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To expect so much?

(27 Posts)
kittymamma Tue 31-Jan-17 23:09:10

So DH and I had a row this evening. Got pretty intense with me losing it and actually shouting at him before walking away and not speaking to him since. We have now retreated to our corners to sulk.

The row brought up two things that I think are reasonable that he doesn't. He is currently signed off work as he has done something to his leg which means he can't walk, but he gets around the house with his boot from the hospital. He is also getting pain in his hand from an old injury that has flared up as a result of his accident. I get he is in some pain and taking pain killers.

Background - I am a teacher and work full time. We have 2 young children (5 and 1) and a dog. He is employed full time and does 11.5 hour, 4 on, 4 off night shifts.

Issue 1

Since he has been signed off work (nearly 2 weeks ago), he hasn't done all that much. Week 1, I did everything in the house, for the kids and walked the dog. He sat on his arse playing on the computer or watching TV. Fine, he was in pain. After the week passed, my patience ran out (coinsidently exactly at the point he told me he was too busy to take over settling the 1 year old because he was playing with his online friends, after I'd tried to settle him for an hour). The last 2 days he has been at home alone while I was at work (1 yo with childminder), he has done nothing in the house with the exception of make dinner for when I arrive back with the kids. I told him this evening that it was too much to expect me to do all this and I was exhausted. He told me that he had cleaned the kitchen and made dinner (In 9 hours! We had burger and chips btw) and asked me what I expected. I suggested sorting the laundry into who they belonged to and putting his own away or tidying the bedroom. He then started ranting about how hard it is when he is working, which leads to issue 2.

Issue 2

DH thinks it is unreasonable to expect him to do an 11.5 hour night shift, come home, wait at home for 30 minutes, walk the dog and children to school. Drop off the children (Childminder meets DH at school) and then come home to tidy the kitchen before going to bed. He also said "and other stuff" but couldn't elaborate on this.

He thinks he should have to do less as I "don't understand nights". I pointed out that nights was in fact his choice (that he made without consulting me) and pointed out that I get the kids up and dressed (including packed lunch), go to work, collect the kids on the way home, make dinner, put the kids to bed, tidy the living room then start my planning and marking before going to bed. I suggested we were pretty equal, he disagrees.

So AIBU to expect him to do a little bit more while he is off sick at home? (To be fair to him, he did settle DS last night after I made it perfectly clear that putting his internet friends as a priority was not ok, so I am not talking parenting, but housework}


AIBU to expect him to maintain our previous routine when he returns to work? Am I actually asking more of him than I am doing myself? Is nights that much harder than what I do despite the fact he spends at least 2 hours a day on a work day playing computer games as where I spend a maximum of 1 hour a day on MN (usually when my brain has died and I can't do any more!)

19lottie82 Tue 31-Jan-17 23:26:41

I don't know...... how much pain is he actually in? If he can't move his hand and is in pain then it seems a bit much to be asking him to do housework. But if he is fully capable of doing it then YANBU.

In regards to issue2, I know that working nights can be really tough..... what does he do to help when he's on his four days off?

kittymamma Tue 31-Jan-17 23:34:54

He is choosing not to wear the support given by the hospital so I can only assume it isn't all that bad. He seems perfectly capable of playing his PC games with two hands, so again, I guess the pain in his hand can't be that bad. If I were to ask him, it would be worse than childbirth hmm

On his days off - he cleans the kitchen properly, floors and such, rather than the load the dishwasher and wipe the sides that he does on his work days. He does nothing else in the house. His one responsibility is the kitchen, and our 5 yo DD empties the dishwasher if asked (with the exception of the sharp knives that are taken out before she starts).

RacoonBandit Tue 31-Jan-17 23:38:44

OP have you ever done a night shift?

I have for many years and trust me staying up to do all you have listed is unreasonable. Working night shifts and coming home at 8 am is not just the opposite of you coming in at 5pm from work. Night shifts totally mess with you and your body/mind never really get used to it.

As for doing more as hes on sick well hes on sick and is unfit to work yet you want him to do a full days worth of chores.
He cooked dinner and cleaned the kitchen its only 2 weeks since his injury. Give the guy a break. Playing playstation may annoy you but it is something that does not need him to move around or stand for a long time like cleaning would. Just because he can do one does not mean he can do yher other.

In sickness and in health OP hmm

19lottie82 Tue 31-Jan-17 23:42:40

I think you should maybe concentrate on asking him to do more on his days off once his hand has healed.

LineysRun Tue 31-Jan-17 23:46:09

I'm amazed he unilaterally chose to start on nights when you have a lot of pressure on you being a full-time teacher, with the inevitable marking and prep load, plus two young children, a dog to walk, and a house to run.

Catherinebee85 Tue 31-Jan-17 23:48:54

I work 12.5hr nights. I nearly fell asleep driving home the other day. It kills you even if the work itself is not hard. In fact sometimes a quiet night at work makes the tiredness worse. I don't have children yet (pregnant with my first) but it's all I can do to get into PJs before going to bed after a night. If I had jobs to do too I'd actually probably cry (I'm fact I did cry the other week I was so tired!)

If the jobs you listed he has to do then he really needs to stop working the nights. Does he earn more for working nights? Do you depend on this money.

In terms of the being off sounds like he's picking and choosing what he can and can't do and YANBU for expecting him to do more!

melj1213 Wed 01-Feb-17 00:23:51

YABabitU ... you're asking him to do a lot when he's signed off sick ... would you expect him to do all those things if he was on bedrest, because that's effectively what he is on. I fractured my ankle a month ago and have a Beckkham boot like your husband and crutches and in that time, despite being home 24/7 for the first two weeks and only just going back to work (3 days p/w for 4 hrs a day purely sitting at a desk) last week, I have done almost no housework.

Some days I have literally sat on the sofa from the moment I got up to when I went back up to bed and only moved to get food and go to the loo (both on ground floor so don't even have to go upstairs all day) and on some of those days I have not worn my boot because I'd rather have the minor discomfort for a total of about 20 mins of the day when walking between lounge/bathroom/kitchen than deal with it's bulky inconvenience for the other 12+hrs that I am sitting with my foot up on the sofa.

My ankle may not be painful any more, but it's impossible to do anything properly because the boot is really cumbersome - standing for a long time is out, so even doing the washing up would wipe me out. Meals have basically become "anything that can be put in the oven/microwave and left to cook itself" and my kitchen floor hasnt had more than a quick sweep since before my injury.

Hoovering didn't happen downstairs for the first week and a half because my hoover was upstairs and I couldn't safely carry it down the (steep/narrow) staircase and then last week it was increased to "sitting on the sofa and pushing it as far into the room as possible and back, in various directions, ignoring the dust bunnies that are gathering in the corners.".

The bathroom has got cleaned as I use it - when in the shower I give it a quick wipe down; sink gets a quick wipe over when washing hands/brushing teeth; loo gets a quick squirt of toilet cleaner, then left until the next use when it gets rinsed - but not the usual deep clean it gets.

Washing has just piled up because I don't have the energy to stand long enough hang the wet washing outside/put it on the airer and don't have a dryer so it's just had to wait until I got a bit more mobile.

MommaGee Wed 01-Feb-17 00:41:54

He has a bad hand and a bad foot so not surprised he's not doing much housework. However you are right in expecting him to help with the kids. I'd expect him to do what housework he can whilst sat so sorting and folding washing, ironing etc.

On his night shifts he works 11.5 hours them how long to travel home? How long to walk to school, drop kids and walk back? How much time does he get to eat, sleep and chill, see the kids after school compares to you?

He should absolutely pick up the slack on days when he's off

kittymamma Wed 01-Feb-17 00:58:35

No I have never done a night shift, hence my question. I feel I have made it very clear that I especially want the views of people who work nights to get a real perspective, rather than one of my DH who can be very lazy anyway.

I have never asked him to clean the kitchen before going to bed. That was his choice. In actual fact the only thing I ever asked him to do, is not to pile stuff in the sink to "soak". So I can cook when I get in from work. I can clean as I go if he doesn't pile stuff there.

We do need him to take the kids to school. There is no way around it as I have to be at work before my DD school day starts. Working nights works only because he can take our DD to school (The current arrangement has me walking in as the bell goes), the extra he earns on nights is nice, but we could live without it. He likes nights though. It was his argument when he decided he was going onto nights. He went onto nights before our DD started school then explained that this would be an advantage later.

I don't think I suggested lots of chores though, the only one I had suggested prior to the argument was sort the clothes into piles.

Anyway, he has just come up to see me and we have had a chat. I took on board what you said, thank you for that. And we're ok now. He gets that I only want him to do little things that will help out and recovery is more important.

Time for bed for me now. Good night and thanks again. I was very upset before but feel better now.

MommaGee Wed 01-Feb-17 01:09:43

Glad you've talked. night

Eevee77 Wed 01-Feb-17 01:11:00

Even with a bad hand and foot I could sort washing. In fact I wouldn't be able to help myself, I'd be that bloody bored at home 9 hours a day so I don't think YABU there. It's not difficult. He's lazy.

RE night shift, I've done 12 hour night shifts. I could put a washing load on and inhale food when I got in but I would be in bed 30 mins later out of my mind so idk who is BU there. Everyone is different.

PovertyPain Wed 01-Feb-17 01:20:18

If you do come back to the board, OP, I suggest that you and your husband read this article.

esk1mo Wed 01-Feb-17 01:50:40

you sound like an absolute nightmare, give the guy a breakhmm

no way in hell id ask my DP to do all of that while off sick or after coming home from an 11.5hr shift.

SingingInTheRainstorm Wed 01-Feb-17 01:58:25

Some people are naturally accustomed to nights so it's no big deal. As you said he's hurt his foot & his hands hurts a bit, it doesn't stop him helping round the house. If he can mess around online with friends he can be doing housework. I doubt typing would do the poorly hand much good. I also think for him to wait up 30 minutes and take the children to school is no big deal. It makes your life easier, before people start teachers don't have it easy.

He totally should go back to a normal household routine when he goes back to work why should he? I personally think with added routine of taking kids too. Why can't he throw some stuff together in a slow cooker?

blahblahblah2000 Wed 01-Feb-17 02:08:21

I do night shifts and when I get home I can barely shower and fall into bed - my husband will get the kids ready and to school as it isn't safe for me to drive them to school

Lunar1 Wed 01-Feb-17 02:27:19

I sometimes don't even make it up the stairs after a night shift, never mind your list of jobs!

GreatScot8 Wed 01-Feb-17 02:49:43

DH thinks it is unreasonable to expect him to do an 11.5 hour night shift, come home, wait at home for 30 minutes, walk the dog and children to school. Drop off the children (Childminder meets DH at school) and then come home to tidy the kitchen before going to bed.

Your DH is right on this one. This is definitely unreasonable.

kittymamma Wed 01-Feb-17 07:04:07

Just a quick one before I dash off. My DH works 20 minutes away, he doesn't fall asleep until about 10:30am most days and tells me this. I think the "your list of jobs" is unfair, the only thing he must do is drop the kids off. Its as if you think that if I get home and he hasn't cleaned up I'd be waking him and shouting at him! I never shout at him, hence last night being so unusual. I also only moan at him if he leaves stuff in the sink. He wakes up about 1 hour and 15 minutes before the start of his shift. When I present him with his dinner, then the kids are put to bed while he goes for his shower and leaves for work. So that 30 minutes a day is all the time he spends with the children.

I am willing to accept that nights really is hard, I supposed I never considered it would be that hard that he would struggle with the kids and the dog. TBF, he decided to get the dog while he already did nights and said he would walk her every morning, so he is stuck with that now. I will however look at a routine that will eliminate any pressure he may feel to clean the kitchen when he gets back. Although I repeat, I have never asked him to do this in the morning. He just feels better with it done.

RacoonBandit Wed 01-Feb-17 07:29:47

I dont think he shouldn't do any chores at all, he should. I did mine when i got up in the afternoon before I went to work.
If he agreed to walk the dog in the morning then he should do that. He could also do the cooking before he goes to work.

If there is no way around the school drop off then he will have to do it.

scottishdiem Wed 01-Feb-17 07:50:30

I used to work 12 hour night shifts and it was a killer. Even later jobs where I worked 12 hours day shift were superb luxury compared to that. The dog was his fault so he has to deal with that but I'd speak to him about expectations on those days. On days I was working those shifts, nothing got done even if I was awake reading a book or had the radio on. Its not really a physical exhaustion but a mental one. If you think that he is taking the piss cause hes signed off, remember, this entire body is acting weird as his routine is well off. Be prepared for when he goes back.

butterfliesandzebras Wed 01-Feb-17 10:16:24

I have worked nightshift (don't any longer) and it is horrible. Really messes with your body, and I'd strongly encourage anyone not to do it long term.

However, doing nightshift has never meant that my chores magically don't need doing hmm, so I strongly disagree that nightshift means your husband gets to dump his chores on you.

You both work full time, chores and parenting should be split equally between you. I would try to be as flexible as possible about when he does his share, so he can choose when, but he didn't get to opt out!

abbsisspartacus Wed 01-Feb-17 10:26:27

My dad used to do a 12 hour night shift come home sort dogs help me with the ironing pack my lunch get my mom and sister up when I was in college he did all that and drove me to college when I had to get in before the train

It depends on the person as to what they can do

Palace2 Wed 01-Feb-17 13:47:44

I work nights, 12 1/2 hour shifts. When my ds was at school I would wait up, make pack up, get him up and generally hurry him up, then drive him to school (we'd moved and weren't that close to school anymore ) then I'd go home to bed. Set alarm to pick him up at 3. Try and get a bit more sleep before next shift at 7. Don't see the problem with your husband doing school run, if you worked a 12 hour day shift (I do a mixture of days and nights) you wouldn't come home at 7pm and go straight to bed. We all do whatever it takes to run a house, take care of the dc and earn a living, your dc are as much his responsibility as they are yours.

CripsSandwiches Wed 01-Feb-17 13:57:02

I'm not sure about the night shift because I think it can seriously screw with your body clock. That said it does sound like he could do more. What does he do when he's not "on" does he collect kids from school, drop them off do dinner etc?

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