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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Lots of bickering today. I haven't gotten more than 2 hours sleep/night for the last couple nights, because all three of us have been sick. Husband is once again thrilled that I have a "mild" case of it and can therefore do all of the childcare during the day, in addition to being up most of the night nursing / getting screaming child to sleep. He keeps dozing off, and when he's not sleeping he's playing Skyrim or reading some stupid comic book. Yelled at the baby because "he couldn't get through one forking page without being interrupted" when she asked him to read her a book. (He's read about 100 pages today) Anyone want to guess how many non-board books I got to crack open today?

Meanwhile, I just want to die here at home. And sleep. Die in my sleep.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:09 am 
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Semen Strong
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Oh annak, that is the worst. Being sleep deprived and sick and not getting any help is horrible. I hope you get some rest soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:34 am 
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Being underslept is the worst! You already don't feel like yourself, and having stresses and demands on top of that is enough to send you over the edge. Hope you get the rest that you need soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:13 pm 
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I am feeling so sad. I haven't had time on my own since the middle of the summer and haven't cut my hair since Feb. I looked so bedraggled that my husband agreed that I could get time to get my hair cut and have a cup of coffee from 9 am to 10:30. So once its time for me to leave he starts getting freaked out and anxious and asks me to nurse her, dress her, asks for several plan changes and makes me feel like a selfish jerk for wanting to go. So we fought, and I ended up going to the closest salon, not the one I wanted to go to and rushing back. It wasn't relaxing, I didn't enjoy my time and I hated feeling attacked for taking 40 mins to myself.

My husband takes trips by himself for 5 days at a time (2 this month), goes to dinner with friends at least once every week, has time to get haircuts etc. I don't shame him for that, but the minute I want time, he goes right to implying that I am a bad mother, because Leela needs me. I get about 15 mins at a time alone while he is in the house and I put away laundry, make food and clean in those times. It just feels so unfair and whenever I say something, he apologizes and agrees, but nothing changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:35 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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Are you able to confront him about this when it's happening (like mentioning that he has time to himself)?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:46 pm 
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It ends up as a giant fight in front of our kid, with him saying "look how tired she is! She needs you! I can't believe you'd leave right now!". And so I prefer to wait until we're untriggered. But we are literally having the same convo, proposing the same solutions, and he never adheres to them.

And if I try and address his anxiety about being left with her he claims it doesn't exist. I'll suggest fun stuff they can do and it all gets shot down and he will tell me he doesn't need my help.

I just feel a bit stuck and on the one hand I really can do everything with her, and can cut down the support I need to nearly nil, on the other it would just be so nice to have a break even for a few hours.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:11 pm 
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I'm reminding myself too, that it's good for Freya to be with her dad on their own sometimes. You *could* do it all yourself, but that doesn't mean you *should*, eh?


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:19 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Obviously, I think it would be great for Leela to do a lot of stuff with her Dad, but how helpful is it if before she is left with him she watches her parents scream at one another and be really tense and angry? It takes such an emotional toll on me that it is just easier to do everything myself.

He thinks he is the best Dad ever, because all his friends apparently do even less. He plays with her while I am there and thinks I am a bad parent for letting her fuss for even a second while I cook or clean. If he takes her, he leaves a giant mess for me to clean because he *couldn't* put her down for even a second.

I think everyone has a hard time in the first year and I pray that this gets better soon.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:32 pm 
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I'm sorry Tofulish. That would be maddening. You need time to yourself, and you shouldn't be made to feel guilty for taking it. My husband and I have had a lot of conversations about me being the default parent - as in, I'd be the one expected to sort of always be responsible and ready to parent in any situation even though we both work outside of the home at demanding jobs, and we are obviously both parents. We are now 3.5 years in, and it's so much better, but it's taken a fair amount of argument and frustration to get there.

In your current situation, why don't you just go when you plan to? I'm sure that's easier said than done, but it sounds like Leela is fine, and it's the adult on the verge of a meltdown when you go. I think I'd just calmly walk out and trust that they will both be okay. (And I'm sure they will.) You guys seem to be stuck in a vicious cycle which one or both of you needs to break. I do hope it gets better for you soon because that's not fair to you at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:38 pm 
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Yeah, I was going to say what soffits said. You need to make a plan and stick to it. If you are leaving at 9, do it. Get some food and clothes and diaper ready, so he has no excuses, then say, here are the things you may need while I am gone. I am leaving, I will be home next week (haha), then leave. If he starts with any accusations or asking for other things, just say, OK or you will be OK and leave. Do not engage. He knows he can get what he wants and manipulate you by playing into your insecurities. He might think he is mr. Mom compared to his friends, but they may all have different situations where family is nearby and is helping. You guys tried really hard to have leela and there were certain expectations before having her and he is not living up to his end of the deal. I won't pretend that Nate doesn't do similar stuff, cause he does. I am getting better and better all the time about telling him what I need.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:48 pm 
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Perhaps if you have an appointment it would make it easier to leave on time. And yes sounds like a swift exit is essential!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:42 pm 
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I was also going to say the same thing. Make appointments for yourself and just leave the house. Don't have the argument. He apparently gets tons of time to himself. You can't be a good parent if you aren't taking care of yourself. I find it deeply demented that he thinks it's acceptable to harangue you about getting Leela a haircut, but you apparently don't deserve one yourself. You deserve a freaking spa day. I need one, too. Let's make it a date.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Oh, and one thing that I have done recently is starting to give grey other milk, that way Nate has no reason he can't take care of grey for extended periods. He can give grey milk, feed him, change his diaper, his clothes, etc. they don't need me, especially if it is just a few hours. I am not saying you are there yet, but it has helped so much. Tomorrow I am going to this thing called fibershed, it starts at 9:30 and it ends at 4. It feels good to have an entire day to myself to do something I want to do. I asked Nate if I could go two months ago and I had to buy tickets, but that gave him time to realize he can do this! He and grey are going to have so much fun without me!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:03 pm 
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Our family is wacky and my husband is the primary/default parent and it's true that sometimes I take advantage by not making an effort to look for childcare when he wants to do something and I can't be home to take care of Malka. I feel bad about that. He doesn't seem upset by it, though. I just came back from a three day conference and I definitely did not ask permission to go (and although it was a professional conference, I didn't HAVE to go).

We both work really hard and I think we are both jealous of each other's work and also thanking the Lard every damn day we aren't doing the other's job.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Oh yeah, Nate has been working from home and I can't tell you how jealous I m that he gets to sit in bed all day working. He has his work computer and his personal computer next to each other so he can work and look at the Internet all day. Oh man, what I wouldn't give for a day to sit still.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Ditto to just going...I shoulda said that before. Definitely agree with making sure though that you have your bases covered as far as her being changed/fed...all that stuff that could give him an excuse to keep you there.

Oh, I too hope it gets better soon. We're both from families of yellers, so I can count on one hand the number of times we've screamed/yelled at each other, but there's a good bit of bickering (and well, maybe pouting).


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:06 pm 
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refinnej wrote:
Ditto to just going...I shoulda said that before. Definitely agree with making sure though that you have your bases covered as far as her being changed/fed...all that stuff that could give him an excuse to keep you there.

I feel like, though, (and note I am most certainly not a parent but I am most certainly a feminist) that making sure T has fed and changed and soothed the baby before she goes means she is still doing the work and B is getting the benefits of parenthood without the burdens.

I think if you have an appointment that means you need to leave at 9:00 you leave at 9:00. He is an adult, he can handle feeding a 1 year old, he can handle changing a 1 year old. Playing helpless is unfair and perpetuates a lot of gender bullshiitake that would enrage me. Hell, it enrages me from afar.

Plus, it teaches Leela an important and unfortunate lesson.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:37 pm 
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Jdub, I agree with you about 95%. I am in the same position as tofulish. For a year I was the primary-primary parent. I did everything, so now I want Nate to help more, but it is a monster of my own creation. He is totally willing to help out, but I have to give him responsibility in small doses. When this first started I would just have him take grey and I did everything else. Now I can gently remind him to make sure he has diapers and food and he does it all. The only reason I said tofulish should get everything ready is so Brett has no reason to stop her or try and stop her. Once he feels more confident taking care of leela chances are he will do everything, but right now he is probably stalling because he is scared of taking care of her. I agree that the partners should be able to just do it, but I think part of a good partnership (for me) is making my partner feel confidence and helping him to get to that point.

I hope that rambling makes some sense. I can barely keep my eyes open.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:14 am 
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I am not the primary parent and after only being back to work for 1 month I feel so out of the loop with the routines and some of his likes and dislikes that I start to get a little panic type feeling when my husband says he is going out for the evening. So although I agree with the idea that the non-primary parent should and can feed, dress, generally take care of the baby without any assistance I think it is really helpful to have some of the baby care stuff that can be done before the primary parent leaves done. It just makes sense to have one person who has greater experience and comfort level with a type of work help the partner with less experience. I think that is part of a good partnership - not everything is always exactly 50/50. So for example, when my husband said he wanted to go see a concert on Halloween night and be gone ALL evening, when I expressed my alarm and worries about not being able to handle the bedtime routine by myself - he helped me out by making sure all the bottles were washed and ready to go, the bath was set up for easy use, and even the nightclothes were laid out. Extra work for him that he didn't have to do, but super helpful for me and made me more comfortable with my time home alone.

All that to say I agree that it is good and helpful to make sure the baby is dressed, fed, and maybe even have a little list of activities/ideas to do with the baby before you go. I am sorry that you aren't getting the time you need for yourself, the day in and day out nature of childcare is exhausting and you definitely need a break not just once in awhile but on a regular basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:39 am 
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All of this is really helpful and I realize that (1) in not taking any breaks regularly, my partner doesn't have the opportunity to feel like he can parent her alone for even an hour or two, and (2) I can be prepared for the fact that his anxiety is going to trigger my guilt at leaving her, and minimize that by setting a hard time to leave that can't be pushed back because the problem with extending and BFing one more time and then again and then again is that those extra minutes are fraught with extra stress. I haven't left often, but I do generally leave a diaper or two and send them on a dog walk, because she is always happy out walking.

Part of the issue at the moment is that she does tend to get upset if I leave. We were at ASL and she was playing very happily and I snuck into the bathroom right by the play area and she was inconsolable. I know that hearing her cry makes both of us more anxious, and that exacerbates things for us.

One of my first memories is my parents having a giant fight at dinner, with yelling and throwing stuff, and I don't want her childhood to be like mine was. So I get really freaked at the thought of fighting and I will do a lot to avoid conflict. But its better to model good communication than to model conflict-avoidance and I know that, its just so hard to not get triggered and that is why I so appreciate having a place to get thoughts. She is just such a happy, well-adjusted little person and I don't want to screw that up. But I need to make my peace with the fact that she can't be cocooned for ever either.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:54 am 
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Making the hard time sounds like a good idea, actually all of what you said above sounds reflective and positive for going forward.

I'm not the primary care parent and I also feel anxiety like annasrobbie mentioned above. My partner is out of town this weekend and I was worried it was going to be awful for me! He was worried too. Nap and bedtime routines were my biggest fear because he usually does that (after nine months of me being the only one who could nurse her down I'm thankful for this). Anyway, after two days alone with the baby, I am still alive. I'm happy to say that I was able to do all of it and I enjoyed it and I'm thankful for the chance to try it alone.

I thinking giving him opportunities to be successfully in charge will help him feel capable (hopefully).


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:02 am 
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Oh, the crying thing, she will stop. Grey screams every time I walk out of a room, sometimes he will cry for 30 seconds, sometimes it is several minutes, but he always stops and then has an awesome time without me. It used to be really hard but when I was staying with my parents my mom would push me out the door and lock it so I couldn't get back in, she knew he was fine. He was safe, with people who love him and know how to take care of a baby. Even if he or Leela cry for two hours, it's ok. First, it isn't going to happen, but it is good for them to learn that you will come back. Now when I leave Grey usually just fusses for a few seconds because he knows I will come back. I also always tell him where I am going.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:05 am 
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Ha! Your mom sounds awesome. And yes, its that reminder that she isn't being abandoned if she is with a person who loves her, even if it isn't the person she wants.

And yes, to telling kids where you are going. Another of my earliest memories was my mom leaving and prying me off her saying she'd be back in 5 minutes, and then going to work for 8 hours or whatever. And then I'd say "That wasn't 5 minutes Mama!" and she'd just laugh.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:46 pm 
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Grrr. I need to vent. My husband's friend was diagnosed with colon cancer and he is now spending every night with him in the hospital (from 8 to 12). Which is really nice, but (1) that means I get no help in the evenings putting L to bed, (2) I never get to see my friends and spend time alone without Leela, and (3) he is spending more time with his friend than he did with me when L and I were in hospital. And today is the anniversary of the day my mother died, and he just doesn't give a shiitake.

When we stared dating, he totally lied to me and said he was doing really well financially, and only when I moved in did I discover that he was in about $85,000 of credit card debt. I helped him pay it all off and paid all our bills and got him back on his feet and then I bought out the mortgage on the house so we would have very few bills once I had Leela. He promised to put the house in half my name in exchange, but of course has never managed to. So if we get divorced, I lose all of that investment, which sucks.

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But on a cold winter night, when the wind whispers through the trees and a bright, white moon hangs heavy in the air, you might hear a sad cry like someone thinking he knows what's best for you, and that'll be the white man a-passin' you by. just mumbles


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Yikes, Tlish, that sucks. I'm sorry about his friend. That's tough, and while it's good of him to help his friend out, I know what it's like to put a baby to bed yourself night after night--so frustrating. I hope he comes around soon, and when the shock of his friend being sick wears off, that you get the help you need.

Sounds like maybe you should have a talk with him about getting the house in your name ASAP. It sounds like it's a bit hard to get him to do things that he doesn't see as urgent/necessary (I'm not judging, I'm that way too, and so is my husband about some things. Random side story: My husband's paycheck still gets deposited into his account, and even though I have a PoA our bank won't give me direct access without me applying for permission to trade on margin, which I don't want to be able to do with Violet randomly key mashing, and he thinks it's not necessary to put it in a joint account, so we're like north going and south going zax, and when he goes to sea I have to log into the bank as him and memorize all his security questions like the name of his preschool and his first college roommate!)... Anyway so maybe if you did most of the legwork and got the forms ready for him and such and just put it in front of him with little "sign here->"flags. it would get done.


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