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A mum who cannot do basics and has zero control of kids

(60 Posts)
inastew Mon 06-Jun-16 22:58:53

My wife shouts a lot, but accepts she contributes 1% of family needs and chores and organising. Genuinely I cannot think of one thing she good at.

Groundhog day. 12 year old (acts like a teenager hence posting here) shouting in room as I type at half 10 as he frustrated he can't get off to sleep. Was same last night, so I asked (made agreement with) wife no screen time for him after 8pm. Son agreed. Bedroom at 9 to read, and lights out half 9. Spare me the 'too early' replies - the school report he tired in class and we cannot get him out of bed half 7 each morning. He needs his sleep.

Anyway, point being, just been told son been on IPad 9pm til after 10 and he is loudly mocking my wife for being so pathetic with agreed rules. Sounds petty typing that now, but I feel really sad such basics can't be adhered to. It has hit me like a train. I have been ran ragged all day and fell asleep on sofa earlier - but all this stress and shouting now between them was so easily avoidable. 6 year old now been awoken by their noise.

I am at end of tether. I looked out window a few minutes ago to see an old man walk his dog - I genuinely believe this old guy could have said to son "no ipad" and son would be asleep by now.

Tomorrow I can look forward to 7am to 8am utter bedlam in house. I have got all uniforms laid out and packed lunches and cereal bowls laid out. It could not be easier. Yet without fail the minute I am having a shave or turn back, kids will be jumping on sofa eating chocolate brownies for breakfast getting brown stains on sofa and wife yelling at them, and kids laughing.

There has never even been a consequence to their behaviour. 100 threats and the scooter getting 'taken off them' most days, yet they will be on scooter when I come home from work, 100% guarantee.

I am not standing on sidelines judging. I am trying to put up a united front, but wife is like another toddler in house. I have taken scooter away (gone to work with me on the bus to great amusement by work colleagues) but the issue is kids need see HER do this so they know there is a consequence to their behaviour. Frankly, she is a joke figure to them. And it has hit me tonight like a bolt from the blue.

In morning, she will not be able to get youngest dressed. Nor to clean teeth nor go to loo nor to get kid washed, nor to do anything. It will be anarchy and wife calling kids every name under sun. How long until kid starts telling her teacher what mummy says to her everyday without fail?

A few mins ago I told my wife calmly it is actually easier when she is not around. She came home to dinner on table, kids homework done and kids calm and contented. It kicked off almost straight away. Kids thrive on her over reaction and the attention they get from her irrational shouting.

Between 7pm to 10pm she could not even clear her plate off the dinner table. I said she has had 3 hours watching TV herself and could she do 3 minutes to tidy dishes, while I delt with teenager and crying awoken daughter. Not happening, big argument about that too. Seems illogical to me.

Teenager is all the blame, says she. Everything is his fault. For first time tonight I have sussed it is actually her fault. I have asked her not to come home tomorrow after work so me snd kids can have a quiet calm happy evening and kids off to sleep happy, instead of with an hour shouting and insults in their head.

She has just went down to sleep on sofa. What a relief!

She has a good job and seems well thought off. So financially I cannot leave. Frankly, I would not trust her with kids alone anyway - sorry if that sounds nasty, but she appears unable or unwilling to even feed or clothe kids. If I did not keep fridge full of food I genuinely doubt the kids would eat much. She makes excuses to avoid even bringing in milk anytime.

So teenager (sorry 12 year old) struggling at school last 6 months and behaviour gone seriously down hill. But is issue not with teenager at all. Does he just wish a few boundaries perhaps? How is he going to learn respect if 'rules' are backed down 100% by his mum but the kids know never by me.
A dad at his wits end.

Somerville Mon 06-Jun-16 23:08:26

Since you believe you wife is unable to enforce consequences that you agree for your children, why on earth did you have a nap on the sofa while it was time to take the IPad off your son? If she is as bad as you say, with shouting and name calling then you need to protect the children while you work out what to do.

But it's impossible to tell if she really is that bad or whether your dislike of her has undermined her authority with your children.

And they're not really tiny, this can't have suddenly sneaked up on you, surely?

LostMySanityCanIBorrowYours Mon 06-Jun-16 23:13:24

You both work?

You fell asleep on the sofa while she put to the kids to bed (not to your standard)

But when she watches TV instead of washing up the pots, while you deal with the kids, that's an issue?

If you hadn't been sleeping you could have put the kids to bed, she could have washed up, you both could have watched TV/slept on the sofa/whatever.

KimmySchmidtsSmile Mon 06-Jun-16 23:25:42 have made the lights off, no electrics rule but you are expecting your wife to implement it and are frustrated that she cannot.
I would normally say each of you should rotate good cop/bad cop or each play to your strengths but according to you she doesn't have any. If the kids have picked up your disrespect then not surprising they have no respect for her either.
Accoeding to you, apart from bringing in £, your wife neither parents nor pulls her weight around the house. You either need to come up with an equitable rota or you need to leave with the kids or ask her to. Seeing as you are clearly the primary care giver then you having custody of the kids won't be a problem, will it?

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 06-Jun-16 23:51:59

The contempt you have for your wife is palpable. I would suggest that living in a household where the parents loathe and disrespect each other is doing a lot of harm to the children. More than any parenting lapses could have. For their sake you need to split up.

Presumably as the main carer you would get the majority of time with your children. Which seems to be what you'd want anyway, and then you'd be able to just get on with it rather than trying to bend your wife to your ways of being. It's impossible to tell if your wife is such a terrible mother that the children would be neglected if you weren't there to monitor each moment. Or whether there are other dynamics at play here. Your rage and disgust make it hard to tell. But your rage and disgust are why you need to do what's best for your children and change the harmful family dynamics by either splitting up asap, or if this thread is very much out of the ordinary (for you and her), then perhaps working on your relationship might help. If this thread is a sample of normal family life though, your relationship is very much dead and buried!

Your wife may surprise you in her parenting abilities when you aren't at loggerheads and watching and evaluating her every move. When there's no one else to do it people often stump up, although whether it's to your exacting standards is a different matter. It will probably be to a 'good enough' standard. If the children have to scrape by a couple of weekends a month, that sounds a small price to pay for the peace, respect and love that they need to thrive. And if it's merely different standards or values, then it would be absolutely fine if the majority of the time they are being well looked after.

It's hard to tell by the OP but if your wife is swearing at the children, as well as having checked out of day to day parenting activities, then it's not great. But splitting up would allow you to model what a healthy family and a healthy relationship looks like, helping them be more resilient to their mums behaviour. If it's really bad then you need to get other agencies involved to support the whole family in changing, and to address individuals gaps in parenting,

As an aside, you don't create a 'United front' by forcing someone to fall in with whatever you want to happen. A united front is about parenting together and respecting each other's view points, and understanding there's give and take in a relationship.

pasanda Tue 07-Jun-16 14:26:54

She sounds like a bloody nightmare and I'm not surprised you wish she would leave for a few nights. It would be interesting if she did do this, how your evenings actually went. Whether they would be as you anticipate, or whether the dc would still play up with you.

inastew Wed 08-Jun-16 20:30:42

OP here. 48 hours on - same story.

To clarify, I feel asleep on sofa by mistake while sitting get with son on sofa as I was so wiped out - and I suspect son took advantage of this to try his luck back on IPad when 3 of us agreed that not to happen anymore.

Issue the same last 3 nights- wife not enforcing basic house rules. They would quite clearly make house calmer.

Son having a field day laughing at her shouting at him now, while I sit with age6 fingers crossed she does not wake up and get really upset again.

Just seems really basic to enforce simple rules that will benefit us all, and particularly 12 year old who shouts and bangs walls in frustrating at half 10 then half 11 when he can't get to sleep- part due to excess screen time when it's time for lights out.

PortiaCastis Wed 08-Jun-16 20:34:22

Nobody's perfect and why don't you help rather than whinge on a forum.

Somerville Wed 08-Jun-16 20:36:07

Do you go in and back your wife up when she gives him an instruction and he ignores her?
If not, why not?

You seem to be describing it taking two of you to look after two children after school. [confusion] I have 3 children, similar ages to yours, and there is only even me here with them.

titchy Wed 08-Jun-16 20:48:51

Why don't you tell your son not to be so rude and disrespectful to his mother instead of sitting down with your fingers crossed posting on MN? Oh wait, you're massively disrespectful to her so he's just mirroring what the adults in his life are doing.

Your utter contempt for your wife is clearly the biggest influence on your kids. Seriously if you have the remotest concern for their wellbeing you need to separate. The atmosphere at home must be terrifying for them.

clarkeologist Wed 08-Jun-16 20:51:41

wondering if everyone would be as hard on op if it was the wife and mother lamenting the failings of her DH instead of the other way round. Are we all used to expecting the woman to be the one holding it all together that we are sceptical when told that not all women can or do? I have a friend who sounds like the op's wife.

TeaAddict235 Wed 08-Jun-16 21:01:35

OP, if DS is messing around, he needs to know that both parents are against his nonsense. YOu have to show the male rod of authority and tell him to respect his mum, your wife, the lady that once the kids bugger off, you'll live with? Seriously, the best thing that a man can do for his children is to love and respect his wife. You both need to be on the same page.

DreamingofItaly Wed 08-Jun-16 21:41:21

Exactly Clarke I expect it would be a different tune if OP was mum!

OP, this sounds terrible, you need to talk to your wife and talk to your teenager. Why does he disrespect her? Take the iPad away and hide it in case you drop off again. Ask your wife why she won't help out more, get the children to clear the table too!

Good luck OP, I hope it improves or you find the strength to move on with your children flowers

sixinabed Wed 08-Jun-16 22:41:34

As pp have said it sounds like you need to split up. If she has no redeeming features then why on earth do you want to be with her? This kind of environment will be very damaging for your poor children. You both sound very unhappy and like you would be better apart.

CodyKing Wed 08-Jun-16 22:53:23

If you can take a scooter to work - why not the ipad and forget to bring it home?

Yes it's frustrating but you need to work together to enforce these rules on your child -

Sit sown with your wife and come up with a plan - give it 7bdays and reasses

Somethings may work some not - it doesn't matter who's right or wrong but which method gets the best results

timeforabrewnow Wed 08-Jun-16 22:57:26

Try helping instead of being critical.

And yes, I would say that if it was a woman writing the post too. confused

SloppyDailyMailJournalism Wed 08-Jun-16 23:07:35

Your wife probably feels low in herself and the kids are picking up on this. How about you get off your sanctimonious, judgmental high horse and find out if she is depressed or help her find support of some sort, rather than moaning on a public forum twat

Want2bSupermum Wed 08-Jun-16 23:15:05

Your morning routine needs to change. You have multiple children that need a lot of prodding. That's exasperating for anyone to deal with when you yourself have to also get to work on time.

In our home the mornings are tough as all are still dependent. You need a clear routine and a reward when the kids follow it this getting out of the door on time. Punishments don't always work as well as rewards.

nooka Wed 08-Jun-16 23:22:49

It seems a bit unfair to have a go at the OP for not leaving his wife to parent their children for a few minutes when he has apparently done all the household chores, made the meal, supervised the homework, laid everything out for the morning and cleaned up. It's not as if going into your child's room, removing the iPad and kissing them goodnight is that hard is it? Why should it require two people to do something so simple? Why is it somehow the OP's responsibility to do everything?

OP I don't think this is a teenage issue, although your ds does sound like his behaviour is problematic. Try posting in relationships on advice on how to separate from your wife, or how to access family support or counseling. Something has obviously gone very wrong with your relationship, and it's unlikely to get fixed without intervention.

fastdaytears Wed 08-Jun-16 23:28:37

Why are you still in this relationship?

I would guess that your children have picked up that you think their mum is useless and that's why they're being so disrespectful to her.

Have you thought about separating?

YoureSoSlyButSoAmI Wed 08-Jun-16 23:37:04

Usual mumsnet 🙄

Wife describes useless husband - LTB.
Husband describes useless wife - it's all his fault.

beckythemasterbaker Thu 09-Jun-16 00:08:06

Take the iPads away for a week. I think people are being too hard on the op. She seems laid back. I think you should try and back her up when she tells the kids to do what they are told.

HSMMaCM Thu 09-Jun-16 07:15:28

I agree normally a wife posts this and everyone says leave.

If you hear one of the children being disrespectful to your wife tell them not to speak to her like that.

3luckystars Thu 09-Jun-16 07:36:00

I read a good book "setting limits for your strong willed child" maybe buy a copy each for yourself and your wife and read it together. Then you will both be doing the same technique with your children with regards behaviour.

Give the book good go until the end of the year and see if there is any improvement in the children.

If you are both working, what kind of childcare have you got? Would you consider a childminder in your own home who would help with the household tasks? If your wife doesn't do anything to help out with the running of the house, then that's fair enough, but she will have to cough up the money for a cleaner or extra help for you, because if you are carrying the full load, of course you will get resentful.

Sorry you are so worn out by it all. Take care.

KimmySchmidtsSmile Fri 10-Jun-16 00:03:00

At least two of us DID tell him to leave or ask her to BUT he keeps the kids as he is (according to his post) primary care giver.
I think electronic devices is a huge issue with teens. Social media, YouTube, games, apps...all can be addictive and be a cause of conflict. My teen's phone is one of the few things she cares about and one of the only threats (confiscation) that works.
Many parents use WiFi password access as a reward for when chores and homework are completed.
We can switch the router off, electrics at the wall, remote for the plug or have custody of devices til the following morning. Another friend only permits 30mins on a weekend.
My point was...if I make a rule but expect my other half to implement it, that's setting them a trap/making them into thed bad guy. If it's so flaming easy to take away without an argument/escalating then the OP should either do it and let partner sit with youngest OR if their son respects him more he should tell him to come to wherever he is in the house and hand it over at a set time, same time every night.
Why set his wife up to fail? What is he trying to teach her/prove?
Take my youngest (please do). Hates having a shower. I can do it faster than DP. He can do the teeth brushing better than me. Why would I suddenly say I am staying put with his sister while you make him hysterical? When I can do it twice as fast then let him run the toothbrush gauntlet. Unless I am sick or trying to punish him I ain't going to get him to do that Just Because.
Equality/Fairness = division of labour. But. Division of labour better when rota is devised that is fair and plays to strengths.
Why should a woman be better with Wifework and dealing with a male teenager than a bloke?

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