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to think that my dh should at least make an effort to get to grips with various aspects of childcare

42 replies

claireybang · 05/11/2007 12:38

Such as knowing how to erect/fold the buggy. How to fasten the straps on dd's carseat. How to fit the carseat in the car?

Basically DH works full time, I am a SAHM. Therefore, I do expect the bulk of the childcare to be my responsibility. However, I would appreciate it if he could at least try to get to grips with certain things.

I don't drive, so the carseat has to come in and out of the car quite a bit for if I need it when DH is at work. DD was in her first stage carseat until 14 months and DH never learnt how to put it in the car, despite me asking him to. When we got her new carseat, I was already 4 months pregnant so told DH he would need to learn how to fit it as I wouldn't be able to lean over it easily for much longer. I offered to show him how, he said next time. The next time he again said "next time" and so on. So I gave him the manual to learn how to do it. He put it to one side without even looking at it.

I am now 8 months pregnant, and no longer able to reach across the carseat so fitting it involves me putting the carseat in the car, threading the seatbelt through as far as I can, going round to the other side of car, getting in and climbing across seat to fasten seatbelt, getting back out of car and back round to the other side to pull seatbelt tight, fasten clips etc, then back round to far side to push down final tautener thingy. The time before last I told DH to come out and learn how to do it and offered to talk him through it while he did it. He said no I'll just watch you do it this time and then I'll do it next time. Ok.

Fine except he watched me do it, and then the next time I asked him to take the carseat out to the car, which he did. But I then took dd out to put her in the carseat only to find he hadn't actually fitted it, just placed it in the car. So yet again, I had to get in and out of car and clamber across seat etc when he could easily have just reached over seat and plugged the seatbelt in.

A trip out as a family involves me getting dd up and ready, packing the change bag, making sure she has everything she might need want etc. I then have to put the carseat in the car, put the buggy in the boot and put dd in her carseat. Fine, except I also have to do all of this on the rare occasion he takes dd out alone "to give me a break". I have refused to do the bag for him before, but he didn't take a nappy so dd pooed, sat in it all afternoon and then got a horrific rash. Same if I don't make sure he takes a drink/food etc for her-she has to suffer which I don't think is fair on her just to make a point to my dh.

If he baths her he leaves her alone in the bath. If he has her alone over mealtimes she doesn't get fed properly. She has a very sensitive bum so needs her nappy changed fairly often and as soon as she poos, but DH often leaves her in the same nappy until it actually leaks through her clothes-only then does he remember that she might need changing.

To be fair to him, he is a very loving father, and especially since dd has got older and more interactive has been very good at playing with her, taking her to the park etc. I just wish I could leave her with him without having to write a list of detailed instructions or worrying that she will not have her needs met.

Does this just come with the territory of being a SAHM? I know my friends DP's do all of this stuff but are they just lucky?

OP posts:

themildmanneredjanitor · 05/11/2007 12:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DaddyJ · 05/11/2007 12:42

It sounds like he is using that well-known strategy:
'If you don't want to do something,
pretend you are useless at it.'

No, you are not being unreasonable.
He is being unreasonably unsupportive.


bunnyhunny · 05/11/2007 12:42

I think he is just being slack tbh. Dh can be slack=daddy sometimes, and i think he is taking it for granted that I will look after ds if he doesnt. When we go away, I always pack mine, ds's and the dogs stuff etc while dh gets just himself ready..
You are particularly going to need his help when your new lo comes along.
But men are also dense, and don't do things unless asked. So make sure you ask loads!!


Dropdeadfred · 05/11/2007 12:43

No they are not lucky, it's normal for a man to do stuff for his children, particularly when their wife is pregnant.

I'm wondering if he actually has trouble understanding the instructions and is too embarrassed to admit that?

Or he's just really inconsiderate. Next time don't do it and just sit in the house waiting til it's done.


ruddynorah · 05/11/2007 12:45

why do you take the seat in and out of the car? i don't get it. can it not just be left in his car?


HonoriaGlossop · 05/11/2007 12:48

That's utterly pathetic. Those things are not rocket science. I don't know one other parent who does not know how to do the things you mention.

I think you need to shout and stamp your feet and withdraw your consent to him being so - unbelievably - inept.

Great that he is a loving dad of course, but there are responsiblities too. You need to know your dd is safe in case you're ever incapacitated and not able to do this stuff for her; quite apart from the fact that he should do this stuff as a dad and to help you.


FireworksInMyLuckyUnderpants · 05/11/2007 12:50

i think it is very unfair of your dh to let you see to the car seat, especially now you are heavily pregnant! he sounds like most men, if he leaves it long enough you will eventually do it for him, or if he doesnt do it properly you wont ask him to do it again.

Its not rocket science to fit a car seat fgs! next time i would refuse point blank to do it and you need sit him down and explain to him that things cannot go on like this because once you dc2 arrives it will be even more difficult for you to do everything alone.

IMO being a sahm is not a 24 hr job! your dh should take on his half of the responsibility once he gets home (at least to a certain extent) they are HIS kids too!


claireybang · 05/11/2007 12:54

DaddyJ-you scared me for a minute then-that is also DH's nickname, although he isn't a mnetter as far as I'm aware . Mind you, even if you had been him, I don't think it would neccessarily be a bad thing for him to read this thread.

RuddyNorah- The seat is left in his car a lot of the time but I take it out if I am going in friends/family's cars while he is at work

OP posts:

FireworksInMyLuckyUnderpants · 05/11/2007 12:56

maybe you should let him read this thread! then he might realise what a tosser he is being!


Oblomov · 05/11/2007 13:00

God this has nothing to do with childcare issues. You say that your dh is a "loving father", but what exactly are you basing that comment on - exactly how is he loving - there is not a single sign of this in your post.
He doesn't bath her properly, feed her properly, understand the basics of caring - i.e. that a child needs regular nappy changes.
He claims stupidity / technophobe when it comes to basic things like being able to fit a car seat - open a pushchair. - Take him to mothercare / halfords and get the bloke to show him what to do.
Is he loving and caring towards you? I'm sorry but he sounds like a lazy twat.
I only have admiration for you, that you are patient enough to put up with this nonsense.


skidaddle · 05/11/2007 13:02

well clairey I knew to write YANBU before I even read the thread!! And everyone else agrees. His behaviour is completely unacceptable - no excuses and no more to it than that.

The problem is how to get him to change - would showing him this thread do any good? Can you take him out for the night and tell him honestly and frankly how this makes you feel and how difficult it is for you when you have his full attention?

I know you have tried saying things to him over and over so I just don't know how you can get through to him but he absolutely MUST change his behaviour.

I hope someone will come on with a good idea to make him listen.


Hassled · 05/11/2007 13:04

The thing is if he's this idle now, and you're struggling to deal with it now, it will be 100 times worse when the new DC arrives. And no one can be completely indispensible - what would happen if you became seriously ill? He needs to wake up - I suggest you just show him this thread.


pollywollydoodle · 05/11/2007 13:05

completely beyond the pale!
i don't know any dads who can't do these things and wouldn't do them for THEIR children....and who wouldn't be procative and offer when wife is pregnant...maybe i just know nice men but i don't think so

it's time to frighten him a bit i think and talk about the "what ifs" eg what if i had a caesarian and was laid up for a few weeks? What would you do with a new baby to look after as well?

ps i'd also plan to learn to drive....


Oblomov · 05/11/2007 13:07

I'd think about trying to find a new lovely partner, who could parent properly.
Do you actually love this man?
Why ?


flashbangfoxy · 05/11/2007 13:12

ummm, we have 4 DCs aged from 6 - 16 weeks, and I'm sorry to say I still have the same issues, many the same as yours.

I wish he would just realise that it doesn't matter if you've just changed the baby (i.e. two hours ago) they can still poo in a clean nappy! Says it every single time.

Its incredibly frustrating. I've accepted now that it is far easier if I just do it. But for a couple of hours peace I figure its worth sending him off with snacks, drinks, wipes, nappy, car park change etc etc. If you can get more of a balance, then it makes things easier as you directly benefit.


Hekate · 05/11/2007 13:16

You cannot pick and choose those bits of being a parent that appeal to you, that are fun or interest you.

You have a child, you have responsibility in all areas.

Acting all helpless is pathetic. Not bothering with basic day to day PARENTING is twonk-like.

fair enough, he works outside the home full time, so you actually do this stuff much more, that's fair division of labour imo...BUT he should be able to do all these things and when he is around, he needs to be a competent father. Which he does not, from your posts, sound like he is.

He needs to pull his socks up. Or you need to strangle him with them. One or the other.


Meeely2 · 05/11/2007 13:23

i think after you have had new baby you should plan a weekend away (if you are not breastfeeding), leave him to fend for himself.

I went away with work for a week last year just before my twins were two - admittedly he took the week off work too as for some reason he didn't think he could get them up and ready and himself ready in time for work, idiot!

When i got back, he'd moved them into beds and they'd given up their morning bottle! He's more than capable, so i don't think twice about swanning off and leaving him - but sometimes they (men) do need reminding about what it is exactly that you do in the day and this shouldn't involve lists, its common sense (no one gave us a list when baby was born did they?)

A long stern talking to followed by time alone (OVERNIGHT) with DD - time alone with DD when he knows your coming home later on in the day will mean he won't try as hard.....


sweetkitty · 05/11/2007 13:31

You need to confront him about this ASAP or as others have said it's just going to get worse, I can't belive as a grown man he gets up and watches you do all the stuff for your DD especially the car seat thing. How did you learn to do the car seat? You followed the instructions, well give him the instructions and tell him to get on with it.

As for the changing and leaving her in the bath on her own thats bordering on neglect, sorry but it is, he needs a good kick up the ass!


moopymoo · 05/11/2007 13:31

he is behaving very badly. Things will be tougher when the new baby arrives and you need to sort him out now. It is unreasonable that if you are both at home you are the 'default' carer. This is nothing to do with being a sahm, I am and when dh comes home, we share the care. However, some men (my dh sometimes) are not very good at the nurturing, caring stuff, particularly if they have had an overprotective mother themselves ime. you have to train them. it takes time and sometimes things like poo leaking onto stuff that they care about (records, clothes, car interior, steam engines , whatever) for them to get the message. Be bold, assertive and get him organised.


PippiCalzelunghe · 05/11/2007 13:35

meeely you hit it in the head! the best cure is to leave them with it for a couple of days. It's true men are dense, because it suits them, and react better to action than words IMO.


LoveAngel · 05/11/2007 13:41

I don't understand men like this. It's as though they are children, unable or unwilling to take responsibility. What the heck is his problem? I'll tell you what. You put up with it, that's what. I don't know what I'd do if I were you but it would be something to give him a short sharp shock. Tell him calmly and fully how you feel and then go away on your own for a weekend?


skidaddle · 05/11/2007 13:44

clairey - maybe you should go away for a weekend before the baby comes (i.e. in the next few weeks) - don't present it as an option, just do it. There's no way you will be able to leave him alone for a long time once the baby is here (bf-ing etc) so now is the time.

He hasn't listened to you so it looks like this is the only way - book yourself a weekend away doing something lovely or visiting friends you haven't seen in ages. You will be the one doing most of the work once no.2 is here - you might as well enjoy yourself now, as well as teaching him a valuable lesson!


BroccoliSpears · 05/11/2007 13:54

WXould he follow written instructions? How about telling him in advance that he is going to be taking LO to the park (or wherever) for a nice long outing on Saturday. Be specific about times - when he's leaving and how long he needs to be out for. Tell him it's to give you a rest (you always need a rest at 8 mths pregnant). Whe Saturday comes, run yourself a bath and lock yourself in the bathroom with a book and the radio, cheerfully telling him that you've left instructions on the kitchen table.
Instructions can say point by point
*pack nappy bag with X, Y, Z
*take blue sippy cup filled with water
*put carseat into car (manual is in the car)

  • Make sure she wears a coat and hat
    *Check nappy every 15 minutes and change every 2 hours, or immediately if there is a poo.
  • etc etc etc

    Maybe he just needs to DO it, to prove to himself that he can do it.

    If he gets it right be thrilled.

    If he doesn't manage it, he's a lazy arse who needs a good kick in the slats!

mumfor1standfinaltime · 05/11/2007 14:02

Maybe he just doesn't know how to do these things? Maybe you can take over too much when you are together, and so he just let you do it instead?
He may be too embarassed to ask for help.

When ds was born, I did just that. I tried to be incontrol of everything, but eventually I had to let me be a part of it.

Best thing you can do is to go out for the day on his day off, get your nails done, put your feet up and let him get on with it!


mumfor1standfinaltime · 05/11/2007 14:03

let him be a part of it even! (me. me me lol)

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