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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much do you parent as partners?<br><br>
I ask because I never feel like I'm a partner in this parenting role. I never feel we are co-parents.<br><br>
I feel like I am the default director of everything, or main parent, and DH chooses to play a secondary, or less involved role, defaulting to me on everything.<br><br>
Yes, DH is involved. And he is a pretty decent dad. But he has to be asked and told everything before he does something. Most of the time he has to be asked a few times. He never does something on his own, or thinks to do something on his own, even a lot of routine parenting things.<br><br>
If I ask him, he will usually do it. But I always have to ask first, and I get tired of asking. And I feel like if I go away for a while (out of personal need or for other reasons) things fall apart quickly and DH doesn't know or doesn't care what should be done.<br><br>
I am a SAHM (a SAHM who wants to be a SAHM, but who wanted to keep the career I had if DH would have balanced his career better with family). DH has said many times that his main contribution is his job and the income. So, I think he feels like his secondary role as parent is ok.<br><br>
Are you sharing a co-parenting role, and truly parenting as partners? Or is one parent by default the lead parent who directs the whole operation?
 

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I'd say that we are partners as parents...<br><br>
I tend to take a bit more "default", but as a SAHM, I am just more privy to the little details (like, I might be the one to remind DH to give DS a snack or suggest something for him to eat, but that is because I will have known what and when he has eaten that day... I might be the one to set a naptime, but that is because I know at what precise time he has been getting sleeply lately). And I tend to take defalt occasionally on "primary parent time", as my schedule is currently much more flexible. But much of this is really just practicality, not a lack of participation. The times when DH is home more with more flexibility in his schedule, this defalt stuff goes away. For the "bigger" things, we are absolutely partners.<br><br>
I'm not sure how you would encourage a fairly distant dad to be more involved. My DH has (since day 1) taken a very active role, has always been attentive, perceptive and wanted very much to be a part of things- the good and the bad. So I never had to ask him to step it up. So I guess I'm not much help for that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>alexsam</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526900"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm not sure how you would encourage a fairly distant dad to be more involved. My DH has (since day 1) taken a very active role, has always been attentive, perceptive and wanted very much to be a part of things- the good and the bad. So I never had to ask him to step it up. So I guess I'm not much help for that...</div>
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Thanks.<br><br>
I agree with you. I'm not sure either.<br><br>
I've spent years wishing my DH was something he is not, and getting frustrated and upset about it.<br><br>
I can't wish and make him more perceptive and attentive, no matter how much I want him to be.
 

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We are total partners in parenting, as in just about everything else. Dh is an amazing father.<br><br>
I am a WOHM though, and I think that makes the expectations of equal parenting much easier.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>EFmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11527488"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We are total partners in parenting, as in just about everything else. Dh is an amazing father.</div>
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That is so good to hear. Right now, that doesn't even seem like a possibility in our world so it's nice to hear it can and does exist.<br><br>
I imagine it's possible to have a good marriage and be happy on a daily basis if you look at your DH and think he is amazing, and doing a great job as a father.<br><br>
I'm usually in a b*tchy mood and get called a b*tch by DH because I look at him and he's never doing anything that I feel is amazing, or good, or that makes me love him or feel thankful for him. Usually I just think why is he doing that? Please stop.<br><br>
I could be partners in parenting and everything else if I had an equal partner who wanted to be present, connected, attentive, and perceptive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marybethorama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526856"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I admit, our marriage has had issues but that's never been one of them</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:
 

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we are partners in parenting when dh is at home. It wasn't always this way though, I really had to ask him and let him know constantly that i needed help, until it just became like the normal thing to do for him. Everyone involved really benefits!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11527514"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That is so good to hear. Right now, that doesn't even seem like a possibility in our world so it's nice to hear it can and does exist.<br><br>
I imagine it's possible to have a good marriage and be happy on a daily basis if you look at your DH and think he is amazing, and doing a great job as a father.<br><br>
I'm usually in a b*tchy mood and get called a b*tch by DH because I look at him and he's never doing anything that I feel is amazing, or good, or that makes me love him or feel thankful for him. Usually I just think why is he doing that? Please stop.<br><br>
I could be partners in parenting and everything else if I had an equal partner who wanted to be present, connected, attentive, and perceptive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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I am so sorry you are dealing with this.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2">
 

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nope i am in the same boat. Also sahm. DD is 11 mo. We have had many many long talks about this. Now that DD adores her dad and runs to him all the time and finds him in whatever room he is in he at least is playing with her.<br><br>
He adores her dont get me wrong but as far as responsibility its ALL me. If I ask him to do things he wont. Or he willl like 10 min after i asked and with a baby or newborn or even now its just not good enough. I dont let her sit in a dirty diaper for example until i am done doing whatever I stop what im doing to puther needs 1st. DH wont. SO i end up doing everything..<br><br>
We just had this argument now, because he is taking her on walks in the ergo for ehr nap on weekends (new things, FINALLY he is doing SOMETHING at least) and he refuses to take her diaper bag with him even though he is sometimes gone for 3 hours. So what if she has a blow out or needs a band aide or who knows what? He thinks he will call me and i will come int he car to wherever he is and rescuehim, change her or whatever HAAAAAAAAAA i think ill be not hearing the phone and not calling to check anymore if everythings ok.<br><br>
His reason btw is that its too hot and the bag is too heavy. Are you kidding me? I am half his size and i take that thing everywhere, its a freaking backpakc.<br><br>
Ok went of on a tangent but basically yeah im in the same boat
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>marybethorama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526856"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I admit, our marriage has had issues but that's never been one of them</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
*lots* of issues . . . . <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> but not about parenting.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to you OP. Sounds like you're at your wits' end.
 

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same issues here. and guess what? i thought it would get better, as ds gets older, but he is 4 1/2 and I am STILL doing it all.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Transitions</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11531072"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">same issues here. and guess what? i thought it would get better, as ds gets older, but he is 4 1/2 and I am STILL doing it all.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I hear ya.<br><br>
It has gotten a little better since we had a newborn (DH was totally clueless and not too perceptive and not too available then). Now at least he has a little more clue. He does do some things, but usually it's only after I've asked a few times. He is willing to help, just not willing to offer to help or perceptive enough to know internally when something needs to be done without me prompting him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526783"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I feel like I am the default director of everything, or main parent, and DH chooses to play a secondary, or less involved role, defaulting to me on everything.<br><br>
Yes, DH is involved. And he is a pretty decent dad. But he has to be asked and told everything before he does something. Most of the time he has to be asked a few times. He never does something on his own, or thinks to do something on his own, even a lot of routine parenting things.<br><br>
If I ask him, he will usually do it. But I always have to ask first, and I get tired of asking. And I feel like if I go away for a while (out of personal need or for other reasons) things fall apart quickly and DH doesn't know or doesn't care what should be done.<br><br>
I am a SAHM (a SAHM who wants to be a SAHM, but who wanted to keep the career I had if DH would have balanced his career better with family). DH has said many times that his main contribution is his job and the income. So, I think he feels like his secondary role as parent is ok.<br><br>
Are you sharing a co-parenting role, and truly parenting as partners? Or is one parent by default the lead parent who directs the whole operation?</div>
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I have been in your position. I think I felt a loss of control and esteem after I quit working, and so it was very important to me that dh recognized how important MY job as a SAHM was, and part of that was doing everything MY WAY! So when he didn't talk to the kids just the way I thought was right, or didn't use the cloth diapers all the time, or put them in scrufty clothes, or fed them sausage instead of spinach, I felt I had the absolute right to be very critical of him. I mean, how dare he not follow all my edicts to the letter! How dare he try to establish his own relationship with his kids!<br><br>
FWIW, I think a lot of my mom friends have encountered this issue. It's hard to let go control, and I think mothers are usually more tuned in in the beginning than dads, just by nature of the hormones. But it's really not fair to dads. You say that he's involved, and a pretty decent dad. Have you asked him why he doesn't do things before you ask him? Maybe he doesn't think they're important. Maybe he's afraid you'll jump his sh*t if he doesn't do it just right, and he's sick of that. Maybe you guys are just in a vicious cycle?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526913"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've spent years wishing my DH was something he is not, and getting frustrated and upset about it.<br><br>
I can't wish and make him more perceptive and attentive, no matter how much I want him to be.</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11527514"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I imagine it's possible to have a good marriage and be happy on a daily basis if you look at your DH and think he is amazing, and doing a great job as a father.<br><br>
I'm usually in a b*tchy mood and get called a b*tch by DH because I look at him and he's never doing anything that I feel is amazing, or good, or that makes me love him or feel thankful for him. Usually I just think why is he doing that? Please stop.<br><br>
I could be partners in parenting and everything else if I had an equal partner who wanted to be present, connected, attentive, and perceptive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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Honestly, if my dh said that he could never find anything good about me, I would want him to divorce me. That would be so incredibly hurtful. Plus I would be pissed. I would think why have you wasted all that time wishing I was someone else when you could have just enjoyed who I am?<br><br>
Can you really find nothing left of the positive feelings you once had for him?
 

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This is a really interesting article about that:<br><br><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/ma...&ex=1213502400" target="_blank">When Mom and Dad Share it All</a><br><br>
I'm out the door to teach, but will come back to this thread. Dh and I are definitely co-parents, but we also each have our own niches. I'm definitely the one who remembers the nitty gritty details and I keep the mental lists in my head I know the kids' shoe sizes, their clothing sizes, etc. But I do that naturally, and dh doesn't, so it's not really fair to ask that of him.<br><br>
Dh is a WAHD, and so he does more of the kid schlepping; he's the one who's on call if they get sick.<br><br>
Google calendar also makes a difference in dh's ability to keep up with the kids' activities/family events. He doesn't have the mental list, but he will have the calendar up all the time.
 

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I've felt like this before when my oldest was smaller but really, I wanted everything a "certain" way and he just felt like nothing he did was worth trying cause it wouldnt be "good enough." I do think we have to give up that control factor and just let them be dads in the way they know.<br><br>
Sometimes too, like my dh, his parents provided for him....but they didnt really PARENT him...or show him love...so he had to learn that all on his own. All he saw growing up was dad works to pay for the kids and goes to bed early to start it all over again.<br><br>
My dh doesnt want that for his kids...but at the same time, that's what he knows. He had to learn something else. I'd suggest giving up a bit of control (dont know if thats an issue but it was for me.) If you want him to do something NOW, maybe just wait a bit and see if he'll do it on his own?<br><br>
Since kid #2....my dh has become so much more involved but I also had to "let" him become involved. Kids dont come with a manual and different people learn in different ways, ykwim?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11527514"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm usually in a b*tchy mood and get called a b*tch by DH because I look at him and he's never doing anything that I feel is amazing, or good, or that makes me love him or feel thankful for him. Usually I just think why is he doing that? Please stop.<br><br>
I could be partners in parenting and everything else if I had an equal partner who wanted to be present, connected, attentive, and perceptive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/gloomy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Gloomy">:</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
It sounds to me like this is at the heart of your 'parenting' issues -- you're seeing your partner as distant and unconnected. Have you thought about counseling? Is this a mismatch in terms of how you each express love? A communication breakdown? A mismatch in expectations? Something more?<br><br>
I'm also wondering if you've been screened for depression? "Bitchy" could be "depressed" but coming out in different ways. Stress is a major contributor toward depression, and an unsupportive spouse when you have small children (or even one child) definitely makes life more stressful!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>That Is Nice</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11526783"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If I ask him, he will usually do it. But I always have to ask first, and I get tired of asking. And I feel like if I go away for a while (out of personal need or for other reasons) things fall apart quickly and DH doesn't know or doesn't care what should be done.</div>
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Can you set up a 'system' so you don't have to ask all the time? What would most help you out right now? Taking the kids outside for an hour every night after dinner? Doing bath time? Doing bedtime? Doing laundry? Making dinner 2x a week? If you can come up with 2-3 specific things for him to 'take over' or schedule in, then he'll know what to expect and you will step back and let him do it his way.<br><br>
If he does it "wrong" or badly, <i>do not step in and rescue him</i>. Do not offer advice. Yes, he will do them differently. He may even do them badly. But he will learn. He's a competent adult who holds down a job. If it drives you nuts, go for a walk. But if you step in, he will not take ownership, and that's what I'm hearing you really need him to do.<br><br>
I found that I needed to be quite specific with my dh at times. And that having a system helped. Saying "can you help put the kids to bed sometimes," wasn't cutting it because what the heck is "sometimes"? So, now we have a system of 2 days on, 2 days off. When it's his turn for 2 days, I'm off. And vice versa. We did something similar for cooking - MWF when I'm on campus until 5 pm, he cooks dinner. But it didn't just happen, we had to discuss it and work it out. Early on in our relationship we made the rule that "if you cook, you don't do the dishes". So, when I cook he does the dishes. When he cooks, I do the dishes. Over 15 years, we've worked out a lot of issues like that. But it has to be explicit forus.<br><br>
AND I needed to SHUT UP a lot more than I was used to. Every time I say something or interpret what one of the kids said for him, he feels like I was calling his competence into question or undermining his relationship. It's hard for me to shut up. I'm opinionated, and I dislike inefficiencies. But, dh was right. It's NOT my place to do that.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>yukookoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11529264"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We just had this argument now, because he is taking her on walks in the ergo for ehr nap on weekends (new things, FINALLY he is doing SOMETHING at least) and he refuses to take her diaper bag with him even though he is sometimes gone for 3 hours. So what if she has a blow out or needs a band aide or who knows what?</div>
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He'll walk home with a bleeding child or a child with a really poopy diaper. And you know what? He won't repeat that experience. Or maybe he'll decide that it wasn't that bad, and he'll do it again. But that's HIS choice. Let him make it. Let him live with the consequences. "Okay hon, I"ll be taking my nap with the phone turned off. If it's a true emergency, send the police to wake me up."
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11535595"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He'll walk home with a bleeding child or a child with a really poopy diaper. And you know what? He won't repeat that experience. Or maybe he'll decide that it wasn't that bad, and he'll do it again. But that's HIS choice. Let him make it. Let him live with the consequences. "Okay hon, I"ll be taking my nap with the phone turned off. If it's a true emergency, send the police to wake me up."</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">that<br><br>
When my dh first took my dd on an all day adventure and didn't take any snacks or a change or clothes or a water bottle (she was 2) I was appalled. But I was also very surprised that she weathered it just fine, and had a great time.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natensarah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11535645"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><br>
When my dh first took my dd on an all day adventure and didn't take any snacks or a change or clothes or a water bottle (she was 2) I was appalled. But I was also very surprised that she weathered it just fine, and had a great time.</div>
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Yep. Same here. Now, after 4 years, I just shut the door behind them and breathe a sigh of relief. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I've figured out that dads have their own way of doing things, and sometimes my trying to manage that can suck the fun right out of it for them.<br><br>
OP - I think it all depends on your definition of parenting as partners... Does my husband do anywhere close to the amount I do when it comes to daily care of our son? <i>No.</i> Does he wipe dirty bums, pick up toys, prepare and feed meals, etc. <i>No, no, and no</i>.<br><br>
Does my husband spend time with our son doing boyish things that they both love? <i>Absolutely.</i> Does he teach him skills that I could not, play games, explore, go fishing, etc. <i>Yes, yes, and yes.</i><br><br>
My point is, while our "work load" is not he same where our son is concerned, we're both contributing in the best ways we can as parents. We each bring something different to the table. To me, that's a good thing. And while I would LOVE more help around the house (I'm a SAHM), he does work long hours outside the home so I cut him some slack (sometimes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ).<br><br>
In the beginning, I'll admit it took me awhile to not feel bitter that he was not doing half of what I did. But once I was able to accept that this is what he could offer and stopped keeping score, things got a LOT better.<br><br>
Now, if he were calling me a bitch - that would be a whole different story - as it has nothing to with parenting and everything to do with simple respect and decency. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 
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