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Does anyone else have difficulty having their husband participate actively with their young children? My husband is an officer and has bad hours (midnight shift). The only day we have together is Sunday - and that's after he sleeps for a few hours or so. Is it wrong for me to demand that he spend that time with me and our two babies (9 months and 2 1/2 years old)?


Asked by Myboysmom08 at 10:22 AM on Jun. 29, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (12)
  • I think most men are like bebita said, they think of a father as a "provider" and not as the interactive parent, they leave that up to the mother. I think it all depends on how they were raised growing up. My kids dad is the same way lately, I brought it to his attention and he said(his words not mine) "I suck as a father right now." I said you are a good dad, it's just we'd like to see more of you outside with us in the pool(got a new pool). He explained that stress, work and the fact he wasn't feeling well just made him uninterested in doing this stuff. He knows it's an issue, but he still isn't making any effort to fix it. Personally I think he's depressed but he is too "male" to admit that one. LOL So he just sits in front of the tv and drinks his beer and smokes his cigarettes. He had a big loss of income too in the past few years, which when he had more money he was more fun.

    Could be stress or upbringing.

    Answer by CinderAmethyst at 10:55 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Demanding will only make him want to not spend time with you and the kids more. I suggest you politely ask him if he would like to spend time with you and the kids for say a 2-4 months and if he refuses each time.... Kindly let him know that someday he will want to spend time with you and the kids and by the time that happens it will be to late for him. Like that some Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon, little boy johnny and the man in the moon, when you coming home? Daddy I don't know when, but we'll get together then. Its said really.


    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 10:27 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • sad not said. question mark should be after daddy. sorry for the grammar and typos.

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 10:29 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I'd advise against demanding anything. When someone demands something, the other person gets mad, and loses face. He may go along with the demand, but the resentment is still there. To keep the marriage running smoothly, the wise spouse finds a way to make the husband or wife do what is wanted without demanding it. After your husband gets his much needed rest on Sunday, see how you can get him to pay some attention to the babies. See if he'll read to them, just one book, for example. Keep what you want him to do brief, so that he doesn't fear that it will take all of his free time. He can read, or he can give the children a snack, or help them build with their blocks, some short task. Ask him, don't demand. I know I wouldn't like for my husband to demand that I do something. If he asks, or if he suggests, then fine.

    Answer by Bmat at 10:32 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • You sound incredibly selfish and demanding in this post. I hope that isn't how you behave with him. In a perfect world it would be wonderful if he could work a day shift, come home and spend a few hours with the kids and have all weekends off. Realistically, you are fortunate your husband has a job. Being an officer be grateful everytime he walks back in the door. Being more supportive of how hard he is working might help him appreciate all you do as well.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:36 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I say you can't force anybody to do anything they don't want to do. If it isn't in his heart, hon you can't force him. There is another possibility that he may be clueless of what children need, like a father figure not only a provider.

    So, ask him if he could participate more, don't forge to mention that you knowledge and appreciate all his efforts, how hard he works, etc, Make him feel appreciated and valued. Remind him that you do the same for the children you are a mom 24/7 no brakes in between. Invite him to be more involved in their lives more because soon enough, they will be grown ups and the only opportunity to bond with them and to enjoy them is here and now.

    Answer by bebita at 10:39 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Oh look at that! ANOTHER JUDGEMENTAL ANONYMOUS! with no helpful advice. or an answer to the question. Pathetic.

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 10:39 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Demanding that he spend time with his kids may back fire.I don't think it's unreasonable for you to sit down and talk to him about how you feel and that it's important to you that he have some bonding time with the kids. It will pay off in the future for him to start having a little one on one time with them.
    Be creative about coming up with ways for him to spend time with them, like getting up earlier or letting them stay up later to see him and cuddle while watching cartoons or reading a book. Maybe he could do bath time before he gets ready to leave? try to make it as easy for him as possible so he'll be more willing to do it.

    Answer by litlsuzzy at 10:48 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • Actually, I didn't find anon @ :36 to be far off from what I was thinking. OP admits her husband works overnights, 6 days a week and she wants to "demand" that he spend some time with them. In my house 'demanding' anything is going to get you a serious freeze out and total lack of cooperation. Letting your husband know how much you love and appreciates all he does is more likely to get a response. Let him know how you look forward to spending family time with him. In the can't make him do anything and you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 10:49 AM on Jun. 29, 2009

  • I would say probably wrong to demand anything, but not out of the question to mention that your kiddos are missing some dad time. I would try to point out all the cute things your kids are doing and show him how they are having fun and growing. It may spark something in him that he can do with the kids when he can. Maybe make a cute photo book or have him help writing things in the baby books, he might catch the hint in a fun way.

    Answer by jdottie at 11:37 AM on Jun. 29, 2009