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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:48 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I have always been the main carer with the kids. He has pretty much no practise with them on his own because he has always been working (he worked from home, so it was like he was never not working sometimes) or studying (I think he is done sometime next September -- he has no interest in getting a PhD, so he should be done by then, at least).
He just let the kids play by themselves in their room while he studied and at one point, he tried to get Vax down for a nap (something I had not mentioned, but thoughtful of him). I'm not at all surprised (or bothered) about leaving the kids alone to play, but it is interesting that they didn't even ask for snacks.

I nagged him to high heaven about it, so hopefully when I go out next week (my last chance for a few months because exams and then school start again soon), he will know to feed him. The crazy thing is how surprised he seemed when I told him he was supposed to feed them. Like, he had totally thought about it and didn't think he needed to. (And I did tell him to feed the kids, but he is a lot like his dad and doesn't always listen. He wasn't like that when we got married, this is something that's developed over time!)

OT, Another ongoing issue we have is that he thinks I am really strict with the kids. My parents were way over-the-top strict, and I feel like I am really NOT strict with my kids about most things (they have to clean their room and eat no-thank-you helpings of things they don't like), but I know their capabilities and their maturity, and base my decisions on that. Like, I would not want them to go to the post box on their own (they still have street and busy-driveway/parking lot crossing issues), but they can run ahead down the driveway (more like a private drive) when we go to the bus stop, because they know to get out of the way when cars come up the drive and they know to wait at the bottom of the drive so we can all walk to the bus together. If we lived within a block of the village shop, I might even let Beet & Raygold go there together without me, but only if they didn't have to cross any streets.
But Mr Crabby was walking to school when he was 5 and taking the train across Birmingham to school when he was 11. I told him things don't work that way anymore (like how that mom got in trouble for leaving her kid in a car when she popped into the shop), but even if they did, the kids are not mature enough for that sort of thing yet. I am all about free-ranging, but it's all about what the kids can handle safely.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:55 am 
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It seems like common sense that if you're hungry, the kids are also hungry. But, it sounds like things went well overall.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:46 am 
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Semen Strong
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It sounds like it went pretty well TCC! Yay for getting some time alone! Maybe you can also tell your boys that if they are hungry they can ask their Dad instead of hoping he'll remember without any prompting. It's a good life skill and probably helpful for their relationship! I totally get being annoyed though! Especially because things go bad so fast when kids are hungry. Fwiw, I read an essay by a male author and he talks about how his wife was mad at him because after a hard day of hiking he went and made himself a sandwich instead of feeding all the kids, and she said "the biggest people have to make sure the smallest ones are cared for before they care for themselves" and that clicked for him. That your job is to take care of kids first not yourself (obviously with some caveats based on risk assessments) isn't very intuitive if you're not the primary care giver

I'm working on giving up a lot of control too. I want to find a way of being less resentful when things aren't done as I would like. It is not my favorite growth opportunity ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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It sounds like a good first step then. It is interesting what is obvious to us as the pc is often not at all to the partner. I am going back to work in jan and my partner is taking over for 5 months. We are doing a handover over Christmas and it's been really interesting. Especially seeing him be so tired. I will have to try and be considerate to him as he has always tried with me. Though he hasn't always got how tired I was!!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:25 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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I meant to post in the last few months about how I was getting along (and feeling much better about the relationships) with my inlaws, specifically my step MIL. She watched Little S for me a few times when I had to have a bunch of dental work, and we chatted some and I felt like we bonded. I also felt like she maybe relaxed a little and was being less... How she can be. Clingy?

Then this weekend we visited them and she managed to push ALLLLL of my buttons. Not sure what shifted but it was sooooo annoying. We spent Xmas day with them, a loooong day, tons of time and I barely held my baby the whole day, just let them cuddle her and play. So what happened to make her so clingy? arrrrgh. (Maybe because we went to visit my parents after Xmas? Whatever it's not a competition but maybe to her it is.) I have to practice letting go and not taking stuff personally. I do feel better that I shared my frustrations with Mr Spork and he was super supportive.

She likes to say things to contradict me, to my face, but not in a disagreement way, in a passive aggressive way speaking to, or for, my daughter. I was a little stressed because Little S needed a nap but would not go down for one at their house. Step MIL, in a high pitched voice meant to be my daughter: "babies don't have a schedule! You watch mom, give me a week and I'll change the schedule!" She said this roughly 9x.

For the record, Little S happens to do GREAT with a schedule. We had a tough time with naps until I started waking her up at the same time each morning, feeding her at the same time, and keeping the morning nap time consistent. The rest of the day varies but she does MUCH better if she gets that scheduled morning nap in. But no I'm sure I know nothing, I only spend all day every day with her. WHATEVER. UGH.

Ditto food. Little S is only 7 months old. She's eating solids but she does not need a ton at this point. She gets "breakfast" and "dinner": 2-3 tb total of 1-2 different foods, once in the morning and once in the evening. The pediatrician said that is fine/plenty. We were visiting for lunch so OF COURSE she HAD TO eat with us. It was not a question, SMIL just started getting out food for her. So I sort of mumbled something about she doesn't usually eat lunch but okay fine, thinking I would just skip her "dinner" that day. First, the food, SMIL starts getting out all this baby food plus she had baked a sweet potato for her which was cooling. She's had sweet potato before so that's fine but I didn't want to feed her a lot or a bunch of things bc she's been kind of constipated the past couple days. SMIL: I have (some baby food I forget), applesauce. Me: oh applesauce would be good, thanks. SMIL: here's peaches. Me: applesauce is great, thanks. SMIL: prunes with blueberries, those are always good. Pease. Me: applesauce is fine, thanks. SMIL: (Gets out like four more baby food jars). Me: (what the fizzle. APPLESAUCE. IS. FINE. OH MY GOD.)

Then while I was feeding her applesauce, in that high pitched voice again: "I like this 'lunch' thing mom! Lunch is good! Why don't I have lunch? "

I love you, but F off, she is 7mos old she does not need three meals a day.

I could brush all this off as annoying pushy grandparents at their house so it's only once in a while, except we are supposed to ask her to watch little s one day a week when I go back to work. And now I don't want to. If you constantly passive aggressively push all my parenting decisions to my face, how am I supposed to trust that you will follow my instructions while I am at work all day?

You will put her down for naps on time. You will not allow her to do things I say she is not allowed to do (lick the dog, whatever comes up as she gets older and more mobile). And you will feed her appropriate portions on an appropriate schedule, of appropriate foods not stuff her with tons of stuff (because it seems Step MIL is a Food Is Love person, she was crowing this weekend about how she can't wait to cook her This and That and The Other Thing once she is eating more.. Sigh), or you cannot be a regular caregiver. If you want to be Spoiling Grandma There Are No Rules At Grandma's House Grandma, that is fine, but then you see her occasionally at your house. If you're going to watch her regularly every week, you have to be responsible, and on board with our parenting decisions.

UGGGGGH. WHY THIS AGAIN. I don't WANT to be the cranky bad cop, I just want to be happy and enjoy spending time with family. :P

I really do try but nothing is good enough. When we are at their house, I don't touch my baby unless she needs to nurse, they hold her and play with her and change her diapers and everything the whole time we are there, for HOURS. Even with all that, as we were getting ready to leave, Mr. Spork was leashing the dog and I picked up Little S to put her in her car seat. I hadn't held her for over an hour, so I snuggled her up and was giving her a few kisses before strapping her in.

Step MIL: OH, too many mommy kisses! Too many!
Me: aww, there's no such thing! (Thinking we were just being cute)
Step MIL: But not at grandma's house, you get her all the time

AND SHE TOOK. HER BACK. FROM ME.

W.
T.
F.

If you're jealous of my relationship with my daughter, we are going to have a rough life together. Really rough. Whatever, you can be as anxious as you want, but she is *MY* child whether you like it or not, and we had her for US not for you. She will always be ours first. If you want a baby that is *yours* first and foremost and loves you best, get knocked up and have your own.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Then as I'm strapping the baby in and trying to get out the door (it was snowing so she wanted us to leave to drive safely for once, rather than pouting for us to stay longer) "I'm only TWENTY. FIVE. MINUTES. AWAY. TWENTY. FIVE". *mimes drawing a 2 and a 5 on her palm* "TWENTY FIVE. Just twenty five minutes!"

OH MY GOD, I know. I have had you babysit before, remember? And I told you how I appreciated you being available on short notice? And we have discussed you babysitting regularly when I go back to work? Why is none of that good? Why do you still have to push and cling and pester? Sometimes I feel like nothing short of full custody would make you happy, which makes me really forking uncomfortable. CALM DOWN. You are part of this child's life and you always will be. I never feel like shutting you out EXCEPT when you are so insane and clingy and make me uncomfortable. Just calm down, you're so lovely to be around otherwise. AHHHHH.

So, anyway. That sucks. When things were going better I was feeling guilty about all the earlier complaining I'd done about her, but now I don't feel so guilty. I don't know what to do about the babysitting thing. Maybe I should just be honest with her? "When you say XYZ it makes me feel PQR, and that's not good for us. We need to be able to be honest with one another for this to work out." :P

UGH. For now just deep breaths and on with my weekly duties. :P

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Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:00 pm 
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I...don't even know where to start. Ugh ugh ugh!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:03 pm 
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Oh yeah, and I almost forgot: as if all that wasn't enough, as I was in the bathroom to go before we drove home, I heard them saying something about the snow and how we should get on the road because we have "precious cargo." Then SMIL goes "or you could just leave her here." Thinking ok she's joking I'll joke back I called from the bathroom something about what about when she needs to nurse. And I hear her go to Little S "in a few months you won't need mommy so much anymore." Then she yells in to ask me how long I'm going to breastfeed.

Forever, to spite you. :P

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...I am an opinionated prick not a problem solver. -matwinser

Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:59 pm 
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She sounds just like my MIL. It's exhausting and it's making me really dislike her company. So yeah we decided to go with full time nursery when we are both back at work. I am just assertive with her now. She's never happy any way so I just do what I want and try to be pleasant about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:59 pm 
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Double post.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:52 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Wow Sporkie, that's so disrespectful! You're really being very generous by handing her off and letting her get tons of baby time and she should respect your schedule and your parenting decisions, especially since they seem to be working really well for your family. I agree with you that "Grandma's house with no rules" is fine sometimes, but it doesn't work for a regular care arrangement.

I hope you can find a respectful nursery that will help follow your choices, because man, I wouldn't change things up that are giving you a happy sleeping baby!

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.

THROW A forking YAM IN THE OVEN ITS forking CHRISTMAS - LisaPunk


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:22 pm 
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Thaaaanks peeps.

It's funny, I feel like my ranting (and my internal ranting I did some more in my head for a while after posting) sort of drained all the poison out of me and I have new perspective.

I do want to clarify that when not being clingy "I want your baby!", this is a lovely, loving person. I think all the passive aggressiveness and clinging comes from a place of fear. Fear of missing out, of not being included, in the life of this person she honestly loves very much. And I can respect that, because I love my baby so much too!

I think maybe the offhand comments are not meant to be digs, but more that she'd like to give advice, or to encourage me to relax or not worry, but is afraid her advice won't be welcome.

Things were better for a while when I had made overtures to have her babysit (she felt included, less fear of being pushed away) and things are worse now maybe because we just visited my parents, and just had mr spork's mom babysit last week or maybe also because we hadn't really talked to them or tried to make plans since Christmas.

I have been on the "always has to make the effort" side of the relationship before, and it sucks. So I think it's on Mr Spork and I to do more of the lifting re: making plans and spending time together. When she feels more secure, all the behaviors that bother me disappear and she (and mr spork's dad too!) are just lovely to spend time with.

It's funny I posted that later comment about nursing, when she was actually the most supportive when little S was tiny. She never ONCE has hesitated to pass her back to me when she needed to nurse, "baby hog" tendencies notwithstanding.

Anyway. Thanks for letting me vent and for your support. It really does help my process my emotions and then my thoughts so I can try to wrap my head around all this. Like I said, I don't *WANT* to dislike/be stressed by these people! I have seen before we can all get along and just plain enjoy each other and I want that back. I have the power to make people feel more loved and included so I should do that rather than pulling away because I'm frustrated or annoyed, which only makes things worse.

And it's better for my daughter in the long run, too. I want her to have as much love as she can stand! <3

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Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:57 pm 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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You're very generous Mack! Good for you. With my mil I have been making an effort for ten years and getting nothing back really, so I'm drained. But I really want her to have a good relationship with A. She is so challenging though, sometimes I think that will be impossible. I have to try though, for the sake of A's dad.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:49 am 
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Sorry to hear your efforts have been for nothing, rebeccaxx. That's so disappointing. :(

I am being true to my word and making effort. We had Mr Spork's mom and stepdad over yesterday - they watched Little S while I went and got a pedicure, then we all had dinner once Mr Spork got home. It was lovely.

Tomorrow Mr Spork's dad & stepmom (mentioned above) are coming over and watching Little S while Mr and I go see Star Wars (whee!) then I am cooking a big dinner. Risotto!!! Lots of standing over the stove so I never get to make it (feel guilty,like I am neglecting the little one, if I spend too much time cooking). They are really excited, and I am too. I feel better just being the one to reach out and to have them come over here so they don't have to host and can just enjoy baby time. I think it will be positive and lovely and it is making me really happy today that we just made plans. <3

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Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:15 pm 
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That sounds really good :)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:53 pm 
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I just wanted to pop into this thread and say that my partner has been sooo great through my extended labor and delivery process, and now as my coparent. I know that we will have conflicts about parenting eventually and that some days our baby and eventually child will cause more stress and strain than he has so far, but right now I feel so good about our relationship with each other and as a new family. I think our relationship actually has been the most supportive and loving that it ever has been this past month. I love watching the two of them together, and watching my partner fall in love with this tiny helpless creature that we made together is just so special. (It's possible that I still have some strong post partum hormones circulating around my body, and that I just started crying thinking about how great it is to see my partner enjoy being a dad.)


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:41 pm 
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That is so sweet! 3 years later it still makes my heart swell up when I see my husband loving on the babies. I'm glad you have found the adjustment to parenthood to be a stress free process so far!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:12 pm 
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EC that's very sweet! I'm very happy for you!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:35 pm 
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So sweet, ec! I felt the same way in those early days. I mean, I still feel that way, but the hormones can definitely amplify it in the first few weeks!


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