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AIBC? (am I being childish). It's bloody long, BUT at the end there is a reward, you get to tell me exactly what you think of me!!!!

(13 Posts)
mytwopenceworth Mon 02-Jul-07 11:17:33

Honest (brutal!) opinions wanted. Don't worry about offending (lol, like you would!!) I am not one of these 'tell me what I want to hear or I'll imply your parents are brother and sister' types!

Dh has just gone off to town. We have rowed.

kids are off school today (inset), we have a regular monday errand that we normally do together. Today the plan was to take the kids. Dh sends ds1 upstairs to get me up. I come down. Dh says at first that he sent ds1 to get me because he thought we were all going. Then in the next breath, he starts to say why he thinks he should go alone (no point us all waiting in the car for him).

I ask kids if they want to go into town. ds1 does, ds2 doesn't. So I suggest ds1 goes with dh and I will stay with ds2.

Blah blah big row.

Basically, dh doesn't want to take ds1 because it's distracting. I say he should take them, how else will they learn how to behave (they are autistic). He avoids taking them into shops. bank. post office etc as much as possible. I think they need to be exposed to these things. I used to take them everywhere, and just dealt with the stressing and tantrums and general meltdown stuff. Dh won't get into a situation where this is likely to happen. I am incapacitated nowadays, and can't do this stuff so it's dh or nothing.

We fought for mainstream education when the professionals wanted them to go into sn because we wanted them to be in the real world, not an artificial environment, because they have to live in the real world! So I think they should go with a parent when the parent is doing normal day to day stuff. How are they going to learn how you behave, say, in a post office, if they never go in one because dh doesn't want to deal with the behaviour?

Dh wouldn't listen to me, stood over me telling me I must respect his decisions. I said he doesn't respect mine. It got worse and then phrases like "I'm obviously not a superparent like you" and "you're being childish" (from him) and "What do you expect when you treat me like a child, stand over me like I'm a child and don't listen to my perspective" and "Why don't I just get a notebook and you can dictate all the opinions I'm allowed to have and then I'll have a handy reference book" (from me)

And it went downhill from there.

In front of the kids. [ashamed] All this time I was saying not in front of the kids not in front of the kids, but he kept on. At one point I said I am not responding any more and he said that's because I knew he was right. [red rag to a bull] I told him he tells me when he doesn't think I'm doing the best thing and I'm supposed to take it on board, yet when I do the same, he gets angry! He insisted I tell him specific times when he had critisised my parenting and when I was unable to NAME A DATE AND RECALL THE EXACT CONVERSATION, he refused to accept he had done it!!!

In the end he went off alone and left me crying.

I know we shouldn't have done this with the kids in the house [guilt]

I cannot see his pov at all. I think he is 100% unreasonable. He should take the kids with him (not every time, but regularly) and not avoid going to routine places with them because he doesn't want the hassle.

This is not an 'agree with me or else' post! I really want to know if I am being childish and unreasonable. Because for the life of me I can't see why he can't take them and why he can't see that not taking them is really shortsighted and selfish. What I need from you is - can you see his point? Am I being blinkered?

moljam Mon 02-Jul-07 11:22:39

your not being childish at all.i dont know much about having austicic children but can completly see that you are right!plus there his children too!

tutu100 Mon 02-Jul-07 11:23:00

I can see you point mytwopenceworth. I think you make a very valid point about trying to get your dc's used to the world that they have to live in.

However I feel that if he is unable to cope with anything that may happen when out alone with them then they are probably better off staying with you, particularly if he can't handle the situation well. If he struggles then that may make things worse for your dc's.

When you are both together and not argueing will he take on board what you say with regards to handling the dc's behaviour?

Hassled Mon 02-Jul-07 11:25:29

No, you're not being blinkered - I think your approach to taking your DSs out and about is admirable. Even if they weren't autistic, they'd still need to learn how to behave/what to expect in a variety of situations. As to what you can do - I can't help. It does sound like your DH is a very long way from coming to terms with how things are. This "name a specific time and date when I've done such and such" line is a very male thing - I've heard it from my DH many times and it's infuriating. All you can do is actually write stuff down as it happens, but that hardly makes for a happy life. I really feel for you - wish I could be some help.

OrmIrian Mon 02-Jul-07 11:26:51

He is being unreasonable. My kids are not autistic but they can still be hard work. However the more they are expected to rise to the occasion the more they do. I have a great deal of confidence in their behaviour these days because over the last few years I have demanded it of them. DH still avoids taking them anywhere they might be difficult, and goes through hell when we do because he is always waiting for them to be a nightmare. It sounds as if your DH (like mine maybe) still beleives that he has a god-given right to carry on doing things as easily as he used to before the children arrived. Which he doesn't.

And as for respecting his decision? When 2 of you are present there are two opinions to respect. Why is his more deserving of respect?

Ladymuck Mon 02-Jul-07 11:37:19

Well, there were a number of options open to you all -

a) you all go, and your children get the experience of standing in a queue or whatever

b) one of you do the chore by yourself

c) you split the children up and one of you takes child to go and do chore.

I think that the issue was around how you decided which option to go for, and not as to which option was best. Your dh really didn't want to do c and would have prefered b, and I'm deducing that his presence was essential for the chore. You might think that he is unreasonable for not wanting to do c), but by asking the kids at the point you did I think that you put him into a difficult situation.

Whilst i agree with you that he should be able to manage c, I think thae point here is that by including the kids at the point you did you effectively overuled him. I think that you should have asked him whether he was happy with asking the children, but I have to say that I would be fairly narked if, having explained my wishes for a situation my dh gave the choice over to my dcs and then told me to live with it.

mytwopenceworth Mon 02-Jul-07 14:23:19

Moljam -I do find myself thinking that they are his kids too, so why doesn't he do this stuff, but that is unfair of me because he does SO much. It is just that I think this not taking them anywhere 'normal' is really really the wrong approach.

tutu100 -It is my point exactly. helping our kids to understand the world they will one day, to a greater or lesser extent, be expected to cope in. Does he listen to me? Ha. Well, his favourite saying is "I will take your opinion into consideration when I make my decision" - HIS decision being some event for our family!!

Again, this is my pov, Hassled - they need to learn. Sadly, because of all my health problems, I am not currently able to do anything independently, or I would just take them out and about with me, like I used to.
Perhaps this is more about my own frustration at how useless I am nowadays. [epiphany]

Yes, OrmIrian it is about practising (cing??) he wants to wait until they understand how to behave in a situation before he puts them in the situation. How on earth does that work? How can they possibly learn if you don't show them?

"And as for respecting his decision? When 2 of you are present there are two opinions to respect. Why is his more deserving of respect?" Because he thinks he knows better than me. He has a 'me tarzan you jane' view of marriage!

Thank you Ladymuck. I see what you are saying....If that was the case, yes it would be bloody manipulative. However, at the point I asked the kids, we had not yet begun to argue, we were still discussing. He had got ds1 to get me up, saying he thought we all wanted to go. So at that point, he was open to us all going. He then asked if I wanted to go. Then said it might be better if he went alone but he did say that if we WANTED to go, then that was ok. And that is when I asked the kids. It was because ds1 wanted to go and ds2 didn't, and I suggested he take ds1 and I stay at home with ds2. THAT is the point at which he had a problem with taking ds1 because instead of us all waiting in the car for dh, he would have to take ds1 into the shop with him.

It's not an isolated incident either. It is a pattern of avoiding taking them when he needs to do stuff. Yes, it's easier when you are on your own, I know. And probably everyone would always leave the kids with their other half if they had the choice - maybe we're lucky??? Perhaps everyone wants to do all the day to day stuff without taking the kids?? I just feel they need to be exposed to it all. Not wait for this moment when 'They Understand'

Maybe it's a man thing? Most men are not good at multitasking, perhaps he truly can't try on a pair of trainers and stop ds1 from wreaking havok!

Anyway, he's back and we are not talking to each other. Neither of us is prepared to thaw! I know he is waiting for me to say I'm sorry and he was right and I was unreasonable. But I just don't think I was and I don't want to.

See, I answered my own question.

AIBC? Right now, yes, I guess I am.

zenjy1 Mon 02-Jul-07 19:34:09

Sounds like you need to put aside a bit of time to actually talk about the problem, rather than deal with it on an ad-hoc basis. You aren't being childish and in your situation I wouldn't apologise, but I wouldn't expect your DH to either. It sounds like he has a lot on the go just now, and that maybe it just appealed to him to have a small period of time when he was still doing something productive for the family but not actively having to be the parent. Somehow the whole thing has escalated into a tit-for-tat arguement.

However, instead of focussing on the arguement (who's decision should stand, who's the better parent etc. etc.), it might help to focus on the problem.

Do you still both want your children to have the same experience of "real life" situations? Is there an ideological difference or just a difference over execution? Is there a specific incident that your husband has experienced with your DCs that mean that he doesn't want to go through it again? Does he have good coping strategies for when it all kicks off? Would it be better for him to go and do the post office thing when it's something inconsequential? (eg. take your DS to buy a book of stamps or change a note into change rather than do something that takes time and concentration? That way he can help them get more from the experience but not feel like he's struggling with coping with the kids.) Small kids, with or without SNs are difficult to do things with, but it sounds like you need to come to an agreement about how you want to proceed together, remembering that it's not necessarily selfish to want a little time to yourself.


mytwopenceworth Mon 02-Jul-07 20:24:30

Thank you Z. You have put that so well.

We both have a problem with getting stuck in 'I'm right you're wrong' loops over things like this and lose sight of what the actual issue was. It's not selfish of him to want time to himself, and you are right, he does do bloody loads. He's a fab dad and nobody could be more devoted to me in spite of all my problems and ishoos.

This really is just about method. We will sit down and talk about how we want to teach them these life skills and I will not be more interested in making him see I'm right.

Thank you again everyone. You are my unpaid Relate!! It is very helpful to get the perspectives of neutral people. You have all helped me so much.

shhhh Mon 02-Jul-07 21:44:39

Oh dear lord..this is excatly what its like at ours.

When I go into town I usually encourage it as a family thing, mainly to allow dd (ds only 18 weeks so not as vital to his development atm iykwim) the chance to know what its all about and how to behave around others. Given the fact that im a sahm I think its nice for me to get the chance to go into town as a family insead of trying to cope with the kids alone..BUT it seems that most of the time when dh need to go to town (hair cute etc) he prefers to go alone... Says "oh its quicker".

BUT imo it means that I then have the joy of having extra time alone with the kids iykwim.! IMO it just seems that dh would rather go it alone than to be seen with 2 kids and a dw in tow but he disagrees. I honestly don't see what extra time it creates us all going...maybe an added 10 mins each way but ffs its not that long...

I sympathise totally with you.

shhhh Mon 02-Jul-07 21:46:39

sorry for spelling . Hair cut I meant..although his recent hair cut is rather cute. .

OrmIrian Tue 03-Jul-07 09:55:48

I think that there are times when it makes more sense to go somewhere sans kids. But not always. And not only when MTPW's DH is there. I always try to go the hairdressers alone - because it's more relaxing that way for me but also because keeping 3 kids under control if the do decide to play up when you have your hair in the basin is a bit tricky.

My Dh has this really annoying habit of cherry picking one child to give his undivided attention to - "I think that DD/DS#1 could do with a bit of one-to-one time". Yes. OK. That's lovely but that tends to leave me with the other 2

flack Tue 03-Jul-07 10:22:17

DC aren't autistic, but I love doing errands without them! Such a stress dragging them along.

DH used to insist that he and all children come along for my every shopping errand, it drove me mad, "just let me get my jobs done!", took years of arguing with him to make him see my pov.

So I relate strongly to your DH wanting to do errand in peace. I can't comment on wanting to use outings as opportunities to teach autistic children how to behave. BUT I think he should have talked over with you how he was feeling before the very same morning, when you already had plans and expectations. I think he was childish not to plan more ahead, and discuss what is evidently a change in an important aspect of your parenting.

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