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"positive example" instead of whining/keeping score - does it work?

(12 Posts)
time4tea Mon 03-Sep-07 21:51:15

DH and I have been having a tough time since DS2 was born 6 months ago. In brief, we've had a few big conversations about his lack of care and attention for me during this time (quite a few health problems), and I've also taken on board his problems with my (I accept) sulky then explosive attitude, not being upfront about what is required etc. We even read "babyproof your marriage" which was helpful in getting to grips with the problem. I accept entirely and have been trying to act on the principle that it is a partnership we both have to give time care etc and be generous in all things, and have sincerely been making an effort to be extra thoughtful and generous with words and actions. but we are still having big barneys and I'm not sure if it is doing much good.

wondered if anyone else had experience of this. all the books (was looking at Netmums "how to be a happy mum" in a shop today, speed-read the chapter on relationships) seem to promote this "you can only change your own behaviour, model the behaviour you would like to see" idea....

fransmom Mon 03-Sep-07 22:00:01

hi sweetheart x
we had the same barneys. i may seem a bit preachy here but having a baby is a HUGE culture shock for both parents, i had a sulky then explosive (sorry i don't like the word attitude) i-don't-know-what-to-call-ems basically because i thought that "i been with you long enough you miserable bstard, you should know by now when i need your help, not your verbals or your verbal solutions".(plus, adding to that, which i'm sure you don't need me to remind you, there is big brother and his feelings to cope with too.) a big maelstrom of emotions in your house so it's no wonder that you are feeling up and down.

it may be a daft question but is there anyone or family that you can trust to have the two boys for you for an evening so that you and your husband can spend some time together or even attend counselling so that both of you get your feelings aired - it will be in a neutral environment so you will both feel safe and free to talk about how you feel in an calm environment.

does that make sense, i am quite tired atm grin fm x

time4tea Mon 03-Sep-07 22:06:16

hello Fransmum

my mum does babysit sometimes, we have had a run of a few weeks where other things have got in the way - so good idea. DH did suggest counselling was our only option at one point, but when I said (literally) "bring it on, I'm perfectly happy to discuss this with a counsellor - lets see what they have to say" he baulked wink and that was the last heard on that... basically I don't think we have massive problems, just the normal new parent stuff.

I'm just interested that this technique is promoted such a lot, and wondered whether it was really working for anyone.

fransmom Mon 03-Sep-07 22:08:16

the counselling might well work, it does for some. i think it helps to have a thrid person's viewpoint on some things. just a thought, have you thought about contacting homestart? they help parents in some ways and may be a bit better for your dh to cope with the idea?

time4tea Thu 06-Sep-07 17:42:34


my mum says if things are really important to me, I should just do them myself without stressing or go immediately to DH and say "X needs doing, let's do it together"...

wondered what others have experienced about this kind of approach, similar to that outlined in the book...

am wondering if I am just incorrigibly bonkers and just am not cut out with relationships with men or anyone hmmblushwink

time4tea Thu 06-Sep-07 17:43:48

ps thanks for thoughts Fransmum, writing back to you I realised saying "bring it on" when your DH suggests relationship counselling maybe isn;t the most tactful response grin thanks for getting back to me.

skidoodle Thu 06-Sep-07 17:51:05

I think your Mum's advice is pretty good if you're not already doing that.

Getting mad and storing up resentment because of things you want people to do without telling them is really counterproductive because from their perspective it seems as though you are expecting them to read your mind and getting angry because they can't.

On the other hand if they need to be told things like "when your clothes are dirty, put them in the laundry basket" repeatedly, then there is a respect issue that needs to be dealt with.

ahundredtimes Thu 06-Sep-07 17:52:55

You're all so polite on this thread, I can't imagine any of you having a row with anyone.

time4tea Thu 06-Sep-07 22:13:36

pmsl Ahundredtimes, when I phoned my mother to tell her the latest episode of husband slackness, she said she wondered what had happened, I was ranting and raving with a strong seasoning of swearing (which I am pretty well-known for)before I could actually explain what had happened (some DS1 wee in his ride-on car not cleared up for 3 days angry but she said she was amazed at how foul-mouthed I am (my own mother! blush)

so yes, politeness is easy on the reasonable Mumsnet airwaves.

the respect idea that Skidoodle raises is I think a key one - I've communicated my concerns (sorry for nauseating management-speak) enough times, I do think it lacks respect to not act on it - even on a basic level of respect for my time being as important as his

anyway, don't get me f*ing started, as I often say among friends wink

dazedandconfused Fri 07-Sep-07 15:24:10

Hi T4T

Just to give you some encouragement. I think having a second child is hellishly difficult and much more of adjustment for fathers than the first. It's taken us ages to get to a point where we feel we're supporting each other (and a lot of shouting, sulking and general grumpiness). It sounds corny but I think two things have got us through:
-talking and thinking of something nice thing to say to each other each day (at least!)
-organising time/space to do something for yourself that you really enjoy at least once a week, when DP takes charge of the kids

Good luck, you're not alone! People don't talk about how hard it is with two kids enough (except on MNet, thank god!)

time4tea Mon 10-Sep-07 22:33:30

Thanks D&C for the encouragement

I was thinking today that second time round is a different kettle of fish - was in a mothers discussion group and felt like an old lag, everyone else just had baby number one. although the difficulty of doing anything with a toddler in tow accounts for this

wish there was more opportunity to get 2nd time round tips...

I feel another thread coming on...

harrisey Tue 11-Sep-07 01:39:09

No help, really, but we found the jump from 1 -2 dcs much, much harder than 0 - 1! The first 6 months (dh says a year) of ds's life are a blur, I had PND and kidney trouble related to the pregnancy, dd1 was slap bang in the terrible 2's, ds didnt sleep much etc etc ....

However, 2 - 3 was a doddle! We hardly noticed dd2 was there for about 6 months!!

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