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To want dh to arrive at this Decision himself?

(38 Posts)
petaluma Wed 10-Aug-11 14:07:24

My dh is pretty great most of the time, but he sometimes can be a little bit thoughtless. I am heavily pg and suffering quite a bit from sleepless nights, breathlessness etc, as well as having to look after my lovely but rather spirited toddler full time. Dh does have the tendency to think I'm some sort of superwoman or duracell bunny so he systematically managed to book up all our weekends for the last two months until about 3 weeks before my due date at the beginning of October - which has been fine but it has involved a lot of travelling, organising, washing etc, on my part - and I am exhausted. I asked him a couple of weeks ago to keep those last three weekends free for just chilling, sorting out baby stuff and enjoying our last few times together as a family of three - I also said I really value his help around the house and with my ds as I am permanently exhausted. He said he understood and yes, he would do as much as he can. However, last night he comes home saying four of his mates are going camping for one of those last weekends. Clearly, he expected me to think it was fine for him to go - I'm not the kind of wife who stops him from spending time with his mates - and he went very sulky when I reminded him of what I said. He said he wouldn't go if I didn't want him to. He's now making me feel like the bad guy, yet I don't think he should have even considered going in the first place if he had truly understood what i said about how difficult it is being this pregnant and looking after our little guy at the same time.

worraliberty Wed 10-Aug-11 14:10:12

I suppose it's difficult for him to truly appreciate how hard it is for you.

It's hard for some pregnant Mums to appreciate how hard it is for other Mums as some people breeze through it all.

redskyatnight Wed 10-Aug-11 14:17:27

Well he didn't go out and organise something - something has come up which he wants to go on, but he's said he won't go if you really don't want him to. He's possibly thinking that after the baby arrives it going to be much harder for him to go away for a weekend with his mate.

Can he take the toddler with him on the camping trip? Can he take some time off mid week instead, or leave work earlier (realise these may not be possible). Would he cancel one of the other weekends that is booked up to make place for the camping trip? Can he go for just part of the weekend?

kittensliveupstairs Wed 10-Aug-11 14:19:52

Superb idea redsky. Take the toddler. All your others are great too.
OP, i can't imagine what that's like. I've only got one DD and had a loathesome pregnancy, I am shuddering at the thought of doing the incubating while trying to look after another like she was during her toddlerhood.

FaultyGoods Wed 10-Aug-11 14:22:21

YANBU. What happens if you go into labour early? He is being thoughtless and trying to make you look like you're being unreasonable. You both agreed that you would keep the last few weekends clear, he needs to stick to that and you shouldn't have to 'nag' him about it.

petaluma Wed 10-Aug-11 14:26:47

Loving the idea of my dh taking my ds camping! Sadly, this isn't the type of camping trip a toddler would be welcome at, nor would i let dh and his mates, all of whom have kids themselves, be responsible for him. Camping, in this case, is just a byword for hedonistic bender.

I did suggest to him taking some holiday but what with paternity leave coming up, and the fact he s starting a new job soon, that seems a distant option unfortunately. Good suggestion though.

hokeycakey Wed 10-Aug-11 14:29:03

sounds a bit like my dh, my money is on he will sulk for a few days and then arrive at the decision that he wont go and expect your eternal gratitude.... you have my sympathies, am pregnant with no. 3 and feel like utter shite

My favourite suggestion is that he takes the toddler brilliant!

fedupofnamechanging Wed 10-Aug-11 14:32:19

I would object too. I love how some men think it's okay for them to go off at the weekend and the wife will automatically do all the child care to enable this. Your toddler is as much his responsibility as yours, so he should be home looking after him, rather than assuming you, his heavily pg wife should do it. The new baby is as much his too, so he ought to be looking after you now too.

Besides all that, he made an agreement with you and shouldn't lay on the guilts because you'd like him to stand by his word.

Yama Wed 10-Aug-11 14:35:59

YANBU

Can you email him telling him how you feel? I know others scoff at this form of communication but I find it handy at times if I want dh to think about something before he responds. Nice, light tone to the email. Say something nice, then the bit about how you feel then end on another compliment.

Yama Wed 10-Aug-11 14:36:41

Totally agree with Karmabeliever.

petaluma Wed 10-Aug-11 14:44:25

It s not that in principle I don't want him to have time with his mates, but I need him around and I don't want to have the label of fishwife by his mates - I suppose that's partly why I wish he'd not had to even bring it up with me, and just told them of his own accord he couldn't make it. Most of the weekends we've been away for have revolved in some capacity around 'his' friends - yes, I like them, get on with their wives etc, but it's much harder work for me than it is for him, on every level. He goes off fishing, playing golf, to the pub in the evening, while I have to look after dc, broker his tantrums and fiddling in someone else's house whilst making polite conversation with the mate's missus!

Im just desperate for some time alone and in our own space!

petaluma Wed 10-Aug-11 14:45:56

Yama, good idea.

ShoutyHamster Wed 10-Aug-11 14:47:36

- so he isn't bothered about enjoying your last few weekends as a family of 3 - ask him politely and innocently why he didn't just say this when he agreed to the idea of keeping the weekends free. You could point out that all he had to say was that his mates, if they had a notion to do anything, would take precedence?

'Oh no no no, of course they don't take precedence dear...' - etc.

You reply, 'Oh good - that's sorted then' smile

Seriously though - bit crap, no? He would 'do his best' when it came to keeping weekends free? What does that mean - that his mates are actually in charge of his free time?

Don't let him get away with sulking - really, not good enough here. No, he doesn't get to say that he'll stay if you want him to - that is not the choice on the table - the choice he has before him is to decide whether it is more important to HIM to be with you and to pull his weight at a difficult time, or to bail on you. Whether he would prefer to spend quality time together before the birth, or quality time with his mates. Whether he would prefer that you had a restful weekend in advance of the gruelling labour ahead, or whether he wants to pile on the stress and workload for you.

His decisions all the way I'm afraid. But how depressing that he can't even pick up his end of the baton at this point. Loooow quality!

fedupofnamechanging Wed 10-Aug-11 14:51:50

Sounds like your social life is not very even at the moment and your husband needs to hear how things are from your pov. It's not much of a relaxing social life for you if you still have sole care of the toddler. Really, this needs to stop before you have two children and your husband is buggering off at the weekends and leaving you with both of them.

I wouldn't worry about coming across as a nag or fishwife. The opinions of your husbands mate don't really matter in the great scheme of things. What does matter is equality and fairness within your own relationship.

Besides, better to come across as a fishwife, than a doormat. Not saying you are, but if this continues, it's what you will become.

ShoutyHamster Wed 10-Aug-11 14:55:12

Oh dear.

'It s not that in principle I don't want him to have time with his mates, but I need him around and I don't want to have the label of fishwife by his mates - I suppose that's partly why I wish he'd not had to even bring it up with me, and just told them of his own accord he couldn't make it. Most of the weekends we've been away for have revolved in some capacity around 'his' friends - yes, I like them, get on with their wives etc, but it's much harder work for me than it is for him, on every level. He goes off fishing, playing golf, to the pub in the evening, while I have to look after dc, broker his tantrums and fiddling in someone else's house whilst making polite conversation with the mate's missus!'

Show him that.

Tell him that if he's any sort of man at all, he should want to change that situation, before resentment grows. Because it will.

A real man wouldn't let his wife be pushed into the position of 'fishwife' by any so-called friend. That's spineless. No, there would be a united front.

(whispers: actually, the truth is that the man who lets his wife be seen as the 'nag that won't let him play' only heaps scorn on himself - a confident secure person has no trouble in owning their own decisions - 'No, I'm prioritising the family for the next few weekends guys - we've No2 coming along soon' - that's the statement that, secretly, gets the respect, not 'ooh but mummy won't let me out! Feel sorry for me!) smile

Anyway.

Tell him you'd have had far more respect for him if he had the guts to own his own decisions. That you're disappointed in him for publicly 'referring the decision' back to you. That it makes you think less of him, and his friends will secretly think the same. And also point out that while you are going the extra mile to make his circle of friends yours, so that HE gets a better quality social life than you do, it might be a good idea not for him to completely take the piss. Might kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, so to speak.

So hang on, you go away to friends for the weekend and instead of all doing family stuff together he gets to pretend he's still a single, childless man while you do all the childcare.

He sounds like a dickhead, not a Dad. Tell him to grow the fuck up. You sound totally downtrodden.
There are no prizes for being the 'cool wife' that enables this kind of lifestyle, only a long build up of resentment.

petaluma Wed 10-Aug-11 15:07:57

Shoutyhamster I wish i could have been that articulate when he first brought it up.

Before kids our relationship was very 'mates' orientated which suited our lifestyle and relationship very well, particularly as they are spread throughout the country, and I love him for the fact he is so loyal and close to his friends, and he me. They have never really got in the way of our relationship, nor have we ever let them, but motherhood has made me adjust my lifestyle, and now with dd on the way, it is imperative he does the same. One dc has been ok, but with two, I'll need him to step up a bit more.

The thing is, he s always been very encouraging of me spending time with my friends but I haven't actually wanted to go away for whole weekends leaving ds like he still does. Most of my mates are mums too, and, although we do the occasional overnighter, they feel the same too. He doesn't understand that just because I don't want to disappear off for a whole weekend, he shouldn't too, well not as frequently as he does.

BarbieLovesKen Wed 10-Aug-11 15:23:10

Yanbu, sounds like my dh! (the thinking I'm superwoman bit)

Can only share my experience - I've recently had a baby girl (she's 8 weeks now) and things are much better, partly because dh seems to value his family the more children we have and partly because my resentment and annoyance towards him built up so much during the pregnancy that when she was 4 weeks I told him genuinely that I just wanted to separate - that it had got to a point that he was just extra work for me - an extra person to clean up after, do washing for, organise etc - he was no help and honestly, although I'd miss the company, I wouldn't miss the support or help because he didn't offer any. I think this is the shock/ wake up call he needed - because I really meant it and he's really trying. Don't let it get this far - be honest about your feelings (I like the email idea, that way you have time to mull over and not leave anything out). Silly as it sounds, I also made dh read up a little about pregnancy and what's going on in the body/ why it's so hard (in case we're ever mad enough to do this again)

You have my sympathies- Dd2 is our third - we've a 5 year old dd and (when she was born) an energetic 17 month old ds, I work full time and did up til. 38 weeks, I was studying in uni at night for my law degree and sat my exams at 38 weeks - this meant two 16 hour days per week (work and college combined) and then late night studying each night after work once dc were bedded down. This isn't to mention all housework/ lunches/ washing etc. I went 15 days overdue with dd2. There were days I honestly sat down, cried and thought my head would explode with stress. At the end of the pregnancy, I'd sometimes come in from work, play and chat with dc, bath, bed dc, do housework and then sit down to study and exclaim "I'm exhausted!!!" and he'd genuinely and innocently look up from the tv and ask "why? What has you so tired?" hmm

I really don't think (as others have said) he had a notion as to what it's like. We've came to the conclusion though that this is partly my" fault" too - I've always done way too much and dh now expects me to be able to juggle it all, if that makes sense. Sil for example gave up work as soon as she fell pregnant with her ds, he's 6 now and they don't want anymore. She's no intention of going back to work and by her own admission. Dn is a very "easy" child (he's a lovely, mannerly and well behaved little boy), her job is to keep the house clean - which she does and her dp has the upmost respect/ praise for her - saying how fantastic she is etc (mine would never say this!), she goes away for a weekend every 2 months with the girls for a break from her ds and bil agrees she deserves this.

I know I'm rambling but do you see the point I'm trying to make? I suspect you probably do too much and because of this, your dh expects you to be able for all sorts - does that make any sense?

diddl Wed 10-Aug-11 15:39:28

I don´t think his going away would bother me if he would do all preparation/extra washing.

And if I could get someone to stay with me to help with the toddler.

WhereYouLeftIt Wed 10-Aug-11 16:38:40

TBH, now that you've described how your 'social' life is (he plays, you hold the fort in someone else's fort), I rather think any discussion I had with your husband would begin with the words "How fucking dare you ...". And somewhere I'd insert "What bit of 'exhausted' do you not understand?" And I'd round it off with "And another thing - going for weekends EVERY fucking weekend to YOUR friends ...".

I think you need to spell out to him everything you've told us here. Because he needs to know. Right now he's blithely ignoring it unaware because he's married to, in your own words, the duracell bunny.

Let's face it, you're already hurt by his behaviour. He can't make that any better by 'arriving at this decision himself'. He can only stop it from getting worse, but he can't magic away the damage already caused. So on that basis, you might as well just go for it and sort this out once and for all.

Mumofjz Wed 10-Aug-11 17:21:55

Tell him you've booked that weekend to spend at family (mums?) just relaxing and being looked after and re-charging your batteries ready for the birth and it would be wonderful for him and the first child to spend time together (as this will probably need to happen more when the 2nd is here)

northerngirl41 Wed 10-Aug-11 17:27:20

How about cancelling some of the other stuff to have a bit of a break in between hectic weekends? I'm generally of the opinion that an invitation isn't a summons.

Either that or say that you want a weekend off too, so can he arrange for someone to look after the toddler and sort it all out?

Tangle Wed 10-Aug-11 17:38:10

How far away is he going?

You could also point out that the NHS considers anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks as term and, as such, if he goes too far way he runs the risk of missing the birth of his 2nd child...

I do think you need to talk to him, though, and agree that as he's demonstrated he cant arrive at the decision for himself you might need to lead him by the hand (or kick him along the path) until he understands why you're so upset. If he tends to default into "here she goes again" mode then you might find it more effective to do it in writing that to try and have a conversation in person - at least to start with.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 10-Aug-11 17:50:40

I haven't read all the thread, sorry. Just wanted to let you know that DC2 came 2 weeks early in 4 hours flat (won't scare you about DC3!) DH shouldn't even be drinking too much to drive for the next 3 weeks, let alone going away for the w/e.

Whatmeworry Wed 10-Aug-11 18:30:50

I think he's being inconsiderate, the baby could arrive in that time and besides you do need to prepare for it. It's not as if you haven't been gallivanting around.

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