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to think dp is copping out of parenting?

(52 Posts)
terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 22:15:00

Dp and I have a 7 year old, two 6 year olds and a 20 month old between us. He works long hours but also has at least three days off out of every seven. My issue is regarding our toddler. I take her to the park, toddler group, the library, soft play, the farm and so on on my days with her. We also spend time at home reading, playing and painting/drawing and out walking our dog. She doesn't watch tv as I hate kids programmes and personally prefer all the other things we do, and think they're better for her.

When dp is off I work from home and he has dd. He usually takes her round shops and to MacDonalds, before driving with her til she naps. He then returns when she wakes, which is usually after she hasn't had a sufficient nap as the cold/wind/other cars etc wake her. In the evening when I go to read with our elder dd I ask toddler dd if she'd like daddy to read to her, and leave them doing so. But within two minutes they're downstairs watching tv. It's then up to me to settle her to sleep (she would never tolerate dp doing this) and I have said that watching tv means she takes longer to settle, but he still does it. I've said taking her to MacDonalds so often makes her fussy with food and cry for it if we drive past, but he still takes her there every time he has her.

My friend said he just has a different way of doing things but I think it's copping out to pretty much just pass time with her, doing whatever keeps her quiet (MacDonalds and tv) rather than properly interact and parent her. Aibu?

WooWooOwl Sun 23-Feb-14 22:21:36

I don't think he's copping out of parenting, but it does sound like he's over relying on the easy option of Mc Donald's and TV to ensure he only has to put in minimal effort.

If this is happening for three days every week, then it's far too much. I'd agree that's it's just a different way of doing things if it were only once a week or less, but this just sounds like pure laziness.

OrangePixie Sun 23-Feb-14 22:24:25

MacDonalds three times a week is not ok. Start with that, as its the most pressing issue.

Jolleigh Sun 23-Feb-14 22:27:38

Does he really think it's ok to feed a child McDonald's 3 times a week? shock

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Feb-14 22:28:29

Lol. McDonalds three times a week. You gotta laugh.

That's going to turn out well.

terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 22:45:45

We usually have MacDonalds once per week as it's the only meal that fits around work/school/extra-curricular activities on one day so that ups it to four times in a week if he takes her. I pack her a lunch bag but he takes her there instead.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 23-Feb-14 22:47:41


JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 23-Feb-14 22:48:25

My friend said he just has a different way of doing things

Yeah, a SHIT way of doing things that is all about what is easiest for him and not at all about what is best for his child.

winterlace Sun 23-Feb-14 22:50:24

He can't be that bad for you to have had 4 kids with him!

JoinYourPlayfellows Sun 23-Feb-14 22:52:36

I think they only share one child.

She says they have four children between them.

fuzzpig Sun 23-Feb-14 22:53:02

Sounds lazy to me!

fuzzpig Sun 23-Feb-14 22:54:34

(Not that I believe children need constant entertaining, not at all, but it does sound pretty boring and unhealthy for her if this is happening a lot)

winterlace Sun 23-Feb-14 22:54:58

I interpreted that as having four children between them ie belonging to them both!

Patchouli Sun 23-Feb-14 22:56:19

4x a week? For a toddler under 2.

DoJo Sun 23-Feb-14 23:01:32

Having MacDonalds four times a week is a problem - I can understand why you're pissed off with him for his part in this alone, but I think you need to stop taking her there as well, at least until he stops going there with her so frequently.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 23-Feb-14 23:05:25

McDonalds isn't a meal. It's pure filth. Good grief, four times a week. How unutterably tragic.

grobagsforever Sun 23-Feb-14 23:16:40

What does he say when you discuss this with him?

terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 23:17:44

She's the only child we share. DoJo it is literally the only thing that fits in with one particular nights routine term-time. I usually give her a bigger lunch that day so she only has a few fries anyway. It's him disregarding other food in favour of MacDonalds thats a problem imo.

terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 23:19:24

I packed her lunch yesterday and he saw me put an Apple in. He said he didn't know she liked apple, I said she'll eat what she's given if she's hungry and chips aren't on offer. He took her to MacDonalds.

dreamingbohemian Sun 23-Feb-14 23:28:03

Can you find some middle ground between you, or do you want him to do things exactly like you?

For example could they watch TV, just not before bed... go around the shops but skip the mcdonalds....

Ok the mcdonalds thing is weird, the rest of it doesn't sound that bad, just not to your liking.

terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 23:30:52

I just feel like his 'killing time' approach isn't helping him bond with dd like doing things she usually enjoys would.

grobagsforever Sun 23-Feb-14 23:38:10

So what is his justification?

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Feb-14 23:42:48

Do you do lots of things every day with your DD? Or does she get time to just play on her own too?
It might be that your DH (like me) isn't too good on the constant entertaining with small children. Can't you 'allow' them to watch some TV/a film sometimes during the day too? As long as there is some play/reading happening too?
And why the constant going out? If they don't go out, he can't feed her McDonalds. Can he not cook? Or reheat previously prepared food? Or make a sandwich? Shopping every day shouldn't be necessary either and she can sleep in her cot.

I would be very upset at 4 McDonalds a week. Why don't you all eat together except for the activities night?

dreamingbohemian Sun 23-Feb-14 23:47:40

Maybe, or maybe they're just bonding in a different way. Is she miserable with him? Spend all day crying? Is he affectionate with her? Do they share laughs and cuddles?

Some people are into activities, some people are into hanging out. It's perfectly possible to bond while having aimless days. I think the activities are less important than whether she's happy and comfortable with him, whether he's affectionate and taking care of her.

terrificallytremendous Sun 23-Feb-14 23:52:11

Nanny I do something every day but not all day every day - obviously there is housework and Washing to be done etc in which case she plays alone or helps. She isn't really interested in tv yet - she fidgets after a minute but he keeps replacing her in front of it. It's not something I really want to encourage if she isn't interested tbh. We do all eat together in the evenings, the MacDonalds trips are during the day. He won't stay home with her as he thinks he'd struggle to occupy her and that being out is a distraction. He constantly asks older dd to help him 'keep her happy' if I'm doing a job, or says he likes 'helping me out' on his day off. It's like he thinks he's a substitute and just occupying her until I'm available again.

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