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Just needing some folks to talk too and listen to me rant, maybe some advice.. And its pretty long...:(

So dh and I ended up arguing tonight, and quite frankly, it's getting old. Then it seems like when I tell him I would love to have some me time, he always seem to end up making the argument about himself and how I should feel sorry for him because he works 3 days a week, and he drives a few hundred miles and listens to a bunch of men complaining. I used to work in the same business before our dd was born. We both worked for a armored car company, or "cash in transit vehicles" but they were different employers. Its harder to drive that much distance then many people realize. And it is exhausting. But I am a stay at home mom, and I know many of you are too and realize its just as hard of a job as others are. But we work 365 of the year! I love my 4 yr old so, so much, and I wouldn't know what to do with myself if anything should happen to her.

I have nobody, just my husband. No family, very few friends, and the woman on here. I can count on one hand on how many times I have had been away from her for more than 3 or 4 hrs. And you know what? Its never happened in 4 yrs. But he has gone hunting up north and been gone for 3 or 4 days. That and the fact he did use to work full time, so he got that 'break' too.

He complains she doesn't listen to him, unless he yells at her. For example tonight. All day today I had to be at the SOS to get my drivers license renewed. Was there for 3 hrs! With a 4yr old. Then HAD to go grocery shopping, had no food whatsoever. By the time I got home got the groceries inside and put away, I was about to blow a gasket!! DD had one of her days just being contrary, and stubborn. I was soooooooooooo damn frustrated! Telling her to stay out of the kitchen, then tried to distract her, and gave her some wooden spoons to play with. That worked for worked for about 5 min, and she was at it again. So I put her in her room and turned on cartoons, worked for about 10 min.Then dh comes in, and he plays with her for a few min or so until dinner was ready.

By now I have dinner done, and we are eating. I was hoping she would calm down. She wanted to play with daddy again and he tells her it late, we just got done eating blah blah, and he just wants to relax. She persists, he ends up yelling at her. I tell him all she wants to do is play with him because she hasn't seen him all day cause he had to work. He tells me thats the only way she will listen to him is when he yells at her. So then he goes into the computer room. All I wanted was a half hour of peace. So gave up and sent dd to bed early. Oh ya that was a pain in the ass!!! Screaming, crying "no mama!". So then he comes out, and tell her to listen to to mama. That was it, the cherry on the cake, I blew my lid like Mt St Helens. I look at him and say "so now you do something? Seriously?" He looks at dd and tells her to go to bed, she starts crying and he starts in claiming HE is fed up, and maybe he should start drinking. Mind you, he has never drank before. But then he says he doesn't have any money. I look at him and tell him "Why don't you go right on head. It will only take you about $5 to $10 for you to get drunk,I recommend the long island ice tea. It should only cost you maybe about $5 and guarantee to get you drunk before you finish it. Then when you have the hang over, I will make sure to cook eggs and bacon for you to eat!!!" He looked at me strangely at that. I just smiled, gave him the keys and said see ya! He never did go.

He then just goes to what I thought was the computer room, but he went to bed. Once again, "not talking about it. I went over to dd and pulled her into my lap, gave her kiss and rub her back for about 20 mins. I got my little angel back, well until tomorrow. Then I put her into bed. Then I made cookies. And the were very fucking good with ice cream.

When he complains she doesn't listen to him, I tell him if he spends more time with him, she probably will, am I correct on that? He is going to a car show of sorts tomorrow and its his b-day. I like car shows also, but when we go, there is a big park where dd wants to play at. I really do not mind taking her to play there, but its for 3 or more hours! And honestly, I do get bored. Selfish? Probably. But if I bring up back to the show, she is ok for awhile, but she gets bored and wanted to go back to the park. IDK anymore. I feel like a bad mom when I say I get bored at the park, and she enjoys it sooo much, but damn it, I would love to sit and chat with our friends to. And not for him to say.."All I want to is enjoy this, and not to have to listen to dd cry and fits of temper tantrums and not listen.."

I am so sorry this is long, but I have nobody else to talk to who understands what's it like to be a mom. So thank you so very much for reading this. It does mean a lot.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:20 AM on Aug. 17, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (15)
  • Time for you to get out of the house on your own for a day. I highly recommend handing your daughter off to him again and heading out to do something on your own. If he calls for anything less than blood or flames, tell him to handle it and continue with your outing.

    Real Men can function on their own.

    Yes, when he spends more time with her she will start listening to him. Right now she has no idea he's worth listening to.

    I think you need to download "Cats in the Cradle" and put it on a loop for him, too. And maybe alternate it with "Butterfly Kisses."

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:26 AM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • I think gdiamante has the right idea...time to let him see what parenting is all about.

    Answer by older at 7:20 AM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • He needs to have a day dealing with her the way you always do: with no support, no one to call for help or a break. I'd also be very blunt with him and tell him that the whole "she'll only listen if I yell" thing is only because he's done nothing to prove himself as an authority figure TO listen to, and that he needs to stop yelling at her. In fact, I'd even go so far as to flat out tell him that he is proving himself to be just as immature as she is by yelling at her.

    You need to get out of the house, without either of them, for a day. And it needs to happen regularly. I'd tell him that you want at least one day a month that you get to get out alone. Pick a set day, like the first Saturday of the month or the third Sunday or something like that, so that it can be scheduled and he can't conveniently have some reason he can't take care of her.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:33 AM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • There are week-day Mother's Day out programs all over the place. Check around and find one where you can leave your child for a few hours. And get and read the book Love and Respect by Gary Eggerich. You and your husband both need it!

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:06 AM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • I am hearing all sorts of things. I hear your frustration because you are not getting out. You may miss being on the road. I run down to the farm 250 miles. There are times I have to return the same day. That is exhausting but the original trip is not that bad. If I had to do it three days a week maybe, It sounds like he is trapped in a car wit several other people, he may or may not like, That is what would make it hard for me and I would need quiet time too which evidently you understand the stress of it. So why throw her at him at that time? Why not wait little later or on his days off? You do not have to be trapped in the house when he is gone either. There are parks a day care and babysitters and mother's day out programs. Maybe explore that and get a part time job. Or you go out on the road on the days he is off. and he cares for her.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:09 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • The other thing I hear is that when he does step in you undermine him. He may be doing it badly but he does not sound like he has any experience. He told her to go to bed and when he left you undermined his authority by picking up your little angel. She is being shown she does not have to pay attention to daddy.
    I suggest that instead of trying to dump her off on him that you try to be a family together and encourage him in playing with her and stepping back and supporting him when he tells her something. Once he is more comfortable and knows he has your support and approval, you may find he is more willing to take her and play with her but not just after he gets off of work

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:15 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • By now I have dinner done, and we are eating. I was hoping she would calm down. She wanted to play with daddy again and he tells her it late, we just got done eating blah blah, and he just wants to relax. She persists, he ends up yelling at her. I tell him all she wants to do is play with him because she hasn't seen him all day cause he had to work. He tells me thats the only way she will listen to him is when he yells at her. So then he goes into the computer room.

    There is a LOT right there!

    It's true "all she wants to do is play with him" (in the sense that there is nothing unreasonable or wrong with her wishes & hopes.) Her expectations are completely understandable, yet his angry response completely implies some kind of fault & wrongness with her, and that's a harsh message with unintended consequences: it erodes connection, thus decreasing her cooperation & responsiveness (INCREASING his frustration with her.)

    Answer by girlwithC at 3:55 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • But it also is not unreasonable for him to have personal limits or to decide NOT to comply with her wishes, and to enforce his limit (his unwillingness to play.) There is nothing inherently wrong with that, and your daughter also can tolerate this experience (and disappointment) completely healthily if it is handled constructively & there is space for her feelings in response. The problem I see is how he set his limit, and how he responded to her feelings in response.
    He set up a situation that played out predictably! Instead of owning his decision & his unwillingness, he justified it. (It's late, we just had dinner, we already played, I just want to relax.) This puts blame & responsibility on the child (for wanting something wrong or unreasonable.) The suggestion is that there is something wrong with the desire/wish to play. This approach shows no empathy for her & predictably triggers protest & resistance. Cause & Effect.

    Answer by girlwithC at 3:57 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • When he focuses on his reasons for NOT agreeing to something, or identifies all the problems with the request (why it's unreasonable), he misses an opportunity to validate his child's wish to play. It was FUN before dinner! It felt good to be close, to have his attention! It makes sense to want it again at the very next opportunity! If he can connect to this reality (even if he is not willing to grant the request), he is connecting to the child rather than negating her & simply missing her (focusing on the request rather than seeing her.)
    As long as he lacks skills (or OPTIONS) & support, he is likely to proceed in ways that lead to frustrating outcomes.
    The same is true for you, re: expressing your dislike of how he behaves & your pain around the way he manages situations.
    Both of you are trying to speak to your own concerns & needs, and to articulate valid feelings, but are doing so in ways that undermine your relationship!

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:10 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

  • You might want to try a parenting class, together and a few counseling sessions to bone up on your communications skills.

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:37 PM on Aug. 17, 2013

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