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to want to throttle DP over bf, co-sleeping and chores?

(97 Posts)
Betteranon Fri 28-Dec-12 17:53:59

DD is 19mo and she is still bf and co-sleeping. I didn’t start off with any idealistic crusades in mind, before she was born I had not even read any parenting books (either Gina Ford nor attachment parenting gurus), I just did the best I could and this is how things have ended up. I had read the WHO guidelines on bf so I did that, and I ended up co-sleeping as a survival technique (DD was and continues to be a very poor sleeper. I have now read every book on sleep training and the ideas either don’t work or involve CC which I am not happy about, so the default is to go with the flow and co-sleep).

The problem is that I am now very, very tired despite giving up everything I could give up in order to have more time for DD (I used to work, but I gave that up and I am SAHM, I used to spend quite a bit of time with my horses but that’s dwindled to almost nothing). DP works (from home) but he has also had time to go on holiday (during a 3 week business trip abroad he had a week’s quiet time and went on holiday), he sleeps in, watches TV, plays computer games, etc. All I do is look after DD 24/7 (DP does help look after DD in the evenings, but he wants to have family time so mainly we are all three together so I never get any ‘me time’) and gradually DP has left me with all household chores (I now do all shopping, cooking, paying bills, going to the post office, taking DD to docs, sorting out everything to do with the dogs and horses, etc.).

So I was trying to talk to DP today asking him for more help and he came up with this gem: he is frustrated because I don’t appreciate how much easier things have gotten for me compared to when DD was a newborn, and in any case it’s all my fault I have DD all the time because of my parenting style and my choice to bf and co-sleep. He is sure that if I stopped bf and co-sleeping my life would be easier and I would be able to cope without help from him.

I want to kill him…can anyone suggest anything more constructive or shall I just go ahead and do it?

(regular user but name changed as I don't want to out myself)

teacher123 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:19:19

That sort of twisted logic means that you are never able to discuss anything properly. How can you reason with someone who thinks that housework or food shopping is only a necessity because you make it so?! Of course, he doesn't really think that because he knows that you will sort them out for him. Has he always been like this? I have never heard of an attitude like this before. It must be absolutely infuriating.

TheSecondComing Fri 28-Dec-12 21:20:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

teacher123 Fri 28-Dec-12 21:21:27

I've just seen your most recent post and I can't copy and paste on my phone but your comment about all the effort to make your relationship work made me so tired. Is he really worth it?!

calmlychaotic Fri 28-Dec-12 21:22:38

my dh was similar to this. I started a weekly class, paid up front for 6 weeks so I had to go to it and he coped, first few weeks he kept calling me but after that was fine. also did things like said every Saturday morning he had to take ds out for several hours so I got I lie in and then spent a few hours doing house work. left to his own devices he would do nothing in the house I found life a lot easier when I stopped co sleeping, and the transition wasn't as bad as I expected.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 21:23:03

He is lazy, I know he is lazy, I just can't seem to find an effective way to deal with it.

Because he doesn't give enough of a shit about you to want to change. I'm lazy, I'll freely admit it. I'm as lazy as they come. I let rubbish pile up on my desk because I can't be arsed to walk across the room to the bin blush. I would never sit around and say to my partner "Well I don't mind it being messy, so you can clean it up if you like." That's fucking disrespectful and doesn't take into account the fact I have a responsibility to my child. I know that I am not particularly bothered if the house is messy, but if it's so messy that DS can't get to his toys or move around safely, that isn't fair on him. Your DP is being a bit of a twat TBH. I bet you'd have far less work without him around.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 28-Dec-12 21:25:05

how many children do you have again ? ....

joanofarchitrave Fri 28-Dec-12 21:29:06

'His mum made him do household duties for pocket money, expected him to get a job in the summers, taught him to cook, clean, etc...and as a result he doesn't want to do any of these things as an adult!'

That is an excuse. Don't rise to it.

Betteranon Fri 28-Dec-12 21:31:14

OK I know he sounds really really bad. Sometimes I read post that people say LTB about and I think gosh imagine if MN heard about DP!!! I have to admit that I named changed for complete anonymity even in MN!!!

We do have ways of coping, e.g. areas where he can mess as much as he likes (his office), things that I completely led go of as issues and don't bother with, a cleaner and a dishwasher (without either of which we would be divorced!). We've always had tension around chores but it's always been manageable with compromise, the problem is that life is just so much busier with DD!

Ooops DD is crying, I shall check again tomorrow. Thank you for all your advice, I feel a bit better discussing it all with someone!

OxfordBags Fri 28-Dec-12 21:32:05

I attchment parent. I extBF, co-sleep, babywear, etc., etc., and my DP does 50% of the housework, looks after DS loads - because he wants to - and I get plenty of time to myself.

The attachment parenting is not the issue here at all. People are just jumping on that because it gets a bad press because people don't always properly get what it's about. This man admits that he still wouldn't do any more if she stopped doing things the way she's doing them. He wants the OP to drop any expectations of help, equality and respect from him, not try a new approach. He'd say just the same things if she was pissed off with him not helping her in her uber-Gina Ford regime. Attachment parenting is not making her have less and less time for herself, it's this arsehole doing less and less forcing her to ake on more and more.

I am disgusted at his bullshit about your child being too attached. He'd rather sacrifice your child's security and happiness than lift a fucking finger. Boohoo that Mummy made him do some bloody chores - he needs tostop punishing you for that! Sounds like now you are the mother, he's trying to get you to do everything and get out of it all, like he wished for in his own childhood. Well, diddums!

Not only will he be damaging and continue to damage your DD by not wanting to really be with her or do anything for her (which she will have started picking up on, believe me), witnessing this terribly unfair and sexist dynamic between her parents will not exactly set her up for healthy relationships as an adult.

I dunno what the answer is, OP. He sounds bloody awful. Saying he is lazy just minimises how shitty this is.

feekerry Fri 28-Dec-12 21:34:04

Hmm kick him up the back side. I co sleep and bf too and leave my dd with dp for time alone sat and sun so i can ride my horses. Regardless of tour parenting choices its only fair that you both get equal me time every week. We always try to spilt home time 50/50.

Betteranon, I feel for you.
I ended up cosleeping/sling wearing/EBFing as it's what suited DS, loads of people claimed I was making a rod for my own back - all that did was make me doubt myself and stress out unnecessarily! Attachment parenting simply suits some babies/families, and those that naysay it either had less high-need children, or cant see the wood for the trees. I never planned it either.

Sounds like your DP doesn't realise how diverse babies needs can be - some suit the Gina methods, some needs kangaroo care til they're 3! It's rarely the result of the parents choices -altho obv methods can improve/worsen a baby's natural tendencies--

It also doesn't sound like he actually spends much time with your DD, otherwise he'd realise the need for household cleanliness etc? 19mo means she's into everything surely?!
Is he happy for her to eat takeaway every day too? confused
Plus, unless your dogs are tiny little lapdogs I seriously doubt they'd be happy without daily exercise, he's mad!. They might enjoy a one off 'duvet day' when they're home with him, but......

It appears to me that your DP is a lazy bugger, and the only reason he has a house, three dogs, and a child is because you do everything. brew

Rosa Fri 28-Dec-12 21:39:59

Prepares to get flamed , but I actually tnink he could be concerned for you and he thinks that by stopping bf and co sleeping he might see a more rested and less stressed you. Ok maybe he doesn't realise how he can help more. You say he desn't mind a dirty house or take outs...Maybe he is accepting these things as he doesn't want to stress you out more as he sees you are shattered.
I am NOT saying he is correct in this attitude nor that what you are doing is wrong- you are doing what is right for you and your dd. I stopped bf at 20mths but we never co slept ( unless I gave in and kept her in my bed) Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

BertieBotts Fri 28-Dec-12 21:40:09

Sorry, I know LTB is a bit of a cliche grin

But seriously, is this sustainable? I don't think I could live like this. He sounds like an overgrown child. As someone above said, it sounds exhausting. You can't be happy and fulfilled, surely? sad

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Fri 28-Dec-12 22:23:56

What you are discovering is what a lot of women discover when they have their first DC: a man who was always selfish and lazy doesn't improve when he becomes a father, he gets a lot worse. You were able to live with it when you put the man's needs first and indulged him all the time; now that you have a baby to look after the man is becoming lazier and more selfish - and he is on the slope towards becoming abusive.

When you're ready to kick him out, MN will be here with help and support.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:35

So until now you have been the one doing all the "compromising" ie. just doing it all because you lurve him and it makes life easier

now you have a child, you don't think you should

he thinks you should, because that is all the messages he has ever had

now you know this...what are you going to do about it ?

joanofarchitrave Fri 28-Dec-12 23:35:17

Help and support yes, but MN won't be there to do the chores either, or to help out at 4am tbh.

I think you need a hands-down full on discussion. This can't be how either of you saw your life or your marriage being. Can you leave your child with anyone at all - a parent? and have a serious talk for four hours, half a day or something? He needs to know just how unhappy you are.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Fri 28-Dec-12 23:39:01

no, OP is the one who will be doing all the chores

until Kingdom Come

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:19:47

He sounds lazy and selfish. Not wanting to walk the dogs (basic need) and not wanting to do jobs in the house and not wanting to look after his own child. He is a man-child.

It's great his mother made him do chores/earn money. Why should she wait on him hand and foot? Why should you wait on him hand and foot?

Sit him down and discuss everything calmly and factually. Say that he needs to either man up and take on his responsibilities properly or leave. He can go to his mothers - even if it is just for a short time. He could take the dogs.

Can you talk to his mother also? Explain you are having real problems at home as he doesn't want to do jobs/look after (bond) with his child/walk the dogs even. Explain he is making lame excuses about BF/co-sleeping. Maybe she can talk som sense into him?

Betteranon Sat 29-Dec-12 07:20:08

I completely agree with the importance of communication, that is our only hope. I just find that with some subjects he turns things around so that it's impossible to make headway, like the weird response to the dog walking issue (dogs include a large breed dog he chose btw, so no reasonable person would ever think that not walking them is fine). I am now worried the bf/co-sleeping response will be his new excuse over chores.

We had a brief chat last night and he will do nights now. I will bf at 11pm and leave him to it till the morning. I hope it's win/win; it will either work and everyone will sleep, or it won't work and he will appreciate the need to bf/co-sleep (on the 3-4 nights he has taken DD before because I was at my wit's end he has ended up walking her around all night and not getting a wink of sleep so it's not as if he has had any amazing sleep training solutions so far!).

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:20:35

He wants to live like a teenager - so let him

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:37:32

When I was BF/Co-sleeping we managed to sleep together and not feed at night but it took stamina and time. Your DD is old enough to sleep through but you need to try and swing the night time feed times to the day time. I know this isn't easy but it can be done.

For a week I fed at 11pm ish and then slept in a different room till 4 or 5am. DH would co-sleep and keep my toddler in a dark room in the double bed. He would comfort toddler but not get up however upset he got.

When I started co-sleeping all night again, I slept with a bra on to make my boobs inaccessible. I also gave lots of comfort and cuddles. I oddly found that if he could hold my nipple/boob he was OK.

If you do continue to BF at night, your DH should be supporting you more and not less. He should be trying to make your life easier during the day so you can cope with daily life whilst being so exhausted.

EasilyBored Sat 29-Dec-12 07:38:38

The main problem here appears to be that you are married to a prick.

When we are both at home, we are both responsible for the baby and the house. That means we share jobs and share night time duty with the baby and we share lie ins at the weekend. I quite confident it took two of us to make a baby, he is 50% responsible for DS, because he's his father. He also lives in the house so does his share of housework. That is the bottom line - why do people put up with this shit? Is there anything less attractive in a man than this kind of 'oh I work, can't do anything doesn't attitude? Why would you voluntarily have sex with that kind of pathetic man-child?

Sorry, rant over.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sat 29-Dec-12 07:55:10

"now that you have a baby to look after the man is becoming lazier and more selfish - and he is on the slope towards becoming abusive."

^^ this

I can't believe you chose to have a child with a man who neglects his dogs.

That told you who he was, and you ignored it.

Don't have any more children with this lazy, stupid twat.

The way he controls you with his nonsense arguments about how he rejects all chores as necessary is so transparent and ridiculous.

How have you gone along with it instead of just telling him to fuck off and stop being a twat?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sat 29-Dec-12 08:07:03

Does he realise no-one wants to do chores, whether they were made to do them as a child or not? Does he also say he shouldn't have to have a job, because he prefers to be lazy? Or does he accept that's part of being an adult?

teacher123 Sat 29-Dec-12 08:42:25

We have been together for a long time, I still love him a lot and he loves me but we have completely different characters and our relationship has always been one of ups and downs, hard work, compromise and massive efforts to understand each other.

This is what I couldn't copy and paste last night, but it has been troubling me all night! Should a marriage really be THAT hard? I am really really struggling to see any positives in what you've told us. Attachment parenting is not a route we've gone down as a family, but I completely agree that you do what you have to do to get some sleep and to keep the baby happy. We have made some choices that haven't always made sense to other people, but work for us. However he is abdicating responsibility for EVERYTHING to you and saying that logical choices are your 'fault'. That's not how family life works.

A few times early on, I would spend hours getting DS to sleep and then DH would accidentally wake him up by not being considerate (crashing about upstairs etc) and would use the whole 'babies have to learn to sleep through things' line. It wasn't until I threw a major fit and invented the rule that whoever wakes the baby, settles the baby that he understood. Yes in an ideal world DS would sleep through noise, but he doesn't, so we have to adjust accordingly.

Currently you are doing ALL the adjusting. Where are his compromises?

I couldn't respect a man who behaved like that.

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