Parenting – are we doing it right??

Perhaps a little boy would have preferred a dinosaur or a train or a truck or “ben-10” or “lightening mcqueen”, but that is the birthday cake my son got when he turned 3. There were no complaints and no tears though. Is this because my child is grateful and content or is it because he’s too scared of his daddy to make a scene?

Let me backtrack a few years – before I became pregnant I had a decent job in a relatively large city, a job I had maintained for almost 5 years (since studying). Once I had children, and got married, I was forced to live with my husband which was in another, very small, town, and accordingly had to resign from my job. I can’t really complain all that much because I have been enjoying the lifestyle of being a full time mom (I do assist my husband in his work whenever I can). What I can complain about is that, owing to my absence from the job market, and there being very little in the way of work where I am living now, I find myself stuck. I cannot simply take the kids, up and leave the husband and expect to make it on my own.

Now, why on earth would I want to do that in the first place? Well sometimes I wonder whether growing up without a father would be better for my children than growing up with their dad. And I wonder whether there is more that I could do to change things.

My husband is horribly abusive towards me. Sure, he stopped hitting me physically a while ago when I joined a gym and threatened to hit him back, but the verbal and emotional abuse on occasion is crippling. He seems to absolutely resent my presence and the presence of the children in “his” house. Should we leave their school books on the couch they get thrown on the floor, for example. The children’s rooms must at all times be neat and tidy and if not, and he is in one of his moods, he hits them, very hard, with a belt. I am not allowed to interfere and in fact he shouts at me for not doing it myself. I try my best to keep them out of his way and out of the house but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

He is a great provider. They don’t want for anything. They go to a good school, live in a nice house, have their own horses – but still, I wonder, if they wouldn’t be happier without him and the financial security he provides. Would they do better with a mother who can relax and read to them without continuously worrying about daddy. Would they do better without the rejection of a father who will never spend any quality time with them, refuses to take them to school or collect them afterwards, refuses to take them to sports practice or support them in their sports, in fact pretty much refuses to do anything with them other than financially provide and if they are really really really lucky perhaps they will get a “good morning” in the morning (most certainly NOT a good night in the evening).

My parents may not have been perfect but they were a darn side better than the parents my children seem to have. And yet, I don’t see a ready solution. At the moment they spend half their time at school and another 25 percent of it at daycare in an attempt to stop them from getting under daddy’s feet. And this has now become a bone of contention as my husband is now trying to force me to give up the daycare, which frankly I’m scared to do. Weekends are bad enough, but if my kids have to tip toe around daddy all week too … I don’t think that’s the sort of family image they should be left with. At least our local daycare is a really nice family with a sturdy father figure for them who isn’t actually afraid of forming a relationship with them and spending time with them. I think that’s very important for them to have.

School wise I haven’t had any complaints from the teachers. The kids seem to interact relatively normally. The one is really sweet ( typical little girl) and the other tends to get a little hyper (typical little boy), but no major issues or phone calls from the principle. So surely we are doing something right?

I’m also feeling a little guilty not bringing them up to know God. Writing this I feel as though I have absolutely no backbone and have become totally and overly submitted to my husband. It seems to me I am making excuses. And I so want to say “but you don’t understand …”. It really is NOT that easy to just up and leave and become independent and responsible entirely alone for two small people …. and it’s certainly impossible to try and change my husband – I have tried that and failed many a time. So what remains? To try and make the best of an unpleasant situation? For the children? But – is that really what is best for the children? AM I DOING IT RIGHT?

5 thoughts on “Parenting – are we doing it right??”

  1. “he is in one of his moods, he hits them, very hard, with a belt”

    I know I don’t understand, but it seems that you were able to stand up for yourself enough to stop him hitting you, don’t your kids deserve the same protection? Neither you nor they need to take either physical or emotional abuse, and that needs to be made clear to him. If he is likely to react violently to you standing up for your kids and yourself then you need to be willing to leave, and possibly have a friend there to help when the conversation happens. Professional assistance would be helpful.

  2. Pack your bags and head out the door with your children in tow. Kids don’t need the fancy clothes, schools, horses etc, they need love, security and stability. Will it be easy, no, but it will stop the cycle of violence and abuse, albeit passive at times. They deserve better and so do you. Start believing it and do what is best and right for you and your children. Please drop me a email, sms or whattsup sometime.

  3. On reflection, as someone who knows you very well, you know that my observations are not judgemental, you are the only one who can guage your situation. You are not alone, I care, very very much about your safety and your children’s safety. There is hope and life on the otherside, this is not how it is supposed to be. I don’t know all the details, all the ugliness, but I do know that you and the children deserve better. You are worth being treated like a lady, being taken care of. Your children should not be eposed to an abusive father, it will impact their lives. Children are perceptive.

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