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AIBU?

‘I’m just sitting down’

50 replies

Funnydogsonyoutubeonceagain · 24/09/2022 17:48

Sick of hearing Dh say this to Dd, 4, anytime she asks to play with him.
I realise he works hard and days can be tiring, but he says it…a lot..or leaves her hanging, or finds something else to do (anything else to do) E.g Doing things with the car or doing the garden..they are things that need doing, but I just wish he’d devote an hour or so to her. She gets so excited to see him after work, he often says he’s tired..I get it, he then says ‘We have all weekend to play’ then he doesn’t.
I get it, it’s hard at times (she likes to play imaginative type games) but it’s what she needs and I do it..,for her sake.
Feel so sad when she asks him again to play and he says this or that he’s tired and her little face is crestfallen.
How much does your dp/Dh play with your child/children?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Googlecanthelpme · 24/09/2022 18:13

Ah that is sad OP.

perhaps bring it up to him at a neutral time, not when DD has asked, when she’s in bed or something. Maybe start by asking does he find it hard or awkward to play with her and that you’ve noticed that he doesn’t engage much with her. I imagine he will get defensive (because ultimately you’re pointing out that he’s not very good at something) but if you try and keep it more as a conversation of concern for how he feels about engaging with her rather than pointing out his short comings, he might be more willing to look at himself honestly.

Failing that, you could force the issue by taking yourself off out of the equation for a few hours at a weekend or sending them off to soft play / swimming / the park together whilst you are busy doing something else.

Sometimes I have to speak to my DP about his level of engagement, he’s very passionate about his work and it can sometimes take over his mind a little. He always takes it on board and sorts himself out, sometimes people do just need to be told how their behaviour is being perceived

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Lilyhatesjaz · 24/09/2022 18:41

Playing imaginative games with small children is really hard and I can quite understand why he doesn't want to.
I think the answer may be for him to take the lead and do a jigsaw with her or build some lego or make a picture, DD and I used to spend ages sticking tissue paper onto colouring in pictures.
These sort of things are much easier for the adult while still giving the child what she needs, time with her dad

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SuzySangfroid · 24/09/2022 18:43

Some (adult) people hate imaginative play. Agree that suggesting a board / card game or something like duplo, trains or a puzzle might be easier.

My dh is crap at playing along with being a prince or whatever, but he'll play lego or trains for ages

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AnneLovesGilbert · 24/09/2022 18:51

He needs to engage with her. If not imaginative play then he needs to find something different that they’ll both enjoy.

If he expects her to do things when she’s asked to he needs to model that as much as possible.

Everyone is fucking tired. But that’s no excuse for opting out of having a decent relationship with a young child he presumably chose to bring into the world. He’s being pathetic.

DH plays with DD loads. He wfh so they have time together in the morning, when he’s on lunch and after he’s finished work. They play, read books, knock around in the garden, he gets her to help cook, teaches her DIY, explains what he’s done in his day, they go for walks and pick up conkers and leaves, they chat and sing and dance and enjoy each other’s company. The same as I do with her.

With his older DC he watches shows they like so they can talk about them, talks about school and their friends, current affairs, takes them for a burger, go for walks, takes them to the cinema.

Having a penis doesn’t stop a man from pitching in and having a good in depth relationship with his children and embracing their interests.

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girlmom21 · 24/09/2022 18:53

Does he ever actively instigate play time or does he just not play at all?

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Peashoots · 24/09/2022 19:09

Yeah I hated imaginative/role play games when mine were little. HATED it. Talk to him about doing another activity with her that isn’t so mind numbing- reading, drawing, simple games like jenga or connect 4?

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MindYourBeeswax · 24/09/2022 19:15

How would reading to her go?

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Funnydogsonyoutubeonceagain · 24/09/2022 19:16

I hate imaginative play too 😫I do a bit with her but tend to do lots of crafts, baking, days to the beach, playground and so on.
So I can get why that is hard, but this morning it was just to play with the football in the garden. He doesn’t generally instigate it but does sometimes play but more often than not, he says he’s just sitting down or that he’s tired *Today (lots of days!)
we alternate weekend get ups and he did this morning, getting her breakfast, but even with that, he didn’t really sit with her, he did bits in the garden whilst she watched morning tv for two hours. Just feel bad for her as she waits all week for the weekend as Daddy is off.
I’m starting to notice she’s asking him less and asking me to play or coming to me more, whereas before daddy was the favourite as I’m with her all week.

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Funnydogsonyoutubeonceagain · 24/09/2022 19:17

@MindYourBeeswax We alternate bedtimes, so we read three books with her cuddled up, so he does do that every other night.

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MintJulia · 24/09/2022 19:24

My ex refused to join in. Then someone asked ds, in ex's hearing, what does daddy do? And ds answered Daddy just sits on the sofa.

Out of the mouths of babes and infants....

After that, he did make a bit more effort for a while but I taught ds to swim, to ride a bike, to build dens etc.

Sometimes the 'I'm tired excuse is just that. And kids see it for what it is. Ds is 14 now. He says his dad is pretty useless and has given up asking.

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bigbeautifulmonster · 24/09/2022 19:24

Watching tv for 2 hours while he does something else sounds awful but honestly, my DH does this to our 4yo too. But instead of doing something useful he just reads the paper.

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MsRosley · 24/09/2022 19:26

Lots of people can't do imaginative play, esp men, or people on the spectrum. But there's no excuse for him doing nothing. He needs to find things he enjoys and she does too. Reading a book, doing a jigsaw puzzle, going for a walk and studying nature.

Then again, perhaps he's lazy and selfish.

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AuldReekie1905 · 24/09/2022 19:40

Oh yeah that's sad for your daughter, op. Of course we all struggle in certain areas playing with our kids but we do it. Not all the time but we need to make time. My DH plays with our son after work in the hour before his bed time, he's tired too but he does it cause DS waits for daddy to finish working to play.

I'd also say have a chat with him and ask why. Maybe suggest he does something with your dd that he would also enjoy more but that she also likes? DH isn't a fan of crafty things or sitting playing with blocks so they do other things like hide and seek, throw the ball to each other or roll cars to each other etc. Then DH is playing with DS but things he also doesn't mind doing.

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Justfiguringitout · 24/09/2022 19:48

I find playing with the DC incredibly hard, especially when it's endless and objectiveless imaginary play (that's always on the same topics!!). I just can't do it for very long.

I much prefer doing a craft, colouring book, building a Fort, messy play etc but my DD only ever wants to play the same "schools" game.

I feel terrible about it, I don't know what it is exactly but it just makes my brain turn to mush within 3 minutes. Perhaps your DH feels similar? A focused task like aquabeads and I can sit and play for ages!

I will do literally anything to avoid even 2 minutes more of "good sitting" and "what do you want for lunch?"... she doesn't even go to school yet!!

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Mariposista · 24/09/2022 19:50

SuzySangfroid · 24/09/2022 18:43

Some (adult) people hate imaginative play. Agree that suggesting a board / card game or something like duplo, trains or a puzzle might be easier.

My dh is crap at playing along with being a prince or whatever, but he'll play lego or trains for ages

Totally agree with this

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NewMum0305 · 24/09/2022 19:52

If he’s doing the gardening, can’t she do it with him? My daughter loves helping us weed, water plants or will just have fun digging up worms while we’re out there. Giving her child-friendly scissors to cut up leaves is also a winner.

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Greyarea12 · 24/09/2022 19:55

I hated imaginative play aswell. Really hated it. I used to do it but I also tried to avoid it at times. I know that sounds terrible. What I would do instead though is play board games, jigsaws, arts and crafts, hide & seek, parks, soft plays, baking etc. Maybe ask him if he does or does not enjoy it and suggest to him that he does other stuff with her.

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ReluctantCourier · 24/09/2022 20:01

I hated imaginative play. Endless you be Ana I’ll be Elsa and then just twirling. I made a fun playlist and we had dance parties instead? Now she’s older we have a few TV progs we watch together and we do things like her Brownies badges together.

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Goldfishjones · 24/09/2022 20:07

Yeah he needs to do better.

At that age kids love doing literally ANYTHING with a parent - gardening, cleaning the car, litter picking on the street, sweeping up leaves, a trip to the tip or supermarket. I bet he could do anything and she'd be thrilled if she could tag along. He could even sit on the sofa (or garden ..or park bench) and given her 3 things (red leaf, feather, triangle shaped stone) to find and bring back to him which might be a low-intensity game?! When I can't be arsed, I make a cup of tea and hide a spoon or something and time how long it takes DD to find it. On repeat. She loves it.

Aquabeads or hamabeads is also great for peaceful activity providing your DD has the concentration. YANBU.

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FrizzledFrazzle · 24/09/2022 20:09

Four is old enough that he can get her to "help" a bit with gardening etc surely? If he was the favourite, I'm sure she'd love being given a little task to do with him - holding/passing something or even just watching and having him explain what he is doing.

That way they can begin to build a relationship based on mutual interest as well as him playing the games she likes.

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woodhill · 24/09/2022 20:14

I never did imaginative play ever. I don't think you should dictate, surely he can interact with her in other ways

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MrsRobinsonsHandprints · 24/09/2022 20:18

people can't do imaginative play, esp men

Ah yes, the swinging dick that is the Get Out Of Jail Card. Of course men can, they just don't want to.

Although I do agree with the next bit of your post. If he is too selfish to try, at least a game of lego/cards etc. But then he didn't want to play football today (and it is want)

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BigFatLiar · 24/09/2022 20:19

OH loved playing with the girls. We used to do a fair bit of work on the cars (on the grounds they were old bangers) and he built them a little bench with bolts through it and they had their own tools to undo and do up the bolts. They had little overalls and would Potter in the garage with him. They even had tea breaks with him.
Didn't seem to matter what he was up to he always had time for them, he even taught them to bake.

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5128gap · 24/09/2022 20:21

Another one who would rather dig the garden (with my teeth!) than imaginative play. Reading, day trips, board games, all good. But pretend to be a unicorn/witch/baby/Hagrid? No way.
The problem here is your husband fobbing her off. He needs to just say straight out 'No, daddy doesn't play those type of games. Those are the games you play with mummy. How about we (whatever) instead?' It's the time and attention that matters, not the activity.

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Olsi109 · 24/09/2022 20:23

DH is the "fun" parent. I try to be fun and silly, role play, joke around etc but it doesn't come as natural to me as it does my DH. He comes in from work and is instantly rolling on the floor letting the baby climb and jump all over him (was exactly the same with teen DDs when they were younger), he tries to get the middle one to play netball/football/swing ball in the garden with him etc. older DD might ask him to help her with her homework if he's lucky 🤣🤣 doesn't matter how tired he is or what he's got on, he'll always find the energy for the girls - I love this about him.

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