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Dads - Why are they SO hopeless sometimes?!

16 replies

MotherofOne · 19/12/2001 12:43

OK, so I don't really want to have a Darling Husband bashing thread, but I would be interested in other peoples views as to why Dads parenting methods so often wind me and our son up!
E.g. My approach with my sometimes stroppy 2-yr old is always to distract/ cajole/trick him into doing what I want, but ANYTHING to avoid tears, screaming and a tantrum.
DH meanwhile will say, "Time for a nappy change" and when ds protests, will simply force the issue by physically overpowering him/ carrying him upstairs and then struggle through the event with a writhing, seething screaming infant.
He'll then return him to me, saying something like "don't know why he's in such a moods this morning" and then I have to calm him down etc etc.

WHY DO THEY DO THIS???? (AND DO THEY ALL?) Discussions with my friends seem to suggest simialr experiences...

OP posts:

ChanelNo5 · 19/12/2001 13:03

I don't know Motherofone, I would be a hypocrite if I said that I always do the distraction/tricking thing when mine play up, but I do try to. It's just sometimes when it gets to the end of a busy day and me (and them) are knackered, and they are playing up for the umpteenth time, I do force the issue in the way that you say your dh does, just to get whatever it is over and done with. Well, I never claimed to be the 'Perfect Mother'....

I do get the point you're making though, and find that my dh is alot less tolerant of the children than I am, despite the fact that he is not with them all day and I am. Lots of my friends have said the same thing too!


Azzie · 19/12/2001 13:28

I think that as a mum you learn to go with the flow a bit more, and maybe dads don't because they tend not to spend so much time with the kids. As somebody who before kids had been working as a project manager, I found adjusting to not being able to plan and do things exactly when I wanted (or at the most convenient time for me) very hard. I've pretty much adjusted to it now, and can accept that sometimes you have to do things the child's way and at their speed, but it's the thing that dh (a wonderful dad nonetheless) really finds hardest. For example, the other Saturday we needed to go and test drive a car we were thinking of buying. We had been shopping in the morning, and the kids were tired and hungry, so I suggested that we go home, feed them and let the 2yo have her nap, then return in the afternoon to look at the car. Dh promptly hit the roof, saying "why can't we ever do anything the most efficient way these days?" etc. So we went to the car showroom, the kids behaved appallingly, and everyone ended up unhappy. What dh didn't seem to be able to do was adjust his plans to take account of the prevailing situation, and accept that for the sake of peace some inconvenience to us adults would actually be better for all concerned.


honeybunny · 19/12/2001 13:35

Maybe my dh is just one big softy then! He's got the longest fuse of anyone I know when it comes to people, especially babies and children. My ds can be the most whiney, irritating thing going for hours on end (only on the odd day I hasten to add, and just brings to mind this w/e, Sunday especially when he was horrible) and still dh wants to give him the benefit of the doubt, when all I want to do is walk in the opposite direction. Perhaps that has got something to do with working long hours in the nhs and only seeing ds for short spells? Still makes me feel totally inadequate and horrible myself at times, for getting so wound up.
Just lately we've been going through a "mummy, mummy" stage, 12-4am when ds wants me to repeatedly go into his room and cuddle him. I gave in for the first week and did go often to his room to comfort him but after 10days of no sleep, 21weeks pregnant and generally knackered I'd had enough, and we tried the "controlled crying approach". Hubby sleeps through the whole thing until a couple of nights ago I said, you try. I explained what he had to do and sent him on his way! Had to go and get him after 30 mins, as each time he made to move away, ds would start whimpering again, and hubby couldn't bear to leave him!!! Ahhhh! Still it worked, fingers crossed, last night was the first undisturbed night I've had for the past 3weeks. Yippee, long may it last!
And on a personal note, thank you my darling hubby for being so wonderful! You're the best daddy and hubby ever!

(Spot those pregnancy hormones working overtime! Today is a rose tinted day. Y'day on the other hand had more of a doom and gloom look about it. Talk about ups and downs)


Loobie · 19/12/2001 14:14

i have to go with you Motherofone, my hubby is exactly the same . why can't they just work with the child, mines seems to be constantly working against my eldest yet is fine with the youngest.We are querying underlying physological problems with the oldest and i really dont know how hubby will cope if he is diagnosed, he just see's him as a spoiled brat. time will tell i suppose.


SueDonim · 19/12/2001 14:26

My DH is pretty good with the Grubs, I have to say. But he feels the need to constantly irritate our dog and cat, instead! Just when everything is nice and quiet he has to do something that sets the kitten off haring round the house at 90 miles an hour and the dog barking at 110 decibles. Arrgh!


robinw · 19/12/2001 22:54

message withdrawn


Bugsy · 20/12/2001 09:39

I have to definitely side with those who have less tolerant dh's. Mine can be a real pain in the neck & seems to feel that any compromise in our ds's direction requires a superhuman effort on his behalf and that the sacrifice required should be noted for several hours afterwards. I sometimes think I have two toddlers in the house with the behaviour I see.


TigerMoth1 · 20/12/2001 12:34

Hmm two toddlers in the house, Bugsy. I know what you mean. Anyone else find that they adopt the same coping and controlling techniques they have learned to use on their children when their husband starts to play up?

ie lots of positive praise for good behavior like doing the washing up, and distraction techniques or walking into another room if a tantrum over finding a lost CD looks imminent. Sadly, though, saying 'go to your bed now' is seen as more of a promise than a threat.


Bugsy · 20/12/2001 12:56

Spot on Tigermoth - sad isn't it!


LiamsMum · 12/01/2002 01:26

Men are a bit hopeless in this area aren't they? I think they tend to think of themselves a lot of the time and not what they can do to help you. My little gripe is that my husband sleeps in until 10.00am on the weekends which bugs me as I have to be up a lot earlier with my 18 month old son, but the thing that bugs me is that he frequently organises his work appointments so that he can sleep in during the week as well. I don't know why I hate it so much, I just do!!


Loobie · 13/01/2002 14:03

i dont normally work during the week when the kids are at school,but as hubby was off work this week i decided to do early shifts all week.i left dh a list of what to do for kids/school/nursery and packed school bags with mid morning snack and lunch etc.on thursday night i laid out a clean shirt on the kitchen table and i forgot to pack ds snack(half day on friday so no need for lunch).As a result ds went to school with no snack and no shirt on (jumper and vest only),when i got home ds sobbed to me "i had no playpiece today" on questioning about the snack and shirt i was told by hubby i quote"but his shirt wasn't with the rest of his uniform so i thought he had no clean ones and i didn't know he had to take a snack" I GIVE UP!!!!!!!


Kia · 13/01/2002 17:01

Men aren't hopeless, in fact they are just perfect at pretending that they are! If the sight of child sobbing because he forgot to do something blindingly obvious doesn't move him, then you'll have to!!

My beloved is an absolute master at 'being hopeless' but I'm on to him now and he doesn't stand a chance - enter the post it note. Let him laugh at your lists, but if its on the list and he missed it, then penalties to give you time off must be paid - Take the kids swimming for the morning, washing up, clothes sorting and washing and the worst penalty of all - IRONING - so what if he says he can't do it - teach him and then don't say anything if it's crap. It's all too easy for him then to say to you ' well if it's not how you like it - you do it'. And no taking it all round to MIL's!!

If he gets it wrong, he gets it wrong - BUT that doesn't mean he never ever has to do that particular job again. (Well thats my story and I try to stick to it!)


Mel · 21/01/2002 20:18

LiamsMum, my ds does almost the same thing - I ge uo about 6.45am and he doesn't get up until about 7.30, when he disappears into the loo with a bit of the Sunday Times. Meanwhile I have to organize myself for work and get 2 children ready for school, one of whom has ADHD. When I challenge him about the getting up thing, all he says is "But I don't have to be at work as early as you!!!!!!" One day I'm going to booby-trap the loo!!!!
Mind you, I was once so angry with him I let him eat toad in the hole made with weevilly flour! I said I wasn't hungry and he ate the lot! Well, they were cooked and dead by then!


chiara71 · 22/01/2002 13:52

loobie i can really sympathise with you, last sunday my husband decided to let me have a lie in, and took dd downstairs but i knew he had'nt changed her so i had to get up and tell him she needs to be changed after 12 hours in the same nappy 'oh i didn't think about it' was his reply.
i then find out that he has not even taken the milk out of the fridge so i put it in the bottle warmer chenged dd and then gave dh bottle and dd and went back to bed. i did not bother telling him anything, but he'd had left her with a dirty nappy and without food for god knows how long....

sometimeds i think i should just disappear for the day and let him manage without me (but i don't have the heart to impose this on my dd, she has no fault if her dad is absolutely hopeless, he can play with her for hours, but it comes to practical stuff.. he hasn't learn how to fold/unfold the pushchair yet, and if i'm there still hands me dd to put her in&out of carseat, buggy etc..travelling with him is just slightly better than doing it on my own!!!!!!!


Cfr · 22/01/2002 17:24

Mel, I had to laugh about your weevilly toad in the hole! I once flipped while I was doing the ironing and put all his shirts away unironed, and he never said a word. Still hasn't!

My favourite was once in London with my sister, when he left us at the bottom of an escalator, me with a folded double buggy and a baby, sister with a baby and 3 more children who all needed their hands holding to get on. When we made it to the top, he stood there and said "Where did you get to then?" He honestly had no idea!!

My other bugbear is that he crosses the road, dodging the traffic (just like he does when he's on his own), with one or 2 children, and never checks behind him to see what the others are doing. We've had a couple of near misses when one of the children has followed him across a few seconds later.


megg · 11/11/2002 19:44

Aaaaaggghhhh! Dp was supposed to be supervising ds in the bath, left him to watch the sports news, comes back and ds has made wiggly worms in the bath with my really expensive conditioner. Trouble is I can't make a fuss because if I do then dp will want to know how much it cost and then we get into a real minefield of how much I'm spending on beauty products and I'd rather he didn't know. Aaaaagggghhh. Thanks now I've got that off my chest I feel much better.

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