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Question
Posted by: Daisy | 2012/03/13

Husband''s Attitude

Hi CS,

I feel rather lonely and miserable right now. Actually I feel like a pathetic human being. I can''t understand my husband''s behaviour towards me. Dr. my husband constantly criticizes me, especially the way I care for our kids.

I am not a perfect mother, but I love them immensely and go out of my way for them. Let me explain. I have twins, that were born very premature and after a long stay in hospital, came home. I was so overwhelmed &  so scared when they got home. My husband took control of the situation and helped with all feed times. but then I couldn''t bottle feed two at the same time. Couldn''t breastfeed as I wasn''t producing milk, despite expressing all the time. But then I had a seriously ill child and was so stressed. When the babies had a problem, and I had a panic attack, he would take over. My babies had severe reflux &  breathing problems.

I was so exhausted, as I could never fall asleep. I was afraid something would happen or I would fall asleep and miss a feed. I know this is paranoid, but I have lost a baby from illness and this made me so scared.

So now my hubby constantly comments on what a good parent he is and how he provides such good care for his kids. There are times when he just won''t give me the chance. He will insist on feeding them, making them sleep and when they cry, he will take them away from me, or not allow me to try to comfort my child, claiming I can''t do it.

When I comment on this, he says he is making it easier for me. This weekend I was cooking and had my twins tugging my legs as they both want to be carried. I can''t carry a child and cook &  I won''t take such a risk as they could get seriously injured. I told him to keep them with him in the lounge. He commented on how I am a woman and yet I can''t take care of my children. this should come naturally and other women carry their kids &  cook, so why can''t I. He also complains that I can''t take care of them on my own &  I need help. My twins want me to carry them at the same time, when alone with me. They will cling to me and cry. One of my little ones will sometimes not want to be put down. They don''t behave like this with him. They also fuss a lot around me and even meal times are a struggle for me. I have to entertain them &  distract them to feed them. It is just their way of getting lots of attention from mum, I suppose. But with him, they sit down and eat.

Dr, how do I make him see that I am trying my best. Our older child is 9 and I try to spend as much time with him as I can. I am responsible for homework and all learning activities. Dad will rarely help with this. And I still need to cook. I get home shortly before 6pm &  have 2 hrs to do homeowrok, cook &  spend time with the twins. he frowns at me when I go home woth takeaways. Physically, I feel drained all the time and am constantly in some sort of pain. Lately it has been terrible back &  abdominal pains. Hubby says I got medical aid so must sort myself out, its not his problem. And I have been to a doctor.


I am not good at being a mother, but surely I should be given credit for trying.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Wow, that's a really long question !
But I tend to agree with Bongi.
You are not pathetic because you can't understand your husband's thoughtless and careless behaviour. Any child is hard work, and twins the more so, And if they were born premature and weak its very understandable that you could feel nervous about caring for them, if they came home still seeming fragile. Especially as you had previously lost a baby due to illness.
It's good that he was helpful when there were problems with the babies, though that ought to be routine for any good father.
By the way "all other women" absolutely do NOT carry their children while they cook, especially where there are twins - that would be awkward, difficult, and not entirely safe for the children.
Its interesting, though, that you notice that both kids are more demanding, attention-seeking, and clinging when with you than when with him. Watch and try to work mout how he is behaving differently from you in ways that might influence this difference in how they respond.
He should be able to see that you are indeed doing your best, and that your best is good. Undermining your self-confidence is no way to help you.
Interesting that he considers the homework to be entirely your chore - does he feel less able to deal with educational matters ? You can obviously manage that and other childcare, but maybe not within the narrow space of time before the little ones need to be set for sleep. Can the older one ( I'm guessing that the twins don't have homework yet !) work on his homework after the twins have gone to sleep ?
DO discuss all this with your doctor, and check on the backache and stomach ache and other issues - they may well be related to having carried the extra weight of twins, but if there is any physical problem, it needs to be sorted out, too.
You deserve a lot more than credit for trying, and your husband is falling short in regard to his duties to help and support you. And he needs to help you get enough sleep to recover from this tough time - nobody who lacks sleep feels well.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Caro | 2012/03/14

And why is he not cooking? And when he does, tie one baby to his back and he can hold the other on his arm. Then you go to the movies and for a drink. You''re a bad mother in his eyes anyway, so let him be the good father. And what do you mean he takes over. Does that mean that as a woman you should be doing it anyway and he just helps, like it is naturally your duty? He is an equal parent so it is quite alright if he deals wiht certain things better than you. And remind him gently that the twins are not your only children. Or perhaps praise him for being a good dad (which he sounds like) but could he be a better partner as well.

Reply to Caro
Posted by: Bongi | 2012/03/13

" I am not good at being a mother" .... Please please do not doubt yourself now. Ofcourse you are a good mother. One child is overwhelming - how much more with twins. Hang in there. Your hubby is being unfair, how can you carry 2 babies and cook with them. One on the back and the other on the arm? And what happens when you burn them with the stove - again he blames you....

Reply to Bongi
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/13

Wow, that's a really long question !
But I tend to agree with Bongi.
You are not pathetic because you can't understand your husband's thoughtless and careless behaviour. Any child is hard work, and twins the more so, And if they were born premature and weak its very understandable that you could feel nervous about caring for them, if they came home still seeming fragile. Especially as you had previously lost a baby due to illness.
It's good that he was helpful when there were problems with the babies, though that ought to be routine for any good father.
By the way "all other women" absolutely do NOT carry their children while they cook, especially where there are twins - that would be awkward, difficult, and not entirely safe for the children.
Its interesting, though, that you notice that both kids are more demanding, attention-seeking, and clinging when with you than when with him. Watch and try to work mout how he is behaving differently from you in ways that might influence this difference in how they respond.
He should be able to see that you are indeed doing your best, and that your best is good. Undermining your self-confidence is no way to help you.
Interesting that he considers the homework to be entirely your chore - does he feel less able to deal with educational matters ? You can obviously manage that and other childcare, but maybe not within the narrow space of time before the little ones need to be set for sleep. Can the older one ( I'm guessing that the twins don't have homework yet !) work on his homework after the twins have gone to sleep ?
DO discuss all this with your doctor, and check on the backache and stomach ache and other issues - they may well be related to having carried the extra weight of twins, but if there is any physical problem, it needs to be sorted out, too.
You deserve a lot more than credit for trying, and your husband is falling short in regard to his duties to help and support you. And he needs to help you get enough sleep to recover from this tough time - nobody who lacks sleep feels well.

Reply to cybershrink

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