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to kick up a fuss

(79 Posts)
jambag Thu 15-May-14 10:17:53

I have been at home looking after Miss 12months since she was born, and although DP and I have both talked about my having some time out, I have struggled to be able to get this started (exclusive breastfeeding and she was 'funny' taking a bottle for a while, me sleep deprived, usual first-time mother and crazy-life-change-new-priority type thing.
A week ago I finally organised to have an hour and a half, twice a week, to restart something that I previously did before I became a mother (gym. Important to me, I have not lost my baby weight and feel like crap.). DP has been fully supportive of this and has been telling me to do this for months. I love being with my daughter, but pretty much 24/7 for nearly a year has been FULL ON. As I'm sure you guys know. And endorphins ROCK!

Since DD was 4 weeks old he restarted his previous musical interest which involved 5 hours out of the house one evening a week. Over the last month this has increased to twice a week, to practice for a performance which is Saturday week. Fine. Things are cruising along here and 5 hours with a screaming baby who won't go to sleep is less common these days. I can cope.

Today we were discussing our plans and meals for next week. He will be working late one night, and the 2 nights I am supposed to do 'my thing' it appears he has arranged two more evening practices at the same time, but not thought to mention it to me. So, out 4 nights next week, working late one night (unavoidable) and out performing the 6th night. (the 7th day is dd's birthday party, his idea, but guess who ended up organising it?)

AIBU to give him a hard time, because he seems to think I am BU and unsupportive for this "one thing"?
But the thing is, there was a performance 2 weeks ago that he had to practice "extra" for, another performance with a new line up 6 weeks ago which, wait for it, required lots of extra practice. A performance back in January, same. Another in February. So, every month atm.
He doesn't see it like this, for some reason. I am pissed off that once again, I am expected to fit in around everyone else's needs, without even having this discussed with me. Just "you can go another day" because its not a set thing like a course.
I have to be firm when I leave the house, and stick to a time, otherwise its like "oh can you fetch this . . . can you just help me with that" while I am trying to express milk, get my stuff together. This is all basic stuff for DD's bedtime routine that really doesn't need extra help (I should know! I do it often enough!!) He's capable, but its just easier if there's an extra pair of hands, isn't it? You know, when you've got a child in the bath and realised you forgot the towel. Or forgot to heat up the bottle. Or the child is crying because she is ready for bed and wants to be carried but he needs to get things ready. Whereas he gets to just walk out the house with his music stuff, safe in the knowledge that he made me a cup of tea before he left so it should all be ok.

I feel completely isolated these days. Yes there are playdates, groups and stuff I go to. I make myself. I'm not a particularly out-there person but do need the social contact. DP thinks this is my 'leisure': going out to playgrounds and playgroups and drinking tea with the other mums. yet its all dependent on DD - if she is having a bad time, we leave early. If she's ill, we don't go. Sometimes I don't even leave the house for 3-4 days, and I'm the sort of person that is climbing the walls after a day at home.
Its hard to hold a proper conversation when maintaining permanent surveillance to check she's safe. She's curious and into everything, and its gorgeous to see the world through her eyes!
Its taken me weeks to make a single phone call to arrange a new playgroup for DD, as I can't seem to take a phone call without her crying to be picked up, getting into something she shouldn't, or generally climbing all over me. I can't remember the last time I had a phone chat . . . although I manage a few mins on fb at a time where I can check whats going on in the world, but rarely have time to manage a chat with anyone online. I don't feel like I talk to anyone, get any real downtime when she's there. So its REALLY important to me to know there is a day and time I can aim for where I can be me and know she's safe and being looked after by her daddy.

I find it hard to be supportive of someone else's interests when mine are expected to go to the back burner whenever they're inconveniencing him, creates resentment, eh? Go on, I reckon you think I'm absolutely horrible :-/ and "entitled"
feel slightly better for getting it out though

ApocalypseNowt Thu 15-May-14 10:22:42

I don't think you're entitled at all. After this 'performance' I would guess there will be another one....with all the associated extra practices. It's not on.

I have 2 DD's and my dh plays in 2 bands. He has told them he is only rehearsing once a week i.e. with either band. He is out one night a week...the only exception being if they actually have a gig...and even then he sticks to one rehearsal then the night out for the gig.

I would definitely kick up a fuss OP or it's only going to get worse.


HeadfirstForTHiddy Thu 15-May-14 10:24:32

Honestly? I'd go nuclear. Why is his time out more important than yours?

He's taking the biscuit

DontHaveAtv Thu 15-May-14 10:27:30

He is taking the piss. Up your time at the gym, I would.

SleepRefugee Thu 15-May-14 10:30:10


Being a SAHM looking after one or more baby/toddler/preschooler(s) all day is NOT leisure time. And of course it's importantfor you to have some me-time.

jambag Thu 15-May-14 10:42:29

damn right there will be more performances, I could bet on it. I did kick up a fuss. We're both tired though, and too tired to discuss without it being TOO emotional! But I think its safe to say he gets the point. Talked about changing his late work appointment. Not the point. Also talked about contacting all the other people in the performance to change the practice time (yes, why not?) I'm pretty sure he agreed to it without realising this was my time, but thats the sad thing: its obviously been arranged, when was he going to realise? And the second time I go out in the week. He couldn't even tell me if there was definitely another practice, just that there "probably was".

If we're splitting hairs, he takes more time out in a night than I would take all week. He'd be fine with me staying later at the gym, if I get to go in the first place that is.

It seems a performance racks up more value than my gymtime, but it shouldn't even be ranking importances, should it?

Xenadog Thu 15-May-14 10:42:54

OP, I had something similar with my DP who works full time and then is a local government councillor as well. He initially said (when I had DD)he would only attend one meeting in the week (in the evening, going directly from work and getting home at 10) but then suddenly there were three evenings when he would be out at these meetings. That meant three days a week I was on my own from 7am - 10pm.

As far as I see it the council work is an extra, he opted to do this as a "hobby" as much as anything before we got together and whilst it is worthy and important it's not his proper job and his priority is his family.

I went mad at him in a nutshell and told him that from 5.00pm I was going to start charging him childcare costs as I am entitled to time off from being the sole parent and if he was having his life unchanged then he was going to bloody well pay for my time. He finally realised he was being a selfish shit and now it is only one meeting a week or occasionally an extra one if it's really important. Before the baby he could be at meetings every evening and a Saturday morning. I gave him the choice of cut back on the meetings, give it up in total or lose me.

OP, you need to tell him he is out of order and that you matter as much as he does. If he doesn't like it then tough - he doesn't have the life he once did so he needs to man up to being a father. Your life has changed immeasurably since having your DC and his should too. Not entitled at all just seeking some parity I would say.

DejaVuAllOverAgain Thu 15-May-14 11:24:30

He's being a selfish, disrespectful arse. He and his time is not more important than you and yours and your time going to playgroups is not your leisure time. Your leisure time is you doing something for you ie the gym.

Write down all the times he spends doing what he wants and the times you do what you want. When it's down in black and white he can't argue with it.

WutheringTights Thu 15-May-14 11:31:47

Can you say, it's fine that you go, but my gym time was in the diary first so it's up to you to sort a babysitter? That's how it works for us. If it's something important like work then we fix it together, but if hobbies clash then first in the diary gets priority and the second has to rearrange or sort babysitting.

MangoBiscuit Thu 15-May-14 11:37:00

It is selfish of him, and disrespectful, as others have said. His hobby doesn't trump yours, even if yours is flexible. If he needs extra time for it, and it clashes with your days, then he either asks, or he sorts out suitable childcare. You are not the default carer, he does not get to drop the times he's responsible and assume you'll pick up the slack.

As for "racking up importance", in this house it goes:
childcare > essential work > essential family needs (housework food etc) > basic leisure time > non-essential work > non-essential family stuff > extra leisure time

Your gym is basic leisure, it's the only bit of it you get. His extra practices are extra, so yours ranks 3 higher than his. HTH grin

MangoBiscuit Thu 15-May-14 11:42:55

Just a thought, could he "owe" you the extra time off? So if he borrows 3 or 4 hours from you this week, you get to claim it back next week and he has to miss a less important practice to be able to fit these extra ones in? He would still need to agree it with you. As it is he seems to be making extra time in his schedule, by pinching time from you.

gamerchick Thu 15-May-14 11:48:39

I agree with a PP.. its your time and not your problem he has something planned. So therefore, he has to arrange childcare or re adjust his life to accommodate it.

TitusFlavius Thu 15-May-14 11:54:18

YANBU. He's being disrespectful of your time. If you and he had a standing arrangement about you taking a (very small) amount of time to go to the gym, and he double-books himself without checking with you, well, too bad for him but he should miss the extra practice and schedule his time better in the future. And he should never, ever assume that your plans are flexible without checking with you beforehand that this is what you'd like. Your time and your activities are every bit as important as his, and it seems like he's already taking more than his fair share of leisure time.

TitusFlavius Thu 15-May-14 11:55:45

You could always tell him that he is, of course, free to go out when you are at the gym, but he will have to recruit, vet, interview and pay a babysitter for those times. He will have to do that, not you.

Viviennemary Thu 15-May-14 11:56:51

I don't think you are entitled. You absolutely deserve a break a couple of nights a week. he is being really selfish.

BlondePieceOffFluff Thu 15-May-14 12:02:04

If you are a SAHM you are responsible for the children during work and commuting hours. The rest of the time you are equally responsible for. The joint calendar seems like a great way to organise to keep track of things, first to enter have priority. However, it is his attitude that is the main problem. If he thinks you are just having time off and he is the one working and must be allowed to have his hobby-time, he needs a reality-check.

Another thing, he is missing out so much now by not being more at home and being more hands-on with the childcare. You would both be better off if he stepped up to being a more present father.

Bambambini Thu 15-May-14 12:02:36

Liking the idea about he can go out but has to arrange a babysitter as you had something already agreed or planned.

sothathatswhenI Thu 15-May-14 12:08:18

Agree entirely with Wuthering

Tell him you'll be at the gym on x and y nights and he needs to sort childcare if he wants to do something those nights.

I was a mostly SAHM in the early days as I worked on a Sunday. When my DH then decided to join a 5 a side football league on Sundays, his DM looked after DS for a few hours. Although she did once say that she did this to let ME go to work!

I put her straight tout de suite!!

SadOldGit Thu 15-May-14 12:12:17

Another vote for calendar (essential as household grows) - first come first served as it were - but put your gym time on there - if he wants to do something at same time he has two choices - change his plans or get alternative childcare - he needs to understand that childcare is joint responsibility and he can't swan off whenever he feels like it

jambag Thu 29-May-14 09:45:47

meant to reply to this sooner. DP came home that night and had changed and reduced his practice times, I think my spitting the dummy got through to him!
To be fair, he is very hands on and LOVES spending time with DD, just can be VERY blinkered re his music. I think this will be a work in progress, and I need to be equally ruthless with MY time too

Nowt like the validation from anonymous internet folk sometimes, when I'm feeling the need :-) Thanks you guys!!

ApocalypseNowt Thu 29-May-14 19:28:16

Good to hear OP!

jambag Tue 07-Oct-14 23:54:23

ARGHHH!!! its happening again! he's apparently "been asked" to run a 2 hour session on one of 'my nights'. He mentioned it this morning on the way out the door to work and I replied with 'how unfortunate, that its the night I go do my thing'. He just looked at me, half laughed, and now I see he's put it into our calender (yes my time out was in the calender on my personal setting, but he's just added a new setting so that things he plans show up on my computer and phone).

Is that it then? Discussed, and because he's put it in the calender, its happening? I'm fucking fuming. I only resurrected this thread as I wanted to see when this last came up (for the argument thats surely going to hit this house soon) but need to vent, and Miss 16 Months needs to work on her listening skills (as, it seems, does her dad).

I'm so fucked off that its ME thats made to look like I'm just being awkward and inflexible - yes I could change my night if it absolutely was necessary and I felt it was a one off, but hello?? how many more times do we have to have this same bloody argument over and over? Its never just a one off as we can see. He also needs to learn to say no to people who ask, rather than jumping at every fucking opportunity to do his stuff. I feel like the fucking fascist here, and why should I have to fight like this for a fucking hour or so twice a week. When its my evening out, I still end up making DD's dinner (so she doesn't have to wait while he gets round to it: half an hour he came home and sat on his arse while he 'got round to it' yesterday, she should have eaten by about 6pm and he was still faffing around with her at 6.20, this is when the frigging food was done and cooling down in the pan! and yes I could have done it all, but thats not the point of my time out, now, is it?!), and picking up the stuff he 'forget' to sort afterwards while he lies watching film after film. When its his night out, its all done, nappies taken out, dishes done, table and high chair cleaned, bibs in soak. But we're getting off track here. Other resentments . . .

You know, when I have been asked to do things with mum friends that would overlap with his using the car for HIS activities I have automatically turned them down, as I figured scheduled time out doesn't even warrant trying to change. You know, respect for his interests? his time? But hey, its only me, I have all the time in the world as a SAHM. And I feel torn between finding a job, having some fucking money of my own but also wanting to spend the time with DD while she's so little (and not spunk away most of my earnings on childcare).
Over it today

OliviaBenson Wed 08-Oct-14 06:42:14

Gosh op, I'm sorry this is still happening. It shows a complete lack of respect for you- I would be livid. To be honest, the other lack of doing stuff is also telling.

Why are his hobbies more important than yours? I'd stop doing anything for him. Could you take yourself off for a weekend day and do nothing to sort stuff out for him before you go? Sounds like he is just the 'fun' parent and he does nothing of the day to day drudge.

Time for a serious chat. I'd also delete his online calendar appointment. I'm fuming for you.

VegasIsBest Wed 08-Oct-14 07:47:57

I agree with deleting his online calendar appointment. Then send him a text to say you've done that as he seems to have overlooked the existing commitment in the calendar.

Longer term you need to sit down and tell him he's got to pull his weight eg tidying up after he does dinner.

Good luck.

KnackeredMuchly Wed 08-Oct-14 07:51:12

I kind of understand where he is coming from.

You need to sit him down and say you understand he feels it is flexible but you want him to know that to you - It's important that it isn't. You enjoy the routine and your sanity depends on going out on Monday and Thursday nights
You chose those so they wouldn't clash with his schefuled practices and you are trying to be accommodating to his additional practices and performances.

Tell him by taking up your scheduled time he is pushing you too hard and too far. Your nights are sacrosanct to you and he has to respect it because he is hurting you deeply.

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