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to be angry with DH for swearing at DD?

(30 Posts)
ineedalifelaundry Mon 08-Jun-09 11:53:46

My 9 month old DD is having some sleep/teething issues and last night she woke at around 2am. At 3.30, I was still trying to get her back to sleep and DH woke up, very grumpy. I told him to go sleep on sofa as he had work in the morning and I never ask him to help in the night when he has work the next day. He grumped around the bedroom demanding to know where spare bedding is (as if he didn't know!) and on his way out the door he looked at DD, who was already upset, and practically shouted at her "Go to sleep, twat!"

This is not a one off. He has displayed what I think is an unacceptable level of anger towards her before.

Thing is, do I talk to him about it tonight? Should I let him know how wrong I think his behavior is? He did send me a text 2 mins after saying sorry. But he always lets his anger get the better of him and then apologises later.

It's our wedding anniversary today, our relationship is somewhat fragile at the moment and I don't think I can face ruining what ought to be a romantic day for us. But I'm so angry on behalf of my DD. How dare he speak to his daughter that way! She may not understand the words but she understands the sentiment, surely.

What should I do?

Stigaloid Mon 08-Jun-09 11:58:44

I think it was the middle of the night, he works long hours during the day, woke up distrubred and grumpy and let off steam as a result. Your DD will not be scarred by this as she won't remember it and all he is is human. He saw the error of his ways and apologised immedaitely.

He isn't violent and if he is a caring father during daylight hours when he is functioning better, i wouldn't hold it against him.

Merrylegs Mon 08-Jun-09 12:03:15

"This is not a one off. He has displayed what I think is an unacceptable level of anger towards her before."

Can you explain this a bit more, ineedalifelaundry?

Hassled Mon 08-Jun-09 12:05:15

I've certainly thought some appalling things about my DCs in the middle of the night when I was hysterical with tiredness - and they would certainly have been able to pick up on my mood, even if I didn't say the words out loud. So on the basis of last night alone, let it go.

But your comment "He has displayed what I think is an unacceptable level of anger towards her before" is worrying - do you mean when he's not tired? I hope you mean just verbal stuff - but even so, he needs to work on bonding with her a lot more.

katiestar Mon 08-Jun-09 12:06:16

Your DD doesn't understand .It is so hard having to function in a demanding job when you haven't slept - cut him some slack.

SoupDragon Mon 08-Jun-09 12:07:25

I've certainly told mine (as babies) to "shut the f*ck up" in the middle of the night.

I agree that the comment about the anger he's shown before is more worrying.

ineedalifelaundry Mon 08-Jun-09 12:22:32

It is usually verbal anger, often swearing, although if I ever let out the occasional 4 letter word in front of DD (very rare and NEVER directed at her) he jumps straight down my throat about it. Double standards.

He hasn't got much patience to sit and feed her - if she refuses the food he has been known more than once to throw the bowl across the kitchen and storm off.

He has angry bursts like this maybe once every 2 weeks on average. But most of the time, yes he is a caring father. I just worry how he'll cope a few more months down the line when she's really becoming a handful. And how his anger could affect her.

Merrylegs Mon 08-Jun-09 12:29:46

Does DH have a 'demanding' job?

OP hasn't said.

I am sure the OP was also less than thrilled to be up for nearly two hours in the middle of the night trying to soothe a fractious baby. A demanding job in itself I think.

Swearing at your baby to please go to sleep is one thing.
Calling it a directly unpleasant name is another.

It sounds as if OP is very isolated here. Grumping about in the bedroom and demanding to know where the spare bedding is, then shouting at the baby, smacks of DH blaming the OP in some way for the baby's cries. It's not as if she were doing it on purpose!

ineedalifelaundry - I think at some stage you will have to address this with him. As she gets older and a tricky toddler (!) do you think you will be 'protecting' her from him - trying to anticipate her tantrums for eg so he doesn't lose his temper.

Do you feel as if you and DH are much of a 'team' ATM with regards to your DD?

slowreadingprogress Mon 08-Jun-09 12:49:45

of course you should talk to him about it tonight and let him know you think it's unacceptable - of course!

everyone who has a baby has these nights and has despairing moments but we don't all shout and swear at our babies. Even those who have done, wouldn't say 'I've done it, we all do it, it's ok' - because it is not ok.

He is an adult and needs to govern his anger. End of story.

Be your dd's advocate and tell him that you absolutely won't stand for him to do that to your DD again.

You are already very easy on him - my DH took his turn with the nights! Our view was we BOTH worked hard the next day. Be strong, don't be more easy on him and let him go on without at least giving him a clear idea that you simply won't stand for that for your child.

Ripeberry Mon 08-Jun-09 13:01:08

I would not leave her alone with him, until he sorts out his anger. As your child gets older she will notice more and more and maybe even become afraid.
Sounds like he is VERY stressed about something, you need to have a good long talk with him about what's eating him.

hercules1 Mon 08-Jun-09 13:12:53

I agree about the future concerns thing. WOuld he attend parenting classes?

megapixels Mon 08-Jun-09 13:18:46

That is awful. I would tell him to take himself to the sofa every night he has work the next day if he can't take the crying. Babies cry at night, you don't shout at them - he's the twat.

maria1665 Mon 08-Jun-09 13:42:02

The year after the birth of a first baby is a nightmare - you are both knackered, plus your roles within the relationship have been completely changed, making communication difficult.

BUT I think the behaviour he's displaying is really worrying. As is the fact that you are having difficulty speaking to him about it. Bad temperedness is one thing, but it does sound that you are frightened of him.

DH and I went out for a meal together at about this stage - we had nothing to say at first, but then we both opened up and it really helped.

But DH was never ever aggressive towards me or my baby. He would never have done it, and I would never have tolerated it.

Ripeberry's advice is sound. Its no use waiting for your baby's behaviour to improve. It is your husband's behaviour that has got to improve. Babies don't get easier as they get older, they just change.

ineedalifelaundry Mon 08-Jun-09 13:50:18

Thanks everyone for your comments so far.

Merrylegs - yes I do think in the future I'll be very busy protecting BOTH of them from each other's tantrums! No we don't always feel like a team. I'm the main carer and I'm still on maternity leave, but when I go back to work in September I do wonder whether he'll accept more responsibility, especially during the night. At the moment he pretty much gets on with his life as it was before, spending a lot of time on computer etc while I'm downstairs on my own with DD. And yes, you're right, while I love being a mum and being with my DD, I do feel isolated.

Having said that, he has done his share of night time comforting when on holidays, he does look after her on his own for an hour or so quite regularly, he always gives her her bedtime bath, and I do think they (DH and DD) in general have a strong bond.

Hercules - no he's not the kind of man who would go to parenting classes. He would say 'people have been having babies since the dawn of the human race, why do we need to be told how to do it?' (which was something he said regularly throughout my pgcy!!!)

pjmama Mon 08-Jun-09 14:08:36

We've all lost it and sworn in front of the kids from time to time I'm sure. But I think that calling a 9 month old baby a "twat" is absolutely disgusting, no matter how tired he is. He needs to bloody grow up a bit and realise he's a father now and that means things don't always go your way and you just have to be an adult and deal with it. I find the thought of anyone speaking to a baby like that really disturbing.

RumourOfAHurricane Mon 08-Jun-09 14:15:16

Message withdrawn

Dottoressa Mon 08-Jun-09 14:23:04

I don't think we have 'all lost it and sworn in front of the kids', pjmama. I have thought it many, many times, but have never said it. Not because I'm some kind of saint, but because I don't want them to think that kind of talking is okay in any situation. It isn't okay. It's horrible.

OP - I would be upset and worried. She's not old enough to know what he's saying now, but there will come a point when she is old enough, and she may well be more demanding and even more of a challenge then. What will your DH say to her then? I would have to say something if I were you.

pjmama Mon 08-Jun-09 14:52:04

Dottoressa - I was merely trying to be a little magnanimous and make the point that most of us are not perfect parents. smile

HumphreyCobbler Mon 08-Jun-09 15:01:41

it is an awful thing to have said

what worries me is that it wasn't HIM dealing with it, he was getting to go and sleep somewhere else while the op lost sleep. this is not the kind of situation which should have pushed him over the edge imo

Dottoressa Mon 08-Jun-09 15:41:55

pjmama - indeed not. But some posters here (maybe not you smile) seem to think that a bit of swearing is okay in front of children. I don't think it is - and I think that what the OP's husband said to his baby (not even about her, but to her) is inexcusable.

pjmama Mon 08-Jun-09 16:49:52

You're absolutely right, swearing in front of children is not okay and I personally don't believe anyone here is suggesting that it is. However, tired people can make mistakes and I think as parents we need to forgive ourselves for it sometimes.

In the case of the OP though, it wasn't a tired slip up but a nasty insult which is totally different. As you say, inexcusable.

mulranno Mon 08-Jun-09 17:14:21

throwing the bowl across the floor whilst feeding the baby is nuts...that is quite a violent and aggressive act..which would scare a baby...is he getting at you?...are you confident of his behaviour when he is left alone with her. He needs to chill out and learn anger management -- would he throw a bowl across a floor in a restaurant?...would he talk to a colleague in an offensive way...if the answer is "No" then he has self control...but he is not choosing to use it...just abuse it with his family...needs to get a grip IMO

arabicabean Mon 08-Jun-09 19:42:36

No.
I can't imagine either myself or my husband swearing at our baby. It would not happen under any circumstances, no matter how tired or stressed we were.

Greensleeves Mon 08-Jun-09 19:44:41

my brother screamed out "somebody just shut the fat twat up" when our baby brother was screaming all night and nobody could sleep. Awful, and I was disgusted of course - but none of us had had proper sleep for weeks, he was semi-conscious and desperate.

He's a fabulous uncle, very gentle and considerate with my children and has endless patience.

Not defending the swearing - it's horrible and I would give him a rocket for it - but it doesn't make him an abuser or a bad father.

Greensleeves Mon 08-Jun-09 19:45:19

throwing the bowl while feeding is waaaaaay more extreme though, hadn't read that bit shock

and would worry about that a lot more sad

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