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Husband working away, having effect on DS behaviour - please help!!!

(8 Posts)
phoenixrose314 Sun 22-Nov-15 20:25:34

My DH works for a company who work mostly on contracts, the work has dried up so they're sending him away Monday til Friday every week til at least Christmas to do some skivvy work. He hasn't got the option to tell them he can't do it.

He's been doing this for four weeks now and it's had a huge impact on our DS. He's 2 years eight months and going through the usual struggles of a toddler finding their own independence, but suddenly the usual daily challenges are every five minutes. He cries and shouts over every little thing that doesn't go the way he expects it to; his favourite word is "NO"; he has begun hitting, kicking and once he even bit me; he has even begun being rude to members of staff at nursery. I am in pieces. Not only am I trying to fulfil both parental roles but I work full time as a teacher and I am struggling to hold it all together. When my DH does come home, my DS reacts negatively to him most of the time and clings to me and whines and cries whenever I even leave the room.

Please, somebody help me, give me advice, tell me what to do, I feel like I'm failing my son and I don't know how to cope. I've talked to my DH about it but I can't tell him how bad it really is because he feels guilty enough as it is that he has to work away, I don't want to make it worse for him.

Has anyone else had to deal with DH working away and the effect on their child? Any tips on coping strategies..... please confused

RachelZoe Sun 22-Nov-15 22:24:58

You do need to tell him how bad it is, but in a non confrontational and neutral way. He needs to help you with this when he is home so must be on the same page.

I've been there, more so when my kids were small and they would get very challenging. It is difficult for sure. I always made sure to leave them alone with him for a bit when he was home (even though that meant me losing DH/family time) and they responded well to that. I would leave them grumping about and distant and come back to everyone snuggling or playing monsters. Is your DH getting some one on one time with DS?

Also do remember, that as you said, this is a tricky age and they do have sudden changes so it might not all be related to him being away or you being stressed or anything t do with either of you, might be mainly to do with toddler nonsense.

Deep breath, not for much longer smile flowers

LeaLeander Sun 22-Nov-15 22:27:33

Are you positive it's not just a normal developmental stage coinciding with your husband's absence?

Mamamoose1 Sun 22-Nov-15 22:51:17

It sounds more like a developmental stage, rather than the result of your husband working away. As a wife of an ex-forces husband, I was on my own a lot of the time, with my two children, as my husband was deployed overseas ranging from six months to nine months. I'm not going to lie it was bloody hard work, trying to be mum and dad, the upset it caused my children, due to the months spent apart, the worry my husband would never make it home. Apart from that I found a good routine/structure worked well for us, being consistent with discipline is very important too. It's always difficult when the family dynamics change, but in time you and your son will get used to things as they are at present, just remember it won't be forever flowers

phoenixrose314 Mon 23-Nov-15 05:02:11

You could be right and it be a normal part of his development, but he had already gone through a challenging developmental stage, and he had never been aggressive towards me or anyone else, and he had definitely never been naughty at nursery - the staff used to tell me they wished they could all be like him, I think they've changed their minds now!!! It just seems to have been a sudden and dramatic change in him.

I'm trying to keep to a relatively strict routine, as it helps him, and letting him know exactly what's going to happen and where he's going to be and what he's going to be doing seems to help. I'm also trying to get some "fun" one-on-one time in every day when I finish work, once a week we go swimming, to the library, or on days when I'm busy and pressed for time we just do the shopping together and I let him ride on one of the rides outside the shop.

I was really trying to get my head around all of it but my DH told me that he reckons they want him to end up running the projects at the place he's working now up north, which would mean this would be a permanent thing. I'm really not sure I could handle that.

I would try and leave DH with DS on the weekend but we often have his two other children from a previous marriage over - I love them dearly but he does spend all his time with them, helping them with homework and running them to friends' houses and rugby/football/dance practices that me and my DS don't get a lot of quality time with him during the day. This has always been the case and I have never minded before, but I do feel that DS is viewed as an annoyance who just gets in the way. I will try and suggest that DH has some time with DS and I might take the older two out myself for some more "grown up" activities, if we can fit it around all their stuff.

Sorry. I'm just having a pity party over here and I really needed some support and hand-holding I guess. Hard feeling like you're a single parent who occasionally has a disruptive house guest - I know I sound mean but that's exactly how it feels right now.

Mamamoose1 Mon 23-Nov-15 14:30:44

Phoenixrose314-I know how you feel, it can be a bloody struggle at times and I totally get the 'Disruptive house guest', that's something I struggled with a lot, in fact it nearly broke down our marriage, as we were both doing different jobs in different places and found it hard to switch back to a normal family household again. If it's something you can't see you and your husband coping with permanently, then I feel you both need to talk about the long term implications. I was very unhappy at one point during our marriage and was prepared to leave my husband because even though we had talks about the future and his job, i knew that I wasn't cut out permanently for what felt like constant upheaval in our lives, my husband eventually left the forces and to be honest it was the best thing that happened for us all. Make sure you keep lines of communication open at all times. Hugs sent you way smile

wheelsonabus Mon 23-Nov-15 14:36:56

Ok, the real problem is that you aren't enjoying your DH's working away. Can you find a way so that it doesn't happen again? It doesn't suit everyone and it sounds like he has been forced into doing it because there is no other work.

I think you are feeling stressed and that maybe you are reading too much into your toddler's tantrums and seeing it as him being as distressed as you are.

Try to find a way to relax in the evening with him before you have to mark those books. Do something each evening that is special for the two of you whilst DH is away and see it as lots of mummy time. A special tea, or making something together, or playing his favourite game, or cuddles on the couch. When DH is back, he might well be clingy but perhaps they could go out and have some special 'daddy time' at the park whilst you have a rest.

Hope it gets better for you at Christmas!

wheelsonabus Mon 23-Nov-15 14:43:30

Sorry, posted without rtft even though it's not that long!!! So you need to have a big chat with Dh because him working away like that is not suiting you as a family unit. And he needs to spend some daddy time with your child without his older children - some one on one time with him. If they're older they'll understand. They can stay at home and watch a movie whilst he pops out to the park for an hour. I'm sure he'll want you to be honest rather than try to carry on and then have some big blow out.

Glad to hear you're doing some mummy time stuff already - that's what keeps you going when times are hard (that's what I did as a single parent and after initially finding it a bit weird I got to really love it and miss it now I am no longer single and have more dc).

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