Is my DH being crap?(40 Posts)
I'm finding it hard to tell as I think I may have a touch of the baby blues.
Baby is 2 weeks old and born by traumatic ECS. I lost a lot of blood and am supposed to still be recovering while DH is on paternity leave. I'm struggling with breastfeeding which is probably compounding the problem.
DH is great at taking the baby, changing nappies etc. I'm not finding him that great at looking after me though.
I absolutely cannot stand mess and clutter. I can't relax and it makes me feel a bit anxious. I'm sure its to do with having grown up with a neurotic mother who would have screaming fits if there was a mess under my bed etc. anyway DH grew up very differently and let's just say cleaning houses isn't something that's considered an activity you partake in regularly. So we do have different attitudes.
DH considers that he has done loads of cleaning because he has washed up after our meals. However he hasn't wiped a side, done a jot of laundry, vacuumed or wiped the bathroom over. Stuff I consider to be cleaning. He is also really bad at just leaving stuff around. So opens a parcel and then just leaves the packaging where it is etc. We've had loads if flowers that are now dying and need to be thrown away as they are starting to smell. DH has commented but not bothered to get rid of them. I have found myself doing things when I don't feel that I should be. Yesterday I cleaned the kitchen, bathroom and our bedroom for instance. Lots of "you shouldn't be doing that, I can do it" from him but no actual attempts to do anything except watch tv.
He is taking DS for me at night til midnite so I can get a few hours sleep. He is then sleeping in until 8 or 9. He is still asleep now. I'm awake cluster feeding from 6.30 and by the time he finally wakes up I'm starving and very thirsty. He will make me breakfast if I ask but with a "jokey" moan that he doesn't know how to boil an egg or can't stand marmite etc. Yesterday he suggested he take DS while I made the coffee! He finally made it but put it in a room I wasn't in so I didn't get to drink it.
Last night we got fish n chips. I hadn't eaten all day due in part to being busy feeding and also to not having felt great and having had no appetite. Obviously with breastfeeding I have to force myself to eat something. I was feeding and DH put my plate of food down and went off to eat his own food. He had left it right where the cat could get it and of course she did. I had to throw it away and eat a slice of toast instead. He couldn't understand why I was annoyed at him.
The thing is I feel furious at him and just want him to be far, far away from me. He is lying here snoring away while I am feeding our baby and could be for ages yet. I want to punch him in the head and ask him why the hell he thinks paternity leave means he gets to sleep in. I'm not sure if he is actually being a bit of a twat or if this is hormones. Like I said I have a feeling I have the baby blues and have been crying and feeling down the past few days so don't know if I'm being rational or not!
Please be gentle with the replies!
When we had our first baby, we both spent most of the time just looking at DS! And feeding him (me). And changing him (DH). I was also ill, and DH did keep me supplied with tea and food, but that was about it. It wasn't until DH went back to work (he only had one week off) and my mum came, that any housework got done. It isn't quite the same as having someone around when you are recovering from any other operation. There's a new baby to be amazed by.
When DD was born, DH was more helpful really, because we did less just staring at her and wondering at having a baby. Poor DD...
Btw - meant to say, it worries me a bit that you describe him not pulling his weight around the house, or not being able to, as not 'looking after you.'
Is that really what you mean? I think being able to do basic cooking, cleaning, household organisation (and I do mean basic, not 'show home' levels) are part of being a an adult, and part of being a parent.
I would give yourself 2 strategies here - for now, concentrate on getting well and if giving him a list of things to do (warning - may need some discussion of what is actually required - wipe down surfaces doesn't mean pushing crumbs and food mess onto the floor, and cleaning the bathroom if he really hasn't done it before will actually take some describing - what cleaning product, what sponge or cloth, explain that he will need to move things around to clean under them etc. Sounds silly but sadly I speak from experience). But mainly, just try and do things you enjoy and relax and focus on you and your baby.
Longer term, have a good honest think about what you want in terms of runnung a household, and what you want your dp to do. If not now, then later - what you want him to be ABLE to do. And then talk to him about it.
There are too many mothers around who get into the pattern of doing everything on maternity leave - and this never 'evens up' again. They also have husbands who simply don't understand what is involved in looking after a child and household when they are asked to do it - the woman has become the 'expert' and when her partner spends time alone with his children, it's pretty much like having a teenager babysit them - they need everything doing for them while they 'play with baby.'
And relationships do end because of this. It's worth trying to address (not right now! but at some point in the near future).
Sorry by looking after me I meant making sure I have food and drink when I can't help myself due to feeding
notkeenonzumba - I don't think people are suggesting the cleaning should be left because he's a man rather that they've just had a baby and could allow themselves to gaze adoringly at him and sniff his hair rather than clean. That's what I meant anyway.
Op - you're right that you need food and he should be looking after you here. We used to take it in turns to eat our meals hot!
Notkeen, most major ops don't produce a baby which needs looked after
and smelt and cuddled and just looked at plus actually no I wouldn't expect anyone to do everything.
When our eldest was born my Dh said to me that he would do anything, so long as I told him what I wanted him to do. That he was a bloke that didn't see what was needed, so just to tell him.
So I did. He did it, we managed.
If you're feeding, make sure you've got a glass of water next to you before you start, then if he forgets to make you a cuppa you've at least got a drink.
Well, I hope when he asked you gave him a long list!! Then tomorrow morning wake him up, ask him to make breakfast - tell him to stop moaning if he does - and hand him the days list
Take no prisoners getting what you need right now!
Well he has done most of the washing (even bothered to read the labels so he knew which temps to use!), cooked breakfast and cleaned up ( in that man way where only about half the crumbs actually move), helped me get rid if the dead flowers and is now vacuuming!
We do need to address housework at some point. I used to do everything and leave him to do the floors. Then we moved and I fell into doing pretty much everything as he was doing a lot of DIY do it evened out. I don't mind doing the bulk of it while I'm off ( once I'm recovered and baby sleeps more regularly) but I don't want to be stuck with it once I go back to work. We have already discussed getting a cleaner at that point but with pets and a baby its not really going to cut it to have the place cleaned once a week. So we will still need to sweep the floor and wipe down the kitchen etc even with a cleaner.
You had a baby two weeks ago. Stop stressing about what will happen once you go back to work and go cuddle it
Book a cleaner - and if he did that with your chips then he goes out and gets you more.
Get a deep clean and then keep it up with 2 hours on a monday and 1 hour on a thursday.
The rest you may need to delegate from the sofa a little more but these things are easier when you get in the rhythm so once he gets in to a groove with it (with gentle encouragement ;) ) then he might start being more intuitive.
I'm cuddling the baby all day everyday, he's a Velcro baby!
I found it easiest to have days to do jobs - then say to DP, "tomorrow is bathroom cleaning day - could you do it - loo, sink and floor please?" Then remind him on the actual day. If I just asked him to clean the bathroom he would do it when it appeared dirty to him - about 3 weeks after my tolerance level had passed! (I refused to move in with him at first as he kept his place so dirty to my mind)
It works better for him to have set days to have set jobs so if he is "picking up the slack" as I'm out of action - then he knows what needs doing to what deadline IYSWIM.
He was also crap about getting me food when I was stuck under a velcro baby, but I soon found a sling that worked for me so I could do simple things like make and eat toast, or go to the loo, without having baby screaming the whole time.
I didn't have to cope with blood loss though - could you suggest to him that he makes you a picnic box every morning (sandwiches, fruit, biscuits etc) and a bottle of water to have beside your favourite feeding chair so you can help yourself when you want? Would that help?
I could have written your post, my dh was pretty much the same as yours..He also started a children book on his maternity leave and also spent many hours putting together our wedding album. In the meantime, the bathroom never got cleaned, the dishes mounted...it was shit..he couldn't even cook and he still can't.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.