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Stuck in a loop, help me hash this out please!

(24 Posts)

I've just had a long chat with DP, or I should say he's had a long chat with me.

Our set up is, he works full time, I stay at home with the children (2 from my pervious relationship 6&9 and our baby 10mt)

DS1 has a life limiting condition that takes 3-4 hrs a day administering medication/physio. (Linger when he's unwell)

DS 2 has behavioural problems, I don't know what but he's like Jekyll and Hyde.

DS 3 is a typical baby, he co sleeps and we're trying to wean him off breast feeding due to the long term antibiotics I'm on giving him trush.

This weekend again has ended with DS2 being yelled at and going to his room. He's been violent and really unpleasant. This happens every weekend without fail. His and DS1's bio dad is close to useless, he has them when he can be bothered and will only take one at a time as they're too much of a handful together,

DP works way too much, he's out the house at 5am and gets back either on the train around 7.30 -8pm or I pick him up at 6pm, either way he gets in, eats dinner then resumes either working or has a precious hour of downtime watching tv or something.

I do al the house stuff, cooking, dealing with DS1's healthcare,. School stuff, etc.

DP's temper has been getting shorter and shorter, he's been getting more and more exhausted. I'm afraid he will burn out. Sadly his job is what it is and when he's give. Work and a deadline he has to work until his project is complete to schedule.

He's said tonight that he's come to resent weekends be uses he's finding the children very difficult to be around (namely DS2) he says he's finding that because there is no time to relax, he's struggling.

I've gently suggested maybe trying to sort out working less but he seems set on the fact that it's home thats the problem. sad

Neither of us have downtime, it's just not possible. There is no babysitter/family and he has no time with work and the hour a day he gets to interact with the kids (especially the baby as he's his first)

I'm not sure how we can break this cycle of tiredness pleading to tension and fraught weekends. It never used to be like this and I'm scared we're all falling apart tbh.

DP has now fallen asleep and now I can't sleep because this is churning.

Thanks for getting this far, I know it's a bit of a mess but I need some support.

noslimbody Mon 30-Sep-13 00:54:03

That sounds so difficult, and you must be totally exhausted. I know your dp works long hours, but you are working yourself to the bone.
You say your ds1 has a life limiting condition, do you get any respite for him?
It could be that you need to get a referral for your ds2 from your gp, in case he hs any special needs.
Could you get a babysitter and just go for a meal or evening out with your dp?
Maybe if your dp was more involved at the weekend instead of concentrating on "relaxing", and he gave the other kids some more attention instead of just the baby, your ds2 would be a little happier.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-Sep-13 08:10:24

I think you need to ask for some outside help but you'll have to approach the request as a team. I'm sure DP could get compassionate leave from work if he asked and you could use that time to find out more. I'm not sure what help is available - I'm thinking respite care for your DS, charities, GP-related services (district nurse? child psychologist?) - but have you looked on the MN SN boards?

I get an afternoon of respite where the community team take DS1&2 out after school.

I have approached the school about help with DS2's behaviour but they say he's great at school, they've 'had a chat' about managing anger with him but that's all they can offer.

DS1's behaviour is just as bad although he's not violent, he will point blank refuse to do as he's asked.

I don't blame DP if he walks away, given the chance I would most days too.

He mentioned going back tot gym like he used to, but when?! He said maybe before work but he leaves at 5am so that won't work and if he does an. Hour after work it's going to be even more time that I'm at home picking up the slack and dealing with all the other problems.

The kids have had a few years of major upheaval after another, I ', not surprised they're behaving like they do but I'm not sure how to fix it.

People say to love bomb the, but how do you love bomb a child that's constantly lashing out at you or being rude, abusive to your face even then we'd have to fit it in around the baby.

I'm terrified that DP is heading for a nervous breakdown and I'm very selfishly worried that I'm going to be left picking up the pieces,
The problem is he doesn't see work as an issue, he's always worked insane hours and it doesn't bother him. He's meticulous about his work and takes great pride in it being done to a very high standard on time, but he's been allocated at work to nearly 200% of the time that he's there!

I'm at a point where I don't know how to move forward, there is no one at all that can watch the kids, I've searched child are websites to try and set up interviews for regular babysitter but didn't even get one reply. Family is a total no go.

Lweji Mon 30-Sep-13 09:29:12

How long is his commuting time?
Does he work on the train?
Could he delegate something?

He should not be working such long hours and his priorities are all wrong.
Or you could all move closer to his work?

Lweji Mon 30-Sep-13 09:32:05

It also seems like you need to address your boys.

Talk to your gp?
Take parenting classes?
Seek family counselling?

But your OH needs to participate and be part of the solution.
He can't leave it all on you and then demand his free time.

Hi work is 10 minutes down the road, his commute is ever a 10 minute train or drive.

The thing with his current job is that the commute I shorter, he took the job because I had/have bad pnd so the theory was he'd be close by if I needed him.
The alternative is London where the work load is the same but it has a 3 hr commute each way.

He's a contractor so he doesn't get time off, holidays or compassionate leave.

The current job has offered permanent work which would give him all the compulsory time off but he thinks going perm will increase his work load even more and for less money.

I'm desperate to get back to how life was.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 30-Sep-13 09:38:29

" how do you love bomb a child that's constantly lashing out at you or being rude, abusive to your face "

It's usually attention the child wants. They work out that being a PITA gets them the attention and they don't care if that means they get yelled at or whatever. To correct this, you have to give them zero attention for the bad behaviour... wordlessly remove them to another room, for example, and shut the door... and give them lots of attention when they're behaving well. But it has to be a team effort. Not you doing all the running and him pretending he has to be out of the house for 20 hours a day...

ofmiceandmen Mon 30-Sep-13 09:42:12

Perhaps time to rethink things if practically you are unable to change things.

What I mean by this is: he needs to start thinking of DS1&2 as his own. for some reason I read this as if you feel he doesn't have to deal with the work load and the problems that have arisen because of DS1/2.
phrases like "his first"

Correction - his first now is DS1

Once he can get his head around that then I think it may become easier with DS2. if he sees him with love despite all his failings the pressure points change.

Imagine weekends become play time and laughter and yes tense moments but acceptance. then it stops being a "thing".

Practically you need to start making changes and getting help - how ever small.

Simple fact - you both cannot go on like this. this will end your relationship.

Ever looked back at a hectic stressful time and thought - "why was I so tense?" - well DP and yourself need to do that now. hard I know but small changes will make a big difference.

He's always said all 3 boys are his world and he loves them as they were his, I meant 'his first' as in he's never done any of the baby stuff before, the older boys were fully fledged children before he came along. He never treats them differently.

We'll have to have another talk and see if/what/where we can change things.

He says things getting tough just makes him more determined to fix them so hopefully we'll be able to think of something.

ofmiceandmen Mon 30-Sep-13 09:55:16

practical tips:

(I've seen some couples with 'time limited'/'difficult' DC adopt this successfully)

1- The hour when he gets in - go out, even if it's late - go to a pub or visit.

2- If you can arouse yourselves - make love often, cuddle, hug, touch, laugh, be playful. this also will help DS2

3- You need time off - I know his work load is full on, but if he invests some days to be the main child carer - you will both reap the benefits = less resentment, less feeling of being a victim on his part, more appreciation for what you do

He doesn't realise how good he has it! you've come on here not saying he's an unhelpful git who doesn't take any of the load off me. who has not fully accepted my DC
instead you came on here wanting to find ways to give more and better.

Until he gets this clear in his head - he will not get his mindset correct to make the necessary changes to get this ship back on an even keel.

You cannot solve this on your own.

ofmiceandmen Mon 30-Sep-13 09:57:26

x post.

Lweji Mon 30-Sep-13 15:04:03

Is the money that important?

Would you go bankrupt if he earned a bit less?

ageofgrandillusion Mon 30-Sep-13 15:48:50

Something has to give, clearly. If he wasn't prepared for that, he and you shouldn't have been having another child. He sounds a bit selfish tbh.

I wouldn't say he's selfish at all, he's a very thoughtful man, he is always keen to talk thighs through, he isn't the type to strop or get mardy.
He was thrown in at the deep end taking on my elder boys and he's done incredibly well.

He has an ingrained sense of needing to provide and to provide well which means yes it's about the money, we have plenty and are comfortable, we could take a loss and be fine but he is determined to have something left for the children when he's long gone.

It's just trying to find a way or working things out, getting the kids into a place where they're a pleasure to be around again and to try and relax a bit.
It is very hard never having any time without at least one child around but I guess that's just parenthood.

Lweji Mon 30-Sep-13 16:04:54

You need to tell him that family is more important than money.
He may leave them loads of money, but his love and time are fundamental, particularly at their young age.

Lweji Mon 30-Sep-13 16:05:44

As well as his physical and mental health.

manitz Mon 30-Sep-13 16:18:56

my dh and I reached a crisis point a few years ago we had 3 or 4 young kids and i think he just felt it was work at work then work at home and no 'him' time - he doesn't have loads of friends and doesn't really go to the pub much. there are arguments here that I also worked all the time but I wanted more kids and he would prob have been happy with one so I had some sympathy.

Anyway, he got on his bike. He now rides 16 miles to work each way, he feels healthier and it takes ten minutes more than the train journey would have. There is no way he could have fitted in the gym but sometimes he actually doesn't look grey anymore, and he works the stress out. having been a working parent myself I find staying at home easier as I'm already in the zone. I think it's hard to adjust to the tumble and constant chaos of family life when you get to the front door, it is a different skill set. Not an answer for all your problems but just commenting on things that helped my dh when he wasnt coping.

ageofgrandillusion Mon 30-Sep-13 16:23:27

OP i know of so many men who worked their bollocks off in their 40s and 50s with money as their god only to drop dead within 2-3 years of retiring. Stress puts an enormous strain on people, emotionally and physically. In short, it's a killer. If he hasn't even got time for a trip to the gym, i'd suggest something is seriously amiss and his/your family priorities need revisiting. Unless he is earning the kind of bucks that will allow him to retire at 45, it really ain't worth it.

Cabrinha Mon 30-Sep-13 16:26:11

It doesn't sound like money is massively an issue, so the one thing that you can do, quickly, is get back onto finding a babysitter. Did they go to nursery? My child is still babysat by her old key worker! Call an agency, ask around other parents - maybe approach childminders? Get one regular night a week back for yourselves to be together so that you have TIME to work on all of this.

Matildathecat Mon 30-Sep-13 17:09:21

God this sounds exhausting! From what you are saying it sounds like the two eldest are the centre of the chaos. Not their fault at all. Please don't take this as criticism but maybe you can try a different approach.

Middle boy is really up against it, older bro needing hours of your attention and baby doing the same. Enough to make anyone scream! Can I suggest that you stop sending him to his room? It's more rejection. Instead use time in where you keep the child with you I til he is regulated again. Some small job you could do together such as folding laundry or sorting socks. Sounds counter intuitive to give the playing up child more attention but it's what he craves and, at 6, needs. So it's not a reward, just quiet time with mum until he's calm again.

Also, I don't know if there's a lot of shouting going on but try to speak really quietly and hopefully he will mirror. Whenever you possibly can praise, praise and praise some more.

There's a great book called 'the explosive child' which I think you may find helpful.

Hope you won't be offended, your situation sounds sooo tough. Btw if there is no improvement do see your GP and insist on an assessment for your middley.

We were just discussing that exact thing, I'm not offended at all, it's the next thing to try for us because everything we're doing at present isn't working, it's just exhausting.

I'm very grateful for everyone's input. smile

Matildathecat Mon 30-Sep-13 17:25:26

Brilliant, if you try a new approach it's so important that you both follow the same path and are very consistent. Also give it time, nothing changes quite as fast a Supernanny in real life.

Going on some kind of parenting course sounds great but it needs to be right for you and your family. Your HV should be able to advise. Or could you ask for input via your SS Disability Team.

Finally, just a thought, if your eldest boy has a well recognised illness is there a charity or helpline that might be able to support you?

Good luck.x

manitz Mon 30-Sep-13 21:26:34

hi just reading back to your op. I agree with the advice that you try and find a different approach. I tend to really get myself sorted and then slip into bad habits of shouting till it reaches pressure point then have to re-learn. Also we don't have the complication of the illness but I have a ten year old and 2 year old with 2 in between and I find that the needs of the oldest and youngest are so far apart (hopefully getting closer as the baby grows up a bit) last year was particularly tricky. Have all sympathy for you at the moment, hope you can at least get the baby out of bed and have a bit of a break.

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