Priorities/Jealousy

Antoinette - posted on 08/14/2009 ( 22 moms have responded )

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We have two new children in the home in less than 5 years. I am beginning to feel neglected or maybe even jealous. Dad spend all his time with the children and thinks about me after the children are in bed and I usually follow them to bed because I have to be up for work at 5am. Dad work what they call a Southern Swing (required to work 3rd, 2nd and 1st shift in that order every month). So, one could see the conflict with our schedules. I love him and want to spend time with him as much as possible, but it has been very hard. I feel like I carry the load of being mom, dad, caretaker and all that plus more and the little time Dad is there he spend it with the children. Do I have my priorities in the wrong place or am I just jealous of the children?

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Heather - posted on 08/28/2009

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My boyfriend and I have had this problem since our daughter was born. In our case, we really WERE like 2 ships passing, mostly because of our work schedules. It's tough, because any time I tell him that something isn't going right for us, he immediately jumps to the conclusion that I'm telling him he isn't doing enough (not true), or he (like many other men) offers solutions to "fix" the problem that usually have to do with ME needing to try harder, get something done, etc. instead of acknowledging that the problem is a mutual one. I agree with the other Heather ... phrasing is important!!!

But so is spending some quality time with each other. You two NEED some time together so you can reconnect and remember what made you fall in love and have those kids in the first place. Without this time to recharge as lovers and human beings, your relationship -- and ultimately your family -- will suffer. Your priorities are not in the wrong place. You don't want to come before your children, you just want to be able to spend some quality time with their father.

First you need to explain to him how much you really MISS him, and need to know that he's there for you as much as the kids. Second, you need to find a time when your schedules are most compatible, and schedule a few recurring date nights for those times. Third ... you will have to have someone else watch the children on occasion. Is there a reason (beyond it "not being their responsibility"?) that he doesn't want his or your parents watching the kids? It isn't my parents' responsibility either, but they enjoy having my daughter as much as she enjoys spending time with them. How old are your little ones? They will need to develop the ability to be separated from mommy and daddy at some point ... it's an important social skill, and they'll need it by preschool and kindergarten. It isn't healthy for you (or them) to be a "helicopter parent" and always be around them. A date night at home is okay if all else fails, but you both should get out together. If he still balks at this, have a heart-to-heart with him and tell him that it seems to you like he's avoiding spending time with you. Try not to yell and accuse, because that won't make him want to listen to you ... it will only push him away. (Guys tend not to react well to screaming women asking "WHY WON'T YOU SPEND TIME WITH ME!!????!!" Not that I haven't wanted to grab my boyfriend by the front of his shirt, shake him like a rag doll and yell this very thing at him sometimes. **grin**) The best thing I can say is don't have this talk at a moment when you're feeling super stressed out and overwhelmed. Try to find a calm moment, and let him know ahead of time that you need to talk with him about a family problem and you need his advice to solve it. My boyfriend and I do not spend nearly as much "us" time as we wish we had ... but we try as much as possible. At least we can talk about stuff that bothers us without yelling, and I don't feel so disconnected from him anymore.

Meanwhile ... good luck. Keep us posted.

Esmeralda - posted on 08/24/2009

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i think a date night(even if you just watch a movie after the kids go to bed with some pop corn and margaritas)is important!!!!

Antoinette - posted on 08/24/2009

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I love Ontario, once we all get passports we are coming back again. Haven't been in years.

Heather - posted on 08/21/2009

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Antoinette- It took me a long time to learn how to do it and for us to have reasonable conversations. I've found that men have a tendency to want to "fix" things and often I find I can't finish telling him what the issues are that I'm having because he keeps offering his version of a solution. First, I sit him down and tell him I need to tell him how I feel and I need him to listen until I'm done talking and not interrupt me. I'm very careful with my phrasing- ex: Instead of saying "you never help me with the kids dinner, why not" Which blaming him, I sayt something like "I'm having a hard time doing the kids dinner by myself. Do you have any ideas on how we can work this out?" The first statement is very very accusatory, blaming him, and the 2nd statement says I have this problem, how can we fix it? So, non confrontational. Using "I" instead of "You" goes a long way. My husband is much more open to discussion when it seems I'm not blaming him for something. And I'm asking for his help which makes him feel like he's needed. I also try to sit down with him when I feel there's an issue and not let it build to a head and explode with a shouting match. That doesn't do us any good. A lot of time I'll think about my phrasing ahead of time to make sure I'm going to come across the way I want to. If all else fails, I put it down on paper or an e mail and give it to him to read and think about. Google non confrontational communication and you can probably find some good info. Hope this helps. Let me know if I can do anything else for you.

Stephanie - posted on 08/21/2009

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I'm sorry, I hate to say this... but if I were in yours shoes... oh right, I was, I looked else where. It's not the right thing to do, but all you really need to do is get involved with something that will stir his interests (church, a play centre, a ladies club) whatever, its not fair that he gets to have adult time at work, and you are stuck baby talking all day.
YOU NEED TO GET OUT! if you need to start without him, do it. Leave the kids with someone you trust. (btw, he's wrong. yes, the childrens safety is your responsibility, but remember when it took a village to raise a child??) use your resources, take care of yourself!!
Shit, pack up the kids and come vacation here, lol, lots to do here in northern Ontario :)
Keep us posted darlin'

Tonya - posted on 08/21/2009

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perhaps you can, gently, remind him that yes the children are your responsibility to raise and care for. But he is also depriving the children of learning the social skills they will need later in life. Children need that away time from Mom and Dad. They need to see that Mom and Dad care enough about each other to take time to be together. Children shouldn't be taught that they are the center of their parents universe because then they will grow up expecting that and will have a hard time in life. Remind him that The grandparents and aunts and uncles have a lot to offer the children as well. It takes a lot of ppl and support groups to raise a family. Praying for you!!

Antoinette - posted on 08/21/2009

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spending time together just the two of us watching tv is fine with me...,but i can not even get that.

Antoinette - posted on 08/21/2009

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I really want to have the alone time with him, but he just is plainly against anyone watching our little ones because he says they are not the responsibility of others. I tell him it is a trusted family member (my mom or sister) and all he can say is that it is not there responsibility. I think he is avoiding time with me.

Antoinette - posted on 08/21/2009

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Quoting Heather:

What you are going through is completely normal! I have 2 kids, 15mths and 5 yrs, and my 5 yo is handicapped. My husband worked 12 hr night shifts, and OT as well to make ends meet. I felt completely overwhelmed and depressed. I got meds and therapy to help me communicate better with my husband. I told him I felt like we were 2 ships passing in the night and that I didn't know him at all anymore. I learned how to communicate with him in a non confrontational way that I felt like I was last on his list and I needed attention too. We ended up working out some us time- even if it was simple as playing a board game, or making a point to cuddle every night before we fall asleep. Sometimes the simplest touches can mean the most. Feel free to ask my any questions about the changes we made. Hope this helps.


'I learned how to communicate with himn in a non confrontational way...'  What was this way I need to learn this.?  I love him very much and want us to continue to grow in our relationship, but when I express that I am feeling left out it becomes a shouting match (mostly me shouting).  I want to be able to talk to him with calmness and be able to voice what I want.

Tonya - posted on 08/14/2009

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you have every right to feel neglected. have you talked to him and explained your feelings about this situation? sometimes Dad's have to be "told" what to do/not to do with mom's and children. my husband and I have 4 and are expecting our 5th in March. We went through this too. It helped us to talk it out and set aside time every week/month as the case may be to be "our" time. Your relationship together came before the children did so you have too continue to work at that bond together. if you have resentment/jealousy toward him or the children it's going to wear/tear you down and your not going to be the best parent/wife/employee/friend you can be. it will also affect your health. talk too him and if need be a counselor/close friend or pastor. Praying for you!! Best of luck!!

Rachel - posted on 08/14/2009

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I think it's normal to feel that way. Yes, kids come first, but you need to be a priority too. I think the date night is a great idea. I would also try to make play time with dad into play time with mom and dad. You can also make some of the things you need to get done around the house a family thing too. It's also okay to let your children play with each other without your interaction, even if it's only for a short period of time, so that you and your husband can even just sit on the couch and watch them together. I think it's also important for the children's development to see their mother and father spending time together. It promotes better relationships in your children.

Sharon - posted on 08/14/2009

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Nah its normal. He's not being normal.



I don't know about your husband but I called my husband at work one day and told him. I was resentful of the lack of attention for me. I cook, clean, parent, run errands, pay bills, 7 days a week virtually 24hrs a day. Our children are so cute, clean and sweet because I worked so hard at it. Why didn't I deserve any attention?



I think it floored him. He came home with flowers that night and some good steaks, made dinner and with few slipups been a better husband.



But count your blessings. Some dads come home, want nothing to do with the kids, just to crash out or hit their video games. So be sure to praise him for being such a good dad.

Falesha - posted on 08/14/2009

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you are fine lol it is perfectly normal to feel this way it is hard to find time for you and him i am a stay at home mom and when my fiance is home one of is always busy with the kids. you just need him to know how u feel and even if he is spendin time with the kids make urself part of it to u can both play with the kids together then u have some time with him aswell

Carly - posted on 08/14/2009

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I think neither, we all get feelings like this but he will never know if you don't tell him. Chances are he is missing you too. If you don't tell him how you are feeling this can very quickly transform in to something big and nasty that you don't want to deal with. My husband and I are exactly the same as you and yours. I work mornings and he works evenings so more often than not I am sleeping when he gets home. My kids are 4 and 1 so life is very demanding. If you are not comfortable leaving the kids with a sitter try going on a family date like the zoo. Sometimes just getting out of the house with the family will make you feel better. It is ideal to get out as a couple if you have a good sitter or a grandma close by.

Stephanie - posted on 08/14/2009

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I don't think you're in the wrong at all! I think most moms get to that point, especially because most men don't "get it" ! They don't think like we do and such. Get a sitter! Get a daycare. For at least two days a week. With or without your hubby, you need the break from the kids. You are not super mom, although we all try to be :) It's ok to say you need a break, you deserve it! You work so hard, and two kids are a hand full

Sitters and daycares can be costly, so if you are in the position to do it, pull favors from relatives and friends, grand parents and kids swap with friends!

Camille - posted on 08/14/2009

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Yeah, we only have 1 and I get jealous sometimes. I think it's normal to an extent. What helps us is letting the baby's 2 grandmas watch her once or twice a month and getting some time to ourselves. And I felt better after I told my husband how I felt because then he told me he felt the same way too and we started making a bit more time for each other. Just an extra I love you, hug, or smile helps. And after we get the baby to bed we always cuddle for a few minutes. Sounds corny but it's the little things that keep a relationship together. Good luck. =)

Lydia - posted on 08/14/2009

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Not priorities in the wrong place. I can understand your feelings but by the same token I can also understand how he is spending his time too. The kids are really only kids for such a short time (though it may not always feel like that at the time) and when you have little time to spend with them you really do try to make the most of it.



I think Jenny is right about the date night concept - setting aside a regular time to spend quality time together as lovers can be so important in the relationship. We also make sure we spend at least a little time focussed on each other - it doesnt have to take much effort or money the best nights are spent cuddled together on our couch watching a tv program we both like and chatting :)

Arwen - posted on 08/14/2009

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Kids always come first, and us poor parents have to miss sleep to get a little alone time. LOL The age where they need a lot of attention won't last too much longer, soon you'll be able to spend time together because the kids won't want to be playing with you. For now, you should arrange a sitter every now and then so you can go out. It's really nice to be alone every once in a while.

Heather - posted on 08/14/2009

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What you are going through is completely normal! I have 2 kids, 15mths and 5 yrs, and my 5 yo is handicapped. My husband worked 12 hr night shifts, and OT as well to make ends meet. I felt completely overwhelmed and depressed. I got meds and therapy to help me communicate better with my husband. I told him I felt like we were 2 ships passing in the night and that I didn't know him at all anymore. I learned how to communicate with him in a non confrontational way that I felt like I was last on his list and I needed attention too. We ended up working out some us time- even if it was simple as playing a board game, or making a point to cuddle every night before we fall asleep. Sometimes the simplest touches can mean the most. Feel free to ask my any questions about the changes we made. Hope this helps.

Helen - posted on 08/14/2009

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i so understand how you feel, in our household it's me who has all the hard stuff to do and dad gets the play time which is really getting me down. don't feel that you are wrong to feel like this but do try to organise time just for the two of you

Jenny - posted on 08/14/2009

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you and your husband should set aside one night where maybe you can find a babysitter and you guys have quality time together whether it be...staying at home and just cuddling or going on a date night..my husband and i used to have a date night every two weeks and we would get someone to watch our daughter and we would go out to eat or to the movies..it really helped us..maybe it will help you guys too if you did it

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