Mental load and being 'blamed' for stuff(57 Posts)
Not sure if this is an AIBU or not - more something I've been thinking about after a hectic weekend.
In terms of actually doing stuff I think DH and I have a pretty equal share. In fact, when he's at home (sometimes he works away) he'll often do more than me. He'll get up early and walk the dog, stay up to unload the dishwasher etc. However I definitely do more of the mental stuff - planning, remembering, organising. Most of the time even that's ok - I generally work a lot less than DH and I like being on top of what's going on.
When there's extra stuff going on though, like Christmas at the moment I start to feel a bit overwhelmed at times.
Anyway, I ended up getting really cross this weekend as I realised that when things go wrong I get the blame for them rather that anyone noticing the majority of times when things go smoothly cos of my planning. So this weekend, for example, I forgot something one of the DC needed for an activity so they were upset with me - DH had no idea that they needed it and only had to turn up to watch said activity not blamed at all.
Sounds really petty now written down so fully prepared to be told I'm BU but it was a bit of a revelation in realising why I feel a bit resentful sometimes even though DH does loads and wondered if anyone else had noticed the same.
(DH doesn't blame me btw - he's lovely and far more laid back than me - it's more me feeling like I've messed up I think)
Dh and I are getting on a bit in years now.
We both make LISTS.
This is a source of amusement for the rest of the family, but it is the only way.
We synchronise diaries and write everything down.
Otherwise neither of us would remember anything.
Dont be hard on yourself.
Aw - thank you. Although I'm not so young myself DH is a big list maker. I think that might be part of the problem that I have multiple stuff going on in my head and should probably write more of it down.
I totally get where you're coming from. When we go away, my husband will ask "Did we bring [random item]?"
The assumption is that I will remember every little thing.
Oh @TheGoldenBowl - mine does that too.
I respond with "I don't know, did we?". He does at least look ashamed when he realises.
I get this, from DH as well. No-one notices all the 150 things I do everyday to make everyone's lives easier, but feck do they notice if I get it wrong!
The worst example of this for me in kind of the same vein is the food shopping. It's irrelevant that I've made a meal plan making sure I remember where we all are everyday, made a shopping list, schlepped to the shops with baby, put it all up on the conveyer belt, packed it all the bags, packed it into the car, unpacked it all at home then bloody cook it all - I forgot the two things DH wants but hasn't bothered to tell me and that's what he feckin' notices...
I've never packed for DH but the first few times we went on holiday together he would say 'did you put my X in?' He doesn't ask that any more
A couple of years ago we went upstairs to bed. I'd stripped the bed earlier in the day but not dressed it again. DH sighed. I had changed the bed pretty much every single time for the previous twelve years. I now never change the bed. Ever.
I did that with an Ex once LeCroissant with ironing. I did him a shirt because he was in a hurry and he sorted of appraised it and said, 'well it's ok but not as in good as when I do it.'
It's not the only reason he's an Ex..
It's cultural, you are obviously the responsible project manager. You are only making yourself upset, the rest of the family will soon forget. You can do very well by not taking in the blaming, just cheerfully remind everyone about all the things that you do remember. You are only human, and it's hard to be everyone's memory.
I sometimes get dates mixed up. Once or twice a year I will turn up a day early or late to some event. So amusing to the rest of the family. To me it's a symptom that I have obviously got too much on my plate.
Yes to the lists
Once it's written down you no longer have to carry it round in your head. It's a great stress reliever.
Whenever DP asks daft things I just reply 'I don't know/ I don't know, did you?'. Works a charm.
I've started doing that Cheshire it's life-changing! I've also started doing it when he asks if we need anything when he pops to the shop. 'I don't know. Have you checked the fridge/cupboard?'
I used to go to the supermarket with small child and baby in tow on my day off work, go round the supermarket, pack all shopping, phone husband to come and collect me as I don't drive. He would then arrive at supermarket grumbling that he was TIRED and that he had fallen asleep on sofa after work and that I had selfishly woken him up with my shopping demands. He would then stomp back into the house and back to the sofa leaving me to unpack all the shopping from the car and put it away, get two kids into the house and tea cooked for everyone.
Selfish me, I should have booked a taxi home.
After his tea and refreshing nap he would recover enough to go meet a friend at the pub leaving me to deal with the dishes and putting the kids to bed. Needless to say, he very quickly became an ex-husband.
Apparently (from what the kids tell me) he isn't much better now with his current long term partner, and she is often cleaning/tidying round him while he 'rests' on the sofa. More fool her for putting up with his lazy twattishness, (she also has a full time time job and a child - his) and although she is really nice I often think she must have mug tattooed on her head / arm / arse somewhere.
I hope you told your kids in no uncertain terms never to ‘blame’ you for anything like that again?
Get the kids to make the lists with you, and start making them responsible for their own stuff. Blame isnt healthy or helpful, especially not when you dont get thanked for everything you do.
I slightly resent being the one that gets all the stuff together before we go out anywhere - you know, the tickets/spare clothes/water bottle and snacks type of stuff. I wish, just once, I could drift into the car without a bagful of stuff.
I've started offloading the mental load on to DH. For example:
- when we are going out, he will often leave enough time to get himself ready with no thought to sorting out DS or the nappy bag or packing up the car. If it's an outing important to him (he's usually happy to be late) I don't do it and wait for him to realise he hasn't factored it in to his time keeping (I mention it several times before the 'getting ready' period). He's now much better.
- I no longer do the weekly shop. We regularly don't have food in, it's often cereal for tea (DS has tea at nursery). He hasn't yet cottoned on to the fact you have to meal plan and do a food shop for their to be food in the house. And that someone (no longer solely me) has to plan in time to the week and plan the meal plan for this to happen.
- We are hosting his family for Christmas. I have ordered the turkey. I have asked DH to organise the rest of the shopping, I have not given it further consideration. At least we'll have turkey!
- His washing doesn't get done unless he does it.
He's pretty good at housework and DIY and stuff, he does he fair share of obvious stuff, though his standards are lower than mine (I'd hoover several times a week/ every day, he is satisfied with once a week for example, he doesn't mind creative mess, I like everything in it's place). But the mental load does my head in.
DH does the ‘did you pack X?’ thing. And the ‘did we bring?’ thing.
It’s very irritating. He tried to make out it was somehid my fault that he didn’t pack any underwear for a weekend away. I think I actually made this face:
Drives me fucking insane
I have 3 dc and a full time job. It appears that DH only has a full time job, and a social secretary/nanny.
I have explained mental load, I have explained how I feel, I have explained why nothing it solely my job.
We have been married 10 years and it is slowly eroding my feelings for him. But do you know what, I think the majority of men are the same. Certainly he is a prince amongst men compared to many of the fathers and husbands I know.
I treat DD/DS the same and that will be my gift to any DiL. A husband who isn't lazy and selfish.
Often I don't work much so don't mind so much but earlier in the year I was pretty much full time and I noticed that very little changed in how much I was responsible for. DH like yours Handmaids is a gem really and he stepped up and DID much more so picked the kids up, took them to places, fed them etc. But it was still me making sure their kit was clean, there was stuff to eat.
The DC are getting better as they get older for doing their own stuff still someone needs to remember that stuff is happening and what's needed.
I have started to make a conscious effort not to automatically solve problems for everyone. For eg, DH will say 'if you tell me what to do I'll make tea' and now I'll say 'I don't know, I was going to look in the fridge and work something out' instead of give precise instructions like I might have done in the past.
Yes Mrs I do. So with DC my default answer for "stuff" is ask your dad. If it's "I can't find..." then yes I help but if we are both there they always come to me first.
"What shall I give the kids for lunch?" me
fuming "look in the cupboard"
"What time is piano tomorrow?"
the same fucking time as the last 2 years "check the calendar"
I outsource everything I can, we have a joint web calendar, he does drop offs I do pick ups. BUT I do all remembering, reminding and planning.
Recently one of our DC started a new activity and for some reason it was DH who did all the registration. He said after a few weeks I keep getting all these emails with info about DC3 and what's happening. Shall I change it so they come to you!! No thanks I said. Often he has to forward to me as he's away but I still feel like it's a bit of process just for him to acknowledge that sort of thing.
I don't know the answer but we are the same. DP does plenty round the house and in terms of jobs etc we're much more equal than many couples I know. But mental load is almost all on me. I catch myself think oh he can't do A or B because he'll be looking after the DCs - I have to remind myself that I do all that and more with both kids in tow.
It's seems awful to complain as DH is so thoughtful and does loads - he'll happily get up early and leave to sleep while he walks and feeds the dog then bring me a cup of tea in bed. What he doesn't do is notice the dog food is running low and replace it or even tell me. Then he'll go away with work and I'll open the cupboard and there's no food in the dog's tub so I have to faff about cooking rice or whatever for her and trying to fit in a trip to the shop around work and DC.
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