Posted by Lily O'Hara on Sep 1, 2003 - 11:26:00 AM
I am a stay-at-home mom of two young children. I have found that being consistent with discipline, schedules, etc. really helps keep them on an even keel. I wouldn't say I'm overly rigid, but my kids know that when I say it's naptime, it's naptime, etc. On the occasions that my husband is "in charge," this consistency goes out the window and it frustrates me. I become the "bad guy" because I'm the one who has to step in and say it's time for bed or whatever since my husband just doesn't pay attention to stuff like that. Sometimes I feel like I have three children and it gets draining. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get my husband to behave more like a parent than like a playmate?
Mad Mom on Melrose
Dear Mom on Melrose, Many women feel as you do, and rightly so, but first let’s look at the man's point of view. He is never home when the kids are free to bond with him, and when he comes home, he is afraid to be the bee in the ointment, or better yet, the ogre who puts his foot down. I remember only too well how my mother or my friend's mother used to say when we misbehaved, "Wait until your dad comes home!" It was the threat of the century and we grew to fear this strong man who was to be our punisher.
Try to sit with your husband and talk to him about how it is hard to discipline your children when he makes it impossible by not helping you or agreeing with you in front of them. Children will eventually know just how to play one parent against the other. Tell him that he can befriend them by giving them credit for being good to their mom. I am sure that if he doesn't undermine your rules, the children will still love him and they will try harder to be better so that their father will reward them with praise.
I am sure that your husband tries very hard to bond with his children, in spite of the long hours he spends at work. But if he wants the children to stay up late so he can play with them, ask him to let you tell them it is okay to stay up late with their dad, so they know they are not breaking the rules. If they ask for a special privilege, let him tell them to ask you and if it is okay with you, it is okay with him.
Good Luck, Mom Lily
Dear Lily, I am in my forties and unmarried, but I don't feel deprived unless someone tries to marry me off or pair me up with some unsuspecting guy. I love my life, but sometimes I want to share it with someone. Where is the best place to meet someone who fits in with my lifestyle? I have been to bars, nightclubs, dance halls, single clubs, the nicest restaurants, and never see anyone who isn't cheating on his wife or just looking for a one night stand, which I will not tolerate. Advise me, I am desperate.
Home Alone Angie
Dear Angie: Most nice men can be found in the hospital, as volunteers, in office buildings, as professional men, in golf clubs, or even in places of physical workouts, but the place I found most women have success is in their parish activities. Donate your time to your church activities or go with your girl friends to different functions. Nice guys go to nice places to meet the women of their choice. Get involved in your neighborhood watch, go places that people go to help out. Bars and nightclubs are where men go to find quick action. Most of them are already activated. Good Luck! You never have to be alone, friends are wonderful distractions and are usually the ones who can help you find the man of your dreams. Keep the door to your heart open, but never the door to your house, if you are home alone.
Truly Yours, Lily
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