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To expect dh to be able to look after dd by himself? Like I have to.

(96 Posts)
happydaze77 Mon 30-Sep-13 10:47:14

I should start by saying that dh is generally a very helpful and supportive husband and father. However my bugbear is this:
While he is at work I look after dd by myself. When he is at home we look after dd together

I really would have thought that, by now, he would be able to take charge now and again. He seems to prefer to do all the 'behind the scenes' jobs like emptying the dishwasher and feeding the rabbit but seems incapable of taking any initiative with dd. For example I am always the one who sorts her dinner, knows when she'll need her next nap etc. He can just take a shower as and when he pleases whereas I have to ask permission. I just want him to know what it's like to have to take dd to the toilet every time you need to go!

I haven't had a break for nearly a year and I am going insane. Her grandparents are the same - they think they are coming around to 'help' but all they do is wind dd up play with dd, then leave me to deal with the fallout.

I return to work in a few days time and so emotions are running a bit high to say the least. Am I expecting too much?

thegoldenfool Mon 30-Sep-13 12:35:20

i am i another country where working parents both get some mandatory - use it or loose it - parental leave

it really does reset the expectations for childcare and responsibility to be shared, it just as likely for men to be leaving work saying - oh just had a call my child is sick and I need to pick them up from nursery etc. All women (parents and non-parents) are treated more equally.

it´s great for the mums, dads and children smile

happydaze77 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:37:13

It's good to know I'm not the only one. I need to lighten up a bit though I think. I just wish he could cope with a bad nappy/emergency bath by himself now and again, or take her out by himself, or decide what she's going to eat, or wear etc etc. You know, the sort of things we do without a second thought!

CatAmongThePigeons Mon 30-Sep-13 14:44:48

I've made DH do these things- he will change a poosplosion, bath, clothes, food and even sorts the change bag.
He grew up with a 'traditional' set up and it took time to sort it, sending him out with the DC makes him cope and believe me, he'll be better than you imagine.

DH took DS2 to a group on his own today, he told me to stay at home.

Just tell him what you expect him to do and then do what you want for a bit. It will become second nature to him.

happydaze77 Mon 30-Sep-13 14:51:43

That's the thing - I know he'll be great at it, and they already have such a great bond. I think he lacks the confidence. I don't really expect it to 'all go wrong' (that was bit melodramatic on my part- sorry -had a bad morning)

I thinks it has stemmed from when she tiny and breastfed almost constantly and napped only on me, so dh had no choice but to take on a more practical 'behind the scenes role'.

Vivacia Mon 30-Sep-13 14:58:54

becs this is one of the most insightful things I've read in days, it really struck a chord with me, Give him information but not orders.

I think you need to do two things. One, talk to him about you needing him to show some initiative. Two, then let him. Also, get in to the habit of saying you're just popping to the shops or for a shower or to a friend's for a cup of tea or whatever.

TigerBabyyy Mon 30-Sep-13 15:00:40

I could of wrote your op.

I went to my mothers house whos a 5 min drive away the other night, and left 11 months old dd with dh. I said i would be around an hour.

Exactly an hour later he rang me asking me to come back as dd was screaming and screaming and he couldnt settle her.

I returned home to find dd in her cot screaming and as soon as i picked her up she stopped.

Last night i asked dh to watch dd downstairs whilst i cleaned the bathroom.

He decided he would put the tea on. All very good etc only he put the gas on too high and burnt the lamb chops which set the smoke alarm off in the lounge and had dd screaming.

The alarm went off 4 times in the space of a few mins. Dd had got herself in such a state that she wouldnt eat her tea and threw up straight afterwards.

The kitchen was also a bombsite and the tea was vile as it wasnt cooked properly so i ended up chucking it in the bin and having some weetabix!


sweetestcup Mon 30-Sep-13 15:00:51

In the nicest possible way he probably lacks confidence because youve never let him just get on with it, its then a vicious circle.

Vivacia Mon 30-Sep-13 15:01:38

happydaze I remember my wonderful auntie telling me that perhaps my partner didn't do things because he was worried about getting it wrong. What she meant was, he was worried I would criticise and point out his mistakes. I started to practice letting him do things, saying, "whatever you think best" or "I'm not sure, what do you think?" when he asked how to do something and last but not least, thanking him all the time with absolutely no criticism.

Vivacia Mon 30-Sep-13 15:04:18

Could have written


happydaze77 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:06:51

You're both right sweetestcup and Vivacia (and everyone else who has basically told me to let go a bit more) Thank you. I will try.

I posted on here rather than on the parenting section as I wanted people to 'tell it like it is'.

smaths Mon 30-Sep-13 15:24:31

I give my husband no option, but plenty of warning. As my daughter was breastfed, like with your twins, he wasn't terribly involved because life revolved around my boobs. However, when I went back to work after 7 months he had to look after her all day on his own for 2 days a week until she was a year old - since then she goes to a nursery. In at the deep end! Up to that point he had changed one nappy. But, he got on with it, there were a few hiccups along the way but they survived. For a year til I went on maternity leave again he got her up every day and took her to nursery as I have to leave for work at 630am.

Outside of normal day to day arrangements (ie the leaving to nursery) I just give increasing amounts of notice if I need him to do stuff. E.g late home from work and he has to do dinner, a couple of hours notice. Out for dinner/drinks/cinema with friends over bedtime time - a couple of days notice. Away for a night - a weeks notice. He has the option to say no but never does if he has enough warning. Works for us!

OP you just have to take the plunge, go out and leave him to figure out how to do things his way (try not to criticise if it's not how you would do it, so long as no harm is done. Eg if he feeds dc custard for dinner and puts them to bed with pyjamas on inside out and back to front it doesn't really matter - just keep your thoughts to yourself! )

nextphase Mon 30-Sep-13 19:32:51

Honestly, it will be OK.
Kids left with DH friday night. He has done it before, but only when at work, so has had to get kids dressed and out the house, and then fed and into bed in the evenings. This was the first weekend solo.

OK, so somewhere in nursery are 2 pairs of DS2's trousers, we have a random jumper and pair of trousers which are not ours, DS1's water bottle was still at nursery, and his homework is ???? (good job really, as he hadnm't done any reading, so non of it would be done!) BUT, they were cleaned, fed (junk mainly!), and had a lovely time. Job done!

Faux Mon 30-Sep-13 19:50:41

When DH takes DD to the park it is with a bag packed by me with snacks, drinks, change of clothes, she's just been to the toilet and I've got her dressed and ready, I nag her to fasten her shoes, find her scooter, put her jacket on. I check the weather forecast. I get her outside, he just puts his shoes on and goes. He literally doesn't even lock the door behind him, just leaves it swinging open. My job.
When they get back he heads off to do something else and I put the muddy clothes in the wash, I put the plaster on the knee, put her in the bath...

It's like I hold all responsibility, and my free time is strictly only time she is physically outside.

That stresses me out kind of.

pantsonbackwards Mon 30-Sep-13 22:26:47

Faux. Why on earth do you do all that? You're babying him!

zoobaby Mon 30-Sep-13 22:42:31

Feeling your pain happy. I've been "training" DP for about 6 months now in anticipation of my return to work. He still has no idea of timings or sequences. Just makes up random things when quizzed. Argh. No idea what DS will eat or when/if he'll sleep, but at least I know he'll be well cared for and have great fun on his "dad days".

Faux Tue 01-Oct-13 01:57:41

I honestly try not to! I disappear upstairs, he calls up "Is her bag ready?" I go "No dear. I'm ironing in the spare bedroom, have a nice time!" He goes "Are you free to help?" I go "I'm ironing, the snacks are in the lunchbox drawer!" He goes "I don't know where that is. Where are her shoes? She doesn't know where her coat is - can't you just come and help us? Why wouldn't you want to help!? Does she need gloves? Is it cold? She wants gloves now. Where are they? Have you got a key to open the door?"

mrsspagbol Tue 01-Oct-13 03:26:42

omg Faux you need to address that pronto!!! hmm

SatinSandals Tue 01-Oct-13 05:14:54

He isn't your child, Faux. Just go out for lunch one day, tell him in advance and go. He will cope when he has to. The same with OP, just go out.

jasminerose Tue 01-Oct-13 06:36:55

This is why I hope my dds carry on working. We take it in turns with the kids dh can do absolutely everything with them.

Why on earth cant he deal with a 1 year old? confused

BeaWheesht Tue 01-Oct-13 06:44:54

Dh does feed them when he's here but he drives me mental in other ways. So for example one of the dc ask a question one of three million that hour and Dh just ignores it and expects me to answer. Ds is the oldest and almost 7, Dh has had the dc alone for a whole day once and got his mum round so he basically sat on his bum whilst she fussed around them.

I am going away for a whole weekend soon, asked Dh if he could try and manage without his parents and he looked at me like I was unhinged and said 'no way'. This also annoys me because we live here near his parents because this is where his job is and where he wants to live whereas all my family are some distance awyay.

Recently I had been up with ill dd all night and when I said to Dh I was tired and felt ill he said ' well at least it's not as if you have to do anything like go to work'

so I killed him

jasminerose Tue 01-Oct-13 06:46:02

Reading these some of you have awful dhs and dps, especially fauxs and pantsonbackwards.

Dh has had exclusively breastfed dd2 and dd1 whilst I have been away on nights with my friends, does any nights out I want, does the childcare whilst Im at work, lools after ours and our friends babies/children at same time etc. There is nothing I do that he cant just aa good as me, and thats normal from what I see from most dads except the deadbeat ones

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 01-Oct-13 06:52:35

I worked weekends away. Left one, two and then three dcs with dh for 72hrs at a time. They are all still alive, and everything..

Just. Go. Out. And. Leave. Him. To. It.

And yes, the first two were bf. The third has cerebral palsy and was born without a suck reflex, so was tube fed. Their father is a parent, just like their mother.

I have never really understood this infantilisation of fathers. I wasn't born knowing what to do with a baby, but being a reasonably intelligent adult, I worked it out once I gave birth. So can any other adult. Given the chance...

SatinSandals Tue 01-Oct-13 06:54:48

I think that the fault is that the woman takes charge at the start and expects change later. If you let him get on with it from day 1 you don't have a problem. In most cases women are not any more experienced so you really don't have to tell him what to do!
I haven't understood either prissy , you just need to go out and let him get on with it! They will both survive.

Thants Tue 01-Oct-13 07:16:05

Just go out in the evening and leave her with him.

pantsonbackwards Tue 01-Oct-13 07:23:27

Faux. So a nice bit of emotional blackmail there, implying that you are neglecting your child hmm

I would reply with "and why wouldn't you be able to sort it out yourself?!" Or perhaps just tell him to stop using that emotional blackmail shit and sort things out for his own kid for once, for fuck sake!

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