My husband is yelling...a LOT

Jodi - posted on 01/21/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My usually laid back, calm and quiet, roll with the punches husband is yelling...a lot. Here's our situation:

I am 33 weeks pregnant with twins. It has not been an easy pregnancy, for any of us! Being in my third trimester as a stay at home parent is exhausting, and my nearly 2 year old no longer takes naps...which means mommy doesn't get naps either. So, my husband wakes up with our daughter at 6 a.m. everyday, and has been for a month or two now. (I do get up with her once...MAYBE twice a week to let him sleep him, but I'm extra crabby and hormonal those days!)

The last couple of weeks I've been getting up earlier and earlier because she's downstairs whining or crying and he's yelling at her. Not quite yelling, but definately a good step or two above a "firm" voice...and he's saying no in nearly every sentence, he's stopped giving her hardly any positive feedback for anything. So I get up, my daughter does not deserve that as much as I hate to make him seem like a bad guy, she simply deserves better than that.

What do I do? Even though I go to sleep when she does around 7, I'm up basically every hour using the bathroom and inbetween just trying to get comfortable. Not to mention those midnight cravings because if I don't eat every few hours I get hunger pains. I don't understand why, for just 2...MAYBE 3 hours he can't keep from getting frustrated with her.

I've never had any problems with her, she doesn't whine with me, she listens very well, is very well behaved and I rarely get seriously frustrated with her...and he's always been the same way, until recently. I've told him he needs to give her more positive phrases, use "no" less, keep his voice appropriate etc etc. Getting up so early to diffuse these situations leaves me in tears most days because it's upsetting I can't rely on him and I'm SO tired! What are we supposed to do when TWO more babies come along?! If he can't handle one toddler for a couple of hours on a full night's sleep with lots of breaks (I often take her out so he can get alone time) how is he going to handle two more?

I'm really concerned...and tired...any advice, support or encouragement...or insight on the male brain would be HUGELY appreciated! Thanks ladies!

(P.S. he's a really good father 99% of the time, and as long as I'm there to meet her needs or "discipline" her, he plays with her, gives her positive feedback etc etc, it's just when the care for her is all on him he can't handle it, and only recently!!!!)

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6 Comments

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Carol - posted on 03/01/2011

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Look at it from his point of view. You already have a toddler, and now your having two more. This is alot to put on two people. He could be scared, and even if he does sleep for a long time, he might not be getting a full nights sleep, he may be to stressed he isnt sleeping good. Men feel the smae things we do they just hide it alot better. I only have two, but ,my husband cant deal with our daughter. He can deal with our son but our daughter he cant do. I dont mean to be rude but you are looking at it as you are pregnant and need his help as if he should freely give it. While it is nice that you take your daughter out to play, maybe getting her on a sleeping schedule would help the both of you. If you stay at home all day you can take her to a park and let her run around and play, or to play dates. My son is turning two in a few days, to get him to nap is like an act of congress he has to be dead tired to nap. Getting fresh air will help you also.

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Jodi, haven't heard back from you.....any new developments? Just wondering how you're doing, or if anything has changed?

Karen - posted on 01/24/2011

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Have you talked to your husband about it (away from the situation would be best)? If so, what does he say? Does he recognize/agree that there is a problem? Does he think it would be better if he changed his behaviour? Without him onboard it's going to be pretty hard to get him to make a change. Maybe have him read "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn (or watch the DVD).
I read somewhere that if a parent has an unreasonable reaction to something their kid does then it probably has to do with unresolved issues from his/her own childhood. So, maybe he was dealt with a bit harshly when he was a two-year old. Maybe if he did some thinking about that he could resolve some of the issues.
Hope things improve for you. You sound like a great mom!

Aicha - posted on 01/23/2011

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Have your husband watch The Happiest Toddler on the block by Harvey Karp M.D. it will help him understand your toddler better and it gives you ways to calm down a toddler without yelling or being mean

Katherine - posted on 01/22/2011

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One thing to think about too is that your hubby is possibly a little stressed and uncertain about the near future, so it's important that you keep the lines of communication open.

This is probably very true. It still doesn't excuse his behavior. I can't imagine having 3 under 3. Congratulations though I always did want twins :)

Have you sat down and expressed this concern to him? Sometimes you really have to spell it out and it's more important now than ever. You are not going to be able to handle two newborns and a 2yo by yourself.
This kind of grinds my gears because you're the one who's pregnant trying to take care of a 2yo soon to be a 2yo and 2 newborns and he's acting this way?
Better nip this now.
He must be off of his rocker terrified IMO. Men get mean when they're tired too, I've noticed. He has got to stop the yelling though. Maybe just tell him to take a time out if he feels it escalating?
Well our kids are the same age, I just remembered and my ex gets like that too. I feel like I'm constantly having to "save" her.
Maybe he just needs you THERE, not to do anything just to be there.
As far as sleep, get to bed as early as you can, given the circumstances. Have a relative come and help if you can. I'm assuming you clean and do housework after everyone goes to bed? No more of that. Gonna have to wait.
You can't do this alone and you will NEED to ask for help.

Nikki - posted on 01/22/2011

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I really feel for you Jodi, sounds like a very stressful situation. My hubby is a great dad, but at times he has no patience and my daughter sets him off over the slightest thing. Does my head in too, and I am not pregnant with twins! Do you have any family or friends close by that can look after your daughter for a few hours here and there so that you can just sleep?
If I were in your situation, this is what I would do, firstly talk to him about your worries and the observations you have made about his morning interactions. Ask him if he needs help/ strategies for ensuring mornings are a positive experience. I find with my hubby that his expectations of our daughters behaviour are quite often too high, so it helps when I explain where she is at and how I get around certain situations. For example our daughter likes to get into EVERYTHING, I have baby proofed the house so there is nothing unsafe she can touch but my husband still has the expectation that she should sit and play with her toys and not the remote or phone etc, so I have been encouraging him to ignore the behvaiours he doesn't like and try to redirect her behaviour in a positive way. I can see that it's difficult at times, but he is slowly making progress.

One thing to think about too is that your hubby is possibly a little stressed and uncertain about the near future, so it's important that you keep the lines of communication open. I know I felt totally consumed by my pregnancy and I didn't have another child to look after, but in the process I really lost touch with my hubby and it has taken us a long time to get things back on track. I think it's important you look after yourself and ask for help so that you have the energy to work with your husband as a team.

Have you got some help organised for when your twins arrive? or have you considered looking into day care for your daughter a few hours a week?

I really hope you get some sleep soon, I know how awful it can make you feel xx

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