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DH refuses to do any night time feeds and baths.

(29 Posts)
Jerseyellie Tue 28-Jun-11 13:43:56

I have new born of 9 weeks and DH refuses to do night feeds and bath. My DS wakes 2/3 times a night for a feed and I only recently stopped EBF at 8 weeks because he was feeding every 1.5 hours and I was exhausted. Have just had a kidney infection so this forced DH into feeding in afternoon and actually changing a nappy!!!Before I stopped work for ML I was main salary earner and still contribute each month, DH Works from home but from what I see he spends 4 hours at work, the rest on games/Internet. Ive asked him to help more but he won't, what can I do as I'm shocked by his old fashioned attitude

Wigeon Tue 28-Jun-11 13:46:17

I suppose you need to find out why he won't and then try to address his reasons. Does he say why?

madammecholet Tue 28-Jun-11 13:46:30

Leave all the children with him overnight <if you can> and go and stay at your mums. When you get back in the morning just explain that you're willing to share the load if he is.

madammecholet Tue 28-Jun-11 13:47:24

Actually wigeon may have a point, he may just be scared and out of his depth?

LeQueen Tue 28-Jun-11 13:47:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sewmuchtodo Tue 28-Jun-11 13:54:07

I work from home so ML is a foreign consept, sadly that won't prevent me from caring for DC3 when s/he arrives. DH works ft, does the school run and we share the chores at home.

Your DH is being lazy and im afraid that's not much good with a family. Ask him if he need you to show him how to do it as it may be a confidence issue, if not stop doing the things that benefit him (washing/ironing/cooking etc) and explain you are too exhausted.....

LunaticFringe Tue 28-Jun-11 13:56:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sidge Tue 28-Jun-11 13:58:10

Did you not realise before the baby came that he was going to be so hands-off?

Is he nervous and clueless or just a lazy bastard that thinks because you're the woman you do it all?

Does he have anything to do with the baby?

Some serious talking needed here I think.

thumbwitch Tue 28-Jun-11 14:01:14

Lazy man syndrome. I like Lunatic Fringe's solution - can you do that? He will not get any better unless you do something about it now - and the situation will only get worse if you don't.
My DH never did night stuff with our DS because he was EBF for nearly 2y. He did do nappy changes during the day, however, because I had to do everything at night - DH "needed his sleep" and couldn't function without it. SO - DH got shipped out to the spare room, I co-slept with DS (reduced the sleep-deprivation) - he got his sleep and I got him to cook dinner every evening as compensation for him not doing any of the night work (and he had to do the washing up as well).

It worked for us - if he won't give an inch on the night stuff, make him pick up the slack elsewhere.

pollyblue Tue 28-Jun-11 14:12:09

He "refuses" to care for his child during the night? What are his reasons exactly? He seen you on the point of exhaution but still won't help?

Sorry, in this day and age it's not good enough. Especially as he's working from home - so not up at the crack of sparrow cough for a whooping great commute.

It's not my idea of a partnership (and obviously not yours!) and he sounds like a pillock.

bessie26 Tue 28-Jun-11 14:12:30

DD2 is 9wks too! grin

Is he scared of changing nappies etc? DH used to be very nervous of changing DD1s nappies & getting her dressed as he said his hands seemed too big to handle anything that small! Mind you, she was 6wks prem...and he still did it.. and all the cooking for the first 4 months.

Is he helping out elsewhere? If not you need to Have Words. Perhaps get him to do a night time feed as a one-off first so you can get some decent sleep before having A Discussion about sharing the responsibility for your child.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 14:23:01

As someone who also works at home, I suspect the fact he spends half his work day goofing off online means he is either: A) really lazy, or B) deals with things he doesn't want to do by avoiding them.

Which do you think seems more likely? I do think you need to figure it out before deciding a strategy.

Either way he's being an absolute twat though, I'm sorry.

fuzzpig Tue 28-Jun-11 14:26:39

Has he given you a reason?

Ephiny Tue 28-Jun-11 14:30:28

He sounds very lazy, there are no excuses for his behaviour. Lots of new mothers feel 'scared and out of their depth' with a first baby, but they don't have the option of just refusing to do anything!

Was it a joint decision to have a child together? Did you discuss beforehand about how responsibilities would be shared once the baby arrived?

ChaoticAngelinLimbo Tue 28-Jun-11 14:31:37

So baby is now being ff. Then book yourself into a Premier Inn (or equivalent) for the night by yourself. Leave baby with dad, he won't have a choice then and you get a full nights sleep. Then maybe you can talk to him.

Jerseyellie Tue 28-Jun-11 14:31:43

We had a discussion on Saturday as I was so tired from late night feeds and kidney infection. DH does cook tea, by choice not because I won't, and he takes DS1 to school 3 days a week, I collect DS1. He will do the last feed at 10/11 pm but this has o ly been for the past 2 weeks as i ebf before that. I've explained having a baby in your room waking and fidgeting etc. makes it very difficult to sleep at all. DH sleeps in spare room. I offered to swap cooking tea for a few nights for him to take a few night feeds but he won't. Says he is helping by doing the tea! Before I had DS2 he was a sharing, lovely man, now I feel like he's sulking about the baby.

ronshar Tue 28-Jun-11 14:33:54

Sort it out now or you will be like me and on child number three and almost a single parent!

Jerseyellie Tue 28-Jun-11 14:34:02

Dreambo - you're right on B I think, hes an avoider

motherinferior Tue 28-Jun-11 14:38:42

I was scared and out of my depth with a new baby.

Er, so I got on with it and soon enough I wasn't scared or out of my depth.

Balsam Tue 28-Jun-11 14:40:32

Hmm, it is my opinion that the person who is not working should be the one to get up in the night during the week. But if he was a decent fells, he should offer to give you a break on one of the weekend nights. You need a big talk with him.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 14:46:00

Okay, hmm. I think for avoiders -- and I used to have these tendencies -- it helps to put a proper schedule in place, it makes it less avoidable. So instead of saying, can we swap a few nights, work out what you think an equitable plan is, for example he does night feeds on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday. That way he can also prepare for them in his own way.

If he is really only working 4-5 hours a day then he can obviously take naps during the day to catch up on sleep.

Also, I think for avoiders, the fear is worse than the reality. So if he really refuses to do this, then I would second the idea of going away for a day or two and letting him get on with it.

Did he do night feeds with DS1? Is he remembering it as much worse than it was?

I don't think you should 'ask' him to do things, but present a plan for shared tasks, and if he disagrees with any of it, ask him for a counter-proposal, and try to get a compromise. I mean, you shouldn't have to do this, he's being really selfish, but do what you need to do for now.

Finally at the risk of being flamed, it is not the end of the world to put your DS in his own room if he is keeping you awake all night. I had to do this quite early for similar reasons, many people do.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Tue 28-Jun-11 14:47:27

Tell him that for every night that he doesn't do any night feeds, that'll be another month before you have sex again.

dreamingbohemian Tue 28-Jun-11 14:47:49

Balsam her DH is working about 4 hours a day at home, he can certainly do a few night feeds

Ephiny Tue 28-Jun-11 15:09:27

I would agree with Balsam if the working partner was doing a long day, commuting etc - though maybe as the OP has not been well he could even then put himself out a bit to ensure she gets a proper night's sleep! You'd think a caring husband would want to do that.

But in this case he hardly seems to be exerting himself much when it comes to paid work. You don't get to spend hours every day faffing around on the internet (except maybe MN occasionally!) and playing computer games when you have a small baby to look after, certainly not while your partner is exhausted and ill and doing more than their fair share.

harecare Tue 28-Jun-11 15:20:28

I was in same position with new born DD1. DP avoided everything. He couldn't have done night feeds, but the odd nappy or bath would have helped. He isn't a bad person and was fairly hands off with DD2 too. Luckily I was very capable - put him off helping? I did feel jealous of my friends with hands on Dads.
Have you asked him to do specific things? Being very specific can help e.g. can you do the bath while I wash up please? Can you do the 12-2am feeds as you're only just going to bed then and I could do with the extra rest to get better quickly.
Is he really just playing on the internet? My DP also works on the computer and often has to research on the net and keep up to date with what's going on in his field. It was really frustrating being at home looking after DD1 while he was in the house not helping and not earning a great deal of money either. After a hard first year he became more hands on - and got an office away from home which helped.
Try not to compare him with other Dads as it won't help your situation. Try to work out a way for him to help that suits you, but be very clear on what you need him to do and why.

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