to 'let' him do little to help with kids?(16 Posts)
My friend and I have babies of similar ages - mine is 8 months, we both also have 5 year olds. Her DP takes both kids when he finishes work, does homework, baths them, does stories and puts them to bed while friend has a bath and calls her mum etc. Their baby sleeps through mostly as they do cry it out but if he's waking the older child it's my friends DP who sorts both kids out, then on Saturday he takes them both out all day so friend can rest. She pretty much said (politely) that I'm being a mug by letting my DP do so little. Our baby wakes 5+ times per night but we co-sleep so it's no big deal. DP has never got up with her at night but it seems pointless to make him do so just so he's doing his fair share when I can settle her immediately by breastfeeding her. I do homework with older daughter while playing with baby; baby won't settle with him if she can see me. He could take her to her room to play but then feels he doesn't get to see our older child. I cook tea and wash up while baby is in bouncer, I bath both kids while he has a shower. I do all housework, am studying for a degree and work part time. I stay up late to do assignments after both kids are in bed. He works shifts and is often off on school days but I still do everything and he rolls out of bed at 8.20 ready to come on the school run! He never takes one or both children at weekend, we do everything as a family. Am I being unreasonable to let him do so little?
My initial question would be 'are you and DH BOTH happy about the amount he does with the kids?'
I think he has a very easy life TBH, but it's your relationship. Do you resent how little he does? Or does he resent the fact that you are 'hogging' the kids? I would have thought he could do HW with daughter whilst you played with the baby at least.
If you're both happy there's no problem. If you're not then you need to share your feelings with him.
Eldest daughter won't do homework with him; she wants to spend time with me - DP is her step father and DD has contact with her father every other weekend and since starting school has been missing me. Plus DP sits on phone etc so DD yes fed up of him not listening to her. Elder DD tells him to go play with baby as he hasn't seen her all day! DP doesn't resent how much I do with kids, he's happy just to sit on te sidelines so we all get to do everything together. I would like time to go to the gym while elder daughter is at school and DP said he'll have baby but he'd stay at gym and wait (I.e keep walking in to see me, then baby gets upset etc)
Well it wouldn't suit me, but if it suits you both... Do you feel he has a proper relationship with your DCs? Do you get equal amounts of leisure time? THose are the two main things for me. How other people do things doesn't really bother me, but DH is very involved in DS life and we both have time off to do our own things / spend together. I do more chores but I work p/t. That said DS is 7 now, at 8 months a lot of the baby-looking after is a 'chore' and DS always did his share of that, and we each got one mornings lie in at the weekend.
Difficult to judge not knowing about his job e.g how many hours he works, whether job is physically or mentally tough or not.
Your friend's DP does sound like he has been 'well trained' though. Wouldn't your friend rather they spend the weekends together rather than kicking her DP and kids out of the house all day Saturday?
If you want time at the gym but aren't getting it, he needs to do something else with the baby then, at least - a walk, a drive, a plai group?
What works for them is obviously different to what works for you - provided your DP is genuinely happy (doesn't feel excluded) and you are genuinely happy (don't feel resentful) and are prepared for the fact that what works now might not work forever.
Slight note of caution: ensure that your DP knows what to do, even if he doesn't actually do it, to look after the kids so that if you are ever stuck in bed ill or have to go away for some reason he isn't completely clueless
I don't think you are a mug, but I think that by doing everything yourself, you will end up giving your husband and children the message that he is not good enough to help out and also, you are significantly reducing the oportunities for them to bond together.
At the moment you can manage, but don't let your children grow thinking that children are the domain of the mother. I much rather raise my child thinking that couples are expected to share shores and tasks when raising the children, than have a boy growing thinking women are the ones responsible for the care of the children, or a girl growing up thinking that she doesn't need to expect her husband to pull his weight around the house.
I have a hands on DP. We both work, so I dont know if that changes things but when we get in we both carry on going til DD is in bed. We share night wakings, lie ins, and dd gets what she needs equally from both of us.
I wouldnt want a set up like you (and tbh you are coming across as a bit of a martyr), but if it works for you then who am I to care.
Are you and dh happy that he has a strong relationship with both kids? Do you think he could cope if, God forbid, you were ill and had to go into hospital? Is there any danger that in a few years you could find yourself resenting him?
Do you want your children to grow up thinking it's normal for women to do all the work in the home, while men just loaf around and play with their phones?
He's a grown man and it doesn't sound as if he actually does very much in the home - chores or childcare. He needs to pull his weight and you need to expect him to. When you are busy with the kids, why isn't he putting the washing on, or hoovering, or vice versa?
I wouldn't allow him to play with his phone when he's supposed to be caring for either child. That's not on (given he's not the main carer, isn't spending much time with the kids and doesn't need a break).
It's reasonable for you both to run your lives in any way that suits you and your family, but I'd think about those issues. It's reasonable for you do do more housework given you are in the house more but it's not reasonable for you to do it all. You both work all day - you, kids and chores, him at work, once he gets home I'd expect both parents to contribute.
You are not giving your children very good examples of what constitutes gender roles, IMO
Why are you doing so much, and him so little ? He has it made, tbh.
I agree with others that it is about finding the balance that works for you both. I also agree with you about the night time feeds- it seems ridiculous to get DH to do them when I was breast feeding. I would also add a further consideration which is who was most keen on having dc2 and do either of you want more? IME DH did not want kids so I basically tried to make sure he didn't see them as a hassle. Things have moved on since then but that will change the dynamic if what works and what you expect.
I agree with your friend.
Why on earth would he wait at the gym??
I'm a SAHM, DH works full-time. We share childcare responsibilities when he is at home, he takes the boys out - although not for a whole day every weekend because we like to do things altogether. We share the cooking and other general chores at the weekends - during the week I mostly do it because he isn't home until 7 and then we get the DCs to bed, have our dinner and flop in front of the telly.
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