Toddlers: 24 Months+

Advice on communication with partner

My husband is one of those guys that can be super critical, and really just want things done quickly and 'easily' in his mind. For example, we have a now almost 2.5 year old who had many issues in the beginning until about a few months ago. He had reflux, milk intolerance, was sick constantly, etc. thus causing NO sleep, eating issues, etc. After 2 sets of ear tubes and finally and adenoid removal things have improved a little and he 'mostly' sleeps through the night as of 3 months ago! yay! we still have our struggles but things have improved tremendously. All of this though has cause a lot of turmoil with my husband and I... he only wanted to listen to his mother's constant 'opinions' about how I am spoiling our child, he needs to cry it out, etc. instead of listening to me or the doctors. Things got pretty bad for a while but then improved. We are now pregnant again and due in August but the old behaviors are coming back and I need help on how to communicate better with him or if any of your spouses/partners are the same? He is now harping on the fact that our son still has a paci and blankie he sleeps with... in my opinion so what? It doesn't hurt him, he has great speech, and hell it helps him sleep! He is not going to have it when he goes to college. Long story short, I got super mad last night because his mother had called and said she wanted pictures of our son without his 'dumb' paci when she comes out to visit and my husband threw in the fact that he doesn't think our son should have it anymore, etc. then that turned into me also finding out he bragged to his mom about how he was up with our son the other night and got him back to bed (mind you this is only the less than 5th time in our son's whole life he has gotten up to help me. Otherwise he just critiques from the sidelines without helping). Sorry I am just super frustrated, hormonal today, and truly thought we were on a turn from the times we had with our first son. Ps isn't his mother a gem? I could share more but that's the short version of how she is all of the time. 

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Re: Advice on communication with partner

  • Tell him when he helps with Parenting instead of running his mouth then he can have an opinion. Your MIL needs to butt the fuck out. It sounds like he wants to co-parent with his mother & not with you.

    You need to sit down with him & tell him how you feel. That you want more help & need his support vs. Back-seat parenting.

    Personally, that would infuriate me that he wants to supersede your authority as Mother in favor of his mom's opinions. She raised her kids her way.

    It's up to the two of you to figure it out yourselves free of others' butting in. I agree with you about CIO & pacifiers.

    My 3 year old still has her pacifier & my MIL tries to tell us what to do with things too. I tell her that it's not up to her to parent our child. We make those decisions & we are working with our individual child's needs. Not every baby is the same.

    What's funny is that she tried to blame DD's speech delay on the pacifier. Both language pathologists, & therapists have said it doesn't matter.

    DS is speech delayed (just like sister his receptive language is amazing) & he never took a pacifier.

    Basically you two are the parents. You need to assert yourself & your husband needs to be more active.

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  • I said last night that I would appreciate it if we were on a team together and not he on a team with his mom... to which he replied that wasn't fair of me to say since I am not on his side with the pacifier issue, etc. ... ok how to come back from that one!? I agree I need to find a way to be more assertive and figure this out ASAP especially with number 2 on the way. I don't want things like they were in the beginning with our first son. 
    And, yes, in anger I just said he could do everything from now on then since he seems to know the best way! Not my most charming moment but I am over it and very over his mother. 

    BabyFruit Ticker

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  • I don't know you or your situation but it sort of sounds like you are super pissed and possibly exaggerating how bad your H actually is. Perhaps I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because I hate when my H disregards things I want to do with the kids because his way is the right way (discipline for example).

    You are both the parents so you have to work together to find a happy medium with little things like the paci. I personally wouldn't want my 2.5 year old to have one but it's not that big of a deal - except to your husband, so perhaps hear him out.

    I do think you need to make it perfectly clear that you don't appreciate him running his mouth. Be open and honest with him.

    As far as his mother goes...tell her to butt the fuck out (in a polite way). Stand your ground and continuously tell her that you don't appreciate the comments. End that shit real quick.


  • I hate to say this, but I almost feel like you got into this parenting thing together, so you might have to be willing to compromise some of your parenting values. Like, I do happen to agree with you on most of the issues you brought up, but your husband sounds like he's coming from an older school of parenting that's also, I suppose, valid. Maybe you could try to let him have his way on certain issues that aren't that big of a deal to you, but then hold your ground on those that are deal breakers? It sucks to have to give in, but he is the dad that you chose.
  • ^Ugh I hate even reading my own advice because I know I probably wouldn't be able to do that either, but I do think it's what a couple's counselor would say ;)
  • I can totally understand your frustration with his mother inserting her opinion. My MIL is kind of a nightmare so I totally feel your pain. Have a calm mature conversation with him about that, i.e. that you make parenting decisions together and you need his support rather than judgement. However, you need to learn to compromise too. I don't judge one way or the other about the paci thing but pretty much any pedi or dentist would advise weaning off of it. It's not just a speech issue. He's the dad and his opinion matters too. Also, you might want to deal with that before you have taking care of a newborn on top of it. Have you thought about seeing a counselor? A third party might provide some insight and tips for both of you. Best of luck!

  • Ya Never KnowYa Never Know member
    edited March 2015
    Wow, honestly the first thing I would address is the mother-in-law. She is not raising your child, you two are, and your partner needs to be talking to you about how you want to deal with child-rearing issues, not his mother. I know from personal experience how hard it can be to shake off unsolicited advice from in-laws, and many times it's made me second guess my own decisions, or made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

    Secondly, if it were me, I would openly tell my partner that if he truly has a problem with the paci thing, then he needs to help out with whatever it entails to wean the child from it. (By your description, it sounds like your partner isn't helping you out as much as he should, only having helped out 5 times if your son wakes up at night in 2.5 years??). I would tell him that you can't be a backseat father, if you have a problem, then you need to get involved and help with the resolution.
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