Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Prefer it in my own(48 Posts)
Is it in any way normal or common for a mother with small children to prefer it during the week when their husband is not around to when they are?
I feel like it should be much more fun and easy with two parents at the weekend but in reality i prefer parenting alone most of the time. I like having a lie in at the weekend but don't find it easier when we're all together.
Is this something anyone else has/had and if so do you think it gets better as the kids get older?
I've been working with families for 20 years and I've often observed that it is one of the great unfairnesses of life that a woman starts with a child within her and spends her whole life getting further away, while a man begins with a stranger for a child and grows ever closer to it. There is no doubt in my mind that for some women, the joy of closeness to their children while young is so encompassing that when it is not there, there is a feeling of loss. Not everyone will feel it and it is nothing whatever to do with intelligence, ambition, independence or owt else: it's just another way in which we are made differently.
Of course, you know that your children won't forget you if they spend some time with their father, nor grow less fond of you nor suffer in any way, but that is your conscious mind. If you cut yourself some slack, acknowledge that your subconscious is having a bit of a laugh at your expense, perhaps share your thought with your DP, it should become a bit easier to think 'I don't much like sharing but it's good for the children and we'll all cope'!
When the dad messes up your routine and / or acts like a third child then it is pretty common I'd say. Why do you prefer it when he is not there?
I think the issue is dependent on why you prefer it on your own..
How old are your children? Can you identify what it is that's making it less enjoyable with your husband there? Is he helping out? Does he 'parent' differently? Is something he does/doesn't do irritating you?
Do you get any time alone? If so, do you enjoy spending time with him when the children aren't around...even if it's just when they are in bed?
I think it can sometimes be easier to get on and do things your own way especially when you're very tired and it's easy to get irritated by your OH. So I don't think you are on your own with that. But I think you need to try to identify what's making it more enjoyable when it's just you with the children - perhaps it's something that you can talk to him
About if you can work out the root cause.
Good luck. Parenting small children can be tough going.
Handy I was just about to say the same.
I preferred being on my own wit the DC because their dad was an abusive arsehole. I was constantly treading on egg shells around him and the DC could never just get on with being small because he had certain unrealistic idea about how children should behave, eg. Don't run in the house, don't make noise, etc.
It was also like having another child, he could never think for himself, never find anything, wouldn't cook, clean or help with anything.
If it's something as simple as him messing up the routine you and your DC have during the week then I think a sit down and a chat is in order. If there's anything else going on then I think you need to look at how and why he's making your life difficult.
Thanks all. Really it's what ravensmum said. Messes up routines. Want to do things his way. It always seems to be messier but not really sure why. I think I may subconsciously do less as there are two of us and he doesn't pick up the other half. Feel like he criticises sometimes or is grumpy over things. He can get a bit shouty with the kids which I don't like. He's not very good st doing meals. He likes routine and structure whereas I like it to be more free. Whereas by myself I am just free to do my thing my way, meet up with friends or be just with the kids. I just wish I felt more blissful during family time. It makes me actually wish to go on holiday by myself with the kids. A holiday my way. But is that how a lot feel, easier when there is no need to compromise. Or to most people find it really fun, supportive and joyful?
One thing he does that really annoys me is if I ask for something or some help eg. Could I get a glass of water, can you pass the wipes, when I'm out make sure you give them a snack etc etc. I feel like he often looks annoyed or huffs and appears inconvenienced. I hate that. It's not as if I am constantly asking for things either.
You ask if mothers prefer it during the week when their husband is not around. I think sadly, from reading your posts, whatever "they" think, you prefer him not being there. Having read what he's like I'm not surprised.
As well as being a stick-in-the-mud old grump when it comes to being a dad, what's he like as a partner?
If he does have really different parenting ideas to you, then perhaps he could take over at the weekend? Why don't you suggest this to him? You of course will then take his role, sitting around and eye rolling at you!
Sounds like you need to tell him what you think and how you feel.
Sounds like you're a bit on eggshells around him? Do you feel close? This doesn't sound like a very warm relationship.
I feel like he often looks annoyed or huffs and appears inconvenienced
I remember this feeling far too well.
I also remember feeling like there should have been a certain amount of support having another person around on a weekend, so when I actually ended up do everything anyway, and then getting sulked at, I would get to Sunday evening feeling let down as well as guilty. Now I'm on my own I don't 'expect' any help, and subsequently can't feel let down. It's much easier.
Have you discussed with him what help you'd like on a weekend?
Does he share the evening routine, for example; he baths the children and puts them to bed while you sort out dinner, or vise versa?
I'm not sure I'd describe our relationship as warm as such at the moment! He is very involved in the evening. He's around for around 1.5 hours before bed and he plays with the kids (1 and 4) especially the older one and will brush teeth and read bedtime stories etc. He tends to shirk bathtime but we don't do that every night.
He's just a bit quick to criticise eg. Tonight the one year old found a lip gloss and was carrying it around trying to squeeze bits out and he said 'shall we try not to leave things like that hanging around, I always put things like that high up'. It's a silly example where he has a point but I just wish he would just let things go more and also I feel like he is criticising me in front of the kids. Couldn't he just not say anything about it or take the lipbalm away. Even if it was something bad, I don't know why he has to say it, I have the power of my own eyes and of self reflection myself.
I preferred it so much I left him.
But those who left, are you happier now. And what about co parenting, don't you miss the kids and have to deal with rubbish negotiations? And what about finances. I not asking for the world, I just want a pleasant, easy going feeling in the house.
...he said 'shall we try not to leave things like that hanging around, I always put things like that high up'
And your response should have been 'I beg your pardon?' Do you tell him how he makes you feel?
Sounds to me like you've just grown apart. You don't have to stay together you know. Think how happy you'd be.
I think this is less about separate incidences of lip gloss or whatnot, so much as about the tension/resentment and lack of harmony and support. I think if your relationship was better you could probably let these comments slide or respond in the moment.
I think you need to be honest about how you feel about dh and address it.
I left and am much happier. ExDH was horrible and unsupportive and at times abusive. But it's impossible to compare, and not that useful. It's what you feel that matters.
Yup. So I kicked him out. Kids and I are all better for it. Not sure he is - has no one to look after him but himself. Scary prospect really and he's not doing a great job.
For a while I did wonder if it was me being controlling as I had it "my way" during the week as a sahm and maybe I didn't really appreciate his views. Then I realised that wasn't it at all. He wanted to have it his way regardless if it was detrimental to others.
Single parenting is not without its challenges, but so much easier to do than parenting with someone you feel on eggshells around or just plain don't like or respect anymore.
( not that I'm saying you need to leave him, but it's def one option!)
But those who left, are you happier now. And what about co parenting, don't you miss the kids and have to deal with rubbish negotiations? And what about finances.
Yes, I'm MUCH happier now.
Yes, I miss my kids when the downs the night at their dad's. I also rejoice in a few hours peace, I won't lie.
Co-parenting? No. Daddy's house had his rules, mummy's house has her rules. They're here the majority of the time anyway, so it's my rules they live by on a day to day basis.
Finances are actually much easier now I am in control of everything. I can budget and spend as I like, and I don't have to ask anyone's permission.
As bizarre as it sounds, I absolutely LOVE being a single parent. My life is so much easier.
Oh wow - I think I'm in exactly the same position. About to start Relate counselling - don't know where it's going to end. Got such mixed feelings. This won't be our first lot of therapy.
"I not asking for the world, I just want a pleasant, easy going feeling in the house."
That is exactly how I feel. Going to use that line for the counselling sessions. Maybe he'll take it on board!
Reading peoples' replies and stories with interest. I think I would be happier on my own, but then I don't really know. I'm worried about the financial and practical implications, and that I'd end up missing him somewhat. Or maybe I'm just scared of being lonely. It feels very complicated.
Redisthenewblack - was it hard to separate / make the break?
Thanks for the food for thought and hi rainbow! It all just a bit gutting really isn't it. I meet up with friends and conversation flows easily, it's all upbeat and fun and positive. Issues are discussed with empathy. I know friends don't have to navigate running a household and bringing up kids but it just feels like hard work with dh now. He nitpicks in conversations, seems uninterested in unpractical conservations, is negative and critical and just rigid. I feel like how hard can it be to just be pleasant and interested and positive. I do wonder how much of it is down to young kids, will things change as they get older?
Or is it impractical. Ah yes that looks better. Appears I've caught the nitpicking habit!
I was the same. Loved it when he was away with work. I felt like I did everything anyway - but then added bonus of whole bed to self, no snoring, cooking dinner for one, not tidying up his shit. Bliss.
I used to fantasise about buying a house down the road so he could pop in on us but not have all the day to day shit.
He did me the massive favour of cheating on me when baby was 18 months old.
Now lone parent. It's tough and I feel angry but deep down I know it's a better life than before. Now I get every other weekend to myself - previously I would nip to tesco late at night just to get some "me" time.
My DH had been making more of an effort since we discussed/realised how bad things have got. I.e me emotionally (and physically) distancing myself because he was moody/miserable so much, but now I'm worried I won't be able to fall in love again even if he does change into a happy, chatty chirpy soul - or move in that direction anyway!
Kids are 6 and 4 and it's taken its toll. We're currently living as friends and co-parents under the same roof, finding it difficult to imagine 'going back' but still scared of breaking up. On the good side of this relatively new arrangement I don't feel as if I'm walking on eggshells so much and he's generally being nicer. Maybe there's hope....
Ha ha - yes I've often thought a husband-flat attached to the house but separate would be rather good.
Although he might bang on the wall when the kids make too much noise (I.e play like normal kiddies)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.