to want a thank you when DH is working away?

(153 Posts)
Probablyunreasonable Wed 28-Oct-15 08:41:33

I suspect I am almost definitely being unreasonable - I am just so tired. DH works away a reasonable amount. Not every week but maybe once every 2-3 weeks. We both work in relatively stressful jobs, although I have gone back to work on fixed hours so that I can leave a bit early and have the evening with DD.

DD has never been a great sleeper and even now, at 2, she is a very early riser. Obviously she is my whole world and I love her to bits, but she is having tantrums the like of which I have never seen before, and we are also in the middle of potty training. Getting DD to use the potty and into pyjamas and bed can sometimes take 2 hours of her thrashing and hitting and screaming at me until she's purple in the face. By 9pm, after a full day in work and an evening of this, I'm sometimes in tears. It grates a bit to be told that DH is also still working hard when actually he is sitting around a bonfire with his work team, having a beer and roasting marshmallows. He seems genuinely astonished that I might want a break when he gets home, or when I try to explain to him that his going away makes things harder for me. I know that sometimes work trips away need to be done and I'm not suggesting that he doesn't go, but sometimes a thank you would go a long way. He seems really cross when I say this. AIBU? I probably am.

MsJamieFraser Wed 28-Oct-15 08:46:11

YABU, but understandly my so, your tired, it's not his fault not yours, it's just parenthood.

Bullshitbingo Wed 28-Oct-15 08:48:59

Yanbu. I know this gets said a lot on mumsnet but could you go away occasionally as well? Even if it's just to a mates for the night after work? I know when I go away (am a sahm) my dh is always extra pleased to see me and grateful when I get back having dealt with a baby and a toddler on his own. Might help him realise what you're talking about?

Hoppinggreen Wed 28-Oct-15 08:49:29

Is your daughter generally happy to use the potty?
If it takes 2 hours and results in a tantrum then. Would suggest she mght not be.
My DH works any and I appreciate its hard and very tiring but I don't see why he needs to thank you.

DamsonInDistress Wed 28-Oct-15 08:49:31

You need to concentrate on your dd's behaviour I think. Having your dh's support will be important so can you both sit down one evening and toy explain to him calmly that you're struggling with dd's behaviour, that you both need to be able to deal with it consistently. That you're not exactly angry with him but that you are exhausted and upset with the situation?

A two hour tantrum where she's hitting you isn't acceptable and I'd be looking to try and identify the causes - is she getting something from the attention that's prolonging the situation? Is she reacting to the uncertainty of daddy working away? Does it change the dynamic between you and dd when he's gone? Finding out might help you find a solution.

MumOnTheRunAgain Wed 28-Oct-15 08:51:32

A thank you? Why does he need to thank you before going to work? You mean because you are 'letting' him go to work away?

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Wed 28-Oct-15 08:54:18

I think yabu about asking him to thank you but yanbu about expecting him to show appreciation and let you have some time off.
Why on earth would he be astonished by this when he knows you've been working been working hard all week.
You both should get time to yourselves regularly and you should both appreciate what each other does.
He hasn't exactly gone on a holiday. He had to go for his work although I'm sure it wasn't entirely work focused. I don't think you should feel resentful.

BeStrongAndCourageous Wed 28-Oct-15 08:54:25

I think you are both BU (a bit) - he can't help having to be away for work and you can't help being exhausted and ground down and in need of some TLC.

Huge sympathy for you though. Sounds like your daughter's giving you a hell of a time.

StarlingMurmuration Wed 28-Oct-15 08:55:46

I don't think you're being unreasonable to want some acknowledgement from your DH that you have a lot to cope with while he is away. You being at home looking after DD facilitates his working away, after all. And it also isn't unreasonable to want a bit of a break when he comes back, either. Presumably he's getting at least a couple of evenings to himself, or at least socialising with work friends, every time he's away, so it's only fair that you get a bit of time to yourself once he comes back.

YANBU.
DH used to work away for three nights a week and seemed genuinely astonished that I was knackered when he got home ("but your mum and [nanny's name] were there to help" - no mate, they provided childcare while we were working. I did every thing else)

We had many many rows over it and he did eventually work harder at letting me have more free time at weekends, but I still don't think he really get it.

Yes MumOnTheRun - why wouldn't she expect a thank you? I presume he couldn't work away of the OP wasn't there to look after DD?

AutumnLeavesArePretty Wed 28-Oct-15 08:59:05

YABU, a thank you for letting him go to work??

Your daughter is only two, rather than have a two hour battle over using the potty just stop the training until she's ready. Pick your battles wisely they say.

pillowaddict Wed 28-Oct-15 08:59:42

I don't think YABU. If dh goes away for work he gets a night in a hotel and usually a meal and drinks paid for. When I go away for work similar (without the drinks last time as I was pregnant!) I hated being away from dd1 and dh and he doesn't love it either but it's stress free in the sense there are no child disturbed nights or duties to do. I would say make life easy on yourself and if it's taking 2 hours to try potty etc maybe you need to back off and let your dd wear pull ups at night time. Try not to engage in tantrums and be firm and clear about expectations. Let her cry and walk away for a minute or two for your own sanity. Dd1 is doing the same just now and I have lots of sympathy. I would also explain to dh that while you appreciate he's working when he's away you're finding it hard. If he doesn't understand enough to give you support there's something not quite right and bigger conversations to be had.

Ha. I love how this is totally split down the middle.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 28-Oct-15 09:01:40

YANBU. I think mutual appreciation of each other's role goes a long way. And if his work trips involve a bit of fun you are definitely getting the shitty end of the stick and it would grate massively with me not to have that acknowledged.

TheBunnyOfDoom Wed 28-Oct-15 09:02:07

YANBU. He couldn't go away unless you were at home to look after DD. He doesn't have to think about the consequences because you're there to pick up the pieces. You still pick up DD, you make sure you're there to take her to/from nursery, you're the one who changed YOUR hours - where is his sacrifice?

It seems a bit as though he still gets to go away with work like before, and he expects things to still get done in his absence. Does he realise how much work it is looking after a 2 year old AND working full-time? Because it doesn't seem like he ever takes over everything himself. What would happen if you had to go away for work? Would he be willing to change his hours/lifestyle to allow you to do so?

Probablyunreasonable Wed 28-Oct-15 09:02:10

No, Mumontherun, because I am picking up his 50% of the home stuff. That sounds awful - I obviously don't consider spending time with DD to be a "task" - I love her more than anything in the world and it's a privilege to be able to come home and have the evenings with her. But I do consider dealing with all of the potty training and the seemingly endless screaming and kicking to be a shared parental responsibility and he is unilaterally deciding that I am going to have to pick up that responsibility for both of us. My point is that he isn't just "going to work". He is working the same number of hours as usual, I think, but in a location which means that he isn't doing any of the family things in the evening. That isn't his fault - it isn't a criticism - but it is harder for the parent who is trying to control the screeching single handedly and an acknowledgement of that would go a long way. And yes, if I am going out in the evening, I do check with him first. I am aware that my not being there puts an extra responsibility on him and I feel that it would be unreasonable for any member of the family to do that to another without checking that it was ok first, surely?

Yes, Damson, it's much, much worse when he's away - she is clingy and cries for Daddy and obviously all I can do is cuddle her and say that he'll be home at the end of the week. I suspect that we are getting to an age where it may be an attention-seeking behaviour, but an understandable one. Daddy has suddenly gone away and she wants to make sure that Mummy stays here in case she disappears too, I suppose. I've tried all the usual things - ignoring the tantrum, distractions, etc. I'm just tired, that's all.

Artandco Wed 28-Oct-15 09:03:50

I think a little more sympathy maybe but he should t have to say thank you. Your looking after your own child, and but he sounds of it he does also when he's not away.

I think the main issue is your 2 year olds behaviour. Bedtime will be stressful if it's taking 2 hrs. Can you not change how things are done if it's obviously not working?
What happens exactly at bedtime that brings out screaming and hiting and tantrums?
Can you split up how bed time is done? Toilet can be done earlier as I assume she's still in a nappy of some sort at night. Put pjs on in your room and let her fall asleep in your bed whilst you read to her? You can move her later or let her stay there seeing as your alone anyway

DeoGratias Wed 28-Oct-15 09:05:18

I certainly have had business trips abroad in my time when the sheer luxury is not the 4 star hotel nor the food but just having a whole evening without putting children to bed. Perhaps your solution is asking for more business travel at work and letting sunny Jim (the husband) rush home to do the whole bed time thing himself without you every 2 or 3 weeks. It works (and we had 3 under 5 and both worked full time so probably even harder than your situation - we never bred sleepers either).

HeteronormativeHaybales Wed 28-Oct-15 09:05:24

Honestly, leave the potty training. She's 2. My two weren't dry in the day until 3.5 (and it was entirely stress-free and I could count the accidents they had on the fingers of one hand). The tantrums may be her way of telling you she's not ready.

Artandco Wed 28-Oct-15 09:07:59

If your at work all day also there can't be much potty training involved really as she will be in a pull up/ nappy at night still. So just home, let her try on toilet and put nappy on for bed. In morning nappy off and try on toilet, then hand over to childcare for the day who deal with 99% of the toilet issues in the week.

Sorry but if your at work all day I haven't a huge amount of sympathy. I assume you only have her 2-3 hrs after work awake, and the same max in the morning, probably less. Just relax a bit more. If she's upset and wants comfort give it to her, can't you both get into your bed and you can read and cuddle her before she falls asleep instead of stressing she isn't in own bed and her having tantrums

LittleBearPad Wed 28-Oct-15 09:11:31

What's causing the tantrums etc?

I'd stop the potty training for now too. There's no rush.

MerlinToadsHellishMuttonSnuff Wed 28-Oct-15 09:12:46

My DH works away pretty much every week. We have 3 x dcs, youngest is toddler. I hear what you are saying but don't have the same issues with DH so I do feel for you.

You should take time out when he comes home (doesn't need to be an overnighter). Don't seek thanks, approval or permission. I just smile and say "I'm meeting X at the weekend to catch up." Get ready early on a Saturday and go, go, go out (no sorting out the world and his mother before you go). Get your breakfast in town, arse around, meet a friend, go to a museum/gallery, whatever floats your boat. You need a little headspace by the sounds of things. A change of scene can blow away the cobwebs.

Also, unless you have a real need to do it, postpone the toilet training. Your dd doesn't sound ready.

Bullshitbingo is right in saying that your DH will be happy to see you coming back. For some people it's better that they experience things from your perspective firsthand instead of you telling them about it IYSWIM.

trollkonor Wed 28-Oct-15 09:16:30

I wouldn't be expecting a formal thankyou but would be pissed off if my partner didn't have some appreciation.

I don't understand some of the comments on here that you wanting a thankyou for letting him go to work!
You are working set hours and he benefits massively from this, he hasnt had to go to bosses and say everyday when that clock hits 5pm I have t be halfway out the door to get to nursery by 6pm. He doesnt have to worry what time he leaves work, he doesnt have to reject late meetings, he dosnt have to turn down traveling, or sort out childcare when he is away. His working life is carrying on just grand.

When my dp travels for work and I moan about teen tantrums he gives me some sympathy.

ButtonMoon88 Wed 28-Oct-15 09:17:21

I'm another one backing the whole leave potty training for a while, she may understand the concept completely but while dads away it's just another thing for her to get her head around and it's not necessary.

You are right there will be lots of attention seeking behaviour at this age and it's tough when you have parents who work away, so try use this time for the two of you to just hang out. What time do you get back from work? Why not spend the evenings doing something together, watch a film one night before bed, bake cookies the next night, perhaps paint her toenails if that's the kind of thing she likes...anything that's stress free, pressure off, don't worry about potty training until your all together and her routine is back to what she was used too

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