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Sad that DH is just crap with our kids.

(86 Posts)
upthewolves Wed 12-Jun-19 02:46:45

We've been together 13 years and generally plodded on pretty happily but we've found it tough since having DC (3.5 and 1.5). He wanted them as much as I did, in fact he was the one who drove having DC2 whereas I would have waited and it's DC2 that has pushed us to the edge. I think DH would agree that he didn't take to fatherhood naturally and finds them hard work, but they are hard work. The 1 year old has never slept and has been attached to me at night since birth despite various attempted interventions to get him to sleep which obviously hasn't been great for our relationship and my mental health. I've been extremely sleep deprived for a year.

I have the kids all the time and get very little time to myself. Leaving them makes me anxious and on the rare occasion I do I usually return to him frazzled and moaning about how they've behaved. We enjoy our time as a family when we are all together, I think it's being responsible for them alone that stresses him out and I think he expects way, way too much from their behaviour. He often says the 3 year old is being ridiculous but I personally think he is judging the behaviour as if it was coming from an older child or even an adult. She is very articulate but she is 3 and she will refuse to wear X or y because it's the wrong colour just like (I think?) Most 3 year Olds.

Last week I went away for a few days. It was huge for me and I agonised over it. I attended a friend's child free wedding overseas. The 1.5 year old was still breastfeeding multiple times a night despite several attempts to wean so we just weaned him cold turkey when I left which felt very cruel and I was extremely emotional about the decision (so please no judgement, I feel bad enough).

To distract the kids, he took them to stay with my mum for 3 of the 4 nights I was away. I have had such an amazing few days. Slept 8 hours a night for 4 nights when I haven't slept more than 2 in a row since DC2 was born. Caught up with friends. Enjoyed adult conversation. I honestly felt like a new woman within 24hrs.

Unfortunately, I also had a constant barrage of moaning texts about the kids and how hard it was. Unbelievably, the 1 year old coped OK with weaning and has slept brilliantly every night I was away. The 3 year old has tantrummed constantly (apparently) and been 'ridiculous' and 'manipulative'. She has never been away from me before but he has made no allowance for any anxiety this might have caused her. She asked to sleep in his bed and he said no and had an argument with her at 3am on night 2.

I'm on my way home from the airport on the train now and he has admitted he has no idea how I do it and can't wait to get back to work. He's apparently 'furious' with DD as she has just weed on the floor while he was trying to get DS to sleep because she refused to go to the toilet without help, even though she is capable of it.

I feel so deflated. Like all the R&R has been for nothing and I'm in a worse frame of mind than before I left. I have missed them so painfully. I feel like I can never leave them again.

Worse, I asked my mum how it went and how DH seemed to cope and she was cagey but admitted he 'has a lot to learn' and needs to be more 'hands on' with the kids. I suspect he got her to do a lot of the work. Which makes me furious.

I don't know what to say to him when we get back. I think it is extremely sad he doesn't enjoy spending time with his small children. I know they're hard work ,- and they are particularly demanding strong willed children - but honestly, is this normal? I feel so sad for the DC that they have suffered in order for me to have a break and a good time.

I'm honestly thinking of leaving him. Not just because of this weekend but because I feel generally like he doesn't enjoy family life and that isn't what I want for the DC. Is that a silly reason? He would, I think, be floored to know I was considering it. I think he thinks his behaviour and attitude is normal and justified. He has admitted he just isn't patient with them but seems to think that's forgivable. I think it's a cop out. I'm very confused sad

BlackCatSleeping Wed 12-Jun-19 03:03:14

That’s really shitty of him to behave like that. He needs to step up and be a man and take proper care of his kids.

I think you need a real talk about what happens and his lack of parenting skills. There are so many resources out there, TV shows, books, parenting courses, etc. There’s no excuse for him being so useless.

I’d suggest a vasectomy to him as well.

Seniorschoolmum Wed 12-Jun-19 03:07:59

Oh dear.don’t feel that your children have suffered because they haven’t. Your mum was there to support them and your little one coped fine. With the older one, it sounds like a clash of wills more than anything else.
It shows that your dh needs to be left along with his dcs more often so he learns to cope. It would be a more measured response than leaving.
I think I’d reserve one evening a week as your time. Go to the gym or out with friends and leave them to it. Your dh won’t learn while you are there for him to off-load them to. It will be good for all of you.

AuntMarch Wed 12-Jun-19 03:08:22

Has anybody ever actually told him what is typical three year old behaviour? I think just leaving is a bit extreme, although I see the temptationa, but expecting him to show enough interest in his children to learn about realistic expectations and parenting strategies would be entirely reasonable. Talk to him and be honest about how you feel but have suggestions of reading material or courses ready. Give him the opportunity to make things better.

upthewolves Wed 12-Jun-19 03:13:01

Thanks Blackcat. I think he just thinks that it's because I'm used to it as he's at work so it's somehow 'easier' for me, when of course that isn't the case. Sometimes I have to really consider how I deal with the DC and consciously remember to react with patience and understanding, just like we all do. And sometimes when I'm really tired and DD is being really difficult I get cross as well (which I think is only human,) so often if I take it up with him he throws it back that I also get frustrated and reminds me of an occasion where I too have shouted or vented about how tough it's been, when he comes home from work. I don't really know how to respond to that.

I think the difference is that generally I am patient and loving/ affectionate with the DC and I feel like when they are behaving and occupied he just takes the opportunity to make a cup of tea or play on his phone when he should be engaging with them and playing with them or telling them how great they are playing together so that is interactions with them don't become a string of him telling them to do stuff and then complaining about what they are doing or not doing.

I will look into resources to help. We need a serious talk. I just can't be the only one who parents, it's tiring and ridiculous when they have two parents right here.

Seniorschoolmum Wed 12-Jun-19 03:13:16

And your dd doesn’t sound anything other than normal to me - she’s three.
I think your stuffed shirt husband needs to roll up his sleeves and remember he’s a parent. You should “give him the opportunity” more often smile

Please don’t feel deflated flowers

upthewolves Wed 12-Jun-19 03:15:44

Just saw the other replies. Thank you. I realise leaving is extreme. As I said, it isn't just this weekend, it's a resentment that has built up over time and I've let it build up. But you're right, I need to try and fix it first.

I think a regular evening out where he puts them to bed might be a good idea. I will find something to do one night a week and put that to him. Sometimes I think I have sort of martyred myself and told myself I can't possibly leave them. But they just survived 4 days (of course!) so it's silly to tell myself that

upthewolves Wed 12-Jun-19 03:17:38

Thanks seniorschoolmum. This has eaten away at me for a couple of years now and I feel I can't talk to any friends/ family because I'm embarrassed to admit my husband doesn't enjoy his own children. And it feels like undermining him because all friends and family know him well

FurrySlipperBoots Wed 12-Jun-19 03:23:03

they are particularly demanding strong willed children

Honestly, I should imagine their behaviour is simply a reaction to their father's lack of parenting! He sounds hopeless. The way he's acting - 'arguing' with a 3 year old for goodness sake! Not to mention running crying to you constantly - is really fucking up the whole family. The children are actual PEOPLE and how they turn out as adults will largely depend on how he is as a father. He needs to grow up by about 20 years.

If you can afford it, I would look into family therapy. A positive parenting course too.

IAmAlwaysLikeThis Wed 12-Jun-19 03:25:26

My dad was like this (maybe even more hamds off) and we have basically no relationship now.

He needs to sort this or the same will happen.

Durgasarrow Wed 12-Jun-19 03:57:12

It does seem a bit extreme to have a year and a half year old who breastfeeds several times a night. And doing weaning cold turkey. There's something about that that seems as if you might be somewhat overly attached. Not that athis is a a terrible thing but in the context of your relationship, it is unbalanced. It's a thing that he can't do, that separates you and your husband physically, that would cause a lot more wakefulness than seems necessary for a child that age, etc.

Kokeshi123 Wed 12-Jun-19 04:28:51

It does seem a bit extreme to have a year and a half year old who breastfeeds several times a night. And doing weaning cold turkey. There's something about that that seems as if you might be somewhat overly attached. Not that athis is a a terrible thing but in the context of your relationship, it is unbalanced. It's a thing that he can't do, that separates you and your husband physically, that would cause a lot more wakefulness than seems necessary for a child that age, etc.

I don't understand this post.
The OP has weaned, what else is she supposed to do? It sounds like gradual attempts to wean were not working, and in cases like that sometimes you do just have to cut them off completely, otherwise it just causes more misery.

MerryMarigold Wed 12-Jun-19 04:54:06

I think it's entirely normal he doesn't enjoy them at this age. There's a mum on here saying similar and had nothing but sympathy/ they will grow up, comments. In don't think you can redirect him to enjoy them, but you can expect him to do his bit. Let him moan, be a bit resilient to that, and say, never mind it'll be easier next time!!

I think your kids (and both of you) are suffering because you have different parenting techniques. You sound way too soft, and possibly in frustration he's going the other way. Your dd sounds very used to getting her own way and pushes when he doesn't cave so easily (the wee). You would have taken her to the loo, right. Dc2 the same. Look, baby slept brilliantly without you. No one to give in to his demands. You are, and have, created a rod for your own back. And you're beating DH with it! I know sleep deprivation will always make you take the easier route, which is to give in, but this is not DH's fault. And I sense he resents being left with children who know no boundaries.

I think you need to realise at a heart level, that you and DH need to agree on parenting, and that the likelihood is that *the best place is somewhere in the middle of both of you*. Then stick to it. Be a united front that your 'demanding' children know they can't get past. This will do you huge favours long term.

I'm speaking from experience. When you're in it, v it's so very hard to see it, but with hindsight I wish I'd taken more of DH on board, earlier. He was right to be a bit tougher on them and now I'm paying the price, although I've toughened up a lot. Your willful 3yo will be a nightmare 10yo without more guidance, active teaching and firm boundaries.

purplecatt Wed 12-Jun-19 04:54:42

I don't think it's extreme. I think he's the one quite frankly that's ridiculous and manipulative, texting you constantly on your first break away instead of getting on with it. I'd be telling him to go on a parenting course and learn a few things about kids or it's over. It's shitty for kids to grow up with an impatient dad who basically can't stand that they're not behaving like adults.

Shehz21 Wed 12-Jun-19 05:10:24

I agree with PP about it seeming extreme for a 1.5 year old to breastfeed several times at night. You do sound very attached and I can feel some sort of extreme anxiety in your post that I can relate to regarding DC. I have a DD 1.5 and my DH is brilliant with her, very hands on, as soon as he gets back from work he is happy to take over from me to give me a break BUT despite all of this, whenever I leave DD for more than an hour, some sort of irrational anxiety builds up in me and I get paranoid about knowing every little detail about what's going on with her and feel the NEED to see her asap. I don't know what it is but I definitely need to work on this and so do you.
The decision to leave sounds quite extreme and the weekend is what I believe, tipped you towards thinking of such an extreme front.

Please read @MerryMarigold post over and over. There is nothing but the truth in it.

Zoflorabore Wed 12-Jun-19 05:10:33

Hi op I'm sad to read that you've had such an amazing time but are coming back feeling so unhappy.

What jumped out to me is that somewhere, deep down maybe he has a huge amount of newfound respect for what you actually do on a day to day basis now he has experienced it himself.
If this is the case then his parenting will improve as a result which you will be able to see if that makes sense?

If he carries on as before then you need to sit him down and spell out exactly what you're thinking in the extewme of actually splitting up. This may be enough to put the shits up him pardon the language but i couldn't think of an eloquent phrase to describe it!

What I do hope is that you continue to have small breaks away from the children, I'm talking hours here not days because you deserve a break. It has done wonders for you by the sound of it. He needs to step up and be a dad to your children.

You don't get to dip in and out of rearing them. Neither should he.
Things will feel brighter in the morning when you've had your mummy cuddles smile

I wish you well flowers

blackcat86 Wed 12-Jun-19 05:15:16

The pp is right. He's been shit and lazy. You've gone away for a short break and instead of stepping up and being supportive, hes bundled the kids off to your mums for her to deal with, has argued with a toddler, sounds constantly miserable and frustrated, and has sent you a string of messages about how terrible it is so you're bound to worry and presumably never dare go away again. Well here is his chance to step up or he'll find himself on his own with them 50% of the time!

Partridgeamongstthepigeons Wed 12-Jun-19 05:29:15

Without knowing both of you I would be inclined to agree with MerryMarigold. Don't feel guilty about enjoying your break too, everyone needs one from young DC

NewtoHolland Wed 12-Jun-19 05:38:28

It's quite a common technique of an abusive man to treat the kids poorly like this...he should have been able to let you have your r&r and just give you the good news, knowing that you'd be worried anyway. Have a read of living with the dominator..it's the book of the freedom project and see if you notice any similarities. Sorry he spoilt it for you.

Decormad38 Wed 12-Jun-19 05:38:37

He sounds like a bloody child himself. He needs to grow up. Be straight op tell the useless fat you’re leaving him if he doesn’t get his shit together and you’re giving him 2 months. If he doesn’t know about child development then he can read can’t he. Why do men think that they can just avoid all this!

Bookworm4 Wed 12-Jun-19 06:12:38

they are particularly demanding strong willed children
Often this is the polite way of saying that they do bugger all they’re told and rule the house.
It sounds like you are way too soft on the DC and let them rule and then your DH expects more compliance from them, I think you need a serious talk about parenting, the 3 yr old should be becoming a bit more independent; if you’re not naturally easy with kids having one demanding constant attention and assistance can be difficult. Why is she awake arguing at 2am? The younger one still up all night? This carry on would drive most folk nuts.

Bookworm4 Wed 12-Jun-19 06:15:37

Also to the PP saying the DH is useless, shit, ltb, think of the threads where mums say they feel like the DH here,they get sympathy and support, very hypocritical.

BeardyButton Wed 12-Jun-19 06:17:30

Christ. What us it w mumsnet and anti bf at the moment?! This is OPs fault because she bfs? She is very attached? Shes made a rod for her own back? I find the attitudes to bf on here bizarre in the extreme, and not evidence based in any way shape or form.

Well done for bf so far OP. If its working for you and baby, keep it up. If not, then change it. I night weaned around this time. To be honest, it didnt change the amount of wakings, but it did mean I didnt have to bf.

On the husband side im not sure what to say. It sounds to me like communication problems as much as anything. Have you talked to him about your feelings about parenting? Not when you are angry, when both of you are more relaxed.

Musteringupthestrength Wed 12-Jun-19 06:17:42

Talk to your husband.

Spill! Tell him everything you’ve told us here about how you feel and how it feels so bad it makes you consider leaving.

birdsdestiny Wed 12-Jun-19 06:23:52

Those mums are parenting though. Expressing that it's difficult is one thing not parenting is another.
Adults describing children as manipulative always makes me uneasy.

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