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To demand a night off after ten years?

(26 Posts)
clairemagnolia Fri 26-Apr-13 11:33:46

My children are 10, 7 and 3.5. I haven't had a night away from them in all that time, except when the two eldest went to stay with g'ma and g'dad - but I still had the baby to look after.

The youngest is recently completely weaned (she's been having bedtime feed only, but dropped that this month) and since then is taking absolutely ages to fall asleep. She doesn't cry, just fidgets about in her bed, with me next to her, until 1 or 2 in the morning. This has been going on for a couple of weeks now and I'm really suffering. My (estranged-but-still-living in the same house) husband is offering no support. I feel that the only way to make him take some nighttime responsibility (which he has never done, even when they were newborns) is to just not be there and make him get on with it.

Obviously, there are other issues, but quite simply I feel that I just want to get an early night before I go completely do-lally. I know he will accuse me of child abandonment, because that's what he's like, but I also feel that that is an unreasonable accusation and I need to start standing up for myself.

Any thoughts most welcome.

BonaDea Fri 26-Apr-13 11:42:11


Could your mother 'get sick' or something meaning you have to go away for a night or so? Obviously would be better just to tell the truth but the ex sounds like he'd make a mountain out of a molehill so perhaps better just to make it something he can't argue about?

clairemagnolia Fri 26-Apr-13 11:56:27

Thankyou Bonadea. My parents live a looooong way away and tbh I think he would insist that I took kids with me, the youngest at least. And I am the world's worst fibber sad

Justforlaughs Fri 26-Apr-13 11:59:04

YANBU to want a night off. Is there anyone else that could help out of prize prat isn't up to it?

Justforlaughs Fri 26-Apr-13 12:00:08

I'd also have his bags packed and outside the door by tonight! No point in him being there f he isn't either a husband or a Dad!

ginmakesitallok Fri 26-Apr-13 12:02:18

You don't need his permission! Just talk him you're going to your mum's on your own and you'll see him the next day. If you haven't had a night off in 10 years he can hardly accuse you of abandonment! Enjoy your night off.

shewhowines Fri 26-Apr-13 12:05:57

Actually i think you deserve at least 2 nights. If he doesn't agree to it, tell the kids so they know dad's in charge and just go.

YouTheCat Fri 26-Apr-13 12:08:49

Why is he still there?

Get him out and you'll get every other weekend to have a rest.

pinkdelight Fri 26-Apr-13 12:11:03

Can I just clarify - you go to bed at the same time as your 3.5yo, in the same bed, and stay there till 1 or 2 in the morning? i don't understand. Who is that routine helping? Course you need a night off! Can't you just put her to bed and go out?

Sorry if I've missed something.

EggsMichelle Fri 26-Apr-13 12:14:36

YANBU. Plus he needs to get used to looking after the children, or is he handing full custody to you when he leaves?

slug Fri 26-Apr-13 12:26:08

It's hardly child abandonment if they are left in the care of a parent isn't it?

Chandon Fri 26-Apr-13 12:29:35

When/If you properly separate or divorce, he will have them for weekends and you will get your breaks.

Be careful though, you may not want to change the status quo just before you divorce (re custody)

LastTangoInDevonshire Fri 26-Apr-13 12:29:54

I'm with pinkdelight - put your 3.5 to bed with a story, then leave her to it. If you stay with her until the early hours, no wonder you are knackered.

Saski Fri 26-Apr-13 12:32:46

I understand how difficult it can be to put a 3 year old to bed, but you've got to sort this out ASAP.

I hope you're rid of your husband soon. If he's a competent father, i.e. you can trust him with a custodial visit - think of the satisfaction of sending the kids to him for the weekend - it will be a revelation for him.

Good luck.

DionFortune Fri 26-Apr-13 12:37:07

YASNBU! Sod what he will accuse you of, he's quite obviously talking shit. Just book a hotel or go and stay somewhere you will get some peace and present it to him as a done deal, no negotiating.

And I am unsure of how asking the children's father to look after his own kids for a night or two could change the status quo before divorce? He's not likely to go from crap dad to wanting full time custody is he?

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 26-Apr-13 12:43:12

Of course you are not abandoning your child - what a twat your DH must be. But there are several other issues in your post - your DH is your exDH, but you live together? He takes no responsibility for childcare? And your 3.5 yo is going to sleep at 1 or 2am?

I think the first thing would be to deal with the sleep issue before you go nuts and then perhaps you will be able to see clearly on the other things. What time does your youngest get up in the morning? Have you tried any sleep training methods? Have you seen a GP about their poor sleeping habits or was she fine when you were still bfing? Is she napping in the day? I don't see how a 3.5 yo can function on that little sleep.

In the interim, of course you should just go out/stay at a friends to catch up on some sleep. You don't need his permission surely.

sue52 Fri 26-Apr-13 12:43:23

YNBU. No wonder he's your "estranged" husband, the useless git.

queenjellybelly Fri 26-Apr-13 12:47:38

Tell him you're concerned that he's not involved in looking after the kids enough & that it could affect his relationship with them as they grow up. Purely in his interests, you're going to leave them alone for the weekend. Then you book yourself a well deserved overnight spa break.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 26-Apr-13 13:50:02

3.5 and still sleeps with you.
No way could I deal with that.
There may well be (and probably are if useless Ex is in the house) very reasonable reasons for this but I'd get that sorted out as a matter of urgency.
And... yeah! Just tell him he's having them.
Get him out ASAP, like others say, and you get every other weekend off!!

OhLori Fri 26-Apr-13 14:20:10

Hi OP, you sound a wonderful mother.

10 years of hard work and sacrifice as well as great times, but yes I think its probably your time to have a bit of "you" time. ( am in a similar position but with one child and single parent but still similar responsibility).

Yes, you probably need at least an early night, and probably some more fun time too, I say go for it. Anyone else apart from ex, who can help? Either way, make him look after the children for a week, my suggestion. Now weather is nice, go and stay somewhere for a few days and do what you want. As he gets used to it and your youngest gets older, extend that to a week, really you deserve it.


OhLori Fri 26-Apr-13 14:23:48

p.s. my son slept with me when he was 3.5 and it was fine and suited us both, just do what you feel is a routine that suits you.

If your youngest is having sudden problems in sleeping, what could that be, as too old for teething I would have thought?

lonahjomu Fri 26-Apr-13 15:57:52

Take your kids and go stay without mum for the weekend. Then you book yourself in somewhere.

You don't need his permission to go anywhere.

lonahjomu Fri 26-Apr-13 16:02:33

Re type ... Take your kids and go stay with your mum for the weekend! Then book yourself in somewhere .

Emilythornesbff Fri 26-Apr-13 16:08:08


Sorry about H.

If he's capable of looking after them could you just tell him you're going away for a night? Maybe rope in a friend so you feel you have a "reason".

If he makes it difficult then maybe you could take them to your DM or someone you trust ( make a note of that date he refused to have them for future reference).

Emilythornesbff Fri 26-Apr-13 16:11:13

And reallyit's up to you how you handle your LO's sleep. Is she unsettled because of the separation do you think?
That will improve with time.

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