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To have gone to ds when he was upset? Dh thinks so....

(268 Posts)
Tory79 Fri 06-Jun-14 13:15:46

To the extent that he's not speaking to me!

So dh took ds (2.8) up for his bath and bed last night. Ds was overtired I think, and for whatever reason, bath time quickly descended in to a hysterical screaming fit on the part of ds, typical toddler issues of want to get in bath/dont want to get in bath etc etc but from downstairs I could ds doing those horrible chokey sobs, despite dhs best efforts to calm him. So I went upstairs, poked my head round the bathroom door and dh asked me to go away and let him handle it - I went back downstairs.

A few minutes later ds could be heard wailing for me at the top of the stairs, clearly no calmer and really wanting mummy. So I went back up, ave him a cuddle and stayed up there for about 5m until he was calmer, then I went back downstairs and dh finished putting him to bed. When he came down he was clearly annoyed and we spent the rest of the evening in silence. The same thing happened about 4 weeks ago as well.

So, I think I was not being unreasonable to have gone to ds, on the basis that Ds has no problem with dh putting him to bed, they normally have a whale of a time. It's not like we have a problem to fix iykwim. Ds was just overtired, and to be frank I'm better at calming him down than dh is - if I'd not gone up dh would probably have ended up getting cross and putting ds to bed still upset.
Or was I being unreasonable because dh wanted me to let him deal with it?

AElfgifu Fri 06-Jun-14 13:18:28

YABVU. I'm sure that your OH was quite capable of dealing with the situation, and you undermined him, unsettled the child further, and made it far more likley that he will react in the same way next time his Dad tries to do bedtime.

Sorry, but I think your actions were very unhelpful in the long term.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 06-Jun-14 13:18:37

No, YWNBU. Your baby wanted you and you went to him.

If your husband feels undermined or like you stepped on his toes, that's something the two of you can discuss, but in itself, there's nothing wrong with going to comfort your upset child.

OriginofSymmetry Fri 06-Jun-14 13:18:49

Regardless of the ins and outs of this particular situation I think you and your dh need to sit down and talk to agree on a parenting strategy that doesn't pit you against one another and allow your ds to realise this.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 06-Jun-14 13:19:49

I also think it's very childish of your husband to be "not speaking" to you over this. That's not how issues are resolved fgs.

sezamcgregor Fri 06-Jun-14 13:20:05

Unfortunately, I do think YABU

You undermined DH infront of your child.

You should have let him deal with it and then spoken about it afterwards if you were concerned. You're both his parents and you need to be able to trust each other.

Busymumto3dc Fri 06-Jun-14 13:21:58

Tbh I thjnk your dh should of put his child's needs first

Rideronthestorm Fri 06-Jun-14 13:23:59

YABVU - you undermined your DH and that may come back to bite you. You owe him a grovelling apology.

WyrdByrd Fri 06-Jun-14 13:24:18

I can see it from both sides tbh.

I'm sure I've done the same when DD was younger and it's probably pissed off DH, I just can't imagine not going to her if she's obviously really wanting/needing me.

That said I think the context is important. If this kind of thing happens a lot and you never let DH get on with it, he probably thinks you are undermining him or don't think he can cope with DS.

MrsRuffdiamond Fri 06-Jun-14 13:24:37

You undoubtedly were BU, in your dh's eyes, for what he probably sees as you undermining him.

However, I don't think you are BU at all, because it's exactly what I would do. (I'm always sure I can handle things better. I know dh thinks I'm unbearable, sometimes!)

So, on balance, YANBU grin

AElfgifu Fri 06-Jun-14 13:24:38

Busymum, I think it IS putting the child's need first to teach him that both parents are equally capable, care for him equally, and he cannot manipulate one off against the other.

Not a baby, smiteyou, a nearly three year old!

Toddlers have screaming fits, we all deal with them, fathers can deal with them too!

TheLovelyBoots Fri 06-Jun-14 13:24:41

I think you slightly undermined him.

I wouldn't indulge a 2.8 year old's preference for one parent over the other, barring special circumstances.

cingolimama Fri 06-Jun-14 13:25:11

Ditto what AElf said.

I think mothers (and I include myself in this) sometimes have great difficulty in stepping back and letting their partners deal with things. Resist the urge to "step in". It's terribly undermining for your DH.

evertonmint Fri 06-Jun-14 13:27:34

We often had this with DD, still do now occasionally (she is 3.8), where she would want whichever one of us to comfort her who hadn't been there when she got annoyed. After a few episodes where the other person would feel undermined, we now either wait for each other to ask for help or specifically ask "do you want me to come and comfort her or leave her to you?" so the parent facing the brunt of it gets to decide how it is dealt with, thus preventing any feelings of being undermined.

So I think YABU. Otherwise your DS will quickly pick up that you come even when daddy is dealing with him. He needs to know that if daddy is dealing with him and his tantrums then daddy is the one in control of what happens.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Fri 06-Jun-14 13:27:44

You didn't undermine him - you went to help. If I'm bathing DS and it's chaos I appreciate all the hands I can get! The other day he was over tired and screaming in the bath and I was glad dh looked in to check we were ok/I didn't want a break.

If my child was sobbing for me in particular, I'd definitely go and vice versa with dh - when they're vin that state there is no reasoning with them and the joint goal should be to calm the situation as quickly as possible.

Your ds is not playing you off against one another, he's a very young child who when desperately upset wanted a cuddle from mummy. There is nothing wrong with him wanting that or you providing it. Neither my dh or I would have been bothered by the situation you describe.

motherofmonster Fri 06-Jun-14 13:27:57

TBH i think yabu.

You undermined your husband in front of ds. you should be putting forward a united front. Now your ds has learnt that if daddy does something i dont like i can scream and scream and mummy will fix it.

Under estimate the divide and conquering power of a toddler at your peril lol

Busymumto3dc Fri 06-Jun-14 13:29:38

If one if our dc was screaming for me I think dp would want me to see to them

As would I if it was the other way around

CatsCantTwerk Fri 06-Jun-14 13:31:26


BolshierAyraStark Fri 06-Jun-14 13:31:46

YABU but I understand why as I sometimes have this-purely because they spend more time with me.

I'd never do what you did though as it's not helpful in the long run & DH is perfectly capable of dealing with toddler meltdowns, as I'm sure is yours.

Flexibilityiskey Fri 06-Jun-14 13:33:25

I am well and truly on the fence for this one. I think you were probably wrong to intervene, but I know how hard it is to ignore your child when they are sobbing for you, and I would probably have done the same. The way I read it, your DS was just overtired, and emotional, rather than being naughty and told off?

I am sure DH and I have had similar situations, and I have intervened, without DH minding at all. Whatever works at that moment. In the same way that there have been times I have asked DH to deal with DS before I strangle him because at that moment that was what worked best.

Maybe you need to sit down and work out ways of coping with situations like this in future, where you can both use your strengths without undermining each other?

spottydolphin Fri 06-Jun-14 13:34:21


he wanted YOU. I can't really understand why your DH was happy to have your son hysterically crying for you rather than just let you cuddle him and calm him down confused

isn't working together what this is all about?? he doesn't get a medal for doing it single-handedly when the child is clearly distressed.

I don't think you undermined him. He hadn't told DS one thing and you did another. He was being unreasonable, and you comforted your son.

Canthisonebeused Fri 06-Jun-14 13:34:35

I'm with jelly I don't think it matters that the other patent comforts the dc. It can often be a good deesculation. I'm not keen on with holding comfort for no real reason. He was tired and upset, it's not like he was being told off or punished and one parent over rid the actions of another.

Tory79 Fri 06-Jun-14 13:34:53

I've got to say I really don't see it as undermining dh though, more helping ds? I don't think ds even noticed the first time I went upstairs.

For background ds is an incredibly happy little thing normally. It is very very rare for him to get that upset so I really don't see it as any kind of tactic if that makes sense, but a genuine need. He LOVES bath time with daddy (it's far more fun than bathrobe with mummy!) he's got upset before and I'm more than happy to leave dh to it, but those chokey sobs tear my heart out (partly as he almost never gets to that point, oh and disclaimer I'm 22 weeks pregnant and very sensitive at present!)

fifi669 Fri 06-Jun-14 13:36:23

DS is 3 and will often say he wants daddy/mummy to put him to bed when the other is already doing it. We don't give in to his demands, even when the tears break me. We think it sets a precedent he'll play on.

Tory79 Fri 06-Jun-14 13:37:27

Oh yes he wasn't being naughty, he was just tired and upset, a very different thing to dh trying to discipline him for something and me interfering (which I definitely don't do!)

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