to ask for your opinions about a woman's role and responsibilities on mat leave(127 Posts)
And how much does your DH help? Does he have specific jobs or do you feel baby/household is your job while on mat-leave?
Does he help during the night?
What about weekends?
How do you allocate personal time?
(I'm not a researcher... I'm planning to show this thread to DH as we'd like to know what other parents do)
DS is 6months, wakes every 1-2hours at night, sometimes has a 3-hour stretch. Can be difficult to settle after feeds. EBF at night but will take bottle/sippy-cup. Goes down at 6pm up for day by 6am, often awake for few hours in night.
DH has a high-stress job (with 1-hour commute each way) leaves house around 9am back around 7pm.
Mom does all the baby stuff. and the majority of the housework. Anything dh doesn't do or want to do , he pays someone else to do.
Others may disagree, but thats my opinion.
We didn't really change roles from me working full time to be honest.
Didn't want to change the dynamic which would ultimately be going back to both of us working full-time.
I guess the only thing was that he didn't have to take any time off for ill DC as I was at home for a year.
Housework was shared as was night wakings after I night weaned.
Ok, Mine was 21 years ago, but from memory, I did all night wakings in the week, but dh drove for a living and needed unbroken sleep. He would do last bottle. Weekends got 1sleep in each.
Personal time - he had ds every Tuesday from 12 onwards. He got Saturday from 12 onwards.
I did everything really as a rule, but if I was struggling of course dh would help me, because he loves me and wanted to make my life better.
Now I realise that sounds sickening and romantic! And the reality was a lot messier and shouty.....mainly because I hated asking for help and felt he should read my mind, so I let it get to point of exhaustion before I'd ask him to do a night feed etc.
I think the problem with asking what other people do is that it depends so much on what the baby is like tbh. If they are fairly chilled, so you can get on with things, I think its fair (on week days) for the person at home to do housework as well as baby care. However if they are a non sleeping refluxy baby, then their job is just to survive the day with them and baby warm, fed and cleanish, and the partner has to do a lot more.
Either way, evening time should be discussed, and weekend jobs, baby care etc divided equally on agreement.
Its all about communication, not assuming anything, and setting yourselves up for the next 18 years of parenting
It's very personal and you have to work out what works best for you
I had a very short maternity leave so we agreed that I would basically spend the days with dd, potter a bit at home but basically continue as usual with us both doing our share of the chores and cooking etc.
I did all of the nighttime stuff as it seemed unfair that dh had a disturbed night and then was expected to do a stressful job at work all day. If I had a bad night with dd she and I could rest during the following day. He did however help with bath time and bedtime. He also always did the late feed around 11pm and the early one around 6 am so I could get an early night, and a lie in. We had intentions of taking it in turns but in reality it just didn't work for us. Once I went back to work, I co slept with dd, which meant we all slept well and were rested for the coming day. Dd is now 3, and we still co sleep to a lesser degree (she appears sometime in the wee small hours!) dh will sleep in the spare room if he has an important meeting or early start
I think the key is to be flexible. Some days dd would sleep happily in a cot or play in the jumperoo and I got loads done. Others weren't so productive!
Oh and personal time, as and when. If I want a day out with friends/spa/night out/facial etc. I just say I'd like to do this on x day and he says yep that's fine. Equally if he wants to go on a lads weekend (like this weekend) that's fine too
While I was on maternity leave I did all the night wakings. Housework was shared as always although I probably did more because I was there to do it. Dh would get up early with the baby at the weekends to give me a lie in, but he's an early bird anyway, if he'd not been we would've taken turns with that. Once I was back at work it's all shared ( or ignored in the case of housework)
There is no right or wrong way.
Personally I did more housework in May leave. It meant we had more time with the kids at weekends and evenings.
Some days especially when they were newborns that would be an epic fail and I wouldn't even be dressed. Just one of those things.
Dh went to bed later than me so would do the first couple of wakings (neither of mine slept for more than an hour or so until they were toddlers ) then I would take over.
If he was up early, driving or had a long day I would do them all.
When he got home on an evening, things would be 50:50. One cook while one watches the baby. Take it runs of doing the bath and bedtime routine etc.
I never handed the kids straight off to him and expected him to do all the childcare in the evening, neither do he expect tea on the table.
It's about respect for each other. Some days one will be more knackered than the other. Some days stuff will hero be, some days not. Some days you will do more, some days he may do more.
As long as everyone is happy and pulling their weight. Into, that's fine.
One tip would be to not get into competitiveness. The whole 'I am more tired than you' or 'I worked harder than you' never ends well and causes resentment.
Oh and I have always worked full time apart from Mat leave.
Everything was 50:50 then. I would do mornings as dh generally started early. So school run, packed lunch, uniforms etc.
He would do school pick up, dinner, bath etc as I finished later.
We not both work from home. He does all the cooking, I do all the washing. Everything else is just done as we go.
My DH did not change his schedule at all. I did everything. Baby was EBf for a year, I did all night wakings, all baths etc etc even on weekends. Housework was done by cleaner and I cooked or did ready meals. He also went on his usual golf and skiing holidays without us. When I went back to work FT he allowed me to have a lie in on Sundays. He has a high stress but high earning job. I resented it a lot at the time and afterwards but now I am a SAHM and I have FT childcare, cleaner cook etc. he wants me to go back to work but I am not going to. If he argues the toss, I highlight how he has literally done FA to help me for the last 4 1/2 years. I would say to get your DH to do as much as he can. It helps with bonding and you won't end up hating him.
If he leaves at 9am (??) he can do a few things before he goes, put a wash on, tidy the kitchen for the day (even pop to the supermarket as it's often quieter first thing, school run traffic allowing). Once at work you should be doing the majority of everything else and then perhaps DH can get dinner on or clear up after in the evenings. Big jobs around the house can be shared on a Saturday morning etc.
I'm a bit old fashioned though and know many won't agree. Obviously there will be days when it just doesn't happen, but it can work.
I had all good intentions of doing all housework and having a meal on the table when DH arrived home every night. It is so much harder than you think when you have a baby to get things done. DD is almost 4 months now. We have a cleaner. I try to cook but often DH ends up finishing it or starting it even when he arrives home at 7.30, as I am stuck feeding. I do laundry, he does washing up...erm, basically we share the load. Lots doesn't get done. DH does more the kitchen than before. We have two older DCs too so that creates a lot of work for me and school & nursery runs often mean I'm so busy with them the house stuff gets forgotten. I do all night feeds. DH is out at 7.15am and back 7.30pm, 1.5 hour commute. Be prepared to do cooking/cleaning whatever in 5 minute slots as baby only satisfied for short periods without attention! Naps only in pram so far, not conducive to getting things done!
I had a poor sleeper and made mat leave so, so hard, especially once it passed the 6-8 month of still no sleep. Those long awake sessions at night are a killer.
If you're suffering with sleep dep,
I would say just do what you can do and prioritise sleep. Sleep in the day if possible. I didn't as I felt I needed to do house stuff and regret it.
The lack of sleep really effected my mental health after a while and almost destroyed my marriage. We were fighting over who does what, when really the problem was I could barely function, I was hallucinating at one point from sheer exhaustion. With a non sleeper it really is all hands on deck.
DP is on pat leave. I'm out 8-7, I BF am, eve and at night.
Dp does all washing cooking cleaning, most shopping.
He does c. 70% of non BF baby care when both home.
Dp does household admin.
We both get some baby and work free time every week.
I looked after baby and did all house work , cooking, washing
Weekends were for family time , going out together etc.
We just mucked in and did what was needed, no specific rules. If I was too tired/busy to do something that would normally be my thing, he'd do it. And vice versa.
DH tried not to stay late at work so he could get home quickly to give me a break. I tried to let him get an undisturbed sleep because come the morning, if I wanted to slob in my pajamas until 12 I could, but he had to be up and at work by 8.30. I think setting rigid rules just isn't realistic sometimes. There needs to be flexibility on both sides.
Sticking to what you've both agreed you're 'entitled' to can cause problems. For example, even though I'd try to ensure he had an undisturbed night, sometimes I was so exhausted with a colicky baby that I needed him to step in and allow me some sleep, even if it was an hour or two - if he'd said to me "no, we agreed, you're on your own" it would have bred resentment.
My DH has a very stressful and responsible job. He's out of the house 5.45 - 7.45. I usually do as much as I can during the weekdays as he's not around. He did get up with DS a lot when he was little because he was worried about how badly lack of sleep was affecting me.
At the weekends DH takes over as primary carer, because he wants to. So he does everything baby related and I get to catch up on stuff I haven't done during the week.
Ds3 is 6 weeks old. He's ff. Dh does the 10.30pm feed then settles him allowing me to get an earlier night then I do any other feeds/settling during the night.
At weekends we take turns to have a lie in on sat/sun.
I do majority of housework (although that's because I'm in the swing of things with kids- I didn't when I was a new mum and more overwhelmed- in fact then dh used to do the laundry and everything).
It's getting a balance that works for you- ours has changed and changed again over time and with each new dc. Ideally it's getting a balance where you don't resent each other!!!
I did all the night wakings bar Friday night. Unfair to expect the adult who still has to work the next day to get up unless you're too ill.
Housework I did in the day, shopped online and cooked in the evenings whilst DH had time with the children.
He did any DIY and garden bits at weekend.
Its still pretty similar now bar we share night wakings if the children are ill. I finish earlier so can be home and have the house bits done before DH is home. Weekends are for fun, chilling and maybe a bit of gardening or DIY.
My DS was similar and had a lot of colic. DH was working full time and doing PT course at uni as well, so 3 nights a week was out 9am-10pm and would be often handed a screaming baby as soon as he stepped foot in the door.
I did most of the night wakings but if I was tired DH would step up, DH cleaned the kitchen after dinner every night, and household jobs like laundry and shopping of a weekend. I don't think having a stressful job should be a get out of jail free card and a excuse any DH/DP to not contribute
My DH is out at least 7-7 self employed stressful job.
Ok, we would take it in turns with night feeds (to be honest if baby is awake the whole house is awake so it doesn't matter whose doing it). Occasionally I would sleep on the sofa with baby to give him a rest when I could see he was reaching maximum tiredness!!
We didn't change for weekends
I would do us dinner, do the washing and attempt to tidy and clean. But main objective of the day is baby, keeping baby fed, clean and happy.
Supermarket shop done together in the evening. He would also take over baby duties when he got home.
Now I'm a sahm to school age I've upped the cleaning.
Do you both have the same amount if free time?
Is he supportive? And how does he react if you ask him for more support?
Do you feel valued?
Is one person doing all the 'drudge' and the other person getting the good times?
I think those are the types of questions you need to ask in order to work out whether your partner is pulling his weight.
I'd also say that lack of sleep is a form of torture and regardless of the above he needs to be giving you a break on that (whether it's taking over some of the night shifts or giving you a lie in some mornings).
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