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DH - learn to be a parent

(27 Posts)
peanutbutterjelly Sat 27-Sep-08 10:16:38

don't know if other mums have experienced this.. or maybe I'm just being unreasonable. After feeding my 6mo lo, I left him with dh, while I went to dry my hair. Dh comes running to me, saying that there's goo/food coming out of his mouth. So i said.. just wipe his mouth with a tissue or something... and "learn to be a parent". He almost blew his top at me, and told me "f-off". He has never put dd to bed, never changed a pooh nappy... and on weekends he always wants to go out with his mates. He does try and help at bath times. And as I'm not working, he has helped out alot financially, and thinks that this is helping me out. I could be my own fault, as I'm so set in a routine, and don't always let dh do all the baby feeding etc... Dh's response most of the time is, if you need my help.. just ask for it! Why can't men just offer help without us asking? Am I being unreasonable?

ethanchristopher Sat 27-Sep-08 10:19:12


but he's probably scared and doesnt want to do anything wrong,

make him spend more time with her and get him to take her out to places or out with his mates (unless they are going pub)

ComeOVeneer Sat 27-Sep-08 10:20:51

I'd say you were rather harse. DH probably feels a little insecure/out of his depth caring for a baby especially as you do the bulk load. I find with my dh he reacts that way out of defensiveness. Try and encourage him to be more invovled in a more gentle way.

noonki Sat 27-Sep-08 10:28:02


but why on earth has he not changed a pooey nappy?

he wants to go out that's fine, as long as you get too as well (both together and separately)

MarlaSinger Sat 27-Sep-08 10:30:33

Oh my god. Show him how to change nappies and bathe your DS.

SmugColditz Sat 27-Sep-08 10:32:11

You need to go away and leave him in charge, even if only for a few hours.

You were a little harsh - if you don't let his have time to learn, why the hell should he have to learn on your schedule?

SheSellsSeashellsByTheSeashore Sat 27-Sep-08 10:34:09

oh god my dh when he chances a pooey nappy! honestly its easier doing myself. <wailing> "seeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaasheeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllls, quick. help she has it everywhere and she wont stay still. nooooooooooooo dd2 its going everywhere. i cant find the baby wipes. dd1 get the babywipes quick"

but no YANBU its his child too he needs to help out

AbbeyA Sat 27-Sep-08 10:46:32

Perhaps you haven't given him much time to do these things by himself and because you appear to know what you are doing he lets you get on with it. I should leave him to manage on his own. Go shopping for a few hours and have a coffee-relax and let him manage.

Twims Sat 27-Sep-08 11:11:36

Agree that he should try and be more involved maybe he could do bath time twice a week, take DD out for an hour on a Saturday so you can catch up with some jobs or maybe you could take a class and he can look after DD at home.

TheCrackFox Sat 27-Sep-08 11:39:09

My DH tried to wriggle out of changing a pooey nappy when DS1 was about 8 days old. I told him I wasn't put on the planet to deal with shit either and he could grow up. When DH is at home we share everything 50/50.

YANBU. Make some time for yourself and go out with girlfriends, the gym, whatever. Parenting is a learn on the job type thing and your DH seems to need more practice.

FluffyMummy123 Sat 27-Sep-08 11:46:18

Message withdrawn

artichokes Sat 27-Sep-08 11:52:47

Its hard to judge whether you ABU from the information gived. Of course your DH should be a more engaged dad and do more with DD but it may be that your appraoch has sapped any confidence he ever had to be hands on. I have friends who are so impatient with the DH's appraoch to baby care that their DH's end up beleiving that they are incapable of baby care. In the end it is easier for them to let their wives get on with it. If the wife then turns round and flippantly says "learn to be a parent" it could be pretty hurtful, espeially if the wife has never tried to have a grown up conversation about it before. Have you tried to talk to him about it sensibly before?

Ronaldinhio Sat 27-Sep-08 11:56:03

it is obvious that you haven't shared the parenting of your dc up and until now and only do so when it suits when you need to dry your hair. Then you moan about how usless and selfish your dh is when actually his behaviour is just a by product of your parenting style and relationship.
Tell him how you want him to be/ except no excuses/ hit him with a stick until he does what you say, then give him a pat on the head when he behaves in a manner that suits you.
Or dump him
Or suck it up and be one of those moaning my husband is so usless're in good company here.

lucyellensmum1 Sat 27-Sep-08 12:19:58

i'm with ronald - if i said "learn to be a parent" to my DP, he too would have gone ballistic. Talk about making him feel inadequate.

EightiesChick Sat 27-Sep-08 22:32:49

It sounds like this comes from an undercurrent of resentment that you split the household roles so starkly - ie he pays for everything and thinks that's his half of the work so in return you do all the house/baby stuff. TBH it does also sound as though you are not very willing to give up control. You may want him to help without asking, but he's probably afraid to - plus, all this does it make you into a martyr who silently gets on with it. Just ask. And as others have said, go away and let him do it. If he asks questions, however stupid, just respond straight-faced with the necessay information and let him carry on - don't get riled.
Have to say though I don't like the idea that he is 'helping out financially' as if this is a big favour - you are married after all and you're doing all the childcare even if not earning money. Why shouldn't he do this? I just wonder if you feel resentful at this being seen as such a 'favour'.

pooka Sat 27-Sep-08 22:39:34

God yes - the "learn to be a parent" remark was harsh.

Not the best way to get him to be more involved if when he is and panics about something you snap at him.

Agree completely that he should be changing nappies and spending time with your dd.

chipmonkey Sat 27-Sep-08 23:24:04

Isn't ethanchristopher very wise! Hats off to you EC, at your age I was in love with Michael Jackson!hmm

ShyBaby Sat 27-Sep-08 23:44:09


"It is obvious that you haven't shared the parenting of your dc up and until now and only do when it suits when you need to dry your hair". You get that from one post Ronaldinhio? (curious! grin). It is unreasonable for a father to look after their child while mum dries her hair?

Sod me, its not rocket science, if the baby has thrown up you wipe their mouth. I have no sympathy for him im afraid grin.

stitch Sat 27-Sep-08 23:59:02

being a good parent has nothing at all to do with changing nappies, feeding, or bathing. it is perfectly possible to be a good parent without doing any of these things.
i think your comment op, to your dp , was well out of order. he is trying to be what he thinks of as a good parent. you both need to figure out how to amalgamate your ideas on parenting.

ShyBaby Sun 28-Sep-08 00:05:17

True stitch, if there's someone else to do it for you.Cant imagine social services being pleased if I didn't feed, bathe or change my babies (being a single mum and all). Dont think i'd be a good mum then tbh.

It wouldnt hurt him to wipe a mouth surely? Can totally understand op's frustration!

stitch Sun 28-Sep-08 00:14:10

lol. i meant that you can be a good father or mother, even if you have managed to delegate such tasks.

the tone of the op, and her comment to her dp. they just semm incredibly harsh, and completely unjustified. yes, he could wipe his mouth, but what if he was scared the child was puking his guts up and choking, or just compeltely and utterly clueless in a general [insert nasty derogatory word] way.

dh changed his first nappy when ds was 18 months old. that didnt mean he was a bad father. he just hadnt needed to change it before then.

ShyBaby Sun 28-Sep-08 01:30:11

I know what you meant grin. But he does need to get a grip. If I was op i'd probably have said the same thing in a knackered harsh way. blush

chipmonkey Sun 28-Sep-08 02:02:40

In fairness, I notice that dh gets very worked up about ds4 coughing while I am looking at him like hmm and thinking, "It's only a fecking cough ffs!" Dh didn't change a nappy till ds1 was 4 months old and I went back to work! But SIL had BIL changing her ds's nappy before they left the hospital and I think she was right!

thumbwitch Sun 28-Sep-08 02:19:47

I understand OP's frustration too - my DH has no clue when it comes to reacting to something DS has done etc. i.e. he's just sicked up down his clothes, DH just sits looking stupefied at it while DS is getting his hands into it, smearing his hands over other things and I'm squawking "get a cloth fgs!"

similarly he is incapable of thinking ahead: e.g. "if i put that glass of water just there DS will probably be able to reach it and knock if for 6" - no chance, glass of water put within reach, on the floor in seconds, DH sits/stands looking stupefied at it while DS etc. etc..


peanutbutterjelly Sun 28-Sep-08 08:53:25

thks for all your comments.. You are right, in that it was a harsh comment. But it's frustrating, as a mum, we are all with our babies, the whole day, and then dh comes home, and says.. I'm tired, what's for supper? doesn't that just rile you!
there is definitely some resentment on his side I think. He doesn't like the fact that I breastfed, coz his mother (the infamous motherinlaw) said that she didn't breastfeed, and that I shouldn't, just bottlefeed the lo. I'm still breastfeeding, and he doesn't like the bond I have with lo.

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