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to think people should be able to cope with their own children alone?

(287 Posts)
alisunshine29 Thu 07-Mar-13 22:37:16

I have two daughters aged 5.5 years and 9 months and can and do do everything with/for them. I have friends with similar aged children who wouldn't dream of giving the kids a bath/taking them swimming /shopping/out for the day without their husband or mum there to 'help They also expect husband/mum to take kids if they're ill themselves/take time out to help with kids if they're ill. AIBU to think it's a bit daft if a parent can't cope with their kids and basic day to day things alone?

HarrietSchulenberg Thu 07-Mar-13 23:05:50

YANBU. When ds3 was born the other two were 4 and 7. I know plenty of other parents who were amazed when I took them all for whole days out on my own as they wouldn't dream of leaving the house with 3 without the help of at least one other adult. We wouldn't sit around waiting for H to have a day off or for my mum to come over - we just went out.

My neighbour's daughter has three girls of similar ages to mine and every night that her DH goes out or is working late she rings her mum to come over to help out with bedtime. Or drops one of them off for a sleepover at nannies as she just can't cope with all three together. Her mum told me that she's getting a bit fed up of it and thinks daughter should just get on with it.

But then again I know plenty of other parents with multiple small children who did "just get on with it", and, like me, actually enjoy/ed it. Oddly enough they're the ones who are my friends, and the ones who couldn't cope with more than one at a time are the ones who were stuck at home a lot.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 23:06:04

I wasn't saying mother, I said parent. I agree parenting is team work but do think both parents should be capable of doing everything alone should they have to - I.e if their DP was hospitalised

my dh was hospitalised a few years ago. It was horrible as we didnt know whether he would survive. Luckily I have friends and family that helped out during that time as I felt my head would explode with the stress of it all. Yes I could have looked after my children somehow, but I was mighty glad people stepped in to help where they could.

PanpiperAtTheGatesOfYawn Thu 07-Mar-13 23:06:57

I ain't gettin' on no fight thread you crazy fool!

HarrietSchulenberg Thu 07-Mar-13 23:07:06

Obviously that's "nanny's", there's only one of her.

impecuniousmarmoset Thu 07-Mar-13 23:07:19

When I was unable to move more than 6 feet from the loo last week with a d&v bug, I hadn't realised I was being a pathetic parent for getting my DH to work from home so he could do the school/nursery run. Thanks for enlightening me OP, next time I'll know that to win the smug parenting competition, one must be a martyr at all times whether or not it makes the slightest bit of sense to do so.

BearFrills Thu 07-Mar-13 23:07:21

I think it depends on the extent of the reliance on other people. SIL has two DCs the same age as mine and MIL has them at her house seven days a week with the DCs sleeping over five nights because 'SIL likes to have the weekend off'. Off from what exactly!? MIL was at mine a few weeks ago and had to phone SIL to remind her to give the children lunch as apparently she will get her own but won't think to feed the kids - her own children, aged three and one.

MIL also watches the children when SIL works as SILs DH, who doesn't work, cannot cope with two children especially the 3yo who 'deliberately pushes his buttons and winds him up'. Even when they were newborns SIL would leave them at MILs as she 'can't deal with crying and night feeds' and her DH gets grumpy if his sleep is disturbed.

They seem to think I'm abnormal for spending "so much time" with my DCs and MIL often complains about how put upon she feels to have SILs children. Other relatives have told her that SIL will never learn to cope if MIL doesn't step back a bit. It's at the point where the rest of the family are completely left out and MIL is sat at home every day looking after two children, getting up during the night, doing potty training, 6am wake ups, etc while SIL and BIL basically live a child-free life (except when they trot them out in public for a spot of performance parenting).

I know some people do genuinely have trouble coping and as someone else said upthread some are rubbish with babies but great with teenagers however some people just don't want to bother themselves looking after their children.

foreverondiet Thu 07-Mar-13 23:07:23

I agree, I have 9, 6 and 2. I don't really understand why people plan such small age gaps such that they then can't cope with their DC.

Ok some pregnancies not planned, sometimes you plan for one and its twins and some children have SEN that could not be anticipated. And some parents develop mental health issues. But in most cases you are right....

LineRunner Thu 07-Mar-13 23:07:42

I wish I had help.

gaelicsheep Thu 07-Mar-13 23:09:26

Well I feel shit at the moment and I'm very lucky to have DH at home so.I could take to my bed and try to get better as quick as poss. I dare say I'd have coped somehow but it would have been miserable for us all.

I used to be afraid to take the kids out on my own. This was because I had anxiety problems and was equally afraid of going out by myself.

TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 23:11:30

When I was unable to move more than 6 feet from the loo last week with a d&v bug, I hadn't realised I was being a pathetic parent for getting my DH to work from home so he could do the school/nursery run. Thanks for enlightening me OP, next time I'll know that to win the smug parenting competition, one must be a martyr at all times whether or not it makes the slightest bit of sense to do so

Well at least you know now, ok?


TheChaoGoesMu Thu 07-Mar-13 23:13:29

I agree, I have 9, 6 and 2. I don't really understand why people plan such small age gaps such that they then can't cope with their DC.

Well done you for super perfect planning. Lets hope life doesn't throw anything at you to make your situation harder.

BegoniaBampot Thu 07-Mar-13 23:14:12

I live away from family and husband travels a lot. I'm torn and think it would be nice to have help and that close family bond thing but to also like my independence and feeling totally in control of what is happening.

DorsetLass Thu 07-Mar-13 23:15:05

Military family with two very small schildren with small age gap - so have to just get on with doing everything solo or we would never do anything - on our own for approx 6 months this year. I can do it alone - but prefer it an far enjoy it when have others adults round to help. If I could have help all the time I would!! I undertand our sentiment though - fact is that I think almost any parent can do everything alone with kids if they really want to - but why do it alone if you have a choice not to!! X

cory Thu 07-Mar-13 23:15:40

If dh was hospitalised I wouldn't be taking dc swimming anyway; I'd be trudging up to visit him in hospital.

christinarossetti Thu 07-Mar-13 23:16:09

I've got a considerably smaller age gap than OP and for various reasons involving Dh's work and his full time course on top have done pretty much everything over the last 6 years.

I'd love to have some family support and I'd also love to be able to take to my bed or at least rest when I'll ill.

This does not make me feel superior - just envious of those with more support than I.

I don't 'mind' the all consumingness of it all per se - just wish I had a choice to make it less intense and have the odd weekend off.

cory Thu 07-Mar-13 23:16:53

Though actually, I tend to tell my dc to go to the beach on their own these days; I am busy arranging my sticker collection.

PoppyWearer Thu 07-Mar-13 23:18:14

My SIL is another one who is unable to cope alone with her two pre-school children. It was bad enough when she was working part-time, PILs were drafted in regularly to help (this was with childcare AND a DH who got home on the dot of 5.30pm every night). But even now as a SAHM she still gets PILs to help all the time, as well as having paid-childcare. And this is not about enjoying PIL's company with the children - she frequently dumps her DCs on PILs and leaves the house.

Yes, it's good to have help, and I completely understand that when we are unwell or other scenarios such as special needs, twins etc do need help. But in a case with two children, a manageable age gap and supportive OH, you do wonder.

My children, my responsibility.

gaelicsheep Thu 07-Mar-13 23:18:58

See now I feel guilty. But I think a better outcome has been had for the children. And it's the first time in 6 years I've been laid low in bed.

whateveritakes Thu 07-Mar-13 23:24:12

YANBU op. I hate it too.

I used to nanny and would have lots of children of all different ages on my own doing lots of stuff. Other peoples children too so I was super careful and hand on and very attentive (less so now with my own).

I personally think it is to do with women having children older. You just get more careful and maybe a bit fussy with age.

ToTeachOrNotToTeach Thu 07-Mar-13 23:24:43

I'd love a hand. I'm often on my own and I'm tired and struggling.

Nicknamegrief Thu 07-Mar-13 23:27:27

Surely if help is available and offered you are daft not to take people up on it! It's like moaning you've got a headache and not actually trying to get rid of it. No medals for martyrs. Medals for those who have no option of help though.

I can and frequently do manage everything all by myself, its exhausting. My sister in law has far more help around. She shouts far less than I do. Pretty sure the help helps her be a better parent. I would rather be less shouty than 'miss does it all'.

cory Thu 07-Mar-13 23:28:51

I've just been watching my old box sets of David Attenborough and I think it's normal natural primate/monkey behaviour to want other members of the flock to pick up some of the slack. How much of a new development can it be if even tiny monkeys up in the rainforest canopy are at it? One species even made sure to have two males inseminate them so the females could have two willing helpers to offload their offspring on.

blackeyedsusan Thu 07-Mar-13 23:33:35


for threebeeonegee

rubyrubyruby Thu 07-Mar-13 23:36:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 07-Mar-13 23:37:13

Don't worry about it, OP.

I'm sure people who know you irl will have their own thoughts about you and things you should be better at.

If you are happy with the way you do things, others' lives need not concern you.

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