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About dh behaviour since going back to work?!

(35 Posts)
Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 08:19:15

Dh is lovely lovely good man but if has one flaw (and I'd be the first to admit I have several) it's being slightly thoughtless / disorganised. He has been back at work for two weeks after three weeks paternity leave (was going to take four and btw this was largely annual leave he built up not a perk so we've not been away together all year bar visiting his parents which definitely doesn't count!) and clearly feels the need to make up lost time and get back in good books (new boss and also manages large team which I think he really cares about liking him, fair enough but you can care too much) His role is demanding and can involve long hrs but he said he'd manage this. Last week came back after midnight on weds, promised to be early rest of week and wasn't back til eight, this week is going to be late three nights, all because of Christmas socials which i get can be important but surely u can just show your face buy the team a round if u have to then go, and feels like I'm having to really argue for him to be home to spend any time with me and ds who is only five weeks old today! On the Friday he came back late smelling of beer explaining he's been drinking in office as team has had big week and wanted to say thanks bringing beers in as had to work late Friday which I get but also think could have given a colleague some money to get them and come home esp as I used to work in office with Friday booze and you never work as efficiently. I want him to do baths with us but impossible to plan without knowing when he will be home so either schedule (ha ha as if we have one but trying!!) goes out window or he misses it. Whenever I ask about specific times he will be home it seems impossible for him to answer. He seems shattered and a bit mardy and fairly unaware that we are up three times a night with feeds (deep sleeper) and this morning woke us both up putting bright light on outside our room - was seven but we'd been feeding til six so needed a lie in - and was pretty unapologetic. Don't want to row or make home seem like obligation but am so tired myself that need the support in evenings ideally before eight and feel hurt having to argue the case for him to see us over getting sloshed!! Aibu? How do I fix this?!

Fratelli Fri 04-Dec-15 08:50:05

His behaviour is unacceptable and tbh it sounds like he's trying to use work to shirk his responsibilities at home. Maybe he's feeling overwhelmed with a new baby (not like you have the option to be though!) Definitely talk to him about how you feel and ask him what's going on. He should want to spend time with the baby! flowers

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 08:51:06

Just feels horrible having to persuade him to spend time with us over work colleagues let alone feel can't rely on him... Feels all 1950s esp as thought had sorted it out after sensible chat last week and now back at square one so wondering if need to be more manipulative or something somehow - prob mad sleep deprivation talking but thinking of speaking to his mum or friends as think they would inderstand

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 08:52:33

I can only give advice from my own pov.

When I went back to work after my first child, I threw myself into work. Including the social scene.

Deep down I felt more pressure to secure my job. In my industry the nights out are a big deal. People who attend do go further. It's shit but it's a fact.

I wasn't the sole earner, but I was so scared of losing my job I really tried my hardest. Eventually I had enough and chilled and realised being good at my job was enough.

But for a while I did think if my bosses liked me more, if I was more sociable, put extra effort in...I was safe.

Christmas is the time of year that business out extra pressure on their staff to be sociable. It's really difficult to try and balance it.

What I am saying is he may be giving into more pressure because he now is responsible for a baby.

I would speak to him and tell him how you feel and ask him how he feels about it. No accusations, just a calm discussion and go from there.

This is all based on the fact that you said he is a good man. The other alternative could be that he is being selfish and grabbing his freedom and shirking responsibility whilst using work as an excuse.

In which case a serious chat is needed, because this isn't ok.

ThisOldFool Fri 04-Dec-15 08:54:00

Up sticks and go home to Mum until you feel better and he learns to put you and DC first. I put "my career" first for years and have spent the last 30 bitterly regretting those lost years with DW and three gorgeous kids.

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 08:54:28

so wondering if need to be more manipulative or something somehow

It's never good to be in a position where you are thinking of being manipulative and it's a slippery slope.

What do you expect his mum to do?

Definitely confide in a friend, but I don't think it's fair to put his mum in the middle.

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 08:57:49

You're right... Mum option mad... Just think he often thinks he is right and I am irrational (often true) and not taken what it had about this on board... Not sure how to explain!!!

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 09:04:26

Has he always behaved like this?

If so you need to remind him that you didn't have this baby alone. The baby has 2 parents.

If he hasn't, you need to get to the bottom of it.if it's about securing his job. The pressure he is putting himself under will eventually cause him problems and he will crack.

If it's selfishness he needs to get a grip.

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 09:06:54

He's often been a bit like this... Bad time management, thinks things unavoidable which aren't at all, crap at prioritising, got used to it but at mo feel like really not ok

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 09:14:39

Presumably divorce territory if call and speak to team secretary about need for him to be home in rvenings?! This almost def sleep deprivation....

GloGirl Fri 04-Dec-15 09:17:48

It really isn't ok. I wouldn't mind about drinks after work once or twice as long as he was helping out at home in the mornings and in the evenings. Or the nights.

I'd be dammed if I was going to act like an unpaid overworked nanny. You're the mother of his child, his wife and you are a team. If he doesn't start treating you and your child like you are all together in this I'd LTB.

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 09:31:57

Going to try rational chat again tonight.... Bloody hard not knowing team dynamics how essential all these social dos are... We need the money from his job which is well paid as an teacher so great maternity pay first few months then smp so couldn't cover mortgage etc so appreciate not all black and white just feel like in 1950 and clueless about how to fix it!

LostInMess Fri 04-Dec-15 09:39:46

OP, if he's coming home late due to work socials, then YANBU. It will sort itself out come January but you need to make sure he knows your point of view to get things sorted before then.

If it is sometimes down to work though, then there might be another point of view. I had DC4 10 weeks ago and currently have my other 3 off school/preschool with a bug so am feeling similarly at end of my rope. DH tends to leave around 6 and get back at 8, so not quite as bad as yours but it rarely home for bath time and I do question if he always needs to be at work so long (he does at the moment but generally, esp when he can leave at 6 to meet a mate for drinks). I thinks lot comes down to personality - DH is very conscientious and does have a lot of work to do so is totally focused on it when there and rarely has a clue what's going on at home - we've just learned to work round it as he tends not to work for the most family-friendly employers. I totally identify with your remark about going back to the 50s though - that's exactly how I felt about DC1, she was an October birthday and I remember how short the days felt and how alone I was - and I really resented DH being able to continue his life as normal and not rush home. I know now that he really felt the pressure of being main breadwinner and was again in a culture where he was expected to just get back on with things - and that was after very little time off for the birth. Didn't discuss it properly at the time though - it would have been so much easier if we had. I would suggest asking DH to take the little one tomorrow morning and prioritising a sleep for you - hopefully you can then discuss things a bit more calmly. You might also want to start building a support group for you a bit more - maybe speak to HV and start getting to baby groups - if bathtime is an issue, don't bathe the baby every night but just do a massage instead.- that way it could be special time for you and the baby if DH doesn't get back. But definitely prioritise your sleep this weekend, put your foot down about the drinking and make sure you look after yourself.

Good luck and congratulations on your baby. x

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 09:45:50

We need the money from his job which is well paid

maybe it is pressure then?

If you are going back to work, how will it work when you go back if he is never at home?

What do you think it is?

Do you think he is checking out? Or do you think he is feeling the pressure of being the one whose job means you can pay the mortgage in the short term?

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 04-Dec-15 09:52:04

I imagine in your DH's head he's trying to make a good impression about being back and being committed. He'll see the work he's doing as essential and he probably doesn't want to feel like the office bore.

Of course what he's neglecting to think of is that he's choosing to spend extra time at the office which means he's choosing not to spend time with his DW and teeny tiny DS as well.

I think the chat needs to go something like: "You have to work 9-5 (or whatever his hours are) which means you have to be out of the house from 7 - 6pm. This leaves the hours from 6 - 10pm as hours that you can choose what to do with. At the moment you're spending all those optional hours choosing to do work, not choosing to spend time with us. That's not fair on me or DS, and if you WANT to see your son grow up then it's probably not the best choice for you either"

dodobookends Fri 04-Dec-15 09:52:06

Crikey, how many work 'socials' are there? Wherever I've worked, there's only been one Christmas 'do' - the younger single/child-free staff tend to go to the pub on Fridays lunchtimes or after work but that's it.

Nobody would expect a newly-returned from-paternity-leave dad to do anything other than get their nose to the grindstone during the working day, and clear the backlog that had built up during their absence.

Nervouswithnewborn Fri 04-Dec-15 10:13:10

Went down the mature road of texting a load of grievances this morning - he's called and been nice and going to be home early as possible tonight then no more lates next week... Had to ask when bath time was angry

Fratelli Fri 04-Dec-15 10:24:55

Hmm it does sound like pressure to do well then. Tbf asking when bath time is is fine imo. Many people aren't in a set routine at 5 weeks. At least he asked so he knows when to come home.

Enjolrass Fri 04-Dec-15 10:28:46

Don't start getting angry because he asked what time bath time was.

He is said he going to do it, if he doesn't then get angry. If you start getting angry when he clarifies details you aren't going to get anywhere.

No one is perfect, we are all a bit shut in our own ways. Just take a deep breath and see what happens.

Dh baths ds every other night. He still asks what time he should do it on occasion.

He is rubbish with time. Which is why (we work together now) I am the scheduler for work and he is the creative one. I couldn't do what he does, he couldn't do what I do.

DramaQueen38 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:30:04

OK , I think you are being unreasonable. Let's get it into perspective.

Your baby is five weeks old ( Congratulations!) You do not need to fix this, you need to get used to it and find a way to make your 2 lives work. Your day job has changed but his day job needs to continue as normal and it does not sound to me like he is being at all unreasonable.

- Your dh is a lovely lovely good man,
- we need the money from his job which is well paid
- he has just had 3 weeks off, deservedly, but he has been invisible for 3 weeks. - Very soon, I imagine he will be off again for another week - 10 days minimum over Christmas, so he will have plenty of bath times etc then.
- he woke up and put bright light on outside your room (not inside - I guess he needed to get dressed for work?)

Well paid jobs - usually quite senior. He is expected to become very visible again - socials with staff to thank them for their hard work = normal, December drinks with key customers are part of that ( it's the bit of my job I really dislike now I have kids, I would much rather hot foot it home to my kids and I bet he feels the same way, but professionally, he needs to go along.) He is not choosing to spend extra time at the office - he is expected to do what his job requires and in December there is an expectation that you celebrate with your staff and customers.

It sounds to me like he is ensuring he can continue to provide for his new family and show his commitment to his company. I think you should give him a break, look forward to his next time off at Christmas and bank up your times when you need to strongly request he gets home early and does bath time for when you are sick, baby is unwell etc and you really NEED him there, rather than want him there.

I appreciate having a newborn can be exhausting but make sure you catch up on sleep in the day when your baby sleeps, nap together... drop the housework etc. It is very early days and you will find it easier and easier and harder and easier and harder again. It's a rollercoaster and it's the best ride ever, but he needs to go to work and maintain a professional career whilst you are home with your gorgeous newborn.

manana21 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:39:34

i think neither of you is being unreasonable - you need more support, your DH is feeling pressure at work, can you get some support elsewhere without rancour? If it's a temporary crunch, explain to him you need a bit more support, understand he's busy and get help from family. DH felt a lot more responsible after each DC, it was like he was programmed as soon as he saw the baby and I don't think it's that uncommon. Try and be kind to each other - as well as honestly saying, you need more support, he feels he can't provide it right now.

PuntasticUsername Fri 04-Dec-15 10:53:05

What DramaQueen said. You're five weeks in with a new baby - that's a really tough time, when you're on your knees with exhaustion from sleep deprivation and all the other strains that go with having a new cold. It's also the time when you need to figure out how you're going to pull together as a parenting team, because it's ALL changed, it'll never be the same again and it's up to both of you to make it work.

So neither of you IBU necessarily - maybe you're both just overwhelmed. Be honest with him about how you feel, listen to him in return, and work out the solutions together.

PuntasticUsername Fri 04-Dec-15 10:54:05

New cold? New child. A cold wouldn't help either, mind.

NeededANameChangeAnyway Fri 04-Dec-15 11:01:30

December is a difficult month with all the work parties and so on, in a lot of industries there is a huge amount of 'presenteeism' - certainly is true of my own industry where people who attend these things get to interact on a less formal way with senior bosses and so on which can work wonders long term, not sure if this is the case with your DH but I wouldn't automatically assume he is deliberately staying out to avoid helping with the baby.

Something to consider is that this is a massive change for your DH as well and he might be having trouble adjusting to things - pressure to keep his job to provide for his family, changes to the routine etc. not making excuses but it is something to perhaps consider.

My DS is 2 now but I do remember the first 6 weeks as being the worst - it's a huge shock to the system just how little sleep you are getting especially if you're breast feeding - I felt like I was awake for days without sleep as DS would feed every couple of hours then need a nappy change and so on. I took on the brunt of things because I was breastfeeding - I felt there was no point in DH getting up as he couldn't feed DS - even though this was something we had discussed and agreed beforehand it was hard not to feel angry that DH was sleeping and I was not.

Agree with the poster above about developing a support group - getting out of the house to speak to another adult, even if you're knackered, is worth it. Speaking to other women in the same position was good, even if all we did was repeat how tired we were!

I think you need to sit down and have a proper conversation about it, but in the meantime, definitely make sure you have a long lie tomorrow - a decent sleep works wonders for your mood.

BitOutOfPractice Fri 04-Dec-15 11:13:47

Have you said to him "Look, I know you think I am being irrational / hormonal / nagging. But do you actually realise how serious this is? I am considering leaving you. That's how serious it is."

ThisOldFool sad I have a friend who feels exactly the same. Woke up one morning and realised he didn't really know his son. He's trying to make up for it now but...

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