To ask DH to take a bit of responsibility for his tiredness?

(66 Posts)
rosettesforjill Tue 03-May-16 11:44:29

Apologies in the advance for the long ramble - if it doesn't make sense, I blame being very, very sleep deprived...

Our 18 month old DS often doesn't sleep very well. I still BF him to sleep, both at first putting down and during the night, where he usually wakes once, for anything from 30 minutes to four hours (!).

DH tries occasionally in the night when it's been a particularly long time, but that just results in DS screaming for me ("MAMMYYYYY! Milk! Yes please!" while in floods of tears - never one to let abject misery get in the way of good manners), even if it ends up just with me rubbing his back and singing him to sleep.

DS also wakes very early - around 5am - probably 30-40% of mornings.

I'm in bed by 10pm every night, as I know this is likely to happen. DH is not. He will sit downstairs until about midnight most nights playing on his computer games.

So here is the problem. In the morning, DH will invariably tell me he needs more sleep and so can't/won't take DS to play downstairs until his normal alarm time of 6:45. Between these times I'm generally desperately trying to get DS to sleep in our bed, which sometimes works but more often ends up with him emptying out all the clothes and shoes from our wardrobe, drawers and laundry basket, and all the rubbish out of the bin. I often end up in tears because I am just so exhausted by this point having been up in the night AND early in the morning while I can hear DH snoring in bed.

We both work. DH is the breadwinner by some margin and commutes, while I work from home three days a week; however, I will soon be starting a full-time job in an office (for a slightly higher rate of pay, but still not approaching what DH brings to the family). I am and will continue to be responsible for dropping DS off at nursery/childminder every day.

I feel a bit guilty about complaining about this because DH contributes so much more financially to the household, and so it is more important that he performs well at work as we couldn't do without his income. But AIBU to think that he could come to bed earlier and be less exhausted early in the morning to give me an occasional extra few minutes in bed? (With the added benefit that it might bring more opportunities for the sex that he constantly moans about not having enough of?)

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 03-May-16 11:52:20

YANBU. I can understand where both of you are coming from as I work and like to stay up late to get the most of my downtime. However, DH is a SAHD so he has a lot more downtime in the day to relax or nap or whatever.

I know this isn't what your post is about, but are you considering giving up the breastfeeding? The reason I ask is that I was the same as you (although DH wasn't an arse) knocked on my back with tiredness.

I took a week off from work, weaned DS off the boob by doing controlled crying in his own room. Was such a relief - after three days he could be put down to sleep in his own cot and didn't wake in the night for boob.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Tue 03-May-16 11:53:51

Oh and money and performance are not related to this issue, you both have a child not just you. If his work performance is altered so much by getting up with his child every so often then he needs to make a change and that doesn't mean passing it off to you!

rosettesforjill Tue 03-May-16 11:58:53

Felicia Thanks for your replies - I'm glad I'm not being a complete selfish bitch!

Yes I would like to night wean at least before I start my new job and I'll have a couple of weeks' annual leave to take so hoping to use that as my opportunity. He doesn't genuinely need it to go to sleep as he puts himself into his bed and goes to sleep within five minutes at nursery.

Sallyingforth Tue 03-May-16 12:09:01

Relative salaries are irrelevant. You both made the child and you are equally responsible for its care. He should not be playing games instead of arranging a compatible sleep pattern. YANBU and HIBU.

SewSlapdash Tue 03-May-16 12:10:00

When I returned to work we went through a period where I weaned DS and (whether connected or not) he started a phase of being a shit sleeper. Both DH and I were broken. I had a permanent headache and I was making serious mistakes at work. DH nearly got divorced.

I know this is not what your post is really about (and I agree that it's not good for you and DH to get into a competition about who is more tired, it's completely pointless) but you need to knock this business on the head for everyone's sake. I'm not saying that you have to stop BF if you don't want to, but you have to get a grip on your DS' sleep, for everyone's sake. My DS was always a happy soul, but his mood improved hugely when he started sleeping better, the effect was obvious.

Sceptimum Tue 03-May-16 12:14:54

Your husband needs to come to bed earlier. But, as a night owl, I see why he might not - I am not tired at 10pm and that hour or two of adult time is so precious I hate going to bed early!
Have you told him exactly what you said in your op about more sex and needing an occasional break? Your poor thing. Sleep dep is the worst.

pinkdelight Tue 03-May-16 12:22:24

Agree with PPs who say the real problem here that needs sorting is your DS's sleep issues, then both of you can get a decent night's kip, which should be possible by 18months and will be essential when you start your office job. I totally sympathise as I had this issue with DS2, but it got fixed remarkably quickly when I went away for a long weekend. This meant no more BF and DH dealing with DS2 in the night for that weekend. He was pretty frazzled when I got back, but by then DS2 was weaned (forgot about BF v quickly) and if he did wake in the night (which swiftly got much rarer), then he shouted for DH - result! We both tended to him of course, but only briskly and not with milk, and soon we were all getting some proper sleep.

In the meantime, sure your DH could do with going to bed a bit earlier, but that really is the side issue. I also wouldn't have the DS in your bed, doing the shoes, bin stuff. Some kids just don't do co-sleeping (neither of mine did), so it's pointless trying, just gets them more excited. Pick up, put back down in cot, then go back to bed yourself, with ear plugs. Maybe I'm harsh, but sometimes you have to be for a little while, till the habit's broken.

Ferrerotoffeemint Tue 03-May-16 12:24:54

It's your choice to still BF your 18 month DS which seems to be the main cause of his waking up in the middle of the night for so long. Your DH is not complaining about this choice of yours but it is directly related to your DH not being able to sleep properly. If you demand any changes from your DH then you will have to review the BF situation. As for expecting your DH to get up before 6.45 to play with your DS before he goes to work is IMHO totally unreasonable if he is being kept awake in the middle of the night.

LadyReuleaux Tue 03-May-16 12:25:16

Firstly this will pass, DS will sleep better eventually. Secondly I can see both sides as I'm a night owl too and love to stay up late – however I know I have to pay the price in the morning. If i have an early start, and I choose to stay up late, than I have to be tired and lump it. I'd do a rota with you both taking turns at the early starts, then tell DH he is getting up with DS on his day however little sleep he has had. It's for him to manage that and go to bed earlier if he wants more sleep.

Another suggestion for the early mornings - ipad or similar. Look for some absorbing drawing or game apps for DS's age group. Prop him up in bed next to you while you snooze on for a bit. It's not top quality sleep, but you get to lie in bed for a bit longer. And it's educational honest!

Ferrerotoffeemint Tue 03-May-16 12:27:45

Basically your choice to BF at 18 months through the night is the root of your problems.

ChicRock Tue 03-May-16 12:31:14

Seems none of it of working for either of you.

From the breastfeeding to the trying to get your DS back to sleep at 5am in your bed - I'm sure while he's decimating your bedroom your DH is not sleeping soundly until his alarm goes off (unless he's in another room).

As a start you and your DH need to take it in turns to do the 5am get up and either take your DS downstairs leaving the other one to get some sleep, or try and get DS back to sleep in his own room until a more reasonable hour.

Thurlow Tue 03-May-16 12:32:15

YANBU at all.

You both have a small child, and one who isn't keen on sleep. So you both need to take responsibility. From an outside perspective, one of you should be dealing with the middle of the night wake ups, and the other needs to be dealing with the early morning wake ups.

However, also from an outside perspective, at 18m and with you about to start working out of the house, it's probably time to start looking at what you can do to encourage your DS to start sleeping better, even if it is just fixing the nighttime wakings.

You need to talk about it and explain the affect it is having on both of you and your relationship. Competitive tiredness is something we all do, but at the end of the day it's not effective and it doesn't achieve anything (if only it did though!). A plan to try and wean your DS off the night milk and sleeping through, perhaps with you doing that and your DH doing the early mornings so you can get some more sleep, will hopefully work.

Your DH should find that if he starts waking earlier, he'll be tired earlier. DP used to be a night owl and a terrible sleeper but after having DC and needing to share the nighttimes and early mornings his sleep has gradually phased around to a more 'normal' (i.e. with young children) 11-7.

ImperialBlether Tue 03-May-16 12:33:02

I agree with the others. BF at night is actually disturbing your son's sleep and that needs to get sorted. Your husband needs to get to bed a bit earlier, though, and take some responsibility for his own tiredness.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 03-May-16 12:35:55

Yanbu amd yabu.

if he can't sleep at 10 he can't sleep at 10. but his late nights won't be helping g.

however an 28 month old doesn't need feeding g in the night so it's probably time to do some sleep training g as those nights sound ridiculous and unsustainable fir all of you

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 03-May-16 12:36:10

18 month old

Believeitornot Tue 03-May-16 12:36:30

So dh is the father of this child? Why should you feel guilty when he provided half of the DNA....? Yes he earns more but that doesn't negate that he has a responsibility as well

Have you spoken to him about this in clear terms?

arethereanyleftatall Tue 03-May-16 12:37:35

Like the others, I would be focussing on not giving a 1 and a half year old toddler milk feeds in the middle of the night. Not good for you, not good for the toddler to not be sleeping 12 hours straight, not good for his teeth.
Yes, your dh should go to bed sooner, but downtime is so nice!

ThereIsIron Tue 03-May-16 12:40:48

Main issue is DS not sleeping and BF at 18 months is not helping. Stop BF, sort out the sleep issues and you'll be fine. DH staying up until midnight is a red herring.

BarbarianMum Tue 03-May-16 12:42:07

Get your dh to do the night wakings and you do the early mornings. Your ds will realise within days that there is no more milk at night and will hopefully start to sleep through, or at least be easier to settle. Then when/if he starts sleeping through you can share the early mornings.

BarbarianMum Tue 03-May-16 12:42:44

Oh and I'm not suggesting you stop BF unless you want to - just not in the night.

Believeitornot Tue 03-May-16 12:43:18

I also will add, I BF mine until they were 2+ plus, so at night would try and resettle without feeding first. My dh also helped with night wakings at that age.

Mine still woke at night - not always for milk. And they're now aged 6&4 and I get the odd disturbed night (wee, nightmares etc).

Re the early mornings - have you ruled out the lighter mornings, bird noise and temp? Ours sleep longer if they don't get so cold and the room is properly blacked out

FlyingScotsman Tue 03-May-16 12:43:41

I fully disagree that it's just a sleep and bfing issue.

Your issue is first and foremost your DH attitude that basically says that getting up with your dc (and doing all the childrearing by the sounds of it) is your responsibility only and he doesn't have to do anything else other than help when he feels like it. As it happens, he doesn't feel like it in the am (and I suspect not during the weekend either).

This has NOTHING to do with how much you earn. You are both working full time. You are not a SAHM. So really getting up at night and in the am should be a 50/50 responsibility.

I would really have a word with him about it and reassess his involvement in looking after your ds.
This is his child too and he needs to look after him too (unless he is planning to be either a Disney dad or be a distant dad).

Re sleep, yes trying to sort the issue out will help. However, it migt well be that there is no relationship with the bfing (dc2 was bfed and didn't sleep through until he was well over 2yo. DH was getting up as well as me. I wasn't bfing at night. Dc2 still didn't sleep through).
But surely this should be something you would want to sort out together rather than your issue and not his???

Believeitornot Tue 03-May-16 12:43:59

I meant to add, am hmm at the anti BF brigade!

FlyingScotsman Tue 03-May-16 12:46:51

Btw, I'm sure your DH can go to bed earlier if he wanted to. It would help a lot for him not to feel so tired in the am. And as someone said before, getting up earlier will help him falling asleep earlier too.
Not playing on computer games would help. They are well known to be a hazard for sleep. The blue light from screen has an 'awakening' effect on the brain, ie the brain can't produce the sleep hormones necessary to fall asleep duper to that type of light.

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