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What to do-Partner left 5 week old baby screaming alone upstairs,refusing to do anything with her

(51 Posts)
TwoPeasOnePod Thu 04-Nov-10 15:21:56

Ok, quick(ish) post as we are at doctors soon...My partner works 45hour week, and Im on mat.leave with 3 year old and 5 week old DDs. Last night I asked him to feed youngest DD ONCE during the evening, and she was v v unsettled, crying and refusing to do a straightforward feed/sleep. So partner took her into our room hoping the darkness would settle her. 5 mins later, she was screaming again, but he was back on his computer (where he seems to be glued ALL the time regardless of toddler DD wanting to play or other stuff needing doing but thats another thread..)

SO, my question is, what do I do? I look after them both 24 hours a day, he does do things with them a bit more at the weekends but he thinks his job ends when he walks through the door,meaning I never get a break or any help.

But I can live with that, the worst part was, last night he said "She will be fucking screaming whether I leave her upstairs or whether its directly into my ear, and I cant think of anything else to do (he only tried feeding her, then gave up after 10mins, no rocking/cuddling/nappy change {angry}
So he was fine with just leaving her to scream indefinitely alone upstairs,aged 5 weeks... {angry} {angry} {sad}

How can I improve this situation? I immediately went and soothed youngest DD obviously, and intend on not even bothering to ask him to interact with her whatsoever anymore {sad} {angry} but now I can literally never have a few hours shopping or seeing friends away from the house, because I cant trust him not to just ignore DDs basic fucking needs..... Im finding it pretty hard to continue loving him when hes showing this ugly and pathetic attitude.

TwoPeasOnePod Thu 04-Nov-10 15:24:24

and the smileys havent worked for some reason, sorry folks, you get the idea!

jamaisjedors Thu 04-Nov-10 15:24:47

He needs to "bond" with your DD.

I would do the opposite of what you say you are going to do, try to get him as involved as possible NOW before your baby gets totally used to YOU doing everything and refuses to go to him.

Once he has spent time with her (without you) he won't be able to leave her to scream anymore because it will kill him as it does you.

Octaviapink Thu 04-Nov-10 17:32:10

My DH used to wear DD in a sling a lot - it meant he could be on the computer or whatever else he wanted, and she loved it. I have to say, he'd never have left her alone to scream, and he wanted to be involved, but the sling did make it easy for him to feel like he was involved without being helpless. Some men, if they can't 'fix' a situation, just get angry and frustrated and walk away. If he has a solution then he might feel like there's something he can do.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Thu 04-Nov-10 19:08:31

Was he like this with your 3yo?

Tbh i would find his attitude very hard to stomach. sad

I'm sorry i don't really have anything constructive to offer, but want you to know that you are right to feel the way you do (with the exception of the "but i can live with that" bit wink )

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 04-Nov-10 19:22:21

It sounds like he panicked. I remember that feeling with DS when he just cried and cried and I didn't know what else to do, and it actually did help to put DS somewhere safe, leave the room, calm down, then come back to him.

The key element there is obviously calm down then come back!

I think you should listen and accept how he felt but stress that he cannot just leave her indefinately. You could suggest a little list of other things to try when feeding doesn't work, but be honest and tell him that sometimes babies just cry and all you can do is cuddle and rock them til they stop, this can take a long time! But he needs to accept that an dget on with it!

If this was my DP he would have felt like he was failing, and the baby only wanted mum, like dad wasn't good enough. This is a childish way to see it IMHO but it's a genuine and valid feeling none the less. Maybe that's how your DP feels when he can't make you baby happy?

opalfruity Thu 04-Nov-10 19:50:30

I really empathise as my husband is exactly the same. He gets very frustrated and shouts and swears at our dd. Because of this I haven't had even an hour to myself since she was born apart from when my mum visits (we live 80 miles away). He is just starting to participate in her routine now that she's 7 months old by feeding her at teatime and reading a bedtime story. I'll be honest though - I've never felt so let down and it's badly affected my respect for him as a partner which has impacted on our relationship.

TwoPeasOnePod Fri 05-Nov-10 15:11:07

Thanks for replies, opalfruity i feel just the same, it is hard to keep calm and respectful towards a grown man who just cant be arsed with a tiny helpless baby. He was better with our 3 yr old when she was a little older, but this time round seems to really be dividing our "jobs" into him being at work and me doing everything for the kids.

I heeded your advice jemais, last night I FORCED myself to go food shopping for a few hours, texting him to check all was ok, and came home and all seemed fine, eg. he hadnt ignored her, which was good.

I dont even think our DD really prefers either of us to settle her, but partner knows fine well that if he puts his headphones on and says he isnt going to sort her, then I will, so Im kind of stuck as I cant force him to want to spend time with her. Will suggest some form of family bonding this weekend I reckon, with the emphasis on fun and being relaxed, still cant quite shake off the feeling of wanting to tell him to get a grip though...

jamaisjedors Fri 05-Nov-10 16:50:13

It's hard I know.

DH was wonderful with DS1 but really disappointed me with DS2.

He decided we needed to divide our jobs into him: DS1, me DS2.

Tbh it caused a huge rift between us for a long time, so I hope you can try and avoid this happening for you.

small suggestion - next time you go out, DON'T text him, leave him to get on with it.

You will have to find a way to bite your tongue if things are not always done how you would do them, but the pay-off will be that he will look after his child! good luck

Roo83 Fri 05-Nov-10 16:58:00

Glad I'm not the only one! My dp did exactly this-I asked him to keep an eye on her while I had a 5min shower,got out to hear her screaming. He'd sat her in the hall in her bouncy chair,shut the door and gone on his xbox. It's heartbreaking as even my ds (2.5yrs) will sing to her or cuddle her if he thinks she's upset,yet dp does nothing. However, I remember him being very much like this with ds,but now ds is older and interacts more with him they have a much better relationship. I'm afraid I just do everything myself,at least I know both my children are being cared for properly then....hopefully as dd gets older their relationship will also improve.

GypsyMoth Fri 05-Nov-10 17:11:46

This isn't good parenting!!!! And I'm actually really shocked by this thread....... Not only the dads behaviours, but the ACCEPTANCE!!!!

AnyFawker Fri 05-Nov-10 17:23:05

I honestly cannot understand why you ladies are still with these space-wasters

There are some worrying behaviours being displayed here and the best reaction some of you can muster is "pah !!, men eh ? what are they like ??" hmm shock

GypsyMoth Fri 05-Nov-10 17:58:31

Am glad it's not just me who thought that AF!

These are tiny little babies..... And there's a grown man shouting and swearing on one example above! Sickening, and it's abuse

jamaisjedors Fri 05-Nov-10 20:24:55

I can't speak for others but for my DH is was simple, one of us had to be "awake" enough to look after DS1 (2.5 at the time), so he "let" me get on with it with DS2.

Division of labour and all that.

I didn't see it that way but it wasn't as though he was sitting watching telly while I was feeding a screaming baby, he was looking after the house, the shopping, the cooking etc. BUT I would have relished a bit of time off from DS2, who DH didn't really bond with for a while because he was so enamoured of DS1.

I am shocked by (d)Hs playing on computer games and shutting the door on screaming babies but was trying to suggest a solution (bonding with their child) which would ensure this behaviour was not repeated.

roslily Fri 05-Nov-10 20:50:29

My dh was a bit like this. But it got better as ds got older. Ds screamed a lot. Many a time I would also hand him to dh or put him his cot and walk away as the screaming just wouldn't stop.

I used to put ear plugs and go to bed, so he would have to deal with it.

Roo83 Fri 05-Nov-10 21:30:37

Yep it's not great behaviour but that's why op has posted it-because she doesn't think it's acceptable. However, although I am very much ashamed of my dp's behaviour I was just trying to make the point that it may get better as the children grow older. This is not abuse sprinkledust,we are talking being left to cry for 5mins-I think that is a little insulting to those that genuinely are abused

TwoPeasOnePod Sat 06-Nov-10 09:11:07

Interesting points all of you- But regardless of how much I want it to be more equal, and I consider myself to be an educated and forward-thinking woman, well aware of all the associated feminist issues etc, it is not possible to force a man to assist with a baby if he says no. Seriously, this man is utterly unreachable when he decides he has made his mind up about something, it puts me in a very hard position as it is justifiably enough of a reason to go our seperate ways, yet obviously our whole relationship as a whole cannot be evaluated and reduced to such black and white terms.

I know that in time he will bond more with her, but what can I do in the mean time? If I know fine well that just leaving him to it with her will actually not result in him taking charge, it will still result in him trying a little bit, but ultimately giving up again?? And I am not prepared to leave my DD to scream like that, so the circle continues

hackneyzoo Sat 06-Nov-10 10:04:52

Two peas, it sounds like a difficult situation to be in, can you talk very honestly to your partner about how his behaviour makes you feel and set some clear expectations of what you'd like him to do? It might be a bit of a wake up call for him if you can make him see the massive impact it is having on you and his relationships with you and his child.

I guess its obvious but if you want the situation to change you have to voice the problem and together try and change the situation.

From personal experience my DP has some very different ideas about parenting etc to me, the only w`ay we have moved forward is by addressing what we both want, compromising (or not in some cases!) and talking about it. I think otherwise you just end up pushing your partner away and perpetuating the situation.

AlpinePony Sat 06-Nov-10 10:19:44

Assuming he's not just a "pure bastard" [tm] - then maybe he just needs a bit of time out. I think all parents do - but far healthier to go and take the dog out for a walk or spend an hour at the gym than sit on the computer in the house where you still can hear the crying.

We both love our boy very much but we both sometimes need to say "Ok, I am done right now, I'm going to the gym, back in an hour, can I get you anything on the way back and then I'll take over".

opalfruity Sat 06-Nov-10 10:21:24

It's all well and good saying 'I don't know why you put up with it' - as twopeasonepod states, it's not something that you can force someone to do. I know why my dh is like this - he is clinically depressed and under tremendous pressure at work. Presenting him with ultimatums isn't going to magically improve his parenting skills, just increase his stress levels. What I did do was confide in my mil about how little he was doing. She asked my dh to stay with dd for a long weekend and although she helped, he was forced to care for dd. I do think this improved his confidence no end and things are a bit better now - he took dd out for the afternoon by himself last week and came home smiling. I wish I'd told mil months ago, although as I say, I do think her age has helped as well.

tryingtoleave Sun 07-Nov-10 02:05:54

Dh acted very oddly after dc2 was born. He wasn't swearing or leaving her to cry or anything, but more just trying to avoid helping out, disappearing off to the computer, sneaking out to football in the morning and lying that he needed to go to work early. It was quite out of character. I think he was a bit overwhelmed about the work and responsibility involved in having two children. I think the second child is a bigger change for men than the first child because they are expected to contribute much more. Dh was also having a stressful time at work and I think he was depressed or at least close.

Anyway, I kept insisting that he did his fair share and things got better slowly and are now much better (although dc2 is almost 2, so it has been a while). He has a great bond with both kids, is in a better job and we are both happier and a little more rested.

Maybe give your dh a list of strategies he could use to calm dc, so he doesn't get overwhelmed and unable to deal with the screaming? Can you give him more to do with dc1, which might give you something of a break but be easier for him?

JarethTheGoblinKing Sun 07-Nov-10 02:11:11

It does sound like he doesn't have a fucking clue.

He's not a child, but it sounds like he needs his computer taking away until he realises what a fucking cunt he's being. angry

WHY are you looking after them 24 hours a day? MAKE him get off his lazy arse and look after his children.

also [hugs]

sorry.. I'm just angry on your behalf.

JarethTheGoblinKing Sun 07-Nov-10 02:12:39

and it doesn't matter than he works 45 hours a week. My DDDDDDP does 60 hours some weeks, but will always find half a day at the weekend for DS. He will always get up for him at night.. basically he does all the normal things he's supposed to do.

opalfruity Sun 07-Nov-10 08:54:09

Yes Jareth, but HOW can you make them? Would you be prepared to have days of your dc screaming because their needs aren't being met? Would you be able to watch them being put in potentially dangerous situations without stepping in? And do you think it's worth splitting up over when, given a bit more time, dh could be a good father? I don't want my dd to see even less of her dad than she does now.

opalfruity Sun 07-Nov-10 08:54:58

Yes Jareth, but HOW can you make them? Would you be prepared to have days of your dc screaming because their needs aren't being met? Would you be able to watch them being put in potentially dangerous situations without stepping in? And do you think it's worth splitting up over when, given a bit more time, dh could be a good father? I don't want my dd to see even less of her dad than she does now.

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