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Finding it hard to bite my tongue.

(87 Posts)
Effemelle Fri 15-Dec-17 19:41:41

I've just gone back to work full time after mat leave.

My DH and I a both WFH two days a week and on the fifth day, I do a short day at work and do the nursery run both ways. I have a 45 min commute, his is 1h 30.

On 'my days' I have a routine with the kids that works really well. We're all home by 5.45pm, I do dinner, bath, stories and bedtime in two hours and by 7.45pm they're both in bed. Most days I manage to put the previous day's dry laundry away and hang out that day's washing too.

On DH's days it's total chaos. I walk through the door at 6.30, the kids are running riot, climbing the walls with hunger and tiredness and nothing's been done. He'll often choose that moment to ask me what he should make for dinner.

I've been flatly refusing to get involved and have been hoping that by making him suffer the consequences of his disorganisation, he'll tighten it up a bit. At most I will offer direction from the sidelines, but I have to stop myself stepping in to 'rescue' the situation. And besides, my way isn't necessarily the best way and we all parent differently, blah blah blah.

But it's been a few weeks now and nothing's really improving. It's not fair on the kids for them to be going to bed late after a chaotic evening two nights a week. They're tired and irritable.

What should my next move be? I refuse to take on any more than my fair share. And I resent having to spell out really obvious stuff to him. No one spelt it out to me, I just figured it out on my own because I'm a functioning grown up.

isitme88 Fri 15-Dec-17 19:45:08

Dinner in the slow cooker in the morning. Ready for the evening. Don't bath on his nights. And just explain to him why it needs to be more structured. My OH is the same.

missymayhemsmum Fri 15-Dec-17 20:06:57

Parenting project management meeting.

Discuss the fact that having a different schedule is making the kids unsettled and grumpy, and agree what the routine should be. Then he knows what parameters he is working to. Does he respond to Gantt charts?

Jointly work out the menus for the week so you both know what to cook.

Jointly agree the housework jobs to be done daily/ weekly/ when so he knows what his list is.

You might find though that you have an interesting conversation about approaches to parenting, fun versus routine, child-led v structured. Or a blazing row, of course.

Because of course while you were on mat leave you learnt how to do all this stuff, and now he's having to catch up.

Handsfull13 Fri 15-Dec-17 23:51:10

I have similarish situations with my OH and our twins. I have more structure and awareness of what needs to get done and he goes with the flow until it all goes pearshaped and asks what he should be doing.
I agree that your dh needs to learn his own way but he may need you to spell it out the first time for him and then he can adjust it to suit him. Just think of it as helping your kids maintain structure and not taking some of the work off your dh.
It may seem like your doing it for him at first but once he sees how easier it is he hopefully will take it over and your life will be easier.

KeepServingTheDrinks Sat 16-Dec-17 00:22:29

start the conversation with "how do you feel it's going...."

Originalfoogirl Sat 16-Dec-17 00:45:20

*start the conversation with "how do you feel it's going...."*👍👍👍 love this!

Would it be worth doing a planner? Working out weekly meals and setting a routine for the kids.

Eltonjohnssyrup Sat 16-Dec-17 00:54:17

You need to agree to set a routine which works well for both of you.

And yes, sometimes you do need to spell things out. If he doesn't know what you want then how can he do it?

geekone Sat 16-Dec-17 00:55:18

TBH I would go to the gym until 8.30 each of those nights and leave him to it.

ohfortuna Sat 16-Dec-17 01:25:19

I dont know what the answer is but because of this
It's not fair on the kids for them to be going to bed late after a chaotic evening two nights a week. They're tired and irritable
he has you over a barrell
he knows that he can make you cave in because you wont be able to tolerate the pain of seeing the kids suffer
if fucking stinks but he is using the kids to blackmail you

ohfortuna Sat 16-Dec-17 01:29:22

I have more structure and awareness of what needs to get done and he goes with the flow until it all goes pearshaped and asks what he should be doing
or he considers childcare to be low status womens work and he doesnt want to give any headspace to things that he considers beneath him

roseretro Sat 16-Dec-17 01:30:22

Think you should have a word with him directly, you seem to have just left him to it currently.

Just tell him exactly what you wrote here - the house is chaotic and the kids run riot on his days, not fair on kids as they’re tired/irritable and not fair on you either. He needs to sort himself out

DonnyAndVladSittingInATree Sat 16-Dec-17 01:31:04

Is he doing it out of laziness or does he really just not have a clue what needs to happen to get his children to bed?

justilou1 Sat 16-Dec-17 07:32:38

Go out for drinks with friends instead of coming home? Get home after 11 and see if he's survived.

Raver84 Sat 16-Dec-17 07:39:20

Plan your weeks meals and make sure on his days it's a chuck it in the oven job, not perfect but at least you won't have dinner and hungry kids to worry about. Pop their pj's on the bed or next to the bath before you leave for work and text him on way home and just say 'bath kids pjs are on the side' It will take you a second to remind him but will give the kids the routine they crave. Afyer a while it may sink in. It's annoying to have to baby him in this way but if it get the job done and it helps the kids just crack on with it.

Increasinglymiddleaged Sat 16-Dec-17 07:40:13

or he considers childcare to be low status womens work and he doesnt want to give any headspace to things that he considers beneath him

^^ yep this. I can't believe that someone suggested that the op put dinner in the slow cooker at the start of the day. Coming home to DC not having been given tea at 6.30 is very hmm. I wouldn't be biting my tongue, he needs to actually look after the children on 'his days'.

Increasinglymiddleaged Sat 16-Dec-17 07:42:06

raver you can't be for real. He is an adult, the OP is working full time. No wonder men think they can not pull their weight if people pussy foot around them/ do it for them like that.

LilyWasThere Sat 16-Dec-17 07:49:53

Because of course while you were on mat leave you learnt how to do all this stuff, and now he's having to catch up.

This ^^

Talk it through together and once he knows what the plan is, I'm sure he'll be fine.

Lostthefairytale Sat 16-Dec-17 07:50:30

Surely when you arrive home the responsibility to care for the kids becomes a joint responsibility? It’s great that you have managed to get a good routine going but I don’t get why you expect him to take sole responsibility for dinner, bath, bed when you are there. It just seems like points scoring and it’s the kids who are losing out.

Increasinglymiddleaged Sat 16-Dec-17 07:53:22

Surely when you arrive home the responsibility to care for the kids becomes a joint responsibility?

Yeah but he's far too tired to do anything when he gets home from his full time job on the OP's days I suspect.

I am pondering how a reverse aibu would pan out if it was a woman who hadn't bothered to give the children any dinner. 'Learnt it on mat leave'.... What that kids need feeding? really?

Snowinhell Sat 16-Dec-17 07:56:48

Have you thought about joining a gym or going to the cinema on the nights that he has the children? The children probably won’t notice as they seem to be having a high old time, running rings around him Perhaps go out for a meal or meet with friends. Sometimes people need a short sharp shock to see what chaos they are causing. If he is the one single-handedly putting the children to bed, he may get the message.

wednesdayswench Sat 16-Dec-17 08:00:33

I'd take control of the evening meals on his day tbh (dinner in the slow cooker or something already in the freezer)

Codlet Sat 16-Dec-17 08:08:53

What does your DH say? Does he realise that his evenings are a bit of a disaster or do you think he’s a bit oblivious to it?

I totally agree with not stepping in to rescue him. I think that if you leave it, it will improve (eventually!).

Increasinglymiddleaged Sat 16-Dec-17 08:10:32

I wouldn't. I'd tell him that the meals on his day were his responsibility. But that if there was something specific he wants to cook to make sure the ingredients are on the shopping list (leaving it open to frozen fish, chips and peas/ ragu sauce etc). He needs to take equal responsibility but he isn't necessarily a chef and that is okay.

LizzieSiddal Sat 16-Dec-17 08:16:17

You’re right to worry about the children, they have to come first.

I had this a few times with Dh and very early on realised we needed to have a “chat”. I was angry with him but also aware I’d had a lot more exoerience than him having been SAH for a while.

So ask him how he thinks it going and take it from there. Agree and write down a routine which you should both try to follow, so the dc have stability. Stick this on the fridge!

Effemelle Sat 16-Dec-17 09:25:18

Surely when you arrive home the responsibility to care for the kids becomes a joint responsibility?

Well because of the differences in our commutes, on my days at home, he gets in at 7.30pm just as the kids are about to go to bed.

On the days he's at home, I get back around 6pm. So if I get home and then get stuck into kids stuff it means I'm doing it on all the nights and he's only doing 50% of it on just two nights.
Not fair!

I'd love to be able to afford to go to the gym or for dinner/drinks two nights of the week and leave him to it. But we don't have the spare cash. And most evenings I have to jump back online after the kids are in bed and catch up on work.

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