Mon 25-Feb-13 03:07:13

My ex was fucking USELESS when we had DS2 (our first DC together). He's still a bit clueless with him now he's 9yo tbh.

However, with DS3, he has really stepped up to the mark, and is able to pack bags, change nappies etc.

With DS2, I let him get away with the 'feigned helplessness' act, because I didn't have MN back then and was 7/8?years younger didn't know it was an act.

With DS3, I had been suitably educated by MN and RL gained enough knowledge to tell him to get on with it himself!

It's made a huge difference.

Except with sorting out clothes - but ex does have Autism, and struggles to wear matching or weather appropriate clothing himself, so I DO think he genuinely has an issue there - thick woollen black jumper with thin beige 3/4 lengths, anyone?! In below zero temps AND in 90• heat?!

So that's one area I DO still have to do - but then I often have to tell HIM to dress more appropriately!

(He knows he has a genuine issue with this. Doesn't stop him from packing a nappy bag or changing a pissy toddler though...)

MammaTJ Mon 25-Feb-13 05:31:22

Not standard. My DP is far from perfect, but he would know there were spare clothes in the car, because he would have been the one who packed them.

I have had one visit to hospital for myself since having the DC and several with one or other of them. I never worry about the child/ren left at home and keeping their routines because he is as much (maybe moreso) involved as me.

I can go to a friends overnight with no problems or issues too.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Mon 25-Feb-13 05:45:48

Mine would have stripped the wet clothes off and had child in warm car. He mght have checked the boot for clothes... not sure on that one.

Common sense!

Grumpla Mon 25-Feb-13 06:01:14

It's called "learned incompetence" in our house.

DH had a few moments like that early on, then I pointed out to him I was not HIS mummy and HE needed to be able to take the initiative. Then I went back to work two days a week, that solved the problem.

It's depressing though, the number of women who say to me "Oooh, isn't your DH good?!?" like he deserves a fucking chufty badge for being able to meet the needs of his own children. Or who basically imply he is some sort of freak of nature for being able to do so.

Doing all the planning, packing, step-by-step instructing - that's a major part of the work of being a parent, and it's not as though men trip over their cock every time they attempt to do it!

If I were you I'd have a conversation along these lines, then schedule plenty of daddy days so he has a chance to put it into practice. Frankly it's pathetic that a grown man would leave his daughter wet and cold rathe than take the initiative and sort her out, just because there was a chance of palming the job off onto someone else. That is a special kind of selfish laziness.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 06:02:21

That's exactly what my DH would have done. To be fair he was brought up with 'sit down, don't touch anything, DON'T make a mess' and his Mum is a complete control freak so I think he learnt that somebody else does everything else and he's to just sit there, but it was a terrible shock when we had DD that he couldn't do anything, although we had been together 8 years, but not with a baby. When DD was sick recently and I hadn't slept for 2 days mopping up sick and changing bedding and clothes every few hours and washing everything I passed out twice. He still wouldn't look after her sad

TantrumsAndBalloons Mon 25-Feb-13 06:16:24

Do people actually think men are so utterly foolish that they cannot use a bit of initiative faced with their own children?

I mean, are there people who think "it's a man thing"?

I have a DH. And a teenage DS. I certainley don't expect them to be idiots when in a "domestic" situation because they are in possession of a penis.

Surely, surely it's bloody obvious if you have to give step by step bloody instructions on how and when to put a wet child in the car/where clothes live/how to get a DC ready for school/when to feed them its not male stupidity it's because they don't want to do it

Mondrian Mon 25-Feb-13 06:17:19

I think we (Men) miss that all important mum gene so mum-ing is something that we have to work at. Some of us might be fast learners while some will be slow and a small minority just don't want to know. But in most cases all we need is a little training, some patience & understanding our shortcomings! Here is the scientific research behind the arguement

Paleodad Mon 25-Feb-13 06:37:29

Sorry Mondrian, but i don't think the onus is on anyone else to 'train' or show patience toward us.
When you become a parent you stepup. Yes you make mistakes, but leaving a toddler soaking in their own piss is not a mistake. it's lazy and smacks of a misogynistic attitude that says 'this is not mens work. You don't need a special 'mum gene' to work out when a child needs changing.

Agreed, Grumpia, "ooh isn't he good with them" is simultaneously the most depressing and cringeworthy thing i have heard as a dad.

MidnightMasquerader Mon 25-Feb-13 06:43:45

Please, Mondrian...

How do you think women learn? On the bloody job, that's how. Just get on with it. It's not rocket science. We all have to muddle our way through and figure it out.

TantrumsAndBalloons Mon 25-Feb-13 07:01:41

That is the biggest cop out I've ever seen.

Men don't "get it" and need to be trained but women just know what to do??

ninjasquirrel Mon 25-Feb-13 07:25:32

NayFindus - you passed out twice and your DH refused to help you with the baby? You say he 'couldn't' do anything - really? Is he paraplegic then?

And CatsRule - refusing to change shitty nappies for a whole year? Why after a few days didn't you say "It's your turn."? Just why?

How do some men get away with this crap? Do women really value themselves so little?

Illgetmegoat Mon 25-Feb-13 07:33:04

Mum gene - that may go as far as biological changes that help meet the needs of infants immediately postpartum but parenting is learned, for everyone.

DH is a competent and intelligent adult there is absolutely no reason for me to expect any aspect of childcare or parenting to be beyond his mental grasp. If he were so incompetent with the DC as some here seem to be I would expect he would struggle with daily life to such an extent that I would never have wanted to have children with him. He would say exactly the same about me.

Why is this seen as ok? What happens if neither of you want to change nappies so fuck about looking gormless or make up some stupid excuse? A child with shit up to their armpits? No, because mum is just expected to do it and if you don't know other mothers would be tuttingly horrified you never bothered to learn. Those very same women will cluck around a man that is changing a nappy like he's a clever dog that's just led a blind person out of a fire, they can't wait to give him a pat and a biscuit. I agree with Paleodad and I think it's insulting to assume an intelligent adult is somehow doing something extraordinary due to the impediment caused by his genitalia.

Sad and frustrating. Very sad for the children of those fathers that don't believe their input as a parent is important so see it only as shit work that can be safely left to the other parent, talk about marginalising yourself.

RedHelenB Mon 25-Feb-13 07:37:28

As long as you wouldn't have yelled at him for not doing it your way I think OP has a point.

BabyRoger Mon 25-Feb-13 07:49:48

I agree, you have to learn to parent. I did. Dh wanted to learn too so he did everything from the off (except feeding) like me. We learnt together.

I can't fathom how a dad can only change one nappy in a year. Unless they live away maybe?

My Dh works full time and is away in the week with work relatively often, he still knows everything I do about what the dc's need. He'd never just leave it all up to me and as he is a great dad, he wouldn't want to.

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 07:50:57

Oh just to fill people in. OH wasn't worried about piss on his hands, he's held baby all night while he threw up all over him, I hate sick so that's his dept. He's done as many nappies as me and does his fair share around the house including the weekly shop with both in trolley (gasp how does he do it ha ha). Just demonstrating that I don't think this is a political issue made domestic rather a hapless bit of non-logic which I just don't get. Seems I'm not alone. Love hearing the stories ha ha ha.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Mon 25-Feb-13 07:55:04

I could never respect a man as pathetic as some of these examples, I am shock and sad that people actually live like this and worse that excuses are made for these 'poor helpless men'

Spoonful Mon 25-Feb-13 08:17:58

Did he know how far away you were from the car?
If I knew DH was a couple of minutes away with the bag of spare clothes and I didn't know he'd put extra spares in the boot, I would have probably waited, and assumed he would hurry.
Getting the toddler stripped off twice in the cold would probably be as unpleasant for the toddler as waiting for a minute in wet clothes surely?

And the temperature, maybe it had just come up!

Fairenuff Mon 25-Feb-13 08:22:00

I do organise stuff like cards and presents for birthday parties, even if he is taking DS because he will forget, not know what to get and then I'll have to do a rush job at the last minute

This is a classic example of not allowing someone else to learn from their mistake. Why do you have to do a rush job at the last minute? Let him do it. If he is responsible for something let him sort it out. You are basically saying that you think he is incompetent and unable to learn.

As for only changing one nappy in a year. Well, I think that mum deserves a big shiny martyr badge. Well done you! He has trained you well hasn't he. Perhaps he has the 'lazy arse' gene.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Mon 25-Feb-13 08:26:23

YY Grumpla.

NayFindus, what is your DH's reasoning for him thinking he is more important than you?

WipsGlitter Mon 25-Feb-13 09:21:20

Why when he called didn't you tell him about the spare clothes? Agree he should have put her in the car

TheBigJessie Mon 25-Feb-13 10:10:52

No. My husband wouldn't miss a temperature or stand a toddler in wet clothes outside a car. Even if he didn't know there were clothes in the car, he would hop inside the car, strip wet clothes off, and snuggle toddler down in a coat or blanket.

I don't normally mention this, but... My husband has SN. And I don't mean the kind diagnosed off the internet as an adult. I mean diagnosed and statemented nearly two decades ago. I suspect he has more excuse for being incompetent than most men mentioned on this thread. But he isn't. He's not perfect and there are things he can't do, but he takes it for granted than we had children together. (He also loathes sexism) And he always puts our children first. You know, like parents are supposed to.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 10:22:41

It's just the way he was brought up ninjasquirrel and Doctrine. He doesn't actually say no, I'm doing that, but he makes it impossible. So for example, the 2nd time I passed out he did want to call an ambulance, which I strongly objected to as I knew I was just tired, and by the time I'd talked him out of it and told him I just needed to get some sleep he was like, oh great, and piled in with him and dd too. Cue untired child screaming to get out of bed, then screaming 'I want Muuuuuummmmmmyyy' when I wanted to stay there. I often find myself saying 'but I just can't believe you're that stupid....'. I really think he has genuine learning difficulties caused by not being allowed to play or make a mess. How do you learn anything if you just sit there like a donut?

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