to want to scream in frustration at dh re parents' evening. Appreciate strategy suggestions for the next time. If there ever is one...(19 Posts)
Sorry long rant warning.
OK, so 2 weeks ago our 2 ds entered the must-feared, much-malagned German school system.
One thing I have learnt is that to do well, you really need to know the system. We are brand new to it, we don't know it. Ds1 is about to enter a notoriously difficult and crucial year, where the pupils have to do well the whole year to get into grammar school. For foreigners it's especially difficult.
Last night there was a parent's evening specifically to explain the bavarian school system to all parents whose children are about to start this difficult year. I told dh I wanted him to go, as his German is miles better than mine. Normally all school stuff gets passed to me.
Anyway, he moaned so so so much, but agreed to do it. Made a huge drama at leaving work early (after 7pm) for the 7.30 parent's evening. He goes (much moaning) only to return 15 minutes later.
So it turns out the location had changed. Several other parents hadn't known, so many were outside the school till they found out (no note on the school doors or anything) so the other parents piled into various cars and went to the new location (in neighbouring village) He was also offered a lift but he refused - no way was he going to all that trouble, getting in a car with people he didn't know and be dependent on a lift back.
I am really seriously fucked off with him. He made such a fuss about the trouble of going, then didn't even bother going. It was probably really important information we really needed to know. And we look like slack parents who don't even bother to turn up to parent's evenings.
To add to my annoyance, we got an email a few days ago, subject being swine flu. I couldn't fully understand it, so forwarded it to dh, he half read it and said it was about swine flu (which it started off being, but later mentioned the venue change)
So, the obvious solution is I just don't ask him to help with his kids' education anymore in typical man stylee to get woman to do all the work. But he speaks better german, and why shouldn't he do something? So how do I cope with future events? Knowing at the 1st hiccup he'll give up and not bother?
I am so pissed off and frustrated.
very annoying, I can really see why you're cross. Is he always so stubborn?
But you really need to sort out your German, don't you? Loads of that is going to be putting yourself in situations where you have to be the one who understands, even if it means a lot of stumbling and asking for clarifiction for a while
It's really tricky when one partner doesn't really speak the language, it's isolating and will be no good for your confidence.
send your kids to an international school where they speak english
oh dear, is your dh always such a twat about his parenting responsibilities.
I've just pulled them out of an IS to send them to german school. I can speak German, but his is better. I am also doing a german course, but i'd say my German was pretty good, I just turn to dh occasionally for help if it's a bit more complicated as his is def better. He didn't pick up on the change of venue, I don't totally blame him about that as it wasn't clear enough, but I am pissed off he felt that leaving work 'early', moaning about going then not taking that extra step of - erm going despite being offered a lift is really shit.
And yes, when it comes to attending anything school, it's always me, and I want him to do some of it occasionally, especially as we're now having to deal with a 'foreign' system that neither of us know, and now don't know any more, as he couldn't be arsed to go when he said he would.
So how do I tackle it?
Get out the birth certificates and point out that BOTH your names are on there - not just yours?
agree with triggles!
I think you need 'the chat'....yes he works but he IS also a parent, even if he is lucky enough to have a wife who does the majority of the childcaring. I think some men are really good at getting into the single minded mentality specially if their partner is there to be the one who twists herself into knots trying to meet everyone's needs, be in two places at once, arrange all necessaries of everyday life etc etc.
He needs to realise that just going to work is not enough when you are a parent. He has responsibilities at home too and yes it IS hard and stressful to have more than one competing priority; but it's what he's signed up to.
Does he always "give up at the first hurdle"?
Let it go ernest. IMO you should have organised a babysitter and gone to the meeting together. Your German is good enough to understand what was going on, especially if you had been there together and discussed anything unclear over a drink afterwards. I don't think your dp wanted to be the one who was responsible for getting all the right info and thus being the one to blame if any mistakes are made later on.
Clock it up to experience and don't try and shift the responsibiity for the schooling issues on to him, he is not prepared to accept it by the sounds of things, so make it a "we two together" thing. You will want him with a ready ear if you have any worries next school year and not blocking you from the word go.
Now what you have to do is find a foreigner dp who attended the meeting, invite that person round for coffee and cake and find out what they learned I suppose. And if that's not on the cards, just take it one step at a time and try and figure it out as you go. What else can you do?
Does he not want to be a parent?
Ask him if he wants to abstain from parenting inthe future, as his input would be valuable (obviously) but as he seems not to be interestend who should he reccomend to advise in the future about parenting issues.
Be really sarcastic this is crap for you. i really feel for you and hope he sees that his input is crucial and needed and to pull his wieght.
thanks for your input. Zzzen, I sort of see what you mean. I considered getting a babysitter, but the timing wasn't great wrt getting baby into bed, so I thought, actually, sod it, I have done every single other parents' evening since they started school ( 2 of which he came along, but the others I did alone) so I thought well, sod it, ha can do one. But apparently he can't....
After our row words about it upon his return, I haven't mentioned it again, but next time there is something, I will have a 'chat' about the fact I need him to support me more.
I also need ideas on how to bring him into the joint parenthood thing. It doesn't help that he does work long hours, and is in usually after their bedtime, so he is never there to check homework or bags or anyting, so genuinely doesn't have a clue, and I really have no alternative but to do all of it the lions share myself.
FBGIS, no, not always, but he does have some sort of phobia about having to exchange words with people, especially total strangers, so I guess the thought of climbing into a car with 4 of them was too much. Still think he should've put himself out for his kids though, and either been a big boy and gone along with them, or gone in his own car.
You need to find a willing German friend ASAP who will help you to negotiate the German school system. Maybe you could offer English lessons in return?
Was about to suggest the same as Anna.
Can understand your frustration though! If it was me I would be seeking an alternative solution to translating letters etc so it doesn't happen again.......but still think you need "a chat" with your DH about the shared responsibility of bringing up your children.
I've found another english mother at the same school who seems to know the ropes, so I'm going to meet up with her (only spoken on phone) and she'll talk me through it. I aslo asked her if she can let me know of anything big, like the parents' evening change of venue.
Will have the talk if when it's next needed, no doubt won't be long...
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