Tuesday 2 October 2012

My Son is NOT a Menace - thank you!

Last night I discovered yet again that my husband and I have VERY different parenting styles.

I was in the sitting room minding my own business and the husband was organising dinner, and all of a sudden he carries Aaron into the room, by his hands/wrists like Aaron is dangling from monkey bars.

Aaron seems distressed.

I say "what's going on?" and the answer is "he's a menace!"

When I ask what he has done, the answer is that Aaron spilled the box of grapes in the fridge all over the kitchen floor.

When I chastise the husband for his over reaction (given that it is the 3rd time he has told him off and he's only been home about an hour and a half) he goes quiet for ages a few minutes and then says reminds me, that I sometimes over-react.  Before I can defend myself he says "I know you are going to say that the difference is that you are at the end of your tether".  I answer in a calm, quiet, measured way, grateful that for once he gets that, and state to him, yes, when I look after him for 12-14 hours a day 4 days a row, yes I sometimes snap, but if I had just got in from work, I would have buckets loads of tolerance.

I already knew from a couple of things that happened Sunday, that he doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, have the same tolerance/patience as me.  He also has a completely different parenting style.  It is not that I am "carrot" and he is "rod".  It is not as straight forward as that as I mix various methods.  In some moods I am 100% attachment parenting, in other moods I can hear my Irish Catholic routes, and in other moods I am stressed out fish-wife (normally when the hubby is around and I feel like I have TWO boys).

But he is definitely of the age old opinion: spare the rod and spoil the child.  To me, that style of parenting is about 30 years out of date and it infuriates me.  Also, Aaron is a clever little boy and it does NOT work with him!

Prior to the monkey bars incident, he brought him into the sitting room to sit on a chair, expecting Aaron to stay on that chair while Mummy and Daddy stayed in the kitchen.  Aaron was hysterical at the "abandonment" feeling.  When I went to retrieve him, his face was covered in snot and tears (as he has a cold at present) so I went to the bathroom to get toilet tissue, and ended up whacking my wrist on the toilet door brass handle on my haste to get in.  I whacked it so bad I screamed.  Today I understand why: I can hardly do anything with my left hand; no wonder it hurt so bad.

The atmosphere is so frenetic when we parent together - it literally is like oil and water!

I am noticing these various role plays between the 3 of us more and more and more, like I am watching my life as if it is a movie.

I don't think you truly know your husband until you have had a baby, even if you have been together for 24 years.  Yes, 24 years!  So if you are reading this, and think you wish you'd known him longer before you had a baby, then don't wish that, as it don't make a difference. You only see a Dad acting like THEIR Dad, when they become a Dad....

The other thing is, 7 times out of 10, the husband stays up till the early hours of the morning after Aaron and I go to bed, so it is not as if he doesn't get his cave man time, which I am being told time and time again by "helpful" people that they need!  He gets it! He gets caveman time in abundance. We often go out without him.  On Sunday we go to church without him.  It don't make a difference.

I hope I find a solution, before I go stir crazy.

Everytime I give in to Aaron he says I am spoiling him, but he doesn't see the 20 times a day I stand my ground with Aaron, to the point where Aaron is so used to the fact that he can't get one over on me, that when I say something, even if it is not what he wants, he says "okay Mummy".  We have our little routines.  If I take something off him, that he is not meant to have, I do NOT give it back when he throws a temper.  As a result he doesn't do those type of tantrums, as it is not worth the effort, as he knows it won't wash.  Aaron is a good boy, and I am a good Mum, even though, if I used my husband as a mirror, neither of us would believe that!





  1. It's really important to talk about various parenting 'ideas' with the husbands. I always bring up new things I've read, etc. and just make him think about parenting a bit more than what he saw his parents do...

  2. This sounds so similar to our house and I have now taken the attitude that I will do what I know to be right and pull up hubby when I don't feel he is being patient/tolerant enough. they just don't get it sometimes and I get in sick of repeating myself. x


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