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Really need some advice...please!

(7 Posts)
Heartmum2Jamie Sat 20-Sep-08 14:05:42

. I obviously home educate my 2 boys aged 7 & 4 (and am 34 weeks pregnant).

Unfortunately there is stress between dh & I. He says he doesn't like ds1's attitude or behaviour, says he has no respect for anything (he's a good kid, but pushing boundaries a little, like a NORMAL 7 year old and yes, he does break alot of things, but so did I as a kid.) and he completely doesn't want him to be home schooled, says he never agreed to it and that I only do it to make my life easier. He seems to think I am too lazy to do the school run, use it as an excuse to not work ect. He also thinks that by sending ds1 to school that they will rid him of behaviour that dh finds annoying. I told dh that he finds ds1 (and ds2 to some extent) annoying because he barely knows them, is always working, is basically a weekend dad and admitted that he would rather be at work that at home because the kids drive him mad (I felt like this about ds1 to some extent, which is why I bit the bullet and decided something had to be done before our relationship was beyond repair, this is part of the reason I homeschooled him, and our relationship is much, much better than it was, not perfect, but much better!)

I do admit that we do not mix with others very much, mainly because we are stuck with no car and the times when after school things are usually on, dh is either not home or still too busy to take them, there is always an excuse. Plus, ds's have never really shown an interest in joining clubs or groups yet (ds1 is actually waaay better with very small groups of children). As a family we will be getting a second car in Feb and I am really looking forward to being able to get out with the kids and meeting likeminded people.

So, I now feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I basically see the kids as mine, I know them better than anyone, spend all my time with them ect and dh hardly sees them and then has no patience with them and obviously they retaliate, hence the lack of respect for him, he shows them none. I feel torn between my husband, who I do love, although feel he is unfair on the kids and my kids, who I love to death and feel the need to protect them from thier own father.

Anyone else been in this kind of situation and things worked out or at least settled down??

onwardandupward Sat 20-Sep-08 17:44:35

Not been in that situation but just wanted to send some positive vibes to you.

It doesn't sound to me, honestly, as if home educating is the issue here (and anyway, you wouldn't be able to go back to work for a good long time with new baby on the way!)

It sounds to me as if full-time Mum and very-part-time Dad are not singing from the same hymn sheet. I don't know what you do about that, but I'm not really seeing how you turning yourself into equally-part-time Mum is going to help, tbh.

Maybe your Dh needs a place in the house which is just his? Which might be a room or a cupboard, and just be somewhere where he can keep whatever is precious to him and feel fully relaxed? The rest of you spend so much time in the house, and presumably fill fill fill it with the activities which are important to each of you (and rightly so!) that he may be feeling slightly as if he has lost his own space?

The kids-driving-him-mad bit is hard. Especially if he is there seeing you interacting with them perfectly well. Maybe he needs to write some lists or draw some pictures or something of how his ideal home life would be, and then you can start working out which of those bits are impossible and which could be accommodated. (and don't allow the "I want RESPECT" kind of comments to stay on the list - it's so unspecific. It might mean anything from sitting quietly and hanging on Daddy's every word, to playing quietly in another room so they can't be heard, to immediately following all of Daddy's orders to...)

Is he a book reader or a website reader? Might there be somewhere you can point him which is resonant with your own approach to being a mum and an educator? Then you could have a conversation which doesn't begin "this is what is wrong with you" "and this is what is wrong with you", but "here's this book we both read. I like this about it, but think this bit is wrong because..." - keeping it at the abstract level rather than the personal.

Hope something here helps.

FILLYJONKhasayarnshopASBO Sun 21-Sep-08 17:56:50

hi heartmum. congratulations, btw!

not much experience of this but am wondering if he is lacking a connection to the kids and if that is what needs building? So say you setting him up to do some fun HE activities, especially those that use his skills?

Also-my ds is much harder work when he is with other kids, including his sister (they are inseperable). If I take him out alone (or with dd2, who is a baby) he is very mature and well behaved, the annoying boundry testing occurs in groups and when he is being treated as one of "children" iykwim.

I agree with onwards though that there is possibly more to it-the stuff about you not wanting to work seems rather disrespectful (lol at homeschooling parents not working!)

If it is really bad, would you as a family consider some outside help? parenting classes, relate, family counselling? (do ignore me if that is extreme for your situation, and its more a niggly thing)

FILLYJONKhasayarnshopASBO Sun 21-Sep-08 17:58:30

(so what I meant is, would some dp:ds1 time help? With 3 kids we struggle to all get 1:1 time together but it makes such a nassive difference that we persevere, even when it is unappealing)

Heartmum2Jamie Tue 23-Sep-08 14:41:18

Thanks for your replies! I think alot of the blopw up at the weekend was a typical "I'm about to become a Dad again and am worried about money" thing.

I do agree that he needs to work on his communication skills when it comes to the kids, he think he often forgets they are just children (were 7 in may and 4 in June). There are things he could do with them that would be his "speciality", like music, but he just doesn't want to be around them as far as I can tell. I feel sad for the boys right now. I know dh is stressed about work, money, the baby ect, ect, but he can't take it out on them (or me!)

Onwardandupward, dh already has a room that is just his and all his stuff is in there. The garage is his space. It is his office for work as well as his music studio and general place he goes to get away from everything. The problem is, he would spend ALL his time in there, all weekend if we let him and didn't drag him out to spend time with us as a family. It's quite frustrating really as he doesn't seem happy either way.

I am now wondering is having a family with this man was a good idea, lol! It's too late now, but he was adament when we met that he didn't want children and now he we are about to have our 3rd. He is veryu much like his own father was when dh was young. Sh sworse he never wanted to be like that, but he is almost exactly the same, kids should be seen and not heard type of man. Thankfully his father has mellowed in his old age, but I can't wait for dh to mellow with the grandkids!! Naturally, dh does not like being told how much like his father he actually is. Even his mother says he is too hard on them and on me. I suppose it could be worse, he could be physically abusive.

We are going away for a midweek centerparcs break next week, hopefully my "boys" will be able to bond better next week.

needaholiday Tue 23-Sep-08 16:26:28

If he is always at work then what difference would it make if your children were at school? He'd still be at work when they were at school and home when they were home or does he mean boarding school?
I feel sad that someone can be blessed with a loving wife and children and yet still not be happy.
Good luck with the baby and enjoy your holiday.

milou2 Tue 23-Sep-08 17:15:11

Mini sessions of daddy time work for us, special tv programmes which they like, eg top gear and Qi. My husband likes routine and familiarity, so do the children.

As he has got more confident about handling the boys he has got used to arranging to take them to the cinema. He does the whole thing and has his rules about drinks, popcorn etc. I get time off then!

Action games like football in the garden or ball games in the house (!) work wonders, until they are hungry and it all ends in tears.....I have to pick up the pieces then.

I'm not ignoring the other issues mixed up with this, but thought I'd focus on things which might be doable rather than need discussion, thought, tact and time.

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