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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:54 am 
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Last edited by mittenmacher on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:54 am 
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tofulish wrote:
Brett pretty much only works half days now - he is home with us until 2pm and then goes out for about 5 hours. And he makes me breakfast, takes her so I can eat in peace and then walks the dog etc. He does most of our housework and our laundry.


Do not take that shiitake for granted. I would give my left arm for any one of those things. Sounds like you guys have worked out a pretty good deal.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:28 pm 
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mittenmacher wrote:
I would give my left arm for any one of those things.


Okay, but you also have to take all the sanctimony that goes along with it :) We do have a good system worked out, like most other people it is a work in progress and it takes a lot to move through all the conflicts.

The way our battle for the role of "good parent" works is really ugly. For example, if she happens to cry, he runs in and makes passive aggressive statements like "The PPK can wait! You need to make sure she'd okay! Is she fed? Have you changed her?" And every single time, she has cried it has been because she is tired and its hard to get her to go to sleep. So on top of the stress of putting her down for the night, I have to justify that I am a decent parent to my husband and not on the computer ignoring her. He always apologizes afterwards, but there is just a really strong conditioning at play. His parents' marriage was absolutely hideous - it was 40 years of passive aggressive put downs and nastiness, and that conditioning shows up when we are stressed etc.

We get counseling to help us keep seeing our dynamics and its awesome, but it can be tough in the moment to realize that you are both just playing out your parents' relationship in the middle of a conflict over something dumb.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:14 pm 
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I miss eating alone more than anything


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:49 pm 
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littlebear wrote:
I miss eating alone more than anything


That's the biggest thing for me too. Food used to such a sacred thing for me. Now I'm just glad when I get three halfway decent meals down my gob before having to go to bed. I haven't been excited for cooking in ages. Nate works on Saturdays, so I used to love going out those afternoons and eating lunch somewhere fabulous, just me and a book. I fear that will never happen again!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:54 am 
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littlebear wrote:
I miss eating alone more than anything

I'm like the mom on A Christmas Story who never got to sit down for more than a few seconds during any meal.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:24 am 
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Eating with two hands and at your own pace (rather than as fast as possible so you can get back to caring for your infant) is something I never realized was so important to me pre-children.

That does get better eventually... At least it had for me by the time the Magician was born.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:44 am 
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I need time to eat in peace, and I am so grateful Brett takes Leela for meals or that we both keep her entertained if we have friends over.

I have a tendency to eat really unconsciously if I don't have space and time to eat, and before you know it I've stuffed 3,000 calories in without even noticing. I'm hoping that mindful eating is going to be a key to losing some of my baby and excess weight

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:29 pm 
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Since having this baby, I have developed a new intensity of feeling for my partner. I often find myself just staring at them (when he is holding babynut) and feeling how much I love them both. It can be a little overwhelming.

I come from a rather uptight, no hugging type family, so it's hard for me to express these feelings without being embarrassed. I'm trying to tell him more how I feel, expressing it with words and cuddles when I can. I don't want babynut to feel uncomfortable with showing she loves someone.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:21 pm 
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I had the same type of family growing up butternut. I really hope to break the cycle of the non hugging. I hug my mom now but I never hug my dad or my grandparents and it is really unfortunate. I want wolverine to continue to be able to see his parents show this kind of love with each other and him.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:11 pm 
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oof Tofulish, Brett's parents' marriage sounds like my parents'. I work really hard to not say nasty horrible things like my dad does when he's mad (and then expects you to forget once HE'S no longer mad) but to not be the passive-aggressive martyr my mom is. It's really really hard.
and yep, there was no hugging or affection in my family either, so I probably overcompensate now...that's tough too, because I don't wanna seem constantly needy either. Dahlia definitely grins and runs over when she sees Howard and I hugging. Butternut, one of the most amazing things about a baby is watching your partner parent - it makes me tear up all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:52 pm 
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Thanks Audrey! Yes, if I can remember to be grateful and slow down and see how great my partner is, I can actually have a really happy experience of things, its just that sometimes my initial reactions are pretty crappy.

My dad was telling me what a "difficult" baby I was when I was little because I woke up every hour on the hour and demanded my bottle of formula. I told him Leela would do the same thing, except that we co-sleep and I side-nurse her. I don't get how its the baby's fault that she isn't happy to go from constant contact and warmth at night to none. I don't ever experience Leela as difficult, I am just so grateful to have her and to have a co-parent who feels the same way about her.

My husband is pretty awesome <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 10:15 pm 
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It's so amazing to love someone so much and to share it with your partner. I knew I would love my baby but I didn't expect to feel differently about my partner. I'm trying to notice every moment right now because it such a special time in our lives and relationship...I know it will never be like this again.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:59 pm 
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We had a really rough night, I got almost no sleep, and my husband tells he couldn't take her so I could get an hour of sleep, instead he spent an hour arguing with me not to give her yogurt (because it gets messy!) and hovering over me as I fed her breakfast saying that everything was a choking hazard. "OMG that tiny cut up raspberry is too big! She's going to choke!"

Basically he thinks that BLW is messy and we should do purees - "I've never seen anyone else do this, and it just seems gross. All the other kids I know were never messy like this." When I asked him who he'd seen feed their kid that was so clean, he gave me the examples of the 2 mothers of his niece and 2 nephews (now in their mid to late 20s) as examples of how to do it better than I do. One of the mothers was a 16 year old special ed student who allowed her next boyfriend to beat the kid so badly with a belt that DYFS had to do an investigation and almost removed him from the home. I don't like my parenting judged in the best of times, but to compare me unfavorably to someone whose 2 year old was covered from head to foot in bruises and cuts and left in a dirty diaper for hours at a time seems really shitty.

I seriously don't even know what to do with this. He apologized afterwards, but I just don't know how to handle criticisms of my parenting choices. Our kid is doing really well, she's healthy and well fed, and all I ever hear from other people is how great she seems, but I think he likes to criticize to feel like a bigger part of the parenting. He hasn't done any research, he just looks at what he thinks other people have done, and finds my choices lacking. I just wish he'd pick a task - bathing her, taking her out for a walk, anything to be proactively a great parent, instead of just doing nothing and criticizing me for the things I do. Of course when I ask him what he wants to do, he always says "Do whatever you think is right, I trust you honey."

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:03 pm 
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tofulish, my bff's husband seems to be a little like this. i find it really frustrating to hear and watch, the passive aggressive comments just really get me. he is super paranoid and anxious about every little thing too. we are over at their house a lot and he will criticize her a dozen times of really little things. and i'm assuming that he's being polite in front of company. it's stuff like you mention, like choking hazards or messiness, or their kid hit our kid and she's not stopping him fast enough and so on. my friend and i have such a seamless relationship (my partner jokes that we're going to run away together and start a little lesbian commune with our kids) at this stage... so it's really grating to see how someone who supposedly has been parenting with her full time for over two years seems so at odds with everything she does. she basically does all the major parenting stuff, and i think she thought he'd eventually relax and be able to to collaborate with her by now.

anyway, sorry, that was mostly just a vent (we had dinner with them last night), but i think you need to nip that shiitake in the bud. i know that i had major issues with my partner not taking responsibility for stuff in the first year, and then he got over it and stepped up. but, i dunno... she doesn't say anything to him about it. i know it bugs her because she will tell me later, but if my partner dared to comment like that, especially in front of other people, i'd be chewing him out immediately. it's just not fair to say those things!

i'm glad you guys are getting counselling. i'm super afraid my friend's marriage is going to end in divorce in a couple years. i am pretty sure he has undiagnosed anxiety and depression and it's a pattern that i hate to see people fall into. i mean, yeah, maybe he's stressed about parenting stuff, but PA remarks and freaking out at you for not doing things the way he would... it's a really unhealthy dynamic.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:51 pm 
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For what it's worth, T, I have never seen a purée-fed baby eat neatly. Purees are pretty much the same consistency as yogurt, so yeah, gonna be similarly messy.

I know you know that and that's not your overarching problem, just wanted to help you feel validated or something. Big hugs.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:53 pm 
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Oh, also, at one point solipsistnation freaked out because I was letting thr six monthsish old Emperor play with spoons. SPOONS. He was like "he is going to spoon his eye out!" and I have to laugh so hard remembering it because he was dead serious about it and we seriously quarreled over it. I think it can be hard if you're not the parent who spends the most time with the kid to really understand what is reasonable and what isn't on a day to day basis. If I spend seriously all of my waking hours with the kid and I know what his skills and limitations are... I do think it's reasonable to demand (ask?) that my partner trust my judgment.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:05 pm 
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I am really tired tonight, so perhaps its getting to me more than it should. But yes, first saying "no, you're a fantastic parent, I trust you, let's do whatever you think is right" followed by second-guessing constantly is really tiring.

Its such a toxic pattern, and it robs me of a lot of the joy of being a parent and co-parent/partner. First, he was happy for me to breast-feed and then horrified and nasty to me when I nursed in public, and made passive-aggressive comments about how he never saw anyone else NIP and everyone else uses covers, except me, which we've pretty much moved past. Now its the BLW versus purees, where he is sure that no other parent lets their kid get this messy. I can't really understand how to handle it except to be non-reactive. which I can do most of the time but I can't manage it when I'm sick and tired. I don't have the energy to be a 24-7 caregiver and engage in ridiculous arguments. And re: the spoon your eye out, he asked if we can find a helmet for her as she learns to walk.

Leela is so healthy and ahead of all her milestones and I don't get why he can't just relax and trust me. I don't think I can handle another 20+ years of this.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:22 pm 
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i guess that's why i think you need to be a little harsh with him? i think being non-reactive just sets the pattern, where he gets to express his misgivings or weird anxieties or thoughts about your current actions, and you bite your tongue and stew over it. he's not a toddler doing it to get your attention, you know? he is legitimately having these feelings, but i think it's okay for you to say, "no, i'm not okay with what you are telling me. we need to figure out another way for you to express yourself without making me feel criticized and shiitake on." (hah, only i'd probably throw a few more swear words in there and then stomp off).


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:39 pm 
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What littlebird said. I think you need to stop being so tolerant of his being judgmental. You are clearly parenting her well - there is no objective place from which he can criticize what you're doing and EVEN IF there was something to criticize, there's constructive ways to communicate and destructive ones. Being nasty to you is unacceptable, no matter what his feelings. If he's trusting you to make decisions on your own about what to do with her (which is what he's communicating when he says he trusts you), then he has to leave it at that. If he wants to make decisions jointly, he has to be willing to sit down and bring meaningful arguments ("other babies aren't messy" isn't a meaningful argument, because it's clearly not true) and then actually make decisions together.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:06 am 
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I am really sorry you have to deal with this, Tofulish. If I were in your situation, I'd just hand my partner the kid, leave some milk/food for Leela and walk out of the house so my partner had to deal with it. I can only speak for myself, but for me being non-reactive never works. I think it's important to tell your partner that his behaviour hurts you and that you start second guessing everything even though there's no reason to. If he thinks you are doing things wrong (I don't think he is right by the way), he should really come up with some constructive suggestions or just get over it. I would make him do all the things he thinks your doing wrong: feed her solids, get her to stop crying, etc. I know you say he always helps you as much as he can, but it seems he doesn't quite understand that he has the same amount of responsibility as you for Leela.

It looks like he's a bit scared and can't let go. I feel the same way sometimes. I am afraid she'll choke, I am afraid she will fall out of the stroller, I am afraid she'll stop breathing. It's hard to just let go and trust your kid. I want to protect her 24/7 and maybe that's what Brett wants, too. Maybe you can help him to let go and trust Leela's ability to deal with obstacles. Whenever I get this overprotective urge I tell myself that F. has to grow up and that she has to learn everything by herself. And I immediately get a reward because she get's so happy and proud of herself when she does things on her own for the first time.

If you want I can send him pictures of our daughter being fed purees. Or samples of her food crusted clothes. She mostly gets purees and our living room looks like a war zone every single day. Yesterday she hit a spoon and my partner's pants were full of sweet potato and lentil puree. She has the stuff everywhere, from her onesie to her hair. And then she throws a tantrum when we try to clean her up. So her face is mostly yellow, orange, or green these days. And I couldn't care less. Brett needs to understand that how messy it gets has nothing to do with how good the parents are at feeding their child. A room and a baby full of food puree or mashed broccoli is as normal as farting or yawning. No matter what, a neat and tidy kid is not part of the deal for the next couple of years.
I hope things get better soon <3


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:39 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
Our kid is doing really well, she's healthy and well fed


I think this is the most important part. Your kid is fine. She's healthy and happy, so you're obviously doing SOMETHING right there. Definitely work on showing your reaction to his words - that doesn't mean blow up at him whenever he says something critical (in my experience, that just seems to turn partners off and reenforce to them that you're wrong) - but tell him that his criticism is affecting your parenting and making you second guess your (in my opinion, very good) judgements. Leela is incredibly lucky to have you as a mother, and don't let anyone make you think otherwise. He needs to be on your side - you're both there to raise this child.

Don't let him get into the habit of thinking that apologizing for whatever spews out of his mouth automatically makes everything better. Words have so much power to hurt, even after the dust has settled and things have been apologized for. He needs to get to a point that if he does have something critical to say, to be able to say it in a constructive manner, and to perhaps come up with another way to do it himself. And I agree at the idea of walking away sometimes and let him handle the child care once in a while. The sooner he takes a more active role in raising his own child, the better a partner he's going to be for the next 20 years!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:20 am 
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flavabean wrote:

Don't let him get into the habit of thinking that apologizing for whatever spews out of his mouth automatically makes everything better. Words have so much power to hurt, even after the dust has settled and things have been apologized for.


This is so true. If I hit you once a week, but always apologized, would it be okay? Not to get all biblical on you, but the point here is not apologizing, it's repenting. Relationships do not continue on good paths when one person is doing something hurtful over and over and over again and apologizing each time. If there's a really negative behavior repeating itself, it will eat its way through even the good stuff in your relationship unless he figures out how to learn from it and do better.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:23 pm 
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Yup, yup. What they said. I mean, I even tell the Emperor: saying sorry is a good start, but you can show you're really sorry by not doing whatever in the future. Grownups need to be reminded of that sometimes too, especially if he's stuck in a rut of apologizing & then repeating.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 11:55 am 
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*Hugs*!
Is his issue that he doesn't want to clean her up after meals or just that it grosses him out in general to see a baby covered in avocado goo? Because I'm going to be honest here and say that it made me sick to my stomach to be around messy children with foodstuff all over them. At first, it really grossed me out to feed the babies I nanny (both of whom did purees), but I got used to it. I'm still not one of those people who thinks its adorable to see pictures of kids covered in spaghetti sauce but I manage fine. Point being that I see where he's coming from but it gets easier!

Is there some middle ground? For example, when he feeds her he can do purees (or other spoon fed items), and when she has supposedly messy BLW food you clean her up. Or is combining purees with BLW frowned upon? Maybe he feels left out and wants to spoon feed her as a way to bond.

I can't even imagine how hard it is to co-parent. The dynamics I witness with the family I nanny for are so interesting, it's basically Mom makes all the decisions and does (almost) all the work. Personally I'd want to relinquish some power if it meant getting more help but I guess it works for them. Who knows? I had a hard time just taking care of 3 dogs with my soon-to-be ex.


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