To think dh isn't participating enough in our family?

(53 Posts)
ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 10:08:03

I don't just mean housework and practical stuff but that is a big part of it too . Mostly I mean spending time with us and doing "dad" and "husband" stuff . Here are a few examples .

We have chosen to bring out dcs up with religion so I take them to church every Sunday . He's usually at work . He is off today and has a chance to come to church with his family . He has chosen to stay in bed .

1yo ds is going through a "let's get up during the night and play" phase . Putting him in his pram gets him back to sleep but I'm trying to get him to go back to sleep in his cot so have been persevering all night with him . Last week I was up all night and had to get up at 6.45am to go and do a 9 hour shift (dh was off the next day). Two nights later dh said he was going to put him in his pram because he had work the next day . I said no .

That next day I came home at 6pm and dh had done the bare minimum (if even that) in the house , I had make ds his dinner (to be fair dh went out and got us a take away)

He works 56 hours a week and I work 21 (but half the time I do more due to training commitments) he thinks because he works so much that's his job done .

He does do the school run every morning but never gets up to help me with the dcs I do them both then he gets up sees to himself then takes dd to school . The only time he gets up before half 8 is when I am at work (this is around 8 school days a month)

So anyway I am now rushing around getting three of us ready for church and he is lying in his bed . Am I being unfair on him ? I always end up thinking I am so I just put up with it even though I am not happy sad

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 10:11:12

I should also add he said he needed the lie in because he's going to have a tiring day putting the tree up today hmm something we are doing today because we are both off together . If is known it was going to be such a chore for him id have done it myself with the dcs yesterday sad

Ps sorry for the novel!blush

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 08-Dec-13 10:11:17

56 hours is alot in a week; I think I'd be tired on my days off too.

However I didn't decide to have kids.

Do you ever sit down and decide on what chores you will split/drop/get the kids to do so that you can both have some family time?

HankyScore Sun 08-Dec-13 10:12:06

He works a nearly 60 hour week, AND does the school run, and you want him to get up on his day off and go to church?

I'm assuming he doesn't get up until 8.30 because he works late into the evenings?

I really do think you are being unfair, sorry,

DorrisM Sun 08-Dec-13 10:17:13

DH works even longer hours than that, sometimes he has a lie in maybe once over the weekend. Overall he wants to be with us, I don't feel that being with us is a chore for him is that how you feel your DH sees it?

RedHelenB Sun 08-Dec-13 10:18:42

Is he as bothered about Church as you are cos it doesn't seem that way from your post.

Morgause Sun 08-Dec-13 10:20:23

I think YABU. I agree with Hanky

Jinty64 Sun 08-Dec-13 10:21:01

He works a nearly 60 hour week, AND does the school run, and you want him to get up on his day off and go to church?

^ this ^

He also looks after the dc's whilst you work. If my dh did half of that I would be a very happy woman! I'm afraid I think YABU.

DamnBamboo Sun 08-Dec-13 10:21:27

I was going to come on here with tea and sympathy as this doesn't sound too dissimilar to my situation - although I have less of an issue with it.

But he works 2.5 times more hours than you. More than 30 hours more per week!

You need to sit back, take stock and rethink as you sound a bit spoilt.

If you want to go to to church, go to church!

Sounds like he deserves his lie in. He works long hours.

nowwhere Sun 08-Dec-13 10:23:44

It sounds to me, from your comment about the tree, that you are just really hurt because you don't feel he make you and the kids a prpriority for his time. And, if you feelthat way, whether you are being uunreasonable or not you probably need to sit down and talk to him about it rather than just trying to persuade yourself to let it go when instead it will fester.

I also have a busy DP - long commute and working 6 days a week plus studying for a masters. Sometimes this gets me down too but Sunday mornings are my lie in (a bit too long today so also skiving church...) and Sunday afternoons are our family time. I'd still like to see more of him but the compromise has helped. Do discuss it.

Ragwort Sun 08-Dec-13 10:23:45

I think if you have agreed to bring your child up with a faith then yes, he should get up to go to Church with you.

Did he work late last night? Does he stay up late watching tv/playing on the computer that sort of thing?

I agree working 56 hours a week is a lot, but I think he should be able to manage his time better so that he doesn't need a lie in on a Sunday morning. If you are getting ready to go to Church at 10am then it can't be a really early service can it? Perhaps you are going to the same Church that I go to? grin.

1yo ds is going through a "let's get up during the night and play" phase . Putting him in his pram gets him back to sleep but I'm trying to get him to go back to sleep in his cot so have been persevering all night with him .

Er, why? Sounds like madness if you have to work the next day. confused

NoAddedSuga Sun 08-Dec-13 10:27:23

On the church issue, you are not being fair. I personally dont like going to church, i only have to stand in a church and i start to cry.

He does work a hell of alot of hours. He should not just decide to put ds in a pram as its quicker for him to get back to bed if thats a habit that you are really trying to break. You are suppose to work together.

Alot of men/fathers feel that if they earn the money or most of it, and work long hours, then its the womans job to do everything with the kids and at home. I have one of those husbands who thinks like that.

DamnBamboo Sun 08-Dec-13 10:28:07

OP, if you didn't take your kids to church - would what your DP do?
I mean I'm asking because the fact that he has agreed that your child can be brought up with faith, doesn't tell me that he has the same faith himself or that he expects to have to participate in this.

I have many friends whose dads weren't religious at all and but whose mothers were, and so the christian aspect of their lives was managed by mum with dad being largely uninvolved, but ok with it (if that makes sense).

Does he want them to be Christian or just agree with you because you want them to be?

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 10:32:13

Church is at 11 . I am happy to get up with the dcs and let him lie longer but id really like him to get up and come with us .

The thing is - I appreciate that he works a lot and I know it must be hard for him doing those long hours . (He works 12-10 or 10-10 5 days a week) but I work shifts and I can start at early as 8am and finish as late as 10pm and when I am not at work I'm at home with the dcs myself responsible for EVERYTHING . And it just gets really overwhelming at times and I feel that he doesn't understand this he only sees how hard it is for himself . I just feel completely alone sometimessad

And yes he finished at 10 last night then sat up watching tv and fell asleep on the couch . I woke him at about 2 to come to bed but he didn't come in til about 6 .

Casmama Sun 08-Dec-13 10:33:21

I agree with Pumkin, pick your battles- if dc goes back to sleep in the pram then put them in the pram. There is no need to be a martyr about it and laying down the law to your dh is a bit rude.

I get that you do more house work and have to get the kids ready every morning but the difference in your working hours surely makes that fair?

If the issue is actually that you don't feel he wants to be involved and find that hurtful then that is understandable but you need to identify that as the issue and address that.

happytalk13 Sun 08-Dec-13 10:33:45

Can I just ask...whilst he works who looks after the family's needs?

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 10:35:04

Damn he definitely wants them to be brought up within the religion . He just wants me to do the heavy lifting . He would be ok with me missing church today because he is off but if he was at work he would expect me to take them and if I got into the habit of missing it he would moan about it . I don't think he'd proper have a go at me but he would definitely have something to say about it .

Casmama Sun 08-Dec-13 10:35:27

You sound lonely OP. It also sounds that you don't feel emotionally supported by your dh.

OddFodd Sun 08-Dec-13 10:36:52

YANBU. Working long hours doesn't mean that you get to sit on your arse the moment you get through the door. When do you get any down time?

happytalk13 Sun 08-Dec-13 10:37:20

So hang on...when he is at home this is seen as his time off but when you are at home you don't get any time off?

loveolives Sun 08-Dec-13 10:41:49

He works a nearly 60 hour week, AND does the school run, and you want him to get up on his day off and go to church?

This, leave him alone.

DogandBeth Sun 08-Dec-13 10:42:50

Op yanbu, my dh is similar although he works 37.5 hours a week which you'd think was the most anyone has ever worked in history! I have just finished work due to redundancy so not working at all at the moment but used to work 24 hours a week and it was pretty much the same then too. What hurts me too is that the dcs and I don't seem to be the priority, in our case we have a dc with quite severe autism and I do feel like all the responsibility of this falls to me because he hides behind the excuse of having to work and doesn't really get involved with any of the hard stuff associated with this. Anyway this is your thread not mine just wanted to say I think I know where you're coming from, I understand the loneliness of your situation I think.

DameFanny Sun 08-Dec-13 10:43:40

From your last post I agree it sounds like he's decided how the kids should be brought up, but is expecting you to do it on your own.

Can you sit down and talk this through with him? Ask him things like - why don't you cook more, help around the house etc - because if he was on his own he'd have to, and just because you're there, looking after his kids, doesn't mean he gets a free pass.

And then go on to the difficult one of "it feels as if you don't want to spend time with us" and see what he says.

Failing that, as he's decided not to be too involved, you might as well be organising life in the way that suits you and your hours best, and if he complains, well, he had a choice to sort things out himself. But treating you like staff - which is what the church thing is - is never acceptable.

WooWooOwl Sun 08-Dec-13 10:57:39

I think this is a really common problem in marriages when one partner works outside the home significantly more than the other. 56 hours a week is a lot of work, and presumably the money he earns is for the family, so I don't think it's fair to him to say he doesn't contribute to family life. You need his wage!

DH and I have a make friend who is recently divorced, he is a lovely guy who adored his wife and loves his children immensely, but he says his wife felt the same as you are describing. He genuinely doesn't understand why she can't see how much he loved her and how much he contributed because in his mind, he was working hard to give his family nice things and pay off the mortgage so that they had security. In his mind, that should send the message loud and clear that his family means the world to him, but in her mind, the fact that he was working all the time and was then exhausted on his days off meant that he wasn't interested in spending time with them. It's really sad, because the problem was really about communication and them not understanding the different ways in which they show their love for one another.

Maybe you both need a reminder of how much the other does for the family and to take some time to appreciate that in each other. Even if each of you is doing things differently to how the other would do it, the contribution is still valuable and worth holding on to.

Fairenuff Sun 08-Dec-13 11:01:55

I think you both need to talk about your expectations of each other. It sounds like these are problems which can be resolved.

He was tired and I think it would be ok for him to miss church so that he can join in wholeheartedly with the putting up of the Christmas tree. But, in return, he should accept that sometimes you are tired and would like a lie in whilst he takes the children to church.

There is precious little more necessary in life than sleep. Without it, we cannot cope and everything becomes overwhelming. Either you both agree a system for sleep training your son and you both stick to it, or you let him sleep in the pram for now and get your much needed rest.

Once you have agreed these compromises, write them down so that if one of you breaks the 'agreement' there is no confusion or arguing. Also, it would be a good idea to work out how much free time (if any) you both have so that you can each get some down time.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 08-Dec-13 11:03:40

I'd say drop the church if it's him insisting on you taking them but not going with you as well.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 08-Dec-13 11:04:05

But then I'm an atheist.

OddFodd Sun 08-Dec-13 11:06:20

I can't believe people are saying this is ok. He stayed up until 6am despite the fact that he was working until 10pm. So he wasn't that tired. Just sounds like a convenient excuse to get out of participating in family life.

I wonder how many hours the OP works considering she does all the childcare and all the household stuff as well as working. Oh but he takes the children to school in the morning hmm

PresidentServalan Sun 08-Dec-13 11:06:54

YABU - he works long hours and does the school run - it's not like he is sat on his arse at home every day doing nothing.

Fairenuff Sun 08-Dec-13 11:09:11

I don't think OP meant he stayed up til 6am, I think he slept on the sofa until 6am and then went up to bed.

I suspect this was so that he wouldn't be disturbed by the baby but it's not clear if he should have been helping with this.

happytalk13 Sun 08-Dec-13 11:12:07

When do you get to have a lie in OP?

OddFodd Sun 08-Dec-13 11:16:30

Sometimes it feels like I'm reading a different thread to other people on MN.

Did people miss the bit in the OP where she said:
"Last week I was up all night and had to get up at 6.45am to go and do a 9 hour shift (dh was off the next day)."

Or the bit where she says that he takes their DD to school in the morning but doesn't get up to help get the children ready. The OP does all that.

He is lying in bed to save energy to put the tree up. It's not even like church is early - it doesn't start until 11am!

Yes he works long hours but if the OP is doing everything else, I bet she's doing a lot more hours in reality.

In my experience a lot of men work long hours in a cunning trick to get out of going home and doing all the boring bits of caring for their children and doing boring housework.

WooWooOwl Sun 08-Dec-13 11:19:24

He didn't stay up until 6am, he was asleep on the sofa!

My DH falls asleep on the sofa sometimes, and I have to wake him up to come to bed as the OP says she did. I stay with him until he's awake enough to get up, otherwise inevitably he'll fall back to sleep as OPs DH did.

I take that as a sign that he's fucking knackered, not that he doesn't want to participate in family life!

happytalk13 Sun 08-Dec-13 11:20:53

^ this.

OP work out how many hours you guys are home at the same time in the week and then share those chores evenly between you - and share leisure time fairly too.

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 11:51:57

This thread (and the responses) is really sad.

OP does all the childcare unless she is physically absent - he treats her as default parent and only gets involved when she is not there. Given their respective working hours, that means she does something like seven times as much childcare as him.

Then he does no housework at all regardless of her absence. For him, childcare is a total job; for her it's time at home that could be spent ironing his pants keeping house.

His lie-in is sacrosanct; hers is non-existent.

As for the pram/cot thing - she's trying to break a bad habit so that the child's sleep will improve overall, so everyone's sleep will improve overall. Consistency is crucial.

Church is a red herring except that it's another example of his having his cake and eating it.

Yet most pps are saying OP IBU?! Is this some kind of weird parallel universe?

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 12:11:41

It's not that he does no child care or no housework but I definitely feel like when he does , he's doing it out of obligation rather than because he wants to help me out or be with me and the dcs . I feel like he just does what he has to for an easy life (at home I know he works really hard at work and we do need his wage coming in . It 100% is family money and I truly am grateful for that)

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 12:16:37

What would happen if you put in as much effort as he does, ie the bare minimum?

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 12:16:51

(also, I know I'm projecting sad )

ALittleBitOfMagic Sun 08-Dec-13 12:23:20

Also I feel I've got a bit caught up in the housework child care aspect and to be honest it's not even really about that . It's about us having a happy family life and spending time together .

He doesn't get to do things like bath ds or do DDs homework with her . But when he's in I still do those things . Unless I actually ask him to do it he will just let me do it . If I couldn't bath ds because I worked when I got the opportunity to do it I would jump at it !! It's not like I want a break from it , I want him to take pleasure in doing it and pride himself as a good parent . Am I making any sense here I feel like I am completely rambling away nonsense !!grin

DeckTheHallsWithBoughsOfHorry Sun 08-Dec-13 12:28:32

Yes, that's what I was trying to get at when I said he sees you as the default parent. It's an easy trap to fall into when one parent is truly "on duty" a lot more than the other.

Do you think he is choosing not to, or does it just not occur to him?

TheHeadlessLadyofCannock Sun 08-Dec-13 12:33:32

'Unless I actually ask him to do it he will just let me do it .'

This sounds like the heart of the issue to me. The DH seems to assume that the OP will just be there to do stuff and sort things out, and is happy for her to do that and for him to only contribute if he is asked or told to.

OK, he works long hours outside the home, but if the OP added up all the hours she does of childcare/house stuff/supporting DH, I wouldn't mind betting that it shakes down to her working just as much as him.

Laquitar Sun 08-Dec-13 12:50:02

Well the school run is what all parents do (unless they pay an au pair or cm to do it).

I agree though that he works long hours. You too, shift work is not easy, plus housework and childcare. You both are tired and both are entitled to some free time. You need to talk about it and be fair to each other.

If his 56hrs pay well it will worth to pay a cleaner for few hrs per week, to do some cleaning and ironing?
The church, it is great when you can do it but if you are tired just skip it?
Basically drop your standars a bit, it is not for ever only when your dcs are small.

BackforGood Sun 08-Dec-13 13:06:04

I agree with Hanky on P1 too.
I also think you have to acknowledge this is a tough time in your lives. We've all been there, got the T-shirt, etc., and it's tough when you are both out at work and have small dc and are not getting enough sleep. Life is rarely ideal / rosey at this stage. Remember you are both doing your best and that it's OK to "do what works" sometimes (eg the sleeping in the pram) if that's what works for you all at the time.
Sounds like ridiculous hours he's working, I can't blame him at all wanting to savour any extra minutes of sleep whenever he can.

rabbitlady Sun 08-Dec-13 13:11:22

he should make more effort.

WooWooOwl Sun 08-Dec-13 13:32:33

As much as OP is the default childcarer, the DH is the default earner.

Both contributions are equally essential to the household and to the children. Just because one is more directly linked involved with the children does not make it more valuable.

I want him to take pleasure in doing it and pride himself as a good parent

This is a feeling I can totally relate to, but ultimately we are two different people with two different, but equally valuable points of view.

My DH announced that he was going to be working this morning, and was then disappointed that he could tell I was a little disappointed. I want him to want to want to be at home when he can, and he wants me to appreciate that he's working extra to provide for us.

Neither of us can be expected to want exactly the same as the other in this fairly minor situation, so we just have to accept that sometimes we see things differently, and that's ok! We both trust that we want the best for our family, we are both working hard to achieve that, and we acknowledge that sometimes its tough. It's easier for us to get perspective because our children are older so we're not in the middle of the physically demanding baby/toddler years full of sleepless nights though!

Cerisier Sun 08-Dec-13 14:19:38

Another vote for dropping the weekly church visit. Perhaps try to go twice a month if it is important to you.

It sounds like you are both shattered and are not communicating properly. Poor sleep patterns and a wakeful baby are really not helping.

You need to sit down with DH and tell him all this and listen to his point of view. Then you should aim to organise your time so your DCs are cared for, the essentials are done to the house and you both have the same amount of down time over a week.

These years with small children are very hard OP, you have my sympathy. It does get easier though.

Cerisier Sun 08-Dec-13 14:28:02

Massive cross posts, I am a slow typer.

One thought- not wanting to do bath time doesn't make you a bad parent. I found a lot of the care of small children pretty mind-numbing and avoided it. I find my DC much more interesting now they are teens.

Fairenuff Sun 08-Dec-13 14:36:42

I think you just need to talk to each other. What does he say when you tell him what you told us?

Does he do his hours over 5 days? If so, he is working 11 hours out of 24. That leaves 13 hours free. Even if he sleeps for 8 hours a night, that still leaves him 5 hours a day. He could devote 3 of them to childcare/housework and still be left with 2 hours a day to himself.

What about you OP? You should be able to have two hours to yourself too. And then, at the weekend (or whatever days you both have off) you can do family stuff together.

This can be worked out if you two just co-operate with each other.

Tapiocapearl Sun 08-Dec-13 14:44:37

I think church is optional and if he needs some time alone in his busy schedule, he should take it. Do you have any time alone yourself? If not, you should make some.

I think you should take turns sleeping in the morning.

foreverondiet Mon 09-Dec-13 00:41:54

I think you need to discuss a fairer way to divide up childcare and house stuff so you both end up with same number of hours for yourselves. As he works more hours than her he should do let childcare and housework but not fair for him to end up with more "me time".

Jinsei Mon 09-Dec-13 07:50:33

Why is everyone saying that the DH does no childcare? He not only does the school run every day, but he also gets the children up and ready in the mornings about 8 times a month - that's about 1 in every 3 school days? And if I've understood correctly, he looks after the kids while the OP is doing her own long shifts at work. Given that he works outside the home for 56 hours vs 21 for the OP, I'm not sure if that's such an unfair division of labour?

I suspect that the OP's DH is simply exhausted, and perhaps feels that he does a lot already. However, the OP is clearly exhausted too, and needs him to be more involved. OP, can you talk to him about how you feel and try to come to some sort of compromise?

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