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Or is the father selfish?

(28 Posts)
DarkLightMamma Mon 29-Aug-16 17:32:28

So the father of my baby (due November) has been grating on my nerves a bit recently. We're not together, in fact we are just friends who were a bit careless, so our baby is unexpected but definitely not unwanted! We've agreed to be the best parents possible for our daughter and work together to be a united front. Recently though I've been having some concerns, the first is that if we go somewhere I 'volunteer' to drive, even when I'm absolutely exhausted, because if he drives he will chain smoke in the car, despite the fact I've asked him not to and that sometimes I suffer severe breast pain due to feeling cold.

The second is that when he comes over to stay the night at mine he always has a bottle of wine. I've asked him why and he's told me he can't sleep without at least a few glasses a night. This makes me think he's alcohol dependant. I had a discussion with him because a friend wants to take me to Blackpool next May for a few days, a trial really to see how I do being separate from my baby. I've said to him that he cannot have a drink while he's watching her because if she cries in the middle of the night he needs to be up and there for her, to which his response was; well we'll see how we go.

Thirdly, I have a rescue rabbit who sometimes suffers panic attacks when he's in enclosed spaces (such as his carry case when I have to take him to the vets), or if he's picked up suddenly. I was in a situation the other day where I had to pick him up and then spent about 20 minutes trying to calm him down. The father turned round to me after 5 minutes and told me he was fine and to put him back into the hutch. Now the rabbit was not fine, he was hyperventilating and trying to burrow into me.

Finally (not actually but I could go on!) I live in the sticks where internet and mobile coverage is non-existant unless you have broadband, and it was finally installed the other day, but considering he is 11 years older than I am, I should be the one constantly on my phone, but he cannot put the damn thing down. If his phone goes off he has to check it immediately, I made dinner the other day and made a slight mistake with the sauce and he told me it was a shame I didn't have internet because then he could Google how to make the sauce right. I got a bit annoyed because I said; I know how to make the sauce, I just made a mistake, then his response was; If we had Google you wouldn't make the mistake. The main thing I'm concerned with here is that he cannot leave his phone alone, will cut off mid-sentence to check it and then can't talk to me and do what he's doing on his phone.

Now, it might just be my pregnancy hormones but all of these things put together is making me worry that I can't trust the father with our daughter, am I being unreasonable or do I have a genuine cause for concern?

t4nut Mon 29-Aug-16 17:34:24


ElspethFlashman Mon 29-Aug-16 17:36:44

Are you living with him?

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 29-Aug-16 17:37:36

It's almost like you're expecting him to act like a partner when he isn't.

He's been unthinking at times, no doubt, but that's no bearing on how he will be as a father at all.

jimbob1 Mon 29-Aug-16 17:37:41

I do think he sounds very selfish and actually a bit of an ass. Not sure it would prevent him said holding a glass of prosecco from parenting but I do think he needs a kick up the bum.

trafalgargal Mon 29-Aug-16 17:44:57

Why do you need to be separate from your baby ? That's odd ....even odder to plan for it before the baby is born .

Why would you have a babysitter who chain smokes and drinks wine so he can pass out to sleep ( and not wake if the baby does) just because he's a sperm donor (not even a boyfriend just a shag). Are you expecting him to have a new partner by next May to share the childcare ?

ElspethFlashman Mon 29-Aug-16 17:49:51

This is all very confusing. Why are you so shirty about him thinking a rabbit would be fine after a cuddle? I confess it would never occur to me that it'd take 20 mins. But you seemed to take it really badly.

And it's not like it's his rabbit, so who cares that he was mistaken about this particular ones needs? confused

Incidentally, it will be very difficult to spend 20 mins calming a rabbit when you have a newborn tbh. You may have to put the rabbit down long before that.

TaterTots Mon 29-Aug-16 17:53:52

He's not your partner. Your pet is not his responsibility. However, anyone who smokes with a pregnant woman in the car needs a kick below the waist.

DarkLightMamma Mon 29-Aug-16 17:55:28

I thought it would probably be hormones, at the moment I'm not sure what's me and what's not!

We don't live together, and no, I'm not expecting him to act like a partner in the romantic sense, just a partner in the parenthood sense.

As I say, the fact he smokes with a pregnant woman in the car, makes me wonder if he'll smoke with the baby in the car. The fact he has to have a few glasses of wine to sleep every night and when I brought up he won't be able to drink he seemed a bit dismissive. It probably is me being unreasonable, I'm just not in the best position right now to judge properly so wanted to get other peoples thoughts who are outside to this.

And I'm planning it before the baby is born because I know what I'm like, I'm very independent and if I get it into my head when the baby is here that no one else can look after her, then I'm stuck in a rut so need to plan ahead so that I don't give myself the opportunity to be an overbearing mother.

And that is a bit callous to say. He's not a sperm donor or a babysitter, he's the father to the baby. He and I need to be a united front in parenthood so I don't think I'm being unreasonable in trying to work out if I'm being a melodramatic mother-to-be!

phillipp Mon 29-Aug-16 18:03:51

The drinking part is a little odd. I think you are right to be concerned that he has an issue with drink, since he has to drink every night.

But in normal circumstances parents up and down the country have a glass of wine while looking after their kids.

I can't tell if you are being unrealistic in your expectations or it's an actual problem.

You aren't his partner, he can go on his phone as much as he wants. The rabbit thing is just odd. It's your rabbit why is it so bad he thought it would be OK after 5 minutes?

The chain smoking is a no no but I don't get what breast pain when you have a cold has to do with that.

I think Yabu a little bit. But the smoking isn't ok.

Iggi999 Mon 29-Aug-16 18:09:39

He may wise up a bit when the baby comes. Or he may not. What you have control over though is your own body and you can decide not to get in a car with him when he's smoking. Why can't you put your foot down about that - no smoke or you don't go?
He doesn't sound like someone I'd want to be leaving my 6 month old with, no, unless he had access granted and I had no choice.

DarkLightMamma Mon 29-Aug-16 18:18:44

I have taken control of that. That's why despite being exhausted I drive everywhere. He's not allowed to smoke in my house or my car.

When the window is down and the cold air gets me too cold I feel like there are razor blades on my breasts, I know not everyone gets this when pregnant but sadly I am one of those who ends up in excruciating agony. It's not very common according to my midwife.

It's not about the rabbit, it's that he knows the rabbit suffers from panic attacks and even though the rabbit was still panicking said he was fine and to put him back in the hutch. I get that a lot of people just see it as another 'animal' but when I took on the rabbit I also took on his wellbeing. That means looking after him and reassuring him when he panics. Equate that to a child, the child is panicking because of, I don't know, a nightmare for example. Walk in, pat their head tell them there's nothing to worry about and walk out. That child is still scared.

Hhmyeahsuremaybe Mon 29-Aug-16 18:34:38

'We don't live together, and no, I'm not expecting him to act like a partner in the romantic sense, just a partner in the parenthood sense'

I don't think it works like that. Also sounds like you're both still doing it if he's staying over. Sure, you can co parent...
What if he gets a girlfriend?

You do seem to be expecting a lot from him. You should be focussing more on how you'll cope being a single parent with no extra help in the night and support elsewhere like your family

phillipp Mon 29-Aug-16 18:35:02

You see the rabbit thing is making you sound unreasonable. Even though Yanbu about all of it.

It's a rabbit, not a child. You can't compare the two. I had a rabbit that lived in a hitch outside, that doesn't mean I make my kids sleep outside. I now have a dog, that's not allowed to sleep on my bed. But the kids can get in.

Plenty of parents aren't great with animals and plenty of people who are great with animals are crap with kids.

phillipp Mon 29-Aug-16 18:37:19

Also I do think both of you are blurring the boundaries.

Why is he staying over and eating dinner with you?

While it's great you are both wanting to be good parents and co parent effectively. You are almost living like a couple dating.

Bailey101 Mon 29-Aug-16 18:41:15

It sounds like he's spending a lot of time at yours and going places together. It sounds like you need to have a lot more time apart, otherwise you might end up falling out badly before the baby comes and that won't help co-parenting at all.

BestZebbie Mon 29-Aug-16 18:51:14

I think your concerns are valid - in particular the smoking and drinking (I see your point about the rabbit but he might well think of his own child differently to his friend's rabbit). He may also feel that "parenting" hasn't begun yet, although for you of course it has done as you are pregnant.

Although you want to be able to properly share parenting, if after the baby is here you genuinely think there would be a risk to the baby to leave this guy in sole charge overnight, then don't do it. It seems forever at the start, but babies change very very quickly, and a very young baby is at far more risk from being around a smoker who can't hear them in the night than even a slightly older child would be, because of SIDS, fire and being relatively immobile in the cot (getting into an awkward position etc).
If you end up not leaving the baby for an extra six months, that is a blink of an eye in terms of the total time you will spend looking after it and knowing the person it will grow up into.

You may even want to think about whether he is going on the birth certificate/he might want to demonstrate his fitness to you before that becomes an issue if you might want to limit this. On the other hand, there are thousands of healthy adults in the country right now who had two smoking parents who drank at night - and hundreds of babies dealing with it perfectly well right now, so you may feel that this would be excessive given that you need to amicably co-parent.

DarkLightMamma Mon 29-Aug-16 18:58:01

It probably doesn't work like that. But he has agreed to be involved, which I know I am lucky, if he was anything like my sperm donor dad he'd have run off by now. If he gets a girlfriend that's fine, I've already told him that as long as she doesn't get in the way of him being there for his child then I'm happy for him. I'm only focused on me and my daughter right now, and working on what's the best thing for her. Which is why I posed the question on here in the first place, because I know I am emotionally involved and am not seeing this objectively.

Again, it's not about the rabbit. It's about the fact that I know what's best for my animal and I didn't feel that wasn't being respected. If that's the case with the animal, is it also going to be the case with the child? Though I get your point BestZebbie. I'll be the first to admit I get too emotionally attached when children or animals are involved so admit that I treat my animal as if it were my child, the father knows this. So telling me to put him away when it's clearly not the right thing for him worried me. phillipp, did your rabbit have special needs? Does your dog? If they did/do then you'll understand my concerns, if they didn't/don't then I hope you never have to deal with it. It's heartbreaking.

As for why he stays over with me and I cook him dinner, we have a lot to discuss where our daughter is concerned, in order for us to co-parent together we have to be on the same page. He's still a friend at the end of the day and despite this rather drastic change in circumstances we want to stay that way. Although I do take point that we probably need to spend a bit more time away from each other right now, especially as I'm getting closer to my due date and closer to the end of my thread!!

Thanks for everyone's input! I feel like I can look at this a lot more objectively now.

StopMakingMeLogOn Mon 29-Aug-16 19:08:45

I don't think you are being hormonal or over reacting. Anyone who chain smokes in a car with a pg woman is a selfish prick. He might not be your partner in a romantic sense but I would expect him to take care that you are comfortable and not cold in his car. Even if he wasn't the father of your baby and just some bloke you were car pooling with, I'd still expect him to prioritise the comfort of a pg woman.

Given that he knows the rabbit is nervous, it says something not very nice about his character that he doesn't care about the animal's wellbeing. I don't see the relevance in posters telling you that you wont be able to spend all this time caring for the animal once the baby is born. You may or may not - as things stand you can take the time now. You may find you manage perfectly well once the baby arrives. After all, plenty of people care for more than one child simultaneously. I agree with you in that if you take on an animal you should do all you csn to care for it properly.

The drinking would also cause me some concern. No one should be drinking themselves to sleep while responsible for children. He wouldn't be looking after mine by himself.

The phone thing is the only issue where I think yabu. Although it is rude, phone use has no bearing on his ultimate ability to look after a child. The other stuff definitely does.

Iggi999 Mon 29-Aug-16 19:13:15

You would kind of expect the bloke to forgo an hour's smoking so he could drive no give the pg person a rest. Not in his case though. He can clearly last that long since he goes in your car.
Are you hoping to continue with a FWB thing, with a baby? There really isn't enough to discuss that warrants overnight stays.

phillipp Mon 29-Aug-16 19:21:46

phillipp, did your rabbit have special needs? Does your dog? If they did/do then you'll understand my concerns, if they didn't/don't then I hope you never have to deal with it. It's heartbreaking.

All animals have special needs and my dog is 20 weeks old and had a bad start on life. So yes I can say she definitely does. I get your point about feeling like he did respect you (though that's didn't come across as the issue in the op or post after) but i stand by my point. The way he views a friend rabbit is no indication of what his parenting skills will be.

DarkLightMamma Mon 29-Aug-16 19:29:46

The FWB thing stopped the minute I found out I was pregnant. I don't feel that we'd make the best parents with that carrying on. Honestly, the reason he stays overnight is because he sometimes comes over when I've finished work to see if I need anything, which is great. But of course I'm not the sort of person who can cook dinner for one with someone there so he ends up having dinner with me, then has a few glasses of wine so can't really drive home.

Maybe he will stop when she's here, but one thing is for sure, I won't be leaving him to care for her on his own unless I'm 1 million percent sure he can stop his drinking habits while looking after her and doesn't smoke with her in the car. He has a few months to prove it to me so we'll see where we are in May. Worst case scenario, she comes with me to Blackpool for a few days!

Roseformeplease Mon 29-Aug-16 19:37:19

Not sure you will want to leave your baby for a few days at 6 months old. Baby will only be beginning weaning and, if breastfeeding, this might be an issue. But, more importantly, choosing not to leave your baby at 6 months is perfectly normal.

EttaJ Mon 29-Aug-16 19:44:23

All sounds terrible. Poor baby.

AgentPineapple Mon 29-Aug-16 19:56:15

He sounds like a complete arse to me with a drink problem. I would never let him smoke in the car with a pregnant woman, that is selfish and he is behaving like a dick.

He can be a dad to the baby but that doesn't mean you and him have to spend time together aside from the baby.

I suspect he will be a shit dad and you'll just want shot of him

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