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to ask DH NOT to have a bath?

(89 Posts)
cheekster Mon 17-Oct-11 00:40:13

DH comes home from work at roughly 5pm. He has a manual job and comes home fairly dirty. Because of this he wants to get in the bath as soon as he comes home.

The thing is, 5pm - 7pm is a pretty hectic time at our house with tea, bath and bed for our 2 boys (10m and 3). At the moment I find myself doing everything (including making the tea and doing the washing up) and this week I have just gone back to work after mat leave and could really do with a bit of support at this time.

The thing is DH has severe OCD, so a bath isnt a half hour thing. He has to wash himself a certain way for a certain number of times and start from the beginning if he 'does it wrong.' It mostly takes an hour, although it can take more. I have asked him to take a shower instead as he doesnt seem as bad when he has a shower but he says he prefers baths.

So AIBU to ask him to not get in the bath until the children are in bed? I am sympathetic on the whole towards his OCD, he hates that he is this way but Im not sure I can take anymore!

ReadyToDrinkYourBlood Mon 17-Oct-11 00:43:22

Can he have a quick shower to get clean when he gets home, then have the longer bath after the children are in bed, if he still wants it?

cheekster Mon 17-Oct-11 00:48:18

No, I asked him to have a shower and he said no. BTW his quick shower is about 30/40 minutes anyway!

garlicScaresVampires Mon 17-Oct-11 00:58:31

yanbu to want him to delay/curtail his bath, but you married a guy with ocd ...

garlicScaresVampires Mon 17-Oct-11 01:02:53

Have put my much-feared thinking cap on (you should see it, it's gross!)

As you know, you can't modify the OCD.
But you can modify your routine.
Either bathe DC in the morning, or put them to bed a bit later.
Prepare tea the night before or in the morning.
Assemble family in the bathroom for relaxed chat with ritually-washing DH.

Last step optional.

Any help??

cheekster Mon 17-Oct-11 01:09:25

Hmm, thanks for your thoughts. Your ideas do help, for days when I dont work, but not really helpful for days when I am at work. We have to stick to our schedule as it works with childcare etc so baths in a morning, bedtime later isnt possible. I could make the tea the night before I suppose, not sure I want to spend my nights doing this though

OhMyGolly Mon 17-Oct-11 01:14:53

Maybe he would compromise with 1 or 2 days when he waits to have a bath? I do sympathise with the ocd thing, but really you can't be doing everything all the time it's just not fair.

When I had my first, dp used to do a week of earlies/a week of lates. Because he used to get up at 4:30am he used to get in, have a snack and then have a nap for 3-4 hours. It was very very lonely for me tbh.

Now after experiencing night shifts, then looking after children all day, plus having 3 children, I am so much less sympathetic.

He still does earlies, only for 2 days in a row now though, he gets in and fully joins in family life.

If I can do night shifts, then 3 hours sleep, then children for god knows how many hours, he can wait until the children are in bed to flake out blush.

If he can't do that then he needs to give you lots of time to yourself at other times.

OhMyGolly Mon 17-Oct-11 01:17:01

Also a slow cooker would be good, it takes little effort to chuck together a meal and leave it in the slow cooker all day. May get a bit samey, but if you are anything like me and hate trying to cook/clean with children clinging to you it would come in handy.

garlicScaresVampires Mon 17-Oct-11 01:30:15

Yes, I do think you can more or less get rid of the cooking, which still leaves the eating/talking/bathing but it's one less thing. Slow cookers are made for this exact problem, as are freezers and microwaves. Slow casserole and frozen veg, backed up with batch cooking for the freezer when you have some time.

Actually this is what I do - for the opposite reason; I live on my own and cooking one-offs is really expensive. Plus I'm lazy

Can DH have DC in the bath with him?
If not, could he tell them a story while washing?

ChippingInToThePumpkinLantern Mon 17-Oct-11 01:38:42

OK so he has OCD - he has to have his bath 'his way', but he is also a DAD and this has to come first, so maybe he just needs to have a quick wash and change of clothes until the kids are in bed. Stop asking, start telling. They are his children too, not just yours.

mynewpassion Mon 17-Oct-11 01:43:27

YAB a bit U. You said he's fairly dirty. I am not OCD but I don't want to feed or wash any kids until I am clean. I would even want to minimize hugs. Makes me feel as everything else I touch is dirty not sanitized if I am dirty: food, floor, kids, etc.

If its manual labor, he might be tracking in mud, insulation dust, cement, other minor chemicals, smells that I wouldn't want my kids to get on themselves. Being clean is a health benefit to them.

Maybe you can feed them first at 5 and then after he's done with his bath at 6, he can give the kids a bath. Later, one of you or both can put them to bed. Then eat and clean up together after the kids are asleep.

LesserOfTwoWeevils Mon 17-Oct-11 01:49:37

When you point out that his bath marathon leaves you to cope with the DCS alone, what does he suggest?

garlicScaresVampires Mon 17-Oct-11 01:53:33

That's a v good Q, Lesser.

BearBehavingBadly Mon 17-Oct-11 02:02:14

How about your DH has his bath when he comes home & you do tea (leave his tea/dinner to be warmed up later) then at 6 ish when h's finished his tea, he can then bath the kids. When kids are bathed, he can have his tea & you can put kids to bed.

Inertia Mon 17-Oct-11 07:28:59

Fair enough, he needs to get clean when he gets in, but he also has to put his responsibilities as a father first and get cleaned up quickly so that he can help with the children. I agree with Lesser, he needs to come up with a workable solution, because an hour to himself in the bath while you deal with the children and everything else is not reasonable- and if the OCD is that bad, perhaps he needs to seek help with managing it because otherwise you are going to be left doing everything without help.

Could he be anxious about the hectic dinnertime/bathtime, making the OCD worse and causing him to hide away?

Does he have a bath or shower before work, and if so does that take an hour? Or does he manage a quick bath then, if bathtime would be eating into sleep rather than helping the family (sorry to be cynical).

A couple of possible options:

- He continues however long to bathe, but as soon as he gets out he puts one child to bed, then when both are asleep he can have his dinner then wash up.

- The children go in the bath with him (probably not ideal if he gets really messy); or there is a time limit so they can be bathed at say 5.30.

The issue is that he gets to have a long soak in the bath, and then when he gets out everything'd done. You can be sympathetic to his oCD, but that doesn't mean that you have to do everything.

jasper Mon 17-Oct-11 07:39:39

He should have his hour long bath on return from work. You do all the skivying while he bathes.
When he gets out the bath he does the next hour of skivying while you sit on your bum. Problem solved

snailoon Mon 17-Oct-11 07:44:06

Kids don't need a bath every day by any stretch of the imagination. If bathing them is another thing to get through in the evening, don't do it on days you work. A wipe of sticky hands and faces is fine (arguably better for the skin, and certainly the norm in most places on the globe).

slavetofilofax Mon 17-Oct-11 07:48:26

Couldn't he go to the GP and get some therapy for his OCD?

I know it probably not going to go away completely, but he could get to the stage where it isn't taking over his life, and that of you and the children.

OCD is a horrible thing to live with, but he has to take some responsibility in managing it so that you don't feel abandoned and aren't left to deal with everything on your own.

There are things he can do to help himself. I strongly disagree that you should have to modify your life to the extent that it's really hard for you. he needs to do somethingto deal with this and stop expecting his family to fit in with something that he is choosing to allow to run his life.

GalaxyWeaver Mon 17-Oct-11 07:50:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

attheendoftheday Mon 17-Oct-11 08:09:27

What about encouraging your DP to seek some help for the OCD? You could ask the GP for a referal for CBT, but it's effectiveness generally comes down to your DP's motivation to change some of his behaviours.

ionysis Mon 17-Oct-11 08:09:54

My husband has ocd too. Mostly based around cleaning, tidying and arranging things. He started taking cipralex about 2 years ago which has made a MAJOR difference to our lives.

He also is firmly of the opinion that his ocd is HIS problem and he doesn't make it the rest of the family's. I have adult ADD so am very messy and late for everything. He simply cleans up after me as he sees his obsessive neatness as something which is his issue therefore he should deal with it. He doesn't impose his rituals and standards on anyone else - just deals with things as his ocd dictates.

In return I put up with never knowing where anything is as he has "rearanged" the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, wardrobes etc. For the hundredth time and we split household jobs between things he has to have "right" (he does them) and other stuff (which I do). He is also the stay at home parent because it suits our natures better that way - I need to be out and stimulated all the time and would live in chaos if I was at home all day, plus I earn 5 times what he would.
My point in all this is that there are ways to compromise.

Firstly medication can revolutionise the life of an ocd sufferer and their loved ones. My husband resisted for years but says now its the best thing he ever did.

However if he has certain set things he HAS to do (like the bath) he needs to make up for it elsewhere. Otherwise you will be resentful.

Our routine is tea at 5pm for DC which has been preprepared and reheated or made from easily assembled ingredients as her main meal is lunch, bath then bed at 7pm. Then I cook dinner for us which we eat together unbothered.

Is there anything he could do to "make up" for this irritating bath routine?

Ormirian Mon 17-Oct-11 08:12:01

Would he consider just changing his clothes and washing his hands and face when he gets in?

Could you bath the kids in the morning? Could the older one shower?

YANBU but I guess that is irrelevant in this case.

hauntmenow Mon 17-Oct-11 08:16:13

DCs do not need a bath every day!

If they are dirty and need a bath on the days you work, bathe them as soon as you get in.

Then you can share, or do together, or DH can do alone putting- them to bed, feeding them, bedtime routine them when he gets out of the bath.

Swankyswishing Mon 17-Oct-11 08:22:12

I think it's unfair how the emphasis is being put on the OP here to do things like put tea in the slow cooker, or for her to just carry on doing everything but put the DCs to bed later. Both the OP and her DH work, why should it all fall to her? OCD or not, her DH should be prioritising his family, not getting in from work and doing as he pleases. A quick shower (followed by a bath later, as someone else suggested) and back downstairs to pull his weight with his children would be a much fairer solution. Why should the OP work all day too then have everything in the evening routine dumped on her too?

Swankyswishing Mon 17-Oct-11 08:23:53

And I assume those of you that are suggesting she baths the children in the morning are meaning she AND her DH should bath them in the morning? Or would her DH be absolved from all of that too?

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