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My DH says I am stubborn rather than independent

(16 Posts)
stubbornandstroppy Wed 03-Sep-14 09:54:20

Last night I got into a bit of a heated debate with my DH over my stubbornness. I actually feel a bit insulted so thought I would put it to the MN jury.

Background: My DM died when I was a teenager. I went through some pretty rough times after that. As an adult with children I wish I could call up my mum, offload my problems and get her to help me out. My dad is remarried and you know how that usually goes. I don't have an extended support network. We just moved and I don't yet know anyone in our town except a few acquaintances.

The problem last night was that I need a babysitter one night next week. My DH will be at a conference and I need to go to a school meeting. DH wants me to ask an acquaintance if I can drop them off at her house but I don't want to ask. She has done a couple of things for me already and I feel really cheeky, plus I need my children in bed as I wont be back until about 10pm. I want to pay a babysitter. I will ask this lady to do things for me once I know her better and have repaid some of the acts of kindness she has shown me already. As for my PIL, my DH says that I am being mean. His mum offers to help me out with some things but TBH I've never had any help off her where she has not told us that she "had to do it because I am useless" so you can see why I reject her offers of help. I certainly am not useless.

Last night my DH said that I am stubborn whereas I feel that I am independent. I told him that I cannot rely on other people to do things for me and that I have to learn how to do things myself e.g. paint the walls rather than ask his dad to do it for us and never hear the last of it. I do have the time to learn and do things because I am a SAHM. FYI I do ask people for help but I am a person who prefers to give help than take it.

PlantsAndFlowers Wed 03-Sep-14 10:03:32

You can be both independent and stubborn, the two are not mutually exclusive. Maybe you were expressing your independence in a way that made you sound stubborn?

You are right though, it would indeed be overly cheeky to ask this acquaintance to babysit. You'd be in danger of ruining their good will and not being able to call on them when you really need it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Sep-14 10:05:28

This isn't a jury situation, you have to resolve it between you. If something is important to you and you're willing to hold out for it, you're entitled to say so. If your DH thinks something isn't so important or prefers a different solution, he's entitled to say so. No-one is right or wrong here so the answer is going to be some kind of compromise.

BranchingOut Wed 03-Sep-14 10:10:34

I think you need to pay the babysitter, to be honest.

Lovingfreedom Wed 03-Sep-14 10:17:49

Would you DH be willing to ask an acquaintance of his to babysit? Errrr...

kaykayblue Wed 03-Sep-14 10:25:21

I don't think you are being stubborn. I think you have a rational set of reasons as to why you would be uncomfortable to ask your friend to do it - and I completely get that. It sounds like the help given by his parents comes with a lot of extra hassle on top, so avoiding that unless absolutely necessary seems normal to me.

If he has people (not his parents) that HE could ask, then why not. But otherwise he just needs to get the baby sitter.

It's just one night - why is he making such a huge song and dance about this?

LuvDaMorso Wed 03-Sep-14 10:38:01

What's wrong with being stubbornly independent?

I am stubbornly independent and proud of it. My life is all the better for it. My marriage and friendships are better for it.

Your DH is not the one asking for the favour from your friend. He is not the one doing the drop off. He won't be the one returning the favours, or so it sounds. He won't be the one seen as taking without giving if the favour is one too far for your friend. He can jog on!

On the IL stuff: having to justify doing stuff yourself, when you have both the time and inclination to do it yourself! Madness!

I assume you are young. Sounds like the ILs have a low opinion of you. Like they see you as a young stupid mother who needs all these grown ups to manage her life for her because honestly you'll never manage by yourself.

You don't sound like a little girl to me. You sound like a strong independent woman learning about life.

No point arguing about or with the ILs. Just carry on being stubbornly independent learning to manage your life yourself.

For gods sake don't let anyone push you into a child-like role where you have to turn to "the grown ups" when anything needs doing.

Bonsoir Wed 03-Sep-14 10:48:32

This isn't an issue of character (independence versus stubbornness) but one of reasonable transaction. In the circumstances described in the OP the only reasonable course of action, if your DH does not wish to ask his mother to babysit in your home (his mother = his responsibility to ask for a favour), is to employ a paid babysitter.

stubbornandstroppy Wed 03-Sep-14 11:21:16

Not so young LuvDa. I am in my 40's and so far have not succumbed to any disaster as a result of my own fuckwittery. I have as you say been "stubbornly independent' for a long time and I too am much better off as a result of it.

I think what I need to do is build up a network of friends and reliable back up where we are now. I am feeling a bit vulnerable at the moment as I am in new waters. My DH, his siblings and parents do have a child-like/ adult type relationship even though they are in their 40's and 50's. Bizarre!

MrBusterIPresume Wed 03-Sep-14 11:40:13

PO, it doesn't sound to me like you're being stubborn, just sounds like you are being a normal, independent adult making independent, adult decisions.

Why does your DH care so much about childcare arrangements which will take place when he is away? How does it affect him? You are the one on the scene in sole charge, it should be you that decides which childcare suits you best on that particular occasion. Does your DH have a very enmeshed relationship with his DM? Does he expect her to complain to him about not being asked to babysit?

MrBusterIPresume Wed 03-Sep-14 11:41:01

OP, even...<smacks forehead>

Matildathecat Wed 03-Sep-14 12:00:48

Yes, babysitter. I don't see what the problem is there, just book someone and don't discuss any further.

As for the PIL, calling you useless is outrageous and I'd be calling them on that. A line I have used is: 'I beg your pardon?' Force person to repeat their insult. 'Yes, I did hear you the first time, I just couldn't believe you would say such a nasty/ unkind/ unpleasant thing to me'. Swift exit. It has worked every time for me.

Twinklestein Wed 03-Sep-14 13:28:43

I don't know if you're stubborn, independent or both.

I do think you're right to pay a babysitter, and not to want to ask favours from this woman before you've established more of a friendship. I can also see why you don't want to ask DH's mum. Perhaps if he took a stronger line with her that the way she talks is unacceptable you would be more inclined to call on her.

It sounds like your husband just doesn't want to pay a babysitter.

4seasons Wed 03-Sep-14 14:00:41

He's at a conference and so you are your children's babysitter . So, if you need to go out then you arrange whatever babysitting you need and use whoever you want . No further discussion needed .

You can be independent and stubborn .... so what ? He could be kind / weak, whatever slant you want to put on his personality

As for the " useless " comment from mil .... make sure you call her on this next time . Cheeky mare.

vezzie Wed 03-Sep-14 14:15:28

It's not about "stubborn" v "independent". It is about him expecting you do to things that you will eventually have to pay for in ways you don't prefer (or even can't stand); as opposed to paying in a reasonable, acceptable way (money paid to a professional babysitter)

It is a cost to you - an unacceptable cost - for any of the following to happen:

getting a relationship with a potential new friend off on the wrong foot by being cheeky (possibly, or what you feel is a bit cheeky)

having to deal with getting screamy kids home and into bed at 10pm, maybe screamy fall out the next day too, when they should just be in bed

having to deal with "never hearing the last of it" if you ask your PILs

All of these are costs to you, not to him. You can't afford them, and why should you when you can just pay money to a pro?

Lay it out as "who pays, chooses". Everything costs (fame costs! right here is where you start paying. IN SWEAT) and it is up to you to decide how you prefer to pay.

DPotter Wed 03-Sep-14 14:25:37

Yep - babysitter. Favours have to be earned and I think your approach is spot on.

It always amazes me how those who never arrange babysitting / tradespeople / deliveries etc always have comments to make on how they think it should be done.
One suggestion - you could ask your friend if she has any recommendation for babysitters.

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