To expect more from my husband(22 Posts)
I gave birth to a beautiful little boy 6 weeks ago, and I'm not sure if I'm being selfish/postpartum hormonal, but I'm starting to think my husband isn't pulling his weight. I'm on maternity leave for 1 yr, but dealing with the little one is a full time job at the moment.
He works a stressful draining job, but it's only 9 to 5 (no emails or calls in the evening either). He generally gets home, makes dinner for us then tries to get out of doing anything else apart from maybe one little job like taking the bins out, or maybe feeding our son. He does spend lots of time with our boy, but I feel maybe he could give me a break in the evenings.
We live off his salary completely, and he's said I can stop work if I like, or I can continue working and we can pay for childcare, but I think he's expecting me to be able to hold down a full-time job on top of looking after the household. But then again, we do have a cleaner every week, so maybe I'm just exaggerating how much work it is?!
Should I expect more from him than this?
Speaking as someone who's dh does fuck all at home or with our ds unless asked, I think YAB a bit U. What else would you like him to do?
You have my sympathy op. My do was the same. He didn't do one night feed, ever. I was on my knees. Utterly exhausted. I work Ft now. He does things if asked but will sometimes complain about it. I'm expecting DC 2 now and dreading him doing the same again. Talk to him. Hope he steps up to the mark with helping you out.
Maybe a couple of nights a week, I'd like him to take care of our boy - comfort/play with him, change the nappies, and feed him, so I can rest/sleep/pop out for a quick drink.
He's sleeping in the spare room now, since he claims he didn't get enough sleep (though he seemed to happily snore through the night feeds).
Well have you asked him if it's ok if you pop out for a drink?
Congratulations on your DS! The first 10-12 weeks are usually hell. It's entirely normal for you to feel like this after only 6 weeks - it seems to be the point where the sleep-deprivation starts to drive you bonkers. With any luck, your LO will start to settle into a routine soon and you will be able to get more than 3-4 hours sleep at a stretch.
You need to be very clear if there are specific tasks you'd like your DH to do: ie run you a bath and look after LO for an hour in the evening, pick up shopping on the way home, shove on a load of laundry. These aren't unreasonable things to ask in the early weeks, even if he is working 9-5. It sounds as if he's doing a lot more than a lot of men TBH. Sometimes new dads just don't know what to do to help mums best because it's all such a new experience for both of you - you need to tell him.
Firstly congrats on your new baby
But I think he is making the dinner (I had two under 15 months and I made the dinner ) plus you have a cleaner.
You have it far better than most. That said, I would just take myself off in the evening for an hour. Just grab your keys and say 'listen. I have been minding baby all day - I will be back in an hour.. Byeeeee'
I still do this
I think you need to tell him clearly what you need him to do. Make a list of all the things that need to be done that evening and divide them up, making sure you both get some time to rest/ relax. If he says no when you spell it out to him, then YANBU.
Ignore the unsympathetic responses op. You need a break from the mundane routine of every day task a couple of times a week. Try suggest he does Friday night and another night. That way you have a less demanding, less exhausting week.
If someone needs a break they need a break regardless of whether someone else on mumsnet had a partner who did nothing. Op should lay expectations early
Well have you asked him if it's ok if you pop out for a drink?
Really? I'm only surprised you didn't add on that he might deign to 'babysit' if you ask permission nicely enough...
Looking after a new born is just as hard as paid work. FFS. Of course it should be all hand on deck once he's back. This is not the 1950s. Ignore the unsympathetic people OP, you must be knackered.
It's his child too! Of course he should be spending time one on one caring for his own child feeding changing settling etc. Or else when and how is he going to learn how to do these things? Definitely set expectations early or you will resent him even more in future for not looking after his own child.
DH has our LO for 2 to 4 hours after we have dinner and watch a bit of tv together every week night so I can have a bath, grab some sleep, just some time without a baby on me. 7 weeks old LO here.
Just because other women are happy with a different division of labour doesn't mean you have to be OP.
Is this your first baby? Don't expect to get the balance right immediately, both you and DH are learning and trying different things to work out what works for you both. Congratulations on your LO!
I think you're a bit U because he's helping when he gets home, by making dinner and playing with your DS. Not U to expect a break in the evenings though, could you set a time? Eg he gets in at 5, makes dinner, then takes baby from 6-7pm so you can rest? Or could you have dinner prepared and ready to pop in the oven, so you can hand baby over soon as he gets in?
I found the first few months very hard. DD had colic and reflux and cried from around 4pm-10pm. DH didn't get home until 8pm! I used to prepare dinner earlier while she napped in sling (she had to be held all day)- simple things that could go in oven or ready meals with salad. As soon as DH came in he took over with DD. On weekend nights he did the first shift eg milk and nappy changes until 1-2am so I could sleep. Weeknights he usually slept in a different room which is reasonable IMO.
Remember it's hard for the person working out of the home too. I used to be jealous of DH working, until I went back part time and realised what it's like doing a full day at work (with pressures of deadlines, performance reviews, people to supervise, high level of concentration etc) then getting home and trying to cook, clean, take care of baby, and get enough sleep to function at work the next day. Whereas on mat leave you can spend much of the day sitting down, reading a book or watching TV while baby sleeps on you. I used to sit for hours breastfeeding and eating cookies!
My advice is get out as much as possible with other mums. Go for coffee, walks, shopping, chat in each other's houses, let them hold your baby for a bit so you have a head-break. My NCT group used to meet regularly, we took it in turns to shower at each other's houses! If you have more support and company during the day, you'll rely on your DH less in the evenings. Being the sole earner is stressful and he needs time to recharge too.
YANBU. I think the sooner to talk to your DH the better, OP.
People saying "my DH did fuck all so you should be grateful for what yours does do"
You deserve support at home too.
That women put up with shitty useless husbands isn't your responsibility. No one deserves to be treated like the maid by their partner. You need to have a proper conversation about expectations around parenting and working. One parent who does everything isn't fair.
It might make you feel better to look at what he does do: he works all day just like you do with the baby; he comes home and makes you both a meal; and often feeds your son too. You have a cleaner so the housework doesn't get on top of either of you. This sounds like a decent split to me. But of course talk to him if you need more support.
Maxima, take your back. Did I say she should be grateful? The op has a cleaner, her dh cooks dinner every night, does little jobs like taking the bins out or feeding the baby sometimes in the evening and spends lots of time with him - all in the OPs post. No, she shouldn't be 'grateful' but he seems to do quite a bit after a full and, as the op said, draining and stressful day at work. My dh was away from weeks 2-6 when my ds was born. I also breastfed and was useless at expressing so no help there either. Ds as had colic. It is difficult and tiring but tbh it sounds to me like dh is pulling his weight.
Op, have you actually asked him for more help? For a evening out? Whilst I know what I'm about to say is thoroughly unacceptable to some of the vipers on here, so men just need asking/telling. It's true. Good luck and congratulations on the baby.
Orangebird, paraphrasing your (and some other's) post(s), yes, it sounds like the suggestion is that OP should be grateful.
Are you saying OP should cope because he DH does an arbitrary amount, irrespective of whether she may feel she needs more support or even a different type of support? Maybe she'd like to cook dinner and have a break from the baby for a while?
I think YAB a bit U. He is at work all day. Yes you are at work in looking after DS, but this early stage is probably the easiest in the daytime it will be, they pretty much feed/sleep/feed/sleep for most of the day.
He makes dinner. You have a cleaner. Enjoy the precious time with your baby and the time to relax while he sleeps, and maybe ask at the weekend DH does one night of feeds to give you the night off. Tell me him specifically you'd like to go out with friends once every fortnight etc. But sounds like you have it pretty good IMO.
Take yourself off into the bath every other night with a big book. . Lock the door and leave him to it with ds.
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