to need a break from being a SAHM

(96 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:18:15

No idea if IABU or not.

We have 2 DC (1 and 2 years).

DH leaves for work very early in the morning and gets home at 6pm. By the time 6pm rolls around I am often irritable, tired and most of all, touched-out from having two toddlers whinging and climbing all over me all day long. In an ideal world I would hand the kids over to DH and lock myself in the bedroom for an hour to get a breather. But DH argues that this would be unfair as he 'never gets a break either'. I try to explain that at least he gets a change of scene, but he dismisses this.


If you don't think IABU, what is the solution?

yaimee Tue 09-Apr-13 21:20:27

Of course yanbu. Any spare time should be split between you including evenings and weekends, you're working too!

kinkyfuckery Tue 09-Apr-13 21:21:20

YANBU to need a break after a day with the kids.

HINBU to need a break when he first gets home after a day at work.

You need to speak and come to a compromise and agreement as to what is going to happen, e.g. he gets half an hour when he first comes in, then you get half and hour, then you both chip in together to get DCs sorted and to bed.

christinarossetti Tue 09-Apr-13 21:26:48

If you go out to work, you get to go to the toilet more or less when you want to BY YOURSELF, drink a hot drink whilst it's hot and without batting someone else away whilst you're doing so and, most importantly, finish a thought or sentence without anyone interrupting, even if it's just on the journey to and from work.

Being at home with two toddlers does not allow you to do these things.

I'd agree that you need to decide a plan of who gets a bit of time to themselves first, then the other one, or alternative evenings and go from there. I made a mistake by not doing this, and it means that my two now always expect me to bath them etc, and it would have been better for everyone to ensure that they were more flexible.

Squitten Tue 09-Apr-13 21:29:37

Do you not both get to have a rest in the evening after the kids are in bed? If so, you should both be pitching in until then so everything's done and you can both collapse

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:36:18

Do you not both get to have a rest in the evening after the kids are in bed? If so, you should both be pitching in until then so everything's done and you can both collapse

Yes, is the answer to your question. However, despite DH arriving home, the DCs still carry on coming to me most of the time, whilst DH gets to sit in his chair on his laptop.

I feel like a crap mum. After spending all day with the kids, by 6pm I'm crawling the walls wanting to be away from them. I feel guilty for feeling this way, but it has been consistent for months and months. (no chance working btw as wages wouldn't even cover childcare).

idlevice Tue 09-Apr-13 21:38:59

YANBU. If you are a SAHP then you do not get that change of scene & more importantly, absence of total responsibility for DC. You are always effectively at your workplace, there is no interaction at a peer level & there is no subconscious switching off or at least even switching down a gear.

I don't know what an easy solution is, apart from time. When DS1 was small there were days when I did literally hand him over to DP and lock myself away for a bit or sleep. Do you have a routine to the day? Really try to look at what needs to happen and what things can be let go. I find it better to leave certain things until DC are in bed so at least I can do them properly even if it does mean I only get an hour at the end of the day to veg out.

I hope your DH can step up, at least a bit, otherwise he will end up with you stressed out & miserable as hell. Is he reluctant cos he doesn't think he can manage the DC/is worried about some aspect of looking after them? Check first there isn't anything simple that can be sorted out.

Squitten Tue 09-Apr-13 21:41:35

Ah, I see. What about weekends? Do you have something to do for yourself on weekends?

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:43:12

* Is he reluctant cos he doesn't think he can manage the DC/is worried about some aspect of looking after them? *

No, it's a simple case of 'competative tiredness'. He doesn't think I deserve a break if he doesn't get one. Which makes sense on a level. I feel so crap, like I'm not cut out for this life. I should never have had kids if I can't cope with it.

YANBU, I have a 3 and 1 year old and can completely empathise.

Neither of you are being unreasonable (I am SAHM but was the working parent when dd1 was younger, so can see both sides).

Does he help you put them to bed? If not he needs to help do bath and bed routine then you can both relax once they are in bed, it is faster with both of you working together.

Would you leave your kids in a creche for an hour? Some gyms and leisure centres have them, that way you can get a bit of 'me' time during the day.

When they nap take some time to do something for you, watch tv, paint your nails, read a book. If you were at work you would get a lunch break and tea break so take some time out from chores then.

Get out to baby and toddler groups or the park, safe places where the kids can tire themselves out are good.

One evening a week go out with friends or to a class or something if you can and want to (not so easy I know, I haven't managed it yet).

On the weekend he can take them out for an hour too so you can get a break.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:47:17

Does he help you put them to bed?

Yes. He does one kid whilst I do the other. There's 2 hours from him getting in from work and them going to bed though.

We shouldn't have had fucking kids sad Fancy arguing over having to deal with your own kids!

When they nap take some time to do something for you

They don't nap at the same time. When the 1yr old is sleepy, the 2 year old isn't. Then when the 2 year old is sleepy, the 1 year old is refreshed.

I wish I'd paid for a babysitter/childminder one afternoon a week when mine were that tiny - is that an option at all?

I agree that a change of scene from work to home is easier going on the energy levels than non stop children/house stuff though. What time do the DC go to bed?

hairtearing Tue 09-Apr-13 21:49:50

I sympathise If I had a job lined up, and childcare I'd go to work tommorrow,

although looking at my sleeping baby youngest I feel so guilty,

I miss other adults,routine.

WorkWankWail Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:29

I do wonder where the rest of you work at times, to have this luxury of a quiet day debating topical issues and current affairs in the office and endlessly sipping hot tea and pissing all day alone.

For me the reality of it is feeling absolute fucking misery at leaving my DCs, spend a long, hard day WORKING, dodging bitchy colleagues, dealing with my superiors throwing their weight around, working through lunch, struggling through rush hour traffic and finally getting in wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes, hungry, thirsty and desperate for a piss.

YANBU OP, but I've got to say it - neither is your DH. I can't think of a worse time than when I've just walked in through the door to entertain two toddlers, I'm at my most frazzled then. Would you consider getting a job, even part time, and having them go to nursery a couple of days a week?

I get that it's hard, I do, but I fucking hate this Mumsnet attitude that the working parent has the easy life. My working life is fucking hard WORK. I'm paid well for it, but I pay too, trust me.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 09-Apr-13 21:53:38

YANBU. I have 3 dc, although two are at school now. It's still hard though. They were off sick today with vomiting bug, so I had that to contend with plus non-sick 2 year old. I feel knackered now. I was up all night mopping up sick too. Dh leaves at about 6am and gets home at about 7pm. I am practically crying by the time he comes home. If he texts me to tell me the train is delayed, that sends me over the edge.

I am completely with you on the competitive tiredness thing. My dh is the same. I also sometimes have the feelings that I never should have had kids if I can't cope with them. I don't know what the answers are either. It's difficult. It's good to know it's not just me though grin

lucysmum Tue 09-Apr-13 21:55:32

can't you get them to bed earlier? 8 seems quite late (if I read your post correctly). Have them ready for bed when he gets in and then he can do story? If they then wake up early so what - he can deal with them start of the day if he won't do the end of the day.

numbum Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:06

DH and I used to give each other 45 minutes each once he got home from work. How we chose to spend that 45 minutes was up to us (snoozing, reading, having a relaxing bath, going for a walk/drive alone) but it was undisturbed unless it was an absolute emergency

What is his job? I do get slightly irate with stay at home parents thinking working is easier than being a stay at home parent sometimes but it does completely depend on the job the working parent is doing!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:16

Would he agree to alternate evenings so you both get a break?

I feel YANBU, my DH always took over on coming home as it is so hard to carry on at the same thing.

But if his job is very stressful or he's not the generous type maybe half and half is the way to go.

Nevercan Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:56

One night a week go out and do your own thing and the same for hubbie. Go to the gym for an hour or visit a friend etc. I am sure that would make such a difference.

VinegarDrinker Tue 09-Apr-13 22:00:26

Hah, too true Work I was going to say the same. Hot drinks and piss breaks are pie in the sky for me most days at work! I work 4 days and depending on how trying the toddler is work and home days can be equally challenging and exhausting in different ways.

I do think that the change of scenery thing is important though. In general whichever of us who has been at work takes over from the SAHP when we get in, even just for 15 mins for the other to have a breather. Then most nights DH starts work again so I do bedtime, but if we are both around we split it 50/50.

It is exhausting though whichever one of the parents you are. (It helps in this situation that both DH and I have "work days" and "home days" and split childcare so have sympathy with each other).

yanbu, i only have one to contend with and have now gone back to work pt. its fucking hard being with the little darling all day, esp at the toddler phase when the slightest thing can set off a tantrum. im more exhausted now than when ds was a baby (now 2).
for this reason i joined the council gym. i have never ever been a gym bunny pre ds but the creche helped me change my mind and all in its only costing £32pm. i can in theory have 3 hours a day to myself either working out, taking a class or sitting in the cafe with a book shock could this be an option for you?

HKat Tue 09-Apr-13 22:05:13

YY WorkWankWail

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 22:10:01

I feel so bad that the kids appear to be resented sad That neither DH nor myself wants to deal with them come 6pm. I feel utterly ashamed and sorry for the kids.

I am practically crying by the time he comes home. If he texts me to tell me the train is delayed, that sends me over the edge.

Phew. So it's not just me. How does your DH handle it?

What is his job?

I.T team leader.

maxpower Tue 09-Apr-13 22:24:12

Had a chuckle at the thought of actually getting a lunch break at work of all places! I have quite a few friends who are sahp and almost all of them go through this. Bottom line is that by the end of the day you're both tired whether you've been out at work or taking care of the dcs.

WorkWankWail Tue 09-Apr-13 22:29:22

My personal view on this, when I'm not wailing about work or wanking is that problems in relationships appear when one does not value the other. I don't blame SAHPs for getting pissed off if the working parent implies that all they do is sit on their arse watching TV; by the same token, don't be surprised when your working partner gets defensive and annoyed when it's implied all they do is sit on their arse drinking hot tea (and pissing alone of course.)

Even if you love your job, it will sometimes be hard, bring stress with it and complications that at time you don't need. Even if you love being a SAHP there are times when it will wear you out and grind you down. Acknowledging and sympathising with the other person's stress, worries and unhappiness will get you a long way. There is a time and a place where BOTH members of a partnership should say to the other "love, you look exhausted, go and run a bath and I'll bring you up a beer cup of tea." It's not the bath or the tea, it's the acknowledgement that the other person is doing something that makes your life easier and happier whether that's caring for your children or bringing the money in to enable the family to live.

How the fuck am I single? grin

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 09-Apr-13 22:31:15

BlackMary, it depends on the sort of day he's had and where he's had to go. If he's been in London all day and the train is an hour late, he doesn't handle it too well to be honest. Although, I completely get that as he's tired too. If he's been somewhere closer and is home by 6pm (very rare I have to say), he is very helpful. If it's Friday, we're both in a better mood as it's the weekend. As he's in London 3 days a week at the moment, we are arguing a lot! He's away next week for three nights. I am dreading it sad

Lastyearsmodel Tue 09-Apr-13 22:35:24

Technically, and I speak as a SAHM to 3 DC, neither of you is being U. Work in and out of the home exhausting but in different ways. the grass is always greener. And babies and toddlers produce a sense of humour failure in me of epic proportions.

Yes, you need a plan for evenings as other posters have said, but this really, really tough stage where the DC are so UTTERLY dependent on you is not forever, and you are NOT defective for finding it tough. I frequently need a lie down in a quiet room the minute DP gets home and sometimes i get it. Sometimes I 'go to the loo' and lock the door for 10 minutes. I am increasingly realising how much I need to be on my own and this is why I find parenting so draining.

Be kind to yourself, make it all as easy as possible, do stuff you like to do in a way the DC will tolerate (me: drink good coffee in nice cafe, DCs: demolish lunchbag and juice). Tiny little treats to get you through the hour/day/week.

And once in a while when your DH is at home, leave at the time he does every day and be out ALL DAY, even overnight sometimes but definitely until bedtime, just so he can really get the precise nature of exhaustion/stress/tedium/hair-tearing-out that is sole charge of tiny children for very long periods.

steppemum Tue 09-Apr-13 22:49:12

I think the simple answer is that at 6 pm everyone has had enough, and wants a break.

I think you need to both acknowledge that you are both knackered and both need a break. then talk about different solutions.

How about you each have half an hours break? then work out who goes first - take turns so it is fair etc.

Also, try changing something in routine. So for example, stick dcs in bath at 6pm, long play bath with bubbles, put a chair by the door and pour a glass of wine. A long play bath can take half an hour and it is very calming on dcs and you etc. Dh could even sit on the chair by the door with the glass of wine/cup of tea.

Save a favourite dvd for 5:30 and then put it on for half a hour etc etc

I think arranging to be out all day Saturday would be a good reminder to him of how hard it is to be the SAHP when they are little

yellowhousewithareddoor Tue 09-Apr-13 22:55:47

I clicked as I love being a mum and love the children but my husband works away during the week and I struggle. If I had parents near by that would help or close knit friends I think I'd find it easier but the house is a tip and I get ratty and exhausted. I do love doing things with them when my husband is around it just feels so overwhelming doing it all on my own during the week.

AndFanjoWasHisNameO Tue 09-Apr-13 22:58:57

sad Don't feel crap-it doesn't sound like the kids are resented at all, you just sound knackered smile
Couple of things:
work hard to synchronise the naps, there is 15 months between mine and they were the same but I've trained encouraged the younger one to map at the same times each day, this fell in line with the big kid nap and latterly with afternoon nursery session time. I get to stare at the wall/go for a wee/drink tea/Hoover etc...

-are you seeing other people in the day? I 'm massively pregnant and cant walk or stay awake much at the moment so have swerved all my usual group things, meeting friends and it is fucking destroying me being holed up all day indoors with the toddlers angry by the time DH rolls in from work, I 'm faking a funny tummy to sit locked in the bathroom for 20 mins..
Remember it's summer soon-do you have a little garden or yard that you can childproof so they can play a bit independently ?
Whereabouts are you in the country? Any meetups you could go on.
Try and stop the competitive tiredness between you- it's hard I know (been still there meself) but it only breeds contempt. Take turns, moan to each other but without point scoring.
I have been both a WAHM/SAHM - both are incomparable and I really hope your thread doesn't turn out to be about the two, I never got to drink hot tea at work either, but I did get treated like my opinion counted, spoke to other adults and got to interact with people who didn't require me to wipe their arse wink. That for me was gold, I love my kids but don't think I 'm a particularly effective mum. Chin up dude.

Startail Tue 09-Apr-13 23:03:19

one evening a week I went swimming and DH put the DDs to bed.


as non negotiable from as soon as EBF DD2 would take yoghurt from a spoon and juice from a cup (about 7 months). (She never did bottles and won't drink milk).

That and lots of toddler activities to get out the house kept me sane, I can't do 24/7 playing with small people.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 09-Apr-13 23:15:46

oh yes. I used to escape by cooking tea in the kitchen.

do you have a travel cot? can the one year old go in that while your 2 year old naps? you will at least wee in peace/get a coffee.

perhaps one could go in the travel cot while you cook tea and h keeps half an eye on them. definitely a stair gate on the kitchen door.

wiltingfast Tue 09-Apr-13 23:21:54

You're taking totally the wrong approach to this. What you need to do is express concern the two ds don't appear to have the same bond and how he needs to build his relationship and confidence in dealing with them.

Then you get your self a gym membership and leave the house. Also develop an interest in say the library and leave the house, finally remind yourself you have friends and how very VERY important it is to stay in touch and make sure you meet them at LEAST one evening a month and you guessed it leave the house.

You really need to nip the dh attitude in the bud now because it is actually v nb that the children are happy and comfortable with him and that he gets to know them and how to manage them and I'm afraid there is no other way to develop this but to leave him, quite literally, to it.

You should disappear the odd saturday too. He clearly has no idea what's involved in minding 2 toddlers all day if he doesn't appreciate he needs to step up when he gets home.

It takes a while also for the skills to develop so you will come back to chaos but so what. You will feel much more able for it after a break. Keep at it, it's the only way the entire thing won't be left to you, to everyone's detriment.

Sitting down with his laptop, he should be playing with the kids and getting them ready for bed. Plonker.

And don't beat yourself up about how hard it is, a 1 and 2yo is very tough. You need a lot of energy to cope never mind do it well. A break is nb. It does get easier. I survived it! And working was easier for me. I coped a lot better when I was back at work and waltzed in at 630 to enjoy a few hours with them before they went to bed.

butterflyexperience Wed 10-Apr-13 04:20:54

Being a sahm if dc of that age is crazy crazy hard work

It drains you physically mentally and emotionally every single day

I used to want to run away...

Can you look at family help or child are for 2 hours a day so you can get your sanity back?

Oh and dh is bu

Longdistance Wed 10-Apr-13 05:34:31

What about putting dc into nursery one day a week, or the older one.
My dd2 is in nursery two days a week now, and has been since she was 15 mo. There's 22 months between my two.
Dd1 was hard work as a baby and a toddler. She's 3.6 now, and is a lot calmer. But that break from her when she was in nursery was amazing.mi got to have dd2 on my own, and then dd1 would have fun, and make little friends at nursery.
Or, maybe you could put one in on a Monday, and the other on a Friday, so you only have them 3 full days together.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 10-Apr-13 07:38:19

I think a cm a day or two a week would really help my sanity but is really expensive and hard to justify when I'm not bringing in any money.

Other sahm seen to manage fine around here but then they're supported ex family and husbands that don't work away.

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 08:17:23

i sympathis OP

I would suggest a different routine, I did this when living overseas with 2 under 3:

1. DH off to work. Me up - straight to shower while kids still in cots with books/ toys - that shower was crucial to my self esteem feeling clean and ready for the day. ignore their cries, you will be out of shower in 4 mins!

downstairs : easy breakfast for them, and cartoons on, then good Coffee toast good breakfast for me.

3. Sit on floor or lie on sofa for an hour while DCs play. easy small boxes of toys to entertain them

4. outside - walk to park, walk around block. go to library get some books just for you - cookbooks, travel plans, anything, free magazines etc

5 another coffee stop or bring a flask and snacks

6 home around 1 or 2pm - lunch/snacks. lie on sofa again while dcs play or nap.

7. 3-4pm - outside again, garden run around or park? can you? to tire them out I mean

8. 4pm start wind down/ dinner time/bathtime

9 kids in bed 6pm, asleep by 6.30

YOU leave the building as soon as DH comes in you now have 4 hrs free time to cinema, visit friends, family, walk, gym, or just sleep and read MN inbed...

Just suggesting what helped me - this routine was crucuial for me so I had a predicatable day to fall into place when i was knackered without childcare or family support nearby

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 08:21:13

and i disappeared each saturday too - out by 8am into town, or away on a train trip somewhere new....or just to wander around the city, without a buggy - i went to art galleries, drank coffee, walked.

came home at 7pm - DH THEN began to really understand it all, and i got much more support from him from then

Molehillmountain Wed 10-Apr-13 08:27:52

Early on in the child rearing thing, dh learnt that he had to be home when he said he would be or not say a time. I could cope, sometimes well, until he arrived home but then there would be the ceremonial passing of the baby and I would collapse for a bit. If he were five minutes over I would be pacing the floor. Ten and he would be entering in fear. Can't explain it. But it's tough being with small children and especially so at that time of day. Yanbu. They don't say "a change is as good as a rest" for nothing.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Wed 10-Apr-13 08:30:29

are you the active type? how about a 20 min run when he gets in, gives you space and the exercise will not only do good but also be therapeutic. He can hardly argue if its for your health smile and after all its only 20 mins then you are back to help with bedtime. I agree with poster up thread, start making bedtime a bit earlier with longer baths and stories or story CD's at bedtime in their own room quietly. He is BU not to give you half an hour when he gets in for a quick battery recharge. its good for kids too who have been with you all day my DH used to love getting in to see the boys and would have a 'mad' halfhour... granted all the excitement and throwing them around wound them up something rotten making bedtime a challenge but hey, it gave me time to sit back and breathe

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 10-Apr-13 08:31:56

Old toys I'm liking your routine. I might adapt that and I think my kids would be better for being out twice.I like the rest stop for mum :-)

When did you do clearing up? Washing etc? Our house tends to be a tip by 7 and then I spend half my evening thinking I ought to organise it. Are you good at clearing up as you go? I've got piles of things building up.

I can't do the evenings as husband hardly ever home. I think that would be key to getting out of house and maintaining adult relationships.

I also couldn't take a day out each weekend. Did your husband take the other day? When did he get down time? I'm very conscious of weekend time as family time in our case as husband is away. Grr. I'm knackered!

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 10-Apr-13 08:35:36

This thread is really reassuring me (yay for mumsnet) in that I don't feel I'm coping well at the moment but if people who can go out in the evenings or have a husband around to help find it tough that kind of help validates my own struggle. Not sure what to do about it though. Although I'll adapt a routine like above. Thanks mumsnet.

(Although that only works until I read threads of 2 working parents of single parents with 100 kids or additional needs and I feel incapable.)

NotMostPeople Wed 10-Apr-13 08:40:08

I had three under three. The best thing that ever happened was I got ill and couldn't get out of bed so DH had to take a few days off and be me. Then he understood and was far far more understanding.

You do look a bit fluey wink.

wiltingfast Wed 10-Apr-13 08:53:43

You should never feel guilty about taking time for yourself, in reality, you will function far better as a mum and loving partner if you are enthusiastic and happy. Everyone in the family benefits.

And there's no need to be competitive or strictly rational about howmuch time each partner gets. People should get what they need to help them refocus and engage happily with the family.

We both work ft. Most weeks I am out one evening - I go to the library, wander the shops a bit or meet friends for dinner. Dh takes another evening for study. Most weekends I will disappear again for a few hours, shops, coffee and a mag, library, "errands" etc. Dh goes out the odd weekend to meet a local pal for a drink. He doesn't appear to get wound up the way I do. He doesn't seem to need any more time than that whereas I need regular time outs or I get v wound up and snappy.

And when you have a 1 and 2 yo old, you can forget about the house looking good for quite a while (I'm still waiting)! But if it stresses you, just do the minimum to get it to copeable levels and then leave it fgs, it'll be a tip again in the morning when they get up!

Jayne266 Wed 10-Apr-13 08:58:22

Sorry I haven't read all the posts so this may have been covered. Has your DH had the children on his own for a day?

I work part time and have my DS the other days when DH gets home he understands I may need a moment to myself. However he never fully knew this until he had to have DS on his own for a full day a couple of times.

Sorry of this doesn't make sense but it helped me and DH.

redskyatnight Wed 10-Apr-13 09:11:29

We used to do that when DH got in from work he was in charge of the children - they were not allowed to come to me - and I busied myself with getting tea/cleaning the kitchen/general tidying up. Yes, it's still work, but I guess it's a break from the DC you want more than anything? Whereas DH is tired but not from dealing with small children so he is probably better able to cope with them.

BettyandDon Wed 10-Apr-13 09:20:18

Totally sympathise.

I have a 2.7 yr old and a 4 month old. Eldest doesn't nap and we can't afford childcare until she's 3 and we get free hours.

No family nearby. DH has 2 nights away a week.

The easiest days are when we are out for most of it. I find driving gives me a semi-break.

It's been a nightmare recently with the crap weather. Rules out a lot of activities and the garden.

It's fine for others to say don't stress about housework but that's only possible to a certain extent. It's horrible to have to use a filthy bathroom as no one has had time to clean it or to realise at the start of the day that you don't have any clean trousers! Both happened yesterday.

Very few mums do what we do without any childcare formal or from family. There's probably a good reason for that!

I would look into rejigging finances to afford a crèche or CM once a week. Tell your OH you will cut down on food or sky tv or something to illustrate how badly you need this.

I'm counting the days until the eldest is in nursery that's what is keeping me going.

Other option maybe is travelling to stay with family for a week or two?

Molehillmountain Wed 10-Apr-13 09:26:49

Tidying gets done in fifteen minute bursts here. I put the kitchen timer on and do as much as I can in that time. If its a bad day it's on for five mins!

ChocsAwayInMyGob Wed 10-Apr-13 09:29:50

OP I totally sympathise. Your children are not resented at all, they are obviously loved.

I often have these feelings of failure when I don't enjoy motherhood, but it passes. I think it's because there is so much pressure on us today to be perfect mothers, rather than just mothers.

Being a mother is a million times more wonderful and a million times harder than I ever thought it would be.

All I can tell you is that this worked for me:

After a week away as a family, my DH finally saw how hard it was for me all day, and saw me in a different light. The two of us were knackered after a joint day of looking after them.

Having said that, when he gets in from work, he has had a long commute and I always give him half an hour of down time or some food. For half an hour when he gets in he is neither use nor ornament. In return, I expect sympathy and practical help.

In conclusion: your DH must have the kids on his own in order to understand you.

Also- put then to bed earlier. At 1 and 2, mine went to bed at 7pm. Try that?

flaminhoopsaloolah Wed 10-Apr-13 09:34:53


I've only read your post - none of the replies. You're not alone, and neither is your DH in failing to understand what it's really like. YANBU.

Here's an article that my help you better understand what's going on here and may help your DH understand so you can both work towards something that works for your family

mumofweeboys Wed 10-Apr-13 09:51:29

Me and oh would have competitive tiredness fight. He works away now so usually me and the kids. My saving sanity is routine. We have activities most mornings - toddlers, soft play. Then they have a quick lunch and they both get shoved into bed around 12.30pm for a nap in their darken rooms - with saftey gates on so older cant escape.

This usually gives me an hour to relax at least.

Start tea at 5 or oh starts tea if home while kids colour at table with other parent. Then its bath time and bed by 7pm or 6.30 if they have been monsters lol

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 10:32:30

Regarding keeping the house tidy, I would take one room, each week and make it your PROJECT to declutter it.

I did this - gave me something to work towards, and the kids 'helped' - pottered around me, hid in boxes etc etc. I 'ignored' them, chatting away but focused on my project to declutter

Do it room by room, as much as you can, with regular breaks - trust me, once the clutter is gone, your head clears and there is less to tidy each day!

Kitchen: Do you have lots of stuff on your work surfaces in the kitchen? Put small appliances in cupboards, clear away paperwork into boxes/drawers/organised spaces - check Pinterest for ideas it's fab

Bedroom: Sort your underwear drawer so everything is easy to access in a morning, sort your clothes, EBay sell them, etc etc

Kids room: Either keep their toys in their rooms, and have just ONE box of toys in the living areas. Then ROTATE these boxes weekly so you don't have to keep buying them new toys

Bathroom: Regular harpic down the loo and a brush around then a quick Jif around the sinks - I keep a sponge and wipes in the bathroom and if it's looking iffy, I do a quick clean - Flash wipes are brilliant

Living room: WHat is the basic need in your room - don't have mountains of toys in there, just ONE box of toys as above. Cushions and snuggle blankets for you when you're feeling like you need a hug! Wrap yourself up and it will calm you down. Worked for me.
Hoover or brush floors each day, or every other day - I used to dress up kids into buggies before our morning walk or the 2nd afternoon walk, then while they're in the buggies, I'd do a quick floor sweep. REALLY helped my mood to have clean floors to come back to

I don't know what else to suggest - oh yes, clean the shower while you're in it, clean max 30 mins each day - it doesnt have to be a massive operation, just spray and wipe and you'll get there

But DECLUTTER first - you must - then there will be less STUFF coming in on top of you so to speak

Sorry lonnnnnnng post again!

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 10:34:18

DH took sunday mornings break away to do his thing if I took the saturdays off, sometimes i just took saturday morning away, then he took saturday afternoon out, but we both agreed to have saturday evenings as wine and naice food at home night

even if kids are around or sleeping, saturday evenings were always a restful, relaxing 'date' night at home if you like - we had both had a breather away that day, and were more in tune thereafter

KellyElly Wed 10-Apr-13 10:34:46

If he gets a lunch break for an hour at work, the hour when he comes home to look after the kids is your hour break grin

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 10:38:12

i think your DH just needs to hear you say that you appreciate his 'role' in providing for his family, that you understand his stresses etc but as their FATHER, put it gently to him, you have a new idea of how things will work better - I wouldnt nag him, as to be fair, he's probably working his socks off already and yes that is tiring

But you are a team, you have 2 beautiful kids together. This is just a massive exhausting juggle for you and he needs to have clear outline of what you want from him

So tell him.

Heinz55 Wed 10-Apr-13 10:42:37

I used to be like this when my first was small. I only had one (and couldn't contemplate another because of how lonely and exhausting I found the whole thing) and I remember resenting every minute late DH was in coming home. He would take his time and call in to his parents on the way!!! Anyway, I survived it (as will you) and now I do have a second child and they are both a bit older and more independant and a few years ago I took up running and often am ready to (literally) run out the door as DH comes in - if I am training for a specific race this is my excuse. A friend just goes out for a walk as her dh comes in - the reasoning being that we will be back in time to do bedtime and then enjoy a couple of hours with dh. Having said that, last night I didn't go anywhere and my children continued to follow me around until I explained that I needed 20 minutes silence and hid in my bedroom (they still found me grin). You are not alone OP!

WileyRoadRunner Wed 10-Apr-13 10:42:57

Is this am old thread or does OP just put the same thing on every couple of months confused

OP you have had stacks of advice over the threads that you have started, none of which you are interested in trying.

Therefore YABU.

And didn't you gleefully post on a a very controversial thread that people should be able to cope with their own children alone (without their DP!s helping)?

oldtoys Wed 10-Apr-13 10:58:45

if she wants to put the same thing on every couple of months, then why shouldn't she Wiley?

Mothering is like that! It is constant, constant and maybe she needs to just VENT whenever she damn well wants!

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 11:12:11

Yanbu but nor is your dh. Him.sitting on.his arse on the laptop leaving you to deal with

My dp went to work.for 8am yesterday morning, he will get in at about 5:30pm today, so will have been out for 34 hrs ish. Litetally as he gets in i will go out for a run! I will be gone about 45mins and whilst i am out he will start on dinner (sometimes i do the prep for dinner before he gets in) so when i get will be almost ready.

Then i will come in, get a drink and help kids lay the table etc we will have dinner together and then i will wash up whilst he starts on bedtime routine. Then i will help with bedtime routine/quick tidy up and we will then both collapse onto the sofa!

We both make sure to be appreciative of each other and give each other time out.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 10-Apr-13 11:13:02

Ok I will be more productive then. grin

So your DH no longer takes them to the supermarket for an hour every night.... what would you like him to do? Would you really just be able to shut yourself in your bedroom for an hour or would you keep coming out to intervene with his parenting?

If you will find it hard to be hands off could they go to bed at 7pm? This means your DH and yourself could get a break either together, or you would be able to relax and read/watch tv/go out.

Could your DH look after them every Saturday morning for 2/3 hours to give you a break?

BlackMaryJanes Wed 10-Apr-13 11:21:44

Try and stop the competitive tiredness between you- it's hard I know (been still there meself) but it only breeds contempt.

I think this is the crux of it. But it would take both of us to stop the competitive tiredness, and I don't know whether DH can do this. He is utterly convinced that his life is much, much harder than mine.

*Being a sahm if dc of that age is crazy crazy hard work

It drains you physically mentally and emotionally every single day

I used to want to run away...*

That's exactly how I feel. I want to pack my bags and leave, but I have no where to go.

I have just wept infront of the kids. I haven't done that in a lonnnng time.

* i disappeared each saturday too*

I'm starting to come around to the idea. Problem is, I'm still BFing.

tomverlaine Wed 10-Apr-13 11:31:06

To put the other side- I am wohm - DP is SAHD (sometimes) - yesterday I left the house at 7am (DP/DS still asleep) - got home at 7PM (relatively short day- trains all working ok ish)- DP announced he needs a break- so i played with DS/Made his dinner/fed him/bathed him and put him to bed- no idea what DP did - i then (normally) tidy up/do washing etc. DP thinks that because he has DS all day he needs a break - I am fine with him having a break from DS but think that he should still do the other things (making dinner/tidying up) so that I don't effectively have to do double work whilst he does none

BlackMaryJanes Wed 10-Apr-13 11:31:13

last night I didn't go anywhere and my children continued to follow me around until I explained that I needed 20 minutes silence and hid in my bedroom (they still found me)

It's horrible isn't it? And I feel guilty for saying that but it's how I feel. I'm touched-out and want to be away from them.

And didn't you gleefully post on a a very controversial thread that people should be able to cope with their own children alone (without their DP!s helping)?

No I bloody did not!

*if she wants to put the same thing on every couple of months, then why shouldn't she Wiley?

Mothering is like that! It is constant, constant and maybe she needs to just VENT whenever she damn well wants!*

Thank you so much for saying this. I do feel like a broken record at times. A haggard, old, worn-out broken record. I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Litetally as he gets in i will go out for a run! I will be gone about 45mins and whilst i am out he will start on dinner (sometimes i do the prep for dinner before he gets in) so when i get will be almost ready.

Does he resent you for this? (having already done a long day himself).

So your DH no longer takes them to the supermarket for an hour every night.... what would you like him to do? Would you really just be able to shut yourself in your bedroom for an hour or would you keep coming out to intervene with his parenting?

I would gladly shut myself in a bedroom for an hour. I wouldn't intervene in his parenting (where on earth have I suggested that?) because I myself am a shit parent so how can I tell him what to do on that front??

WileyRoadRunner Wed 10-Apr-13 11:34:07

Actually I was thinking would you be able to relax hearing the children ... What if they were having a tantrum/ DP was short tempered with them? Would you not feel like you had to then come out of the bedroom to help?

BlackMaryJanes Wed 10-Apr-13 11:47:41

Would you not feel like you had to then come out of the bedroom to help?

Yes I would feel it, but who wouldn't?

WileyRoadRunner Wed 10-Apr-13 11:49:04

Oh and I apologise if I was incorrect about you agreeing with the OP of the coping totally alone even when ill thread. My mistake.

WileyRoadRunner Wed 10-Apr-13 11:50:02

Then perhaps it would not work for you shutting yourself in your bedroom for an hour. Maybe you need to completely get out of the house for a set period at the weekend.

Emsmaman Wed 10-Apr-13 11:51:48

tomverlaine I wonder what you would make of my DH then. On the days I work I take DD to nursery at 7:30, go to work, pick her up at 6:30, bath and bed, cook DH and I dinner and do the washing up. And probably do some laundry in between times as well. I don't really sit down until 10 then start it all again at 6. I'm a pushover saint aren't I?

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 12:00:46

"Does he resent me for this" NO absolutely not, in fact if I am not feeling motivated to go run he cajoules me to go as he knows I will feel better for going!!

He gets time off as well, hr works odd shifts but is often at home on a Fri morning, he will take elder ones to school and I will take little one to toddlers, so he gets a coup,e of hours then. He prefers time alone in the house to going OK, in would rather go out for my break.

His hours are crazy tbh but when he is at home he is totally hands on and fully expects to be. We ha be five children so life can be full on but we both am dey them so they are a joint responsibility.

He often bikes to work (10 miles) this means he is out longer than if he drives, so I am on my own with the kids more, but he enjoys the bike ride and time to himself.

We both ,make sure we get a break and there is no resentment if one of is needs timeout.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 10-Apr-13 12:08:40

thanks oldtoys. I think I need to write down some of your ideas to try and change life at the moment.

stopgap Wed 10-Apr-13 12:31:24

Do your kids take a long nap in the pm? Could you get a sitter to come in a couple of times a week and give you an hour or two to yourself?

I work two days a week, but I'm also in the fortunate position of having a sitter three evenings a week once my toddler DS is in bed. I go to the gym, for a run or sometimes out to dinner with DH. It's fundamental to your sanity to have decent breaks as a SAHP.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 10-Apr-13 12:33:00

I think a sitter would be heavenly. But surely expensive? Perhaps sanity saving though. I'm certainly feeling close to the edge.

pinkdelight Wed 10-Apr-13 12:33:13

"I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel."

No wonder - you've been in the midst of the madness for a long time, given the ages of your DC. But honestly, I promise, as soon as the youngest reaches two years, you'll see the light and both start to get your lives back. till then, it's going to be competitiveness tiredness cos you're both tired and unreasonable and apart from paying someone else to help, even if it's just an hour in the creche whilst you go to the gym, then it's fair to assume you're both doing your best to get by right now. Try some of the things suggested - giving each other a half-hour here n there etc - but just hang on in there and I promise you it will get better. Just wait n see. And I also promise you you're not a bad mum and your kids don't resent you at all. Again that's just the heightened emotions of those very early years. You're a great mum. They'll be fine. Don't be so hard on yourself, or your DH. This will all be a blur in no time.

givemeaclue Wed 10-Apr-13 12:38:04

I would feel same.

Coud you afford a local teenager type to come after school for a couple evening per week? I used to do this and it really helped, an extra pair hands, someone to play with/feed them etc. Someone else for them to climb on.

Mrneedy Wed 10-Apr-13 12:45:56

Get them into a lovely nursery for an afternoon a week?
Mothers help for a couple of hours?
Someone to take them to the park?

It's not right, you are working/on call 24hrs a day.
He goes to work for what 8/9 hours?
SAHM still fit 8/9 hours when DS goes to school
I'm sure he wants to chill when he gets home, but don't we all??

givemeaclue Wed 10-Apr-13 12:48:29

I don't think blaming eachother for the situation is helping, you are both tired at end of day but the positive from your post is that you work as a team to get bedtime over.

BlackMaryJanes Wed 10-Apr-13 14:57:54

Thanks givemeaclue yes, it's a positive.

I'm just sick of all the point-scoring, sly digs and competitive tiredness.

tomverlaine Wed 10-Apr-13 15:32:24

Emsmaman - what does your DH do in between is he at work? I should add that I work 5 days a week- on 3 days i take DS to nursery (630am train back around 7)and still do all the bedtime routine- DP does work a couple of hours in two of those evenings not during the day - so his SAHD dad day is his worse day by miles and he has plenty of opportunity to rest. But i don't want to get competatitive on who is the biggest sucker/has laziest other half as its not a victory i would value!

JulieCarp Wed 10-Apr-13 18:17:45

I think I would sit down and discuss the way things currently are but from the point of the behaviour "point scoring" "sly digs".
This is probably the most stressful part of marriage when the DC are tiny .Its relentless and its easy to start taking it out on each other.

I would start with "we are both tired and taking it out on each other - lets make some changes" rather than "You dont consider me " etc .Its bound to put him on the defensive.

Back to the relentless bit - sometimes the more you give the more others will take. Make clear what your needs are as a person. Im now the other end and making time for myself was essential. I woke up one day 2 years in and wondered where "I" had gone . I took back time for myself and it made life much easier and enjoyable.

wiltingfast Thu 11-Apr-13 14:05:56

Try and stop the competitive tiredness between you- it's hard I know (been still there meself) but it only breeds contempt.

I think this is the crux of it. But it would take both of us to stop the competitive tiredness, and I don't know whether DH can do this. He is utterly convinced that his life is much, much harder than mine.

The only way to cure him of this silly silly notion is to leave him alone with the kids. You need to go into town on urgent errands THIS Saturday and be gone all day. He is their Dad. He should be able to mind them and if he can't it is time he learned.

* i disappeared each saturday too

I'm starting to come around to the idea. Problem is, I'm still BFing.

Your youngest is 1. I don't want to start a bf discussion war here but I guess he/she (? sorry!) will survive the day with a beaker/bottle and will really enjoy the bf when you get home.

Litetally as he gets in i will go out for a run! I will be gone about 45mins and whilst i am out he will start on dinner (sometimes i do the prep for dinner before he gets in) so when i get will be almost ready.

Does he resent you for this? (having already done a long day himself).

This isn't me (who goes for a run that is!) but why should he resent it? Are you somehow supposed to put in slave labour hours while he gets to relax on his laptop and watch the news? Surely anyone with ordinary empathy might appreciate that you need a complete break for a bit?Otherwise you don't finish until kids are in bed! He has had his lunch and journey home and time with adults etc etc. I'm sure he is tired too but it is a different kind of tiredness (I work ft I KNOW this although I do appreciate different jobs/people suffer different levels of stress)

And anyway, honestly, it is only by getting to know his children and becoming confident with them (and they in him) that he will start to enjoy it.

And you are NOT a shit parent you are just TIRED. And it is good you do not intervene because he needs to develop his own confidence.

I strongly strongly recommend you go out this Saturday and maybe again the Saturday after that. Then maybe have your sit down chat with him. It doesn't seem to me he is particualrly open to your issues at the moment.

BlackMaryJanes Thu 11-Apr-13 14:56:41

I'm sure he is tired too but it is a different kind of tiredness

Can you elaborate?

BlackMaryJanes Thu 11-Apr-13 17:22:13

I've just been to the GP who doubled my antidepressants. She said she comes to work for a break. lol

EasilyBored Thu 11-Apr-13 17:34:11

Don't know if it's just because I like my job, and the hour commute each way where the biggest decision I get to make is whether I should waste three pounds on a coffee, but my working days are a piece of piss compared to my stay at home days!

I think the only way to make him understand that you are both struggling with tiredness is to have him do a couple of stay at home days on his own.

Much sympathy from me though. Toddlers are lovely but just relentless.

eltsihT Thu 11-Apr-13 17:58:11

I haven't read the whole thread, but a good bit of it so here is my 2p.

I have 1ds (2yo) and one due in 4 weeks, so will be in your position soon.

My hubby sees our son for about 30 minutes a day when he gets up at 6.30. Son is mostly in bed when hubby gets home 7pm. After a long day I am knackered and often quite grumpy/at the end of my tether with ds.

Hubby also works away from home a lot, so I am often on my own for upto 2weeks at a time which is very hard.

The way we work it, hubby accepts he doesn't see enough of son, and I threw a super temper tantrum at him when ds was about 6 months old. He takes 1 day off every other month and is a stay at home dad, while I go out and do, well anything, read a book in a coffee shop, got to the dentist, get my hair done etc BUT I am out and essentially my phone is off. Once a month at weekends hubby takes son out for a morning/afternoon so I can have some time to myself. He also once a year lets me go away for a weekend, which means I can go away and stay with friends, and actually enjoy a night out.

I agree with pp you need to get some time to yourself, and your dp needs to realise how exhausting it is looking after kids all day. although I don't have anything like enough time to myself, I have a reasonable about that works with our lifestyle, and fits in with hubby's job!

BlackMaryJanes Thu 11-Apr-13 18:09:07

I'm pissed off with DH. I told him that I would go and do the grocery shopping once he got home from work (it's a way to get me away from the kids for an hour and do something 'productive'). The bastard has just texted me saying he's currently doing the grocery shopping on the way home. He's determined to see me break down isn't he????????

redskyatnight Thu 11-Apr-13 18:16:57

Does DH know the shopping was to give you a break from the DC? Because otherwise it's quite likely he thinks he is being helpful.

JulieCarp Thu 11-Apr-13 18:28:23

Wow I dont know what to say sad
He needs a serious wake up call in the form of either he bucks his ideas up and realises what he is doing ( and what he is not) or I would be filiing for divorce . He would then be providing for his Dc and bloody well looking after them every other weekend.
Im so sorry, you cant carry on like this ,he is treating you so badly.
Whats the betting he comes home and if you complain "he has saved you a job and you are ungrateful blah blah"

JulieCarp Thu 11-Apr-13 18:32:35

Do you think hes doing it to be helpful OP or to stop you having some time to yourself ?

BlingLoving Thu 11-Apr-13 18:34:15

I haven't read this entire thread, but quite a lot. but I have an opinion because I am the working parent and DH is the SAHP. And I have been the SAHP too.

Ultimately, you are both tired. So you need to figure out a way for you both to get a break. I get equally annoyed at people who think SAHP are sitting around all day as I do at those who think that because I can, in theory, choose when to pee, that I am having it easier too. The reality is that either way you have demands being made on you constantly.

I leeave early so I try to get DH coffee and do DS' milk before I go. this gives me a few minutes with DS and let's DH wake up a bit before he has to be on duty. I can do this as I will then sit on the train for 30 minutes.

In the evenings, twice a week I come home and am on duty. I do bath and bed time etc. The other nights, if I do get home in time to say hello to ds, I still dont' do bath and bedtime. Tonight, I am running late (and should nto be MNing) so probably won't see him at all.

We are lucky in that we can afford for DS to go to a childminder for two half days a week. This gives DH a break. This means he is more inclined to let me have a decent lie in on the weekend or will encourage me tog et out by myself as he knows I also need a little downtime.

Yuor DH needs to understand how tired you are and you need to do the same for him. And you both need to take turns to really step it up.

givemeaclue Thu 11-Apr-13 18:34:59

When he gets in, go out for an hour

wiltingfast Thu 11-Apr-13 19:58:41

Well my view is probably coloured by the kind of work I do, v computer focussed, quite intellectually intense but but physically tiring at all. Phone calls, client pressure meetings etc. Can be v pressurised.

At end of day my head is wrung out and when I get in and the kids are a complete change of scene. One minute I was on a phone arguing or read a long boring doc, next I'm at home woofing and throwing them upsidedown on the couch grin. The enregy required is different.

We put them to bed at 830 so there's no immediate pressure on "bedtime routine" and anyway in our house we don't do nightly baths so getting them ready for bed is not too onerous, bit of chasing, some firm chat, some tickles (maybe some tears) and its done. Read a book, bed.

Why don't you go to the library tonight. They have magazinesd too if you don't like reading. Nothing worse than expecting you were going to get away then not. How can he not appreciate you just need a change of scene for a bit after being with them all day?

You need to throw a fairly major strop woman (did that too in my time AND disappeared for the day, when I got back dh said he was half afraid I mightn't come back at all)

wiltingfast Thu 11-Apr-13 20:03:27

Also I used to drive in and out to work but had to stop as costing too much and I find the 40m on the bus a great transitioning time, I can MN(!), read a book, call my folks and I arrive home ready for action instead of tired by the drive and stressed from listening to the bloody bad news.

IfYouLeaveMeNow Thu 11-Apr-13 20:09:01


Sorry you are struggling - it really is relentless being a SAHM.

I found the easiest way for me to convince my DP that my day was tough was to have him live it. You could ask him to either take a day off work or do this one weekend day. (I appreciate you are still BF but perhaps something to plan for?)

I wrote a concise list of every chore I did, every day and a timetable. I asked DH to try and cover as many of the jobs as possible as well as take care of our 3 kids (3 under 5yrs). I went out 8am-6.30pm and left him to it.

Honestly, it was so valuable because for the first time he realised the loneliness, the stress and the fact that its hard, physical work. But also, times of the day where you appreciate being with your kids so much. Given that you have been employed before - you can empathise with his situation. But at the moment, he cannot empathise with yours. Until he can see where you are coming from, you will not find common ground on this. Also, carefully remind him at the end of his 'day', he gets to go back to normal tomorrow. You have this 24/7.

It is worthwhile to make him realise that you also appreciate his role and understand that he works hard too.

Sorry for such a long post, best of luck.

happynappies Thu 11-Apr-13 21:36:15

Hi - I feel for you op, and I feel strangely better for reading all the replies from people who share similar feelings - I thought it was just me that was struggling to cope. I've got four dcs - ages 6,4,2 and 6 months. At the moment I'm on maternity leave, so I've got them all (well, I've got them all with me for these two weeks because its the Easter hols) next week dd will be back at school and I'll be back to the relentless dragging the others along on the school run with me.

Dh comes through the door and manys the time I've been sitting at the bottom of the stairs holding the baby, ready to chuck it at him, or will instantly start ranting about all the things I've had to deal with. There is no question he is tired, I'm tired, its all a disaster!! We tend to battle on - try to get tea for everyone sorted asap, and bath-time affords a little bit of time for dh to get changed out of work clothes at least, and we catch up with each other while chucking children in and out of the bath/shower. We like them all to be in bed by 7pm latest, then we usually don't speak for another hour and a half. He will be checking emails/facebook etc, I will be bf upstairs, and MN... we both just need some space I suppose, then its on with the jobs - loading dishwasher, making packed lunches, ironing, dealing with the laundry, wiping down kitchen, tidying playroom etc. Sometimes we are working until 10pm. The thing I realise is that the competitive tiredness thing is pointless, and exhausting in itself. You are a team - one team member works in a different place, but the team works more efficiently together, so get on with the stuff together as best you can, then when the children are asleep, try to re-charge your batteries for the following day.

I've just asked my dh about this - how could we have a 'break'. He said an evening off would be no use to him because hes so knackered when he comes in from work it would be pointless trying to go out. I said that it wouldn't be an evening off for me, because I'd still have to do my share of the bath-time routine, and then I'd be dashing about trying to do my other 'jobs' either before going out, or when I got back, so its more effort... We have this discussion constantly because even on holiday there is no break - in fact sometimes we have to work harder because we're in an unfamiliar place and don't have the same comforting (?!?!) routine.

For everyone saying that the only way dh will learn how difficult it is is to leave him with the dcs, it doesn't exactly work like that. When I'm not on maternity leave I work one day a week and dh has the dcs. I find that he has a really enjoyable day with them - lots of fun, out to the park or to visit his parents etc, and I come home and will catch up with the laundry/shopping/cleaning etc. Same if I go out over the weekend, he prioritises having fun with the children (which is no bad thing - which is why its good we're a team I suppose) whereas I have to get my 'jobs' done first before we get out to toddler groups etc. If you let dh have them, he may very well do things his own way and not get a full understanding of why you find it so hard, because compared to being at work he might find it quite fun (but the novelty would wear off if he was doing it full-time I'm sure!) - but would it matter if it gave you a break?

Friends of ours have a lie-in each over the weekend, i.e. one parent gets up and does breakfast with the dc while the other lies in bed - would that be a start? We prefer to keep sharing the jobs whilst we are both home, as it makes it easier and quicker. Maybe your dh needs to up his game and get involved as soon as he walks in rather than have a break. No wonder you want a break if you can see him having one - I know when I'm working I'm straight back into it and then some when I walk through the door... hmmm... not sure I'm helping ...

NoSquirrels Thu 11-Apr-13 21:37:11

I echo everyone here who has said that it will get easier when the youngest is 2, and also that you are not wrong to find it hard, emotionally and physically. It is.

I posted on one of your last threads to say the same thing.

Your 'problem' is not the children, but your communication issues with your husband. If he really, really won't come to a compromise of letting you have an hour/half-hour/45 minutes to yourself at the end of the day (but not necessarily straight away, you need to give the WOHP a 15 minute 'air lock' period at least to readjust to the home!) then you should be saying:

'Either we pay for childcare for them both for xx hours per week OR we pay for Relate marriage counselling because I am deadly serious that I am at breaking point.'

Then go out.

Your 1yo will be fine with your DH for a day. BF or not, at 1 they won't starve or die of thirst being left for 8-10 hours. There's water, food and cuddles from their father to be had. They will probably make up for the feeds when you come in, but by then you'll be able to enjoy the bonding time. Also, I hesitate to say this as I am in favour of extended BF but if you are really so 'touched out' then you need to start cutting down on the BF. It will (probably) help your sanity.

Best of luck. You do need to address how you feel with a compromise between you, but if you can't come to that together you should go and see an independent third party. Perhaps your DH needs to hear it from someone else, that you are not 'resentful' of motherhood, that you DO deserve a break and that this stage is tough for couples everywhere.

happynappies Thu 11-Apr-13 21:44:32

Also, it does do strange things to you when you are 'stuck' with only small children for company day in day out. When dh is home, I find cooking a welcome break from the children, but also view a trip to the dentist as a pleasure... I enjoy going to the doctors (sitting in the waiting room reading a magazine... the pleasure!!), willingly volunteer to dash to the supermarket, and will often drive to the supermarket in the evening just to experience the joy of strolling up and down the aisle without four dc with me. Last week my parents looked after the three older dc so we could go to a funeral and blush I actually enjoyed the break from the dc although tried not to make it too obvious to the other mourners... But driving - that is the best. I find that something that involves not leaving the car e.g. nice long trip to a petrol station? Or nice trip to take stuff to the recycling/tip where dc have to stay strapped in. Joy!! I think there should be drive-thru supermarkets and clothes shops... grin. Maybe I'm just going completely crackers after so long with little people for company!!

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