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Anyone else feels like a single parent?

(18 Posts)
Cube Sat 26-Mar-05 13:14:21

Hi all. Feeling a bit down and wonder if anyone else out there feels the same.

We have an 8-month old boy and he's wonderful. I love looking after him and seeing him develop.

The problem is that my boyfriend is self-employed and seems to be too busy all the time to get involved with the baby. In the 8 months I doubt if he has spent more than a total of one hour with his son. I have never seen him pick up the baby to play with him at his own accord. If I want him to interact with the baby I have to physically pass the baby to him. And even then he would not spend more than a few minutes with him before passing him back to me.

It's not that he doesn't love the baby, it's just that his mind is always focussed on something else that he thinks is more urgent. I feel like a single parent most of the time. I have mentioned to him a couple of times that it would be nice if he could spend more time with our baby, but he never seems to manage to relax from his business chores.

When I hear my friends saying their partners would come home from work and bathe their babies, or keep babies up for a bit too long past bedtime, I feel so envious.

I am trying to cope with this loneliness and not to 'go on' at him but it's difficult. How can I let him know that he needs to do more without sounding like I'm nagging? I also feel terribly sorry for our little boy that he doesn't seem to have a father at the moment.

KBear Sat 26-Mar-05 13:37:46

Some men are naturals, others aren't - like women too I suppose. We're not all earth mothers. My DH always paid alot of attention to our children but now the youngest is three they are inseparable.

Maybe he hasn't had much contact with babies, maybe he's nervous of his fatherly responsibilities, maybe he's a lazy git who is happy to let you get on with it. The fact is, you're not happy so have a chat with him and maybe make yourself scarce for a few hours so he has to take care of him and the bond might just emerge! Good luck.

sahara Sat 26-Mar-05 13:47:17

It took 3 kids and me leaving b4 my DH decided he should be more helpful with the kids. Now I don't do the night shift at all. It just sounds to me like maybe you partner doesn't really have the baby thing (you know, "oh isn't it cute, goo goo, gaa, gaa, type"
Sometimes men simply prefer them as toddlers who can talk and interact back.
But like Kbear said if your not happy then u should talk and tell him firmly that he has to try harder. Bye

Clayhead Sat 26-Mar-05 14:27:57


My dh is actually great with dd and ds but he works long hours (7:30am - 10:30 pm over Easter weekend for example) and revises when he isn't at work so I can understand the concept of loneliness within a relationship. I too feel sorry for my kids and my dd (3) cries that she misses him.

Sorry, not much help, am I?

haven Sat 26-Mar-05 15:46:38

my dh works alot...45 hrs. at works then sometime 5 or more at home working on the side...but even if he doesn't have to work he is usually to tired or just to lazy to want to do with the kids...we argued the other day for the same thing....LOL...I asked him if we had to pay for his time...because after about an 1 hr or two you can tell he gets ready to move on, and go back to his own thing.....he tries....but like another mom said ....some or naturals and some aren't....unfortunetly though....mothering didn't come natural for me either...i wasn't ready for the demanding expectation that children that puts twice as much on me.....making sure that my ds and dd feel loved and wanted...and making sure that they always know that they come hunny join the club.....lots of men would be happy never to have children, think alot of them do it to make the wife after they have them they realize what a joy, but some never get the warm and fuzzies...

Pinotmum Sat 26-Mar-05 16:28:39

Cube, my dh is self employed also and this weekend he has no time off at all. I am feeling like a single mum too. To be fair he is good with the children when he's around but this has got better as they have gotten older and he can read them stories and chase them. He wasn;t great with them as babies and would have to be told to get involved. I am a sahm and bf both of them so I know in a way he didn't know how to get involved iyswim as I seemed to have it all sorted by the time he came in. I am feeling pretty p7ssed off today, not with him but with my mum, who thinks I have a great life by not having to work but seems to forget I never have a break either and we rarely spend time together as a family. How I would love a 9 - 5 hubby who worked 5 days a week. My sil and sister both married teachers so have their dh's home for school holidays but my mum can't see this at all and says I am unreasonable to complain. I also feel my children don't see enough of their dad but again as they are older I tell them to ask daddy for juice or whatever to involve him. They are now 4 yo and 2 yo and adore him so I do know they have developed a relationship even though I used to worry about this.

posyhairdresser Sat 26-Mar-05 16:51:13

Could you go out for 2 hours each weekend leaving him with the baby?

trinityrocks Sun 27-Mar-05 09:21:53

my hubby is on sub,arines and I know exactly what you mean, you must talk to him and tell him how you feel

trinityrocks Sun 27-Mar-05 09:22:38

that should say "submarines", didn't sleep much last night, having trouble this morning

MistressMary Sun 27-Mar-05 11:10:01

Cube, Are you me?

It sounds very familiar.

Cube Sun 27-Mar-05 12:30:51

Thank you for all your responses.

My boyfriend did say right from the beginning that he's not very good with babies. He has an 11-year old son from his previous marriage and they are very close. I have seen in the past how well my BF interacted with him when he was a toddler. So maybe as some of you said, he's just one of these men who aren't great with babies. I hope that when our baby is a bit older things will be better.

I really think that the main problem is that my BF has too much to worry about with his business. Although I do try to get him to relax once in a while, it is very difficult for him to do so. Alcohol sometimes helps. When he does relax he is good with the baby. So maybe the trick is to pour him a glass of wine in the evening

He is not a lazy git as he doesn't just sit around and do nothing, he's always on the go doing something either for the business or for the house.

MistressMary, how do you cope with your situation?

MistressMary Sun 27-Mar-05 21:47:10

Hello there.
My OH is self employed and a workoholic and a born worrier. Because we have a family now, he doesn't want work to dry up and be unable to support us financially.
He works everyday. He manages about two days off for xmas and New years day, but can nearly guarantee he works everyday other than that.
He sets off at all hours and can work overnight sometimes.
He has never bathed our boy or fed him and I do all the baby stuff.
My partner feel bad that he misses out on the milestones too.
As do I.

How do I cope? um.....
Well, I get out as much as I can and try to involve my partner as our son is getting more interactive now.
I get envious too of partners that are helping out more, but then I am glad we have a roof over our head and our health etc.
Other than that I have my bad days but then I see other people who have more worries than me and put things into perspective.
I still have the bad days nonetheless though.

moondog Sun 27-Mar-05 21:54:20

Cube, my dh has been absent for probably 80% of the last 4 years as he works abroad and travels a lot. We have a 4 yr old and an 8 mth old. I really sympathise. I even gave birth alone as he wasn't able to make it home on time, then moved house (alone!) 4 weeks later.

It is very difficult. I can't complain too much as we actively chose this sort of lifestyle (and I am abroad with him whenever I want to be) b ut it's hard and lonely. I've just put mine to bed ater them being up since before 7:00 am.
I worry that my dh doesn't spend enough time with them, but then so does he! However there is always something he needs to do and he's studying for an MSc as well.

As others have said, Ido however think that a lot of blokes are better with older kids. Sounds like he is a good dad to his older child.

misdee Sun 27-Mar-05 22:30:08

at least his father is at home. my kids see their dad for a couple of hours a week. no, i am not a single parent, just my dh is in hospital miles away, and i cant take the kids in if they are ill. dd3 is 5weeks old tomorrow, dh was at home for the 1st 3 weeks, and has been in hospital ever since. He has spent 50% of the year so far in hospital, and looks set to carry on like this for the rest of the year.

pinotgrigio Sun 27-Mar-05 22:45:21

I agree with the other posters. My DP was useless with DD, and only now that she's a little person (2.4) gets involved. Even now though, he doesn't do too much - he never puts her to bed, never does dinner, certainly never baths her. I put this down to sheer laziness on his part. I never ask him to do it though, so maybe I'm also to blame.

misdee Sun 27-Mar-05 22:48:01

sorry, that was abit mean of me. men do get more involved as kids get older. its harder to 'ignore' kids when they are hanging of your dp arm saying 'please daddy i wanna play football'

Cube Mon 28-Mar-05 00:29:13

I too have my good days and bad days. BF is away for two weeks starting from today, and yesterday for the first he did spend 20 minutes bathing DS and it was lovely for me to see them interact. And before he went away BF was really sweet to me and made me feel important again (he hasn't done so for a while since baby was born) and also said that he will miss DS. So today I feel a lot better.

Yes BF is a very good father with his older son. And actually BF does frequently mention that it will be great when baby DS is older. So maybe I'm worrying over nothing and BF is just one of those people who aren't great with babies.

Thanks again everybody for responding. Sometimes all you need is to know that you're not alone and that there are other people out there who understand. So thanks again.

almost40 Mon 28-Mar-05 04:17:22

Cube, I've read this entire thread, and can totally relate. DH travels a lot and is also a workaholic. KBear had some good advice. I think it's a great idea to leave your DS with your BF alone and let him bond. It sounds as though he will do. He also sounds like the type that will get better as your DS gets older. Good luck.

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