AIBU to expect more help, or better just to suck it up(74 Posts)
I'm wondering how any of you who work FT and are parents manage at home. My boys are 15 months and 4 years (eldest goes to school this autumn).
Youngest has started waking for 2-3 hours every night without fail and wants to play. He can cry for up to 90 minutes without fail. Tiny two up two down house. means leaving him to cry and self settle wakes up his b night time brother and their dad. Husband is grouchy and thinks their bed time routine is flawed.
We have supper around 530, quiet play with books, puzzles for a bit and then the eldest has a bath and is bed by 7pm. Younger one then has bath, milk in dimmed room and in sleep sack by 730.
Waking is invariably between 130 and 2am and he can stay awake until 4am when I give up the ghost and put him back in his bed crying.
I'm really struggling to stay sane. I've tried calpol and granules in case it's teething. Gradual retreat method didn't work so well, he just stands up and wails.
Local help isn't really an option - my parents passed away in my early 20s and his mum is quite independent and does flying visits only for hour or so at a time. Other parents I know are all frazzled too.
To make it worse, their dad has started going out on Friday nights after work and gets in after midnight. Which means I'm up in the night for a couple of hours and then up with both boys from 7.
I've tried being blunt and just saying I need more help but the husband just says I'm tired and I need to stop being snappy. (He never gets up in the night.)
Youngest arrived after 5 MCs so his idea that I should be grateful to have this time with DS2 makes me feel even more guilty about being exhausted.
Yesterday I had to pull over at Tesco on way out because I could feel myself getting sleepy and was scared to drive any more so the boys couldn't go swimming.
Last month I took 2 days unpaid off work to just get over having broken sleep since Christmas and not being able to do anything at work.
I'm hating the person I have become, snappy, grumpy, no social life and just being distant with my boys rather than enjoying time with them.
I'm wondering is just a phase or does it get better or is this just our lot in life. Found myself googling divorce earlier so I know I need to do something.
I think oh need to have a good chat with husband. Who does the cleaning and cooking?
Can you go PT?
What is the baby doing when he wakes? I worked FT but when baby woke I did the no speaking no eye contact while I checked nappy etc and shushed, but then a cuddle and left. DC would protest cry but very soon drop off.
If they are waking up during the night can you maybe try keeping them up a little bit later past their bed times to tire them out to see if they sleep during the night
7.30pm -1.30am is 6 hours sleep and 7.30pm- 2am is 6 and a half hours sleep , that is almost a full night's sleep, they may be waking up because they are not tired anymore because they have slept for 6 or more hours
I would try keeping them up a bit later to tire them out so they will sleep longer during the night
Husband sounds like the problem tbh. He isn’t supportive, criticises without thinking of suggestions for alternatives, doesn’t get up at night and doesnt share weekend lie ins? Two parents working full time split childcare, if his job is so serious he can’t he thinks about it and says we should pay for x y and z to help you out. Or he’s a twat.
Ds2 done this and I had him co-sleep. Not ideal, but at least it meant we all slept every night, and were able to go to work and school refreshed. We also had a super king bed which helped with a starfishing toddler!
Is he walking- does he get enough physical exercise in the day? And lots of fresh air (harder in this weather but definitely helps sleep). And does he nap- sounds odd, but a good nap routine can actually make nighttime sleep better. Finally, is he hungry- will he go back to sleep after some milk?
Oh also ds2 used to go down about 8:30 (he napped in the afternoon), but no matter what time he went down, he would always be awake between 4:30-5:30. Which was fine for as because dp would wake at 4:40 to walk the dogs before work, and it meant he could do breakfast etc with him before he went at 6:00am. Then ds2 was all fed, dressed etc, when I woke up ds1 at 7:00. So we never rushed in the mornings.
What exactly does dh contribute to the household tasks? (Genuine question, not an attack)
If you are both FT and only one of you is actually doing all of the housework and parenting then there is your answer
I manage by have a DH, who although he isn’t perfect (and indeed is frequently very irritating!) is not a colossal arse! Unless you do very unequal amounts of work outside the home he needs to do half the nights. Our 16 month old has slept through less than 10 times in his life. When I was on mat leave and was breastfeeding I did every night wake, then I was still feeding when I went back to work at 9 months, I was still up 3 times a night and in bits, DH used to claim he couldn’t settle DS because he just cried for me. At just over a year I went away for work for several nights, DH and DS has to get on with it. They established a doubt one of a cup of cows milk and co-sleeping from the first wake up. Since I came home we have alternated nights on duty - I feel like a new person! You need to get your husband doing his fair share of nights, depending on hours worked that may or may not be 50:50, if you need to go away overnight to achiveve this then do it!
I feel for you OP. My ex didn't fully step up even though we both worked FT. I was beyond tired and became eaten up with resentment. I went away for weekends occasionally, pointed out the unfairness of it all and he just went out more and more, I got angrier and angrier and one day he just left. I alternate between thinking I was a horrible bitch and he was a lazy selfish twat. The truth is probably somewhere in between. I think if you want to save your marriage you are going to need to go to counselling before things become toxic.
I've tried doing later bedtimes, did it for a fortnight. So identical routine later on with DS2 going down around 9-915pm. He just started waking at 330/400 and then I felt even more frazzled knowing there was little chance of falling asleep before it was time to get up-usually up around 630 in mornings. Wondering if a sleep consultant might help. I'm too chicken for CC at the moment.
DS is good with boys at the weekend, takes them out, playful stuff but none of boring, hard stuff such as mealtimes.
Part-time not an option at the moment, there's three of us at work in charge and our agreement is to be full-time whilst one returns from maternity leave. We all had 8 months off each and I don't begrudge her being off at all - she had to endure IVF. So there's at least another 6 months before that could be an option.
My beef at home is that his firm is on the West Coat of the US so he starts at 1030am ish so he could in theory get up in the night and still fit in 8 hours' sleep. Instead he's up around 8 and goes for a run etc.
I'm pretty much responsible for laundry, groceries ( online), keeping track of finances, cooking, running dishwasher. I have a cleaner who comes in for a couple of hours each week and I do feel saner after she's gone. My friends have stopped inviting me out because I just can't justify being out until 11/midnight knowing full well there's a couple of hours sleep until I am likely to get broken. I'm probably not helping myself by letting him get away with doing so little.
Oh and BTW, DS2 not walking yet, cruising round the sofa, dining chairs so I'm hoping it's not far off. He's out for 90 mins each afternoon with childminder for a buggy ride through forest and park when she takes her other charges out on scooters.
Yabu to expect more "help" - you should expect 50:50. When you both work full time, why are you doing all of the nights?
Is he sleeping a lot on the daytime with the childminder. A 90min walk wrapped up in a buggy might mean he's napping for too long, leading to the waking at night.
On your DH - he's sounds spectacularly unsupportive. If you're both working FT, he needs to step up and do half the work. That means getting up 3/4 nights with the toddler if he wakes at night. It means planning meals, cooking, sorting out bath and bedtimes. If he has time for his running hobby every morning, he has time to parent his own children and to run the household with you working as a team.
If you want to go out - why isn't your DH enabling that by looking after his own DC and waking with them in the night and the early morning? After all you enable him to go out by waking with the DC every Friday night and early Saturday morning. It shouldn't be a one way street that means he gets to do what he wants without being equally as supportive of what you want.
My 3yo has just started doing similar.
I’ve started to give her milk when I go to bed (like sleep feeding). It has had a little success.
Your DH needs a massive kick up the arse. We have 17 month old twins and he’s stopped being woken when they cry in the night so now he gets up early with them so I can get a bit more sleep. You’re both working full time, so childcare and housework should be joint.
I can't really see much point in having him around at all if he refuses to co parent properly.
Your problem is your DH. I would point out it’s about time he did some fucking parenting and not just the fun stuff.
I also wonder if he is sleeping long periods at the childminder. Is there any difference at the weekend if you only allow a short nap?
You need to get angry here, your dh is being an total arse. Divide up the chores and insist he gets up some nights. He will dislike this very much. Tough. Absolutely insist on, not ‘help’ but sharing. You are a team.
Yes, do consult a sleep specialist or your HV, most sleep problems can be sorted even if you endure some pain along the way. In the meantime can you put a mattress in his room and lie down with the lights off to send the message it’s night time? Habit waking can be resolved.
Have you tried giving him something else to eat before bed? He might just be hungry, especially if he’s going through a growth spurt?
Put the baby in your bed at night. Tell your DH to do his share of chores and parenting. Good luck!
It is a very common scenario. It is rare to find a family where both parents work and there is a ‘fair’ division of labour in the household. I would suggest an honest talk with your dh.
In practical terms I would suggest a cleaner and ironing service. Batch cook and freeze meals and be supper organised, try The Organised Mum Method. Co sleep with your lo, at least you’ll get some sleep too, and agree with your dh that you will alternate Sunday lay-ins.
My dh and I tried all of the above but ultimately it all fell on me and the growing resentment was too much. It worked while we only had one dd and I was earning a reasonable salary but due to redundancy I had to take a lower paid job (still earned more than dh). When dd1 was 5 we had another dd and then it became too much for me to manage. It is hard to work full time, do all the cooking, shopping, cleaning etc. I held it together for 4 years and then threw in the towel.
It was hard at first and I felt like a failure, 16 months later I’m happier than I have been in a loooong time.
I hope you can work it out.
I'm afraid I also think your DH is a major part of the problem. I might be tempted to take yourself off to a hotel for a long weekend and leave him in charge of dcs. Let him really understand what you are dealing with.
Your DH is majorly taking the piss here. You should enjoy the time? Well if being up with your child in the middle of the night is such fun, he should really share the enjoyable hours. What if you wanted to do only the fun stuff at weekends too? And go for a run instead of doing meals or bedtimes?
You both work, the housework and childcare should not be your job where he can 'help' a little if he feels generous.
Please stop telling op to go part time or stop work. Her DH is an utter arse, and she needs to have access to get own finances because he is not a pleasant person.
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