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How much help should I expect from DH whilst on maternity?

(64 Posts)
PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 21:53:08

Just that really.

While I'm on maternity leave (6 months long), am I expected to do all the babycare 24/7 or is it reasonable to expect DH to help out? He works full time but works from home most days (academic). Currently he takes the baby for 60-90 minutes per day, and I do all the other hours including all night feeds.

To be fair, he does most household chores, but I'd be willing to do some of that if he held the baby!

arethereanyleftatall Thu 30-Nov-17 21:55:45

For us, dh always took over childcare as soon as he got home from work, firstly because he wanted to, and secondly because I did. I did all housework though, either during day, or if I hadn't had a chance, then when dh was looking after dd of an evening.

GummyGoddess Thu 30-Nov-17 21:56:43

He should be spending more time with his baby, what's happening at home after work? Is he just doing chores while you hold baby or is he having downtime while you hold them?

Blahblahblahzeeblah Thu 30-Nov-17 21:58:04

When my husband is home we share the work probably 75/25 with him doing more. I usually take an hour is so each evening for a long soak in the bath or similar "me time"

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 21:58:15

He works from home so spends most hours in his study room.

GummyGoddess Thu 30-Nov-17 21:59:53

But what about when he isn't working?

Strokethefurrywall Thu 30-Nov-17 22:00:33

How many hours does he work during the day? 9-5pm? 7am-7pm? In fairness, he may want to spend some down time with the baby.

It totally depends on whether you're nursing or not - if I'd not been nursing, I would have ensured that DH and I split night feeds and worked in shifts. So he would have taken the 6-midnight shift, and I would have done everything after that.

I think a good balance of having the baby and doing the household chores. Certainly allow your DH to learn his own way of doing things with the baby, because otherwise he'll always turn to you to "show" him how to do things. You're both learning together - and actually, having him work from home (sorry just read that part), means he will have a much more realistic view of what it's like to be at home with a newborn.

But no, you shouldn't be "expected" to do everything at all on your maternity leave, especially not in the early days.
I only did most of the cooking/laundry because I had an easy baby. And we had a cleaner too.

OnNaturesCourse Thu 30-Nov-17 22:00:43

Currently investigating this also.

DP currently comes home and either finishes making or prepares dinner, watches TV and does the late night feed around 10pm. Baby is already cleaned and in jammies by then.

Housework is done by me unless I specifically ask for something to be done (sweeping / bins out etc)

DP complained tonight that he hadn't been on the PlayStation in three days and I curtly reminded him I hadn't done anything like that for myself since DD arrived three weeks ago. He shut down his argument and let me continue watching my programme (while feeding DD) pretty quickly...

arethereanyleftatall Thu 30-Nov-17 22:00:53

Does your baby sleep? Can you take advantage of him being at home and go out during day whilst baby sleeps?

ScottishProf Thu 30-Nov-17 22:07:30

Depends a lot on the circumstances, and you really need to be able to discuss it. E.g. if he is at a stage of his career where he doesn't yet have a permanent job, and you both need him to get one, then he may need to do more academic work and less babycare than if he's already secure. For one datapoint: DH and I are both academics, and we had a patent non-sleeping colicky baby, at a point when we both had permanent jobs. While I was on maternity leave, our basic pattern was: I dealt with DS at night till about 5:30, at which point DH got up with him while I got my one period of uninterrupted sleep. About 9am DH brought DS back to me and went to work, and I was on my own until about 5:30pm. Once he got home, we were in it together until our bedtime (we'd both do work email etc, in my case minimal keeping-in-touch stuff). I managed to do most of the housework and cooking, but we had low standards and ate a lot of takeaways.

I'd be surprised if him working at home is really a win: for us it was important to separate at-work and not-at-work time.

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:12:17

gummy he does the laundry and fills/empties the dishwasher. All other times he's working apparently, including weekends.

CaretakerToNuns Thu 30-Nov-17 22:12:19

When he isn't working he should be taking over 100%.

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:14:40

Does your baby sleep?

Only in short bursts, and he's ebf.

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:15:30

When he isn't working he should be taking over 100%.

Then, when is his 'break'?

Amanduh Thu 30-Nov-17 22:15:43

If he works FT, does all the chores and has the baby for an hour and a half every day I'd say that's ok. Does it have to be so rigid? We just fit around each other.

ScottishProf Thu 30-Nov-17 22:17:07

Nix the weekends. He doesn't need to work then, even if you have to compromise during the course week. Then at least you can catch up on sleep once every seven days!

Ermm Thu 30-Nov-17 22:17:21

He is definitely not working the whole time he’s in the study. Not relentlessly. Lots of down time would be happening there - even if not really obvious doing other stuff there would have to be some time spent staring out the window, taking some time to think about other stuff etc. He’s hiding in there for at least part of the time.

ScottishProf Thu 30-Nov-17 22:17:36

Dunno where "course" came from :-)

Crumbs1 Thu 30-Nov-17 22:18:39

During his work hours it’s down to you. Then you need to be reasonable about night feeds etc if he is working and you have opportunity to nap during the day or lie in with the baby.
After that it should be 50:50 with baby and household chores. The way that’s achieved is through open communication and compromise.

ScottishProf Thu 30-Nov-17 22:20:09

Where's your break? For us, evenings were it for both; I got any quiet time in the day, he got an uninterrupted night's sleep, neither of us wanted to swap, win!

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:21:18

Ermm I suspect as much sad And I'm powerless to change things. All I can do is go to my mums and get a decent break that way.

CaretakerToNuns Thu 30-Nov-17 22:21:45

Then, when is his 'break'?

If he's working from home then he's sitting on his arse all day - he doesn't need a break.

You're the one that needs the break as you've been on your feet all day.

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:23:45

Every evening I sit alone in the livingroom with the baby and then go to bed with the baby - alone. He stays in his office till 1am.

I'd be lucky if he joined us for 30mins during that time.

PeppersTheCat Thu 30-Nov-17 22:24:36

as you've been on your feet all day.

I sit on my arse feeding the baby most of the day, tbh.

Appuskidu Thu 30-Nov-17 22:29:50

Every evening I sit alone in the livingroom with the baby and then go to bed with the baby - alone. He stays in his office till 1am.

Why?! Has he always done that?!

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