GroupThink is really like my sounding board. Honestly. So this could be boring but once again I need a little perspective if you’re willing to read a very long long long loooooong post.
Okay, first my relationship. Ugh. The SO and I seemed fine up until maybe 2 weeks ago. Shortly after my bday he started getting a little sour. He is freelance and hadn’t been called into work for a couple of days up to my bday but he seemed ok. Shortly after he still hadn’t been called. Wasn’t working for the past couple of weeks (until today). In this time he become increasingly grumpy/moody. I did my best to be supportive, asking about his day, giving him space, being encouraging and it just didn’t help so then I just exchanged pleasantries and left him to himself. We have a kid so I don’t really have all the time in world to indulge his pitty party (I’m here to listen and if doesn’t want to talk then fuckit).
He has also been making a stink about my son and his mummy focus. That kid is all over me and often asks for my help first or requires my attention in some capacity. I honestly do push him to his father and suggest that he can help and I have often had conversations about development, discipline and routine with SO so that we can approach as a unit. That said, we have vastly different styles. I’m more go with the flow, I put my foot down as needed and let my son explore the world and himself as much as possible. SO has a more defined approach and is more directive. For example, when we go out together and cutie wants to walk I let him and he does so without holding my hand but the deal is when I ask to hold his hand he has to and he must stay close to me if not then he goes in the stroller or we go home. It works like 80% of the time and the other 20% he’s in the stroller. Otherwise if I insist he hold my hand the whole time we are out he runs off. SO insists they hold hands at all times, cutie gets pissy and has tantrum. I stand back quiet and out of the way. Wondering wtf we need to have this fight. This example encompasses our whole approach to parenting. I try to talk to SO to get on same page (yes, I do encourage him to express himself and let me know what he wants), we reach and agreement and end up where we started. I do “discipline” my kid with the usual methods one uses on a 2 year old (the removal toys, discontinue play, firm no’s, distraction, let him have his tantrum, etc) but SO thinks I’m too permissive anyway.
Also, I will add that SO is in and out of moods. Many days he comes home and just takes a ‘nap’ (3 hours later...). I pick up and drop off my kid to daycare everyday (I have to ask SO and sometimes he says no). I take our son places, just the two of us, frequently. And I do messy fun activities at home with him and generally leave him to play as he sees fit. I give cutie his bath and SO does book and pajams each night. SO does the housework (I suck) and generally helps out. He gets cutie ready for daycare every day and gives me a quick break as soon as I get home from work/pick up. And SO has been trying to quit smoking for the past few weeks too.
So I have a shitty day, pick up the kid and get in a good mood, come home to sour face sitting the couch, play with kiddo and encourage SO to join in (sometimes he does, sometimes no-whatever), we put the cutie to bed and then SO goes into quiet mode or off to play some video game. Rinse and repeat for two weeks. Then one fateful morning, I’m hopping out the shower and I hear cutie just crying because he doesn’t want to put his pants on (totally normal) and I see my SO is getting increasingly frustrated so I meekly ask if he wants help which he doesn’t appear to hear and instead I hear “getting your fucking pants on” and I then more firmly tell SO to back up and I’ll take over to which he gives me a really dirty look so I bump him out of the way and tell him he needs to calm down and he says “Fuck you” and storms off. Later accusing me of interfering “all of the time”. I told him don’t cuss out my kid and don’t cuss me out in front of my kid. I also told him he was clearly frustrated and I was trying to help. That whole convo went south so I took cutie and left for work/school. Later I tried to have a discussion with him and suggested that he maybe depressed and should talk to our GP. He just sulked quietly while I talked and barely said two words when I asked how he felt and what he wanted or how I can help. So I stopped talking.
This weekend was rocky. Same pissy looks from SO though he did smile a couple of times and we managed to get along. But again I interfered. He got mad and I just left the room and didn’t bother anyone for the rest of the weekend, just waited for my queue and jumped into to help as needed. But SO didn’t say shit to me, no feedback, no indication or desire to discuss, nothing. Just back to his video game. And this morning he was a pissy bitch again but I stayed well out of the way and minded my own business.
Honestly, I feel like I’m not allowed to parent and I can’t bond with my son. I’m sure that sounds dramatic but I was near tears on Sunday because it seems like SO doesn’t want to parent with me. It feels like a competition I don’t want to be a part of. And if feels like he is trying to decide how I parent. I’m tired, frustrated and sick of being the one that has to start the discussions. I’m not actively trying to undermine his relationship with his son and I do my best to encourage them to be together. And if I am doing wrong it would be nice to be told in a calm moment, to discuss it and work on a solution together. I’m starting to feel like an enemy. So clearly I’m doing something wrong and I can’t see it or my way through it. It’s frustrating.