DH treats me like an employee...(190 Posts)
AIBU to be sick of this?!
In recent weeks, my husband has started treating me like I am his employee (Maid, laundress, nanny, chef all rolled into one). We have always made decisions together, talked about everything and spent our free time together. We had DD 5 months ago, and at first, DH was all in, helping with every aspect of the childcare, doing the odd load of laundry, washing up after dinner while I put DD to bed etc.
But the last few weeks, a switch seems to have flicked in his brain, where he no longer sees me as his wife, but as his employee. I do everything for DD. And I mean everything. When he comes home from work, I have to pester him to spend time with her...Like, she could be on her playmat on the floor, whinging because she can't reach a toy, and he will just sit there, eyes glued to his xbox, unless I come in and tell him to help her! There could be a pile of washing up from dinner in the sink, I go up to put DD to bed, and the washing up will still be sat there when I come down, even though he has been in the kitchen to make himself a drink. I wash, dry, iron and fold his laundry and leave it in a basket in front of the wardrobe because he says he wants to put his own laundry away in the right places....only it doesn't get put it away. It just sits there.
I never do anything for myself. For example, it's now Friday, I haven't had a shower since Tuesday because I spend every waking moment making sure DD and DH are sorted with everything they need. DH is in the RAF, so when he is away on training exercises, or he is off doing days on the shooting range, his job can involve long days/nights, but on a normal day, the hardest part of his day is going to the gym twice! He has never been left with DD all day, to realise that its not all sunshine, smiles and drinking coffee with my non-existent friends! AIBU to be feeling very under-appreciated? Or am I being entirely rational, and have every right to be upset about it?
I wash, dry, iron and fold his laundry and leave it in a basket in front of the wardrobe
I never do anything for myself.
it's now Friday, I haven't had a shower since Tuesday because I spend every waking moment making sure DD and DH are sorted
He has never been left with DD all day,
YANBU. He sounds like a dick. You are enabling it by going days without a shower. Just tell him. Are you afraid in any way? Why hasn't he had your baby in 5 months?
Sod that for a game of soldiers.
Remove X box. He doesn't have time for that shit at the moment.
The moment he gets in, you go for a nice long shower. No more doing his washing. Just focus on the baby. Let the household standards drop to what you can cope with and primarily look after number 1!
It is most likely a phase that you need to gently but firmly squash. He thinks his life can go back to normal. He is so fucking wrong! But you don't nag, just tell him what is going to happen I.e. I'm going for a shower now. While I do that you change nappy/wash up etc. don't force baby/father bonding, it often happens a bit later. But do force him doing 50/50 jobs when he is home! At the moment your only job in the day is baby and anything else you manage is a bonus!
"For example, it's now Friday, I haven't had a shower since Tuesday because I spend every waking moment making sure DD and DH are sorted with everything they need."
Go for a shower. Are you genuinely 'waiting on' your DH all night every night while your DD is asleep? What can he 'need' all evening that prevents you from having a shower?
Everything Nicky said. Talk to him, and stop doing it all.
The only way this is going to get resolved is if you actually communicate how you feel, otherwise he is going to remain completely oblivious and you'll seeth from the resentment of being left to do everything.
I can't work out why you haven't had a showe since Tuesday. Why can't you shower when your dd naps? Or take her in with you?
Why are you making sure your dh has everything he needs?
He sounds like a dick - just stop doing everything, tell him in very clear, certain terms that you both need to sort it out. Go out one evening, for a few hours, just sit in a carpark and flick through a magazine if you don't want to do anything else.
But there's a touch of the martyrs with you as well, you can leave the baby to have a shower. A shower takes a few minutes.
Sorry I know it is really hard at this age by the way and it is easy for us to say. I used to put baby in a bouncer in the bathroom next to the shower while I had a shower and talk to him from there as he had separation anxiety already then.
It really wouldn't be petty to leave you DH's washing to him you know. You can't tell him that's what you're doing, it doesn't have to be a thought experiment.
Yanbu. He needs to step up. But I do think the shower issue indicates a bit of unreasonableness. Surely in 3 days you have had time for a shower. How do you think people cope who are single parents or whose husbands work away do it. You need to stop spending every waking moment doing stuff for your dd and husband think about your needs. You need to shower etc. when df is napping or dh comes in have a shower or take dd with you.
Your dh is bu. he needs to do more and you need to think about how you can meet your needs when he isn't there.
He is treating you like a doormat because he can. You are enabling it because you behave like one. Why can't you shower when your DD naps or at night when she has gone to sleep?
You need to stop bring a martyr. When baby is napping have a shower. Stop doing his laundry etc. Tell him to wash up whilst you put the baby to bed then next night he can do bedtime and you wash up. Stop doing everything.
I hate to say this, but you're completely martyring yourself.
Maybe he thinks you actually enjoy it. I mean, I just can't imagine behaving like that, skivvying around for other people and not doing a thing for myself at all.
Crikey, if you are trying to be that perfect he may feel that you are squeezing him out, he is unnecessary in your lives.
Stop martyring yourself and tell him you aren't going to continue like this, hand over the reins and take some time for yourself.
I have to agree, your post does have an air of martyr around it. Stop enabling him.
It's really easy when you have a baby to lose your identity and just become someone's Mum. Which is why it's important to do things for yourself still.
A big change has happened in both of your lives and things can be difficult while you adjust. However it seems your dh needs to realise that things are different now and he cannot play Xbox while ignoring his child's needs and yours. Does he know you haven't had a shower since Tuesday? You need to talk to him but also you need to prioritise some time in the day to do stuff for yourself. Don't be a coper and a doer it makes you miserable.
I think calling you a martyr is a bit harsh. You need to have a grown up conversation with your DH though about how the status quo has changed now that there is a baby. There's more work all round, so he needs to take his share... starting with doing his own laundry.
" it's now Friday, I haven't had a shower since Tuesday because I spend every waking moment making sure DD and DH are sorted with everything they need"
Your DD is 5 months old. Stick her in a bouncy chair facing your shower (where she can see you) and take your shower. Better yet, shove her in your DH's lap and go take a looooong bath with a book.
Stop acting like a servant and your DH will have to step up.
It's now Friday, I haven't had a shower since Tuesday because I spend every waking moment making sure DD and DH are sorted with everything they need.
How?? What on earth does your dh need that has you waiting on him all evening?
But seriously, hide or chuck the X-box, write down a list of household jobs that need to be done, have a come-to-Jesus talk with your dh, split up the tasks between you, and get him to man up and stop being a lazy twat. And you need to start treating yourself a bit better too, and stop doing everything for him.
And get him to look after your dd one day by himself. See how he manages. She's his child too.
Stick her in a bouncy chair facing your shower (where she can see you) and take your shower.
This, as a practical suggestion.
Look after yourself, OP. Your DD needs a mum who is in a good place herself.
The X-box has to go. If he is on the X-box when his DD needs a toy reached, then that sounds close to addictive behaviour.
Thanks for all your replies....I know you are all right when you say I am enabling his behaviour, but if I didn't do all the chores/childcare, it wouldn't get done, and after a childhood like mine, I can't bear to live in a dirty/untidy house. I am terrible for guilt-tripping myself too - I feel like he goes out to work and I don't, so I should be doing all these things.
I don't think he is deliberately trying to be an arsehole, I think he doesn't realise that I am completely burned out.
I'm worried about talking to him about it because I don't want him to throw it in my face that he goes to work and I don't...I feel bad enough about that as it is :/
He has a short working day on Fridays, he should be home by lunch time... so I will sit him down and have a proper discussion about it - I'll probably show him this thread so he realises that it's not just me being dramatic, other people think he's being unreasonable too.
I'm going to have to try putting DD in the bouncer and putting her in the bathroom with me. I've been reluctant to do it because she's not a big fan of the bouncer - I did try showering while she naps, but our ridiculously loud shower-pump is in the cupboard in her room, and it woke her up immediately.
Need to put my big girl pants on, and talk about it, because I can't keep burning the candle at both ends.
I get the shower thing. I used to not have time to do basic things for myself when I had my first child. I really didn't feel that I could leave him at all and as he wasn't a big napper if he did happen to fall asleep I'd run around trying to get everything done that I hadn't been able to do when he was awake. I was worried that if I made parenting seem hard or if I asked to much of my DH then he'd not want any more children. That all stopped when the baby got a bit older and I had a bit more time and when I had my second child I realised that I had to juggle a fair bit anyway to meet everyone's needs so it was actually easier for me to at least get my basic needs met. Looking back I realise that I made it hard on myself but I didn't know that that is what I was doing at the time.
Do you really need to be doing everything that you are doing? Have a good think about what you can let slide. It's not forever, after all, just through this very hectic phase. And then tell your DH what bits he needs to do and stick to it. Don't expect him to guess. Be clear and firm. Don't pick up his slack, particularly around things like putting his own clothes away. If you start doing it you will be doing it forever. Just stop. Tell him it's his job and leave it.
Lots of sensible advice has been given, although it has been rather harshly worded.
I was a bit like you with my first. I used to complain I didn't get time to eat or shower as she never let me put her down. With my second I have to put him down all the time as I have a two year old to deal with (and toddlers are far more work than babies). Guess what, he's fine, and has learnt that sometimes he has to wait. Recently I had 9 days on my own with just a 6 month old as DH was away with dd, and it actually felt like a holiday. I would never have said that first time round .
Point of that story, you need to start looking after yourself as dd can and will wait. As for DH he can look after himself! Put her somewhere safe, such as her cot, and take a shower. She may cry. Tune it out. If she has been fed, winded and changed she'll be absolutely fine. Ditto having a drink or a snack. You'll feel so much better in yourself is you aren't running on empty.
As for DH stop doing everything for him. Don't even discuss it, it's not worth the stress or the energy. When he runs out of clean pants don't make it your problem.
You are doing a job, OP. It's a very intense and demanding job. It just happens not to be paid.
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