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Argument last night, party tonight.

(49 Posts)
ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 09:14:43

I'm not one to post threads like this, but then this hasn't ever happened before.

To give background, there's me, DH, 3 DCs from 1-7. DH has recently been promoted and has a particularly stressful situation to manage in new position. He's only been in this position for two weeks and is becoming more and more stressed, which in turn is making him grumpy and miserable.

We are also struggling very much with DS2 bedtime. He's nearly 4, he will not sleep. He stays awake until 9.30/10pm and if we sit with him he doesn't sleep, if we don't he doesn't sleep and messes about, unravelling toilet roll, eating toothpaste, "reading" 100 books and so on. DH is getting very frustrated with this, as am I, and it's causing friction.

Last night I sat with DS from 7.30 bedtime until 9pm when I just couldn't do it anymore and came downstairs for a break. DH is then supposed to take over putting back to bed etc. He did this twice, the second time very angrily (but not nastily) telling DS that enough was enough and he must sleep. The third time he completely lost his cool, threw the books DS had been reading across the room and scared DS a lot. I went up immediately, made DH scarper and settled DS.

I am now absolutely fuming with DH that he behaved that way, and that he's letting work affect home. Now we're supposed to go out to a friends party this evening, everything is arranged, but I really do not want to go and be 'forced' into pretending nothing happened, everything is grand etc. DH won't force this, I will, because nobody wants an arguing couple at their birthday party.

So wwyd? Cancel party and stay home? Cancel party and go out somewhere else to have proper discussions of what happened, how to fix and move forward etc? Go to party anyway, despise every minute and end up with last night being swept under the carpet or, worse, alcohol making me say something stupid? I just don't know what's best.

N.B. talks not possible during the day as DH is working until 6. We're supposed to be leaving home for party at 7 so won't have time this evening either.

GoatsDoRoam Sat 13-Jun-15 09:29:51

Either option A, or a new option D: Go to party, suspend all thoughts and feelings about last night while directing good cheer at birthday friend, and have discussion with DH when you're home.

Littletabbyocelot Sat 13-Jun-15 09:35:31

I think I'd go with b. If you've got babysitting etc arranged I would find a safe neutral place to talk. Easier to deal with at this stage than when it's become a pattern and your ds shouldn't be scared again.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 13-Jun-15 09:39:15

Yes he was out of order but really - kids can push us to our limits and your current approach clearly isn't working. I'd try to put it aside until you can have a proper conversation, not about his mistakes but about how you are going to approach this problem differently as parents.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Sat 13-Jun-15 09:40:15

I like Option D too.

Re your non-sleeper - we had similar with our Ds. Tried everything for months and the only thing that worked was stair gate on the door and then going downstairs and leaving him to it. The first night he slept on the floor (we went in later and lifted him into bed) but by night 3 he lay down in his bed and went to sleep.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 09:43:29

I don't for one minute want to have a "you fucked up" conversation, he didn't, he just had enough. He didn't hurt DS and DS really was being a shit. I most angry that he's bringing work home on the fucking phone all the time and taking it out on us. Last night was just a culmination of that. He was miserable and grumpy all day, even though I was trying so hard to make it a nice day for him (day off).

He slept on the sofa last night, I didn't ask him to, that's never happened before.

Adulting is hard.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 09:44:17

Ah yes, the stair gate. He worked them out when he was just over 2. He can open all of them and failing that, climb them. sad

GlitterTwinkleToes Sat 13-Jun-15 09:46:02

He lost his temper with him. Wrong but at the same time, the majority of us have lost our tempers with the children. They do.know.how.to push your buttons!

Your technique is.obviously not.working. Could.you both sit.down and work something out together?

Go to the party tonight, have fun and relax. Talk about this when you are both calm and in a reasonable mood.
He could be feeling like shit.about how.he acted, don't bring.it.up tonight.

BeeRayKay Sat 13-Jun-15 09:53:13

I think the party is need tbh. Give you both some down time.

And then tomorrow you need to talk, remember he is only 2 weeks into his new position and it's a big change and it will be hard. It should get easier, but set some ground rules now and things should go easier. E.G. No texting whilst he's at work, and when he gets in from work turn his phone off at 7 orsomething.

And this with your DS needs adressing. You're being far too gentle about letting him rule his bed time. He needs you to be firm with him. And what your DH did wasn't right, but maybe it helped?

Ragwort Sat 13-Jun-15 09:55:34

Agree - Option D sounds good, go out, enjoy your time together as 'adults' not 'parents'.

I have lost my temper on more than one occasion with my DS, as have many parents, it doesn't make it 'right' but children really know how to push all the boundaries.

DocHollywood Sat 13-Jun-15 09:58:36

How will he get to sleep tonight? Is he better with babysitters? Also it doesn't matter if he sees his dad exasperated, it might help him to see how his behaviour is affecting others. And agree, you're both being too soft. If you make rules and stick to them it should be over within two weeks. And cut your DH some slack, I know it's hard at the moment with the sleep situation but you'll all get through it! Just enjoy the party.

Joysmum Sat 13-Jun-15 10:00:40

Ok so you don't like the fact that he's being work home with him because he's having trouble coping, that's understandable.

You both need to talk about that and how you can support him, as well as him learning how to manage his stress better. He doesn't like being stressed anymore than you like him being that way so you both can help to find a way to manage that.

You are now concerned about going to a party because you dont want to pretend all is well. That's something you can both agree on because he hasn't done that very well re his work and home situation. You're very similar in that respect. wink

So you can go in like a bull at a China ahop full or anger and blame as many MNetters would so glad you've not had anyone posting that way so far or you can go out just the 2 of you and have the, I love you so much but I'm worried about you because last night isn't who you are. I'm here for you' type conversation.

With my DH, he comes home he gets the biggest hug and and then gets half hour to himself --shower, shit and contemplation time--to wind down before he joins us.

Then we talk about our days and commiserate and acknowledge the shit times and offer up ideas if it's not just a rant! Often more hugs are required and more I love yous grin

FolkGirl Sat 13-Jun-15 10:04:22

I agree that the party is a need. Spend some time together, have fun, hold hands and then when you're both feeling in a better position, discuss the situation then.

Tbh, that sleep situation is untnable so you both need to address that.

I have a stressful job, and have to bring work home with me - it's expected. Sometimes just listening to my children telling me about their day is difficult. I'd probably have been pushed over the edge in that situation too.

Do you work too?

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 10:04:43

We do make rules and stick to them, we've been returning him to bed every time he gets out for a week, but sleep time is getting later and later regardless! We have 2 others who sleep brilliantly, when they're told and we've done nothing different, DS2 is just a shit.

For some reason he's really good with our usual babysitter, but we have a different one tonight, will see how that goes hmm he's also a shit for grandparents though!

I know DH feels shit, I haven't had a go at him at all, I went straight to bed because I was angry and didn't want us to have a row about this and make things worse.

We've tried everything with this bloody bed time, nothing has worked. It's been going on over a year now! It's all just shit, piling up at the same time.
Will get him to call me when he's on lunch and see what he thinks, party or go out by ourselves. He might not be remotely up for it after last night, knowing him.

Duckdeamon Sat 13-Jun-15 10:05:54

If it's a close friend I would go to the party as planned otherwise do option D.

Sympathy on the challenging 4yo at bedtime. Is he getting a cheeky nap at nursery? There are various techniques you and DH could try. I am pretty "lentil weaving" when it comes to sleeping but wouldn't continue losing evenings to sit with him, eg would punish him the next day for any toothpaste, mess, loo roll antics!

QuiteLikely5 Sat 13-Jun-15 10:08:06

Put a baby gate on your sons door.

I've got three DC and in my experience they all do this when they reach a certain age. Let him read books quietly in bed. They soon get bored and go to sleep.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 10:09:22

Sorry, lots of cross posts. Please don't think I'm a terrible, harridan, unsupportive wife. I'm really not, I spent all that time in DS's room last night to try and give DH a break from it because I know how much it's getting to him. I came down because I have tonsillitis and needed a break and some paracetamol, or I wouldn't have! I'm not about to go mental at him, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid.

I don't work, no. I take on the vast majority of the childcare, DS1 has ASD so I'm taken up with him a lot of the time. He needs very careful management.

I do appreciate how hard his work is at the moment, not helped by colleagues who yesterday decided it would be hilarious to tell him one of them had been stabbed by a customer yesterday, on his day off. Dicks.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 10:10:59

Oh no, definitely no naps, despite the 9.30pm sleeping! He's just so resistant to it. I am more than happy to let him read books, hence I left him to it yesterday, then DH had a moment about it because he wants him to just sleep and not read.

DS says "it's too boring waiting to go to sleep." Yes. Yes it is.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 13-Jun-15 10:11:50

Your dh is under pressure right now and I think needs your support.

I know you don't want to put up with this forever but if he's just started a new role with more seniority then he is still settling in and he sounds quite nervous/anxious about it all.

Don't sit with your son, he is controlling you when in reality you should be controlling him at this age.

The good news is, it will pass.

Please go to the party. Put this row on the shelf if you can and encourage your dh to loosen up too as by the sounds of it he needs to!

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 10:12:03

Oh he is punished for the behaviour. We've tried both carrots and sticks. It all seems to go in until it's bed time again then he loses all rationality. Bloody kids.

QuiteLikely5 Sat 13-Jun-15 10:12:55

X posted!

So what do you think about the gate idea?

RandomMess Sat 13-Jun-15 10:15:17

Sounds like you should give the part a miss as you're ill!

Perhaps you and dh would be better off going out and spending time together as a couple working on how to solve his work coming home etc.

With regard to DS2 - is it all for attention do you think because your DS1 ASD takes up so much of your time?

I am no expert but if it's impacting that much I'd be tempted to empty his room of everything and tie the door shut from the outside then after the 3rd time of resettling him telling him you're not prepared to do it again but you will be sat outside the door. I'd expect massive tantrums/behaviour the first few nights but completely ignoring him may work???

I'd also give him so very much dedicate one on one time before bed and perhaps make his bed time a bit later in case he genuinely doesn't need much sleep.

DocHollywood Sat 13-Jun-15 10:21:45

If he isn't tired in the mornings then I can't see the problem in letting him go to bed when he wants. At a certain time, 9.00 maybe, he can only play in his room and then put himself to bed. If he likes a story then he has to settle down earlier on your terms otherwise I'd leave him be. Lot less stressful! It depends on whether your evenings are sacred, we all used to go up to bed together sometimes, the only rule was no one downstairs after the last adult had gone up and to keep the noise down. Bit tricky if they share rooms, but anything's worth a go if you are at your wits' end.

ChocolateBreakfastBalls Sat 13-Jun-15 10:22:11

Right, I've ordered an extra tall gate with a different latch thing to the one we have now (he can open our existing one on the stairs) so hopefully he can't climb it. Will be delivered tomorro, I love Amazon, mumsnet fail I know.

Will go out tonight anyway, though we might rethink the party if he's had a shit day at work (again) as he needs down time and actually parties, especially fancy dress ones like this, are not his forte. Could treat him to the cinema instead, I'll see what he thinks later.

Many thanks for the arse kick, perspective and not telling me to LTB as I was scared someone might as that's not going to happen.grin

RandomMess Sat 13-Jun-15 10:24:47

Other idea is audio books for him to listen to, doesn't need the light on and isn't as boring as trying to go to sleep.

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