Things dad gets to do that mom doesn't - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 84 Old 04-05-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sometimes it strikes me as unfair, all the things my SO gets to do that I don't, as a mom.  This is a vent, but maybe I can find solace in knowing I'm not alone in these feelings.  

 

Here is my list.

 

- Reading a book. He gets to read while I nurse our kid to bed.  For hours.  Lying in the dark.

- Going to work, and staying at work.  If there's a problem or the kid needs care, that's my job.

- Keeping a schedule. My schedule revolves around our kid.

- Playing video games. Seriously?

- Sleeping a full stretch. If he wants, he can sleep in another room so the quiet sounds of our kid's every-few-hours nursing don't wake him.

- Eating a meal all the way through.

- Working toward a deadline. When I have a deadline, I have to plan weeks in advance, because I don't get to pull all-nighters.

- Going to the bathroom. Seriously, spending some time sitting on the can. Alone. With the door shut.

- Showering alone.

 

What is it for you -- what do you miss out on that your SO doesn't?

 

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#2 of 84 Old 04-05-2011, 11:28 PM
 
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Totally agree, also add to the list drinking, and being able to do a workout without cramming into nap time, or having a toddler running around your feet pulling on your clothes... When DH is with little one alone, he apparently justs runs around the house and plays, and DH plays games mostly. When i am there, he will barely let me read a page or two in a book or check my email. 

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#3 of 84 Old 04-05-2011, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fireHC11 View Post

Sometimes it strikes me as unfair, all the things my SO gets to do that I don't, as a mom.  This is a vent, but maybe I can find solace in knowing I'm not alone in these feelings.  

 

Here is my list.

 

- Reading a book. He gets to read while I nurse our kid to bed.  For hours.  Lying in the dark.

- Going to work, and staying at work.  If there's a problem or the kid needs care, that's my job.

- Keeping a schedule. My schedule revolves around our kid.

- Playing video games. Seriously?

- Sleeping a full stretch. If he wants, he can sleep in another room so the quiet sounds of our kid's every-few-hours nursing don't wake him.

- Eating a meal all the way through.

- Working toward a deadline. When I have a deadline, I have to plan weeks in advance, because I don't get to pull all-nighters.

- Going to the bathroom. Seriously, spending some time sitting on the can. Alone. With the door shut.

- Showering alone.

 

What is it for you -- what do you miss out on that your SO doesn't?

 


bolded are the ones i am really jealous of. orngtongue.gif

 


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#4 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 04:56 AM
 
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My kids are older now, so many of the things listed don't really apply to me anymore. I'm envious of dh's ability to pretty much do whatever he wants whenever he wants without planning in advance and making all sorts of arrangements. He doesn't abuse this or anything, but he does stuff that would require advance planning, childcare, etc. if I were to do it.

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#5 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 07:09 AM
 
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Getting errand time/"me" time to myself. DS has always been pretty great about the grocery store, etc. but forget shoe shopping (and I don't mean Carrie Bradshaw shoe shopping, I mean, I need a new pair of summer shoes or I'll be barefoot!). He was impossible to do those things with, b/c I couldn't get a moment of quiet from him so I could look and think and actually consider trying anything on. Meanwhile, I'm at home, suffering the 400 witching hour with DS (which lasts til 6, when DH gets home) trying to get dinner ready only to have DH show up 20 minutes later than usual with a fresh haircut. Are you kidding me??? I get my hair cut maybe twice a year, if I'm lucky! It does get better as they get older, though. My New Year's resolution was to get THREE haircuts this year!

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#6 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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All of that stuff and more.. but I try to keep it in perspective... I COULD read while he puts the kid to bed, I COULD work full time, I COULD take showers alone, I COULD eat meals all the way through.... but because I'm a SAHM and I still nurse it makes having more parental equality equal.  There is no real reason why it can't be my husband who does bedtime and night wakings and all child bathing and the bulk of the childcare so I have more time for reading/games/bathroom alone... it is just how our life ended up based on things that are important to me which is nursing on command until child led weaning and being a SAHM.  We fell into a routine of my being the main parent always with a child around because of mainly those two things.  Honestly, I think sometimes DH is jealous that I AM the main parent, the one kiddo will follow to the bathroom all the time and the one kiddo will go to sleep for and the one kiddo does better with alone for stretches of time (such as when husband is out with friends)  I'd love the freedom he has sometimes but I'm not sure it's completely better on the other side.  I'd have to give up different things and change how my child is parented for it.

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#7 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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BTDT.... really really BTDT.... 

 

Know this though mama... this stage doesn't last forever.  At some point you will actually get to do all of those things too, I promise!  And once you're there you'll look back and it will feel like those early days just flew by (hard to imagine now, I know!).

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#8 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 08:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireHC11 View Post

Sometimes it strikes me as unfair, all the things my SO gets to do that I don't, as a mom.  This is a vent, but maybe I can find solace in knowing I'm not alone in these feelings.  

 

Here is my list.

 

- Reading a book. He gets to read while I nurse our kid to bed.  For hours.  Lying in the dark.

- Going to work, and staying at work.  If there's a problem or the kid needs care, that's my job.

- Keeping a schedule. My schedule revolves around our kid.

- Playing video games. Seriously?

- Sleeping a full stretch. If he wants, he can sleep in another room so the quiet sounds of our kid's every-few-hours nursing don't wake him.

- Eating a meal all the way through.

- Working toward a deadline. When I have a deadline, I have to plan weeks in advance, because I don't get to pull all-nighters.

- Going to the bathroom. Seriously, spending some time sitting on the can. Alone. With the door shut.

- Showering alone.

 

What is it for you -- what do you miss out on that your SO doesn't?

 

I guess I just find ways to do most of what you list.  Except the sleeping a full stretch, but really with LO right next to me I barely notice anymore.  We have a pretty lose routine, but never the less it's a routine and it helps me stay sane.  I read/play games while LO is cluster nursing/napping.  I used to hold our youngest while I ate, but now he'll sit in his high chair and munch while I eat/clean up after meals. 
 

 


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#9 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 08:36 AM
 
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Mostly I am fine with the inequality; I am the SAH parent so I figure that's part of the trade off. However, recently I got the flu. My routine was in no way changed by this fact, except that I did a little less housework. Then my husband got the flu and he slept through it. Oh, I wish! 

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#10 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 08:49 AM
 
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I probably felt more like that with our first. Now that we have two I think both dh and I are juggling and don't really have many of those luxuries. We tag team most things around the home. He's also an elementary teacher and so he's not kid free during his work day and he has ds (5 yrs) at his school and so juggles with him during his before/after school planning time.

 

I am jealous that he is a night owl and gets his exercise/jogging in once we're all in bed. I could too but I am exhausted by 9 pm. But I'm hoping I'll get my turn in the coming months once ds hopefully will be nightweaned and sleeping through the night. Then I can return to my previous AM yoga practice.

 

I'm jealous where his career has gone since we both finished school. But then I would never change the fact that I've been able to stay home for the first couple of years for both of our sons.

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#11 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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My little one is 7 year old now so some of my olf "wishes" don't apply anymore (things do get better!) but I thought I'd post them anyway.

Things DH did that I wished I could do:

Take a "mental health" or sick day
Spend time alone with adults
A nice, quiet commute into work
Nap!


Things that I did that DH wished HE could do:

Read a book while nursing (I read a LOT of books that first 2years, LOL!)
Spend quality time during the day with our DD... trips to the zoo, parks, walks...(he felt like he missed out on so much)
Travel as much as I did (I was able to fly to California several times and visit my mother, and he couldn't take time off work)
Breastfeed our daughter to sleep
Have a way to calm our daughter (again, no breasts)

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#12 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I could imagine I thought as you did a few years ago when my dc were babies... but now that they are 4 and 6 yrs old this would be my list:

I get to stay home and play w/ my dc while my dh has to work 10 hrs a day at a job he doesn't love in order to support us

I get to read many hrs per day if I want while my dc play w/ eachother

I get to go on vacation to visit family in CA while dh has to stay home and work

I get to go to the gym mid day while dh has to get up at 3am if he want to go to the gym

 

The baby phase passes sooooooo fast. ENJOY that you get to lay in bed for hrs an nurse your baby. Enjoy that you are needed all day all night. Soon, you won't be needed all that much and you will have a entire new list about sahm vs working etc.

 

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#13 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 10:16 AM
 
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 Spend quality time during the day with our DD... trips to the zoo, parks, walks...(he felt like he missed out on so much)

 


Thanks for mentioning that.  I was just thinking about how DH gets all of this free time and kid free time and time with adults and how I'm home 24/7 with few breaks (unless they're things like grocery shopping, which is really not my cup of tea but I do it anyhow).  It's good to think of the fact that he may get all of that time to himself and quiet, but he only sees the kids 2-3 hours a day, and by that time, they are cranky and tired.  I get the good quality time.  Thanks for the reminder.

 


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#14 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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 The only thing I do that my DH doesnt do is Homeschool. TOday I am working my butt off doing curriculum work....he is playing video games at his brothers house.

 

But, tonight after 3 hours of being at the dance school with my kids, he will make dinner, he will put the kids to bed tonight and he will walk them to the bus stop tomorrow morning while I get to go back to bed for an hour.

 

We are pretty equal actually.

 

My Ex husband....oh God. He STILL does jack. I do ALL the parenting, schooling, extra currs and health appts. He sees them 6 hours a week and gets to go out and eat with them, take them to movies....etc....

 

 

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#15 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 10:34 AM
 
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Ah, yes. Thats true. If DH gets sick, he goes to bed. If I get sick...I may get to do less, but I still have to do stuff.

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#16 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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I think there's something wrong with you and your dh's expectations of each other. Sure, some of those things are unavoidable. Your dh gets to be at work and not have to deal during the day. You are the only one who can nurse the kid to sleep.

But I see no reason why he should be the only one to eat a meal all the way through. Why don't you get to do this? What kind of a husband, after being away all day, doesn't offer to hold the baby during dinner so his wife can eat?

What kind of husband doesn't take care of his child for a few hours on the weekends or an hour after work so his wife can take a break and read a book?

What kind of husband doesn't give up the video games in order to spend time with his kid, so that his wife can have more of a break?

Not the kind of husband I'd be happy with, that's for sure.
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#17 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 11:14 AM
 
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I think there's something wrong with you and your dh's expectations of each other. Sure, some of those things are unavoidable. Your dh gets to be at work and not have to deal during the day. You are the only one who can nurse the kid to sleep.

But I see no reason why he should be the only one to eat a meal all the way through. Why don't you get to do this? What kind of a husband, after being away all day, doesn't offer to hold the baby during dinner so his wife can eat?

What kind of husband doesn't take care of his child for a few hours on the weekends or an hour after work so his wife can take a break and read a book?

What kind of husband doesn't give up the video games in order to spend time with his kid, so that his wife can have more of a break?

Not the kind of husband I'd be happy with, that's for sure.


I agree. So many parents on this board seem to be doing such a huge portion of the childcare/housecare in their homes. I don't know if it's due to miscommunication (not discussing expectations with your partner before having children, not speaking up when your needs aren't being met, etc.), control issues (on the part of either spouse -- the less-involved spouse could be refusing to participate, or the more-involved spouse could be unwilling to give up control and not allowing his/her partner to participate to a greater extent), or what, but I couldn't live like that. 


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#18 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 11:19 AM
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I think there's something wrong with you and your dh's expectations of each other. Sure, some of those things are unavoidable. Your dh gets to be at work and not have to deal during the day. You are the only one who can nurse the kid to sleep.

But I see no reason why he should be the only one to eat a meal all the way through. Why don't you get to do this? What kind of a husband, after being away all day, doesn't offer to hold the baby during dinner so his wife can eat?

What kind of husband doesn't take care of his child for a few hours on the weekends or an hour after work so his wife can take a break and read a book?

What kind of husband doesn't give up the video games in order to spend time with his kid, so that his wife can have more of a break?

Not the kind of husband I'd be happy with, that's for sure.

I think you are reading way too much into it! 

 

Seriously, I feel the same way OP...It's not that my DH doesn't give me the chance to read a book, or surf the web or take a shower alone. He offers all the time! It's that my DD is super clingy and needs mama around and paying attention to her all the time. The kid will literally slam a book shut on me to get me to pay attention to her...

 

DH tries to distract DD so I can eat my meal in peace but guess what, she wants mama! I totally empathize with you OP I am so right there these days.

 

DD cries if I shut the bathroom door to pee even when DH is home. Does she do that for DH? No way!
 

 

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#19 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:05 PM
 
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I understand a clingy kid (I have a clingy toddler now), but I agree with the above PPs who said it's still possible to have your own time. 

 

The way my DH developed the kind of relationship with dd where he can take her out and give me some hours to do my own thing (which, most of the time, is family/house stuff that MUST be done anyway, but often I get a little me time in there too) is my DH took her out of the house on "adventures" (just regular stuff, park, walks, zoo, to visit friends) and even if she got upset she went anyway.

 

This way they developed a stronger relationship and she got a bit less clingy.  She's just over 2 now and - and this was a VERY VERY clingy girl - she will ask if I'm coming along "Mommy you coming?" and when I explain I am not but tell her what I'll be doing instead and when she'll see me, she says "Ok, bye mommy" and kisses me and leaves peacefully with DH.

 

I know there will always be way more times during a day/week when busy mommas want more time to do basics for ourselves than we have, but a lot of the stuff in OPs post (eating a meal all the way through, taking a shower, quality time on the toilet), I believe Daddy should be able to handle a kid long enough that mom can do that in peace (Daddy goes out for drive, walk, go get food) at least a couple times a week.

 

And the eating a meal all the way through, it took DH and I figuring out what activities would occupy DD long enough to be able to be held/monitored by DH to get here, but we now know if we bring crayons, coloring book, and one other thing (like stickers or a special book) to the table, he can keep her occupied long enough for me to eat uninterrupted, and then I take over and he eats.  And we still feel like we're eating as a family, even if we can't all be eating at the exact same moment.

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#20 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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The way my DH developed the kind of relationship with dd where he can take her out and give me some hours to do my own thing (which, most of the time, is family/house stuff that MUST be done anyway, but often I get a little me time in there too) is my DH took her out of the house on "adventures" (just regular stuff, park, walks, zoo, to visit friends) This way they developed a stronger relationship.

This was the way it worked for us, too. My ds wasn't particularly clingy - maybe because starting at 8 months, dh would take him for about 4-5 hours every Saturday while I went off to recharge. Dh took the baby on errands to the hardware store, on trips to the park, etc. Ds was accustomed to being with his other parent from a very young age.

I don't think any child needs mama around and paying attention to her all the time. Not when there are two parents in the picture. I just don't. Believing that only they can meet a child's needs is a trap mothers (in particular) fall into too frequently. Often to the detriment of their own needs.

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#21 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:17 PM
 
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I'm a little embarrassed because in my house, this list looks more like "things that Laohaire can do that her DH can't."


Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#22 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:21 PM
 
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I cant really think of anythng but that's probably because DH is the SAHP and Panda is very attached to him.  So when I'm home we take turns caring for her.  we also love all taking a shower together, it's really nice.  she also has a big brother who will look out for her if we need to get some mama and daddy time :P


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#23 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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The way my DH developed the kind of relationship with dd where he can take her out and give me some hours to do my own thing (which, most of the time, is family/house stuff that MUST be done anyway, but often I get a little me time in there too) is my DH took her out of the house on "adventures" (just regular stuff, park, walks, zoo, to visit friends) This way they developed a stronger relationship.



This was the way it worked for us, too. My ds wasn't particularly clingy - maybe because starting at 8 months, dh would take him for about 4-5 hours every Saturday while I went off to recharge. Dh took the baby on errands to the hardware store, on trips to the park, etc. Ds was accustomed to being with his other parent from a very young age.

I don't think any child needs mama around and paying attention to her all the time. Not when there are two parents in the picture. I just don't. Believing that only they can meet a child's needs is a trap mothers (in particular) fall into too frequently. Often to the detriment of their own needs.
 


I think another trap many fall into is the idea that a baby/toddler expressing distress that daddy is taking them somewhere or that they're not with mommy for a short time means that the baby/toddler isn't ready to be away from mommy and so you don't do it.  Well, I guess I shouldn't call that a "trap" because I guess it gets to different perspectives on parenting... but I think it's not good for any baby or toddler (or any kid) to be with one parent 24/7 for months and years.  All of my SAHM friends (I work full time) make sure their partners have alone time with their kids from a young age (although it's never too late to start this), and that seems to help everyone have better, more even relationships.  

 

Kids and families are all unique of course, so I'm not saying at all that this works for everyone.  It's just my view (and seems to be the common view in my community) that it's healthy to have babes and kids get to know the other parent or other loved, trusted adults and not be with mommy every minute of every day for months/years.  It's better for mommy's mental health too, hence this thread!

 

Even when dd was 2 months old, DH took her on walks in the baby carrier, not so much to give me a break but more to just get to know her himself and get her used to him.

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#24 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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I am currently reading "Equally Shared Parenting" and although I don't think it will be an exact fit for my family, it's really interesting. It might give you some ideas for how to balance things out a bit!!! Although I get that this was just a vent, I still think you could take some steps to improve your quality of life. Like get a book light so you can read while nursing!!! And I strongly feel that if your DH has time to read & play video games, he also has time to watch your baby while you take a hot bath or whatever.

I have an incredibly high-needs DS who is completely mommy-centric and it's super hard to get any kind of real balance, but we're working on it, and he's way more adaptable than I give him credit for!! DS & DH took off for almost 3 hours one Saturday (longest I've ever been away from DS!) and he did just fine, even though if he was home he'd *need* to nurse several times and get lots of mommy time... and I have to say, taking a dump in private, with the door closed, was the highlight of my 3 hours. lol.gif So I really can relate smile.gif but don't give up, if your DH is willing and able, I'm sure you can work out something!!

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#25 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 01:06 PM
 
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I think you are reading way too much into it! 

 

Seriously, I feel the same way OP...It's not that my DH doesn't give me the chance to read a book, or surf the web or take a shower alone. He offers all the time! It's that my DD is super clingy and needs mama around and paying attention to her all the time. The kid will literally slam a book shut on me to get me to pay attention to her...

 

DH tries to distract DD so I can eat my meal in peace but guess what, she wants mama! I totally empathize with you OP I am so right there these days.

 

DD cries if I shut the bathroom door to pee even when DH is home. Does she do that for DH? No way!
 

 

 

I see her point too but I am right there with you.  I could have sworn that I wrote what you did! 

 

It literally breaks DH's heart not to be lactating (lol) and when the boys are together without me (not often, say 4 hours a week) they are just perfect together.  DS (22 months) will sign for milk and DH explains that his do not work and DS will look at his hands like "why don't you understand" or "am I doing the wrong sign?" ....  kinda funny.   And trust me, he was nursed prior to my departure and is not in need at that time. 

 

I think after DS weans himself DH will be able to be more of a parent to him.  Not saying he isn't now, he is a fantastic father, I just feel that he will be able to help more in the ways that he wants to be able to. 


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#26 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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I have an incredibly high-needs DS who is completely mommy-centric and it's super hard to get any kind of real balance, but we're working on it, and he's way more adaptable than I give him credit for!! DS & DH took off for almost 3 hours one Saturday (longest I've ever been away from DS!) and he did just fine, even though if he was home he'd *need* to nurse several times and get lots of mommy time... and I have to say, taking a dump in private, with the door closed, was the highlight of my 3 hours. lol.gif So I really can relate smile.gif but don't give up, if your DH is willing and able, I'm sure you can work out something!!


 

I can completely relate and I just laughed my ass off reading your post.  biglaugh.gif  Thank you for the laugh!


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I wanted to say that DD does in fact go on "adventures" with daddy all the time! They go to the grocery store together, out on errands together and that is when I get "me" time. They also go visit his dad for several hours at a time and she is totally fine.

Despite all that DD is still a cling-on. I guess I deserve it because she skipped the whole stranger danger/cling to mommy phase when she was much younger. I feel like she is making up for it in spades now!winky.gif She is very very lovely with her daddy (it melts my heart, as it I'm sure it does for all us mamas) but she still is super clingy to me! If someone could tell me how to unglue her that would make my day, week and month all at once.

 

ETA: isn't there something just so awesome about pooping with the door shut, in privacy, just you alone with the toiletluxlove.gif Love it!

 

Also, I notice too that when we are home DD "needs" to nurse about 80% more than when she is out with daddy or just when we are out and about in general, but try telling her no to nursing at home and it is like WW3

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Also, I notice too that when we are home DD "needs" to nurse about 80% more than when she is out with daddy or just when we are out and about in general, but try telling her no to nursing at home and it is like WW3


Me too.  Interesting huh. 

 


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#29 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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I've read the Op three times and for the life of me....I cannot figure out why you don't change some things. There's no reason not to pass your child so you can finish dinner. There's no reason for the other parent not to get up during the night... he can at least change her diaper and comfort her if you've done nursing. There's no reason not to go to the bathroom by yourself if he's home.There's no reason you can't do the shopping in the evening if your baby won't need to nurse while your gone. Make some changes, OP. It's his kid, too!
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#30 of 84 Old 04-06-2011, 02:12 PM
 
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Lots of posters are commenting that the OP should just change things and let her dh take more responsibility. I'm not sure of her dh's work schedule, but when my kids were babies/toddlers my dh would have frequent stints of working from 5 or 6 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m. Not to mention frequent overnight travel. There simply wasn't much time for him to take much on around the house and with the kids. However, his workplace is very family-friendly and I could always drop the kids off there for a couple hours if I needed to during the day. Thankfully, his hard work has paid off for our family in a major way.  But...the kids STILL (they're 6 and 9) will come in the bathroom when I'm in the shower to ask for help with something. Even if dh is readily available. *Sigh*

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