Posted in For Dads, For Moms, Marriage & Partnership

Dad doesn’t understand how toddlers work

Anonymous

Husband does a lot around the house (minus kitchen), and I do most of the parenting and anything related to the kitchen. During an argument I realized he doesn’t understand how a 15mo old thinks. He says she only wants what she wants and he thinks it’s wrong/he can’t always Give her what she wants. She should want what dad wants. So, She is whining for me but I’m cleaning tub because we had some ants in there recently. I’m yelling at him to do something/help me out bc he’s lying in bed getting ready for bed and I haven’t had a moment to myself all evening yet. He finally grabs her and she keeps crying because she wants me. He turns on the TV. I yell at him for being a lazy parent (whenever he’s alone with her in the house I find him with the tv on). We try to limit tv and he uses it as a tool. He says, she doesn’t want me, she doesn’t want to play, she only wants you and I can’t reason with her, so I turn on the tv. How can I get him to actually parent her? I act like a nanny so then she never spends time with him, and then she never wants him, and I can’t get a moment to myself. Husband goes to the gym 2x on weekends and I have a 15 minute wax appointment for my eyebrows and he insists on coming with me/bring baby. How do I change this vicious cycle we are in? He just doesn’t get it. He wishes he could reason with her but he can’t (yet) and I’m tired of feeling like a nanny.

  • Anonymous
    Oct 04

    Well to start, yelling is going to get you nowhere. You both need to sit down and take time to actually talk about the issue while your child is asleep/not around. Having a child that wants mom all the time is extremely difficult. When I would leave for work, shower, get food, etc., there would always be tons of screaming and crying. We found the best and quickest way to calm her down was putting TV on. After 10 minutes it would be turned off and they would move on to other activities like reading book, blocks, or going outside. Can you imagine how discouraging it would be to have your child always want mom and never want you? Offer him ideas of how to calm her. If you think he doesn't know the mind and brain of your child, educate him on it. Ask him to read about x,y,z. Talk about your feelings on turning the TV on and what more he should be doing to help out.

  • Sarah
    Oct 04

    Go on a trip. A weekend girls get away or something. It will force him to parent. It will be hard for you and you will worry but just arm him with info ahead of time (ideas for meals/snacks, make sure he knows where baby’s clothes are, run through a bedtime routine with him, etc). Then you just have to get it in your head that as long as he is changed, Fed and clothed, he is ok. It will be hard for your husband but it will show him everything YOU do. And he might appreciate you a lot more. With you being around all the time, he just knows that you’ll do everything. My husbands most recent job had him getting up at 230am and he wouldn’t get home until 715pm. He barely saw our daughter and then when he was around on the weekends, he was just too tired (it’s not like he was lazy. He was just tired and knew I’d take care of it all). I had to be gone on a work trip last week for 10 days. I armed him with all the info he needed and he did really well. (Sidenote: he has a new job so he’s not gone so many hours anymore). He’s also helping out a lot more around the house! I feel like some guys just know that the women will Handle it all so they take the easy way and take the backseat to parenting. Trial by fire! Start small and leave for the entire day!!

  • Morgan
    Oct 04

    I second sarah

  • Anonymous
    Oct 04

    You all are amazing!!!!! Thank you!!! And you’re all so right. Men just know we will take care of it but that’s not how co-parenting works. It’s a struggle-bus over here, and don’t know when I get off this bus but I’m working toward it! ❤️❤️❤️