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To expect DH to do a bit more at the weekend?

(26 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Sat 22-Mar-14 09:05:25

I know, one of those threads. But I just have to vent for a moment. We had people over for dinner last night and left the clearing up til this morning as our DS woke up five minutes after they left and took ages to resettle. This is what has naturally happened since then. I resettled DS which took over an hour. DH asleep when I came to bed which is fair enough.

This morning, we all wake up in bed together just before 7- not a bad start to the day in this house! I'm not a martyr - I ask when I want things to be done or think DH needs prompting. So when DS farted I took that as a cue and cheerily said 'your turn on nappy duties!' Otherwise there is no way DH would emerge from bed before us on a weekend. He got up but manages to bump DS head as he puts him on the mat - he screams for me and I end up doing the nappy and dressing him. Then I cleared up the kitchen while DS watches a cartoon to keep him out the way. DH wipes the table, not sure what else he did apart from moan about the mess! I gave Ds breakfast, we ate together. DH just drifts around as I clear breakfast. I needed the loo so ask him to take over. When I come back I see that rather than getting DS down from the chair and going to play (he had finished and wasn't eating) he is just sitting there looking at him basically!

I say right, let's get down and play. I have to physically hand him a flannel NAND ask him to wipe DS and get him down. They then play together for about 15 mins while I tidy and pack our stuff to go out today - then I hear a DVD go on, which I'm not happy about as he has already had some tv today. I just feel like DH drifts around in a dream and always takes the easy route - he says he misses DS in the week but when he has a chance to play with him he just puts the telly on! AIBU to expect him to be just a bit more proactive? I just feel like he would never lift a finger unless I ask and it's so tiring to ask and / do it all, all the time!

Thetallesttower Sat 22-Mar-14 09:09:45

I would find having two adults to care for one small child, when I was tired and needed a lie-in to be one too many- he's drifting around cos you are in charge. I would have got up this morning, done the morning lot til about 9am myself, then the next day got him to do it. You still have the whole day together, but everyone gets a lie-in.

I also don't do full on playing between 7-9am though, I like to slob out myself on a weekend as I work hard all week, so if I chose to put on the TV and sit like a zombie with my child, I wouldn't expect my husband to comment on it or vice versa.

We are later starters though in our house, all this springing about early on sounds tiring. I would then expect either of us or both to be doing the everyday activities/ballet/swimming classes stuff and tidying up later in the day.

DoItTooJulia Sat 22-Mar-14 09:11:20

You need a rota!

BobPatSamandIgglePiggle Sat 22-Mar-14 09:13:35

When ds shouts for me I just say 'it's daddy's turn'

Dp does the same the other way round - sorry but if you went and took over it is a llittle martyrish.

If it's ok for you to put the telly on then he can too.

It sounds like dh hasn't learned how to step up BUT is itbbecause he's truly lazy or becauae you always take over?

Not helping you to clear up is crap though - say to him later 'ooh, your turn to do dinner / bath dc seeing as I did the bulk this afternoon. I'm off for a soak, pass the wine darling'

littlebluedog12 Sat 22-Mar-14 09:17:00

I think you should go back to bed and leave him to it!

Finola1step Sat 22-Mar-14 09:20:31

I can see it is really tiring for you. He does need to step up. But, flip it and see it from his point of view. Your DH might post something like this...

"Today hasn't been a great start to the weekend. I got up to change ds but bumped his head and ds started calling for mummy. Mummy duly came running, took over and changed and dressed ds while I just stood there like a lemon. Downstairs was a tip after last night, didn't know where to start. Had breakfast but felt like a spare part as usual. DW went to the loo and as soon as she got back, started giving the orders and taking over. I had been enjoying a few quite minutes with our child. Then while she was busy getting stuff ready for the day, I put a DVD on for dc but this was wrong apparently.

AIBU to feel like a spare part in my own home who doesn't fit into the family routines and expectations because I'm not a mind reader and don't always do it the way dw wants and expects? "

I'm not trying to be flippant OP about your family situation but it is bloody hard as the full time working parent with a little one and a partner who watches and is in control all the time. You have to give him the time and space to parent. It really does not matter if your dc was still in the high chair when you got back from the loo. But it does illustrate that you expect things to be done a certain way - yours.

Artandco Sat 22-Mar-14 09:21:38

You need to stop taking over. If he bangs his head your dh should be able to soothe him also. Why do you tell him your going to toilet? Just go.

Can you just sit down with dh and say how waring it is to look after both of them in the morning and he needs to use his intuitive more.

I would also go with one of you staying in bed until 9am at weekends on rota. Everyone can still have breakfast together at 9am.
It seems like a lot has happened very early at your house. In comparison at weekends we relax. It's 9.20am and ds2 (2) has just woken and gone for a bath with dh. Ds1 (4) is still asleep next to me

Ragwort Sat 22-Mar-14 09:27:30

Agree with everyone else, you sound a total martyr and a bit of a control freak - why don't you arrange to go out on your own, shopping, for coffee, meet a friend, whatever and let your DH parent in his own way.

I can never understand couples who drift about aimlessly looking after one small child - either you do it or he does it.

Art - perhaps they are early people - I've been up since 7am - three loads of washing finished, downstairs vacuumed and polished, paperwork completed, committee notes written up, started the evening meal, two beds changed, plenty of mumsnetting grin - DH and DS left the house at 7.45am to go swimming - a productive morning grin.

GertTheFlirt Sat 22-Mar-14 09:28:42

*I would also go with one of you staying in bed until 9am at weekends on rota. Everyone can still have breakfast together at 9am.

GertTheFlirt Sat 22-Mar-14 09:28:43

*I would also go with one of you staying in bed until 9am at weekends on rota. Everyone can still have breakfast together at 9am.

GertTheFlirt Sat 22-Mar-14 09:29:19

I would also go with one of you staying in bed until 9am at weekends on rota. Everyone can still have breakfast together at 9am.

Just why? The holy grail of wasting a day in bed. Pointless.

whatever5 Sat 22-Mar-14 09:34:27

You do sound rather controlling. I wouldn't like to be ordered around, told not to put the DVD on etc etc. I think as others have said if you want your DH to look after your child I think it would be better if you stay out of the way and don't interfere with what he is doing.

Jollyb Sat 22-Mar-14 09:40:33

I just let DP get on with it on Saturday mornings . He's taken the girls to waitrose cafe wearing god knows what. DD1 will probably be having a cupcake for breakfast.

I've just got out of the bath and am back in bed on MN.

Ragwort Sat 22-Mar-14 09:56:33

Just why? The holy grail of wasting a day in bed. Pointless.

Couldn't agree more, I just don't understand this 'need' for a lie in (unless you are ill, have had a sleepless night etc). What a waste of a day.

But I acknowledge that not everyone likes to be up with the lark grin.

EverythingCounts Sat 22-Mar-14 10:03:35

A lie in till 9am is hardly wasting the entire day! Agree with the rota suggestion. Replies a bit harsh, I can see why you might want him to take the initiative more. But don't take over the changing when something goes wrong. Let him get used to carrying on.

Artandco Sat 22-Mar-14 10:17:42

How is it a waste of a day to stay in bed until 9am at weekends? What time do you finish your day? Surely it swings roundabouts. We will all be out at restaurant with family and friends until 10-11pm tonight ( with the kids), so they get up later, have a nap late afternoon, then a whale of a time in the evening.

Jinsei Sat 22-Mar-14 10:28:43

Agree with every

Jinsei Sat 22-Mar-14 10:34:31

Oops, posted too soon.

Agree with everyone else that your DH won't do more because you've made it obvious that you're the one who is in charge. It's easily done, my natural inclination is to tell DH how he should parent dd, but I've had to force myself to step back and let him get on with it. I still think my way is the right way, but I now accept that his approach is a valid one. Try to be a bit less controlling, and he might have the confidence to take a bit more initiative.

Crinkle77 Sat 22-Mar-14 11:19:06

Getting up at 9am is hardly wasting the day. I like to have a bit of a lie in at the weekend as I am up early everyday during the week.

PenelopeChipShop Sat 22-Mar-14 11:24:37

Where to start with the replies! We were awake early because we have a one-year-old... He never sleeps past 7. That's not unusual is it? and he's not old enough to entertain himself therefore someone has to get up. Usually DH will have a lie in on a Saturday but today we had to get out of tr house relatively early to visit his parents so all just got up as had to clear up, pack etc.

Yes in an ideal world DH should be able to soothe him when hurt, put him back to bed etc - I would have expected that kind of thing to be completely equal before having a baby. But the reality is that If I am there DS wants me and will insist upon it. I am quite serious, he will scream until he's sick, in fact I think I started a thread recently asking if it's normal for toddlers to be so attached to their mum... People said it was. But how do you get to the point of being equal parents then??

As I mentioned I am really not a martyr - I ask if I want a break or something needs doing but I just want him to take the flipping initiative! At the weekend for example he would never get up and say, right, shall we have lunch, I'll make DS something - even though knows what time he needs to eat and nap. He just assumes I will so it, and DS asks for me so we seem to be stuck in a rut. I do go out, had an evening out this week and returned to the sound of screaming, DH hadn't been able to cheer up DS when he woke up. Am not blaming him for that, toddlers are difficult! But it just feels like the buck totally stops with me. DH can come and go as he pleases but if I do anything there will be consequences, a very upset boy!

PenelopeChipShop Sat 22-Mar-14 11:28:15

As for being controlling, I really don't think I am, I would love to just let them get on with things if they ever would! But surely most people aren't happy with a one year old etching hours of TV a day? I never usually put it on in the morning, I would limit it to 15 mins so I can cook dinner and then In The Night Garden before bed. Surely it is quite lazy parenting to just let one so young watch lots of telly? Or is that really fussy?!

Thetallesttower Sat 22-Mar-14 11:35:05

Penelope I totally get this, having had both my children being very clingy to mummy at this age- however you can't blame your husband for that! You sound angry and annoyed at him that you have a clingy child who only wants you, but I'm guessing he finds it equally upsetting that daddy isn't good enough and that whatever he does it isn't right.

There are two ways to deal with this- one is to just accept your ds is into you and that in the main you will be the one doing most of the care right now (less screaming route) so your dh can help out, make lunch (it's not lunch for your child, it's lunch for all of you). Or you can try to get dh accepted as a primary carer of your son by actively leaving them to it (e.g. go out, shut door, say I'm not here til 9am)- this is the more screamy route but might pay off in the long term.

Babies and toddlers often have a preferred parent, even when quite a bit older, I just used to say 'daddy's turn tonight' and physically remove myself. There was a bit of fussing, but with both of you in and out of caring for one small child, it's too much and quite confusing.

I do think this type of separation anxiety peaks at around a year -although one of mine had no other carers except me and dh for three years, it doesn't last for ever though, honest!

PenelopeChipShop Sat 22-Mar-14 11:58:01

Thetallesttower I think you have hit the nail on the head there... I know separation anxiety is normal. And actually I'm not angry that DS wants me so much - in down ways it's lovely to be so loved! But deep down, part of me thinks that the fact that DH hasn't been as hands-on as I hoped has contributed to the way he is with me. He's just such a distant second in his eyes because he isn't there doing the dinner, stories, playing etc, even at the weekend when he could do. He seems to prioritize his own down time, ie. football match he wants to see would trump the park or play time. Is that that makes me annoyed, not the clingy ness per se. Do to I think that's unfair of me though? Perhaps DS would be like that anyway. I'm just so worn out. He sleeps badly and has to come in bed with me, lately as early as 10 or 11pm so I feel like I have no time to myself. Naps are short. And then at weekend to have DH 'there but not there' is so frustrating as I've been lookig forward to a break. :-(

SolidGoldBrass Sat 22-Mar-14 12:01:24

There are few things more tiresome than people who, because they are metabloic mutants who don't need much sleep, look down on those who need more.
There is nothing wrong with staying in bed at the weekend, particularly if you have young DC who wake in the night so you rarely get uninterrupted sleep.

Thetallesttower Sat 22-Mar-14 12:11:30

Fine, if he wants to watch the football, put baby in his arms and go back to bed/have a nap.

I had to accept very early on that if I wanted my dh to care for my children, both at one time, that he would do it his way. That might include cuddling baby whilst on computer. I also wrote myself with child in baby seat being rocked with one leg so I did this myself.

I also agree with SGB that there's nothing wrong with tv on a weekend morning, I am still in my pj's now with children on computer/tv, so what? We all work hard all week, that's the time for homework/clubs/activities, I'm knackered now and so for me, getting down-time is important even if it means we are not doing improving things from 7am. I also have a nap most weekends as well, I can't function in the week without a rest.

I do agree with letting him get on with it though, one of the best things that happened to me was I needed to work very intensively, so I would have to go to work on weekends, so I used to leave my DH with our dd1 when she was about 18 months, they started going on outings together and he started to really enjoy his time with her.

Not all dads are really hands-on from day one, and not all parents want to be leaping about playing games from early on Sat morning. As long as there is some attention in there, and some equity for you in terms of getting a rest, I think this is ok.

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