Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Worries about DH Christmas party - Advice please(58 Posts)
I know this is in comparison to most of these threads small fry but am really just after some advice/positive words!
Since the birth of our DD1 I have felt less attractive, interesting and basically confident about myself as anything other than a mum. I am trying to address this at the moment (just started some counselling and am looking/interviewing for jobs) but It has in the last few weeks been v tough. I had to have an operation on my cervix (nice) and have been bleeding pretty much non stop for 6 weeks which is annoying (and means no sex which makes me feel worse!). On top of that we've had endless colds and tummy bugs blah blah blah. Anyway because of this DH and I haven't spent much fun quality time together. It's been a hard slog although not been arguing or anything.
This weekend is his office Xmas party. It's a weekend away. I suddenly feel totally insecure about us and that he's going to start an affair with someone at work. Clearly he could do this at any time he wanted but for some reason because I know I won't see him for 48 hrs and I'll be home 'holding the baby' once again it's got my back up. He is a brilliant dad, can not fault him and mostly a good partner to me but sometimes I feel like we need to get some spark back. I think this is probably normal after a baby but I am becoming increasingly insecure and know that even though I don't want to I am starting to take it our on him. Last weekend I got upset as he said the whole weekend is just a big drunken thing which p*ssed me off as I feel upset he'd rather do that (with a lot of people he doesn't seem to interested in) than spend the weekend taking care of us when we have had a very tough few weeks. Saying that he works hard and I can see that the weekend will be fun and he will have no crying baby to get up for.
Can someone please tell me how they deal with situations like this? Ever felt you have lost your confidence/independence post baby? I used to be so different but now worry I have turned into a boring nagging mum.
You're feeling a little lost and the shift in dynamics have understandably knocked your self esteem and your self perception. But I think this weekend is a really good thing, as it sounds like he needs a weekend to blow off steam and you could spend it with another source of support who can comfort you and help you feel like you again.
Can you invite a friend to stay? Spend the weekend doing things that you haven't done for ages?
Are you BF? Could you arrange a weekend away yourself to look forward to?
Absolutely! I used to really resent the fact that my life had been turned upside down, but that DH's life pretty much went on as normal after we had our first baby.
I'm not saying he didn't help at all - because he was wonderful, and did just as much as me when he was home. But it always seemed like it was optional to him, where as it was more my to be there. Even though I wasn't BF.
I also think it's natural to feel less confident about life after having a baby.
But I think you're concerns about your husband starting an affair are unfounded though - he wouldn't need to go away for the weekend to do that.
It's important to make time for yourselves after having children, though not easy. Can you arrange a baby sitter so you can get out for a quick meal, cinema or something, even if only every couple of weeks or so?
Could you invite a friend over for the weekend while DH is away, so you can have a good time yourself?
I think that's it YDdraigGoch, I feel like my life has HAD to change and often there is no choice for me but for him things seem more optional. He did ask if he could go to the Xmas party (i.e. do we have any plans) but he asked one date so I never realised it was a full weekend till a couple of weeks ago. I guess I just feel lonely but I do have some plans to see friends this weekend so it should be OK. I think it just irritates me that he can go and get hammered and come home to us hungover and I can never really do that (save the odd hen do!) because I have to be responsible. We defo need to do more together though, we do try but are broke and also all this illness has made it harder. But no i'm no longer BF and she is 10 months now and a brilliant baby but I guess it's more about me feeling I have lost my sense of self. Hmmmmm how do I get it back?!
Sorry but I think your DH is being rather mean. You have a young baby, have just been through an operation, still bleeding and have been generally unwell. I think he should be staying at home to help care for his wife and baby.
Now is not the right time to be waltzing off for weekends away. I think I would expect my dh to stay at home under these circumstances.
Thanks FBworry. That makes me at least feel justified in being a bit fed up! Last weekend he did say if i really didn't want him to go he wouldn't but that puts it all onto me, to be the mean person stopping him having fun so I just let it go. I have thought about asking him to go for one night instead of two (it's not that far away) so perhaps that would be a compromise. I have a hospital appointment tomorrow about the bleeding and might decide after that if i am feeling fed up or if they have positive news for me.
In terms of having to be responsible for the baby, I think that's just the way it is for women. Some of us take to it more naturally than others though.
The bleeding is bound to be getting you down, but hopefully will stop soon.
In terms of your self worth - I see you are talking about getting a job, which will help enormously, whether voluntary or paid.
Working or volunteering even just a few hours a week, would give you a sense of being useful outside of being a mother (which is important to some people, but not all). It would also give you something to talk about to other people that doesn't involve babies! (My DH was glad when I went back to work and could hold a conversation about something other than nappies!).
Maybe you could say to DH that as he's had his weekend away with work, you're going to plan a weekend away with some friends, as you need a break? Or better, plan a weekend away together with DH and no baby!!
I think the 1 night is a very fair compromise.
(Though ideally he will put you first)
If I was your DH I wouldn't be going. But then I wouldn't go to any office do that involved a weekend away full stop. Work can have me Mon - Fri but not weekends.
Oh no a weekend ! What does he do that sounds very unusual ? I would say one evening why should he stay over spending family money if you can't afford it ? You aren't well I'd explain that you thought it was one night and that you need him to help with the baby.
Two nights alone I'd be crawling the walls ;)
It is all paid for by work to be fair, they hire a big house I think. I think he would prefer to go for one night but they are encouraged to go for two but I don't know why. There are no activities, they just hang out and play games/get drunk i think. I will see how we go this week and if he offers to go for one night will go with that or otherwise suggest it. I think he is feeling sorry for me but does not like letting people down although seems to forget he will let me down by leaving us!
Sounds very selfish to me. And women shouldn't have to put up with shit like this. Fathers are perfectly capable of being responsible for babies too. And they should be.
When was the last time you spent a weekend away getting drunk OP? This isn't fair.
Yes AbigailAdams i know what you mean! Interestingly there are only a few women at his work and only one or two others have kids...to be fair I had a weekend away in August for a hen do where i was bridesmaid but it wasn't relaxing at all was just pre hard work organising everyone and you're right I couldn't get that drunk as had to be OK the next day for coming home to my daughter! It does seem unfair sometimes but I do love being a mum too so isn't all bad.
A weekend party away with no partners allowed is downright ridiculous, he is being childish by saying that if you don't want him to go, he wont, he should be mature enough to realise that it's just not on for people with families, let alone a young baby and a run-down wife.
Stop struggling on and tell him how you feel, it sounds like his life has barely changed , if he goes you will resent him forever - why does he get to have a weekend away when it's you in desperate need of a rest and some tlc?
Of course you love being a mum. That does not give him license to be selfish and childish. What would happen if you didn't enjoy it? Would he take over being primary carer? Would he forfeit his drunken weekends away for you?
Hi all thanks for your comments! I thought if update! So yesterday I asked DH (by text) if he'd consider going for one night not two and he said yes no problem and that he was going to say that to me anyway. Last night we had an ok night altho argued (have argued three times in last week which is unusual) so emotions and frustrations are clearly high. I think I am initiating the arguments but he is really pent up so seems v defensive and always stressed. We were arguing about a party I really want to go to and had planned as a night together for the two of us. He said he couldn't go as ha something else (birthday of a good friend) and I flew off the handle. I tried to explain how much it meant to me and he backed down and said he didn't care he'd come with me but clearly was pissed off. Then we realised they are ok separate nights so he/we can do both. The rest or the evening was fun and enjoyable.
This morning he is getting ready and packed up to leave for the trip. As e walks down the stairs I say 'what time will you be back on Sunday' as I had decided I'd see how I go before asking him right now just to go for one night not two. He replied 'early evening' when this trip was initially talked about he promised me it was Sunday morning. In my head I had planned us a nice day on Sunday to at least make up for him not being ere and me being sole parent all weekend. I was so pissed off. Is this normal to be angered like this?? He knew and got stressed and annoyed with me because he was late for work and he says he feels like everything he does is wrong. I said I can understand that it is out of his control (his work have booked transport) but that it's totally unreasonable for people with families to be expected to do this. He clearly was exasperated me talking. He still said he'd come home whenever I ask him to BUT I feel like a right cow now like whatever I ask for will be wrong yet here I am sat at home sobbing my eyes out.
Any help / advice? I have no friends with babies (do have my NCT group) but I feel like if I tell one of them all the layer partners will find out...which I don't want. My other pre baby friends don't understand the situation and feelings of being alone with baby all day because they aren't.
What should I do? Should I not ask him to come home and just grit my teeth? I have no idea. I have a feeling even if he does the whole weekend will be horrible anyway as we keep on arguing.
a weekend party away without partners - sounds fab. I wish my employers were as generous.
Please get off his case. He works all year, this is his work weekend of fun. I am sorry, I can't think of a less harsh way of saying it.
can you arrange a weekend away for just you in the new year?
Yep that's a fair point thanks for sharing! Perhaps I am just feeling sorry for myself after a really shitty two months but I know he does work hard. I would hate to spend all that time work work mates though personally. I guess it depends on your job.
Oh please! The OP works all year and doesn't get to take weekends off getting drunk.
He is moving the parameters isn't he. He said yesterday that he'd go for one night. Now he is going for 2 and 2 1/2 days ( which has only just been mentioned at the last minute when it is too late or makes you look unreasonable for objecting). And he is making you the gatekeeper of his "fun" by devolving where his responsiblity for his family lies on to you. He is a piece of work.
Exactly! I think one night is fair enough but three days over a weekend is excessive it's not like they get the time back to help at home and give me a day off in return
Im not sure why without partners is fab?! Yeah, maybe a break from your demanding baby but not your partner.
Op I think your arguing because your not both putting your cards on the table. I often find if Im feeling angry but don't have a proper heart to heart then the frustration keeps seeping out in other ways.
You both want and need free time , a baby is exhausting, but you must come to a proper balance that leaves neither feeling resentful somehow.
He will still go for one night if I ask him to. When I asked what would be his preference 'ideally' he said to come back early Sunday morning an that it had annoyed him theyve booked it for Sunday late afternoon. You're right tho he is putting it all on me to make a decision which makes me feel like a cow when ultimately I think three days away IS too much given the month we've had and the fact our daughter has been ill (so I've been stuck inside) all week. I think deep down he should be offering to come back not saying that I can ask him to. If I say this tho it will just cause more arguments and I am bored of them.
If he is going to come back and sulk then leave him to it. You can do without that stress as well. But that is abusive behaviour. Making you make the decision and then getting all arsey because he isn't getting his own way. Or him getting his own way because you don't want to have to deal with the consequences of his sulkiness/bad temper.
If you planned a weekend away and he asked you to be back on Sunday morning would you sulk? Or would you think that was reasonable as he had had the children all weekend by himself and that is quite hard work?
In fact from your last post you would probably offer that and stick to it. You wouldn't hve to be asked.
A 48 hour weekend work do sounds massively extravagant to me. What industry does he work in!?
I think one night would have been a great compromise, he gets to let his hair down, you don't feel left holding the baby for an entire weekend. I think he is being unreasonable going until Sunday evening and should realise this!
Yes FBworry that is right. He does a lot more than me BUT generally I am supportive of it because it's who he is and it's not just going out with his mates, he has hobbies. But I feel like my life is just babysitting and it used to be so much more. Don't get me wrong I adore our DD but sometimes I feel trapped and like the old me no longer exists. I think he feels the same tho unfortunately so we need to sit down and make a proper plan together that we can stick to which allows us freedom but which the other half is happy with. In his defence if I ever want to do anything myself (alone) he is very supportive and tries his best to work around it. I know he means well but I think he is acting manipulatively at the moment because he feels like I'm trying to control his fun which I suppose I am but in my mind for honourable reasons.
I think it's ONE weekend and from what you write he tries hard to please you and meet you half way, think you should just deal with it and let him have it without a fuss. It will be your turn soon and I am sure that your willingness to accommodate this weekend will be remembered.
I don't actually think this is a big deal tbh. It's not like he makes a habit out of it.
Hi, I've been in similar situations with dh several times. He is a great partner but goes away a lot to conferences which involve a few mins work during the day then lots of drinking and eating out in exciting cities afterwards. I would love an evening out in London/ Paris etc with friends!!!
Lots of your sentiments are very familiar to me. I'd advise try not to begrudge him going too much and arrange a time when you get time ASAP when you get time off in return. When discussing it make sure you make it clear to him you're not annoyed with him necessarily but the situation ie feeling trapped at home. Try to work together on how you can make this better.
Yes you're right I would 100% offer to come back early mainly as I'd miss them too. He has a weird thing about letting people down I think he wants me to be responsible for him having to leave...but you're right that just makes me feel bad and why should I when it's a reasonable request. Still don't really know what I can do though. I'm not sure whether to mention it now and get it on the open so he can make his own plan or just leave it until tomorrow and then ask if he's ok to come back. It seems absolutely ridiculous to me now I'm typing it!
"He does a lot more than me"; "he has hobbies". Sorry can you clarify what you mean by this?
Yes you're right it's just one weekend and overall he does try hard to consider me. I think he gets it that Sunday evening is too late so somehow there will probably be a compromise. I am slightly peeved because if I'd known it was all day Sunday too id have gone away for the weekend. We have stayed as have plans tonight and i assumed he'd want to see us when I thought he would be getting back Sunday am.
I mean that on weekends / evenings he overall does more stuff. He's in a band for example but I am supportive of this as he loves it and will make up for time when he's busy by giving me some time off. Also it's only once or twice a month and I find it an attractive quality in him.
Thanks I'mnotcute good to know other people have the same feelings it's all about how you deal with them I guess! When he is away how do you make yourself feel better about it?
I think what you are going through is very, very common. Nobody tells you just how much time baby takes up.
Even in the evening when your exhausted, get baby asleep, sit down to finally watch that film and.... Waaaahhh! Baby awake. Its just so hard to lose the guaranteed time to yourself. Its frustrating and exhausting.
You both need that " me" time and to get it you must, must talk very openly.
To be fair to your dh though he might be under a lot of pressure from his work to go and is afraid it will make him look less committed if he leaves early.My DH has a high pressured job and his sometimes forced to go to dinners after work etc. They make out their is a choice but deep down you know there isn't much choice is just expected and you will be frowned upon.
Totally agree that there's pressure from work BUt he plans to leave his job early next yr anyway so I don't see why that matters. But I know he hates feeling like the odd one out.
OP, one night is a compromise, a weekend on the piss is something a single childless man can do, ie not yours!! Tell him one day stay the night, travel back next day, lunch timeish, then he can take over while you effectively have the day off, in bedroom with loads of chocolate and magazines!!!
and why exactly didn't he tell you in the beginning it's two nights?
I think it is odd for anyone with a young family to be going to a (drunken or not) workdo that takes All Weekend! My Dh has always said no tot these things without even thinking about it, once we had babies.
It is also sad that you feel guilty for not being a wanton sex goddess, for his benefit, but....what is HE doing to make YOu feel better? Does he offer to give you a massage, spoil you? tell you how sorry he is you are going through all the cervix stuff, how he still fancies you? Has he planned a night out for just the 2 of you?
Sorry, but I don t think the problem lies with YOU at all.
It can be hard when under pressure for anyone, but your dh should say no under these circumstances really.
There is plenty of time for work weekends once your baby is older and not so 24/7s. You rest is priority after all you have been through.
I think you need to be really explicit in what you have planned/are thinking. so you say you had planned a lovely day out on Sunday etc - had you communicated that to your OH? Or is he expected to mind read it? Did you take into account the fact that he would probably be hung over and knackered?
I have had similar issues with OH, and now we write everything on a calendar with times on it - if it isn't on the calendar, it isn't happening! If I really want us to do something, I TELL him well in advance - I find men just aren't as good at the whole thinking of everybody else thing - massive generalisation, I know, and I know some are great at it, but if you are married to one who isn't great at it, you need to be realistic about it.
I also think you need to make more time for you and find a hobby/go out once a week for you, and stick to it as rigidly as he does. I ended up in a similar situation with OH who does a martial art and football every week, and goes to them religiously - I resented him for it initially, but then realised he was fully supportive of me going out, I just had to TELL him. So now I go out to a choir once a week and usually one night a week with friends/Mum etc and just go - regardless of whether he has had a bad day, LO is grumpy, house is a mess etc etc.
finally, there are some industries where employees would be expected to attend weekend dos like this.
If you know that your H will be happy for you to go away for a child-free jolly with your mates next weekend then let him enjoy this one. If his idea of your leisure time is you getting to meet a friend for coffee in town one afternoon once a month, while he has regular weekend jollies, then there is a problem.
Being a parent does not mean that you can't have fun any more, but it does mean that you have to balance your time a little better, and both mother and father should have the same amount of child-free, chore-free leisure time every week.
So basically your husband gets quite a lot of free time where he gets to do what he wants (without having to worry about childcare). It is good that he makes it up to you but that means that family time is quite reduced. Would you say that you both get the same amount of free time where you get to do what you want without having to care for your child?
Although the answer to that question doesn't detract from the fact he is being unreasonable about this weekend especially as you have recently had an operation and you have all been under the weather.
I don't see the weekend thing is the real issue here.
The problem seems to be that you don't have your own time out / hobbies etc that give you a break.
BUT - those things don't happen on their own - you have to make them happen.
Find something you enjoy or have done in the past and get doing it again - why does being a mum stop you?
It's important to still do things where you are identified as you not as Little Fred's mum.
The solution is not to stop your partner / H doing stuff that will only bring resentment, but is to do things yourself and just because you are married does not mean you have to do everything together.
Dont forget its not just building "me" time into your lives
Family time when your all have fun together is vital.
"Thanks I'mnotcute good to know other people have the same feelings it's all about how you deal with them I guess! When he is away how do you make yourself feel better about it?"
Wherever possible I arrange other company for us. He's away at the moment and my mum is here. Obviously he needs to communicate to you how long he'll be away so you can make plans! Are there any little indulgences you can treat yourself to while he's away eg chocolate or nice wine?
I also have a few special things I do with the dcs when it's just us, like eat tea in front of the tv for once then all get in our pjs straight after (so that if it's a bad evening I'm ready to just climb into bed with 10 month old ds when I need to).
And I look forward to him getting home so I can hand them over!
Thanks for all the advice! It is interesting to hear so many different opinions. He just called me and was feeling rather upset about it all. We had a good hat where I explained that I feel backed into a corner that I would be 'stopping his fun' by asking to come home. He assured me he really doesn't mind. I think he would prefer I did it whilst he's away because it gives him an 'excuse' to leave rather than him dropping out at the last minute. We discussed the fact that I need to do more stuff so that when he does he doesn't feel guilty/I don't resent him so that's positive. He told me he would 100% rather be with us on Sunday but I know that he will just be hungover and useless so I'll either ask him to come back tomorrow if I feel the need/have a bad night with DD or just let him stay and owe me my own weekend away soon.
I've felt just like you OP, and I feel your pain. You say you love being a mum, but in the early days, I actually hated it, and resented every second DP spent out of the house, even for work.
What made things ok was getting DS on a bottle so that we could be proper 'equal parents', then getting a calendar and writing stuff on it.
The other thing that made it better was DS getting a bit bigger, and a bit less hard work!
I think of it as a pennies in the bank system. I love weekends away on my own, so I don't moan too much about DPs hobbies, as long as it's kept fair and equal.
I was in a very bad place when DS was a wee baby, I became obsessed with getting out on my own, I saw it as an unattainable luxury that I would never have again. Of course, I can have it again. In fact, I usually find now that I prefer to stay in - it was losing the choice element that did for me.
If you're generally ok, not depressed etc, then I say suck it up for now. You'll be 'owed one' big time, and when it comes the time to cash it in, you'll be glad you did. If you've had a hen night already, then you don't have too much to worry about?
If you think you might be depressed, well, come back and we'll help you.
Op, don't have anything helpful to say really but your post has really spoken to me today. my oH has two Christmas parties, one was Weds and he was steaming drunk at the end of it (so I got no help that evening, through the night - ds 10mo still wakes 3 or 4 times a night, and wants bfing, the only way to cut down the feeds is if oh settles him, if I try he just wants milk. So with oh in bed drunk/hungover I was bfing our 10mo four times in the night! Argh! Sore boobs as well as knackered. also then no help in the morning with breakfast etc) and the next party is tonight so am expecting the same thing again tonight/tomorrow. I thought last night he would at least make the dinner (I do all the cooking normally) or offer to bath ds while I had a bit of time off, but no jo whatsoever even when I said this was what I ws hoping for.
It does help that as I'm still bfing, there won't be any parties, nights out etc for me for a while. Let alone getting pissed! I do have mum friends but haven't seen them for ages because ds has had a virus for the last 5 weeks and I don't want to pass it to their babies. (I've had it too so am feeling really shitty anyway).
In some ways it isn't that I need oh's help so much, it's that I miss him and don't feel like he misses me :-(
Sorry for woefully non-constructive post but it feels better to have got it off my chest!!
Ah monkey mamma I feel the same about how you miss them (or just adult company!!) and they don't you so much. It's rubbish. I feel sorry for you still breast feeding (altho is the best thing!) but I know it restricts things even more. I don't have that problem and should count myself lucky to only be up once or twice but it still sucks! Can you ask him to get less drunk tonight or is that a no go?
Well, it sounds to me like you're feeling very unhappy at the moment, and wants to punish your DH as a result. Not very fair, but understandable, I suppose.
You admit that you are the one deliberately pushing for an argument, yes?
If you want to take the advice of an experienced girlfriend/wife of more than 20 years, who is happily married to a bloke who thinks the sun shines out of her bum...I would smile gracefully, arrange several nice things to do with your GFs this weekend, tell your DH to have a fabulous time, tell him to come back when he is ready to (absolutely zero point in him coming home, only to sulk)...
...but, make it very clear that next weekend you get to do what you want to do. Whether that be waited on hand and foot by your DH, or wined and dined, or meeting up with friends. What you wants goes, okay?
I see soooooooooooooooo many relationship head down this path of petty sniping, and he said/she said, and hiden resentment and sulking, and just general nastiness. And, there's really no need.
Your DH gets what he wants this weekend. You get what you want next week. It's a Win/Win
Morriszapp you are well smart
He might have to go for networking reasons, to show willing, all sorts of stuff even if he is planning to leave, - he might still need the contacts or the other job might not be in the bag. I'm sure other the wives aren't so happy either. I'm quite surprised it doesn't include partners though, as it's a weekend. Do you know any of them? Pity the company doesn't think about the women/ men supporting them all year.
I agree with laqueen and others, my dh has things like this all the time and although I love being a sahm I have to make an effort for me. I love being at home and with the dc but I have to get out a bit. This is making him wobble slightly and fuss about babysitters/ money etc ( he works most evenings) so not before time. Maybe I will have my own thread soon
It's not exactly a family friendly company he works for, is it? How many people could go off for a weekend like that? It's hardly something a lot of women with children could do. And if someone had a reputation for affairs, a weekend like that would be a nightmare for their partner.
Join the discussion
Please login first.