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....to expect my dh who has chronic pain to take more responsibility for our dc?

(75 Posts)
sharond101 Sun 26-Feb-17 21:14:09

Dh has chronic back pain which began when I was pregnant with dc1. We now have 2 dc, 4.5yrs old and 20 months. Dh works full time and I work pt. When I go to work my dc go to my Mums even though dh is home one of the days. He manages most routine things but struggles to walk far, bend, lift etc so having the children can be a struggle for him. dc2 isn't a great sleeper and on several occasions the night before I go to work and he is off I've been up 5 or more times through the night with them. He hasn't gotten up. I've explained I feel this unfair but it happened again last night and I tried to speak to him about it and he says he doesn't want to be told how useless he is all the time. I find it really hard carrying the burden of all of the childrens looking after, all of the house and garden stuff and looking after dh. I am the bottom of every pile but always get asked to consider how he is feeling and how bad it is for him. This is a bit of a waffle but it makes me really unhappy.

Sunnysidegold Sun 26-Feb-17 21:59:28

Chronic illnesses suck. My dh has one which leaves him drained and tired much of the time. Sometimes I do catch myself wondering if he is maybe a bit lazy too and just putting it down to illness. He does manage ft work with wfh if he's particularly unwell and can do socialising pretty well. I get a bit annoyed I suppose at the idea that e is unwell enough to do a bit of hoovering but has energy enough to go out with friends. It is hard sometimes but you need to just talk about it. I bottled it all up for so long and then exploded! Sorry I have no real advice. Just wanted to say I know how.it feels!

sharond101 Sun 26-Feb-17 22:04:33

Thank you Sunnyside. It just feels like my needs and feelings don't matter and that I'll just take on the entire houselhold's responsibilities without question or thanks.

Iris65 Sun 26-Feb-17 22:13:35

I have chronic illness and chronic pain too. It is something thta, as you are finding, affects the whole family.
Rather than starting from a position of what he can't do maybe you could negotiate what he can do. For example could he be responsible for one night in three? Or perhaps he could get up at least once a night? Perhaps he could do one night a week (your choice)?
Could he qualify for a disability benefit that might pay for some help e.g. gardening or housework?
Anyway I am sorry that it is so hard for you flowers

Allthewaves Sun 26-Feb-17 22:16:38

If his back is so bad then getting up and down at nights with baby is hell. I suffer with my back and bending over cot nearly had me crippled and i was crawling on my hands and knees from my bed to the cot at one point(dh works away).

Could u compromise that he has older dc on his day off and your mum has the baby or does he need that day off to completely rest to be fit for work

Iris65 Sun 26-Feb-17 22:19:24

I find that my DP responds much better if I make specific requests such as 'Would you hang the washing out and feed the cat please darling?' rather than starting from the classic 'I feel so worn out..., why don't you...I can't do it all!!'

iamapixiebutnotaniceone Sun 26-Feb-17 22:25:27

I get what you mean by being bottom of the pile. I am in a VERY similar situation. We have 3 children under 6 too so it's a huge undertaking to keep everyone happy, it leaves little room for my own happiness.
It's crap being the least important person in the family, caring for everyone else but nobody to care for you.

sharond101 Sun 26-Feb-17 22:29:42

Good point Iris65, this does often work better. I am trying to compromise and ask him to help on the night before I work. He tends to spend the whole afternoon in bed when I am gone but I have previously suggested taking our eldest.

kali110 Mon 27-Feb-17 06:40:42

I find if i don't sleep well in the night my pain is worse. It alSo takes it out of me working a few days a week, so im exhausted on my days off.
It's horrible having a chronic illness and for the family.

londonrach Mon 27-Feb-17 06:49:37

Dh is the same re bad back. He has Gone from doing everything to not being able to pick up dd, do nappies, put pushchair in car boot etc. He did spend days laying flat on his back unable to move. He slowly building up again and yesterday held dd for a 2 minute time slot every 5 minutes to give me a break whilst out. Chronic pain is awful. Dh needs to keep working as we need the money for the morgage. I think its about finding what what your dh can do. My dh does the cooking instead and gets the clothes if she poohs as he cant bend to do nappy.

londonrach Mon 27-Feb-17 06:51:52

Can i add chronic pain does make you tried.

Lilaclily Mon 27-Feb-17 06:55:38

I'm impressed he works full time

Would it be possible for you to switch that round and then maybe he would be able to do more at home perhaps?

Sunnysidegold Mon 27-Feb-17 07:57:16

My oh would often take our kids upstairs to watch a film in bed. He gets to hang out with them doing something while resting and the.kids love snuggly film time.

Freddorika Mon 27-Feb-17 08:01:44

Isn't laying in bed the worst thing you can do for a bad back?

EatTheChocolateTeapot Mon 27-Feb-17 08:08:22

Freddieika no, sitting up is the most painfull one in my experience.

Sorry I have no answer OP, could your DS sleep in your bed?

endofthelinefinally Mon 27-Feb-17 08:08:56

What caused his pain?
What treatment has he had?
IME back pain is not taken seriously by many hcps and often there are things that can help and it is important to get the right advice.

londonrach Mon 27-Feb-17 08:10:00

Laying flat helps, hot bath with salt, massage...

Freddorika Mon 27-Feb-17 08:11:10

It sounds frustrating and horrible for him and you. I agree with giving him tasks.could he do jigsaws or read to them for a couple of hours a day, at least you'd have a break.

Freddorika Mon 27-Feb-17 08:12:12

Sorry, I missed that he works full time. I'd be less sympathetic then I think.

oleoleoleole Mon 27-Feb-17 08:13:53

If it's been going on that long does he have any treatment plan in place?

Can he do the mental tasks of the household like shopping lists, finances, car insurance, paying bills etc. So that he is doing his share and doesn't feel useless and you don't feel over burdened.

GloGirl Mon 27-Feb-17 08:14:40

I have a bad back so I try and share the load with my husband on things that mean I don't have to do a lot of physical work I can help out with.

Night wakings with the oldest I can do as he doesn't require much if any lifting but the youngest I struggle with and even then if he woke up 5 times I'd share the get ups. It's not fair to let one struggle on.

What does he do on his day off with no kids?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Mon 27-Feb-17 08:15:25

I would focus most of the energy on getting him treated, simple because it will benefit you as well as him

its shit for you, bit for him having to use the limited energy he has on working its ever so depressing

also short term, outsource whatever you can if possible.

sorry, these back things are massive fucker

TheFirstMrsDV Mon 27-Feb-17 08:24:12

Agreeing about the treatment plan for him.
Are there options?
Can he cut his work hours so he has something left for the family?
If he can't do XYZ what can he do to take some of the load off you?

I sympathise and its hard to express your feelings when you have a partner who is coping with pain/illness. You are right, you do come bottom of the pile and that is hard unless you are some sort of a saint. I know I'm not.

Vegansnake Mon 27-Feb-17 08:28:03

Why did his back pain come on when you were pregnant? How if it is that bad is able to hold down a full time job..but do nothing at home to raise his children...is he putting it on to get out of doing anything at home??.. apologies if that isn't the case...I'm a suspicious soul and I just thought it odd it came on when you were pregnant 💐

SquidgeyMidgey Mon 27-Feb-17 08:28:49

My DH has a broken back with degenerative neuropathy and when he's bad, which is more frequent as time passes, more falls on me. There are days when it gets me down and I think ungenerous thoughts but he's not putting it on and there have been times when I've been on crutches and he's taken the lead. It is a hard situation for you both, don't feel bad about being grumpy some days flowers

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