To think OH is being crap or is this standard?

(127 Posts)
appletarts Sun 24-Feb-13 19:29:30

Todays scenarios....

1. Toddler pees through knickers, trousers and wellies when out. OH stands by the car with her for 5 minutes in freezing conditions waiting for me to come back to sort it out. He has car keys in his hand and there's plenty of spare clothes in the car (I haven't specifically told him that but one second of looking he's find them in boot).

2. Baby winging and whining, I call up why baby crying? He says it's this and that. 30min later I come up and baby has temperature. He didn't notice flushed cheeks, warm back.

Every day is like this in some way and I'm getting pissed off. He doesn't take initiative, are other dads like this? Is it really all mums work? On the plus side he is gentle, calm, sweet, plays with them beautifully and is a good emotional support to me just resolutely shit at doing this hands on stuff which makes me feel I'm on my own with the responsibility parts of it all. Is this normal dad behaviour?

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 20:01:18

SoMuchToBits that's exactly what mine would do, not look in wardrobe!!! I honestly started thinking he had bloody amnesia so I'm glad in a way to see others 'think' like this. Hilarious stories.

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 17:10:51

I'm not sure whether dh would have noticed if ds had had a temperature when he was a baby. There was one time when I didn't notice, and wondered why he kept crying when he usually settled to sleep well, but to be fair, I had a temperature myself at the time, so he didn't feel hot to me when I picked him up!

My DP would not have done either of those things. He would have got the child in the car one way or another and he would have had the good sense to check the boot for clothes. He would also have noticed a high temp. There is nothing now that BF is done with that he can't do as well as me with the children. Nothing. The only time it is best if it's me is when they are ill, because they want me more. Even then he still takes equal time off work and equal night waking. I don't treat him like he's a saint for this, but I equally never roll my eyes or sneer if he doesn't do it the way I do.

weegiemum Mon 25-Feb-13 16:42:34

My dh would never have done this. We've very recently started separating tasks when we're both around, as dd1 is now 13 so there are things she needs me for, and ds is 11, and is getting to the stage he's very cuddly with me still but wants to do stuff with dad. Dd2 doesn't care as long as she's not left out!

But then (and maybe this is an excuse) I had severe pnd - up to and including hospital treatment - with all 3 dc so he had to be the person they came to. In many ways that's helped - we've never had a child whine "no, I want mummy/daddy!" (apart from feeding needs!) and they treat us equally.

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 16:37:02

Not the same as you, your dh, OP!

SoMuchToBits Mon 25-Feb-13 16:36:12

If this had been my dh, then I think he probably would have done the same as you OP. If he knew I had the changing bag, then it wouldn't even have occurred to him that there might be clothes in the car, so he wouldn't have thought to look for them. I don't think it would have occurred to him that he could have put our the toddler in the car, even without the clothes either. He would have been focussed on "SoMuch has the change bag, toddler can't be changed without change bag, I will have to wait until she gets back". It woudln't have been a case of he didn't want to get his hands dirty/couldn't be bothered, he just wouldn't have seen a different way of doing things.

Whenever I went away/out for the day when ds was young I had to leave a list of what needed doing when for dh, otherwise he probably would have forgotten to give him lunch etc. And even then, once when I was away overnight and ds was 6 months old, dh phoned me up to ask where ds's trousers were. I hadn't hidden them or anything, but he had just looked in the chest of drawers, couldn't find them and was stumped. He never thought to look in the wardrobe, where they had always lived...

Fairenuff Mon 25-Feb-13 16:23:35

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise! So what does one do in this situation?

Stop hovering. You are helicopter parenting but you are doing it to your dp. Stop treating him like an incompetent child. Don't criticise. Don't even comment. If you are hanging around telling him he's doing it 'wrong', then you might as well do it yourself.

I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking

This is your problem, not his. What harm will come to them in his care? A little bit of discomfort is ok. When children are unhappy, hungry, tired, uncomfortable, they let the adult know by their behaviour.

Living ^My DH doesnt even remember to feed children if I am out at mealtime. Has no idea what they eat or when despite youngest being three! Cant find wipes medicine cream etc even when its within arms reach!
Will sit witdh them in front of tv whilst on internet (babysitting!!).
Has never packed a nursey or going out bag ever but is very quick to criticise if I forget anything!^

If he ever tries to do anything with kids i can guarantee he will be shouting for me within about 5 minutes cos he cant find something he needs which is probably right in front of him in plain sight

You seriously need to pack a bag, go away for a weekend on your own and turn your phone off. When you get home you will be surprised to discover that your dh did feed the children, did find the things he needed and managed to do it all by his little self.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 15:44:57

Derbyshire, sorry

That's ok SonOfAradia, we can move :-D

Dh's do sound awful but we're only talking about their bad points. Dh does have plenty good about him, he's an excellent cook, he'll quite happily shop and put washing out and deals with all the household bills, but if he doesn't know how to do something it's like he has learned helplessness like the dogs in the experiment that don't even try to get away because they don't believe they can, sorry to go back to dogs again. But it is just like watching your oh be electrocuted, you can only watch and think why would you do that to yourself? All you can do is have patience cos murder's illegal and dd wouldf miss her daddy cos it's not all bad :-)

nickelbabe Mon 25-Feb-13 15:33:32

LivingThings
DH was the same when DD started eating solid stuff, because if she was hungry, she'd have to come to me before.
then even when she started solids, she'd usually be having a milk feed when we had our dinner.
so, he wouldn't think to make her something to eat and i'd have to send him back to serve her something.
he's good at it now, though, even dished hers up fist so he can cool it in the fridge before it gets eaten.
mind, she's only 14mo, so it's not like he's had years to be a twat about it.

lynniep Mon 25-Feb-13 15:17:39

My DH is a bit like this, but not as bad - for instance in scenario 1) he would have tried to do something. He would not have found spare clothes in car - even if I told him where they were - but he would have improvised craply to keep DS warm - even if it meant putting wet child into car to keep warm and soaking the seats in the process. He has little common sense, but he wouldnt make his child suffer.

TheSecondComing Mon 25-Feb-13 15:14:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 15:13:10

Derbyshire, sorry grin.

Really though I'm completely gobsmacked that a full-grown man could lurk outside the bathroom door while his wife uses the loo, whining about his own daughter crying! Sort it out yourself, man-child.

ByTheWay1 Mon 25-Feb-13 15:12:59

Words fail me too - why exactly did you get together with these men?

Hubby cares about me and the kids always has, has always put us first and will see to the girls before he sees to his own needs - even after one spat yoghurt in his eye! (though , shamefully, I did laugh when he kept it shut and wiped her first....)

I find anyone - men , women, children - can be pathetically useless if you LET them . "Deal with it, I'm busy right now" should be the mantra......

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 15:03:46

SonOfAradia where do you live, are you in Kent, be dh's new best friend I will PAY you... grin

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 14:49:48

'She's crying' while standing at the bathroom door waiting for me to come out.

Words fucking fail me. Really!

SonOfAradia Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:09

God are some men really so pathetic? I became a dad at 44 and learned by doing, not waiting around to be told as my wife had about as much clue as I did, ie not much as we were both first time parents.

If something needs doing, it's obvious that someone needs to do it and it doesn't matter who that someone is, mum or dad.

Mondrian: I think we (Men) miss that all important mum gene so mum-ing is something that we have to work at.

Bollocks. If you don't know how to do something you work it out by making it up as you go along - just get on with it. Parenting is 100% teamwork.

TotallyBursar Mon 25-Feb-13 14:45:23

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise!

In what way wrong though? Not exactly as you do it or things that will harm or cause distress to your child? Do you expect your mother, for example, to do things exactly as you do and berate her if she does things differently or do you trust she knows what your views are and trust her to get on with it? Would she, in fact, tell you to wind your neck in if you spoke to her that way?
He is causing discomfort now, leaving a soaking shivering child wet and in the cold, but how has it got to this point?

You can't have it both ways. He is a parent, not your staff to be trained up - if you want him to parent, let him parent. You surely discuss how you want things to be and your shared style/ethos? If so the boundaries to operate within are set. If he can't do right for doing wrong, has his parenting undermined and is now in a situation where he gets to do fun stuff but abdicates shit work...seriously what would you do? I would say fine, I'll carry on playing, enjoying the good bits and leave you to moan over the nappy bag.

The expectation should be that he has 50% of the parenting - but you can't expect that and tell him he can't autonomously parent but must be the knock off version of you - like you but obviously not as good as the original- or his efforts are invalid. Everyone fucks it up now and then but you learn from it - unless you are prevented from doing so. Fathers are equal parents, this means they don't get to abdicate responsibilities and mothers don't get to veto the rights inferred by that 50% by being able to cast some kind of final vote on any decision.

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 14:42:08

*Another one we have is me:"dh please could you sort the Dc's tea"

DH: "Ok. What are they having?"

Um, I don't know that's why I'm asking you to sort it!*

yy Rabbit smile Or the 'She's crying' while standing at the bathroom door waiting for me to come out.

'Yeah I'm having a poo for fuck sake, COPE!!! honey, can you cope for a minute....' dere's a good boy, scratch tummy, throw biscuit..

LivingThings Mon 25-Feb-13 14:35:15

My DH doesnt even remember to feed children if I am out at mealtime.
Has no idea what they eat or when despite youngest being three! Cant find wipes medicine cream etc even when its within arms reach!
Will sit witdh them in front of tv whilst on internet (babysitting!!).
Has never packed a nursey or going out bag ever but is very quick to criticise if I forget anything!
If he ever tries to do anything with kids i can guarantee he will be shouting for me within about 5 minutes cos he cant find something he needs which is probably right in front of him in plain sight.
Good job he earns a lot of money smile

nickelbabe Mon 25-Feb-13 14:14:11

have to say, DH is more likely to pick a colour-coordinating outfit for DD.
I tend to just pick the first thing off each pile (piles make it easier to find everything), whereas DH will spend fucking ages time working out which clothes go best together.

It's not the most important thing to me, but it works for DH.
He's very slow at everything, though, and I have to completely disappear when he's doing x,y,z extremely slowly, or I go all ranty and try to take over.
It's not that he can't do it, it's just that it takes him a lot longer than me! (but that's the same with everything, even in his own life - he eats really slowly too)
I have to remember to factor that in when we get up together - he gets up about half an hour before me and I get a lie-in because I know that it won't take me as long as him to get ready (which is nice, but it also means we don't have to fight over the bathroom etc). He still has to sort DD out on days when we're both in charge.

itsakindarabbit Mon 25-Feb-13 14:03:30

Oh, we have had the yoghurt/tissue thing too.

Another one we have is me:"dh please could you sort the Dc's tea"

DH: "Ok. What are they having?"

Um, I don't know that's why I'm asking you to sort it!

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 14:01:31

Oh blimey I'm not on my own then! Thing is I think it's disrespectful to treat them like idiots or worse dogs, because then you're expectations are so low and you're sort of manipulating the situation rather than resolving things by communicating your real needs. Is there something in it that I do this all day long, 7am to 6pm and that just by sheer virtue of doing something for that amount of hours means that I would be better at it than someone who does it for 2 days a week? I bloody refuse to write lists or train him up and I accept I've colluded in this too. Hmm yes it's hard work!

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 13:34:58

I mean when he's being a bit obtuse I do snap at him, as in when dd throws yoghurt everywhere and dh asks me to go get him a tissue. It's like 'really?!?'

NayFindus Mon 25-Feb-13 13:31:32

* So what does one do in this situation? I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking. *

It's hard work, isn't it Appletarts? When I want to kill dh most, which is quite often, I've learnt to very calmly, point out the bleedin obvious. For example 'I'm covered in my blood (period) and dd's vomit/urine/food. Can you watch her for a bit while I go have a bath?' Or go get the shopping in, strolling around the supermarket leisurely then go home with a big smile saying 'are you okay' to everyone and handing out hugs (this is awful reading this back, this what I actually do), like he just did something really big. I think someone said treat them like dogs? That's it basically, lots of praise and simple instructions. And try noticing the good things he does and talk about those - 'oh great, did you put the washing out, thanks honey'. But tbh I do snap and say 'oh you are joking aren't you...'?

appletarts Mon 25-Feb-13 11:45:06

He says I criticise everything he does so he doesn't do anything cos it'll be wrong anyway, but it is always stuffing wrong that's why I criticise! So what does one do in this situation? I think I have to leave him to it a bit more but that freaks me out. He's not lazy, he's definitely not selfish but common sense with kids is lacking.

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