to ask how do you do it?

(295 Posts)
catgirl1976 Wed 08-May-13 06:59:55

DS wakes at 5am - 5:30am every day.

Then I have to go to work all day, then come home, feed him, play with him, bath him, put him to bed, tidy the house, do laundry, finish off some work, eat, get ready for work, maintain some semblance of a beauty regmine (and mean finding time to wash my hair or shave my legs, nothing intricate) and try to have some quality time with DH.

DS is amazing. He's worth every 5am start, but I am so tired today and have a busy day ahead. I do get a lie in on Sundays but it feels so far away today!

How do you cope with it? Any top tips?

Coffee is my good friend, but I'm considering swapping sweeteners for speed.

Exhaustipated Thu 09-May-13 09:56:12

I was thinking about this thread, and I was imagining a SAHM who had a cleaner, one child, childcare three full days a week, and whose DH had a full time demanding job. This DH then did all the housework (apart from cooking, mostly) and all the wake ups with the child.

The SAHM claimed to have depression but had never ever sought any kind of treatment, but spent all her time on online games.

Does reversing the roles make it any clearer how messed up this situation is OP? You can't put your DH 'aside' and project all your angst onto your son's (fairly normal) sleeping habits. That's not your real problem here, it really isn't.

Exhaustipated Thu 09-May-13 09:59:49

X post. But he needs to let you sleep when you have a big day in London - he needs to get up first, not you.

Have a nice day in London- lots of time to sleep and rest sounds just what you need, and maybe reflect on things a bit?

catgirl1976 Thu 09-May-13 10:01:22

I don't know Mexican

It isn't going to be "or I will leave you"

So I really don't know.

HazleNutt Thu 09-May-13 10:04:09

Your DH needs to call and make an appointment with the GP TODAY. Not in 2 weeks or sometime in the future.

He is a SAHD. If DS wakes up at 5, the SAHD wakes up at 5 to do his job and take care of him.
On the days he is taking care of DS, he should still manage some housework, like all other SAHPs. You should not come home to start cleaning after him. On the days he does not have DS, he should be catching up with the rest.

If the roles were reversed, he was the one working and you the SAHM with several childfree days, isn't this what you would be doing? If yes, why don't you think he should not do the same?

Oh god woman, crash early tonight! Take this time to recover a bit.

How did your DH do his share? You went in to your DS. You got a bottle for him. You got up with him at 5. Only after you did all that did your DH get up.

With due respect, you need to get to the point -- perhaps through counselling -- where 'or I will leave' is an option. Not a threat but a possibility. Otherwise where is his incentive to change?

Put your CEO hat on. Imagine you have a supplier who is always late, does bad quality work, always has a million excuses, says they will improve but never do.

And you keep slinging them tons of money and there's never a chance that you will take your business away.

Why on earth would they put more effort into doing decent work? In fact, they would be fools to do so.

You are not doing yourself or your child any favours by refusing to contemplate leaving. You are just killing yourself -- literally.

Exhaustipated Thu 09-May-13 10:17:23

But don't you want a better life for your DS? Don't you need to start thinking in terms of ultimatums, for his sake?

To put it fairly bluntly (sorry), growing up with one burnt out parent who is having breakdowns and getting seriously ill, and one depressed patent who refuses to seek treatment could be really harmful.

I am never usually harsh like this on MN but it really seems like you need to wake up and start getting this family into a better situation one way or another.

catgirl1976 Thu 09-May-13 10:17:55

Reversing the roles does make it clearer sad

And the CEO Analogy

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 10:27:35

My worry for you is that you are back running on adrenaline. I've done it myself, have almost no sleep, then use adrenaline (and the anti-d's) to kick yourself to then do another 17 hour day. But- it won't sustain, you will become physically run down and mentally exhausted again. It's just not sustainable in the long-term, and you will in a few weeks or months or when you try to come off the anti-d's (the irony that you are taking medication for depression to cope with your husband's poor treatment of you and his untreated depression...).

He needs to go to the doctors and take medication and get treatment (CBT now). Otherwise your child is growing up with one parent depressed, listless and wasting his life, and another parent on the edge of a nervous breakdown. This is not good for him not good for you, and I am just not sure what fantasy of family life you are preserving by continuing with this when the reality is really quite awful for all of you. Children do notice, I grew up with a dad who refused proper (any) treatment for his depression and mental health problems and I was very glad when he left my mum and stopped us all being dragged down by himsad

I'm glad.

I just imagine that in order to be so successful in the business world, you must see through a lot of BS and I'm sure you don't over-indulge people who don't pull their weight.

I think the biggest change having kids brings to your relationship is that it's now really not just about love and feelings, but about partnership. Responsibilities. Respect, working together well, all that stuff.

You can skate by on love and great sex and wine before kids. But if you don't have a good partnership things will fall apart when kids come along.

That's why I do think you can apply business thinking to home life, to a certain extent. You and your husband made a commitment to this project together -- to have a life together, to have a child, to raise him properly. Your husband is massively shirking his responsibilities and not doing anything to get help. Are you just supposed to keep doing this on your own forever?

Have your day in London, have a great night sleeping. Try to remember a bit who YOU are -- not catgirl the wife or catgirl the mum, but just catgirl. Think about whether this is really the life you want or deserve. It doesn't have to be this way.

Mumsyblouse Thu 09-May-13 10:29:33

BUT- if he changed, went to the doctors, properly engaged with MH professionals, took his medication, his life could be transformed. I guess the question is- does he want it to be or is he happy to live this half-life? I would put this bluntly to him, give him a chance to get treatment, but I would not then, if he failed to do so, expect the rest of us in our family to sacrifice our own wellbeing as a consequence.

Thurlow Thu 09-May-13 10:30:41

I do understand that you don't want to leave him, that you don't want to give him an ultimatum.

But if you think about it, is there anything else you can threaten him with that would achieve a result? You had a breakdown and that didn't get him to pull his finger out and seek some help sad

If that didn't work, I honestly can't imagine what else would scare him enough in to getting help.

I do think some of the other posters are right in saying that there is a element of his behaviour which doesn't entirely tally with depression. Not saying he doesn't need support and help, just that there seems to be something very deliberate about his inability to do anything around the house.

Take some time to recover and relax on your trip, you really deserve it.

Have a lovely break from it all catgirl !

(Can't you arrange these trips more often?smile )

Or think of it this way. You don't want to leave him, the great guy you married all those years ago. But you might have to consider leaving this version of him, which he is doing nothing to change even though you are physically and mentally ill because of it.

Leaving might be the one way to get back to what you used to have.

It's clear that not leaving is not really getting you anywhere. Yes, there has been a bit of improvement, but remember that this new improved version is still seen by everyone on this thread as a total cocklodger. And when you let the pressure up a bit, he backtracked.

AvonCallingBarksdale Thu 09-May-13 10:51:04

Oh, catgirl, I remember your previous threads think I said you looked like a young cindy Lauper!! You sound so lovely and sooooo tired. He's not really stepping up, because it took for you to have a breakdown before he's thrown you a few crumbs sad He needs to be getting up with DS, not waiting until you've done it all then comeing down and asking if there's anything he can do. And you're convincing yourself, too. You could have gone back to bed until 6.00. I've every sympathy for someone with depression, but not so much if he's still online gaming regularly and stalling on going to the GP. This man is no role model for your DS sad. HAve a good, restful time in London.

TentativeWhistleBlower Thu 09-May-13 10:55:22

I know the thread seems to have moved on a bit from the op, but can on to suggest getting blackout blinds in your ds's room? My DSD will wake up when it starts getting light outside, which is now as early as 5am. But if the black out blinds are closed she'll sleep till about 9ish.

Maybe worth a try?

catgirl1976 Thu 09-May-13 11:01:55

Ah thank you Avon I will x thanks

9am you say tentative? <goes on amazon to order blackout blind> smile

TentativeWhistleBlower Thu 09-May-13 11:04:14

Hopefully that will work for you, you seem in great need of se long lies every so often flowers

With us anyway, it was the natural light coming in the window that set off the 'its morning!!' Alarm, so we get a bit longer if this isn't triggered

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 09-May-13 11:22:10

Catgirl my DH is very similar to yours, we have 2 DDs and they are a bit older but he isn't working at the moment, DD1 is at school and DD2 is at nursery 3 days, we also have a cleaner. I work 4 days a week and was finding myself doing everything.

Both of mine also went through a phase of early waking.

There are 2 issues - dealing with early waking and getting your DH to help more.

Early waking - unfortunately I think this is incredibly hard to crack, we tried loads of things and nothing made a huge difference but I did use a forum called babysleepanswers www.babysleepanswers.co.uk which was really helpful. I think what you should try and do is push it by a few minutes each day, so don't go in until 5:30 day 1, then 5:35 and try to get him used to being in his cot on his own for a bit as at least if you don't have to physically get up and can lie in bed that is a start. The early waking will pass eventually though but it is so demoralising when you are in the middle of it. I would use the early mornings to get stuff done like put a wash on before I went to work etc....I also think there is nothing wrong with sticking the TV on at that time and maybe you can do some work then rather than late into the night will DS watches something.

Your DH. First he is not himself he is depressed so I do think everyone should make allowances for this. I also think men just don't think about all the day to day stuff that needs doing when they aren't used to doing it and take it for granted. I have resorted to asking telling my DH what needs doing each day e.g. please change the girls beds, please wash the bath towels etc etc. He is getting better but I still find myself doing a lot of chores but we will get there. My DH just doesn't seem to notice if there are dirty coffee cups on the kitchen work top and not in the dishwasher etc etc. I think things like this will never bother him as he isn't house-proud in the same way so I have to remind him daily to do these things.

Do you have to work in the evening, what would happen if you didn't??? As soon as my girls are in bed DH and I sit down to eat, I make sure we can have quick easy meals in the week e.g. jacket potatos which can go in the oven as soon as I get home and are ready when they are in bed, stir fry, something prepared at weekend. We then eat together and have a couple of hours before going to bed.

I went to bed at 9pm when I was getting up at the crack of dawn, it was the only way. I think you should agree that your DH helps in the morning, mine is rubbish to and just isn't a morning person and I literally have to push him out of bed sometimes but I make him get up and help, before I would stomp around and get cross but it is easier to just now physically wake him up and say get out of bed and help.

You sound a lovely person and you need to start putting yourself first as you would be no good to your DS and DH if you get ill again. I ended up getting really ill a few weeks ago due to being so run down and it was a wake up call to get me to make DH do more.

Keep us updated.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 09-May-13 11:32:52

whoneeds there is only a certain allowance that should be made for a parent with depression. They need to seek help with their illness in order that they can contribute effectively to looking after their child and home and finances in whatever way.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Thu 09-May-13 11:38:42

whomeeds, you seem to think that men are imbeciles. sad

NoWayPedro Thu 09-May-13 11:40:36

You don't want to leave him/give an ultimatum which is your choice.

You're in denial as every time someone says something you have a rebuttal of 'he did do this one little thing to be fair', except its not fair is it sad I hope you went/are going to see a counsellor after your breakdown who might help get some perspective as there are other issues here.

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 09-May-13 11:57:21

Crikey wasn't expecting that...

Alibaba - yes I agree but having suffered from depression myself it took my DH to march me to the doctors himself before it got sorted...I agree you can only give a certain allowance but sometimes the sufferer will never seek help themselves.

DonDraper - where did I say I thought they were imbeciles...??? My point is that in my experience the stuff that bothers me about the house doesn't bother him, he doesn't notice it, if I ask him to do specific things he will do them, it works for us. Catgirl's DH sounds like he needs similar prodding.

So it's not enough that she works long hours and brings in all the money and does all the cleaning and all the night wakings and early mornings and pays for DS to be in nursery, etc and so on. She also needs to remind her DH to turn on the washing machine? pass the hoover?

Please.

This man has had two years to sort himself out, with lots of support from catgirl. Enough is enough.

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 09-May-13 12:08:22

OK I will back away from the thread, was just sharing what is working in our house.

I thought she was asking for tips, she doesn't want to leave and he is showing no sign of changing...but I will butt out sad

catgirl1976 Thu 09-May-13 12:11:09

whoneeds I really appreciate your posts - thank you for sharing and the tips.

I totally take dreamings point that a grown man shouldn't need to be told, but am glad you have found a way that works for you. If I leave him lists he does tend to do at least some of the stuff on them, I'm just normally too knackered to write one smile thanks

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