Candace Ganger

10 Signs Your Partner Is Basically Another Toddler You Care For

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Sometimes, as a mother, you have children and your partner. Others, they're all lumped into the same category. Being universally motherly, it's pretty easy for someone like me to want to dole out advice, instruction, or warnings to the whole group and especially when my partner acts more like our kids than an adult It's not always obvious. but some of the signs your partner is basically another toddler you care for are exhausting.

My partner and I have been together 13 years this summer. Two kids and a lot of ups and downs later, it's obvious we have a deep love for one another. However, he and I also come from completely different lives, which, at times, has been the epicenter of a lot of ongoing issues. He's an only child while I'm the oldest to one brother. He'd always been used to getting things his way while I had to learn compromise and sacrifice at a young age. He comes from a fairly stable home life with little interruption, while I had more than my share of turbulence and instability. Seeing each other's perspective can oftentimes be difficult because we're just so different.

Opposites do attract, but with that comes accepting some of the caveats. My "Queen of the House" presence has its downfalls. I've noticed the more I rule my roost, the more my partner acts like one of the kids and, yes, he can be a bit of a man-child. Part of the behavior is from growing up an only child with a mother who provided everything he needed (and more), and the other part is his dependence on me doing the same. I'd love to claim innocence, but I enable him by doing whatever he asked for or addressing him the same way I would with one of our kids (the downfall of being the Queen). We're not perfect (me, especially) but what couple is? With that, here are some of the signs your partner might be just like another toddler in your care. Also, I love you, dear.

They Refuse To Go To Sleep

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My kids are notorious for conning me into "just five more minutes" because while their dad works long second shifts, it's just me here and I like to choose my battles wisely. When it comes to my partner, and he's obviously exhausted from a long day, or there's a lingering fatigue on a day off, I'll tell him to get some rest. It always goes something like this:

Him: *Falling asleep*

Me: Go to bed.

Him: I will. *Doesn't move*

Me: Go now.

Him: I don't want to yet.

Typically, I'll go to bed, he'll join after having dozed off on the couch for awhile, and then I'll have to drag him out of bed the next morning to help get the kids off to school. It's a fun game invented by toddlers, for toddlers.

They Leave A Trail Wherever They Go

I could literally pick everything up off the floor, only to turn around and find my partner's hat, shoes, phone, or whatever. I get that my kids pull this crap ("let's see how much we can make Queen Mommy clean!"), but not my grown-ass man. He doesn't make messes purposefully, and he intends to clean them up himself, but his timeline and mine are so different. If I leave him to do it, it'll sit there through next week. Nope.

They Argue About Things That Don't Make Sense

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My 5 year old likes to argue about the way words are pronounced (as if he knows). My 10 year old argues about everything because she's 10 and I'm her mom. My partner argues about the stupidest things I've ever heard. Like which meal plan he's going to try next because this is the time he actually follows through with something. If I remind him of all the wasted money on all the others he tried and quit, we circle 'round and 'round, forever and ever because, somehow, he wins all arguments (after wearing me down). Even my 5 year old gives up at some point.

You Have To Remind Them To Do Things

I understand why I have to remind my kids to do things — especially my toddler — but why do I have to do this with my partner? My to-do list is nothing short of a novel, everyday, and yet I have to continuously tell my partner to put gas in the car, pick our daughter up from school, feed the cats (if I'm not able). I'd like to think he used to be self-sufficient when we met so all this dependence has to be my fault, right? Right? Hello?

They Don't Know Where Anything Is

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It never fails. When he's looking for something in the fridge or pantry, it's not there. The moment I look, it's in plain sight. I expect this from my kids, but him?

They'll Play With Toys For Long Periods Of Time

I actually love that my partner is a big kid sometimes. He's perfectly content sitting on the floor with our son's toys or Lego's to build alongside him. The problem with this is, his only child status shows as he often retreats into playing only with himself, leaving our son to wonder when dad will play with him.

They Get Grumpy When Hungry Or Tired

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I mean, so do I, but I don't have to parent myself. I just eat something or go to bed whereas my partner will grump around long enough to complain about everything first.

They Have To Be Reminded To Get A Haircut

We own mirrors so my partner knows when it's time for a haircut and yet, being the mom I am, I have to point it out by asking when his next appointment is. Like, couldn't he see his hair is in need, all by himself, and schedule things all by himself like a grown-up? I already manage my toddler's hair and my 10 year old's hair as well as my own mess. Do I also need to do the same with my partner? By the way we live, the answer is obviously yes.

They Get Too Hyper Close To Bedtime

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In true toddler fashion, my partner (when he's home from work) is notorious for being hyperactive exactly two times through the day: right when I wake up (the worst time), and right before bed. My kids usually follow suit so instead of calming one grown-ass man, it's three small children. It's annoying and exhausting and I love him, but come on, dude. Can we not?

They Ask You Things They Could Decide On Their Own

Just as children ask their mother's permission for another cookie, my partner does this as well and I freaking hate it. Make your own choices in life (unless it's a big decision, then please consult me first).