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Help us settle this disagreement?

(47 Posts)
Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 13:11:38

DP works rather long hours in an extremely manual job. He doesn't get much time for a break all day. Sometimes he works away.

I'm a SAHM. We have a 5 year old (at school), an almost 3 year old and a 17 month old.

I do quite a lot in the house and obviously in terms of childcare... Also I take them out a lot/do school runs etc as I drive and DP doesn't.

I'm quite prone to periods of low moods/anxiety although counselling has helped to "fix" the latter.

When DP gets home from work, as long as its a "normal" time ( say, between half 4 and 6) I want him to get stuck in with looking after the kids. So this includes bathing, bedtimes, cleaning up after dinner, sometimes making dimmer if I haven't blush

He rarely complains about this and tbh I think without question he should help. I cope fine when he's not here, but I've kind of got an issue with running round doing everything while a man watches/watches tv/plays in his phone. I won't do it. I've trained the kids well so when they go to bed at 7 that's it, and me and DP do what we like.

But last night he was very tired after helping me clean up sick and look after the baby until past midnight and he got really huffy and said "Im knackered after work. I always am. Yet when I come in you expect me to just so stuff straightaway. You can't do things on your own. I always have to go with you and help."

It struck a nerve because, well, it's true. When he stormed off I ended up in tears. But who is right? What should he be doing?

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 13:15:16

Dinner! Not dimmer.

Also I meant I don't ask him to do these things - we do them together.

lollerskates Thu 01-May-14 13:16:43

I also have a very manual job and I am shattered when I get home in the evenings, so I can see where he's coming from. However, it's not like you do nothing all day: childcare is also hard work and I can't see a reason why he should get to stop working as soon as he gets home while you carry straight on. They're his kids and it's his home so he should be involved.

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 13:21:52

Thanks loller skates. Yes, that was my argument. He just sucks the life out of me sometimes (it's probably my fault though; I know I can't really blame him for this). But it's like I can be organised and motivated when I'm on my own in the day, then he comes back and if he sits down I sit with him, then I get lazy too. The real reason I was crying last night is because I thought while we're acting like this it's the kids who will eventually suffer.

WhoNickedMyName Thu 01-May-14 13:34:06

I can kind of see where he's coming from, if he's walking through the front door and straight into bathing the kids, making dinner, cleaning up sick, etc, after working long hours in a manual job, sometimes with no breaks.

When my DH comes home from work he needs half an hour or so, to go to the loo, have a wash, have a cup of tea, mess about on his phone, etc, and generally unwind and get work out of his head. Then he gets stuck in.

What did he mean by You can't do things on your own. I always have to go with you and help?

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 13:54:37

I guess the problem is once he gets sat down he really can't be arsed to get up so I might be subconsciously trying to prevent that.

The quote... He means that, for example, if I'm washing up or making tea or whatever I'll call him in to join me because I don't like doing things while he does nothing. I'm not saying that's right though sad

Jan45 Thu 01-May-14 13:55:18

He is a parent isn't he - sorry but my dad worked 7 days a week in a manual job and still took his responsibility on with 6 kids when he came home.

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:01:25

DP really isn't so bad, but sometimes he was more enthusiastic, Jan45 sad he's good at practical things like nappies and hoovering and DIY and even cooking etc but would much rather laze around than take them to the park or whatever (not after work, obviously!).

DIYapprentice Thu 01-May-14 14:01:43

Ooh, this does sound a bit of both tbh. You call him in to help just because you don't want him sitting down doing nothing while you're working?

That just doesn't seem right to me, especially if he's doing an extreme manual job during the day with no breaks.

I'm sorry, but it would be very rare for you to be on the go all day with your DC. I'll bet you have time to have a cuppa and sit down while supervising them playing or while they nap.

Your punishing him for YOUR inability to stay focused if he is resting, not exactly fair I'm afraid.

Not that he should get out of doing anything, but 10 or 15 minutes to rest or unwind would be fair.

Lweji Thu 01-May-14 14:01:59

Would he take over if he has, say, a 10-20 min rest when he gets home and could you then sit as well?

Could he play a bit with the children so that he enjoys them too and they have some fun time, and relax before getting stuck in the work?

Or could he rest a bit when he gets home, but then makes up for it after the children go to bed? Say, with washing up or tidying up?

I think it was unfair of him to come out with this when you were both tired from cleaning up sick. Because you may be reluctant to ask him to share it with you next time there is such extra work.
I'm sure you got tired as well.

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:11:58

DIY - yes, you're right, I'll admit I'm one of these people who harbour a lot of resentment. And ive been relaxing for about 2 hours now! blush To be fair we've been through a lot of crap in the few years we've been together and it makes it hard to love/respect him like I used to.

Lweji - I suppose he does play with the kids when he gets back. Tonight I might just leave him to it for 15 mins or so and then ask for help. He does seem to get more tired than me confused I spent the day with all 3 at home and had a lot of socked on bedding to wash, AND the middle one is potty training, but no, he's probably more tired. Sigh.

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:12:33

Socked = sicked

PoundingTheStreets Thu 01-May-14 14:18:05

I can see both sides of the argument. I think in principle you are right, but I can totally understand where he's coming from.

I also think it would be a mistake to make this into an issue. Rather than argue over it, use it to bond. Why not sit down with your DP and say something like:

"DP, I find it really hard some days with the DC. It's like it sucks all the life out of me. Sometimes I haven't stopped all day with DC and housework, and I know I have to feed and bathe the DC for the millionth time and do it all over again tomorrow. I just want to scream with the frustration and never-endingness of it. So I know exactly where you're coming from when you say you come in from work knackered and just want to sit down and not worry about it all for once. That's how I feel too and it's horrible. I really, really understand where you're coming from. So what do you think we can do to keep things fair but make it easier for both of us?"

Try to bond over it and find a solution rather than falling into the trap of "I've got it so much harder than you".

Lanabelle Thu 01-May-14 14:25:09

I think you need to talk about it with him when things have settled down more. it could be that he was tired like you said he works very hard and long hours too and things get said when we are cranky that we don't necessarily mean or even just come out wrong. just take some time and talk to him about it. find out his expectations of you and tell him your expectations of him and meet in the middle.

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:25:36

Thank you, Pounding. He is so HARD to talk to but I don't have a problem with it so will try. I did say to him at least he gets a bit of a change of scenery!

eurochick Thu 01-May-14 14:26:42

I can also see both sides. We don't have children (I'm pregnant at the moment) and both work full time (office jobs). When I come home, I like a bit of time to just chill out and have a drink and maybe a snack before I get going on the domestic chores. I wouldn't like someone wanting me to do something straight away. But when the baby comes, I am going to have to deal with it!

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:30:16

Euro - how exciting! Good luck with everything. But yes - a crying baby/whinging child won't wait ;) I do feel that mums "get on with it" a lot more than some dads...

Lweji Thu 01-May-14 14:48:33

As a single parent now, I also like to have a short rest when I get home, but then there's lots to do and sometimes I can't. Tough.

Somehow exH always got so tired (one easy ds at school) that he couldn't even muster the strength to ask me to make dinner. I'd have to ask him about it. Or he wasn't hungry, so it fell on me to feed me and DS. But then somehow he would manage to find his hunger again.

Not saying that men are like this, but some men are.
It's not good that he resents having to sort out a sick child as a couple.

It seems that there is more than this issue, though. What other crap is there?

Cantdothis89 Thu 01-May-14 14:53:42

He was really good during the actual sick episode! He was the first in there and cuddled the baby then showered down the bedding etc. The day after he was very tired though...

He's just done a lot of stupid things in the past which I doubt he would do now but I will never forget them. Then just the way he would rather sit in and do nothing than take the kids to something they'd love.

Whenever I feel like I hate him, I actually hate myself for being with someone that doesn't tick all the boxes. I was stupid to ever embark on a relationship with a 19 year old who loved to party (I was 21 and already a mother).

Gurnie Thu 01-May-14 14:56:33

Agree with Lweji, I like to have a minute or two (well 30 mins or so) to gather myself and chill out when I get home from work. I teach young children and I adore it but it is very tiring and intense. I find it extremely testing to have to get straight into making dinner, picking Dd up from karate or whatever without a minute to relax first. However, sometimes you just have to get on with it and so you do.

I don't agree that is is all your job though. Yes, probably it is fair that you mostly get dinner sorted but looking after young kids all day is hard work too.

In your situation I would probably talk to him about giving him a bit of wind down time when he comes in if at all possible.

Op I do get where your coming from but you've just said you've been relaxing for 2 hours, I doubt your partner gets that much time at work to relax.

so he should be helping with the children and chores but maybe he could have at least 30 minutes to relax on sofa then get stuck in with the cooking, chores and children.

Gurnie Thu 01-May-14 14:58:53

Regardless of your history with your dh op I think for almost everyone I know this phase, when your kids are very young and demanding is a spoken or unspoken sort of "I'm more tired than you contest"! It's hard to avoid!

AreYouFeelingLucky Thu 01-May-14 15:00:34

This goes much deeper than this argument.

You resent him, and that shows. It'll show more all the time. You can't keep it hidden. You are right that your children will pick up on this, when they are old enough.

Your decision isn't about letting him rest, or who is more tired. It's about whether you can forgive and try to love him or whether this is over and you should both stop flogging a very, very dead horse.

NewNameForSpring Thu 01-May-14 15:04:03

I agree about the letting him have a few minutes to sort himself out when he gets home. But, I think you should talk about that and sort it out together so that it is an agreement and he knows he can relax for 20 minutes for whatever it is.

The rest, maybe you need a bit more planning. Sometimes it really helps because then everyone knows what they are doing. ie agreeing lie ins, agreeing that he should take them out at least once every weekend, or whatever, just so you both know what is expected and then you can both relax and hopefully get rid of any resentment. Can work wonders.smile

Raskova Thu 01-May-14 15:16:09

I'm expecting to get flamed for this but here goes...

Being able to stay home with kids, to me, is a big luxury. He works hard with no breaks all day and you get to stay at home with the most dearest people in your life. It's a lucky position to be in. I know some people simply don't have the option to work with Childcare costs etc. I have to work. Childcare costs kill me but it is what it is.

I'm by no means saying that your job isn't hard and that some/most days you'll be knackered too. Frankly, if you're not then you're not doing it right wink

He needs his rest, he needs to come home and rest. His job is out of the house. Yours is in the house. This doesn't mean he does nothing. Absolutely not! He should help as much as he can but he doesn't need to do everything you do. That's your job.

As someone said up thread, you simply must have some time where you get a break.

I have to say, I just moved from a desk job with a bit I manual work to lots of manual work and I'm shocked how much more tiring it can be. I feel for both of you.

To sum up, he needs to support you. He's a parent too. You need to support him. He needs his rest.

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