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To resent our childcare arrangement

(197 Posts)
pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:03:54

I suspect I'm BU (please don't flame me!!), and would welcome some perspectives.

Am on maternity leave with 8 month old DC (only child). DH works full time Monday-Friday, often comes home in time for bath and bedtime with our DC. Every month he'll spend maybe 4 weekend days in total (sometimes half day, sometimes full days) pursuing a hobby (to say more would be outing), which takes him out of the house and leaves me looking after DC. He does the same on some weekday evenings once DC is in bed.

Recently we had a chat as I have started to resent looking after DC by myself on weekend days in addition to weekdays (I should add that grandparents live too far away to help with any regularity). I acknowledged that maybe IABU about it, and he said he did feel I was being unfair to him - he works hard during the week, spends 75% of his spare time at home helping with DC/household stuff, and already barely has time to pursue his hobby to the level that he wishes (which has been really affecting his mood).

While occasionally I leave DC with DH for a few hours during the weekend, I don't actually want/need a 'tit for tat' arrangement either.

AIBU to feel a bit resentful and actually quite envious that he is spending time on his hobby while I wish he would spend more time at home helping out with DC and hanging out with us?

Allthewaves Sat 04-Feb-17 15:15:15

I would feel irritated if dh disappeared every Saturday all day to do a hobby. Could he cut it down to a morning? Or take dc with him

flamencina Sat 04-Feb-17 15:15:54

4 weekend days a month is half of them. So then the other half should be solely your time, not with him or children. Which leaves only evenings for family time. But he's out on some of them, so you should get the equivalent time off - which leaves no time for family time.

Put it that way to him - when he's factoring in the time he does spend with you and the kids, he's not factoring in any time for you to have to yourself is he?

Oh wait, don't you get to do fun stuff all day long when you're 'off work' hanging out with the kids? (sarcastic before anyone jumps)

havalina1 Sat 04-Feb-17 15:16:16

I can't see how on earth that could be construed as an unreasonable request!

Trills Sat 04-Feb-17 15:16:36

It would not be "outing" to name his hobby.

Even if it's Tudor-themed live action roleplay, there's still a lot of people who do that.

BackforGood Sat 04-Feb-17 15:18:01

I think this is a common resentment when you have such big changes as having your first child brings.
Looking at it from the perspective of the one WOTH, he works hard, he does things with the baby, he contributes around the house, and there isn't a good reason why he needs to give up his hobby / the way he relaxes.
Looking at it from the SAHP's pov, then you are with this little being 24/7 - there ARE no 'weekeds' to count down to, you do not 'clock off' at 5pm or 6pm, and life is all a bit monotonous and you want the WOTH partner to be your entertainment.
Neither of you are wrong, but I do think my resolution would be for the WOTH partner to make time to do something where they speak to other adults / are engaged in something other than being "just" a parent.
It's hard when you are getting sleepless night and money is tight, but I think it's really important for everyone to do something that is more than just work and family.

I know lots of MNers just like to bash dh's whatever they do though, so am fully expecting to be in the minority on this thread grin

pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:21:37

Allthewaves - that's exactly it, I feel irritated. No he can't take DC with him.

To be fair, he's suggested getting a babysitter to give me some "me time" during the week as he knows I don't get much time to myself without DC in tow. But at 8 months old DC still feels a bit young to me (I've also tried but not yet found a reliable sitter).

pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:25:38

BackforGood - thanks for your balanced post, that seems to sum up our situation.

I know this won't be forever and DC is actually going to nursery in a few months' time. Just need to deal with my feelings for now!

trinketsofgold Sat 04-Feb-17 15:27:28

In the nicest possible way OP..... Get yourself a hobby. Don't make your DH give up his just because your bored

LucklessMonster Sat 04-Feb-17 15:37:14

I see both sides and I don't think either of you are being unreasonable. Well, actually, I think you're being unreasonable for writing one of the endless MN threads about vague hobbies that would apparently be outing...

What's the plan when your child goes to nursery? How much family time/hobby time is there going to be?

pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:40:16

writing one of the endless MN threads about vague hobbies that would apparently be outing...

Sorry wink

GallivantingWildebeest Sat 04-Feb-17 15:41:11

You shoud have equal down time. If he has 4 weekend days to do his hobby, so should you. (That would take up all the weekends - how would you/he feel about that?)

He doesn't get to carry on his life exactly as it was before you had a dc!! Why should he?

You are working FT in the week looking after your dc as well - with no lunch breaks, time on your own, etc. He is BU.

pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:41:42

What's the plan when your child goes to nursery? How much family time/hobby time is there going to be?

I'll be going back to work. At that point we will need to negotiate our childcare arrangements but it'll be much more 50-50.

Heirhelp Sat 04-Feb-17 15:44:27

OP I am on maternity leave with a smiliar aged child. I think you are not being unreasonable but at the same time I suspect you and definitely I also need to spend more time without baby. I find when I have a little time away I feel much better and I am a much better Mum.

pikapoo Sat 04-Feb-17 15:45:04

If I'm being honest, maybe I've brought it upon myself. Early on I took a rather 'martyr'-like stance of Well at least one of us gets to keep up with a hobby - my friends said they thought I was being way too accommodating.

EweAreHere Sat 04-Feb-17 15:48:06

So his job is essentially 9-5, 5 days a week, and he takes some evenings and roughly 1 day a weekend for himself, but does some house/child stuff when he's home.

Your job is 24/7, and rarely get time to yourself by the sounds of it.

LIke others have said, if you went out the same number of evenings, and took the other weekend day, there would be no family time. So what's the point of having a family?

You might as well be 2 single parents sharing custody where mum has the bulk of it.

rookiemere Sat 04-Feb-17 15:51:55

I may be going against the grain here, but YANBU at all.

Poor old diddums being depressed because spending half of all weekends and some of his weekday nights means he isn't getting enough time on his hobby to the level he used to be at. If he did more than that before, I'm amazed you even had time to get to know him or indeed get pregnant.

Did he not expect that his life would change in some way when he had a DC ? Does he not see that yours has fundamentally changed beyond all recognition?

I'm clearly not a cool wife. I'm all for people having their hobbies, but when it gets to the point that one person (pretty much always the man) grabs as much free time as he wants without really acknowledging that he should spend time with his family, or indeed want to, then I loose my patience.

Nip this in the bud now. I'll tell you from bitter experience it will not change when you go to work. It's nothing to do with him being working Dad and you being SAHM, it's to do with him thinking that his hobby is more important than his family. Many men can be selfish and not see the consequences of their actions.

I'd start going out the other evenings - before bedtimes - and at weekend days too. Doesn't matter what you do - go to Starbucks and have a coffee and read a book. Yes less family time overall, but believe me the only way he'll get the picture is get a dose of his own medicine.

<Dons hard hat and prepares for flaming>

whateverandever Sat 04-Feb-17 16:00:03

YANBU. Life changes for everyone when you decide to have a family.

I'll be going back to work. At that point we will need to negotiate our childcare arrangements but it'll be much more 50-50.

Are you sure? I think you need to start that negotiation sooner rather than later.

I wonder if you are my friend? She too has a DH with a very time consuming hobby. All their weekends, holidays and social life revolve around it and a lot of travelling to facilitate it. While she is interested in it she doesn't actually take part. I honestly do not know how she copes now they have small DC in tow as she (and all the other wives) seem to just be there as childcare/spectators. (Im being cryptic not specifying the hobby here too wink)

Ooogetyooo Sat 04-Feb-17 16:01:37

Agrees with Rookiemere.
Pass me the hat when you're finished with it.
This hobby of his, it's not cycling is it?

notinagreatplace Sat 04-Feb-17 16:02:00

At that point we will need to negotiate our childcare arrangements but it'll be much more 50-50.

I have a bad feeling about that. I suspect it won't be anything like 50:50. I think you need to nip this in the bud now and stop seeing it as him "helping" you.

CotswoldStrife Sat 04-Feb-17 16:02:16

I don't think you are being unreasonable actually and I bet it's cycling, these threads usually are and is he going to cut back when you go to work then?

CotswoldStrife Sat 04-Feb-17 16:02:52

grin cross post with the cycling there grin

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 04-Feb-17 16:07:24

I was with you until you mentioned that it affects his mood. DH goes to the gym four times (at least) a week. If he doesn't, he's not as fun to be around or as hot. How we have worked it out is he tries as hard as he can to fit it around DD and work. He gets up before 6am, goes at lunch if he can't, makes up hours and so on. If he needs to, I'm happy for him to go on the weekend but this usually involves having breakfast with us and planning the day around DD, not him.

However, if it's cycling, he is BU. They always are for some reason. grin

UpWithPup Sat 04-Feb-17 16:07:43

I think you are being a little UR. You don't want more free time for yourself, you just want him to miss out too. Doesn't really seem fair, or necessary.

rookiemere Sat 04-Feb-17 16:13:55

Well if a grown man is unable to be in a decent frame of mind without spending 50% of his weekend time doing his hobby, then perhaps he should learn some mindfulness techniques to help him reframe his expectations and start being grateful for his family.

Your DH sounds different MrTerrypratchett in that he fits his gym visits around the family rather than vice versa. I enjoy exercising too, and DH goes for walking weekends which he enjoys, the difference is that it isn't for 50% of the time ( although DH would like his walking weekends to be even more frequent than they are already, sadly for him I'm not a cool wife ) and we make sure that it's ok with the other person first.

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