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to want DP to get up at night with baby?

(25 Posts)
shirazirazi Tue 30-Aug-11 02:30:05

DD is 3 months old and DP has never gotten up with her during the night. She usually wakes for a feed or just a bit of attention but will go back to sleep no problem after. I didn't really mind it at first but after looking after her and DS (he's 4) all day I'm usually exhausted by bed time. DP uses the excuse that he's "had a long day at work" (he works 8am-6pm though will sometimes stay later depending to what's going on at the office) and the fact that I've been home all day cleaning, burping, wiping, scrubbing food off the walls thanks to DS and rushing around mean pretty much nothing to him.

I also work (though I'll only be going back part-time when my maternity leave is over) so I know it can be stressful holding down a busy job but I still came home at the end of the day and had to wash/feed/look after DS?

I've asked him a bunch of times "I'm really exhausted, can you see to DD tonight?" and he just refuses because he's so tired. And if I say that I'm tired too he asks what I've been doing all day as if I've been laying on the couch eating chocolate biscuits and watching TV! (I bloody wish!) I keep some breast milk bottled in the fridge and he's fine about feeding her any other time so it's not that. Uh I don't know, what do you think?

BustleInYourHedgerow Tue 30-Aug-11 02:46:15

He needs to help. Poor you I know how you feel and you must be so exhausted. DP and I agreed before DS was born that I would do everything before DS was born, as he was working part time 30 hours per week and attending Uni 35 hours per week, with study and assignments on top of that (I had done this the year previous, so I thought that looking after a baby would be relatively easy. I was wrong. I went back to work full time when DS was 6mo and DPlooked after him for 4 evenings a week. He said it was much harder than working and going to Uni. He had'ntt realised how hard it had been for me, despite my being very vocal about it. Maybe you need to tell your DP, ok, so I am having one day off, on x day, then he will look after the DCs and realise how hard it is?

Antidote Tue 30-Aug-11 02:47:47

He's being a lazy knob-end and Yanbu.

At the very least he could do Friday and Saturday nights, seeing as he's not at work on Sat or Sun.

Failing that he could take both dc out for a couple of hours at the weekend to let you rest.

My Dh is a sahd at the moment and he is adamant it is harder than ft work. Stick to your guns. If you get too tired to cope it will do no-one any favours.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 30-Aug-11 02:49:42

Does he do all the night wakings on the weekends? DH used to leave all the nights to me because DD was BF and it was easier to BF than heat a bottle at night. Now, she wakes for comfort or cuddles not milk. He takes any wakings before midnight, I do any after. Unless it's a horror show then we will take over from each other when sanity runs out (about two hours grin).

I think he does not respect what you do all day. Do you leave him with the kids on his days off so that he understands it's not all biccies and naps?

shirazirazi Tue 30-Aug-11 03:18:39

No, he's never ever gotten up with her. He runs his own business so sometimes (although only rarely) we will be called back to work at the weekend but this hasn't happened for months. For example, he invited his family to dinner on Friday night but he had to work last minute so I had to cook and entertain them while also trying to get the DCs settled and into bed so I was tiiiired. I then asked him if he could get up with her and he said no incase he was called to work early the next morning, he couldn't afford to be tired.

I'm sorry, haha, I just feel so much better venting on here. I mean, I'm not asking him to get up every night... just once a week or so would help me so much because I feel so much more energized after a full night of sleep!

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 30-Aug-11 03:47:01

Sorry but he doesn't want to. The rest is just excuses. I was giving him the benefit of the doubt but I think Antidote may be right.

ballstoit Tue 30-Aug-11 06:56:22

YANBU (obviously!). On Saturday, make sure there is enough milk in the freezer and tell him you are going out for the day. Go to a friends and spend the day in bed. A day with your children may help him see how hard it is.

Andrewofgg Tue 30-Aug-11 07:47:42

I'm going to say what I have said on similar threads. Is he competent and confident with DD? Has he any experience as an elder brother or an uncle?

A lot of men have none when their first DC is born, and I know what i am talking about.

If that is it, he may not trust himself. Tell him that the first time he does it you will get up too - it's only once more - and give him the confidence he needs. And let him find out how pleasurable it is to turn a wet and hungry squealer into a warm, dry, well-fed and contented bundle of joy.

If that doesn't work then he is an idle knob and you should tell him so!

sunnydelight Tue 30-Aug-11 07:53:49

Of course YANBU, your "D"H is being a selfish asshole. The whole "my job is more important than yours" thing is just so unfair. If he can't see what a tosser he is being then you need to force the issue - spend Saturday/Saturday night with a friend so he can see just how exhausting your world is. Fatherhood does not end with insemination!

MrsGravy Tue 30-Aug-11 08:00:38

Stop asking and TELL him. Tell him that you will be sleeping downstairs and he WILL be dealing with the baby. Book yourself into a hotel if necessary. He's a parent. Parents don't get to opt out of the harder aspects of bringing up a child.

I breastfed and our 3 would never really settle well for DH but he was always willing to try and he made sure I caught up on sleep in other ways - long lie ins and naps on the weekend usually.

Meglet Tue 30-Aug-11 08:09:02

Yanbu. My XP never got up at night (or at breakfast) with either of our dc's. He refused to help and would get nasty if I asked him.

Somehow you have got to get your DH to do his fair share or you'll end up worn out and resentful.

Nagoo Tue 30-Aug-11 08:20:24

Notice meglet said XP.

Why can't he do Friday/ Saturday?

Can you get a lie in on Sat/ Sun?

PhilipJFry Tue 30-Aug-11 08:35:03

"And if I say that I'm tired too he asks what I've been doing all day as if I've been laying on the couch eating chocolate biscuits and watching TV!"


I'd like to congratulate you on not having spontaneously combusted when he put that one out.

Having a newborn is hard bloody work and him pretending he's got it harder isn't on. Would it possible for you to go out for a day/part of the day to visit family or friends at the weekend and leave the baby with him? Just so he can experience what it's really like.

toniguy Tue 30-Aug-11 08:44:10

I worked part time when ours were small. Our rules were simple: on weekdays I did all the night wakings when I was on maternity leave. Weekends were split between us. When I returned to work, we split equally the nights when we both had work the following morning (and continued to split weekends). This seems a sensible rule of thumb.

No one is saying that looking after children at home isn't work, but IMO its very different to being in paid employment and the pressures are different. You can always have a 'down day' where you just chill and don't push yourself too hard, whereas in a paid job you can't. If I'd had a really disturbed night with the children while on ML, I would just have a low key day the next day- I wouldn't faff with housework or fancy meals- lunch would be a sandwich and we'd have a playing at home day .

Your dh is a twat if he is refusing to do any night times,'and I agree I would force him into having the kids all day on a Saturday so he just has to do it. Take yourself off out all day. But in principle I think if one parent is home, it makes sense for them to do night wakings, because they don't have to be up and out, smiling at the public or performing difficult responsible tasks at 8 am next day. (disclaimer: yes I know caring for kids is a responsible task, but you aren't being judged on your performance by anyone else for it. Feeling dog tired and crabby because of a bad night is crap,'but its doubly crap if you have to go to work in the morning!)

EightiesChick Tue 30-Aug-11 08:53:43

Since you've said he just refuses if you ask, I think he is clearly being a knob about it. So your choices are either to leave the house at a particular period and make him do it, or to stop doing some/all of the things you do to make his life easier - cooking dinner, washing his work clothes, whatever. Then he can see what it's like when the other person in a 'partnership' just thinks of themselves.

naturalbaby Tue 30-Aug-11 09:01:03

my dh is the same, and it may be because i am bf but if i can settle baby in a few minutes without baby getting hysterical but dh takes over 1/2hr and baby does get hysterical then i'd rather get up several times a night every night. it is frustrating, i am exhausted but he's nearly sleeping through reliably and i get an afternoon nap when he does to make up for it. this is our 3rd baby and i've been there and tried it all, and at the end of the day it's just easier for us to accept baby wakes up because he wants his mummy and mummy will deal with it with minimal fuss all round.

my dh makes up for it by entertaining the older kids during the day. he's much better with the older kids so it's unfair for me to make him do his share with baby overnight to prove a point. he works the same hours as the op and works bloody hard to bring home a decent wage so my priorities are totally different.

Alibabaandthe80nappies Tue 30-Aug-11 09:06:09

He is a dickhead. My DH works longer hours than yours, and he gets up to our boys in the night.

In fact last night he stayed up settling the baby while I went to bed. He is brilliant.

Agree that what is lacking in your relationship is respect.

theyoungvisiter Tue 30-Aug-11 09:11:14

but naturalbaby - I don't think the OP is trying to "prove a point" as you put it - she's at the end of her tether and trying to get her DH to pull his weight in SOME way.

It sounds as though you've found a balance that works for you where you do the nights and your DH takes some of the weight off you in the day with the older kids (FWIW I did the same thing).

However the OP's husband is not pulling his weight at night OR in the day. And even if you are bfing, there are times when the baby doesn't want milk but is colicky or whatever and just wants to be walked and rocked and shushed.

At the end of the day it doesn't really matter when the OP's husband puts his time in but he needs to do SOMETHING. Saying "oh I might need to go in" is just horseshit. The OP deserves a weekend just as much as he does.

4madboys Tue 30-Aug-11 09:11:20

andrewfogg this ISNT their first! they already have a ds! did he help at all with your first in the night?

i sympathise as we have 5 and my dp has never done the nights, even with the two who ended up bottle fed so no excuse! BUT he is a really heavy sleeper and simply does not wake up, two nights ago, both the youngest two were up and in the end i woke him up and he did then take of ds4 whilst i dealt with the baby. so he is crap at nights BUT has always been great letting me have a lie in or taking them off in the day so i get a break, will he do this at least?

even this morning dp had to leave for 8:30 for work, dd woke at 6am (bit earlier than usual as she had a stuffy nose) dp took her off and i stayed in bed till almost 8am! grin and he had changed her nappy, given her her morning milk etc and by the time i got up all the elder boys were eating bfast, dressed etc, so i had a relaxing start to my day.

i dont work at all, but dp has once had a week (when i was in hospital) with 4 to look after, and so he knows how hard it is and acknowledges that yes work is hard, BUT once he is home it should be 50/5o we are both parents and so he needs to pitch in, he may get grumpy occasionally, but so do i.

does he help in any other way, dinner, bathtime etc?

Iteotwawki Tue 30-Aug-11 09:12:29

Once I had gone back to work full time, I didn't get up in the night either. My husband was (still is) a SAHD and said that he could always have a lazy day after a bad night if he needed to whereas I had to work 730-6 regardless. Even now (boys are 3 & 5 and only wake at night with illness) I rarely see to them in the night, because I can't afford to be tired the next day at work.

The difference here is, if he'd had a bad run of broken nights and asked me to take over I wouldn't refuse as long as I wasn't going to be working the next day.

Your husband isn't being unreasonable to want to be awake and alert for a workday but he is being unreasonable not to help when asked.

Mimmee Tue 30-Aug-11 09:12:44

OP YANBU - He's being selfish. DD is nearly 6 months and I do the nights in the week but if I'm really tired DP will take over on a Fri or Sat night and he'll also give her a bottle last thing so I can go to bed early. Yes he sometimes grumbles and gives it "I've been at work all week" but I just respond "so have I.."

If you "ask" him to do it it's giving him permission to say no - just tell him!

4madboys Tue 30-Aug-11 09:13:15

oh and my dp works long hours, often 30hr shifts and is also on rota support so can get called in at anytime, he does nights as well, but he will still help out when he is home! parenting is a partnership and it doesnt sound like the ops, dh is doing much to help at all!

naturalbaby Tue 30-Aug-11 09:36:53

well i'm assuming he's a reasonably good dad and pulls his weight during the day, not that it excuses refusing to help overnight. i just wouldn't dive in and call him every name under the sun based on a paragraph reflecting one side of the story.

i'm just saying even if my dh lept out of bed to help at every squeak the baby settles quicker and easier with me so that may be the case for others. most of the time he didn't hear the baby at all so it would take 15mins of snuffling, grunting and grizzling then screaming for him to wake up. by that time i'd have got baby back to sleep having only 1/2 woken up myself rather than fuming that he hadn't heard or wasn't offering to do anything.
yes, it's not about proving a point but making life as easy as possible. it's just easier for me to accept that my dh doesn't do newborn babies, and will make up for it later!

BreadCrumbsandButterBeans Tue 30-Aug-11 09:56:08

Would your DP agree to do a feed before he goes to bed?

I get my DH to give our 8 week DS a bottle of expressed milk at around 11pm-midnight. If I have gone to bed at 9-10pm, I can get about 5 or 6 hours of unbroken sleep before DS wakes for his next feed at about 3-4am.

Since we started this a couple of weeks ago, I've definately felt much more able to cope with the antics of our DTD during the day.

Andrewofgg Wed 31-Aug-11 07:34:36

4madboys if OP let this happen while first DC was small that's a pity. Time to sort it out now.

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