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A classic problem is beyond me right now. Help.

(89 Posts)
Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 09:33:36

I have opted to stay at home with DS who is 12 weeks old. DH and I are having awful arguments over woking. He says he is too tired to do anything when he ges back in. I'm at home with baby who has a medical condition that requires constant attention right now (just lots of physi al therapy-don't let it seem that he is sick). This has to be the oldest, most longstanding problem since womens lib. Help me argue my case without a fight, please.

HeySoulSister Tue 21-May-13 09:34:44

is there a case to fight? he's tired from working all day

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 21-May-13 09:37:51

If he is doing less that he did before, I would say he's trying it on!

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Tue 21-May-13 09:38:52

How did the division of chores work before baby?

Raaraathenoisybaby Tue 21-May-13 09:40:30

Don't do anything except exclusive baby care. Tell him you are too tired to do anything else either.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 09:42:28

He is a parent, is he not ?

Being a parent also requires managing that baby's environment as well as caring for baby

he is being lazy

if he lived alone and worked FT, how would he eat and climb over the piles of laundry/dust/shit in the house ?

What I'm about to say can be used with someone who is reasonable. If your DH is not reasonable then it might not work!

I would recognise that he is tired and nicely point out that you are too. I'd propose a fair way of sharing the load and ask whether he has any ideas.

I would imagine that the combination of working, additional pressure to be good at his job (which many new fathers have), being wiped out at the emotions of having a baby which a medical condition, new baby sleepless nights means that he is tired. What he's not recognising is that you're tired too and many of these factors apply to you too. Perhaps he doesn't understand what's involved in your day to day?

The objective should be that you both have equal down time at the end of the day. Perhaps an ambition in the first instance that you both have 15 minutes not doing things to relax somewhere at the end of the day and an hour both out of the house each week doing something you enjoy. Build it up over time.

If you're both planners then timetable it over the week.

The other thing I'd do, if you can, is arrange to be away for a day as soon as you possibly can so he experiences what you are. Not sure how possible that is with a 12W baby. Might be an ambition for 6m.

I hope you both get some time and can avoid the competitive tiredness downward spiral.

It doesn't apply if he's a lazy fecker either.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:03:46

The most obvious additional factor involved here is that only one of you has undergone a physical experience requiring medical intervention for the past year and at 12 weeks post partum, you're still recovering from giving birth. This is something that few people genuinely understand unless they've been through it themselves, but quite apart from all the excellent points made upthread about the housework and childcare he'd have to do when he got home from work if he was a single parent, the impact of pregnancy and giving birth is significant.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:12:12

We are in it to win it as a couple. No other problems. I was the larger income by almost twice my husbands salary. But to be honest, he is to my mind, lazy. Even when he didn't have work I cooked, did allthe laundry, did the bins etc . I know he works hard now, but MAN does he make a song and dance about it, while making me feel like a free loading loafer. eg "You have so much free time, why don't you go on your Mumsface page or whatever." Again, I just need him to learn to value what I do home more. I could go back to work but I'd be worried that the babies nappy wouldn't get changed etc.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:18:34

I want to bang my own head against a wall when I read about women electing to be the SAHP when they earn twice what their husbands do and who seem to think that they were born with an innate ability to change nappies and work a washing machine.

But if you did all the housework even when you worked just as hard as him and contributed double what he could financially, what on earth made you think he'd change when you had a baby?

Please tell us you can go back to your career and haven't resigned?

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:19:24

Badinage! Worse still I had an emergency CS at 1 day shy of 42 weeks after a failed 5 day induction-don't ask. But then again, he went straight into work the next 3 days. Barely saw him. All on my own. I haven't had 4 hours straight sleep since. I kmow he works hard. How do we faiy divvy up the work?

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:22:02

I will go back to work and he will be the SAHP as we had ways agreed. First, my child has to get out of OT. But I will still be left with housework and he has no idea what looking after the baby means.

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 10:23:08

What he needs to understand -- and fast -- is that he needs to work harder now he has a baby.

My DH was briefly under the impression that when I was on maternity leave he would get to do less around the house.

To be fair, neither of us had had a baby before and merrily thought, how hard could it be? They mostly sleep, don't they? oh how I wish they'd slept

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 10:25:16

Ah. You fear that he will actually be criminally bad at it by way of forcing the issue? That sucks.

On the other hand, if he is going to be doing all the childcare during the day, you may well get a pretty big share of the housework when you get home. After al, you do know how hard it can be.

See above points about both getting the same amount of downtime.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:38:51

I'm really struggling with your perspective on this. You say you are both in it to win it and that there are no other problems, but what you're describing is a lone operator who doesn't think he's part of a team, who thinks that housework and childcare is women's work and who hid for 3 days while his partner was undergoing a frightening medical procedure delivering his child.

They sound like big problems to me. What I don't understand is why you have a different view of him.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:43:15

Hey bird. No actually, I've seen him in action. He says things like, "you need to loosen the diaper clasp, that is what makes DS constipated". - "Can you get me a new vest, he has wet himself"- because he doesn't fasten the . I'm not the woman that facilitates learn helplessness. But he is going to have to prove himself a lot better at the basics before he gets the 'cushty' job of staying at home. I'm so glad he lactates. Oh mo, that will also still be on me.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 10:48:25

You are a mug

Nothing more to say here

Eventually it will split you up. Don't say you weren't warned.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:48:57

badinage We live in the US where there is no maternity leave, let alone paternty leave. My DH returned to the hospital for the CS at 3.16am, stayed with me until we got the baby back and worked another 36 hiurs straight. He's not a dick. I was looking for positive talking points.

Mumsyblouse Tue 21-May-13 10:50:08

No, you don't have to do all the housework if you are the full-time worker, you have to share it like normal people. You have socialised him into this situation, by your own admission, by doing everything when you were both working. Now you are going to have to socialise him out of it- because all hands on deck are needed here.

By the way- the first year with a new baby is immensely tiring for both parents (especially if baby in room with you both, crying, waking up, sharing feeds if FF). We have a slight giggle sometimes over the grey dad face of the man who has aged 10 years by having a new baby in the house. But that's why everyone has to pull their weight. That's not to say you are not more tired, as your body has experienced childbirth/breastfeeding for some. But sometimes does feel like a tiredness competition.

Once your baby is out of the woods, tough love is called for, as is leaving him to it (baby and housecare) so he learns what to do.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 10:51:48

There is nothing positive to say about a lazy man who thinks child care and domestic work is purely the women's arena

There is nothing good in a partner that you cannot trust to take basic care of his won child

Your chirpy tone is jarring, tbh

This a parenting site where feminist values are promoted and the idea of 1950's values wrt to women being the domestic drudge, glorified housekeeper and just there like a piece of furniture for the bloke to complain at are over

badinage Tue 21-May-13 10:54:52

Look, as soon as he starts feeling responsible for changing nappies and sorting out vests and realises he will be judged by others if he gets it wrong, he'll bloody well learn how to do it. Not to mention his own conscience if his own child suffers some minor discomfort because of his incompetence.

But you also need to relax and remember that no child died because of a nappy that hadn't been fastened properly, or the odd wet vest. Neither of you were born with childcare skills and like you, he will just have to learn by his mistakes. Let him get on with it and make his own mistakes and don't re-do it all when he fucks up.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 10:56:35

anyfucker I disagree. I don't see this spliting us up. But thanks for your super useful input. - A Mug.

butterflymeadow Tue 21-May-13 11:02:51

>>I just need him to learn to value what I do home more. <<

No, you really don't, you need him to help you at home more.

To give him the huge, huge, huge benefit of the doubt, you are both working in extremely tough circumstances, but yours are tougher, for the reasons already stated re CS and lack of sleep and what sounds like 24 hour care. Where you personally are heading is lack of sleep, plus a full-time job, plus you still doing all the housework, this is what your life will look like in a few months if he does not step up now. Cue resentment and anger towards him and the realisation that you are more in it than him. That sounds more negative than you want to hear, I know, but I have been there twice over. It is not pretty.

The best advice on here in terms of positivity is from Teamakesitallpossible. If you really are in it as a couple, then he will listen and it will work. But you need to address it now. And he needs to listen. It does not come across as if you are in it as a couple at the moment.

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 11:05:08

badinage He was always planned to be the SAHP, so its not a case of gender ignorance. He keeps bringing up the fact that he is 11 years older than me and more tired. We had it out today and he cried with shame and embarrasement and also, I think, his own frustration. The promotiom he was promised is still up I'm the air. But to be honest, I can only handle one crying baby at a time.

badinage Tue 21-May-13 11:05:19

Worse still I had an emergency CS at 1 day shy of 42 weeks after a failed 5 day induction-don't ask. But then again, he went straight into work the next 3 days. Barely saw him. All on my own.

and then in the space of a few minutes....

We live in the US where there is no maternity leave, let alone paternty leave. My DH returned to the hospital for the CS at 3.16am, stayed with me until we got the baby back and worked another 36 hiurs straight. He's not a dick.

Ok I'm outta here.

Yet another thread where the OP chronicles her life with her dickwad partner, everyone agrees he's a dick and the OP then goes on the defensive, contradicts herself and says 'No he's great really.' hmm

Fine. It's your life.

AnyFucker Tue 21-May-13 11:05:43

one day you will accept it was useful input < shrug >

Good luck with your two babies.

Darling, him as a stay at home parent? A man who does not know how to cook, clean or even empty the bins?

You are going to come home to a bombsite when you return from work, and it will be YOU who has to be full time worker and full time housewife, while he will faff about with baby.

Or do you really think he will start doing housework?

FairyFi Tue 21-May-13 11:25:09

Mixxy you sound like its been a truly shit deal for you, listening to him telling you what a lazy loafer you are (5 days of induced labour rounded off nicely with a c-section and abandoned home alone with new baby for the first 3 days). What a hugely massively bad father, evidenced by lashing of neglectful father (you already worry he would let the baby be soiled all day, if not constantly monitored)

A person works - ipso facto they do not have to cook meals, do not have to shop, do not have to wash clothes, do have have to clean loo, bathroom kitchen. Noone thinks that do they?

Oh, yes, someone does. he sounds like a highly self-righteous over entitled....

I did all my housework when I was far more than 'full-time' working, but I did it when I was part-time too (once a mum), whereas he STILL did nothing. There are some core values in him that mean he is something other than normal, and that meant he was out....

I don't think its down to you to 'chase' him to do anything, you're not his mother, as you know!

If he's only bothered by the lack of housework, when its entirely your job to do it, and if you don't you're to be called names... hmmmm ...

I don't think you're a mug atall. I think you're with someone that doesn't really show that he wants to be with someone else. All his actions speak of a loner, of someone disconnected and non-contributory.

his ethos is you do it, and if you don't I'll call you names

I could stay at work til 9 every night, but I'd want to me home with my family, I'd want to feel that the ppl I lived with were equals and not servants to dish up my dinner and keep everything naice, that I was part of a team effort.

I think its down to what you are happy with, as I don't think one sex should or shouldn't do anything in particular, but if you are not happy, and you clearly aren't, a quick convo to let him know that you are not happy to be left to do it all then get called names. his response will tell you everything you need to know. If he cares that you are unhappy with the situation and cares that you haven't agreed to single-handedly run the domestic ship, a good partner will listen, and be upset that you feel this way and want to find a better way to split up the jobs around the place, would you agree?

BirdintheWings Tue 21-May-13 11:27:59

Well, he might. I'm a sort of stay-at-home parent when my self-employed work is languishing. I'm crap at remembering to put out bins and clean floors, but I do try.

No one's dead yet. But thank god I don't have newborns and hormones all over the place any more.

FairyFi Tue 21-May-13 11:30:40

name-calling is name-calling, no matter said by partner at home or MNer here, and never constructive. One is not wrong and the other right eous

TeenAndTween Tue 21-May-13 11:35:38

We adopted so I don't know your situation really, but here goes.

We adopted 2 children together, school age and big baby. DH took 2 weeks off then back to work.

It would have been very easy for DH to stand back and let me be the 'expert'. But from the start we alternated care when he was around. e.g. we alternated bedtime duties, so we each put one child to bed each night. It was very hard as little one used to cling on to me and cry for me whenever it was DHs turn (for ~3 years) but we kept at it.

Your DH doesn't work at weekends I presume? Therefore can you leave your DH to do the care for short times at week ends so you can build up your confidence in him? (Go for a walk, pop to see a neighbour etc?)

Can you afford a cleaner just for a short while to help with housework?

When he gets in from work, can you give him say 45 minutes 'downtime' and then go 'off duty' yourself for a short while?

I found the first 3 months was the hardest, and then it started getting easier as we got more confident (but see adoption disclaimer above). I guess you are both extremely tired, and emotional. Is there no family/support you could pull in to help you for a short while?

Mixxy Tue 21-May-13 11:38:48

Hmmm. I'm going to show him this thread. I'll let you know what he thinks. He really is not a misogynist. Thanks ladies .

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Tue 21-May-13 11:45:15

Why are you complaining about him, then defending him when people point out that he is doing wrong?

You either care or you don't. Does it bother? If it does then stop letting him get away with it. If he doesn't buck up his ideas then leave him. I know it's easier said than done, but if you keep just doing everything, or caving easily, he will continue to take the piss out of you.

Helltotheno Tue 21-May-13 12:20:54

This a parenting site where feminist values are promoted and the idea of 1950's values wrt to women being the domestic drudge, glorified housekeeper and just there like a piece of furniture for the bloke to complain at are over

This 100%. Just split the chores OP and tell him what he's going to be doing from now on. I really can't believe that you were the higher earner and still doing all his donkey work for him when you had no children, wtf?? Correction, that you were doing all that for him anyway, regardless of your earning status. Is he missing his limbs? Can't understand how you'd have expected anything to change when kids came on the scene.

If you want to 'win it', things need to change rapido.

Are you breastfeeding? And how long does he get off work at once? A whole weekend?

Leave the baby with him for as long as possible, and after that see if he's still saying you have it easy - and whether he's actually managed to change nappies, clean etc. rather than just playing his phone or whatever while the baby cries.

I've never been as tired as when I had tiny children. Although DH did lots round the house, he just didn't understand my life until they were a bit older and he had sole charge for whole hours at a time...

butterflymeadow Tue 21-May-13 12:33:08

To be fair to the OP, helltotheno, she is only in the position that most women find themselves in. There was a study done by Oxford University which showed that the more a woman earned relative to her partner, the more housework she did. She is not alone in this.

Nor is she alone in finding that when a baby comes along, she can no longer cope with doing everything herself and she needs support - and then finding it is not there - and realising, well, actually, it never really was.

Ok I can see that maternity breaks are different but honestly if you haven't been reasonable in your sharing of tasks before baby then you have a big challenge ahead. Fair is equal leisure time and rests regardless of type of labour.

Personally I would expect, from my partner if he didn't do his bit, just to have a talk with him and he would listen and help out. But then we have a partnership. We do equal amounts. Neither of us ever, ever criticise the other's contribution. That is normal. What you have is not. I was once in a similar relationship to yours. I left because you can't change people - especially lazy people who have never pulled their weight!

Maybe I'm not most women but I earn 3-4 times my partner - when I am working. We do equal amounts of childcare and housework and WOH. they are added together. The rest is leisure time for us both. This is fair. And this is what is reasonable. That is what partnership is about.

imaginethat Tue 21-May-13 12:46:33

I know you want to believe it will work out, but it won't, not like this. There are thousands of women like you who have stuck it out out only for the marriage to fold 1, 2 or so yrs down the track. And they are still talking about thise early days around the birth when they felt so hurt and abandoned.

Your lives have changed, you have a baby. Both of you. It is important for all 3 of you that both parents are fully involved. For everyone's wellbeing - baby needs a mum & dad (pass me a vest doesn't cut it), and the more of a team type arrangement between the parents, the better everyone feels. Even him.

A lot of men are a bit nervous about doing things for little babies and hide it in bluster, but the refusal to help around the house is just wank.

The sooner he wakes up to the reality of family life, the more chance you have of staying together, and of actually enjoying this little miracle you have created. And he needs to make up to you the post-birth abandonment. I have no idea how, you can't get the time back, but it would be worth him trying to acknowledge what has happened.

Helltotheno Tue 21-May-13 12:50:10

To be fair to the OP, helltotheno, she is only in the position that most women find themselves in.

So most women do the majority of the drudge before having children, when someone is perfectly capable of doing everything for themselves? I never did.
Although yes I agree that any woman who stays at home after children, even temporarily, for whatever reason.. well it's very difficult not to get stuck in that role of doing absolutely everything, just because you're the main person with the child. What amazes me is so many women can't get themselves out of that mode. Here's a few recommendations OP:

1. When your DH comes home, go out for at least an hour. It doesn't matter what you do during that hour, though I recommend exercise.

2. Don't do your DH's ironing.

3. Only do laundry insofar as you take a load out of the machine to the dryer etc. Once it's dry and put in the hot press, his is his, yours is yours.

4. Don't cook at the weekend, or get the odd takeaway.

5. Only keep the house as clean and tidy as is tolerable for you on a daily basis, no more.

6. Take a sizeable break at the weekend that involves leaving the house.

7. Go away on weekends with your friends the odd time and leave baby to dad.

I did all of those and more. They worked. No baby died. The house was not reported as a health risk. I got a life. DH (who was always self-sufficient before we met but much to my amazement, was sort of edging towards leaving everything to me) shaped up pretty fast.
All good now, but there was a learning curve.

expatinscotland Tue 21-May-13 12:54:14

What AnyFucker and bandage said. He did FA even when not working, that was your first clue.

ProphetOfDoom Tue 21-May-13 13:12:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

butterflymeadow Tue 21-May-13 13:17:00

Helltotheno, at a population level yes, more women do more housework - according to the study, when women earn 65% of the household income, their housework actually increases rather than decreases, while men who earn 65% of the income their housework decreases. (Society Now, spring 2012) I was so astounded, I kept the article.

Apparently, better educated men do more housework, also if you are not married, your man is likely to do more housework (in other words, once you tie the knot, they slack off). And it gets better - apparently, this division of labour (or lack of it) is women's fault - because 'they have not rid themselves of the idea that they were responsible for work around the house'. (Nothing to do with men being lazy entitled feckers, as someone upthread said)

Anyway, I digress from the point of the thread.

you need to sit and write a list of everything that needs to be done in the house - everything, including the childcare.

your only agreement to start with should be that you have the 8 hours solid childcare and he has the 8 hours solid work.
oh, he gets a lunch break, doesn't he? i wonder when yours is?
is that when the baby naps? good - start there. during your lunch break, don't do any work at all.
watch TV, MN, whatever, but no work.

right, so now you're even.

when he's not outside the home, you are both equally responsible for all household stuff, including childcare.
you are the only one that can BF, so that's your special task.
work out how long it takes you to do that.
in my house, DH makes dinner and washed pots while i'm BFing the baby.

what else needs to be done? laundry, nappy changing, bathing, ironing, cleaning.
anyone can put a load of washing in, and anyone can hang it up to dry. anyone can fold and put away clothes, and anyone can change nappies/diapers.
anyone can make the beds, anyone can clean.

my mum used to clean the bathroom bit by bit in the morning when she's washing herself. so, one day, she'll clean the sink, the next day the toilet, the next day the bath, the next day dust it and wipe surfaces, the next hoover it, etc.
you can both do the same all over the house.
in the morning, whoever gets up first, stick a load of washing on. (or the last to bed put it on a timer)
then whoever goes near it first when it's finished, take it out. and hang it.

all these things are so easy to do just whenever, and whoever takes responsibility for it does it to the best of their abilities (and only as much as the time allocated allows)
but it has to be shared and it has to be equal.

start with the "i'll feed the baby, you feed us two" thing and go from there.
if he's the one to put the washing on, then he also needs to prepare it, sort out darks and coloureds, etc,. then it's your turn to hang it out, so he can put it away once dry or iron his shirts.

and PS - my DH is 15 years older than me, and manages to work at a very physical job for 8 hours, gets home and does most of the housework.
yes, he says he's tired, but he knows it has to be done.

CheeseStrawWars Tue 21-May-13 13:22:39

The Politics of Housework is definitely worth a read, especially if he claims not to be a misogynist. Get him to read it and then rethink his reasons for saying no.

SpringHeeledJack Tue 21-May-13 13:28:58

I was in the same position as you,but with twins

(((((enoooooormous hugs))))

ime it takes an AGE to change the culture, but it does change

you'll manage it a lot quicker than we did since your OH will be the one at home (I'm a SAHM)- I'm sure he'll have a Rude Awakening

adopt the positive,practical strategies that have already been posted

and keep your chirpy tone, do smile

you'll need it

I have an 11 week old and a husband who works long hours and commutes, so I can identify with the feeling of exhaustion that comes from never having a break. We solved it though:

1. I was so sleep deprived and food deprived (combination of builders in the kitchen and a velcro baby that wouldn't nap) that I passed out in front of him one night. I wouldn't recommend this as a tactic, but he became much more helpful after that.
2. We got a cleaner once a week
3. He eats his main meal at lunchtime so in the evening we just have a quick snack
4. I shop on-line
5. Shirts are his problem, and I don't take up the slack when he runs out
6. He gives dd her 9pm feed and settles her for the night. I go to bed then.
7. Weekends we each do a stint of sole baby care so the other can do chores or have a break. We also do stuff together with the baby - walks, shopping, trips out etc so we have some fun
8. I've found a trusted baby sitter (who is qualified)
9. I don't supervise or criticise. If he does things 'wrong' I don't comment, I just leave him to deal with it. He also had a thing about tight nappies causing constipation, but now does them up properly after having to clean up the inevitable poo up to the neck result. To be fair he has turned into a fantastically capable and caring dad without any micromanaging on my part.

TerrysNo2 Tue 21-May-13 14:02:35

IMO its like this:

- while DH is at work, you work looking after the baby
- during your awake hours when you are both at home you split everything 50/50, childcare, household
- during the night if the baby wakes up and DH has work the next day then you deal with the baby (unless you really need support) and then at the weekend you do one night each and each get a lie in.

Simples

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 06:31:13

Thanks for some great input ladies. I had a calm but focused talk with DH tonight. I asked him about his lack of domestic help before the baby was born. I asked him to explain without excusses. He found it hard to do and admitted he was wrong. We agreed we were in different waters now and that things would change. To help us, I made out a chart of chores. He maintains that he is tired but accepts that I am too. I have agreed to take the baby full time this weekend so he can fully rest, then he will do the same forme next weekend. We will agree on weekwnd duties after 2 weeks. Week day chores are now set in stone, for both of us.

I realize that my cheerful tone seems to have irked some people here. I find that looking for a constructive way out of problems rather rhan a fight leads to more solutions. Sorry that some women find that makes me less of a woman. I think I found the happiest solution for all members of my family. A skill which probably explains why I earn twice what my husband does. And probably twice what some haters on here earn. Thanks for the input. We are all just trying our best.

AnyFucker Wed 22-May-13 06:37:28

grin @ "haters"

Good luck with it all. I think you will find having a partner who has to be reminded to pull his weight when it is completely obvious to him but he just doesn't feel like it, is nothing to do with what you earn . And that you have no idea what anyone else's financial situation is on here. wink

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 06:45:44

Your use of so many emotocons tells me differently. It must be exhausting being you.

jayho Wed 22-May-13 06:47:23

You earn nowt sweetie. You gave up work to be sahm remember. Earning capacity, imho, is rarely an indicator of emotional intelligence, viz premiership footballers.

Good luck.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 06:54:24

Thanks for the good luck wishes Jayho! Boy were you girls right! This IS a feminist website. But well done to be the first to use the word 'sweetie'. Passive -aggressive defence i s something you wear well.

jayho Wed 22-May-13 07:01:19

'I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat.'
(Rebecca West)

mummytime Wed 22-May-13 07:11:19

Gosh! Is Feminist a dirty word in the US, like Socialist?

Not that I think that expecting a loving partner to help out with the chores (even if he is older) is particular|y feminist.

namelessposter Wed 22-May-13 07:34:02

Google 'the politics of housework'. It's 3 paras written (I think) in the 1970s. It will make your blood boil. Then order the book Wifework from Amazon. Then try not to stab him whilst he sleeps, as you watch him through slitty, newly-awakened eyes...

namelessposter Wed 22-May-13 07:52:07

Ah. I see the thread over took my post. Good luck working it out with your DH, glad you talked and he listened. And don't be too quick to decry the posters who have contributed less-welcome opinions to this thread. They have had this conversation with new SAHPs a dozen times, and could be your strongest and most giving supporters over the next few difficult years, should your 'talk' of this week not deliver the intended sea-change in your relationship.

bisley Wed 22-May-13 08:13:51

Huh? You sat down and talked it through and he agrees he needs to do more and the first thing that happens is he gets a full weekend off to rest?!

Good luck getting the next weekend off, I imagine the goalposts may well have shifted by then...

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 08:17:41

nameless I go back to work in less than a month. Some help, from certain posters , I don't need.

And mommytime I'm not American. I'm a feminist and a socialist. But your assumptions are both helpful and telling. Thanks for both.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 08:22:35

bisley I employed this strategy to make sure he cannot use exhaustion as an excuse. I will watch him exhaust himself the following weekend and he can raise no argument.

bisley Wed 22-May-13 08:30:25

Like I said, good luck with that.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 08:41:42

bisley I see that you have cynicism in regards the agreement. I might too. I'll let you know how it works out. Thanks for not being a total bitch about your doubts. I understand that in asking for help, I invited all this. But my damn upbeat outlook cant but help like this new plan we have employed.

MrsBodger Wed 22-May-13 08:55:47

Hi Mixxy. Just wanted to say well done for facing up to this situation with such a level-head. Not something I could have done with my first newborn.

And to say, yes, of course, your husband has been being an arse, but becoming a parent for the first time is a huge shock for lots of us, male and female. And, yes, of course, he should have realised that it was his time to do the heavy lifting, and it's very poor that he's been so selfish. But what's so terrible about giving the man you love and the father of your child a second chance? Why is that not feminist?

(Waits for good kicking that is surely coming Bodger's way . . .)

PS Hope your baby is doing well.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:14:53

Thank you Mrs Bodger Yes he needs coaching and no I'm not happy about it. Throw a great marriage away about division if labour? I spoke abd was haerd I'm lookibh forwrd to rest of the week. I ha e my eye s open. Why other women want to attack me is probably their own issues.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 22-May-13 09:26:56

I mostly lurk in Relationships, rarely post, but my admiration for the regulars, especially AnyFucker is boundless.

I have no doubt you are a high earner and high achiever. And you are trying to use the same skills that got you there within your relationship and family life e.g.
"I employed this strategy"
"win win"
You come across as someone who expects to be fully in control and to problem solve and negotiate. (I'm guessing you're in law but may be wrong)

I expected you posted here to be given advice in the same light. You were expecting responses along the lines of:
- spreadsheet / organisation chart for household chores
- suggestions for incentivising your DH
- negotiation techniques
- training advice for bringing his household and childcare skills up to scratch
- time management / 'managing energy'

You didn't get it. And you lashed out at the people who gave you the clear sighted advice that he was very unlikely to change and that he undermines you and does not do his fair share. And you went back into your usual mode of problem-solving and negotiating and agreeing strategies to 'manage' the situation.

The only way he will change is if you stop doing his shit and expect him to do his fair share. He doesn't need to be briefed or delegated to or managed. He needs to act like an adult and a parent. And he needs to be respectful of what you and your body have done over the past year.

(Also, if he earns half your salary for a job that expects him to work 36 hours straight after having a baby then he needs to leave.)

I want to bang my own head against a wall when I read about women electing to be the SAHP when they earn twice what their husbands do THIS.

If you are a feminist then you'll know this Gloria Steinem quote
"The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off."

Sorry you are having a truly shit time and hope your DC's therapy is going OK.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:44:22

Ton I don't why asjibg adivse seems to center on or tries to guess on my job,or than the one that 'tires' my husband. I'm qnot in law, though my mother was a judge. It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Wed 22-May-13 09:54:53

Well get a housekeeper then. Problem solved.

Yes, all the women who have taken time to think about your problem and give considered replies and recommendations are 'haters'. Seriously what a waste of time. hmm

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:57:01

Ton I don't why asjibg adivse seems to center on or tries to guess on my job,or than the one that 'tires' my husband. I'm qnot in law, though my mother was a judge. It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 09:59:40

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

OxfordBags Wed 22-May-13 10:03:46

You're calling women haters, but MNers are not the ones treating you like a live-in servant, OP. Everyone on here has told you that you are being treated unfairly and wants for that to change for the better. You not liking some stone cold home truths does not make them haters. You're lashing out at strangers because that's easier than facing up to how badly you're being treated by your OH.

You seem to have some strange ideas about Feminism. It doesn't matter if you're Queen of the bloody world, job-wise - if you're doing all the shitwork around the home, WAHM or SAHM, and making excuses for your OH to not lift a finger, then that's not any form of Feminism I recognise. Believing that you are equal to your OH is very nice, but not helpful if you're not actually treated that way by him.

The only hating going on here is the woman-hating of your OH who sees housework and childcare as utterly beneath him. And if it's beneath him but fine for you to do, that's pretty fucking hateful. He won't even get a change of vest for his own child? I could cry for you at how he must see you as a bloody slave to even dream of treating you that way. You say you don't enable him but you so do!

I have been a SAHM for over 2 yrs. My mister comes home and everything is shared between us. In fact, he probably does slightly more than me, as I have health issues and tire more easily. When the working parent is at home, things should be 50-50. I often feel like I could fall into a coma by 4pm every day, but I can't use tiredness as an excuse to not parent my own child.

Ask yourself this - however tired you were after a full working day, would you come home and do zero around the house, virtually nothing with your child? Of course not. So ask yourself why on earth it is acceptable that he does that? Possessing a penis or being a older does not make it okay.

You need to ask yourself why you allow yourself to be treated this way. The weirdly peppy and over-bright way you talk coupled with allowing yourself to be a skivvy really indicates incredible low self-esteem underneath the surface, IMHO.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 10:06:32

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

OxfordBags Wed 22-May-13 10:09:55

Mixxy, why don't you tell us what you want us to say? Because the truth is obviously miles away from what you're willing to accept and therefore help.

Mixxy Wed 22-May-13 10:18:45

I judt told you that I had a great conversation with ny DH about all this. We are working it out. Why don't you tell me what dog and pony show you need to read?

ClaraDeLaNoche Wed 22-May-13 10:22:40

Mixxy do what works for you and your family and keep upbeat. Such a lack of support from the "sisters" here. Fight one battle at a time. How mean with this "sweetie you earn nowt". You have achieved a lot and should be proud of yourself.

Umlauf Wed 22-May-13 10:25:26

You think getting a house cleaner solves under lying issues? What a spotless house you must live in.

It solves the issues in the same way as a spreadsheet does. What needs to change is the mentality of your husband, chores lists and cleaners are just shortcuts to getting jobs which need doing done.

I really sympathise with your original post, I'm pregnant at the moment and my SPD is killing on top of living in a country where I can't take time off work for health issues like this one. I feel awful as for about 4 months DH has had to do literally everything at home for me. He keeps telling me he isn't doing anything special, its normal.

I think you have already communicated your feelings to your husband and whether or not he will adapt only time will tell, not anyone on MN or you yourself, but I think in your exhaustion and stress with the newborn you are reading comments here in a much more negative way than i am, which is not helping the thread.

It seems what I work at impacts peoples empathy towards me. I doubt this will help. I'm a COO of one of the top 5 bull hedges on Wall St. Women are haters. None better than us Brits for this.

Its really sad that you feel this way, I've only read comments on your thread to be really empathetic towards you, although perhaps a bit defensive after you were defensive. If in your job you are used to women being aggressive towards you, be thankful that here on mumsnet you can get honest and good advice from all kinds of women, most of whom don't give a shit about money or your job.

Fwiw I see nothing wrong with hiring a housekeeper or nanny if neither you or your DH want to be sahps.

mummytime Wed 22-May-13 10:29:12

Okay despite your personal attack (and bad spelling) in reply to my first post. I will try once more.

You are obviously extremely tired. I can only imagine you are awake to post on here in what must be the middle of your night, because you have been woken by the baby again.

So I will give you the benefit of the doubt, that you are barely existing due to tiredness and sleep depravation and that is why you are being so rude to people who try to help you.
However if you can earn twice what your DH does, why isn't he taking over the Physical therapy for the baby so you can return to work. Or why don't you buy in some help, and he could continue working.
You do need to let him parent his way (even if it leads to mess etc.) and then let him deal with the consequences, so you can get some basic rest.

Relationships are not the same as business, and maybe you need to work on that. You do also need to get some sleep.

BTW very few people here are impressed by how impressive your CV is, sorry.

ClaraDeLaNoche Wed 22-May-13 10:36:30

OP I am impressed with your CV. You don't sound like the doormat some people are making you out to be.

Did you want the time off with the baby? Have you had enough do you think?

wellhellobeautiful Wed 22-May-13 11:11:51

Mixxy I'm glad you've spoken to your DH and he agrees his efforts have been less than sub-standard so far.

I do think that in the short term, the only solution is the one you've arrived at - a prescriptive approach where he's given very specific instructions to follow. That at least addresses the issue of making sure all chores that need to be done get done.

But I think that the other posters are concerned that by adopting this approach you've cornered yourself into the role of his 'manager'. Who's going to enforce this new rota? If he starts to get lazy again will you have to go nuclear again to get him to pull his socks up? That doesn't bode well for the future of your relationship and I suspect you'd quickly lose respect for him.

Where you perceive you've been given a hard time is where posters are pointing out that actually your DH doesn't sound like a very dependable partner. He did FA before the baby came along and he's doing FA now. Sure you might be able to project manage him in the short term. But longer term he's going to have to fundamentally change his attitude and - to put it bluntly - man up a bit. He's a parent now.

Don't make the mistake of doing all his thinking for him.

DistanceCall Wed 22-May-13 11:25:03

Go back to work. Your baby's nappy will get changed.

Helltotheno Wed 22-May-13 11:32:59

He did FA before the baby came along and he's doing FA now.

This is the fundamental problem OP, that his behaviour (ie being a lazy sod) has always been tolerated by you and now, when the chips are down with the new baby etc, how are you going to change that entrenched behaviour if he (an adult and parent) doesn't see himself that it needs to change? I think that's what other people see that you don't seem to. Having to manage another adult when you have children is an unbelievable PITA.

I agree with the the above poster that there's little less sexy than a big overgrown lazy baby as a partner. Given that you have been successful, how will you keep loving and respecting someone like that? Very difficult.....

Keep your bright side out by all means, but develop zero tolerance and cojones of steel smile

namelessposter Wed 22-May-13 12:42:19

I was impressed with your CV :-)

expatinscotland Wed 22-May-13 12:50:50

You earn THAT much money and never thought of outsourcing this work? Or hiring a nanny? Really? Where is Xenia when she is needed?

expatinscotland Wed 22-May-13 13:00:16

And whether you are a SAHP, in your OP you said you were, but now it's your spouse, a partner who finds doing his or her fair share in life is a dick.

IsItMeOr Wed 22-May-13 19:55:08

Am I the only one who has no idea what an "in it to win it" couple is?

OP, you do come across very unsympathetically. This could be because you're in the middle of a hugely challenging situation. Or it could just be that you don't like the other members of your gender very much. Either way, I hope you find a solution that suits your family and get the support you need.

butterflymeadow Wed 22-May-13 20:53:04

What a strange turn this thread has taken.

FWIW, of course you need to believe in your DH because you have a new baby, you arRe exhausted and you have to believe he will pull through for you. No-one here would advocate throwing in the towel at this stage.

But speaking as someone who tried everything, and I mean everything (lists, plans, negotiations, cleaners, delegation, expecting initiative, doing it, stopping doing it) before collapsing two years later in an exhausted heap on the floor, and declaring no more, there are a couple of things to be wary of:

- you made the plan. It needs to become a joint responsibility
- he has negotiated himself the first weekend off, which suggests he really does not get how exhausted you are, or take your point about equal sharing of duties seriously. A weekend off with a 12 week old baby with demanding needs? Seriously?
- people do not fundamentally change

That said, I hope you do work it out, and if so, please do come back 6 months after your return to work and update, if only to restore my jaded faith in men.

Yeah, not sure how or why anyone - mum or dad - gets to have a whole weekend off when they've got a 12 week old baby. A couple of hours of free time is a pretty good deal at this stage.

cestlavielife Wed 22-May-13 23:52:55

If you are going to be serious about weekends off then let him go stay elsewhere for the weekend . Then you do the same.

No... You take it in turns to each get three to four hours break on weekends. With baby this young no one should get to disappear for a weekend.

Why can't he stay working and you pay a nanny when you go back to work ?

And a cleaner etc.

If he thinks he can have weekends off already he has a long way to go as a parent....

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