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Guilt - not enough time with my own children

Discussion in 'Personal' started by spud999, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. I told my partner that the worst thing about me not being able to spend enough time with our children was the thought that he wasn't looking after them properly. ( By properly I mean doing stuff with them that I wish had the time to do like playing games, reading, cooking etc rather than watching telly, playing games on commputer/ds/phone and checking that aforementioned activities are age appropriate!) He got very angry with me and said that he is practically bringing them up on his own as I am never there - how dare I say he is not doing it properly. BUT he does spend most of his time on his laptop using the TV/Computer/DS as a babysitter. I am feeling that my comment was harsh<u> but fair</u> - I shut up when I saw how angry he was but I needed to vent. I am new to teaching and I love it but I feel like a **** mum. When I was a full and even part-time mum I know that I put more energy into looking after our children than he is at the moment. Now I feel like a **** wife and mother. But to be honest I am more worried about being a **** mum. Can't wait for the holidays.
     
  2. I told my partner that the worst thing about me not being able to spend enough time with our children was the thought that he wasn't looking after them properly. ( By properly I mean doing stuff with them that I wish had the time to do like playing games, reading, cooking etc rather than watching telly, playing games on commputer/ds/phone and checking that aforementioned activities are age appropriate!) He got very angry with me and said that he is practically bringing them up on his own as I am never there - how dare I say he is not doing it properly. BUT he does spend most of his time on his laptop using the TV/Computer/DS as a babysitter. I am feeling that my comment was harsh<u> but fair</u> - I shut up when I saw how angry he was but I needed to vent. I am new to teaching and I love it but I feel like a **** mum. When I was a full and even part-time mum I know that I put more energy into looking after our children than he is at the moment. Now I feel like a **** wife and mother. But to be honest I am more worried about being a **** mum. Can't wait for the holidays.
     
  3. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    I probably would have reacted in the same way as your partner if mine had said that to me. He isn't you. If you feel guilty, do something about it rather than apportioning blame elsewhere.

     
  4. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    It doesn't sound like a very tactful way to have broached the subject.
     
  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Excellent plan. Exactly how I'd advise you to broach the subject...

     
  6. kareneliot

    kareneliot Occasional commenter

    Get him down to playgroup with them. They love a man to help out.
     
  7. Oh dear, why would you say that?! There are better ways, eg "what are you doing tomorrow? They'd really enjoy x, y or z...." anyway I agree with whoever said you're blaming him for your own guilt feelings, and if you've just started teaching (long long hours) I agree he's prob bringing them up mainly on his own!
     
  8. Is your husband a full time dad or does he work? If he is a full time dad is he struggling with this role? If he is also working is he feeling tired/resentful?
    How old are your children? If they are secondary age it all sounds pretty normal. If under fives then that's different.
    What understanding did you both have of his and your roles when you began full time work? Is he somone for whom hands on parenting has always been difficult?
    You need to both sit down and talk about this. Are your standards achievable by your partner? Not everyone thrives on the day to day child care. Is he finding it hard to be motivated in his new role of chief carer.
    He probably realises that he could do more with your children but to be fair it's a balance that many parents find difficult. Should you devote every waking hour to their education and entertainment - an exhausting and difficult challenge or do you occasionally resort to TV/Computer babysitting and if so how much is acceptable?
    Parenting is a challenge at any time. None of us take criticism easily, particularly when it is about something as sensitive as our parenting skills. This will only be sorted by some open and honest discussion.
     
  9. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Senior commenter

    Take a look at some of the 'time-saving' type threads on here to see if you can free up a bit more time for yourself and the family?
     
  10. News flash - he isn't you.
    Most parents I know have things that dad does with the kids and things mum does with the kids.

    If you feel so guilty give up work or go part time.
     
  11. Laureriches- very well worded post. It isn't easy being all singing, all dancing parent extraordinaire.
     
  12. Oh and if he is a stay at home dad he's possibly resentful of you (op) going to work and getting a break from the kids, hard as that may be to understand. Friends of mine have it spot on- both work 4 days per week so their daughter has 3 days in childcare but a mummy day and a daddy day each week. Very lucky.
     
  13. To be honest, if you're hardly ever there how do you know that he is always on the laptop and the children are on tv/computer/DS?
    I can understand your partner's reaction, you weren't very sensitive there. But then I can understand your frustration and maybe why you approached the subject in the way you did.
    The holidays are just around the corner, it sounds like you all need a lot of quality family time together! try to forget about work, it will still be there when you go back!
    I think teachers in general are put under too much pressure to work more hours than they spend away from work. Its just not fair.
     
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    I sympathise with both of you, having been both a busy teacher and a dad. Mrs MSB stayed home to bring up our kids when they were little and I worked full time. My kids' early childhood seems like a blur to me, and I feel like I missed most of it. If you've agreed to delegate the role of carer to your partner so you can pursue a career, you have to let them get on with it, trust their judgement, and accept that they won't do it exactly like you would. It's a common complaint by wives that husbands don't 'do enough' when they're looking after the kids, but the truth is you rarely hear the kids complain. Maybe they just do the same thing but in a different way - as long as there's a balance between the two of you there's no lasting problem.
     
  15. Reading my original post back I sympathise with my husband a lot more than I did at the time! [​IMG] I would like to make it clear that my comment came at the end of a discussion that started off calmly and tactfully but obviously did not end up that way. I do not expect him to be me but I do want our children to spend less time in front of the computer and tv.
     

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