When Co-Parenting Is Harder Than Solo Parenting

toddler late nap.jpg

Marveling at my diagonally-cut stir fry vegetables for dinner, I waltz into the living room singing my offer of a carrot to my toddler, who I discover is napping on the futon next to Gym Hottie at 6:30 in the evening. I give my son’s futon companion so much side-eye. Can you guess the parent, who skipped the oh so sacred toddler nap? Hint: it’s not the shitty wife. Now that Father’s Day is over, my dear husband is not exempt from leaving the toothbrush on the counter and I won’t un-excuse his poor call to take Humnoy out for an errand during his daily scheduled nap time. Sorry, bro but you fucked up today. I don’t give into the myth of mom weekends so I honestly believe my husband should just work 7 days a week because he makes co-parenting so much harder on his days off. Solo parenting is a breeze compared actually tag-teaming during those days.

He fucks up nap When he’s in the same room with us, the kids refuse to nap. The kids love his presence that much (I don’t know either). He’s the jungle gym and the kids think it’s play time when he’s within ear shot. Humnoy has to be behind closed doors with his dad on the other side to even think of taking a nap. NAPS ARE SACRED; GET THE FUCK OUT.

He makes me a naggy wife Just add “nag” to my list of shitty wife accomplishments. Okay, well I wouldn’t nag if he just did it the first time I asked.

Me: Hey, babe, maybe you and [Hum] can fold that basket of clothes while I [slave away at this hot stove making us an elaborate family breakfast. I would surely appreciate the help].
GH: *ignores*
Me: Babe?
GH: uh, oh yeah. I’m busy at the moment; I’ll get to it.

Above is an extremely modified version of actual events but him not “getting to it” is very true to life. Six hours later, I take the kids for our daily walk to get mail and I have to nag again….

husbands never help with chores.jpg

Kids turn into gremlins Humnoy acts a crazy fool when his dad is home. He gets so pumped up and screeches and jumps and hoots n’ hollers and is just nuts about his father. This behavior then dominoes to his baby sister and it’s like Jurassic Park soundtrack up in here. When it’s just me, he just whines and throws things at me when he’s not pawing at my boobs. Same for the little one too.

I turn into a gremlin For some reason, I feel like I get a pass to get angry with the little brats but lord help him when GH gets mad with my babies. Maybe it’s because I’m with them all day and I’ve reached my breaking point at 72 hours of back-to-back late bed times and he reaches his in the 29 minutes he’s been home? I understand he’s tired and been on his feet all day working really hard. Not to toot my own horn but I have been too. So, when he lashes out, I lash out at him, and it’s just a shit show. He soon wishes he was at work as do I.

Days off is such a funny concept because I don’t know what it is. When co-parenting is harder than when I’m solo parenting, it makes me wonder what we are doing wrong. Are we so touched out as parents to two little kids that we are resentful during days where we can be a family? As hard as balls as co-parenting is, we laugh so hard with the kids in bed that I just melt and so does my stubborn pride when I think I’m better off without their father. After all, he is the one who got me into this crazy, beautiful, hectic circus of a mess but I wouldn’t have it any other way nor any other co-parent.

How does your partner make co-parenting difficult?

10 thoughts on “When Co-Parenting Is Harder Than Solo Parenting

  1. Yup, yup, yup.

    For me it’s bed time. I handle Monster #2 since she still nurses to sleep and he handles Monster #1. If I don’t explicitly tell him (read: yell at him) to actually parent the kid to bed, what ends up happening is I come out of DD’s room and Hubs is asleep on the couch while DS sits there watching TV. The TV gets him so wound up even while he’s actually getting tired that then there’s a screaming match when they get into bed. That wakes up DD so I have to re-do my excellently executed parenting chore because of his failure to perform his. ARGH!!!

    • TV is a huge stimulator for ours too. It helps in certain scenarios when he’s really really really tired but otherwise just makes him wired. I always have to make GH promise to not let the tv babysit when I leave them alone. :0/

  2. I feel the exact same way! The only reason I’m excited for mike to come home is because then mason can actually nap without daddy calling and waking him up.

  3. I say the following not to brag, but to tell you that you do not have to accept this state of affairs. I am nursing ATM, but about 5 minutes ago, DH was folding the diaper laundry (that he did) while wearing the baby and singing a song he made up about how much he loves her. He was home all day, as he is every Tues/Thurs (and weekends, of course), because I WAH and he works his (tech sector) job from home all BUT 18 hrs/wk, and when he’s home, we switch off every 2 hours with the baby so I can also work (I only need 15-20 hrs/wk).

    My quick-fix secret? Extensive therapy over 15 years of marriage.

    Not joking, but maybe some form of therapy would help?

    Just please, please– whatever you do– don’t “call it fair” and fester in a cesspool of tension and resentment and passive aggression! It’s not “just the way men are”– and if it is, then that’s a result of societal sexism, so scr3w that. You deserve better!

    • We’ve discussed therapy but really can’t afford the costs. I will look into sliding fee scale, which reader has mentioned before. Thanks for your thoughts, they mean a lot to me 🙂

      • Completely understand– just two thoughts. First, when we went to ~10 sessions of counseling before we got married, we did it through the university (I was attending and he was working there– though that’s not how we met, LOL!) But there might be something at a local school that would work for you? It’s been eons, but IIRC, it was like $10-20/session for a grad student, and we paid on the upper end because she was ABD (almost a PhD). Very helpful. I believe they would also see people not affiliated with the university for a slightly higher rate, so that might also be something to look into.

        Second– this is probably much less helpful, but…. Later, we gave ourselves marriage counseling for our 10-year anniversary. Not saying you have money lying around for anything, but we figured $1000 or so that we might have spent on a vacation would be better spent on therapy, and we were sure right.


        Honey, as long as I’ve been married (and I’ve been with DH more than half my life, since we started dating when I was 17!) I KNOW how hard it is. Reminds me of one of the first episodes of Roseanne, when she is complimented on what a “good man” Dan is, and she’s like, “You think he came out of the box like this?”

        LOL/*sigh* (And I didn’t come out of the box like this, either!)

      • LOL! That’s hilarious. GH has come such a long way with his otherwise … undesirable traits. My roommates/friends had a difficult with dealing with his unfiltered antics and it changed when we knew we were gonna be parents.

  4. You’ve gotta take the good with the bad, if my husband is watching the baby so I can do something I want to do I just turn a blind eye to anything I don’t like because I need my me time!

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