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Differient parenting styles putting a strain on our relationship

(5 Posts)
Heartmum2Jamie Sat 16-Aug-08 22:56:28

Dh & I are rowing. It has become more apparent that we are polar opposites when it comes to parenting. During our row tonight he openly admits he would rather be at work, I openly admitted I would rather he stayed at work too (I am 29 weeks pregnant, feeling pretty crappy and so am more than a little tetchy). He seems to think kids should be seen & not heard and that heaven forbid they should make a mess because they never listen when we tell thenm to tidy up. He's actually becoming like his father which he told me he never wanted to do and he doesn't take kindly to me pointing this out.

Me?? I saw the light after everything that happened with DS2 (he was a very poorly baby, diagnosed with a heart condition at 9 months and we could easily have lost him. He has other issues as well) and realised life is far too short to worry about mess. Yes, sometimes the mess bugs me and yes, it bugs me when I contantly have to nag and it still doesn't get tidied, but they know that when I threaten something, I mean it. Dh has no defined parenting syle, he threatens something and then doesn't carry it through and wonders why the kids don't take a blind bit of notice of him. Grrr!

Obviously hormones, mixed with stress of a DLA renewal and being heavily pregnant and feeling ropey ect is making me see him in a whole new light and I am really not sure I am liking what I see right now. I feel he is overly harsh on the kids, exepcts them not to make a mess or tidy up off thier own bat. I keep reminding him that they are just children, aged just 7 and just 4, but his argument is always that HE was always tidy. I actually LOL at this as he makes almost more mess than the 3 of us put together. In his mind he likes to think he is a tidy person but the reality is quite differnt.

DS1 actually told dh today that he wished dh wasn't his father. This came after dh watched the olympic coverage ALL day and then when ds1 asked dh to play with him in the garden, dh started ranting about the state of the garden and forced ds1 to help him tidy it up and without any notice, told ds he was going to throw all the stuff lying around the garden away because he was sick of seeing it. I had to pick my jaw up from the top of my bump at ds's comment, mainly because DS1 has been all for his Dad almost since DS2 arrived, but also because it made me feel quite good about myself as DS1 is often angry with me but has never said such a horrid thing to me. DS2 is a total mama's boy and doesn't take any notice of dh.

I am scared of what is going to happen when this little fella arrives (due end of Oct). Maybe dh will leave as he already feels he doesn't want to be at home and we practically live seperate lives. He's always in his garage on his computer and I am usually in the kitchen, which is where my computer is. He's currently watching a film without me as I am not interested in the same stuff he is.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dh and I am sure he loves us, but I do not feel that it is acceptable to be the way he is with the kids, particularly ds1, who wants nothihg more than to have fun with his Dad. He is a very sensitive lad as it is. It broke my heart to see his face fall as he realised that dh was not going to play with him but spend the next several hours (until bedtime) going on at him. I know tomorrow will be no better as dh will watch the olympics in the morning and then use the excuse of cleaning the bathroom to shut himself away for 2 hours to listen to the football in peace. Then Monday-Friday he works and we barely see him and I may as well be a single parent. I just feel that dh is the sort of person who would have been better off not being a parent and I am scared of the effect this is having on my children.

Sorry this is so long, I don't really have anyone I can mention this too IRL.

quint Sat 16-Aug-08 23:12:04

Oh dear. I don't really know what to say but didn't want your thread to go unanswered. What a shithead!

Is there anyway you can get a babysitter and have a talk aomewhere on neutral ground. Is he stressed about anything in particular? Job or money worries with the new baby?

I know how easy it is to fall into a rut and not hear each other, you must try and do something before you fall out of love with him.

Is there really no-one in RL you can talk to?

Heartmum2Jamie Sat 16-Aug-08 23:20:30

Thanks for taking the time to read through all that, I appreciate it. There is someone I can talk to IRL, but it's a little late and it's eating away at me right now, so figured I best get it off my chest tonight at least and call my best friend tomorrow. She had better not be hung over in the morning, lol!

I do think we need to talk. I would not be surprised if he is stressed about all 3 things you mention. He is a sales rep, has targets to hit, which is proving impossible for more than 75% of the reps in his company due to the economy and obviously this means less money.

I just wish he could look at the kids and ENJOY them, rather than see them as mess making machines, even if that is what they are. I guess it is different for me, I am a SAHM & homeschool them, so we are together alot and know thier personalities as well as I kow my own. I think DH finds ds1 particularly hard because he is at the boundary pushing age and naturally, he is pushing his Dad as he's the easier target. I am sad that he would rather be at work than at home with his kids. What kind of father does that make him? He spends precious little time with them as it is. I feel for the boys, my mother was the same with me and we are not close at all, barely have a relationship. I don't want that for them too

Seabright Sat 16-Aug-08 23:57:19

Would a reward chart for your boys help? Would they put stuff away if they thought there was a little prize at the end?

I don't think this is the total answer, but would it give you both enough breathing space to be able to talk about the situation a bit more calmly?

Roca Thu 21-Aug-08 00:30:20

Hey Heartmum - I just wanted to say that I really empathise with you - I'm not going through the same thing as such but just think us women take on so much as understand our kids so well it's hard when we don't get the support we need.

I think it helps even to have somewhere to vent the frustrations.


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