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Old 12-27-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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Oh this post just makes me so sad- it sounds a little like my situation- my ex was abusive.... that is right- and it took all I had to get out. Somedays when single momming gets so hard I try to think would have it been better to have just stayed- got to be home with the kids and quit caring what he did and how he treated us?

 

The other thing I want to point out here is that your son is still young. Once my kids got older my ex actually became a pretty good parent.  In ways I am not. He actually ended up thru a yucky court battle being their primary for almost 2 years....( tho he ditched them at daycare at least 10-12 hours a day much of the time.

I don't know if I had not left if he would have ended up being a better dad.... but I am glad for my kids sake he has improved.

Many dads are not good with babies but once they get older things improve maybe your husband will be like that???


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Old 12-27-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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Thanks again for all your input. I have to clarify some things. DH is NOT abusive, he would NEVER hurt DS, he is not a financial deadbeat - he is in a well-paying job, he can be an emotional deadbeat at times. He just is not a hands-on parent. He thinks his duty as a father starts and ends with a 529 account. Every time he has extra money, he thinks about putting it into DS' 529 account. But I think his behavior is cultural and has a lot to with how he grew up. He comes from a patriarchal family - he lost his father when he was really young and although his mother was the bread-winner of the family, his grandpa was the patriarch and had the final say in everything. I'm happy he is thinking about the future financial security of DS but I really wish he would spend time to appreciate the things DS does now - like his first words, first steps etc. Just the other day, I insisted he accompany us to the Children's museum to observe how DS plays with the toys and explores the surroundings, but he was so impatient when he was there and wanted to leave soon, and then he just found a corner with a sofa and went off to nap while I was enjoying DS play with the toys. It's stuff like this that annoys me. When I ask him to spend more time with DS, he asks me to look at his work schedule and make sure I don't ask him to do it on days he works or has long shifts. I understand he needs rest etc. but you don't schedule parenting! It annoys me no end when DS walks towards him with extended arms as soon as DH comes home from work and DH completely ignores him and goes about his routine of eating dinner, watching TV, checking mails etc. I just wish he played with DS more and bonded with him w/o me having to ask him.

 

 



 

What cultural is he from?

 

I think counseling would help and you to leave the baby with dad and let them two figure it out.  He is not going to play with the child the same way you do. Did your child need to be played with or could he have done it independently?   

 

As for the long shift -- what is a long shift?  Yes, things shouldn't be schedule but at the same time if he has just worked 16 hours his engagement is going to be different.  You might find that they best curl up and watch TV together and you are going to have to act as a buffer if he is having to work like that.  Also, if he doesn't know how to play come up with an activity and then leave the two of them to figure it out.  Heck, I don't know if I would come up with an activity yet.  Leaving them two alone might do them good. How often are these long shifts?  Some times long shifts and over working can cause depression or be a sign of depression.  Him napping at a children's museum makes me wonder how much quality sleep he is getting - how tired is he?  Most people cannot nap in a children's museum without being extremely tired (which can cause impatience).  How much is he working?

 

Also, these milestones you are excited doesn't mean he has to be!  When you have multiple children they also get less exciting.  Not saying you don't notice them but they are not as important to you. Also, if you are worried about money and keeping that money coming in, you are not as excited about these things. Have you ever thought that might be the reason he wants you to go back to work?  What if he dies tomorrow? He knows his dad wasn't around to provide for him and this could cause him major distress about you not working and him being the sole breadwinner.  He lived the implications of a parental death and financial security.  On the Maslow's hierarchy of needs security, which includes financial (resources) is very important need to be met before other things like loving and esteem can be met. 

 

I also don't think you value what he has been through and how it applies to his child.  If he grew up with financial uncertainty this can be his highest priority.  He maybe giving what is most important to him to his child.  It isn't the same goal or "importance" to YOU but it is no less important. Depending on the culture and him, how he is providing as a provider is majorly defining his self worth and his definition of being a good dad. 

 

I think counseling would help and you learning to back off.  Let your dh negotiate his relationship with his child.  You might not like it but that is between the two of them. 

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Old 12-27-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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Mama I don't agree with the above poster. It hurts when your h is not helping with the child(ren).   I see all these families at the park- the museums the wherever and they are having a good time and why could I not have that?

I think counseling would help you figure out how to deal with it tho. I could not deal with it. At all.My ex did the same thing- walked right by us and onto the computer and acted like we did not even exist and we were so low on his priority list it made me sick.  Literally sick.  I had many illnesses during our relationship that were stress related.

PM me if you want to talk.

When I went to therapy xh refused to keep th baby so the baby went with me- not conducive to getting much out of it.... especially when I had two kids who had to go with and he was home refusing to watch them.

 

ALSO- on the front of he is worried about finances since his dad died or whatever- I WOULD assume he has really good life insurance for you!!!!  Everyone with a child or a wife should!!!  For that matter you should have a life insurance policy too.


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Old 12-27-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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. He just is not a hands-on parent. .

 

 


So...other than financial contributions, how is he being a parent at all? Im asking seriously. You are saying that he isnt a hands on parent, but you arent really saying how he is a parent at all other than making money. Financial stability is great, but Im sure your husband wants to be more than a pocketbook to this kid.

My DH works 60-70 hours a week for parts of the year, and I totally understand how it feels for us for parenting to be scheduled for them, but if that is the only way to get them "hands on" then that's what has to be done. DH helps me make decisions, does research about vax and circ, reads books about potty training, and has an interest in what toys she has, what color her bedroom is, what she watches and hears, ect. even when he is working nonstop. He may not get to be hands-on with her because he often comes home after she is asleep, but he still manages to help me parent her through supporting me and helping to make the decisions that influence how her daily activities go. He wants to rest when he is off, but I almost always tried to make sure that once a week I left her with him for at least 2-3 hours. It sounds to me like your DH isnt parenting at all, and its not just because he has a job. I would consider counseling, and hiring a babysitter so that you can get a break in the meantime.

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Old 12-28-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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Sorry Mama, that sounds like a super frustrating situation. Imho, if it was me in your shoes and you really like your DH, and think he's a good guy and what not I would just really try to work on him being more affectionate with your DS. Like counseling could be really great, or having him see other Dads who ARE really involved with their kids. Or even "just so happen" to watch movies with emotionally connected Dads. Stuff like that. I obviously haven't walked in your shoes, but I would be *SO* pissed if when DH came home, he didn't fully acknowledge DS who was really excited to see him. Could you start small with just addressing one thing at a time? Like how he reacts to your DS when he comes home? Or have you ever told him your observations about his male role models growing up? It might be an aha moment for him, yk? Anyway, good luck!!! 


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Old 01-07-2012, 11:06 PM
 
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DH never said to me, you're the SAHP so you do all the parenting, but that's what happened when DS was that age. from birth until he weaned at 21 months, I was the primary caregiver, and did most of the parenting. Looking back, I realized I didn't initiate anything to help myself out because DS was very clingy and I was the only one who could comfort him. I never would have dreamed of leaving him with DH and just going out so they could figure it out. Now that DS is 3, for the past 8 months or so, since DD was born, they do way more together, and I know if I leave the house, DH can take care of his basic needs, make him dinner, put him to bed, etc. I leave both kids sometimes, but not that often, usually only once a week or so. Basically, now that there's another baby, we split childcare duties 50/50. I still do most of the housework, but childcare is equal.There's two kids and two of us. I'm usually on baby duty and he's on toddler duty. I know as DD gets older, he'll take on more duty with her, but for now it's all mama, and I've accepted that. For some reason, and I was very afraid of what the dynamic would be like with another child, it's actually helped him to realize that it's alot of work and should not fall on one person's shoulders. Ever. But it took us having another kid for him to realize it. I also do not cosleep with DD like I did with DS. I got lucky and DD prefers her crib, alone, and sleeps through the night(12 hrs), so that helps a ton. I'm also not opposed to letting her fuss a bit before bed(not CIO, I promise), Some babies just need that release to get to sleep. I got much better and telling DH that I'm going out for a few hours(usually errands, not just to be alone and do something for myself), and he manages fine. He already has figured out how to get DD to sleep and comfort her on his own. This NEVER happened with DS. I don't have any real advice, just wanted to commiserate and tell you that I've been there, and if you really need a break, seriously, tell DH you're leaving for a few hours and just leave. They will figure it out. And if DS is a mess when you get home, it's okay. He will live, I promise :)

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:42 AM
 
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My kids still drive me bonkers and to be honest I wish I had not had them SOOOO attached to me during their early years because they are so dependent on me now.


I am not convinced at all that your reasoning is correct. You mention, e.g. a divorce, which could have affected your kids a great deal. My experience, and that of many others here, is that letting the kids be dependent when they are young actually produces less dependent, secure older kids.


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Old 01-27-2012, 05:43 AM
 
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You are right- there are many factors that could have come into play in my kids being so dependent. 


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Old 01-27-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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I am not convinced at all that your reasoning is correct. You mention, e.g. a divorce, which could have affected your kids a great deal. My experience, and that of many others here, is that letting the kids be dependent when they are young actually produces less dependent, secure older kids.



the difference is having your kids bedepent on just you vs. having your kids be dependent on than one person. It makes it much easier if your child knows he/she can depend on more than one person (ie, mommy and daddy or even mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles) to comfort and met his/her needs than if your child thinks he/she can only depend on YOU to provide all needs. Having your kid attached to you is great, but it doesn't need to be attached to JUST you. If it has multiple secure attachments (or relationships), it gives you the ability to take a break for a while and recharge. This isn't something the OP has and her husband doesn't seem to see it as necessary. Just because you're a SAHM doesn't mean you're responsible for 100% of the childcare 100% of the time! That's ridiculous and unrealistic.

 

OP, I can't recommend you get a divorce from reading one post and sayign that wouldn't be helpful. You know your relationship  better than anyone else, but my recommendation in the short run to get you a break is to do one of two things, either get a mother's helper or find a parent support center. We have one near us where you can buy a membership and leave you kid there for up to a certain number of hours a week (limited number of hours a day) and then have a break. But I wouldn't do it for 1 hour, I'd do it for 2. First hour, do some chores and job hunt if you want to start working again. 2nd hour: do whatever you WANT to do. Read a book, take a bath, a walk, a nap, stare at the wall, whatever. Have it be YOU time. Good luck!


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Old 01-28-2012, 03:59 AM
 
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My first husband was the same way.  We had two kids together, and while he clearly loved them and would on rare occasions spend time laughing and playing with them he took no responsibility for parenting them at all.  We made the decision that I would stay home with the babies and he would work, and I think he resented me for living what he perceived to be a leisurely lifestyle that he worked to pay for.  I've joked that having kids with him felt like I'd begged for a puppy and he said, "ok, you can have it, but you're the one taking care of it." Sometimes it was very hard, and I was often exhausted and stressed.  I remember seeing other fathers (the ones who actually participated- who ever ONCE went to a doctor's appointment or the park with the baby, or offered to hang out with baby voluntarily) and thinking they must be a different breed of human from xh.

You're really just stuck deciding whether to adapt to his attitude or leave the guy.  We can't change anyone else, we can only change how we respond.  I left him eventually (DDs were 4 & 6) and it was the most liberating experience...

 

I think a lot of the tough-love type advice that you just leave the baby with daddy and they will work it out completely misses the point.  If he's unwilling or very resentful, you don't want to place your precious child in his care.  Even if he's not abusive, he may not take good care of the baby, and how is a mom to go de-stress when she's worried about dad being impatient with or neglecting baby?

 

When my girls were little there was a church in our area that hosted a Mother's Day Out program, held every Tues & Thurs from 9-2 (we're not religious, but it didn't focus too heavily on any religious themes).  I took them to that for a couple of years, and it was great! It had more of an artsy, lighthearted feel than a more structured and institutional daycare, and I felt like the girls got a lot out of it.  As for getting them used to separating from me, DD2 had a very hard time, and I had to stay with her the first several times, but eventually she became more comfortable and I was able to leave her there.  

 

Good luck to you!  I hope you're able to get some time to yourself :)


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Old 01-28-2012, 08:57 AM
 
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ummm...the OP didn't ask for her marriage to be analyzed.

 

not that your points are not valid, but the real question was about stress and working around her current situation.

 

that said...

 

I would look into borrowing a preteen girl to be a baby watcher while you do your chores, save paid babysitters to go and do something fun for yourself every week...the gym is good, but please workout, exercise helps with stress better than anything. Give him 15 mins at a time..we are talking about gently learning to be separate from you, not dissertation. Don't make a big fuss when you leave or when you come back..this isn't a big deal no mater how much he tries to make you think it is.

 

be preemptive, if you know you have to deal with the stove...put him in a high chair with a snack or treat first..play pen is also not a bad idea. If he yells, so what..now I'm not saying let him cry it out...I expect that you will be in sight talking to him, doing dishes or what ever, but he needs to learn that you can be away from him and you have a right to contain him in a safe place. You as an adult have rights to being treated decently, and this is the first step to teaching your child all sorts of thing he needs to learn. Like to wait his turn, that no means no and it isn't the end of the world if mommy can't get to your needs immediately , she loves you and is coming.

 

This is not the same as using it as a all day baby cage. This is to protect your sanity and the safety of your child.

 

I wish you the best luck in the world. I have so been right where you are.

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:23 PM
 
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There is nothing wrong with closing the door with your lo on the other side to go to the bathroom.  Even if they are banging on the door the whole time.  It is annoying sure- but it won't hurt them.  Embrace your high chair- you can pull it over by the sink while doing dishes or cooking or whatever.  Fun toys and a snack and he will learn to deal with it.  You have to take care of your needs as well as your lo's- and that means eating, showering, and having a minute to yourself in the bathroom.  Little ones cry and it isn't crying it out.  

 

Letting the sitter/childcare at the gym work through things will take some time- but it will never happen if you don't let them try.  They will page you if there is a problem- don't worry- they probably won't let them cry it out for an hour and a half- no one wants to listen to that- trust me....

 

I say probably because when DD was almost 3 we tried out a sitter for a day or so a week.  She let DD cry it out for a whole day and didn't call me.  Yeah... that was short lived....  So if you feel more comfortable- tell them 20 minutes or whatever and if he isn't calmed down to call you.  

 

 


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Old 01-31-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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Don't have much to add to the other posts (or at least the first few ;-). I just want to say i think you should really reconcider getting some much needed alone time. I say this because I believe it to not only be beneficial to you but also to your son and dh as well.   If you still don't want to go that route then I might suggest you try new things to distract your ds while you are cooking etc. around the house and maybe to take him out to the mall if he sleeps well in a stroller. He could sleep, you could get out of the house, and he wouldn't be in daycare.

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