to think that maybe after all I am just a lazy arsed cow?

(40 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:17:18

Dh and I both work FT. He teaches and so see's the DC far more than me ie he collects them from the CM and looks after them during the holidays.

I work FT and get home at 6pm. I have 5 weeks holiday.

He had a fit at me tonight after an incident with DS2 at about 9pm ref a dirty nappy. Basically he shouted that he does most of the childcare and that yes I should change DS2 after I had said 'Shall I do it or will you?'

I am rather bewildered tbh. I do all the cooking and tidying up and while we both work hard it seems quite an even balance to me. The only issue I suppose is that the DC have always wanted 'Daddy' to do stuff when they are tired and so to avoid a tantrum 'Daddy' does whatever, like cleaning DS2's teeth and putting his PJ's on. The other thing is that I get up at 7.30am as I have to be out at 8.30 with the DC whereas DH gets up at 6.30 as he has to be out at 7.30. Some of that time will be with the DC if they are up.

This 'thing' has been going on for years with DH. I always have the sense that I am not quite doing enough, that my job is way easier than his, that he really draws the short straw.

I am very confused and would love to know if IABU about being upset that, despite me working FT and missing loads with my DC who are 3 and 7, I am still not somehow pulling my weight.

Writing this all down now looks silly as we are both obv tired but this inbalance between how hard we work has been going on for years and I am fed up.

I don't blame him for getting arsy to be honest....i would have just changed the nappy...why did you have to ask who should do it?

Getting home at 6 isn't that late. Start taking some pressure off him re the kids..maybe get him to do dinner whilst you bath them or whatever and get some sort of balance back so they don't just ask him to do everything.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:29:56

fair enough and no 6 isn't late. I did change the nappy but since we had just finished the dinner that I had cooked after us both doing the boys bath I thought I would ask me or you. Esp since I knew I would be doing the clearing up and dishwasher.

But you are right, I will ask him to do dinner and I will sit on my arse facebooking. Sounds a much fairer deal to me.

kinkyfuckery Wed 27-Feb-13 22:29:56

If the DC are likely to tantrum if he doesn't do x, y and z with them, he's probably feeling pressured. You should both try to address that.

kinkyfuckery Wed 27-Feb-13 22:31:02

But you are right, I will ask him to do dinner and I will sit on my arse facebooking. Sounds a much fairer deal to me.

Ah, so he resents you and what you do/don't do, and you resent him and what he does/doesn't do? Fantastic!

Moknicker Wed 27-Feb-13 22:33:20

If you have the sense that you are not doing enough and he is snapping at you then yes you probably are not doing enough.

However, in the larger scheme of things, there will always be short tempers with parents working FT and small children so do try and be tolerant of snappy behaviour during this difficult time and just do what it takes to get you through as a family. DS2 is 3 so it should all get much easier soon.

Agree with Betty - perhaps you can take on the DCs couple of evenings a week with him doing the cooking/tidying up to even things out.

Good luck - you are not really U - you both just sound a bit tired and fed up which is understandable.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:33:27

we are both so tired come bed time for the DC that it is much easier to say fine Dad do it for DS2 than to have the ensuing tantrum which will mean Dad does it anyway. It's only the 3yo who is like this, but yes maybe it is time to burst that particular bubble.

I think this is all compounded by the fact that I don't see the DC nearly as much as I want to, so by throwing 'who does the most childcare' at me really hurts. I would LOVE to be home for 4pm like he is and see the DC for a few hours before be

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:39:44

I think the issue is that as a family we just don't have enough time during the working week. I would NOT recommend both parents working FT if you can possibly avoid it. It puts horrible pressure on a family.

Ref taking the DC out for the evening. After 6pm there is little you can do with 2 small children which won't make them even more tired. We used to have a gym night twice a week each but found that it meant late nights i.e. everyone not home until after 8pm 4 nights a week, and that in itself put pressure on.

And Mok the problem is I don't know how to do more. When I get home it is straight into homework, bath, tidying up, bedtime and then I cook dinner and tidy up. I'm not sure what else I could do. But I am made to feel as though I am not pulling my weight

deleted203 Wed 27-Feb-13 22:41:16

This isn't a criticism of you, OP, but as a teacher it is difficult to explain, even to a partner who sees it, how bloody stressful and demanding teaching is as a job.

SMT, Ofsted, Govt, etc are all putting increasing demands and stress on teachers and the paperwork, planning, marking, target setting, AFL initiatives, etc, etc, etc are endless. If he is up at 6.30 am, does a full day's teaching, and then comes home to deal with DCs I can see why by 9.00pm he might just lose it. There are days when, if I'm honest, I don't want to SEE another bloody child - not even my own. Days when collecting them, entertaining them, bath, story, bed, etc just seem like the last thing I can cope with. When you devote so much of your time, energy and enthusiasm to other people's children sometimes you have absolutely nothing left for your own - or for your partner.

I don't have a solution, I'm afraid. Just that I can understand if he feels overwhelmed sometimes.

Whatdoiknowanyway Wed 27-Feb-13 22:44:25

In what world is a teacher home by 4pm? None I know of. Could there be resentment that he is compromising his work prospects by having to be back for 4pm?

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 27-Feb-13 22:44:32

Do you both need to work full time? Can a cleaner or someone pick up slack. Can you each have a night off duties during the week and a layin each weekend? As a teacher does he need to work in the evenings too?

Or au pair? Something or someone will have to give as you both sound exhausted and like you're not enjoying life anymore and struggling.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 27-Feb-13 22:46:56

That too about teaching. I'm trying to weigh up going back vs work life balance. If I had to teach full time I'd have to know my husband was able to pick up slack in the evening! I was exhausted after a non stop day teaching even before children. I'm not sure I was ever home by 4 either.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:49:37

so I can entirely understand why he is worn out and I do sympathise with him and take the pressure off where I can. ie I often tell him to take himself out for a few hours and have some space. And he does.

What gets me is the almost total disregard for how hard I work and how difficult I find it not seeing my dc for more than and hour a day during the working week.

It sounds tit for tat but he has been like this forever and even my fairly difficult job as a solicitor in a global law firm pre dc was a walk in the park compared to his.

There is no solution btw, I just needed to know if IWBU, and maybe I'm not. I may just be a lazy arsed git sad. I feel as though I kill myself at work every day only to be told I'm lazy really

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Wed 27-Feb-13 22:54:57

I don't think you're lazy but just that you're both doing too much to cope easily. When you're tired and stressed its much easier to lash out at each other.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:55:05

DH has a role where he can leave at 3.10pm and collect the DC by 4pm. He rarely needs to work in the evening. We both need to work FT. I was made redundant 3 years ago and DH in particular is terrified of it happening again, so I need to work FT. Besides we couldn't pay the mortgage without 2 FT salaries

We have a cleaner and have no family near so only have each other to look after the DC.

TBH I don't enjoy term time at all, it's one hard slog until the next holiday. I didn't work for 18 months and we had soooo much time. Although I was bored and DH was scared about money/the house

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 22:57:24

CanI thats just it. We are doing too much, but we have no other option. Most of the time we are fine, but tonight he really shouted and I didn't know how to deal with it.

Cheddars Wed 27-Feb-13 23:14:53

I think you just need to recognise that you're both tired and under pressure. Competitive parenting is really depressing and helps no-one. It is very easy to fall into this trap while the children are young though.

Could you book a holiday for Easter? Or plan a weekend away? It sounds like you both could do with a break.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 27-Feb-13 23:21:33

thanks Cheddar we have a week in the UK visiting family hmm booked for Easter and a week in France in the summer. I just wish day to day life was a bit easier

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 27-Feb-13 23:29:55

Funnys I think he is being unfair to you really.

Can you weigh up leisure time per day? So while you are doing dinner, if he really is sat on his arse then when do you get that equivalent time?

Looking at the real problem, which is a lack of time, what can you do to solve it? Is there any way that one of you can make enough career headway to allow the other to cut hours and therefore free up some time?

Snazzynewyear Wed 27-Feb-13 23:44:46

I would have to say - there are plenty of threads on here where the mother does more of the hands-on stuff with the DC and says 'they are more used to me and have a tantrum if dad tries to do it so it's easier just for me to get on with it'. Those posters are almost invariably told that that will not solve the problem and that they have to work towards getting a better split where either mum or dad can do bedtime. So I really think that on this issue, that's also what you should do, and 'burst that particular bubble' as you put it yourself, with your 3 yo.

The competitive tiredness in general is another thing entirely. It sounds like neither job is ideal but yours in particular needs sorting out. You say you work very hard. Maybe you need to look for something that allows you a bit more rest.

Softlysoftly Wed 27-Feb-13 23:57:03

Rota? Actually sit and divide the work so it's a fair split, you factor in some time off each and some time together not working/doing chores?

That way it's mutually agreed so there can be no accusatons of unfairness, just a joint understanding of ploughing through the tiredness.

You need to do something as constant resentment can poison a marriage.

On the FT front is the any way to downgrade your lifestyle to allow a 4 day week? Even as drastic as a smaller house/mortgage. Life isn't meant to be just about working though I understand if that just isn't possible sad

Iaintdunnuffink Thu 28-Feb-13 00:06:55

Maybe you could mix up the jobs a bit? One day you get in and take over the kids and he cooks. Then you both clear up, one puts the kids to bed and the other sticks the washing machine on. Or however the timings work on your house.

My children are older, I finish at gone 5, collect one from after school club, get home at 6 and start the meal. Because I have short working hours my husband has the luxury of not having to leave work at a certain time. Once he's home (and he does try to get home by at a reasonable time) we both pitch in until everything is done.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Thu 28-Feb-13 00:48:45

I always come on these threads and say: it is irrelevant who does the most of one particular sort of job, it's about who has the most leisure time. He does more childcare because you work longer hours. As long as, when you do come home, you two are still splitting what needs to be done (ie one is cooking, one is supervising homework, one is doing bath while the other cleans the kitchen), it has to be fair.

HOWEVER. I do notice that in couples where everybody is at their limit, the very fact of always being responsible for one type of chore tends to burn people out. So perhaps if you two swapped for a bit it would take some of the pressure off? I mean, clearly, neither of you are lazy. But he's sick of doing the bulk of the childcare, and you can't love doing all the cooking and cleaning every night, surely?

So how about, when you get home, you're on kid duty until bedtime, all of it (bath, nappy, bedtime rituals etc) and he cooks and cleans up after?

mynewpassion Thu 28-Feb-13 00:52:34

Yabu. You saw the nappy needed to be changed. You should have just changed it. Is it so rigid that you won't change it because it's his job? He won't tidy up because it's your job?

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 28-Feb-13 10:17:07

mynew no it's not like that at all. We both share the childcare when we are both at home but the fact is I am at home less than him and so inevitably he does more childcare. What we usually do is just do what needs to be done until all the chores are finished then we eat dinner etc. If a child needs something and we are both at the end of our teathers then we usualy look at one another and say 'shall I do it or will you'. Which is exactly what I said last night however he got the wrong end of the stick and thought I was telling him to do it.

I think the suggestions of swapping some of our jobs about is a good one and will give it a try.

There is no real possibility of reducing hours etc. We did both go part time when DS1 was small and it was great, but then I lost my job and it all went tits up and DH had to go back FT. I know that no matter how tired DH will not consider doing that again esp in the current recession.

Ah well, I have come to the conclusion that in our current circs these things will come to a head every now and again and because there isn't a solution then I will just have to suck it up. He can be quite emotional and liable to the odd rant which I know, so I just have to accept that is who he is and get on with it I think.

Whoknowswhocares Thu 28-Feb-13 10:44:07

I think you need to bite the bullet with the three year old to redress the balance. It would be fairer to both of you if you did a little bit more of the childcare in your home hours. it would give OH a break and more time with your children would help you feel like you were missing out less too. That doesn't mean he should sit on his arse though, the job swap is essential!

I would probably feel like my entire life was given over to childcare too in his position. Teaching a class of 25ish all day, then doing everything for your own all evening and weekends would tip the most patient person in the world over the edge!!!

lemonmuffin Thu 28-Feb-13 11:19:06

You are not lazy. If you're holding down a demanding full time job and bringing up young children at the same time, there is no way you could possibly be lazy. Don't even think that.

It just sounds like you are both knackered and struggling with the workload a bit. Understandably. Give yourselves a break, keep talking to each other and tell yourself it will get easier soon.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 28-Feb-13 11:36:29

thanks lemon I think you are right and we need to ride it out. We are quite good at talking about stuff once we have both cooled down a bit. Thinking about it both children have had a fluey thing this week which has meant broken nights, tantrums from them both and us having to split the staying at home to look after them. That of course means we are behind at work and the circle just gets more vicious!

Blimey it's hard work this parenting lark!

redskyatnight Thu 28-Feb-13 11:40:12

I'd agree about swapping jobs round. DH and I both work full time and (as it happens) he does more with the DC and I do more of the cooking/cleaning type things. It's not so much that I don't think DH is pulling his weight (because I do), but that I get sick of having to cook EVERY night.

We had a "discussion" once because DH didn't think it was fair he always had to put the bins out (a job he hates) and I hardly ever did. I retorted that I didn't think it was fair that I always had to clean the bathroom and downstairs loo (a job I hate) and he hardly ever did. To my surprise he instantly agreed to swap. As doing the bins takes 5 minutes and the bathrooms takes significantly longer I was totally gobsmacked - but it wasn't the job or even the time taken to do it that was the issue, just the fact that it was ALWAYS the same person doing it.

PessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 13:28:38

I think you are getting undeserved stick from your DH. I hate people who make you feel guilty, it's very unpleasant. He wants the money you bring in and then resents your hours. Not acceptable.

curryeater Thu 28-Feb-13 14:00:55

As tortoiseonthehalfshell says, it's important whether you get the same sort of amount of leisure time in the evenings. BUT: I also notice there is an extra hour in the mornings for you. You say you don't "need" (you mean for your WOH job) to get up till 7.30; but sometimes the kids are up from 6.30. So, then, someone needs to be up earlier, don't they, so why is that always him?

This matters for two reasons:

1. That hour in the morning is an hour he doesn't get to read or watch films or do press-ups or whatever he might like to do in the evening (because he will have to go to bed an hour earlier). So account for it when you look at what time you each get "off";
2. It shows a bit of a lack of solidarity that you are in bed when he is up and so are the kids. Maybe he could get up later and / or have an easier morning if you got up at 7 and put half an hour of your time into getting them ready. Maybe not - not sure how these things work - but deciding that your getting up time is influenced only by your leaving-for-work time is a bit I'm-alright-Jack, no?

BrianButterfield Thu 28-Feb-13 14:18:42

Pessary - you could say the same thing about the OP though? She resents her DH's hours and the time he spends with the DC.

Getting up at 6.30 every day to teach (which I do) when my partner stayed in bed until 7.30 would drive me absolutely insane, I'm afraid. I feel like I am desperately clinging to every second of sleep I get so to be getting up and ready for work and doing stuff for the DC while someone else snored away would be so maddening. Getting back at 4 and spending two hours in sole charge of DC is not exactly kicking back with a coffee and a magazine, either.

PessaryPam Thu 28-Feb-13 14:21:08

Brian, she is not making him feel guilty though, he is doing that to her.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 28-Feb-13 15:45:58

generally speaking the children don't get up until 7.30 when I get up and so DH has that time to himself. We then sort out the children between us and I take them to school and to CM.

And yes, he is trying to guilt me not vice versa. I don't resent DH at all. I am very happy that the children get to come home for 4pm and spend time with their father. What does upset me is that I get told 'I do most of the childcare' when it is not possible for me to do anymore. So I feel I get the worst of both worlds. Being resented for being out of the house so much and yet having to work until 6pm are rarely seeing my children during the week

CheeseandPickledOnion Thu 28-Feb-13 16:03:41

Have you actually sat down and told him that is how you feel? Had an actual conversation about it perhaps?

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 28-Feb-13 16:06:45

I tried to last night but he would not speak to me. No doubt tonight we will talk about it. I feel as though he is asking me to do the impossible ie find more time to help with the children. We are good at communicating as a rule but he does tends to have little blow outs every now and then, mostly when I am least expecting it.

MeSoFunny Thu 28-Feb-13 17:27:57

We can all be a bit crap in relationships. He's being a bit crap about this, maybe you'll be a bit crap next week. I hope the talk goes well tonight but try not to build it up into something giant. It sounds like the ebb and flow of life with all its pressures and stresses.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 28-Feb-13 22:27:19

Thanks everyone, really thank you. This has helped me see DH's perspective without making me feel an utter cow. We didn't have the 'talk' and as MeSo says I don't think either of us wanted to build it up into a big thing.

What actually happened was we met at parents evening (DS1 for once is at national average for everything, yay) and then went home. DH had done 'my' jobs i.e. tidied up and made the lunches, done the homework etc I then insisted on doing all the DC bedtime stuff and DH made dinner. It all worked beautifully and I think we both understood that each of us work hard. It was so nice not to discuss it ad finitum and just know what to do to help the other one out. We didn't talk about it at all, not even that I had called him a TWAT and broken the kitchen door again blush

Softlysoftly Thu 28-Feb-13 23:44:05

Sounds lovely Funnys, and to be to be fair in such a stressful life the odd blow out is inevitable.

In fact id go so far as to say if parents with busy lives didn't have the irregular explosion ofdoor slamming tantrums more suited to their children they would be considerably abnormal smile

FunnysInLaJardin Fri 01-Mar-13 09:58:04

Softly I am sure you are right. I feel rather childish and petulant and hate to think what my children make of it, but there it is!

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