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to be annoyed that DH can only do fun bits of parenting?

(112 Posts)
AliChampion Wed 08-Mar-17 23:18:28

We have three DC, soon to be four. I know you're going to ask why I had four DC with him if I have an issue with this and obviously I'm wondering that myself, hence this post.

He doesn't do anything practical for the DC. He doesn't know what they have in their packed lunch, what time hobbies are, who their friends are, what they're learning at school. He works shifts which are mostly nights so he's around the DC a lot but I know friends DHs who work away all week are closer to and more capable with their DC. He hasn't ever done homework or reading with them, on school days (even when he's off and hasn't been working nights) he stays in bed while I do everything. If one of the DC have a hobby or party to go to, they'll all choose to come with me rather than stay with him.

He's willing to play with them but if they become difficult or start arguing then he walks away. He doesn't do nappies or night wakings, he hasn't ever disciplined them. I've spoken to him about it being ridiculous that I can never leave the house without DC and that he should be able to look after them by now and he said he'll try. This 'trying' consisted on him asking DD (5) if he should brush her hair after her shower, she screamed no and threw the hairbrush at him and he just walked off to make a coffee.

I've been really sick so far this pregnancy and it's really grating on me that I'm doing everything within the home and literally everything practical with and for the DC. If I had to have a cesarean he'd be absolutely buggered. The icing on the cake came today when he said he didn't think he'd bother taking paternity leave because I'm more than capable and he can't do anything for the older DC anyway shock

lailahk Wed 08-Mar-17 23:22:19

YANBU - it doesn't even sound like he can do the fun bits of parenting!

Nightmare sad have a chat with him. You need him. Remember it takes two to make a baby therefore it should take two to parent a child.

Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy smile

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Mar-17 23:25:20

Don't do everything. He will have to learn. Or leave.
He's being an arsehole. But you are enabling him to be one.

AliChampion Wed 08-Mar-17 23:32:21

I know I am wolfed but I don't know how to change that, other than leaving. I've tried designating jobs and leaving him to it - like I'll brush one DCs teeth while you do the others. It'll literally take half hour and he won't even have managed it because he'll allow DC to distract or negotiate. I tried weeks of giving him tasks (because he doesn't take the initiative and just stands watching me rush around) and leaving it for as long as it took but mostly he just gave up.

Wolfiefan Wed 08-Mar-17 23:33:55

He gave up so you did it. Don't do it. Leave him to it. Literally if needs be. Get out the house.

Butterymuffin Wed 08-Mar-17 23:37:37

You've said he has a job. He must manage to do stuff at that without help. Therefore he is capable of doing stuff with the DC, he just doesn't want to. Can he cook, or do you do that too?

AliChampion Wed 08-Mar-17 23:50:12

I do that too Buttery. The only job he does is washing up once or twice per week.

I didn't necessarily do it, wolfie. I asked him to get one of the DC showered while I did reading books with the others. An hour later and the shower had been on and off ten times but DC still wasn't washed. It was then too late so I told DC they'd have to shower instead of having screen time the following day. Therefore the DC has been punished for their dad being incapable which I don't think is fair and I've still had to be the bad guy.

ollieplimsoles Wed 08-Mar-17 23:59:34

How old are your children op? It sounds awful, I couldn't bare it sad

He doesn't realise how much he is missing out on, by not making an effort to spend time and get to know his children in his own way?

Could you put him to work around the house more?

ExplodedCloud Thu 09-Mar-17 00:05:58

It's not he can't
He chooses not to. Decided it's too much effort and gives up.

AliChampion Thu 09-Mar-17 00:08:13

They're 7, 5 and 3. He repeatedly says he wishes he could help but I don't find it particularly sincere when he spends more time looking at his phone than his children.

He will ask one hundred questions about even the most simple of house jobs. He didn't even know which bin was recycling until last week shock I want him to be able to do more with the DC rather than the house as they're missing out on having a relationship with their father. Or in an ideal world, I'd like him to be able to supervise/occupy DC while doing jobs so we could get them done in half the time. As it is I feel like I barely get any time with them despite being a SAHM because I always have jobs that need doing.

AliChampion Thu 09-Mar-17 00:09:04

Exploded he doesn't want to upset them hmm

NapQueen Thu 09-Mar-17 00:09:36

What happens when you go in to deliver these babies? Id imagine he is there for the birth but what about after that before you can cone home? Does he look after them?

PuddleJumper01 Thu 09-Mar-17 00:10:02

You pays your money, you takes your choice. If you're pregnant for a 4th time, you must clearly be thinking he's doing something right, so I'd suggest you'd be happier concentrating on the things about him that you obviously DO like.

AliChampion Thu 09-Mar-17 00:11:58

I had home births Nap Queen. I put them to bed during labour and carried on as normal once baby was born. During the last birth I even went to one of them at 2am (45 mins before baby born) because he didn't know what to do blush It sounds really ridiculous writing that.

ExplodedCloud Thu 09-Mar-17 00:14:04

Ah. But upsetting you is fine then? And would the dc be upset if he knew which was the recycling bin?

MooseBeTimeForSnow Thu 09-Mar-17 00:14:32

Reads like you already have four children and DH is the biggest one!

Derlei Thu 09-Mar-17 00:14:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Note3 Thu 09-Mar-17 00:15:29

Sounds like he has both lost confidence in his ability and lost sight of what he needs to do.

He has convinced himself you do a better job and are capable of doing it all, he finds it too hard, the children don't listen and he may as well let you crack on.

Been here with my DH though admittedly not as drastically. We've had to start small and get bigger so when DD had a party I'd say right it's your turn to take her. I'd get her ready and do the present but he would physically take her and stay there.

Then I'd tell him to take other DD to a club another time. It then became normal for him to do the running around for that club and I do it for one another night.

With teeth brushing I'd be in the bathroom with them and say to DC "daddy is now going to brush your teeth" then hand him toothbrush and be nearby to keep them on track with gentle but firm reminders. This keeps DC in line and DH on the task.

Yes initially this tactic requires a high level of input from you but after a few weeks he should start to become more confident and more aware of what needs to happen. DC are difficult to manage if you're not used to it and ours constantly try and drag out tasks and negotiate. If DH hadn't widened up to it we'd never get things done but he's much better now. The children also have begun going to him more as opposed to instantly asking me and he can confidently get then ready for activities and even sometimes remembers a drink and snack!

Note3 Thu 09-Mar-17 00:17:01

*Wisened not widened

PuddleJumper01 Thu 09-Mar-17 00:21:49

Note3 your post is so much more helpful than mine. I wish I'd written what you've written! You're absolutely right!

ExplodedCloud Thu 09-Mar-17 00:27:53

Yes. Do what Note suggests. You need to parent him into parenting. But he has to be willing to try...

Damselindestress Thu 09-Mar-17 00:57:06

Not only is he not looking after your DC, he is not even looking after himself by failing to cook or do the recycling. He is a grown man! If he can hold down a job then he is competent and capable of doing tasks, he just chooses not to help at home. Frankly if he behaved at work like he does at home, refusing to learn new skills, walking away if things don't work out, not pulling his weight as part of a team, he would have been fired! You need to have a really serious talk with him and not accept any excuses. He needs to set goals for improvement and stick to them instead of giving up if the DC act up. It's normal for children to test boundaries, he needs to act like an adult and be firm, patient and consistent, not sulk and storm off! I'm not trying to upset you but you need to have an honest discussion about what would happen if this birth was more complicated than previous ones, for example if you needed a c section and time to heal. Even if it's straightforward, you need and deserve help after the birth but he should understand that if you had a c section you wouldn't actually be able to do the heavy lifting and he would have to pull his weight! You could even try spelling it out to him, what if, God forbid, something happens to you in the future and he is completely incapable of looking after the DC? They should have 2 competent parents.

But TBH I would reconsider the relationship because he had you running around after your other DC when you were in labour! If he can't see why that is a problem I don't know if he can change. Sorry if this is a personal question, but did you have home births because you can't leave him alone with the DC? I understand that some people feel more comfortable giving birth at home but it doesn't sound very comfortable if you have to carry on with chores and childcare during and after labour! You should be being looked after during labour, not worrying about looking after other people! I hope I haven't overstepped the line in my comments but I genuinely feel frustrated and concerned for you.

NapQueen Thu 09-Mar-17 00:58:38

Wonder what his boss would do if he were this incometent at work.

He is choosing to be a shit dad.

Topseyt Thu 09-Mar-17 02:27:22

He is playing at being as wet as a long drink of water.

Note's post is good, though I can't believe he didn't even take over and man up when you were in labour. What would he do if you had to be rushed into hospital during the birth because things didn't go to plan? He does know that is possible, right??

EmiliaAirheart Thu 09-Mar-17 04:12:37

I would also look into counselling for yourself, to work out why you continued in a relationship with someone who seems to be useless as a partner and parent.

This will be important to helping you turn this relationship around - or failing that, helpful to ensure you don't fall into the same patterns with anyone else at some point in the future.

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