Mon 26 Sep, 2016 11:33 am
I've been off on maternity leave for over two years (two babies under two). I have an 8 week old girl who is basically attached to me for most of the day/night. My husband is also off with parental leave and pay from work. He takes care of my son all day when I'm unable too. He's great at housework, and is really great with our son who is 22 months -fabulous but of course there is a BUT...
My issue with him is that I think he can be too hard on my son, takes his frustrations out on him when it comes to my son not listening to him, spitting, not going down to bedtime (jumping in his crib), early wake ups and night wakes - since the new baby has arrived. My husband will wipe my sons dirty hands forcefully when he acts up with his dinner (he rubs his sticky hands in his hair or makes a mess in defiance). Or plops him down with force into his stroller or bath when my son is just not being cooperative. When I'm breastfeeding my daughter when my husband is having a hard time putting my son down, he'll eventually start yelling/gnunting through his teeth at my son to "lie down" or "go to sleep". Anyway, not exactly a relaxing way to fall asleep right?!
Well yesterday, my husband and son came home from a walk and my husbands attitude was on the course of being the ways he take out his frustrations with my son not being cooperative. While they were out, my son's dinner had not been taken out to thaw, by either him or me (i was at home with my daughter sleeping in me/breastfeeding/burping her) this pissed him off because i had managed to make a cup of coffe for myself and had not realized my sons dinner wasnt out.
Instead of me saying "i see you are frustrated with our son and/or with me. can i give you a break and do bath time instead" (which is something my husband does 90% of the time now) "and you stay with our daughter" (who was then happily sitting in a bouncy chair). I just said nothing and in a passive agressive huff ran the bath (it was bath time), starting getting my sons room ready for bedtime and my son came to me to be pit in the bath. I put him in the bath and ibjust wanted to give my son some quality time as inwas not frustrated with his behaviour...and thats when my husband lost it. He told me i was punking him off and taking over his role without a discussion and he didnt like it (ive done this sort of thing in the past), he hates it. He pointed his finger in my face as i was down on the floor bathing our son and we went back and forth arguing, eventually he was telling me to get out and i said no, and i had stood up at this point and he was now in between my son and me and shoved my out of the bathroom.
Later on when we were continuing the argument he said i need to communicate more with him (but it was just last week when he was banging around in the kitchen after an early wake up with our son, that he didnt care what i thought about him banging around in frustration and had justification because my son wasnt cooperating). So he says he wants me to just tell him or ask him why he is frustrated but if i do bring it up he doesn't want to hear it.
He admitted to the shove and finger pointing as agressive but would shove me again if i ever have him the silent treatment/passive agressive taking over of pur sons daily needs that he usually does.
Before having kids we had one other argument which lead him to ponting his finger in my face (i had left an argument and closed a door). He apologized and was regretful. It's clear now he's not.
I know im no angel. He sees my passive aggressiveness as being on par with his agressiveness, because he really doesnt like my lack on communication. I just find it tiresome with his nit picking, score keeping, and temper regarding daily household activities.
Family counseling. And maybe some parenting lessons. You're both overwhelmed. Two preschoolers is A LOT.
So get some help with people who can give you tools for how to deal with your son and his behavior in a more constructive manner. I also suggest counseling to figure out if you want to stay in your marriage. There is a lot of aggression going on (you're right to recognize some of it is coming from you) and that's not good for anyone. I know ending a marriage or taking a break from it is an enormous step and no one is pushing you to do so but consider how this could affect your children.
I wish you well.
This is a very stressful situation.
Can you get some additional help for BOTH of you so you can spend some quiet adult time together?
I am concerned about your son who is seeing two stressed out parents, now fighting.
Many men would be overwhelmed with taking care of a two year old. He is upset that he is finding it difficult. He sees this as a failure and that you have to "rescue" the entire situation. Very emasculating for him.
Is there a grandparent or Nanny who can help out?, not just him but the both of you.
Thanks for your reply.
Emasculating... i never thought of it that way. I just want to swoop in and make my son feel better and loved and just give him positive vibes, when i feel my husband is overreacting or just putting it on thick with negativity.
I will have to have to talk with him about counselling. He should be open to it, although its hard enough to find time for a shower, but it's important. His parents live close, but having to reveal why we need them to babysit might be embarrassing for my husband, but it's important. My husband mentioned conselling but just for me, sort of as a dig during an argument ("well, they do offer free conselling for you at the hospital "), blaming the argument on post-partum, which i do not have. We have been separated today, me with the baby and him in and out of the house with our toddler, and he's making an effort to be pleasant, while we still have things to discuss, but after last night we realize that if we are going to continue discussing last night's events, they're better done at night with the babies asleep. I really appreciate your thoughts.
You don't have to tell your folks the absolute God's honest truth why you need them to babysit, at least not for the first session. I'm not saying to out and out lie but there's no need to go into the specifics. "Mom, can you take Reginald and Muffy for a few hours?"
Note: you need not change your children's names to Reginald and Muffy.
..he said i need to communicate more with him..
He sounds like a caveman so try throwing a few "ughs" into the conversation like- "Ugh...dinner ready...ugh..."
I agree with the others, can one of your mother's stay there for a week or two and help out. Maybe have his mom come for a week, then a week of no parents then your mother comes the following week and stick to this schedule for a while. This will give you both the needed time to relax and destress.