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Anyone else ever feel like the odd one out in your family of three?

(12 Posts)
Nenufar Sat 08-Sep-12 21:04:06

DH and I have a lovely DS, who is 6. I am very happy only having 1 child but I often feel like the odd one out when the 3 of us are together.

DS and I get on pretty well when it's just the two of us. For the first 5 years of DS's life DH worked very long hours and so when DH was around DS usually seemed to favour DH when given the choice of which of us he would like to read to him, bath him, play with him etc. DS and DH seem to have very similar personalities and they naturally gel better to the extent that I often feel like they are pushing me out of conversations and activities. I am quite creative and love doing things like drawing, cooking and painting, all things in which DS has zero interest despite my best efforts.

DH has now changed jobs and works fewer hours. Now I spend most of the time feeling obsolete. DS just wants to spend time with DH playing on the wii, playing football and doing other boy stuff. I just seem to spend all the time clearing up after them! It's making me feel really depressed to be honest. DH commented tonight that I don't seem to spend any time playing with DS, to which I replied that I have zero interest in playing computer games and anything I suggest doing to DS seems to be automatically rejected in favour of doing something with DH.

I feel like when DH is around I seem like a really uninvolved parent because I refuse to engage in a competition for DS's attention doing things and that DH is holding this against me in some way. When DH isn't around I almost feel like a totally different type of parent. I can't help wondering if the situation might have been reversed had our only child been a girl...

Anyway, sorry it's so long. Does anyone else ever feel this way?

N0tinmylife Sun 09-Sep-12 15:06:19

No, I've never felt this way, (also have one DS aged 4) I feel for you though, it sounds horrible! Why is it you don't get involved in the football/Wii playing? I don't think those are necessarily just boy things. I find I have to spend more time than I would like playing cars, and football, because that is what DS likes to do, that said, we also do things as a family that DH and I want to do, so it balances out.

I would be more concerned though that your DH allows this to go on. Have you told him how you feel? If you and him worked together maybe you could find a compromise so you spend time as a family doing things you all enjoy?

N0tinmylife Sun 09-Sep-12 15:08:05

Would the situation be reversed if your child was a girl, or would you have been careful to ensure your DH was included?

Nenufar Sun 09-Sep-12 16:37:44

Thanks for the reply. I do do things with DS and we have a very happy time when it's just me and him (not computer games but I play other games, read with him etc). It's just when it's the three of us when he only wants to do things with DH and so I get left out. It's true, there is never any suggestion of us all doing things I would enjoy more than them, but that is usually due to the fact that it seems to be 2 against 1.

DH's idea of a compromise seems to be suggesting that I go off and do things on my own. While it's lovely having some time to myself occassionally, it doesn't really solve the problem.

I think I would have been careful to ensure DH was included if we'd had a girl, but I can't really see him ever being interested in traditional 'girl' activities.

Acinonyx Mon 10-Sep-12 17:39:03

This happens in our house and I do have a girl! She is a total daddy's girl though and I become somewhat invisible when he is around. Your dh really must help with the balance here. Restrict computer game time for your ds (no bad thing anyway) and play other games (board games - cards?). In our house, some rebalancing comes about when dh wants to do man-cave stuff without dd - doesn't your dh ever want to do stuff on his own?

It waxes and wanes but I have been very upset be feeling like the third wheel in the family. I have also made an effort to engage with dd doing some play activities dh isn't interested in (even though they are often things I don't really like either - I chose the best compromises) and that has helped. I've realised that if I want dd's company I must engage with her interests (my own mother never did that and we did grow apart).

Nenufar Wed 12-Sep-12 15:03:44

Thanks for the reply, glad to know I'm not the only one out there who feels like this. I think part of the problem is that my DH is a massive overachiever in every aspect of his life and totally throws himself into everything and parenting has been no different. He very rarely asks for time to do things by himself, he doesn't really have any hobbies and all his friends are friends that I have made and who we see as a family.

Funnily enough our decision (which I am happy with btw) to just have 1 child is mainly because he expressed very strongly the opinion that he didn't think he could put that amount of effort in all over again. To which did suggest to him that if he put in a bit less effort with DS he might not feel like that.

sailorsgal Wed 12-Sep-12 15:45:52

Its the same in our house. Ds is also 6. Thankfully dh is going away soon so I get ds all to myself. grin

I have no interest in computer games either and don't feel I should just to please ds. I will occasionally play bowling at a push.

I really like that they have such a close relationship and do most things together. so I can mumsnet

We have a 6-year-old daughter. It can be exactly the same, just not computer games (although she does like them); rather it's endless playing 'let's pretend' until I could gouge my own eyeballs out (so I really can't join in). The games seem to result in a lot of clearing up afterwards too - for me.

However, if she is ill, tired, bad-tempered, etc, she is suddenly all mine. As is she when we need to do reading, hair washing or anything else she doesn't enjoy.

Sadly, I remember being just like that with my father. blush It felt so different from the other side. When he died when I was a teenager, I said to my mother 'My special person has died' and she cried, probably due to my selfish insesitivity. We are now very close, and I care for her in my home, as she is nearly 90. So, you may get your turn!

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 16-Sep-12 19:17:43

It can be like this in our house too. I wonder whether it's because I used to feign sleep so that dh used to do the very early morning stuff.

Maud! You are still here!! Everyone seems to be new (although it is although lovely to see new people). smile

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Sun 16-Sep-12 21:38:20

Yes, I am still here. I tend not to post on these threads much because I reckon everyone has heard my thoughts on being a mother of one too often and is bored by them before.

SuoceraBlues Sun 16-Sep-12 21:42:54

Kind of.

They are Italian, I am English.

They are Catholic, I am atheist.

They like kicking balls around, I do not.

They share the same surname, I'm lumbered with another one and am not allowed to take the same name as them.

Some times I feel like an add on. But I don't think they'd be having such a fabby time together were it not for me. And when it's one on one in either direction things are lovely. But yes, all three together I do feel a bit...odd woman out.

Might be becuase DS is 12 and in fulltime hero worship of his dad while growing ever more independant of me.

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