45 answers

My Husband Is Not Talking to Me, AGAIN...

I have a 2 year old son who I recently pulled out of day care because of concerns I was having with the staff (did not like how they treated my son and other children, ie, not nuturing enough). Unfortunately, I have not had good luck with child care for my son. This is his second day care and I have interviewed nannies and babysitters and could not find anyone I felt good about. So my mother, who is not retired but is not working at this time, has stepped in and is helping care for my son while I work during the day. The problem is my parents do not live near us (about 2 hours away) and having my mom care for our kid means that my husband and I cannot see him every day. This is far from an ideal situation but it is our best option for now. To complicate things further, I work more than 40 hours a week (did not plan for this to happen, got really busy at work without my anticipating, in the process of going down to part time, may happen in next 2 months) so my long and erratic schedule limits my options for care (I have to factor in time to travel to/from care, hours, etc). The problem is my husband -- he works 80-100 hours a week (he's in medicine) and plays no role whatsoever in our son's child care -- yet he is SO angry about my choice to have my mother care for our child that he is not talking to me. He has repeatedly refused to have a conversation about how this can be resolved, only insisting that he wants his son home with him, no matter what the cost. This has now been going on for 6 days.

My husband has a long history of giving me the silent treatment, often shutting me out when he is upset with me. I feel forced to ask him again and again to have a neutral conversation (ie no yelling) only to have him refuse me repeatedly. Even when I apologize for what I did to offend him, he does not accept my apology, preferring to maintain the silent treatment. This has caused us to not speak for weeks at the time (the longest was 3 weeks).

I hate this. It is extremely hurtful to me, it's degrading, and it stresses me tremendously. I want him to start talking to me but I cannot get him to crack. What can I do?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Hi everyone, I appreciate everyone's responses. First, reading to what all of you have said has made me re-think what I was doing. In the past, I have always had all the responsibility of our son's care. That means I find a place for him to stay and I pay for it. I would discuss my option for my husband and his usual response is "OK." He has only once accompanied me to see a day care. I also have the role of everything else he does outside of care -- I arrange for him to go to the zoo, or the beach, or Gymboree, for example. I tell my husband everything that I do with our son, and he has rarely protested. When it comes to child care, like I told Rachel in private, there is a long and complicated story behind it that is too much to put in a letter. Like the SAHM option. By the way, I am in medicine also, and without giving too much detail, the short of it is that I cannot quit my job very easily. In addition, my husband has offered me be a SAHM, but in order for that to happen I need to feel that I am still respected by him, and I am not sure that can happen. I was a SAHM for 6 months after I had the baby (not by intention, a contract glitch for my current position) and my husband expected me to do EVERYTHING at home, from laundry to groceries to getting up for all feedings, etc. I was so exhausted, I became very depressed, crying daily, and he did not seem to care at all, and did not even at least thank me for my hard work. His response was, "you are a mother, that is what you are supposed to do. Why should I thank you for that?" Frankly, I don't trust that my husband will grant me the dignity and respect that I deserve if I become a SAHM and I fear I will become depressed again, and of course that will not help me as a mom or my son. That is the reason for my going instead to part time and finding a care option that fits accordingly. And there's more -- so you see, it is so complicated, and I want to talk it out, but that darn silent treatment always comes back.

Having said all that, though, I understand now that it was really not a good idea to make that decision to keep our child from care, however impulsive, without letting my husband know. I felt that as a mom, I had a strong gut instinct to pull him right away and I did not want anyone to sway me from that choice (I had had a bad feeling about this day care for a long time, my husband was aware of this, persuaded me to "wait it out" a little longer). I have tried to talk to my husband about 5 times in the past 6 (now 7) days, including again last night, but still, he is being defensive and he yelled at me again yesterday (for the third time) over this issue. I felt so down, I cried myself to sleep last night.

My husband and I tried counselling twice, including once at church. I never thought of going to a counselor alone, and I will try that. Thanks for all the advice, and please, I would like to hear more.

Hi Moms! (10/26/09). Thanks for all the feedback. So the update is...my husband are finally communicating again. I asked for him to discuss the topic again yesterday afternoon and he finally agreed. He told me how hurt he was by my making the decision to have our son stay with nana, and I told him how hurt I was about the silent treatment thing. I apologized, and he did too. That was the extent of our conversation. Our son is coming back into town today with my mom, and she will care for him at our house right now. I haven't yet brought up the other topics of child care options and other things, yet, but I plan on doing that today (yesterday was a rough day, did not feel right to bring up at that time). One of the things that I will demand, thanks to you moms, is that he get much more involved in finding child care options for our kid, so that he feels more included. In addition, I am again going to go to counseling. Now, having said all that, I want to clarify a few things to some of the moms that gave me some harsh feedback. My son was at my mother's home for 1 1/2 weeks only, and at her home instead of ours becuase my mother had preexisting appointments that could not be broken on such short notice (usually, if my mom is caring for our son, she is with us). I do NOT leave my mother with the task of raising my son!!! He was already there at my mom's house, in fact, because my husband decided to go on a vacation to see his family out of the country, and failed to tell me until the week before that he would be gone longer than he anticipated without telling me, and I was on call that week and could not change my schedule. I am a doctor too -- I just CANNOT change my schedule on a fly-by-night basis. I was in the hospital on call on both Saturday and Sunday, all day. I could not change this. I had no other option for child care as I had expected my husband would be home, and my mother offered to care for our son for that week rather than me finding a way to provide at the last minute for additional care outside of day care for him. I accepted her offer. That was the first week. My husband was totally aware that this would happen. In fact, once when he called me the first few days while he was this vacation (that, by the way, I was NOT invited to), he asked "(our son's name) is with mother, right? I thought she was going to help you this week." The following week was this past week, when I decided to pull him out, and you know the rest of the story. This is not a common occurence. I was a little surprised that some mothers seemingly thought I was shirking my responsilibilty as a mom, and one responder even implied that perhaps I was not ready for the "sacrifice" involved with parenthood. Please, I assure you that that is not true at all!! I take my job as a mother very seriously. I am staunch advocate for my son's well being, and that is part of the reason why I am so particular with child care. Perhaps I may be being overly idealistic, but I do have very high standards for my son's child care providers and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. He is my son, and I have every reason to want the best for him. I don't believe I am not being snobbish about it. In spite of my high expectations I have put up with a lot of nonsense from some of my providers, thinking at first, "well, not everyone's perfect," -- for example, the one babysitter who arrogantly showed up 2 hours late without notice (with a bag of McDonald's in her hands!) who I could not get in touch with through her cell (she was screening her calls? her phone died? she just stated she never got any calls), the day care provider who yelled at my son all the time for touching books (yes, books) in her classroom, the day care provider who allowed my son to eat off the floor, the nanny I almost hired who yelled at ME for being late for HER interview (there was a mixup with the agreed time to meet, still not sure how that happened, but are you going to yell at my son that way??), and many others who were very sweet but smoked or had pets (my son has reactive airway disease), watched talk shows all day with my son (my mother in law), had no CPR training and didn't care to get it (sorry, but I am a doctor, I have seen many tragedies, and this is a MUST for me), and so on. I demand a lot but I have put up with a lot as well. I have spoken to day care providers in private a few times about my concerns and they have been addressed, but most of the time only partially. With this day care. I spoke to the staff twice about this child care provider's yelling. They assured me that they are nuturing, and that I was simply not seeing that side of them because I was not in the center for long enough (only in the mornings when I am dropping him off). They told me that I did not know my son well enough, and that he really is just a painfully shy kid, and that clinging to mm and not saying anything all day is NORMAL for him. In my heart, that did not sound right, and I suspected that all that yelling was causing him to withdraw, but I tolerated this for about 8 months, thinking that since they are the experts here, they should know. After seeing my son with his nana for only 1 1/2 weeks, he is a different child. He is happier and brighter, he is more verbal, his aggressive behavior almost totally gone. I had had enough. I could not bring my son into this center and then speak to the staff a THIRD time. I am very grateful that I have a mother who is not only CPR trained but willing to help me and my husband. My husband, even with his silent treatment, knows very well that without my mom's assistance there are many things we never would have been able to do due to our schedules, like the mini-vacay we had at Cancun in August. His side of the family has rarely offer to help with the baby and all work full time anyway, they are genuinely busy. I totally agree with many moms that a lot of this could have been avoided with thorough discussion of the SAHM option with clear expectations from BOTH sides what this will entail. For now, I am working hard to go to part time -- again, as a doctor, this is not easy to do (another person must be hired before that happens, the practice is currently interviewing) -- but I am hoping that I can make this happen in the next 2 months or so. As for me and my husband, I really don't know. What I do know is getting him more involved next time is key, and I do know that I have to set a "bottom line," meaning that, even when I make decisions that he does not agree with, he can be mad but I don't deserve to be made to feel like a piece of poop afterwards. It was a mistake not to include him, but I was also acting in my son's best interest. Thanks for all your responses (even the harsh ones!) and I am glad I had Mamasource to help me sort through this difficult process. R.

More Answers

Hi Mama!

I am just wondering who gave some of these women the right to come down on you? The judgement seething from them is staggering. And, why did Rachel ask to know your son's name? What business is it of hers?

Your husband is controlling. I can see why you make your decisions the way you do. I am not saying that your decision is right or wrong. I can't know that. What I can see by your post is that your husband is degrading you and I am sorry that you are hurting. I hope you do go to counseling by yourself because you are worth it!

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Hi,
When I first read the tag line to your post...i thought lucky you, your husband is not talking to you! That is really not funny yet sometimes I do not mind when my husband and I are not speaking as it gives us a chance to get over things in our own ways. We are not the talk it out type of couple. But we are similar in that way and I can understand the difficulty when one party wants to discuss and the other does not.
Here is the thing....I use daycare as well. I am happy with my daycare yet there have been a few times I wanted to leave and look for another yet with a few discussions with the Director, I was able to come to an agreeable solution. I am a working mom as well and ideally my mom would watch my son yet this is not possible, therefore, it is what it is and I have to find inner peace with my decision and the day care I have chosen for my son. You need to look at more daycares. Look at 10 until you find one you love, or say to yourself that you may not love one because there is something there within yourself that is not allowing you to love it yet which place do you think will provide the best and safest care. I only go with places that are recommended by other moms. I always felt more comfortable with daycare than with a nanny or an in an unlicensed in home daycare because there are many people that watch my son throughout the day and they are super strict with center rules. Your situation now does not seem to be ideal for anyone expect for the idea that he is with your mom.
My husband does not deal with any child care either and he knows that he gets away scott free and therefore would never say anything. The way I deal is to say, listen, it is what it is, we both work, things get crazy and are stressful and i call the shots because you are not involved that way and if you would like to be, step up! Ok, so that is probably not the way to go about doing things, yet I seriously do 90% of everything that needs to be done and work. Give me a break! Again, my husband realizes he has it sooooo goood! What I do do though when it comes to something that he really wants to make a decision on is I will give him two choices that I have decided upon and make him choose between those...he is a no research guy so it has to be done. He then feels like he has a hand in the process and ultimately I got one of my choices anyway. God, I sound super controlling after reading this back, but that is way it is when I have no choice but to handle everything. You do need your son home with you and you just need to stop and breathe and figure a way to work this out. My son stays at my parents one night a week to give him a break from daycare and to give my husband and I a date night. Maybe you can do a few days of daycare and meet in the middle with the amount of time your son stays with your mom.

As for your husband, I know you are hurt, yet you need to talk to him when this blows over. You need to address the way he makes you feel in these situations when you are not in one of the situations! Talk when heads are clear and the stress level is down. Marriage is tough and has its ups and downs...please, if anyone is to say they have the prefect marriage..not buying it! We all have something whether people know it or not!
Good luck!

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I think I can understand why he is upset, however not discussing it is not going to help. I think making a decision about childcare should be between both of you. Deciding to leave him with your mother without discussing it will him first is probably what has made him mad. BUT as you said if he has not been involved in the decision making process in regards to your child in the past then that is his fault. Being a parent means he must be present always not only when it is convenient for him. Someone has to step up to the plate and if it is not going to be him then you have no choice. In my opinion he can't get upset when you make decisions without him if he doesn't make any attempt to do so. He seems like he only likes to have a say when things do not go his way. I own a childcare center and I agree with you 100% if you are not comfortable with your son's caretaker then you should get your child out. A mom should always go with their gut. Is there any way your mom can come stay with you maybe on a Wednesday - Friday and then your son can be home most of the week. Right now if you have no other alternatives then I think your husband is just going to have to suck it up or come up with a solution together with you. I do not think you should have to beg him to talk to you. He is acting childish in my opinion. I would turn it around on him and just go about your business. Maybe when he gets the silent treatment he will not like it and stop this behavior in the future. Good luck!!

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Even though we don't really know what you're going through, you came to the right place. I did the absolutely right thing in pulling your child out of child care if you are in any way concerned about the level of care. I have worked in many nurseries and pre-schools and have seen many things. What some staff members can get away with is heart breaking!!!!
I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. That must be very tough on you to try to sort out something so important as you child's care. I must be difficult with him working so many hours. It doesn't give you any time to try to resolve the issue.
All I can say is that did the right thing removing your child from child care. Your child is so important and you could say more important than your husband if that's the way he's going to behave. Just think of all the love you have for your baby. Try to think positive thoughts for you and your son. After all you're doing this for him. You sound like a wonderful mother who wants the best for her son. I hope things start to work themselves out soon, for you your son and your family.

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your husband needs to grow up....its ok to say "i am really upset/angry right now, i dont want to discuss this but in a couple days well talk about it".......but 3 weeks is ridiculous either get counseling with him or by yourself.......i usually dont believe in ultimatums but you may need to considet what you will tolerate & not tolerate in this marriage......as far as childcare, how about having your mother come out to your home for a few days & in those few days you and her (& your husband if he can find the time) interview a bunch of daycares & nannies so you can get your home, son & marriage back....best wishes

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Hi R.,

I am sorry you are going through such a difficult situation.

It sounds like you have two issues. The first is finding an appropriate child care situation for your son. The second is dealing with your husband's behavior. One thing I have learned is to focus on what I can control and not worry about what I cannot control. So what can you control? You can control looking for more workable and appropriate child care arrangements and you can control how you will respond to your husband. You cannot control whether your husband decides to talk to you, engage in constructive conversations about child care or be a partner with you in caring for your son, but again you can control how you respond to his behavior.

The child care, though challenging may be the easier issue to tackle. You may want to make a list of what is important to you in a child care provider and then see what options exist and keep looking and getting the word out.

As for your husband, it sounds as though one reason he gives the silent treatment is that it works! He gets a response out of you. You start worrying about getting him to talk to you, you apologize repeatedly and you worry. It's a very manipulative, childish and emotionally abusive behavior to be sure, but he gives you the message that you will be punished for not doing what he wants. So what are your options? How about changing your part of the script? How about if you do not apologize anymore, you do not worry about getting him to talk to you? What if you simply go on with your life, do your best to find appropriate child care solutions, do your job, care for your child and get together with your friends? At some point he will have to start talking to you. I have been in many "silent treatment" situations before. I have let my husband know that I will not live with that. If he wants to take some space to regroup, fine, but if he will not engage with me then I have plenty of people in my life who want my company and I do not have to force my presence on someone who professes that he doesn't want it.

So what happens when he eventually breaks his silence? That is when you let him know that you will no longer tolerate silent treatment, and that if he wants to have something to say about child care, or any other topic for that matter, he must engage in a constructive conversation with you. What happens if he gives you the silent treatment again? That's up to you? Can you stay elsewhere for a while? Can you make plans for some of the evenings? Are you willing to insist that he attend marriage counseling with you? The real questions is "what are you ready to do?" The main thing though, is that when he sees that his silent treatment is no longer eliciting the desired response (i.e. he no longer is able to get to you) he probably will stop---and if he doesn't you at least will not be so devastated by it.

Good Luck---and please feel free to disregard anything that does not feel right to you.

J.

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I think maybe you need to take advantage of the FMLA which is unpaid 3 month leave from work which you figure bout an acceptable childcare arrangement for your son. Yes the silent treatment is immature and that is another issue that you will have to figure out. However if my husband threatened me with divorce for yanking our girls out of our childcare arrangement and sending them to live elsewhere all week without his permission he would be entirely within his rights as a loving father!
Look, one of you just may have to give up your career if no childcare arrangement will ever be acceptable. No one will ever be perfect, I get this. I work fulltime and have a nanny that we like but there are certainly things we don't always agree with. Either you can work with a situation or you can't. Maybe you just can't right now. Good luck and I hope you reach an agreement.

I have read both your follow ups and it seems like you are doing your best with the childcare situation. My son is in preschool several mornings a week. When he started he had a rough time at first and came home with stories of other kids hitting him. After 3-4 months we were talking about switching him to another place..then he changed classes and got an excellent teacher. She has a very positive attitude and is able to handle behavior problems while staying positive. My son has his bad days but is doing so much better. So I can see your reasoning about the childcare you left (even if it was done suddenly without a good backup plan).

My other concern is about the poor communication between your husband and you. You are wise to go for counseling yourself. The silent treatment and disrespect toward you are definitely red flags for relationship problems (everyone gets angry but those are fairly destructive ways to express it). If you want to find out more look for the work of John Gottman who did extensive work on communication between partners. Couples counseling would probably give you some good tools to communicate better.

Is your husband willing to go to therapy with you? If this is a recurring theme, it is a terrible example for your son to witness.

As for your son, one one hand, I agree with your husband that your child needs to be with you, but I also understand how hard it is to find the right childcare situation. Perhaps if he's in medicine, you can go permanently to part time without too much financial burden. Perhaps put him in charge of finding childcare for your son so he can see how hard it is.

The silent treatment thing is a big deal and if he's not willing to come around, you might end up staying with your mom too.

R.,
First you need to address the child care problem. Now here is the kicker, your husband said that he wants your son home no matter the cost, right? Well, the cost at this point might be you staying home and cutting your income intake. If not, put an add in the paper for a nanny with the qualifications you want, request at least three previous employer's references and try to interview them together.
Then, after this is resolved, you and your husband need to sit down and talk and together go see a marriage counselor. If you have a church that you attend to, you can go there if you like to as well. But the issue here is that you both need counsel. He is acting probably the only way he knows how, and that is not the right attitude for a grown man. Of course yelling is not either. But you need to do this if you want your marriage to last and if you want your son to grow in a functional family atmosphere. Your son as he grows will learn by pattern what is going on between both of you and will mimic that attitude, remember children are like sponges; they suck up all the good and bad. So in short, for the sake of your family, please seek help. Hope this helps you and I'll pray for you and your family.

you need to look at the situation, no the silent treatment isn't good, but having (in essence) your mom raise your child is completely wrong. child care, tough to get the perfect person. there is more then just your child in the room, so think about that. having a nanny , childcare, opare in your home. seems like you have extrememly high standard (totally understood) , but it also seems that NO ONE is going to live up to them...so, maybe it's you. maybe you have to bend a bit. seems like you aren't able to trust anyone but your family to take care of your child. however, your mother is not the answer. better the silent treatment then screaming all the time. i'd change the situation and watch for the results to follow.
good luck.

Hi R.,
I agree with Rachel...to move your son out of your house without discussing and having your husband agree is wrong. Your two year old needs you guys in his life and I can't see how not being with him is healthy to you, your husband, or your son. That being said, although your husband has every right to be angry with you, he needs to communicate with you to resove the issue.
But the bottom line is that you need to get your son back home, maybe hire a live-in or something that will work with your work schedule. This is not a healthy situation at all for your son, and one you will ultimately regret.
I am sorry if this is harsh. I know raising a child is not easy and it is very time consuming but it is YOU and YOUR HUSBAND'S responsibility to care for him. I really hope you think about this and realize there is a better option out there. And I truly hope your husband will talk to you about this. You both need to agree, you can't be the one to make the decisions. It is a team effort. Good luck.

Sorry you're in this situation. It sounds like your husband has major commnunication issues that need to be addressed! Silent treatments are very juvenile. You're in a marriage, you're supposed to be a TEAM. He needs to grow up and express his feelings and then maybe you can come to a reasonable solution to the childcare problem. That being said, I'm in agreement with everyone else...maybe you need to stay home with your son if daycare doesn't meet your needs? I'm a SAHM and while that means we have one income, it has been the best decision we ever made together.
Good luck to you!
L.

He sounds very passive agressive to me. If he misses his son so much, ask HIM to find appropriate day care/child care that will work for both of you. If he is so concerned about "his" son he needs to be reminded that a child has to be cared for 24 hours a day not just when daddy feels like playing. what are his suggestions? I would suggest counseling for the silence issues in your home. You son will be affected by his father's dramatics before very long. Good luck to you.

I understand your need to not be a SAHM. I have been sort of doing that for 3+ years. I take care of other children for extra money, so I am able to contribute a little, but that never seem to be enough for my husband. He has always wanted me to make more money. My husband's philosophy is similar to yours, if you work in the home, then it's your job to do all the work. He reminds me all the time that I don't help him with the yard work, so why should he help me inside, etc. He has no clue what it's like to "work" as a mom/caregiver all day long and then do other duties on top of it! He does work very long days and owns a plumbing & heating business. He has resentment towards me and vice versa - not exactly a healthy relationship sometimes! I have a hard time communicating with him and constantly bullies me around. I do get frustrated sometimes being a SAHM, but I believe that even if I worked full-time, I would still be doing almost everything, and I couldn't handle that stress! I really did not want to go back to work and made the decision to be with my daughter. I knew it would only be a short time ih her life and I didn't want to miss that or have some stranger raising her.

Could you possibly work less hours or some type of flex schedule? There are many agencies out there and websites to help you find the right caregiver for your son. Some may require a fee. Try:

www.nannies4hire.com
www.gonannies.com
www.sittercity.com
www.care.com
Craigslist

Where do you live, cause I know more in the Hudson Valley area. Best of luck to you!

~Annie

Hi R.,
I don't blame your husband for being angry. Apologizing is not going to help, when he is away so much and now isn't getting to see his son when he's home. Daycare for a 2 year old isn't going to be nurturing like mom. That's something we all deal with when we go to work. Being with grandma fulltime does not make up for the fact that your son is not being raised by his parents. It sounds like you've been through many caregivers, and I would think carefully about this - if no one is good enough for you, it may not be them, it may be your expectations. No daycare provider or nanny or babysitter is going to be mom, that's not their job and that's okay!
I would find a daycare situation that lets your son live in his own home and be raised by mom and dad. If grandma can stay with you during the week, great. If it means accepting the terms of having your child in daycare or with a nanny, go that route.
This doesn't address the problem between yourself and your husband, and maybe counselling would help. Perhaps your husband feels that he has no say in what is going on, that he has no control and you're making these decisions without considering his feelings. If he feels that way, then I think you need to find a way for him to be more involved, but that means a commitment on his part, to help in choosing the caregiver or to be find with you perhaps not working for a while.
Good luck.

I'm sorry buy I can't believe only one other mother thinks you crossed the line. Your SON(what's his name anyway?)has a father obviously and don't you think he should have a say as to whether HIS SON leaves and goes to Grandma's for days at a time? Sounds like you have issues with day care. Maybe you should ask your husband, you know the kid's Daddy to help interview nannies and/or day care. You mentioned he's in medicine, I would imagine he is cable enough.

It seems like the other Moms covered the spectrum of advice in regards to childcare and your husband. I will add one thing......you mention that you apoligized repeatedly, but you don't mention if your son is back home or not. Maybe, your husband is so angry and hurt that words alone will not do. He may not speak to you until your son is back home.

When I am calm or silent in situations is when I am the angriest. My decision to not speak is not meant to manipulate or hurt. But, there are times that actions speak louder than words and no apologies or discussions will do. Bring your son home and the rest will fall into place, but please, figure it out as a team.

Hate to say this, but it was not YOUR choice solely to determine what child care to provide your child, and your husband should have been consulted. Regardless of how many hours he spends with his son, it is still his son, and it was not right of you to make such a big decision without his consent. I advise you find a local caregiver to take care of him. Even one who is not "ideal", since the current situation is certainly not ideal either. FYI - NO ONE will be as good as you, so perhaps you need to lower your expectations.

I'm sorry your husband is giving you the silent treatment but...I have a daughter who just turned two. I had taken almost two years off to raise her and am now back to working full time. It took my husband and I almost 8 months to find the right day care setting for her and for us. I understand it's hard to be completely happy with how your child is being cared for, but noone is going to do it the way you do. I would talk to other moms around who use nannies and interview with that agency. I know you don't want to hear this but..you are missing out on some great times with your son because of this. I feel for your husband as he wants his child with him (even though he appears very very busy). But..it is possible to find Great child care around..it might just not be Mommys best care..Best of luck.

just something about your husband... my husband gives me the silent treatment when he is upset or mad... he won't even have an all out yelling.. just ignore me.. well finally after being married 18 years.. a friend said to ignore him back... just total cold shoulder and see how it feels .. well i'm very verbal so it was hard.. but i tried it.. after 3 days... of total silence.. he had come around.. after a few times.... i mean i didn't do his laundry.. i didn't cook... i didn't do anything for him.. and wow.. it worked... i love my husband.. but it would drive me crazy,.. i would drive him more crazy by trying to make him talk to me.. or me saying please forgive me.. and to no avail.. well now if we argue.. and he gets quite... guess what.. it only lasts a little while.. he hates when i ignore him back.. so now our relationship is so much better.. we are married 20 years.... try it.. it might work.. good luck... A.... ____@____.com if you ever want to talk..

Your husband works 80-100 hours a week??? Maybe he's working waaay too much! Just a thought--nobody else seemed to mention that. Life it too short to work all of the time. You could not possibly have enough time to cultivate a healthy marriage with your family constantly broken up like that. Those external burdens are no excuse for acting childish though. I'm glad that you are talking again.

I used to regularly work 80+ hour weeks. Since I had my DD I cut back to less than 40hrs--yes, it has meant sacrificing some great opportunities not to mention $$ but my family is more important. Everyone needs to define their own priorities and determine what works best for them so I'm not judging--just pointing out that this issue needs serious consideration and reconsideration as time moves on. Good luck!!

I think you should stay at home ! If you can afford this, I made the decision to stay at home with my children till they are both in school. It can be a financial burden at times but soooo worth it in the long run! I cant imagine missing all the milestones, 1st step, 1st time spitting out solid food, 1st time swimming etc. Again it can be a financial burden at times, but in my opinion worth every struggle.

Don't know the specifics of your work situation, but is it possible for you to quit your job and stay home? Your husband says he wants your son home at any cost, and you have a hard time finding quality care that you trust.

It doesn't resolve the silent treatment habit, but it could be a solution to a stressful childcare problem. We chose to have me stay home full time, and despite not having a second income, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love it, and so do my kids and husband.

I know that there are a lot of stay home/work debates, and I'm not trying to start a new one, but it is an idea.

Totally off topic but I love watching Wonderpets too. What a great show! My youngest daughter (now 21 yrs old) use to make up little songs all day every day. Now my 4 yr old grandson does the same thing. Very cute.

Hats off to your mom for stepping in to help you out but really isn't not her job to raise your child. Her job is to spoil him rotten as often as possible and give him the unconditional love that only a grandparent can give. As far as advice I'd say to find another position asap where you can work 20-25 hrs a week. It would be easy to find care to cover those hours. You'll have adults to talk with plus you'd be able to spend more time with your son. Until then find a daycare situation where he is warm, safe, and cared for. Will they take care of him as well as you do? Nope but he'll be warm, safe, and cared for.

I think that the main problem here is not the childcare, it is your relationship with your husband. When you are on the same page and when you learn to communicate about things, then everything else can be worked out. Now it just happened to be the childcare, tomorrow it may be something else. You need to learn to communicate between yourselves as a couple and as parents. You need to find the way to talk to your husband about your and his problems. I know that with the number of hours you both work it may be very hard. My husband and I have the same problem. But if you don't find a way to communicate now, you may lose your family.

Sounds to me like you will never find good daycare. I think
you are looking at daycare to care for him the way you would.If I am right, then you need to decide whether it
is worth you working out of the home. I know my husband
would have never agreed to the set up you have now.
Why doesn't your mother come to your house. That makes
better sense. I think once your childcare issues are
resolved your relationship with your husband will im-
prove somewhat.

moms you are all right.Marriage is to discuss with your wife not acting like a dummy. He should give his wife an option.
that is if he works those long hours and in medical field can he offer you to stay home or have a baby sitter come home to your house
do your self a favor, with technology and so much security camera on the market to monitor a babysitter in your home they are a lot of honest people looking to baby sit in their home or go to your home.These are just some examples that other family would do.I know how you felt about your child but I lived in New york and I have work with a lot of mothers who talk really good about their day care.One thing I would agree that he wants your son home. Mom if you decided to stay at home make sure he treats you right financially and emotionally.

With the money he is making------------why on this earth do you have to work??!!??. Be a stay at home mom and enjojed your child for they grow up very, very quickly

The silent treatment thing is pathetic. That is the most childish thing I have ever heard.He needs to grow up you two need counseling and pronto. mainly him but you two obviosly have communications issues you have to get worked out. Your son is going to think that if he doesn't like what somebody does he wont talk to them for three weeks. Kids notice alot more then parents think they do even if you do try to hide it. Good luck hope you get couples counseling

Hi R.,
I'm so sorry for the situation that you are in. I know how uncomfortable and stressful this can be on you and your son to be shut-out by your husband. I'm not one for confrontation and I hate fighting. I've been though this before, yet not for 3 weeks. Our longest has probably been about 5 days and has nearly casued me to divorce as it was becomming a pattern. It was affecting my health (I develovped shingles from the stress) and the development of my son (he was becoming very withdrawn and he was 2 at the time, now he's 3 1/2).

I eventually decieded to seek counceling. I tried to get my husband to go to, but he declined. However, I did find that it helped me to better understand how to deal with him and his "moods" and temperment. Helped me to understand why he reacts the way he does and that it's not something that I'm doing. And I've learned to walk away from him if he does start yelling and let him cool-off. The counceling also helped me to learn how to "get through" to my husband so that he would talk to me. I will say it's hard to open-up that much to a stranger, but it was good to get an unbiased opinion on how to deal with it. I love my husband very much and have worked very hard to preserve our marriage and our family (and that's without working full-time). Things have been much better the last 9 months and I can tell a difference in me and my son . Just please seek some help before it take a permanat toll on you.

I hope the best for you - JP

Ouch. Tough situation. It sounds as though you barely have what could be called a family.

There is a marvelous communication technique called NVC, or Non-Violent Communication. It outlines a few clear and learnable steps that might help you open up dialogue with your husband in a way that is compassionate and respectful for you both. Google those terms for descriptions, lots of tips, and examples.

If your husband remains punitive and unresponsive, I'm guessing he has issues that he is not able or willing to resolve. When your schedule lightens up, consider getting counseling about this, whether he will join you or not. You might want to give some thought to leaving this relationship.

I can attest that life goes on, and can get much better, after a terrible marriage ends. Yours sounds pretty terrible. I wish you well.

Hi,
I think your best bet is to try to get a live in or an
au pair depending on where you live. I live in Manhattan so space is limited and I couldn't do it. My sister is in medicine and has a live in and is really happy about it. It makes life so much easier especially when you can't control your hours. Also it may give you and your husband some alone time. It's hard to have someone there all the time but you get used to it. I have had several nannies and have been very lucky in that department. Recently I have had a couple of Tibetan girls who are sooo lovely and kind. Great with kids. Good luck!
E.

While child care is stressful (we went through MANY nannies when my kids were little...), and I totally see both sides of this argument, I kind of agree with your husband about having your son at home. It sounds like you both work hard, so I'm sure he would like to see his son (as would you) even if only for a few minutes at the end of the day or in the morning. On the other hand, if your husband isn't seeing your son ANYWAY, then maybe it makes sense to do what's best for you. This is a tough one. My mother is very harsh. I would never want my Mom raising my children. Nor would I in a million years want my mother in law raising my children....

Have you looked into a live-in nanny? I leave the house at 5:45 a.m. and don't return until 6:30, so we had to have a live-in nanny when the kids were young b/c no one could get there early enough. (My husband now works from home so our nanny lives out and works 7 am to 7 pm).

Having a young child, working ridiculous hours, and stressing out about child care can put an incredible toll on your marriage. My husband and I fight all the time too. We're just tired and frustrated and we both feel like this isn't the way we imagined parenthood!!

I'm not sure how to get him to talk to you.... The fact that he's not willing to communicate sounds like he has a very controlling personality. I'm not sure what to recommend. I'd say go out for a nice dinner, but it doesn't sound like either of you has any time!

Good luck...

Hi R.,

Sorry your going through this. This is the kind of thing why I never married and never had more than one child with any man. I have 4 children, each has their own father.

Instead of trying to talk to him, why dont you get what information you can about daycares, nannies, babysitters, and anything else you can find (hours of operation, location, cost, any personal contact, how many child care providers/children there are - anything). Newspapers, flyers, info from the internet; print it out. List questions he should ask them, and dont forget a picture of your son. Put everthing into a folder, and leave it somewhere your husband will see it. With a short note explaining that this is information he will need to make a decision and that if he wants his son home (as you do also), he has to figure something out, and state that when he wants your imput, you will be there.

Though, we all know it should be a mutual decision when it comes to your child, sometimes that cant happen when he wants to act like one.

You can start this without verbal communication, this may help for him to begin thinking of someone other than his own unhappiness and doing something productive to change things.

good luck, I really dont have much else to suggest, since things I tried didnt work out for me.

It sounds like you have a lot going on and they are different issues.
1. u & your husbands communication and ability 2 resolve issues, learning to fight,
2. u both need to agree on what you are looking for in child care.
2. child care - finding someone u trust & r comfortable with, decieding as a family what u want.
Have u considered: Hiring a nanny , live in or out if your husband and u work so many hours, find a college student- (my best friend was a nanny through college) many hospitals and colleges have great day care programs ( my son attended a great community college program - Bergen co. ).

It sounds like you want your son home & miss him.
If grandma was willing to stay by you it may work out. I do know of someone's who's mom stay by them during the week to provide child care.
Best of Luck,
S.

The big problem is not your husband. It is that you and your husband chose to have a child and now are not willing to sacrifice . Maybe you as the mom should stay home with your lovely child. Or your husband?? Being as it is maybe you think that nobody can nuture your child the right way, only your Mom- When you decide to have a child tended to by others you have to be flexible. It is hard. Your main concern is the well being of you child. His parents should be the main caregivers...

Hi Heather. Good to hear your husband is talking to you again. When I read your story I was not sure how to respond because in NO way did I think you were to blame. You were doing what you thought was best for your child, and leaving him in the hands of who you trusted the most. What I was mad about was that your husband treated you harshly for the decision you had to make BY YOURSELF. What were you suppose to do? I would of choose my mother any day of the year. Sometimes parents can be too judgemental when it comes to the decisions we make.
The only thing I don't like is that your husband it taking you for granted. You are a mother and he is a FATHER. He gets to go away to see his family, and works about 100 hours a week. Parenthood means both parents. What role is he playing in his childs life. He cannot expect you to be SUPERMOM all of the time. You have to care for yourself often. Also maybe you may need a vacation with just your "girlfriends" and he can stay home and watch his son. Who says you can't have some alone time and relaxation. I am a mom but I always PAY ME FIRST. What that means is I make time to hang out with my girlfriends, go for a manicure, pedicure, or shop alone or just visit some friends for the day. I choose 1 Saturday a month and spend the whole day out either alone or with friends. It helps to sit back and laugh and relax with a good friend. You may need to try to do this. It will be no help if you are depressed and can't care for your son. So pay yourself first...with respecting yourself and doing something you enjoy. With that will follow more appreciation for you being a parent. AND it will be something for you to look forward to every month. You can not be a PEFECT mom, no one can. You can only be the best you can be. When your hubby ignores you next time because you made a decision, please don't feel guilty. Don't give him that much power. Be stronger and wiser. Listen I can go on and on about this, but we cannot keep letting men think we are weak. Next time he is upset and doesn't speak, keep it moving. That means keep going on each day and being as nice as you can to him. He will see it will not bother you anymore and maybe he will stop. But next time you have to use your mom and she is away USE HER. She is someone you can trust.

Greetings R.,
I know how painful the silent treatment can be. I think your husband is "punishing" you for making the decision that you did. It sounds like there are some respect issues involved. I base this on your postpartum experience. If he is not a team player then I think you should not let him know that his silence is bothering you. As long as he is silent he is in control, yet he leaves the childcare entirely up to you otherwise. You are a mother and I think you did what was best for both you and your child. If Daddy wants to be part of the decision making he should also be part of the care taking. Would he take off from work to care for your child or to research adequate child care? Yelling at you as well as not speaking to you sounds like disrespect for you. Leaving so much up to you because you are a wife sounds somewhat insensitive too, if not also disrespectful. Perhaps you could write him a letter describing exactly why you removed your son and exactly how you feel about his silence. Once you get it off your chest, release it and don't let his behavior govern your emotional state. Find joy in other ways. Find joy in knowing that you are a protector of your son and a good mother who respects her own instincts.It sounds like he will stop talking to you again and again for whatever reason. If he's not willing to change, perhaps you'll have to. I bet he'd start speaking to you if you stopped letting it bother you. Good luck. Being a strong mother may help you to be a strong wife.

While I agree with everyone who has said that the silent treatment is a very immature power play, I would like to add that power struggles are seldom one-sided.
As moms we tend to believe that we and we alone know what is best for our children and our families. I think you too need to step back and take a long, hard look at your own behaviour and need to control. Don't get me wrong, we all feel the need to control our children's environment. But quite frankly if you cannot find anyone you feel comfortable with, you are going to need to adjust your own expectations. No one is a good as mom, but they don't have to be.
Perhaps your husband is reacting in the only way he knows how when he feels he is not being heard. A good counselor can help both of you learn to talk and to listen.

Hi R.,

I'm writting to your "what happened?" now that you gave more detail. This may not be constructive but sounds like you have 2 children your son and your hubby. Silent treatment for 7 days? only communication is screaming? Hubby is a brat and yes he knows it bothers you. Woud love to know his childhood issues, but.... Here's the thing, when you decide to have kids you have to factor in 100hr work weeks. If people work that many hours how are they capable of parenting. Clearly you have to make every decision as far as childcare becasue hubby wants a child but not the responsibility of raising him. Sadly I think whether you work or don't his respect for you or the lack there of, won't change. Other responders said you should seek solo counseling and I agree so you can get a handle on your needs but hubby needs to as well. He clearly has some serious issues and you are too close for him to be clear about what he needs. I hope he doesn't treat other people like this as well. Does he have friends outside of work? Or does he alienate everyone? You sound like you are doing the best out of this difficult situation if a live -in isn't for you just try to be open minded about day care as the other mommies told you day care isn't mommy care, you are going to have to give that dream up. He will have mommy care when you pick him up. Best of luck to you! A. B

I feel your pain. I too have a husband that will "go silent" for days or even weeks at a time. There is NO use in pushing it will only "encourage" him to maintain his silence. He (like mine) controls you with silence. I have learned to ignore him, act as if he is not there, tell him what he needs to know (without expecting a comment) and live my life like I want to. If he chooses to talk and participate good if not HIS LOSS!!!! my girls and I have even gone on vacation where he went and didn't talk to me and we had a GREAT time! It is rude, annoying, agrivating and a whole bunch of other words but let him pout and live your life and have fun! Get counseling if possible too! A.

Old school hip hop- RIGHT ON!

But as to your question - Gee, it's sounds like your husband's being a jerk- I'm sorry about that. Do you live in Manhattan? I have my baby in a daycare called Smarter Toddler (there are two locations- one on the upper west side, and one at Columbus Circle) They are very sweet with the kids and take them out almost everyday and do tons of activities with them. They even potty train! Check them out.

We're actually leaving there at the end of the month - we love it but it's pretty expensive and our daughter is only 5 months- I think it's more fun for older kids. We found our nanny on Craigslist after seeing just three people. She's AWESOME. I know its hard to find the time for interviews but schedule them back to back on a weekend morning and get it over with. I know its also scary to trust someone with your little one but it gets easier. Get one of those multidirectional web cams and set it up in your living room so you can check in during the day. A good provider won't mind.

As for you man... he sounds like a stress-case. Is he shame-able? If so, shame him! His behaviour is childish and it would be a pity to have his poor conflict-resolution skills rub off on your boy.

I know I am late, but have you looked into a Kindercare or other similar chain childcare that has a good reputation? I have my son in a different chain like that and am very happy with them. They have an open door policy. They are nuturing yet firm and teach routine!!! Mine also have cameras in every classroom which you can watch on the TV's in the lobby. You can't expect anyone-even your mom to treat your child the way you do. But pick a place that you know you can trust that your child will be taken care of, his needs met and yes, nutured to a degree when they need it. I don't know how close you live to work, but I find that having my son close to my work is great (we live 30-35 minutes away). I drop him only 5 minutes from my work and if I need to pick him up due to sickness, weather, etc, I can be there almost immediately.

Do you know any moms (a playgroup or similar) in your area that you could ask their recommendations on child care. That is exactly how I got mine. I found that two places were highly recommended so much so that after visiting both, I had a really tough time choosing.

I do understand your need to work, be independent from your husbands money and the house. I would never tell you to quit. If you have the option in a few months to cut back, that is great. If that doesn't pan out, maybe you could look into changing your employer???

I do also understand why your husband even though he doesn't get to spend much time with your son does not want him out of the house for any length of time solely for the reason of childcare. His reaction, however extreme, seems to be the real issue. That in itself is a completely different topic you will have to resolve at some point.

Good luck with it all.

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