DH, two young DC and sleep(59 Posts)
I'm just after honest opinions as to who is BU here so please don't flame me, im tired and my brain is frazzled so just trying to get perspective.
We have 2 DC, oldest is 2 and is a truly awful sleeper. Youngest is 12 weeks and isn't a bad sleeper for her age. She is EBF if that's relevant.
Before youngest was born I always did nightshift with toddler and early mornings as I'm a sahm. Except in very late pregnancy DH did do a bit so I could rest. We agreed once baby was born that DH would deal with toddler at night and i would tend to baby due to the breastfeeding. DH works full time so I do also help with the toddler, getting up with him every morning without fail from 4.30 onwards. DH does deal with him during the night but its more 50/50 now I would say. I go to him if I hear him unless im already feeding the baby. Obviously I deal with baby. DH has never once got up with her in the night. She's in a side sleeper crib next to me so I hear her before she's properly awake and tend to her.
So the problem is this really...every morning DH throws a huge strop over lack of sleep. He usually goes in to spare bed and goes back to bed and is rarely up before 9 on weekends. I've never had or even been offered to do this since DD was born. During the week its the same story really, I get up with kids whenever DS is up, DH goes back to bed until he absolutely has to get up for work.
He shouts at DS for having had a bad night yet doesn't do anything about it - I've said (and have on the occasions that I go to him during the night) that we need to. Stick to a rigid strategy for dealing with him ie putting him back in his own bed if he gets in with us etc but DH just can't accept that, we all then have a rubbish night, DH wakes up, has a strop, shouts at DS, DS cries, DH goes back to bed then im left to deal with tearful, overtired toddler and12 week old baby having had not a lot of sleep myself.
Now I know that im a sahm and that DH works but i am just very tired... Who is BU here? My whole body aches with tiredness and I feel very tearful and anxious and I cant get perspective to see if its me or him.
DH is always apologetic when he rolls out of bed and usually buys me something it takes me out for lunch.... But that's not the same as sleep which is what I need.
Sorry for the ramble and moan. By all means tell me to pull my big girl pants up and get on with it if im being a whinger!
He sounds unreasonable for never offering you a weekend lie in.
I don't understand why it always falls to the sahp to do all of the hard stuff. It's both your child, if you have an agreement he should be pulling his weight. Maybe you need another chat to discuss how it's managed if you feel you aren't getting the support in the areas you need - he sounds like he volunteered when he didn't realise how difficult it would be but now that times arrived....
DH wakes up, has a strop, shouts at DS, DS cries, DH goes back to bed then im left to deal with tearful, overtired toddler
This is not acceptable on any level. Shouting at your DS, who is only 2, is really not helpful to anyone and is probably quite upsetting for your 2 year, to say the least.
Lack for sleep is terrible and I really sympathise. But him lying in until 9am every morning and never letting you have a similar lie in, is also not acceptable. Yes, you are a SAHM, but you are not lazing around during the house doing nothing all day, you have your hands blimmin full with two young children and you need a rest too!!! Your DH needs to sort himself out.
Each couple have to find a way that works for them. Our arrangement was that anything from 9 to 4am (apart from BF) DH dealt with and after 4am it was down to me. I'm a morning person and he's an owl so that worked for us.
I never had a lie in, never wanted one.
It sounds like you are both struggling.
Thank you for your replies, im so glad its not just me being tired and emotional. I will have a strong coffee and try and attempt another chat with him later on (I raise the issue most weekends without anything changing) maybe I will show him this.
YANBU - he is, for shouting at your 2yo for a start. I do get how extreme tiredness makes one short-tempered but lashing out at a toddler is not on.
Also he needs to work with you to have a consistent strategy for dealing with your son. I'd highly recommend agreeing the approach and then writing it down - sounds silly but it's surprisingly helpful in the dark hours to look at it written down and remember there is a plan.
Finally, you should definitely be getting at least one opportunity to catch up on sleep at the weekend. You need to ask for this - I know he should offer of his own accord but failing that you have to ask, don't let him get away with just acting as it it's his due.
NoSun - that's a good arrangement. We never really had an arrangement with DC1 as I just did it all. I may suggest something similar as he's more of a night owl.
YANBU. You also have a full time job during the day, plus it's unkind to scream at your 2 years old.
As practical solutions go, do you have childcare available for your 2 years old so you could nap with baby?
DS (3) has been co-sleeping with DH while I was taking care of the baby. We are now all in same room with DS sleeping on a separate mattress.
Mrs Malcolm - great idea I will write down a nighttime plan of action. Thank you.
Gym - DS has two mornings a week at nursery and I've tried my hardest to nap while hrs there but there's always so much to do around the house.....the age old division of household chores is another thread though
He is unreasonable. Stories like this make me so mad! For comparison - I have a 5 month old and a 3 year old, the 3 year old is quite often up in the night. Before I had the baby I would usually deal with the 3 year old as I'm a SAHM. Since having DS2 DH has dealt with any wakings from the 3 year old and also gets up with him in the mornings if he's up early. He works long hours - out of the house at 6.30am - home 7.30pm at the earliest. On weekends we each have a lie in. Yes we are both tired and occasionally grumpy, but neither of us are chronically sleep deprived. Your DH is being selfish, pure and simple.
It does sound like you are both under the cosh at the moment and I can relate to this, being a SAHP when my girls were little and my DH went to work. It was like we used to play "who's the tiredest?" Bottom line, we were both struggling and needed someone to rescue us really. This is probably not very helpful to you in a practical sense but hoping to make you feel like you're not alone. He sounds remorseful, which IMO is a good sign. I think a calm, reasonable talk about how you can solve this together is a good strategy. We used to share the weekend lie-ins, him Sat and me Sun (or vice versa.) THat really worked for me, just the feeling I could have an extra couple of hours once a week and a cuppa in bed. Look after each other and it DOES get better. Until they're teens and you get no sleep worrying about where they are and what they're up to!
We have dd 4 & ds 7months. Ds is a shocking sleeper, the way we work it is dh does anything from 10pm - 2/3am and then sleeps in, weekdays until 7.30am weekends slightly longer around 8.30am. I get up with both the kids at 6am every day. But I go to bed around 10pm so am getting a decent sleep aswell. He is a night owl and before ds was born would regularly be up and awake until 1/2am. I am a morning person so this suits us down to the ground. I struggle with less sleep than I get currently whereas dh can cope on 5 hours a night easily
Fess - I can relate to the 'who is most tired' infact several times I've told him that the words 'im tired' are banned in our house but doesn't stop him bleating on about it. It is hard. I know it won't be forever.
Firstly, yanbu. It's so hard to see a way forward when you are tired, but if I may suggest that you grab a copy of no cry sleep solution, there is a toddler version. It's a very gentle way to put together a plan which should improve the toddlers sleep. I think if you could manage to get the toddler to nap consistently at lunch, you could have a rest at that point. I would also suggest that you try to get to bed as early as possible. Especially if it means you could get four hours undisturbed, apparently this initial four hours is really important in refreshing you. I got into a pattern when mine were a bit smaller of staying up until 10, the smallest would then wake for a feed at 11/12, so I would only get an hour or two before first wake up. Do you have any family/ friends nearby who would entertain the small ones so you could get in a lunchtime nap, even once a week would be better. Although finding a time when you can have a rational conversation with your dh is limited when you are so tired, I do think you each ought to have a 'rest' morning at the weekend.
As pp have said, shouting at a 2 year old is horrible behaviour on your dh's part.
Sleep deprivation is hellish and dangerous. You do need s consistent strategy with your toddler re the night times, and also an arrangement as to who will get up with him. With two adults caring for two children, one each seems a fair division of labour.
Also, given that you are both working full time ( except you don't get a lunch break )., It serms reasonable to share whatever lie ins are available or one each at the weekend.
He's BU. I've had the same thing with my dh in the past. I'd always be the one getting up at the crack of dawn with the baby because he was 'so tired'. He said I was 'better' than him at dealing with tiredness which was ridiculous, I just didn't have a choice.
I work part time and I can tell you honestly that I find it easier getting up and going to work when I'm tired than dealing with the kids and housework all day (though I don't have a particularly stressful job).
You absolutely deserve a lie in. Not grudgingly and not a token gesture.
We're bedsharers here too and I feel like I've always got someone on me. Just an hour and a half on my own in bed is bliss and it recharges my batteries. You need that.
You need a plan to get the two year old sleeping and you need to stick with it. That's the only way you'll both get more sleep.
YANBU. I hate the whole "DH has to go out to work" thing, it implies that the life of a SAHP is not hard work and that we basically just laze around at home all day. Your DH would get a shock if you switched roles for a day or two. Being a SAHM is hard, hard work, physically and mentally draining and very repetitive at times (and I only have one!) It's not fair for you to basically have to work a 24hr shift every day while your DH goes to bed.
Personally, I think your DH is taking advantage and the longer you let it go on the worse it's going to get. I know you must be tired and upset but I really think you need to stand up for yourself more. He is being incredibly selfish and I suspect he knows this deep down if he's trying to smooth things over by buying you lunch or whatever after the fact.
Redcar - I had a copy of the no cry sleep solution when he was a baby and didn't find it helpful but will get the toddler version and give it a go. We just got rid of dummy three nights ago. First two nights were ok, last night was hellish.
DH family are nearby but not available to. Us in that sense. It's a long story, and again, another thread
Dh was a bit like this with dd1 as we all slept together so we were all tired! Since dd2 though we've sort of split the dc and he goes to dd1 and I mind dd2. For the last 12 months I've had a sleep in every Saturday and Sunday.
We've just recently changed it and I get up with dd1 and dd2 but nap when dd2 goes down.
I did it all with dd1 so while dh was tired, I don't think he grasped the absolute exhaustion that was continual lack of sleep.
Now he looks after dd1 (who is 5 so only wakes for the occasional wee/nightmare) he is very understanding.
In the week could you go to sleep around 7.30 after you put the children to bed and get your DH to give the baby a bottle of EBF at 10? Then you could get a full 7.30-2/3 sleep stint before you are up in the night.
At the weekends, as people suggested you can take turns to have a lay in. If your husband is really tired he could have a nap in the afternoon when you try and get the children to nap.
It's not ideal in terms of not having your evenings and weekends free to do much, but it's just short term and about Surviving at the moment!
Be kind to each other. Lack of sleep is hellish and getting all caught up in who's had a lie-in, who's got the hardest job in the day and so on, just breeds resentment and bitterness. It's not a competition.
Acknowledge you are in this together, it's a nightmare and you need to get through it as a team. Get some advice on sleep strategies for toddler and agree it together and help each other.
It will pass but you want to still like each other at the end of it.
Jooni I think you're right. I do need to stand up for myself more on this issue and others. I will endeavour to do so.
The sleep comparison game is hideous, soul destroying and your DH needs to step up with giving you a lie-in at the weekend. I have been where you are and I'm out the other side, but it was very damaging to my marriage as my DH refused to help on the sleep front.
On a practical level, I would suggest giving all of you a break on worrying too much about being strict with your two year old, and routines. Have you got a spare room does blue bed where your DH could take him and just co-sleep if he does get up? What about a mattress on your floor that he gets into? my youngest was a truly terrible sleeper and used to disturb her older brother (2.5) - after s few months of him being able to just sleep with company, he started sleeping through and was much better.
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