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Old 02-10-2015, 11:48 AM
 
67 posts, read 65,994 times
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I was always under the impression that a child would bond me even further with my wife but lately I feel we've grown apart due to conflicting ideas of what good parenting consists of.

My wife is a strong believer in the theory of 'attachment parenting' she's read countless books on the subject and claims it's scientifically supported by studies.
While I admittedly haven't read any of the books she's read I feel like some of the aspects of it, can't possibly work the same for every child.
My wife cannot bring herself to hearing our 2 yr old daughter cry for any reason.
She's been co-sleeping with us in our bed since she was 3 months and although my wife tries to put her to sleep on her own crib now, 4 out of 7 nights she still ends up sleeping with us. This aspect has, I feel, taken a toll in our sexual lives and our quality of sleep.
I'm by no means a flawless father myself, so I won't pretend that all our problems are because of her parenting style. I just feel our constant arguments over our child's upbringing is taking a heavy toll on our relationship.

This might sound selfish but I also feel somewhat left out by the mother-child bonding. Our child isn't even as interested in me as she's in her mother.
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Old 02-10-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,965 posts, read 3,279,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2015 View Post
I was always under the impression that a child would bond me even further with my wife but lately I feel we've grown apart due to conflicting ideas of what good parenting consists of.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2015 View Post

My wife is a strong believer in the theory of 'attachment parenting' she's read countless books on the subject and claims it's scientifically supported by studies.
While I admittedly haven't read any of the books she's read I feel like some of the aspects of it, can't possibly work the same for every child.
My wife cannot bring herself to hearing our 2 yr old daughter cry for any reason.
She's been co-sleeping with us in our bed since she was 3 months and although my wife tries to put her to sleep on her own crib now, 4 out of 7 nights she still ends up sleeping with us. This aspect has, I feel, taken a toll in our sexual lives and our quality of sleep.
I'm by no means a flawless father myself, so I won't pretend that all our problems are because of her parenting style. I just feel our constant arguments over our child's upbringing is taking a heavy toll on our relationship.

This might sound selfish but I also feel somewhat left out by the mother-child bonding. Our child isn't even as interested in me as she's in her mother.
I was under the same impression, and then my husband and I had our first child..........

I can honestly say that 80-90% of all disagreements and arguments we have relate to childrearing and discipline issues. Usually, these disagreements are minor, but sometimes, DH gets very upset and thinks I am completely disregarding his opinions and advise, which in turn makes me a bit resentful, because he is very uninvolved with their caregiving.

But, the point is this, I think you are already recognizing a dirty little secret that many parents are loathe to admit, and that is how having children often takes a heavy toll on a marriage and leads to arguments between the partners.

It is my personal belief that the most important relationship you and your wife has is to each other first and foremost (not to your children). However, I am not always that great at putting this belief into practice. Of course, even this view has to be tempered with the absolute reality that a young child's health and well being must be met first when they are unable to do things for themselves.

As far as attachment parenting goes, I am not an advocate of it at all. But, since I have become a parent, I am a lot less judgmental than I was before and I think different families can do things in different ways and still have positive outcomes. In any event, I don't think this post is about Attachment Parenting, it's about your relationship with your spouse and the fact that you need to both sit down and talk about things.

You are not the only husband or parent who feels this way, but you and your wife need to discuss. I think all of the concerns and frustrations you have raised are completely valid.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:39 PM
 
Location: I'm around here someplace :)
3,633 posts, read 4,430,586 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2015 View Post
I was always under the impression that a child would bond me even further with my wife but lately I feel we've grown apart due to conflicting ideas of what good parenting consists of.

My wife is a strong believer in the theory of 'attachment parenting' she's read countless books on the subject and claims it's scientifically supported by studies.
While I admittedly haven't read any of the books she's read I feel like some of the aspects of it, can't possibly work the same for every child.
My wife cannot bring herself to hearing our 2 yr old daughter cry for any reason.
She's been co-sleeping with us in our bed since she was 3 months and although my wife tries to put her to sleep on her own crib now, 4 out of 7 nights she still ends up sleeping with us. This aspect has, I feel, taken a toll in our sexual lives and our quality of sleep.
I'm by no means a flawless father myself, so I won't pretend that all our problems are because of her parenting style. I just feel our constant arguments over our child's upbringing is taking a heavy toll on our relationship.

This might sound selfish but I also feel somewhat left out by the mother-child bonding. Our child isn't even as interested in me as she's in her mother.
I'm a mom- and I agree with you.
I think cosleeping is a bad idea for many reasons.
If your child doesn't get the hang of sleeping alone soon, she might still be in there with you and your wife when she's a teenager.
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Old 02-10-2015, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,746 times
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I really like the idea of attachment parenting. I did it to the best of my ability, although it was a gradual thing. My older children got a more scheduled cry it out system and when I finally gave in to the idea that it simply didn't fit my personality, I moved to an attachment parenting style, although I'm not a purist with anything. I think some people are just made for attachment parenting. They have patience and a kind of laid back attitude that I just don't have. The fact is, I did get irritated with my little ones when they were too clingy. However, I do believe that AP has some incredible benefits to the child. From what I have seen, AP yields the most self-sufficient kids. That's just my observations, not any hard data.

Maybe my experiences will be useful to your situation? The way I handled the disconnect between my personality and my desires was to hold my babies as often as I could manage and then be very forgiving of myself if I needed to put them in a crib just to give myself a break. I think one of the hardest things about AP in our culture is that most of us don't have extended family to give us the down time we need. Without that, it is very difficult. My guess is that if your wife had close family living nearby where your child could go spend the night for a sleepover with grandma or auntie so-and-so, your life would look completely different. You could better handle the high needs of young children.

My advice is to try to come to a compromise with your wife. You absolutely MUST have a date night once a week. (I'm not the sort who thinks this is a must in every relationship, but given the way you are feeling I think you both would really benefit from it.) Get creative about sex. My kids were really bad about being moved into their own beds, but usually I could get out of bed, making sure they were covered and warm. Not to be graphic here, but your bed isn't the only place you can have sex. If there's a kid there, grab the baby monitor and go somewhere else. Talk to your wife and tell her you're feeling neglected and ask her if she can brainstorm creative ways of everyone getting their needs met, including the child. Make sure you are listening to her side and trying to understand (hard for Dad's sometimes) the attachment she feels to the child. Trust me, it's different for moms than for Dads.

Also, if I were you, I would read the books she's been reading and discuss them with her. One way I think some moms have trouble with AP is when they fail to teach the kids once they are old enough that they need to think about other people's needs too. That doesn't mean disregarding the child's valid emotions and desires, but starting at around 2 years old, helping them to see things from the parents point of view. It helps them develop empathy. For example, when carrying a child that age you might tell them that it's uncomfortable to carry them so much or it hurts your back. Once they understand pain or discomfort, they should start to be able to imagine how other people feel. I'm not saying leave a screaming kid wanting to be carried. If they were adamant about being carried I might compromise and tell them I'll carry for a little while but when my back starts to get sore, you can walk for a little while to give me a rest.

This same idea goes for sleeping arrangements. At some point not to long form now, your child will understand that it's difficult for you to sleep with them in the bed. I found that it was easier to get my child to sleep in his own bed when I didn't use consequences or bribes, but rather when I told him in advance what was going to happen and why. For example, "You can cuddle for a little while, but then you have to sleep in your bed because Mommy doesn't sleep well when I don't have enough room or when I get too hot." Another thing I tried (around 3 years old) was to start having him start the sleep routine in his bed instead of mine. I would read the story and even stay there until he fell asleep (weaned him off that after a while) but he had to start off the night in his bed. Usually he didn't fall asleep (he's one of those kids who doesn't need much sleep) so I made a rule that he had to stay in his bed for 10 minutes. The point was just to get him used to it so eventually he would just fall asleep before he bothered to get up, which he eventually did.

I know it's rough. It really does get easier. And I promise you will not have a teenager sleeping in your bed no matter what type of sleep style you choose.
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Old 02-10-2015, 02:36 PM
 
894 posts, read 839,879 times
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OP, I'm with you. I think it's ridiculous for a child to be sleeping with her parents every night. As far as crying, your daughter needs to learn to cope and work through problems on her own. If your wife is catering to her every whimper, you're going to have a very spoiled child on your hands.

I never understand why some women are so obsessed with their children to the exclusion of everything else. It's okay to be a mom and have a regular adult life too.
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Old 02-10-2015, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,538 posts, read 4,691,746 times
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It really doesn't matter what anyone here thinks. It matters what his wife thinks. Marriage is about compromise. If you can't do that, you won't be married very long OR you'll live your life in misery.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:25 PM
 
6,461 posts, read 6,482,448 times
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Here is the most important thing for you to hear....your marriage will be in trouble if you don't address this. Put your marriage first and you will probably raise a healthy and well adjusted child. ( as long as you meet their needs too.)Putting your child above your marriage doesn't raise happy kids.

First, neither parent is right or wrong. What is wrong is that you are at odds right now.

Talk with your wife and let her know your feelings in a calm way. Let her know that you both need to meet in the middle, so that you can both meet your child's needs.

Then, you need to take over some of the childcare that she typically does. An example might be that when your child gets hurt and runs to mommy that she directs her to you. Then you coddle her just like mommy would. (It's important that you don't tell her to shake it off or tough it out.) the point is for you to soften your approach and your wife to toughen up a bit.

This really really works. My husband had to bend and I had to toughen up. The harder he was, the softer I was, if that makes sense. When he stopped, I stopped. Your wife may be compensating for what she sees as your shortcomings.

Address all of this BEFORE addressing the sleep thing. Work out a compromise with your wife. You are a team and you should make decisions together. :-)
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:28 PM
 
Location: here
24,839 posts, read 30,094,556 times
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It isn't for us to choose sides between the op and his wife. He and his wife need to figure out how to compromise or see a marriage counselor to come to an agreement.

As far as attachment parenting goes, or any other "style" of parenting, I never understood why someone would choose a "style" that was manufactured by someone else. Just because the book says the baby has to sleep in your bed, doesn't mean he does. It's ok to do what feels right to you.
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:12 PM
 
Location: Hampstead NC
5,588 posts, read 5,103,047 times
Reputation: 14106
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad2015 View Post
I was always under the impression that a child would bond me even further with my wife but lately I feel we've grown apart due to conflicting ideas of what good parenting consists of.

My wife is a strong believer in the theory of 'attachment parenting' she's read countless books on the subject and claims it's scientifically supported by studies.
While I admittedly haven't read any of the books she's read I feel like some of the aspects of it, can't possibly work the same for every child.
My wife cannot bring herself to hearing our 2 yr old daughter cry for any reason.
She's been co-sleeping with us in our bed since she was 3 months and although my wife tries to put her to sleep on her own crib now, 4 out of 7 nights she still ends up sleeping with us. This aspect has, I feel, taken a toll in our sexual lives and our quality of sleep.
I'm by no means a flawless father myself, so I won't pretend that all our problems are because of her parenting style. I just feel our constant arguments over our child's upbringing is taking a heavy toll on our relationship.

This might sound selfish but I also feel somewhat left out by the mother-child bonding. Our child isn't even as interested in me as she's in her mother.
I don't think that what you are experiencing with your two year old is very unusual. Some kids are really tough at bedtime, which IS tough on sleep and sex. My youngest was hell at bedtime. And I DID Let her cry, so don't think attachment parenting had anything to do with it. I tried every flippin' method possible to get that kid to sleep. My girls are teens now, and they say I'm cool and they love me, and they are healthy and fairly well adjusted most of the time, so I"m happy with the outcome thus far. No regrets on my overall parenting style.

I was attracted to attachment parenting because it suited my personal ideas about how I wanted to parent. I didn't subscribe to it all. sometimes parents need the validation that what they want to do is the right way, and go overboard in defending their choices (when in fact, very few people care). your wife sounds like one of those.

Stop arguing with your wife about parenting. Your child will not be two forever. Find ways to romance your wife within the confines of toddlerhood. My husband was jealous of my bond, pouted when he didn't get attention, and challenged my EVERY decision as if It was somehow a contest. He drew battle lines between us when all I wanted was some validation that I was a doing a good job AND that he loved me regardless of the day-to-day issues. He never did get it, and now we are divorced.

You might want to get a book of your own. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Find out what your wife needs in order to feel loved, and what you need, and work towards that. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,869 posts, read 14,383,691 times
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I would like you and your wife to address this issue together with an objective third party, such as a therapist. I am not sure why the 2 year old cannot learn to sleep in a separate bed at this point. Awaking in the night and being able to put oneself back to sleep are important skills for this young child to learn.

Problems arise, IMO, when someone slavishly follows a pattern established by someone else, who does not know the child in question or the family dynamics.

I'm sort of old fashioned, I admit. But I think kids need to be in bed at bedtime, and they need to sleep in their own beds almost always. The bed should be the child's own private space, which he or she is entitled to. The adults' bed should be likewise.

Getting the child to his or her own bed after 2 years of co sleeping could be hard, but it is doable. But your wife will have to really want to do this. That's why I suggest a family therapist.
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