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to need a break from being a SAHM

(96 Posts)
BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:18:15

No idea if IABU or not.

We have 2 DC (1 and 2 years).

DH leaves for work very early in the morning and gets home at 6pm. By the time 6pm rolls around I am often irritable, tired and most of all, touched-out from having two toddlers whinging and climbing all over me all day long. In an ideal world I would hand the kids over to DH and lock myself in the bedroom for an hour to get a breather. But DH argues that this would be unfair as he 'never gets a break either'. I try to explain that at least he gets a change of scene, but he dismisses this.


If you don't think IABU, what is the solution?

yaimee Tue 09-Apr-13 21:20:27

Of course yanbu. Any spare time should be split between you including evenings and weekends, you're working too!

kinkyfuckery Tue 09-Apr-13 21:21:20

YANBU to need a break after a day with the kids.

HINBU to need a break when he first gets home after a day at work.

You need to speak and come to a compromise and agreement as to what is going to happen, e.g. he gets half an hour when he first comes in, then you get half and hour, then you both chip in together to get DCs sorted and to bed.

christinarossetti Tue 09-Apr-13 21:26:48

If you go out to work, you get to go to the toilet more or less when you want to BY YOURSELF, drink a hot drink whilst it's hot and without batting someone else away whilst you're doing so and, most importantly, finish a thought or sentence without anyone interrupting, even if it's just on the journey to and from work.

Being at home with two toddlers does not allow you to do these things.

I'd agree that you need to decide a plan of who gets a bit of time to themselves first, then the other one, or alternative evenings and go from there. I made a mistake by not doing this, and it means that my two now always expect me to bath them etc, and it would have been better for everyone to ensure that they were more flexible.

Squitten Tue 09-Apr-13 21:29:37

Do you not both get to have a rest in the evening after the kids are in bed? If so, you should both be pitching in until then so everything's done and you can both collapse

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:36:18

Do you not both get to have a rest in the evening after the kids are in bed? If so, you should both be pitching in until then so everything's done and you can both collapse

Yes, is the answer to your question. However, despite DH arriving home, the DCs still carry on coming to me most of the time, whilst DH gets to sit in his chair on his laptop.

I feel like a crap mum. After spending all day with the kids, by 6pm I'm crawling the walls wanting to be away from them. I feel guilty for feeling this way, but it has been consistent for months and months. (no chance working btw as wages wouldn't even cover childcare).

idlevice Tue 09-Apr-13 21:38:59

YANBU. If you are a SAHP then you do not get that change of scene & more importantly, absence of total responsibility for DC. You are always effectively at your workplace, there is no interaction at a peer level & there is no subconscious switching off or at least even switching down a gear.

I don't know what an easy solution is, apart from time. When DS1 was small there were days when I did literally hand him over to DP and lock myself away for a bit or sleep. Do you have a routine to the day? Really try to look at what needs to happen and what things can be let go. I find it better to leave certain things until DC are in bed so at least I can do them properly even if it does mean I only get an hour at the end of the day to veg out.

I hope your DH can step up, at least a bit, otherwise he will end up with you stressed out & miserable as hell. Is he reluctant cos he doesn't think he can manage the DC/is worried about some aspect of looking after them? Check first there isn't anything simple that can be sorted out.

Squitten Tue 09-Apr-13 21:41:35

Ah, I see. What about weekends? Do you have something to do for yourself on weekends?

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:43:12

* Is he reluctant cos he doesn't think he can manage the DC/is worried about some aspect of looking after them? *

No, it's a simple case of 'competative tiredness'. He doesn't think I deserve a break if he doesn't get one. Which makes sense on a level. I feel so crap, like I'm not cut out for this life. I should never have had kids if I can't cope with it.

StitchAteMySleep Tue 09-Apr-13 21:43:51

YANBU, I have a 3 and 1 year old and can completely empathise.

Neither of you are being unreasonable (I am SAHM but was the working parent when dd1 was younger, so can see both sides).

Does he help you put them to bed? If not he needs to help do bath and bed routine then you can both relax once they are in bed, it is faster with both of you working together.

Would you leave your kids in a creche for an hour? Some gyms and leisure centres have them, that way you can get a bit of 'me' time during the day.

When they nap take some time to do something for you, watch tv, paint your nails, read a book. If you were at work you would get a lunch break and tea break so take some time out from chores then.

Get out to baby and toddler groups or the park, safe places where the kids can tire themselves out are good.

One evening a week go out with friends or to a class or something if you can and want to (not so easy I know, I haven't managed it yet).

On the weekend he can take them out for an hour too so you can get a break.

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 21:47:17

Does he help you put them to bed?

Yes. He does one kid whilst I do the other. There's 2 hours from him getting in from work and them going to bed though.

We shouldn't have had fucking kids sad Fancy arguing over having to deal with your own kids!

When they nap take some time to do something for you

They don't nap at the same time. When the 1yr old is sleepy, the 2 year old isn't. Then when the 2 year old is sleepy, the 1 year old is refreshed.

LadyintheRadiator Tue 09-Apr-13 21:48:11

I wish I'd paid for a babysitter/childminder one afternoon a week when mine were that tiny - is that an option at all?

I agree that a change of scene from work to home is easier going on the energy levels than non stop children/house stuff though. What time do the DC go to bed?

hairtearing Tue 09-Apr-13 21:49:50

I sympathise If I had a job lined up, and childcare I'd go to work tommorrow,

although looking at my sleeping baby youngest I feel so guilty,

I miss other adults,routine.

WorkWankWail Tue 09-Apr-13 21:52:29

I do wonder where the rest of you work at times, to have this luxury of a quiet day debating topical issues and current affairs in the office and endlessly sipping hot tea and pissing all day alone.

For me the reality of it is feeling absolute fucking misery at leaving my DCs, spend a long, hard day WORKING, dodging bitchy colleagues, dealing with my superiors throwing their weight around, working through lunch, struggling through rush hour traffic and finally getting in wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes, hungry, thirsty and desperate for a piss.

YANBU OP, but I've got to say it - neither is your DH. I can't think of a worse time than when I've just walked in through the door to entertain two toddlers, I'm at my most frazzled then. Would you consider getting a job, even part time, and having them go to nursery a couple of days a week?

I get that it's hard, I do, but I fucking hate this Mumsnet attitude that the working parent has the easy life. My working life is fucking hard WORK. I'm paid well for it, but I pay too, trust me.

ihategeorgeosborne Tue 09-Apr-13 21:53:38

YANBU. I have 3 dc, although two are at school now. It's still hard though. They were off sick today with vomiting bug, so I had that to contend with plus non-sick 2 year old. I feel knackered now. I was up all night mopping up sick too. Dh leaves at about 6am and gets home at about 7pm. I am practically crying by the time he comes home. If he texts me to tell me the train is delayed, that sends me over the edge.

I am completely with you on the competitive tiredness thing. My dh is the same. I also sometimes have the feelings that I never should have had kids if I can't cope with them. I don't know what the answers are either. It's difficult. It's good to know it's not just me though grin

lucysmum Tue 09-Apr-13 21:55:32

can't you get them to bed earlier? 8 seems quite late (if I read your post correctly). Have them ready for bed when he gets in and then he can do story? If they then wake up early so what - he can deal with them start of the day if he won't do the end of the day.

numbum Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:06

DH and I used to give each other 45 minutes each once he got home from work. How we chose to spend that 45 minutes was up to us (snoozing, reading, having a relaxing bath, going for a walk/drive alone) but it was undisturbed unless it was an absolute emergency

What is his job? I do get slightly irate with stay at home parents thinking working is easier than being a stay at home parent sometimes but it does completely depend on the job the working parent is doing!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:16

Would he agree to alternate evenings so you both get a break?

I feel YANBU, my DH always took over on coming home as it is so hard to carry on at the same thing.

But if his job is very stressful or he's not the generous type maybe half and half is the way to go.

Nevercan Tue 09-Apr-13 21:56:56

One night a week go out and do your own thing and the same for hubbie. Go to the gym for an hour or visit a friend etc. I am sure that would make such a difference.

VinegarDrinker Tue 09-Apr-13 22:00:26

Hah, too true Work I was going to say the same. Hot drinks and piss breaks are pie in the sky for me most days at work! I work 4 days and depending on how trying the toddler is work and home days can be equally challenging and exhausting in different ways.

I do think that the change of scenery thing is important though. In general whichever of us who has been at work takes over from the SAHP when we get in, even just for 15 mins for the other to have a breather. Then most nights DH starts work again so I do bedtime, but if we are both around we split it 50/50.

It is exhausting though whichever one of the parents you are. (It helps in this situation that both DH and I have "work days" and "home days" and split childcare so have sympathy with each other).

pettyprudence Tue 09-Apr-13 22:04:50

yanbu, i only have one to contend with and have now gone back to work pt. its fucking hard being with the little darling all day, esp at the toddler phase when the slightest thing can set off a tantrum. im more exhausted now than when ds was a baby (now 2).
for this reason i joined the council gym. i have never ever been a gym bunny pre ds but the creche helped me change my mind and all in its only costing £32pm. i can in theory have 3 hours a day to myself either working out, taking a class or sitting in the cafe with a book shock could this be an option for you?

HKat Tue 09-Apr-13 22:05:13

YY WorkWankWail

BlackMaryJanes Tue 09-Apr-13 22:10:01

I feel so bad that the kids appear to be resented sad That neither DH nor myself wants to deal with them come 6pm. I feel utterly ashamed and sorry for the kids.

I am practically crying by the time he comes home. If he texts me to tell me the train is delayed, that sends me over the edge.

Phew. So it's not just me. How does your DH handle it?

What is his job?

I.T team leader.

maxpower Tue 09-Apr-13 22:24:12

Had a chuckle at the thought of actually getting a lunch break at work of all places! I have quite a few friends who are sahp and almost all of them go through this. Bottom line is that by the end of the day you're both tired whether you've been out at work or taking care of the dcs.

WorkWankWail Tue 09-Apr-13 22:29:22

My personal view on this, when I'm not wailing about work or wanking is that problems in relationships appear when one does not value the other. I don't blame SAHPs for getting pissed off if the working parent implies that all they do is sit on their arse watching TV; by the same token, don't be surprised when your working partner gets defensive and annoyed when it's implied all they do is sit on their arse drinking hot tea (and pissing alone of course.)

Even if you love your job, it will sometimes be hard, bring stress with it and complications that at time you don't need. Even if you love being a SAHP there are times when it will wear you out and grind you down. Acknowledging and sympathising with the other person's stress, worries and unhappiness will get you a long way. There is a time and a place where BOTH members of a partnership should say to the other "love, you look exhausted, go and run a bath and I'll bring you up a beer cup of tea." It's not the bath or the tea, it's the acknowledgement that the other person is doing something that makes your life easier and happier whether that's caring for your children or bringing the money in to enable the family to live.

How the fuck am I single? grin

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