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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)

Betteranon Tue 01-Jan-13 07:19:16

A little update

DP doing nights was a bit of a disaster. DD did not sleep at all, I did not sleep at all, DP of course did not sleep at all and even the dogs didn't sleep!

We had a long chat the next day and decided to continue with the bf/co-sleeping but percevere with trying to extend the time she does not bf in the middle of the night (she can go 11pm to 5am on nights when she is not teething/has a cold, etc.) as a way forward with that (DD still bfs a lot, maybe 3-4 times during the day and 3-4 times at night. If I am not there she copes fine without but being SAHM I am there all the time!).

We also decided that I will have half a day to a whole day a week completely to myself to do something different. I will try to get out of the house so there is no temptation to be 'pulled' back to family things. I have already booked a half day out with a friend for next week smile

DD is also starting at nursery this week so if that works out I might get 2 mornings a week free!

(we have a cleaner who also does DP's clothes, a dishwasher and we used to do online shopping but that is not available where we now live. After 10 years together we had found a balance around our different ideas over chores, which was then upset by the arrival of DD and the extra work a baby demands. From reading experiences on here and seeing other babies/toddlers I suspect DD is on the very demanding side of the baby scale and the health problems did not make things easier for anyone)

Anyway I hope our new plan of action works and thank you everyone for your thoughts.

BridgetBidet Mon 31-Dec-12 23:59:19

Sometimes I read the posts a minority of people make on this forum and it makes me think there are some bitter and lonely people out there who are prepared to give bad advice just for the satisfaction of seeing other people as bitter and lonely as they are.

OP, don't listen. You're having a horrible time, you're exhausted and you need to work something out with your OH about how to deal with your domestic situation to take the stress off you.

BridgetBidet Mon 31-Dec-12 23:57:12

Yes Ellee. This is a couple who have been together for a long time, the OP says they still really love each other, they've both been through a really stressful time with a little child who has been sick enough to be in hospital.

But he made a comment about getting takeaways if the OP didn't want to cook. Obviously she should leave the bastard. Even thought they've been together years, obviously care loads about each other and have a child together. He made that one comment so obviously she should leave him.

ellee Mon 31-Dec-12 23:52:17

Sorry this is a man who won't do a shop because he doesn't see the "need" since he is happy with takeaways????!

BridgetBidet Mon 31-Dec-12 23:48:03

TBH I think the OP is talking more sense than a lot of people replying to her. She's said that in a lot of ways they have a good relationship and are happy.

OP, don't listen to all the people telling you he is an absolute bastard who does nothing etc, etc, etc.

Sounds like you're both in an essentially decent relationship but have had a really stressful time with a child who must have been pretty damn ill to be in hospital. You both sound knackered, you both sounds stressed.

You need a cleaner and a dog walker, assume you can afford if you have horses.

Also, can you get DD to have a bottle or drink from a cup overnight one day a week? My husband either Friday or Saturday does the night duty as necessary and having that one extra night uninterrupted sleep makes a big difference to me.

Try and sort this out between the two of you, it genuinely sounds as if you love each other and have a decent relationship, so don't listen to the usual suspects telling you to leave the bastard.

ellee Mon 31-Dec-12 23:44:02

I'm afraid I'm with BBB, only I'd also say that if he's not willing to walk and mind the dogs they have to go cause you just cannot do it and minding them now is not your choice.

The arguments he's putting forward are like something from Kevin the teenager. You can't engage with that kind of shite. I would be inclined to think you can start to take back proper time for yourself with a 19mo baby. Surely she's not bfing that awful much anymore? (Didn't do this myself but 2 friends did and the babies seemed to be down to twice a day at this kind of stage?) And also, you dh does need time to himself with her to develop as a father. It's not just being competent with her, it's knowing her and knowing her WELL and being completely confident and enjoying her. That takes time. I'd agree "family time" is probably code for "bit scaared". Take Sat afternoons for yourself. It's as much necessary for him as you tbh.

maraisfrance Mon 31-Dec-12 23:08:21

Oh, hell, he sounds very manipulative and tricky. He, of course, might say the same about you. Trouble is, you either choose to fight and resist, and try to change things and wear yourself out doing so; or just accept that you have different expectations and standards, and get on with doing things your way, and ignore his way of doing things. Perfectly possible, but you might find you fall out of love with your partner and begin to see him as a barrier to living your life as you want to, with your child. If that happens, I promise you, it could be a massive liberation for you....Cleaning up is generally a piece of piss; cleaning up around a perfectly fit adult who is not pulling his weight, and whom you therefore resent, is hard work.

Cerealqueen Sun 30-Dec-12 21:45:07

We fell into Co-sleeping as it worked and bf because I believe in it. Until last week, that is when, exhausted and desperate, we tried CC. It has worked and DD2 (14 months) is in her cot and sleeps through. I am not suggesting you try it, but the point is I know how desperately tired you are. I too, was so exhausted. BUT, DP gave me a lie in every weekend morning, he gave me a lie in if he was working from home and got DD1 up. He shares all chores at weekends. He recognises that he has never had to do any night wakings, ever, as the breast was the feeder/comforter. Does your DP not recognise this, that if you were not doing all this he'd have been up night after night too?

His issue about the dogs is bizarre, don't all dogs need walking? If he can't be bothered to look after them, then maybe you need to re house them as they can't be your priority at the moment.

Re the 'needs' ie., all the caring and domestic issues are your needs, he sound like a teenage boy and its just excuses for his lazyness. Just don't respond to his needs so no cooking, washing cleaning etc. for him.
He needs to grow up. Would he treat his manager / work colleagues / clients the same? Appalling self centred behaviour. You have to wonder if you want your DD raised in that environment.

You do need to sort the sleep issue out though. Have you tried gradual retreat?

BillyBollyBrandy Sun 30-Dec-12 20:05:57

Look after dd, look after you, let dh fend for himself. Entirely. He can eat takeaways, sleep in the spare room in dirty bed linen and wear dirty clothes.

oldraver Sun 30-Dec-12 19:08:00

So....he thinks as you choose to co-sleep, b/f your DD rather than it being a case of attending to her needs, you are making work for yourself

You choose to walk your dogs rather than it being one of their essential needs therefore making work for yourself

And the answer is for you not to choose to do this ?

Well I would tell him that you choose to do the cooking, shopping, paying bills washing his dirty pants, suck his cock that you will be no longer doing them

I'm gobsmacked he has found time to go on holiday, watch tv have downtime while you struggle

mummytime Sun 30-Dec-12 08:17:04

I am very tested to say LTB.

In you situation I would re home the dogs, if he won't look after them properly; but then I always admire people who have dogs and small children.
I would also leave him alone regularly to care for your DD; take an evening or exercise class.
If he won't do a holiday with you, then book one without him, preferably somewhere with some child care.

But then again my DH has never been this selfish, and he isn't a saint. He always regularly looked after our kids as babies, including a week alone with 2 tinies while I did an OU summer school. That is normal, you DH sounds awful.

Betteranon Sun 30-Dec-12 08:06:11

Thank you for all the responses, I am still reading!

I won't respond to everything as I find some of the comments a bit aggravating, but it's AIBU so have at it people, my choice for posting here! smile

Regarding the sleeping issue, co-sleeping was a joint decision at first and I and DP have tried a number of sleep training methods however nothing seems to work. We always return to co-sleeping as the path of least resistance that allows us all the most sleep.

Regarding AP I am not treating her the same way as I was when she was a newborn. I can tell when she is crying because of a tantrum and I use a number of ways of trying to deal with that, e.g. tickling, distraction, as well as letting her cry and walking away. Up to 9 months old I went to her pretty much every time she cried, but I don't feel that need in the same way now, she cries for a number of different reasons not just pure need for comfort/food/contact.

I do find it difficult to deal with regressions because they are very demoralising and unfortunately she took huge steps back in confidence and independence this autumn because of the repeated visits to hospital. For example, in August she was managing to sleep through from 11pm to 5am, but we completely lost that and we've only just re-gained that ground. We are due to try nursery this week so maybe that will work out.

LeBFG Sun 30-Dec-12 07:53:21

Why do people always assume it's a choice between AP or CC??? So annoying. I would never do CC (too soft) and yet I'm no AP martyr. My DS did cry when I tried to stop feeding him to sleep and after a 5min cry would just drop off (from about 7mo). No drawn out timings, going back, picking up, putting down nonsense. There was a thread on the Sleep board about sitting with your DC while they drift off to sleep - this is a great intermediate approach esp with older babies.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sat 29-Dec-12 22:27:58

Btw OP, requests for 'family time' at the weekends is usually man code for ' I don't want to look after the kids by myself'. I find that tag teaming Saturday and spending Sunday together is a much better arrangement, especially for you who otherwise gets no child free time at all.

OxfordBags Sat 29-Dec-12 22:25:23

Dolomites, I have no idea what a Besh is (are?). Is a quiche a clique? I've never joined any MN groups and only know 2 MNetters in RL. Have been using it for less than a year. And don't we all use anonymity on here? Am confused by your weird accusations. I have never actually addressed you until today, it's just that I have seen you posting similar stuff before and it also reminded me of something really nasty a poster with another name wrote ages ago which was so horrid it, and their name, stuck in my memory and when I read your earlier comments today, I suddenly realised that the name of that poster was a version of your current username. Hardly following you around!

If that's your attitude, it's no wonder you can think of posters who secretly have things against you, but I don't! I don't find you remotely interesting enough to have a vendetta, much less follow you about. Too busy with my hobbies (which I enjoy as well as being AP) to give a shit.

foreverondiet Sat 29-Dec-12 21:59:47

Difficult - DH discussed this today as one of our close friends has done similar also due to not agreeing with CC. He was if the view that he would not be happy with this (ie cosleeping) and such a decision needs to be made together and no unilaterally by the mother. So see your partners pov too. We did cc with each child at dh's insistence (at 6 months) and all have slept well since then.

breatheslowly Sat 29-Dec-12 21:16:51

Leaving your DH aside for a moment, do you want to be a SAHM? I would find all week, all weekend and all night with DD way too much and even the few hours that DH has available to look after DD wouldn't make enough of a dent in it for me to cope. I partly go to work to have different, adult company and even on maternity leave I had DD in nursery for 2 mornings from 6 months to have some "me time". I have no idea of your financial situation, so I don't know if working or using a nursery a bit will work for you (though you do mention the nursery). But being at home full time would drive me nuts and would make me more tired than going out to work.

chandellina Sat 29-Dec-12 20:43:32

I think some people would have more sympathy if it were a tiny baby, but she's 19 mos old and I and many others may look at our own experiences and conclude that many poor sleepers have been raised into bad habits, and might do better in their own rooms, without nighttime attention. I personally accept some children are just poor sleepers, of course. But I can understand why the husband thinks alternatives might be worth a shot.

drizzlecake Sat 29-Dec-12 19:40:36

There is only one personal responsible for her self-imposed imprisonment

Don't be daft - she is a new mum, how can only you be responsible for everything once you have brought a new person into the world. Some babies sleep alot, some suckle well, some are grizzly and demanding.

It takes a lot of adjustment, especially if you have little support from family and a pia idle DP.

drizzlecake Sat 29-Dec-12 19:36:45

Where do your children actually feature in this glossy lifestyle of yours? I am always confused and dismayed at people who act like life must go on totally as prechildren and the poor kids just have to scratch at the crumbs of attention and affection left over when the parent can stop thinking about themselves for a while

Brilliant oxfordbags I often think this too.

DolomitesDonkey Sat 29-Dec-12 16:17:18

oxfordbags I have no idea who you are but your personal vendetta is rather odd. I assume you were originally part of the quiche (BESH) but are now hiding behind anonymity. How strange of you. Perhaps you too need to rekindle a hobby or two rather than following me around mumsnet.

The fact remains the OP has allowed this situation to arise. There is only one personal responsible for her self-imposed imprisonment. If she is unhappy with her relationship with her partner then she, and only she, needs to deal with it. All the huffing, puffing and online sighing in the world won't change it.

LuluMai Sat 29-Dec-12 15:46:07

You have two adults, one baby. I raised DS alone from birth- one adult, one baby, and my life with DS as a baby was easier than yours! My point is that your life shouldn't be this hard with two of you to share the load.

Bobyan Sat 29-Dec-12 15:28:36

To a certain degree you have allowed this situation to develop and you do sound like a martyr.
Get a dog walker and a cleaner. If he doesn't like it, get rid of the dogs. If he doesn't like that get rid of him.
Or carry on moaning whilst allowing him to behave like a second child...

chandellina Sat 29-Dec-12 15:23:05

I am in the martyr camp. You could take time away from the home but are choosing not to. It also sounds like you are enabling his laziness. It's not about houses not needing cleaning or dogs not needing walking, but about both agreeing what really does need doing and how often. You need to help each other feel better, and step out of the unsatisfying roles being played out.

okaynowitstheseason Sat 29-Dec-12 15:07:50


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