M.K. asks from Frisco, TX on March 12, 2012
'Reality Check Please!!!
Sorry for the long post!!!
So let me start off by saying that I am the one in our household reading ALL the parenting books and of course being the primary care giver for our little one. My husband has only changed 3 diapers in the last 16 months and not a single poopy diaper. I am responsible for feeding, entertaining, bathing (on weekends), sleep time etc....my husband will play with our son when convenient for him. I work full time as well and we have a nanny that watches our son during the week day. So given the fact that I do majority of the tasks for my child, I do tend to get a little defensive when my husband doesn't do anything but also doesn't spare the oppurtunity to tell me how to do things right - so the LO can watch as much TV on grandma's watch (MIL watches him occassionally when nanny is not there) which is fine by me but if I turn on the TV so I can eat my lunch then my husband says I am making the child a slave to technology.
Scenario 1 - husband wants to eat lunch with me so I give the LO the ipad to hear some nursery rhymes. Husband gets upset and thinks that I am letting the LO rule the roost as he should be able to just entertain himself. Which he does but he also constantly keeps coming over to the breakfast table where we are eating wanting to play with us and get our attention..........it is just a matter of 10 minutes and gives me some peace and quiet to eat myself.
Scenario 2 - husband needs help with household project (not really but he says he does). Asks his mother to take baby upstairs (even if she has to forcefully - his words) - Grandma doesn;t have the skills to distract the child - other family members that watch him do and we have seen him go to them happily and play with them while we are not present or present. So MIL is taking LO up the stairs, he starts crying so bad - I am like fine he will get over it. But he continues to cry. Instead of taking him to the gameroom where his toys are, grandma takes him to his room and shuts the door...he keeps crying and crying and then grandma leaves him in ther, closes the door behind her and comes out to get water. She doesn;t know or maybe doesn;t care that the LO is extremely scared of being on his own. He is only 16 mos and we never leave him in him room alone unless he is sleeping and if we leave him the door is open and we are right outside or in sight so he knows he can come out....this is just a pet peeve of his. I tell Grandma that she should go back and the LO is getting upset and I will get water for her. Husband gets VERY upset at me and states that the LO should know how to be in his room by himself and to let him cry and that is how he will learn - my heart is breaking and that this point I put my foot down - I didn;t feel this was necessary at all but my husband says again that I am letting the LO rule the house and get away with whatever he wants......
I don;t think this is the case since I have read so many books and we do discipline him and he doesn;t get what he wants all the time........so what my question is just specifically in the two scenarios listed above do you think I was over reacting and letting the little one get away with stuff??????
So What Happened?™
Thanks everyine for your suggestions and thoughts.....we have started marital counselling and coming up with a parenting plan in on the top of our list. We are also modifying meal times to where the LO can enjoy a snack while we eat - we will see how it goes since he is very spirited and who wants to be stuck in a high chair with all the world to explore :-)Grandma is visiting but I did have a chat with my husband regarding understanding her limitations and not expecting more from her than she can deliver - just let her enjoy her grandchild - my mom on the other hand loves to run after my son and she can be the active grandma who watches him........I got teary eyed reading your responses as a lot of you hit the nail on the head with my husband's personality..........marriage takes a lot of work and I am not ready to give up without giving it my all....please keep your fingers crossed that the therapy sessions are helpful!
Laura, thanks for your response. I just want you to know that I am always very respectful towards my MIL. She really didn;t do a good job raising her kids as she was not a very involed parent and always thought about herself first.....this is obvious in my husband's level of maturiy and handling of emotional issues - he has an exceptionally high IQ with no EQ.
E.S. answers from New York on March 12, 2012
Have you considered marital counseling? It sounds like it might be beneficial. Parenting is difficult and changes the dynamics of a relationship big time. When we had DD, we both realized that she would rule the roost for the first year or so.
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E.J. answers from Lincoln on March 12, 2012
I don't think you were letting him get away with anything. As far as the lunch example, mothers have been distracting kids for ages. It's just that now we have easy technology to do it. In the past mothers would go as far as to hand little ones their car keys to get a few minutes of silence. I remember having a little one and feeling like I'd do anything to have 10 mins to eat my meal.
I also think that 16 months is a bit young to be left in the room. I realize she was just running for water, but I don't see anything wrong with you saying that you would grab the glass of water. My son is 6 and still hates to be left alone in a room. He can handle it, but he doesn't prefer it.
I don't think this sounds like overacting. Good luck!!!
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L.R. answers from Washington DC on March 12, 2012
No child of 16 months old has the ability to entertain himself alone in his room or anywhere else. That is simply not something a child this age is developmentally able to do Your child was just being normal. Your husband has NO idea what "normal" is for a child this age. Or any age, I'm sure.
The worrying thing is this: If your husband has zero knowledge of kids' real developmental stages, he will expect far, far too much of your son all the time and be angry when your son doesn't "live up to his expectations." He will be the kind of dad who says, "He's 4! He should be able to clean up his own room without help!" and "He's seven! He should be able to handle that bully at school without crying and getting emotional!" And so on. And your son will always feel that he's letting dad down but won't be quite sure why.
From what you describe, not just the one incident but the overall "checked out" nature of your husband's participation, he needs a good mental slap but will never, ever accept it from you. That's sad, but it seems clear he will not listen to you; he knows best. Many men don't want to go to any form of classes, training or, heaven forbid, counseling because that makes them feel "weak," but it sounds like he needs a parenting class. You might have to get tough and find some form of ultimatum to get him to go. Be sure to take it with him so he feels you're in this together. And if at all possible, find a parenting class (1) specifically aimed at parents of children under 4 and (2) taught or at least co-taught by a MAN!
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☆.A. answers from Pittsburgh on March 12, 2012
Whoa....if your husband thinks a 16 month old is going to entertain himself, he's got a VERY rude awakening coming.
16 month olds don't manipulate
I hear a lot of criticism from him, but no solutions. Have you flat out asked him what he suggests?
Please don't leave your son with your husband to babysit.
8 moms found this helpful
K.W. answers from Seattle on March 12, 2012
Your husband is being a jerk. Granted, it is likely due to his ignorance re: parenting. I don't think that is much of an excuse, though.
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R.K. answers from Appleton on March 12, 2012
Your husband is a bad parent, plain and simple. It's supposed to be a partnership. The man is just not there emotionally.
He needs to read the parenting books and go to a parenting class.
7 moms found this helpful
M.D. answers from Dallas on March 12, 2012
Your son is only 16 months old, you are not spoiling him by any means. He's also getting to the age of separation anxieties. In both scenarios I feel you are at no way letting him rule the house. For goodness sake, he's 16 months old.
6 moms found this helpful
S.B. answers from Houston on March 12, 2012
Sounds like your husband is competing with his son for your attention. Anytime you take attention away from hubby to give to your son you are letting the LO rule to roost. Well, you are letting the big baby rule to roost. You need to have a serious discussion with your husband one on one. He needs to engage in the everyday parenting of a 16 month old. In other words, its time for him to "man up".
6 moms found this helpful
V.V. answers from Louisville on March 12, 2012
Ugh. My husband is *exactly* like this - shOrt on participation, long on criticism. He especially loves to tell me, "Be the parent."
I finally decided "eff him.". If it was so easy (as he obviously thinks) he'd be the one doing it every day.
Whether or not you're over-reacting, I can't say, because everyone's parenting styles are different & what's right for you and your kiddo isn't necessarily right for anyone else. I will say that I would - and have - done exactly what you did.
So when your husband starts bullying you about your parenting, I suggest you do what I do & tell him where he can stick it. Or offer to take off for the afternoon & leave him and his beyond-reproach parenting skills home alone with kiddo.
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R.A. answers from Wausau on March 12, 2012
Sounds to me like your husband needs a reality check. Before there were kids you were able to give all your attention to him, now things have changed. Your child is 16mo old, still a baby! I have a 18mo and 3 1/2 year old and although they can entertain themselves to ability that their age allows, they are still "needy" If my children didn't act this way, I would think someting is wrong. I would print off info online to show your husband what a child at that age can and can't do, and for what length of time, just to proove the point that your child is doing everything that is appropriate for the age. Also even when my 18 month old does entertain himself it usually leads to dare devil tendancies, so I am not comftorable leaving him alone unsupervised out of eye/ear distance.
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