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Husband has no time or patience with kids

(17 Posts)
Psb74 Mon 21-Nov-11 07:49:08


My husband and I had 2 kids, a 6 year old girl and 2 year old boy. I love being a parent and, although I have a flexible (but well paid) part time job, I spend 90% of my time with the children. Obviously, this can sometimes be difficult and hard work but mostly i live being a mum. My husband works shifts which I know is awkward and tiring but when he's home he just doesn't seem to enjoy being a parent.

When he's home DH sleeps, browses his phone or iPad or watches telly. The only thing he does as a father is plays his ps3 with our daughter a couple of times a week (her usage is limited). He never does puzzles, baking, craft, pretend play, etc etc. he used to do the occasional bath time but now I have to ask him to do this and he complains about it so I almost always do it myself. His shifts means he's sometimes not here at mealtimes too.

His lack of input has meant that over the years I've become very used to doing everything myself and am practically a single mum. Our 2 year old is now very unhappy when I'm not around and expects me to do everything. If daddy ever does try to do something for you DS will shout 'I don't want you. I want mummy'.

This alone wouldn't seem so bad but there is also a big patience issue. My husband seems to have very little patience where family is concerned and spends much more time snapping at the kids than talking to them (conversation between him and the kids is very rare). If the kids don't meet his demands straight away (ie. go brush your teeth, put your shoes on) then he raises his voice and repeats his demands louder. It seems the kids only see a negative view of daddy. DD has actually asked me why I chose him as a daddy and says she likes other kids daddies better. I don't think dS has any bond with him at all.

The one thing DH does seem to like doing is bike riding but as the kids are quite young their ability is limited. DD gets upset if she falls or lacks confidence and DH had no time or patience for this.

I feel the kids are not getting a good experience from their dad and he had more negative impact than good. My life would almost be more pleasurable without him around.

When the kids are in bed DH does want to spend time with me, usually watching movies or tv. This is good but I'm starting to feel resentment which is affecting how I feel towards him.

Any advice would be gratefully received.


Psb74 Mon 21-Nov-11 07:52:21

I just wanted to add that, although it seems that way from my post, DH is not a lazy person. This is not the explanation for his behaviour. He's very happy to decorate a room or wash the car.

CailinDana Mon 21-Nov-11 08:26:15

Have you talked to him about this? I think people who don't have much experience of children actually fear them to a certain extent and this makes them very defensive and angry around them. It sounds like he just doesn't know how to interact with them and he needs to realise that if he doesn't learn soon then he's going to miss out big time. If you do talk to him, approach the subject gently and try to be understanding - it might just be that you need to take him by the hand and guide him through interacting with the kids at first so he gets used to it. He must have picked up on the kids' hostility by now and chances are it stings. He must commit to changing the situation or I wouldn't blame you for considering whether you'd be better off on your own.

Barreal Mon 21-Nov-11 08:35:54

This is interesting. One wonders if the advent of iThisandThat, the Internet, and so on, is going to wreck havoc with families and how those who have children view their 'time' and how it's spent. People get so used to staring into a screen, creating alternative realities via computer games (a pox on them), that surely it's got to have some negative effect on families.
If I had to research something for the sake of researching something, I think I would look into how the iworld we now live in has effected modern families. In many instances, I think it is for the worse, especially if 'gaming' plays a large part in the social aspect of bringing up children, and the terror TV, of course.

Barreal Mon 21-Nov-11 08:38:25

p.s You have been far too patient with your DH if this has been going on for years.
He's used to shirking the responsibilities that come with being a parent because you allowed him to. It's time to send him to boot camp.

Katisha Mon 21-Nov-11 08:38:49

To be honest I don't remember DH doing much in the way of play wihen DSs were young but now they are older he takes them to the park with a football and so on.
He may not be the type who is into play and craft/baking etc. Can you get him to read them a bedtime story? THey would like that I'm sure and its really good for them to be read to.
ANd have a word with him about his patience levels.

CailinDana Mon 21-Nov-11 08:40:02

I'm not sure how your post is relevant Barreal. I doubt men played a huge role in playing with (or doing anything with) their children for aeons before electricity was available so I don't think that's the issue really.

callow Mon 21-Nov-11 08:45:02

My ex was exactly like your DH. He had very little involvement with the children. Any time I asked him to do something he would complain. He had a very short attention time with them. He was OK for about 15 minutes then got bored. He was like a bachelor uncle not a father. He also had no patience for concerts and plays the children were in. He used to ruin it for me by sitting next to me complaining how it was crap. I stopped insisting he come after a while. He was also good in other ways, he did all the shopping and cooking. He was definitely not lazy he just didn't find enjoyment in being with children.

I became more and more resentful. In the end it ruined our relationship. I don't have any answers but I can tell the result for me and my children. He left us 6 years ago and gradually saw them less and less. After I divorced him earlier this year he stopped all contact with me and the children. It has really affected them but I can't make him a good dad.

Good luck. Try and deal with it now or you will end up like my family.

Mrsdarcyiwish10 Sun 20-Nov-16 12:37:40

Your situation is the one I am in now, no interaction with the children not even to say hello apart from to tell them off or criticise them, no cooking, cleaning, decorating or housework, plays on his phone or is out doing his hobbies, kids and me are a happy little group by ourselves, my dc are 9 and 12 so are more aware than yours how bad things are.

Willowfrost Sun 20-Nov-16 13:41:34

Mrsdarcyiwish10 I could have written your post.

gamerchick Sun 20-Nov-16 13:53:01

Well the play thing I wouldn't beat him up about. I don't do that because its a yawnfest. Me and the youngest play xbox together and if someone tried to dictate the way I should be playing with him I would flick the Vs. You should be letting him find his own way that isn't in your control. I'm assuming it was you who limited playstation time?

Be honest with yourself, have you allowed your husband the chance to bond with the kids in his own way without you?

AndNowItsSeven Sun 20-Nov-16 13:55:45

Many mothers don't bake , do crafts, or puzzles etc I think you are focusing on the wrong things.

Eolian Sun 20-Nov-16 13:59:50

But gamerchick, surely what appeals to kids isn't always what appeals to adults. It seems a bit selfish for a parent to refuse to engage with their children unless it's an activity that the adult would actually choose to do. Who on earth expects to enjoy every activity they do with their child? You get your enjoyment from seeing your child's enjoyment. Then as they get older they might be able to start doing more activities that you like.

gamerchick Sun 20-Nov-16 14:06:51

If a parent wants to do the constant one on one thing with their offspring its entirely their choice. Its not the rule book that must be followed or else.

Do it if you want to just don't expect your partner to think the same. Lovely if they do but you have to allow them to find their own way and not judge/punish them because they don't want to do I your way.

gamerchick Sun 20-Nov-16 14:08:21

Heh and believe me, I don't want to spend every Sunday morning in a fucking freezing club house while he plays football but I still do it wink

Sweepingchange Sun 20-Nov-16 14:09:13

If you don't have worries about dc coming to actual physical harm in your absence (through his negligence I mean), then just go away for four days for a "family emergency" and leave him to it.

Hopefully, he will be forced to step up and be more involved; and he can work out how to engage with them in his own way. And he will have more appreciation for everything you do on a daily basis.

What is his relationship with his parents like btw? Was his father hands on? If not, would he benefit from a parenting course?

YoHoHoandabottleofTequila Sun 20-Nov-16 19:55:15

This thread is 5 years old.

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