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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll keep this even shorter than the Parents as Partners and SAHP cross posts.<br><br>
The short of it is I am the at-home parent, and I feel like discipline (or more specifically, enforcing rules) is 95% me.<br><br>
I feel like DH gets to be the 'fun parent.' The one who comes home, doles out treats, plays with them, is on a weekend outing on Sunday.<br><br>
One specific example that I think needs to change: When he is home in the evenings, and the children are playing outside...he is NEVER the one to go out and bring them in if they break a rule and that is what they need. (the only rules they have are to stay in front and stay out of the road.)<br><br>
I think DS1 specifically would argue less about the rules if his dad also occasionally enforced them. And I'm talking about INITIATING it, not intervening when I call for reinforcements because he refuses to come in the house for me.<br><br>
I feel it's *essential* that the kids see both of us enforcing the rules. He even *agrees* with the rules, he just doesn't *do* anything unless I come and get him after I've gone out and made the initial intervention.<br><br>
(the other thing that makes it harder is that we live in a neighborhood with kids who mostly seem to have *no* rules, my kids are 5 and 3, and I see kids their age playing in the parking lot *all the time* for example. It's a busy lot, there's people who do not drive like they are in an area with small children, there's cars backing...I can see the bigger kids riding bikes around there as they seem old enough to watch out and are big enough to be seen--and they ride fast enough you don't really *want* them on the sidewalk! But I see kids 5 and younger out there *all the time* and now DS1 especially thinks that I am treating him like a baby because I don't want him out there. (even though his best friend has the same rule...)<br><br>
anyone else living with this issue?
 

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We've had versions of this, though ours revolved around getting the kids started doing chores and getting ready for bed.<br><br>
The bottom line is that we've had to work out a system where it's crystal clear who's 'on duty'. We've got a 2 nights on-2 nights off system. When it's my night to do the bedtime routine, I start the chores right after dinner. I start the bedtime routine. Dh will help out, but he follows my lead. When it's his turn, I follow his lead, even if his timing isn't what I'd do. (In fact, I confused dh last night because I stepped up and started things because he was super tired and spacey. He thought it was my night to do the whole bedtime routine.)<br><br>
Can you find a way where it's your dh who is 'in charge' for a period of time? Tell him what you've told us: I think the kids would follow the rules better if we both enforced them, and I'm tired of always being the nag. Can you take a few nights a week where you're out there with the kids watching them? That way I feel like I could get a little break from being the enforcer.<br><br>
Then take yourself away so you can't see the kids, send him outside with them and let him enforce. Right now the system is working for him (the kids are safe, he doesn't have to worry), so you're going to have to be pretty explicit about your needs.
 

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We do the same thing with dividing up the nights as to who is "on duty." But as to the larger question about who does the heavy lifting where parenting issues are concerned, I'm sad to say I can identify. It's as though, if I weren't around to see and hear what they are doing, that none of our previous discussions or agreements about how to handle various parenting situations ever took place. Sometimes I will show up and say (to DH, aside) "hey, we discussed that he was not going to get to do that for X period of time" or "hey, I thought we discussed how Nickelodeon is off-limits" or whatever. Just fill in your own situation. But I so very often just get the blank stare, like he's hearing about this stuff for the first time. I can have these big heartfelt parenting conversations with him and really have a lot of passion about an issue and its solution, and for DH it appears to go in one ear and out the other.<br><br>
There is so much out there in the parenting literature about the need for consistency, and it frustrates me to no end that there just isn't enough of that. I do end up feeling like the police or the only grownup, way too much of the time. It makes me sad to say that. DH is a good person, he is just not as determined and vigilant as I am about the long-term consequences of parenting choices that happen now. The path of least resistance is very appealing to him. Though in his defense, it could be that the areas where he DOES work hard at consistency or follow-through really ARE so very hard for him to do that he could feel that he really is working very hard. In other words we have different capabilities and maybe he is doing the best he's capable of.<br><br>
I was not planning to write about this, but was surprised to see how few responses you had gotten and I wanted to chime in.
 

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Oh, my gosh...oh, my gosh....oh, my gosh. This is ME. I have been really, really, really, really having a horrendous time lately with being the Police Mom and dh being Fun Dad! all the time. I am the at-home parent and work a few weekend days a month while dh is home with the kids.<br><br>
He is a fantastic guy and works really hard for our family in order for me to be home most of the time - don't get me wrong, I do appreciate his hard work - but he leaves the house at/before the kids wake up and arrives home in time for dinner/baths/reading/bedtime, five nights a week. Saturday I may or may not work, and Sunday is a busy day of church/family time that goes by really fast.<br><br>
On Saturdays, he has always taken the kids out for breakfast. This started as a way for pregnant me to have an hour to myself when my ds was ~12 months old (my kids are 15 months apart). It continues now with the kids waiting eagerly all week to go in Daddy's truck and go out to breakfast, singing their favorite country songs on the way there/back. Sometimes they even go fun places like the hardware store.<br><br>
Fun Dad! is way more fun than plain old mama, who makes them brush their teeth/take showers/put away their socks/pick up their toys, etc., etc., etc. Fun Dad! isn't home when the kids are going crazy between the hours of 4pm-6pm and I'm trying to fix dinner and get the last load of laundry out of the dryer. Fun Dad! doesn't have to put away laundry instead of playing Candy Land or have to enforce Quiet Time when the kids would way rather go outside.<br><br>
I love the idea of 2 on/2 off, but my dh isn't always home at a consistent time in the evenings to do that - and right now, he's on week 3 of business travel away and will likely have 2-4 more weeks to go. I feel bad for him because I know he misses me and really misses the kids and wishes he were home. However, it has been a lot on me lately, and this issue has been big for me, both before/since he had to go.<br><br>
This just turned into my rant instead of a quality response to your post, but I just wanted to tell you .... I hear you. I know where you're coming from. It is not easy having to initiate every less-than-positive interaction with your kids, when your spouse doesn't/can't pick up the slack and initiate. I know it makes me feel like the bad guy all the time. It is such now that when I reprimand/hand out consequences, etc., my dd actually sighs and wishes out loud for her dad. No fun.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">: I could have it worse....he *could* travel for weeks at a time and I could not even have "Fun Dad!" to give me a break....<br><br>
He does do some good things, like right now he is cooking and I am here on MDC after getting a shower. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
And I know some of the "fun" stuff is out of guilt that he's gone more than he wants to be sometimes. (6 days of work this week for example). So I think I need to let a few things, like the junk, slide. (The junk influx has improved a little)<br><br>
But I *do* need, and I think the KIDS need, more importantly, him to sometimes enforce the rules I set. NOT just when I come in and say that one of them won't come in the house after I caught them playing in the road or whatever.
 
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