AIBU and expecting too much?(11 Posts)
OH rushing around this morning as taking DSDs home (5 hour round trip).
We fell out as he was stressing over "all the things he had to do" and I suggested they should help.
Had to be forced into the shower after spending all morning sitting in bed on iPads (2nd one they have had in a week of being here) he sorts them out a towel each (they are quite accessible in a cupboard by bathroom) the sorts out clean outfits for them to wear, then packs their suitcase, strips their beds (in DSs room who is returning today) and stacks dishwasher from the plates they used last night (which they are supposed to do) - I was making food for journey while all this was going on and DSDs sat on iPads.
They are 12 and 10 - AIBU to think they are perfectly capable of assisting, esp picking out their own clothes?!
Apparently I am according to OH
In my (limited) experience, non-resident parents often overcompensate by doing and giving more than resident parents as they're trying to get through contact time pleasantly and avoid conflict.
Yeah I think you may have a point.
Also irks me as my 3 are expected to do a hell of a lot more - DSDs are forced to muck in a bit more when they are here but when they (my 3) aren't here OH runs around after them like they might break if forced to do something for themselves.
Of course they are more than capable of sorting themselves out. I expect that and more from my 12year old ds.
Out of curiosity at what age does he your OH think they should be doing this stuff?
My kids would think I'd lost it if I'd picked out their outfits at that age. Yanbu, they are capable of doing all those things and should do so if other kids the house are expected to.
I have no idea - DS2 was 7/8 when we met and he was doing all of those things then!!
Now if they were under 5 I would say you have a point
At 12 and 10 he is babying them
YANBU. They're old enough to do things like sort themselves towels and pack their own cases and I'm amazed that they would actually want their dad picking out their clothes for them to wear! They are too old for that, surely.
I think your DP probably just doesn't want to spend his limited time with them nagging them, and wants to be the 'fun' parent, and is babying them as a result. I can see how the issue has arisen, but I don't think he's doing them any favours.
Couldn't you have just said to the girls "Dad's got loads to do before he takes you home, so what would be really nice would be if you could just help him out by getting your stuff packed and your clothes ready for tomorrow. Then he won't be all stressed out for tomorrow." You don't have to nag them or make a big deal out of it. It sounds like you feel like you're not allowed to speak to them.
Also, don't blame the kids for this situation: you and your DP are the adults here. Most kids are oblivious to what needs doing and just accept it if people do things for them.
I once had to point out to my ex that his 12 year old (who had four younger half-siblings at his DM's house and certainly wasn't mollycoddled there) didn't need us to make his bed or run his bath for him when he came to stay at half term.
He only just stopped running baths for them!!
To be fair if I do say anything to the girls they are more than happy to help - I was just elsewhere and came back to see the unfolding situation.
He does really baby them - he still holds their hands when we are in town and they call him "daddy" (which obvs is fine - I just find it all a bit weird).
That's Dad's for you that don't live with their kids! It's frustrating and they will never ever realise they do it. Best to just let them get on with it. Not worth the row!
Crowdblundering - it's great that you can feel able to ask them to help and that they're happy to do so. As you say, it does sound like your DP is babying them a bit. If you can encourage them to help and be a little more independent, without making a massive issue of it, then hopefully he'll gradually start to see that they are perfectly capable of doing this things and it's normal for kids of that age to do stuff for themselves.
I do think it's hard for parents (not just dads - mums as well) who don't live with their kids - and for the kids as well, who probably miss him a lot and 'regress' a little bit when they see him because they want to feel secure. I notice this with my brother's kids, his older daughter in particular who is 12 and, like your DP's daughters, still calls him Daddy (which is fine, but she certainly doesn't call her mum 'Mummy').
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