To think he should either get up or shut up?(25 Posts)
DP and I have a 9 week old baby and since she's been born he's always said 'if you need me to do anything, just ask and ill do it. I'm happy to do anything but please ask'. I didn't for a very long time because I find it really difficult to ask for help but eventually caved and have sometimes recently asked for him to get up to change the baby before I feed her in the night (it takes me a VERY long time to actually go from waking up to being able to get out of bed so if he changes her it means I can take the couple of minutes to do this without her being upset). At first I was loathe to do it because I thought 'why should two people be woken instead if one' but DP insisted he would like to be woken to do this sort of thing.
All was okay for a couple of weeks but recently he's started to make quite passive aggressive comments when doing things. Just now he got up to change the baby's nappy and as he went back through to the bedroom after giving her to me said 'I'd just gone back to sleep'. To which I said 'sorry, you're right I shouldn't have woken you'. He got quite stroppy then and said he should be able to voice his opinion without it bring seen as an attack. But I don't understand why that sort of statement needs to be said unless he's essentially doing it to say 'look at this work I'm doing' iykwim? It happens with other things (he went through to make dinner last night but before he did he made a point of telling me how he'd need to clean the whole kitchen before going ahead. When I asked what needed to be done bec ause I'd just cleaned he said 'oh move the iron!' )
Sorry this is so garbly. I'm not sure if I'm being over sensitive or if I should just be bloody grateful he's doing these things so should just put up with the 'martyr me' comments as he does them?
The key part of your post is "he was ok for a couple of weeks" it sounds as if sleep deprevation is kicking in for him as well.
I agree it's sleep deprivation. This is about the worst time for it, when the buzz of the new baby wears off andyou realise it's going to be like this for a while yet.
Unless he's generally a knob I'd ignore the comments and cut both of you some slack.
Dh and I had some truly awful arguments in the middle of the night when ds was tiny. One time he was sat there with him at 4am while I got a bottle ready with ds sick all over him and we were still arguing.
Things are better now ds is sleeping through - he is 13 months now. We also have dd aged 10.
Hang in there! I'd ignore what you can. Everyone is entitled to moan in the middle of the night.
I agree. Some of our most snippy arguments (and we'd never argued before we had children!) have been at 3am in the morning.
He's knackered, you're knackered. If he was ok for a few weeks then he's sleep deprived at the moment. It's a killer but it will be fine, I promise.
It is tough and both of you are allowed to be a bit unreasonable with the sleep deprivation at this stage. However both of you getting up for the same change/feed isn't a great plan. We did it that he'd cover evenings till 11 (while i went to bed v early) then I'd do 11-4ish, then he'd do the early hours. That way we both got a few hours uninterrupted sleep. We were still knackered and prone to being snippy with each other but at least there were parameters and no one felt too hard done by.
Btw, with dc1 I definitely changed their nappy too much in the night. With dc2 it really wasn't necessary that often (unless they'd pooed).
Anyhow, lots of luck (and good boxsets) to get through this mad bit. The sleep section on mumsnet is a lifesaver too!
Thanks all. I'm not sure about the sleep deprecation though. At the risk of being slapped ;) the baby is a very very good sleeper. She woke up at 530 for the first time this morning which is a fairly common occurrence. She will go from 10pm to anywhere between 3 and 5am...
I should add unless its the second feed at 630-7am, I don't ask him to do this on a workday.
Deprivation. Bloody iPhone
The mistake you have made here is to feel that he is 'helping'. As if everything automatically falls to you and he deserves a medal for doing anything.
He shouldn't need to be asked, he should just do it because it is his child, and his home.
^ I have suggested this to which he responded he's 'not a mind reader'.
I'm making him out to be a total twunt and he's not. He's amazing. It's just that asking these things is quite difficult for me and this is making it twenty times worse...
I wouldn't change the baby in the night anyway unless it has pooed. Wakes the baby too much IME
Would that solve the issue?
Get him to do stuff during the day. Bathtime, hanging out laundry etc.
I agree that having 2 people getting up in the night is crazy unless the child is poorly and two people are required.
i remember this time well with DD (wish I didn't) and agree it sounds like sleep deprivation. Even if your DD is a good sleeper you are not getting the sleep you are used to having, and over a period of weeks
months it really grinds you down.
DH and I were horrid to each other during this phase (not helpful, sorry). I think you have to have a thicker skin than normal, and wherever possible come to a business-like arrangement. He is not "helping", you have to be more positive about what you need him to do and just tell him. Ignore the comments, there is nothing worse than having a row about it all when you're both tired, you'll say stuff you regret later.
I would also say try to agree on a time, say Sat morning, where you go out
and sleep in the car on your own. IME, if you stay in the house you will just get asked loads of questions and feel on edge. Once DH was looking after DD on his own for a few hours, he started to be way more useful.
I agree, stop changing the baby in the night.
You really need to get away from the mindset that he is somehow doing you a favour. He shouldnt have to be instructed, the baby is his too and its up to him to think about what the baby needs.
Why does it take you a very long time to get up?
I think you need to agree who does what, when and stick to it.
Raise the subject when you're both calm, and state that as parents, you're both responsible for her care.
You have to make a conscious effort to give each other breaks. My DW swears by a long shower every morning and periodic time on the balcony checking her phone while I dandle DD (who is EBF and quite clingy to DW at the moment, but always has a big smile for me even if she does cry when I pick her up). As long as DW has her shower and her balcony break, I am allowed to take a long-ish bath. On occasion, I will take DD out for an hour and leave DW alone in the house (although lately, mosquitoes have prevented this). On occasion, my wife will let me go to the slightly shonky pub next door, as long as I don't come back at 3am trashed and shouting (I generally go for about an hour).
Also, you have to pick up on cues as to when your DP has hit their limit before they get visibly arsey with you (this isn't just directed at you, it goes both ways and in fact it's mostly directed at him). I know when she's gone too long without a break, because she gets this faraway, slightly manic look in her eyes and stops interacting with the baby. She knows when I've gone too long without a break, as I start lurching around the house like a drunk (or the baby starts yelling for her).
It's not perfect. The sleep deprivation mentioned above has caused some pretty horrific fights, especially when DD is screaming in her car seat and there's nothing either of us can do about it.
And he doesn't deserve a bloody medal. Your child is the medal.
Well, why does he think YOU are the mind reader? Suggest to him that YOU are willing to help him, all he has to do is ask. Bet he won't like that.
On a more practical note, you could try splitting jobs. So e.g. cleaning the kitchen is yours, laundry is his. This means that he is totally responsible for laundry (or whatever). You don't need to remind him to do it, or ask him. He doesn't need to be a mind reader then, because he is in complete control of the task.
I think about 8 weeks until about 16 weeks is a really difficult phase, the early mornings are difficult but it's the sheer 'non-stop' routine that really got us. My DH were lovely to each other before we had our baby, now we say some awful things and it's not as if he doesn't do his share. It does get a bit better, but I wouldn't just attribute it to the immediate situation, that will be the last straw (so to speak), it'll be an accumulation of things. Maybe sit down and draw up a rota, like Hissy Said, you should stick to it.
Hi bluberry. Congratulations on the arrival of your baby.
I do agree that sleep deprivation may be taking its toll - or the effects of disrupted sleep which can be just as powerful!
But the key issue here, I think, is the whole notion of you finding it hard to ask him for "help". Your DP isn't helping, he's parenting. The baby deserves to have both of you parenting and that does not stop in the night. Agreed it is better to have just one person awake if possible but sometimes needs must.
Please do not see it as helping. I too am dreadful at asking for support. I therefore had a very tricky first few months with my son. Be kind to each other and let your DP parent. You do not need and should not do everything by yourself.
Keep talking to your DP and both of you should not assume that the other understands exactly what is wanted or needed. Enjoy the weekend with your lovely baby.
Went through all this with my ex. I hate the "you only have to ask" business. It's all about making it a request from you. He is officially off duty and you are on and so on. Personally, I think people tend to do better if they have rotas and keep to them. Relying on kindness and decency doesn't work because everyone is so sleep deprived they can't behave properly.
The other stuff about the cleaning is the same sort of stuff. His time is being impinged on and he doesn't like it because his time is his time and therefore ring fenced. Your time, on the other hand, is at everyone's service.
Sorry. Not very helpful, but that would be my take on it. How to deal with it, I don't know. I didn't deal with it.
Some men need asking and a timeframe for said task.
There is no actual explanation it is just that some of them can't be arsed to think about these things for themselves. Do they need micromanaging at work?
I seriously could not bring myself to have sex with a man who needed telling when the baby needed changing or the kitchen needed a tidy.
Hell would freeze over before I apologized for waking my DH to help look after OUR baby. He stayed awake long enough to make ds!
Well, that's how it happened with me. After a day of passive aggressive behaviour regarding housework, I didn't want to have sex with him.
" He stayed awake long enough to make ds!"
Stealing this. Will save in my back pocket
for I don't know when but it's a classic statement!
I know I'm late to the thread but just had to post OP because I could have written your post, and reading the thread has really affected me! Huge sympathies and YANBU. I'm tired
and grumpy too I guess but so sick of my (lovely, sincere, hard working) DH saying this. Why should I have to ask? Can't he cast his eyes about and see the house needs attention? Why do I always feel the need to thank him when he does help - I don't get thanks when I do it. Ok he can't bf our 4 week old dd but he can just jump in and do other things instead of saying he will then fiddling about on iPhone all evening Bah!
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