Cub scouts? Am I being unreasonable? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 01-09-2015, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Question Cub scouts? Am I being unreasonable?

I've been a Girl Scout leader for 8 years, so when my son mentioned that he wanted to join Cub Scouts I agreed on the condition that it would be "Father/Son" bonding and his dad would need to fill out forms and attend meetings and do all things Cub Scouts. (I did end up filling out all the registration and health forms this year and paying the dues, so I have pitched in).

Tomorrow is the Pinewood Derby and I thought it would be nice if my son's Winter Blast patch from last January was on his shirt for the big event. I left the patch next to my husband's keys for the past couple months with a note reminding him to figure out where the patch goes and sew it on with our son before the Derby. I brought it up tonight at dinner and he went on a rant about how I stay at home (true, but I teach yoga and handle accounting/rentals for about 10 commercial/residental properties) so I should do it.

Am I being unreasonable?

Without going into all the details, by the time he walked out I felt bad for my son and suggested to him that if we have time before he has to leave in the morning I'll go online and try to help him find out where the patch goes so we can sew it on together.
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#2 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 04:31 AM
 
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I can see arguments both ways. It's not unreasonable to ask your husband to sew on a patch. It is in nreasonable to behave as though your son's Cub Scout activities are no concern of yours, and you should never be asked to do a darn thing about them.

You've been a Girl Scout leader for years, and I presume you have a daughter in the program. Volunteering and being highly involved with one kid while showily leaving the other to your partner is messed up.
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#3 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 09:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
You've been a Girl Scout leader for years, and I presume you have a daughter in the program. Volunteering and being highly involved with one kid while showily leaving the other to your partner is messed up.
Disagree. Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts are entirely different things. I don't have the skills to handle a large group of boys, I have no interest in being a Boy Scout leader. I was an awesome Girl Scout leader. My husband and I have both been Girl Scout leaders, after two years he quit, he couldn't handle the girls anymore. But he happily manages 12 14 year old boys all baseball season without a twitch. Things don't have to be the same with each kid, that's not fair to anyone and not everyone has the skills to do everything. She's been highly involved with her daughter's troop, maybe it was time for dad to have that same sort of interaction with their son and his friends. Maybe dad and son needed that bonding.

There's no reason he couldn't sew the patch except it would be easier for you to do it. Too bad, so sad. Handle it. When my husband was Daisy leader he handled all of it, scheduling meetings, picking up supplies, doing crafts, sewing on her badges. It wasn't my gig, I wasn't doing it.
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#4 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm not saying she has to be equally involved with both. I do think, however, that there are potentially huge problems with the arrangement where one child in the house has her activity happily facilitated by the at-home parent, and the other is dependent on the not-at-home parent's availability and energy in order to do something similar. It's a situation that can be really unfair to kids, and leave them feeling like their mom is playing favorites. It's absolutely unfair to take your daughter to all the girl scout things while refusing to so much as sew on a patch for your Cub Scout.
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#5 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 10:33 AM
 
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I agree, your son should not have to suffer because of your husband's refusal. Just because you are a GS leader doesn't mean that you shouldn't at least be involved in your son's troop.

Maybe you can discuss this also with your daughter, letting her know how you might like some help with GS so you can at least pitch in a bit for your son. I'm assuming that since you've been a leader for 8 years your girls are Cadettes? Time for them to pick up some responsibilities off the leaders' plate?

Address your husband separately. It sounds like this runs deeper than a patch if he's bringing up staying home all day, etc. Clearly he is not valuing what you do and your volunteer time enough. And he's not on board with the cub scout decision. Help your son while you work this out with dh privately.

BTW, I'm also a GS leader for my two girls, and a 4-H project leader. It's a lot of work and I don't want my post to gloss over the tremendous amount of planning and work this involves.

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#6 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 11:27 AM
 
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I took home a very different take on this than the PPs, it seems. What I see isn't necessarily indicative of the OP giving unbalanced attention, although it's possible I think we need more information to say for certain. What I see is two people with very poor conversation skills who've let a bad situation fester, and an adult throwing a tantrum over a rather minor request.

If the OP filled out the forms and such without any agreement or note about how this is a one time deal- then she set a precedent for picking up the slack when her husband wasn't able to. At the same time, her husband agreed to something and should have talked about changing the agreement when it wasn't working for him. So, communication failure on both parts.

At the same time- that's a pretty severe reaction. With no other context, it really seems over the top and out of line. I'm guessing there's a deeper problem that needs to be addressed, either personally or even within the family dynamics. (For one thing: How important is having the patch on? The OP doesn't indicate how her son feels about it only her own feelings, maybe her husband's annoyed abotu her sticking her nose into the father/son thing?)

I also can't help but think that the PPs are ignoring the WAH aspect here. I do think it changes the playing field from if she were SAH. We don't know the hours/energy the OP puts into her jobs vs what her husband puts into his, the assumption seems to be that she doesn't put as much energy/hours into her jobs so she should put more into the kids. If both the OP and her husband put roughly equal hours/energy into their jobs, shouldn't they have equal responsibilities towards the kids? If her kids are both in school and her husband works regular business hours, there may not even be a significant difference in how much time mom and dad are home with the kids. There is a very real problem in our culture of working mothers being expected to do far more than working fathers- I've seen people who work only 10 hours less a week being expected by their husband to do all the housework and child-rearing! It's very concerning that so many posters here seem to think it's okay to let dad slack off just because he has a commute. It'd be one thing if I saw more posters asking questions, but most seem to have their mind made up.

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#7 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 11:52 AM
 
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Sillysapling, my take on it is that the agreement (mom does Girls Scouts, dad does Boy Scouts) is one that's fair to parents, and potentially completely screwed up for the kids. Equity between adults, IMO takes a second place to equity in what is provided for children.

There are a lot of things that I would feel about my partner if I was the mom in this situation (I would be pretty PO'd), and I don't think that managing rental properties leaves you with free time that justifies you being the partner who does all the chores and all the childcare.
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#8 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 12:11 PM
 
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The biggest thing that gets to me is that it's okay for dad not to have any involvement in girl scouts (it wasn't explicitly stated either way, but the implication is there and no one is making it clear that dad should be involved!), but it's not okay for mom not to have any involvement in cub scouts, especially because mom has picked up slack related to cub scouts already. The responses make it seem like it's okay for dad to brush off girl scouts while poo-pooing mom for not being more invested in cub scouts.

It also doesn't matter if the agreement is fair or not. It doesn't matter who it's fair to. It's not working. And neither party seems to be communicating well about it at all. It doesn't matter if the OP or her husband wants to change things to a situation that's fair for the kids- if she and her husband aren't communicating and being respectful of each other, it's going to crumble.

I admit that I've never been a scout, but I have a hard time believing that it is the only way for parents to spend time or energy on their kids even when their kids are scouts. I'd put a bigger focus on making sure that both parents are putting more or less equal time on both kids. Which doesn't have to mean scouts at all. Kids generally enjoy having special one-on-one activities with each parent, I don't see a problem in letting scouts be mother/daughter and father/son as long as there's also mother/son and father/daughter activities as well as whole family ones.
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#9 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 12:29 PM
 
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to quote from the Big Lebowski:
"You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole."

Now, I'm TOTALLY not calling you an asshole. And this is a statement I used to describe myself most often- when I'm right, I need to have it aknowleged, and will fight to the death for that even if it's not the point of the argument..

You are right, he is not following your agreement.

But it is passive-agressive to have this argument via notes and leaving things until the last minute, and it is not worth putting your son in the middle of it.

When it is just you two, not in front of the kids, tell him you considered it his thing, but if can't keep up with it, come up with a better division of time/ resources.
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#10 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 12:40 PM
 
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There are two potential parenting problems here:
1. Dad is, on the whole, uninvolved and feels entitled to be uninvolved.
2. Mom is preferentially involved with activities that not all the kids can participate in, and dad hasn't picked up his agreement regarding the other kids, with the apparent result that some children in the household have a wonderful scouting experience, and other children in the household have to wait months, until the last possible minute and a dinner table argument over the issue, before anyone is willing to so much as look up where a patch goes and help them thread a needle.

Both of these problems are huge. They are both harmful. By all means, dad should be called to account. However: son should not be in the place he is regarding this problem, and therefore, problem two needs to be tackled in ways that he can understand, and very soon, to reassure him that he is not some kind of also-ran that doesn't deserve anyone's time or attention.
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#11 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 03:02 PM
 
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The responses make it seem like it's okay for dad to brush off girl scouts while poo-pooing mom for not being more invested in cub scouts.
Many responses simply pointed out that the son should not have to suffer for what is a much deeper problem between his parents.

And in my opinion, if that means picking up the slack, then yes. But it is a far cry from "brushing off" this and "poo-pooing" that.

In a very superficial way, it would be like letting the cat starve because the kids agreed to feed him and they are not. It's not fair to the cat.

It's unfortunate that the mom will end up having to give in, temporarily we hope, to her husband's stubbornness on this issue, but I see no other way for the time being without making it seem to the son that helping with cub scouts is somehow like fighting over who has to take out the trash-- unpleasant and annoying.

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#12 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 03:24 PM
 
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I've been a Girl Scout leader for 8 years, so when my son mentioned that he wanted to join Cub Scouts I agreed on the condition that it would be "Father/Son" bonding and his dad would need to fill out forms and attend meetings and do all things Cub Scouts

Did you husband WANT to do this? Had he ever shown interest in being a part of something like this? Is it possible he agreed because your son wouldn't get to do Cub Scouts if he didn't, but doesn't really want to be that involved in it?

I am just wondering if his attitude has anything to do with the fact that he felt like he HAD to do this. What if he had said no, would you have told your son he couldn't do Cub Scouts now? (No idea whether this is the case, but it's difficult to tell based on what you have posted).
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#13 of 19 Old 01-10-2015, 04:16 PM
 
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I think you are totally reasonable, none the less, I would sew the stupid patch on (or more likely take to the cleaners and have them do it because I HATE sewing on patches) rather than fight about it in front of the kid.


I was a SAHM for a zillion years, and my DH (who in some ways is a great guy) used it as a big fat excuse to be a slacker parent about anything that wasn't "fun" for him (which would have included forms and patches). It annoyed the heck out of me, but I tried not to show it in front of the kids because I didn't want them to get the message that neither or their parents wanted to do certain things. So I just did them.


I also don't see what is wrong with the father and son having a "thing" together, and I seriously question why mom has to be the support system for every.single.freaking.thing.


Also, you really can't assume that a SAHP has more time than a working parent. It depends on a zillion factors.


And she isn't a SAHP -- she works.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#14 of 19 Old 01-12-2015, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see arguments both ways. It's not unreasonable to ask your husband to sew on a patch. It is in nreasonable to behave as though your son's Cub Scout activities are no concern of yours, and you should never be asked to do a darn thing about them.

You've been a Girl Scout leader for years, and I presume you have a daughter in the program. Volunteering and being highly involved with one kid while showily leaving the other to your partner is messed up.
Thank you for all the responses. I haven't posted in many years, and I realize that I left off some important info. in the interest of trying to be concise. I definitely haven't thrown my hands up in the air and refused to help with Cub Scouts. I just knew I couldn't take on one more activity and my husband would need to help. He does attend most Den meetings, but for the last two years I've sewed all the badges/flags, etc. on my son's shirt with him, attended some Den and Pack meetings, all Pinewood Derby's, and helped him complete 12 of his achievements at home so that he could become a Webelos.

Sillysapling hit it on the head. It felt like a pretty severe reaction in front of our son which I felt was completely disrespectful and hurtful to both of us. I talked to my husband Saturday night and told him how it made me feel, then I had a talk with my son about it too.

SparklePony...my husband was a scout for many years and really wanted our son to be one too (along with playing an instrument, learning a foreign language, doing volunteer work, taking karate....) He's reminded me that when he was a scout most of the den leaders were mom's.
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#15 of 19 Old 01-12-2015, 09:33 PM
 
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Meh - I'm sorry. That is one heck of a list your husband has for a kid's extracurriculars. That much driving will *kill* your spare time.
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#16 of 19 Old 01-13-2015, 04:07 PM
 
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Gotcha, I wasn't sure. I hope the talk helped work things out. Sometimes, that is really all it takes.
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#17 of 19 Old 01-15-2015, 03:11 PM
 
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The real lesson here is that you need to get the fancy iron on bonding stuff and teach the Scout how to handle his own badges

I taught dd in 2nd grade

My husband handles literally every single thing for ds's baseball. I don't even know the schedule until dh tells me where I need to be. My son certainly isn't suffering because of my lack of interest in scheduling, forms and uniform business.
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#18 of 19 Old 02-01-2015, 11:11 AM
 
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...Am I being unreasonable?...
In the grand scheme? No. In logistics, maybe a little bit.

I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that your husband's angry outburst at dinner was less a serious defense of him being a year late sewing on the patch, and more an effort to distract you (make you feel as defensive as he did), after he felt ambushed - in front of the kids, at the dinner table - over something he's been blowing off for months and knows he should have done. Does that sound right, knowing him? (When my husband behaves that way, that's what's going on with him.)

Of course you're right, to have expected him to take care of the patch:

1) Even if other moms - in their own families - might split up volunteer work for the kids differently than you have, it sounds like you were up-front about not having time to do Cub Scouts and your husband agreed to be in charge of it. Sewing on the patches is part of what he took on.

2) It's not like you gave him a hard time for not sewing on the patch the same day your son earned it. He earned it last January?

3) And if your husband wanted you to sew it - or if he felt your sense of urgency about getting it done before Pinewood was misplaced - he should have said so sometime in the last few months that you've been reminding him about it, not the night before the event.

(Someone suggested the son learn to iron on his own patches? My Girl Scout badges used to be iron-on. Maybe GS badges still are. But my son's Tiger Cub patches are not, and they are difficult to sew. My husband ended up sewing on some of our son's, simply because of the brute manual dexterity required, to get a needle through the d*** things. And because of that, they're time-consuming. I didn't catch the age of the OP's son, but I won't expect mine to sew on his own patches, until he's closer to middle school.)

But, again, I don't think your husband was earnestly suggesting that, between your two part-time jobs, running a GS troop and what you do for the family, you contribute so much less than he does, that any and all tasks he wishes to blow off rightly become yours by default, at the last minute. So, you shouldn't waste too much time defending yourself, or seeking validation, on that point. You know what he said wasn't fair.

If he's the type to get defensive, dodge responsibility, and say mean things, when he feels cornered, then you might be more conscious about not cornering him. After the first couple weeks of him ignoring your notes about the patch, you might have brought it up verbally, in private, when he still had plenty of options about when to get it done. Bringing it up at dinner may have made him feel like a kid being called out for not doing his homework. And bringing it up the night before Pinewood forced him to do it that night, or come up with some excuse (however flimsy) for not doing it at all. You probably could've handled that part better.

Had you talked with him about it in advance, in private, and he still blew you off, you could've been more direct - still without him feeling publicly humiliated, or under a time crunch: "It's bothering me, for Johnny to go indefinitely without his patches on his uniform. I need you to give me a time when you'll get it done, if I'm going to fight my urge to nag you about it. I'm sure you agree that never getting the patch on really isn't OK."

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#19 of 19 Old 03-25-2015, 04:06 PM
 
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The real lesson here is that you need to get the fancy iron on bonding stuff and teach the Scout how to handle his own badges
Yes!

Also, if your husband was handling Cub Scouts and didn't feel like the patch was necessary, then it would have been ok to just let it go. Let him make those decisions.

I hated Cub Scouts and refused to be involved after a year of it. It is supposed to be a boy thing but the men/dads still let the women do all of the work. There are other great ways to be involved with a son.
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