I am having a dispute at home right now, and I need opinions. I have three children, 14, 10, and 4. The older two are in school all day. I generally shower at night, but if I have to go somewhere, I like to shower first. Just today, I took a shower with the bathroom door wide open (so I can easily hear anything going on in the house), and I let my 4 year old boy play in the house with all outdoor doors locked, etc., while I was in the shower. Also, my house is completely spotless, and all the outlets still have protective outlet covers over them. I mentioned taking a shower earlier to my boyfriend (the youngest one's father), and he had a fit, insisting that my 4 year old is too little and could have gotten hurt, and instructed me (yes, instructed!) to only take showers after the older kids are home. By the way, I was only in the shower for 10-15 minutes total, and part of that time, my son was outside the bathroom talking to me.
Now, I have raised the two older kids so far (most of that time as a single mother) without any trips to the emergency room for injuries. I don't feel that I left my youngest in any sort of danger today. If I had a dirty house or things laying around that he could have gotten injured on, or if I took 45 minute showers or left him alone and went shopping, I could see the issue here. But, I don't see an issue with taking a quick shower with the bathroom door open with my 4 year old within earshot of me. Of course, with ALL my children, I was always very protective when they were infants and toddlers, but by 4 years old, I feel that it is safe to take a quick shower without them.
I told my boyfriend that he was treating the youngest as if he is still a baby, and he insulted my mothering skills, based on this alone. So, the question I guess I have is: Am I not being protective enough, or is he being overly-protective?
Thanks for any opinions.
You're not unreasonable or irresponsible for taking a quick shower. As long as your child has been taught appropriate boundaries and knows not to answer the door, you're probably fine. HOWEVER, try to understand your boyfriend's angle on this. He is obviously not comfortable with his son being unsupervised. Maybe that's crazy, but that's how he feels--try to respect that as best you can. Keep in mind that you have previous experience with two other kiddos. I'm assuming he doesn't? Pretend the situation was reversed. You're really upset because you feel your child wasn't cared for properly, and your boyfriend doesn't seem to see the problem. How would you want him to respond? I'd suggest at least doing your best to find a compromise. Maybe your son can color or play LeapFrog games IN the bathroom while you're in the shower? Just a thought.
Is this man nuts? I bet he was voted Daddy of the Year before. Did you give your child knives to play with? I bet he sits and watches him every second doesn't he? Never watches a game on TV while watching the child? Sounds to me like he is over reacting. Maybe he would like to offer you an hour everyday when he gets home from his job to let you soak in the tub and pamper yourself with no kids? I am lucky if I get a 5 minute shower with no kids in the bathroom with me, yet my husband takes at least an HOUR bath EVERY NIGHT! If I don't have time for a shower the night before, I sneak one in during the day when my children are at school. Then I have a 23 month old that is loose in the house. I have never had a problem. He usually watches TV, or like you, since I leave the door open, he hears the water and eventually comes into the bathroom and waits for me. I think this is safer than if I should wait for when the hubby gets home, as he usually sits in a chair and sleeps while the little one is pulling utensils out of the kitchen drawer to bring to a sleeping father. Ask the father of your 4 yr old to give you some parenting lessons.....I bet he is a pro! Insulting the mother in front of a child is great parenting? He sounds like a winner. Give him the Daddy of the Year award for 2008
I don't think you're being unreasonable. I do the same thing, although we live in a smallish apartment and if I put DS on the couch watching a cartoon, I can see him from the guest shower if I leave the door open. Trouble is, he complains "it's too loud!" (for him to hear the TV) and tries to close the door!
I think you were perfectly justified in what you did. I do that all the time with my four year old. I know you can't stay in the bathroom all day when you have a child home. But you are entitled to some time by yourself. Tell your boyfriend to lay off or he can't take a shower until he has someone to watch the children. He might change his tune then.
I am generally considered incredibly overprotective by my husband, family friends, etc... I take a shower every morning while my 4 year old gets herself dressed and watches cartoons. I can hear her if she needs me. When she was younger I would bring her in the bathroom with toys but 4 is certainly old enough to spend 10 minutes 'alone'. ...But everyone has their own comfort level. You just need to find a compromise your both comfortable with.
WTF?! That man is being over reactive. You took a 10-15 min shower, and your youngest was talking to you for part of it. What is his damage?
I see nothing wrong with it at all. I like taking a shower before I go to work. I can't stand having dirty hair. I think that you know best, and he needs to get off his high horse.
How pompous and disrespectful and suspicious. He's either overprotective or wants to build a case against you to make himself feel like the better parent or he's got some kind of problem with you he's not sharing or someother cards he's not showing. (I was a family law paralegal and family court liasion and I've seen these types of things over and over.) If he is going to react like that like some weirdo alarmist who's the holier than thou better parent, I would not share such things with him again. You never know when it will come back to haunt you with the details egaggerated. If you ever break up and he gets obsessive like he's acting now and decides to fight for full custody, watch that stuff come back in a puffed up affidavit that you will have to pay to fight in court not to mention guardian ad litem fees.
Stand tall and dont let anyone pass judgment on you and start fights with you. Listening to constructive advice is one thing, being reprimanded by a peer or equal who is not necessarily more qualified than you is inappropriate and you should not tolerate it.