AIBU to want some time off?(198 Posts)
DS is 3 months old and I'm going absolutely crazy caring for him 24/7. DH is out at work till 8pm five days a week. I have to handle all night wakings because I'm bf and also because DH has to get up for work. DM pops in a few days per week to give me a hand around the house, and I put DS in his moses basket so she can watch him while I have a shower, but I can't leave him because she has arthritis and can't pick him up safely or undo his clothes to change him. There's nobody I can leave him with so I can't have a break.
At weekends I still don't get a break. DH does house maintenance and gardening, washes the windows and the cars, and he says this stuff has to be done so if I want him to look after the baby we'll have to swap and I do his tasks (most of which I can't do because I'm still sore from c-section, I can't lift heavy things and it isn't really a break if I have to spend it washing the windows). Plus he has a hobby which is one evening per week and one weekend day every other week (sometimes every week). I asked him when I get time off so I can do a hobby, and he said it isn't a hobby because he sells the items he makes so it's a job (he probably makes about £4 per hour so it's a hobby imo).
This afternoon I've cried my eyes out because DH was out doing his hobby on Friday night and all day yesterday, and today he washed the cars and fixed a tap etc. The weekend is over and I haven't had a break, and I can see Monday looming and the start of another week where I have the baby all day and night, and DH is out on Friday and Saturday again next week. About 5pm I was hysterical and begged DH to take the baby because I'm about an inch from a breakdown, and he has shouted at me for being selfish because he was in the middle of fixing a tile in the shower and had to stop. He's called me a nasty bitch for saying I needed to get away from the baby and said I dare not moan about the shower not being usable because I've stopped him getting on with fixing it just so I can sit around doing nothing.
I don't think IABU to expect a few hours break at the weekend? So I can have a bath, or get my hair done, or watch tv?
It's really, really hard at this stage. I distinctly recall dp getting home one night and just stretching my arms because it felt so good not to be holding a baby (dd is now 2 and still a clinger).
I had/have huge rages/resentment at dp because he just didn't get it. It's such a big life shift and you're tiniest freedoms seem to have evaporated. It's hard and distressing. I didn't want to hear it at the time but it is worth remembering that your dh will be dealing with his own things right now. One of them is likely to be the fact you're exhausted and he doesn't know what to do....
If you can, there needs to be calm discussion on how to make sure everybody is getting some down time as well as time spent with the baby. It will get easier but there's still going to be a little person there needing attention and care.
How long is ds going between feeds? Now the weather is better could your dh take him out in the pram for an hour (hopefully to sleep) and you can just veg? As far as parenting goes that's a nice easy one for him. Stick his headphones in and have a walk.
Three months and you'll start weaning and bf'ing won't be as much of an issue (unless you consider formula to be able to share the load - I mixed fed which helped a bit till dd started refusing a bottle around six months). Honestly it will get better
DS varies how long he goes between feeds. It can be an hour or two if he's sleeping. DH won't take him out in the pram though. He's too busy - either out doing his hobby or doing things like painting the fence, cleaning the gutters, washing the car, etc. And according to him these things need doing so if he takes the baby I'll have to do the jobs myself, not have a break.
YADNBU. Did your DH give himself this much work to do at the weekends before you had your baby? You need to have a serious chat with him to make him realise that parenting your child is a joint effort.
At this stage it's okay to let some DIY tasks fall by the wayside and scale back the hobbies. He needs to prioritise and the priority should be making sure all members of the family are rested and some downtime.
You need a rest and he needs to facilitate this
It gets better from six months onwards. The only time DH actually looked after our DD1 by himself was when I was in bed all weekend with a very nasty tummy bug.
He always helped out after that.
Ooh, just reading your post gives me the rage and I want to shout at your DP
I'd tell DP in no uncertain terms that things like painting the fence and washing the damn car can wait.
Of course you need a break now and again - it's bloody hard work and incredibly draining having a DC that age.
Surely he realises that raising a child is a joint effort?
Oh, and if it's truly a job and not a hobby I assume he must be paying taxes on his profits...
I would ask him to write down all the chores he occupies himself with and agree together the frequency of them.
The car does not need washing more than once a month and could just be taken through a drive through one by either of you.
Diy can be noted down and one day a month all those little jobs get done.
He sounds like he is just finding shit to do so he can avoid babycare.
YANBU. The cars don't need washing, for a start - I think ours was last washed in 2012. He's being a jerk and avoiding pulling his weight (to the poster above who said he doesn't know what to do because the OP is exhausted, not going out and doing a time-consuming hobby would be a good start - when does OP get time to do her hobbies?). Apart from anything else, you need time to rest and sleep if you're up every night with the baby, and he needs to acknowledge that.
Could you go and stay with your Mum for a bit? It sounds as though you're getting more help and support from her than from him.
It isn't acceptable for your DH to force you to do his share of an essential task (childcare) so he can do discretionary jobs. The windows won't fall out if they aren't washed and the car won't melt. He is being a dick. Tell him it isn't on.
He sounds like he's finding jobs to do. Windows don't need to be cleaned.
Incidentally, I missed the bit in your OP where he called you a nasty bitch - that, in itself, would mean I walked out. Would you ever talk to him like that? Is that how you want your baby to think relationships operate?
Your house will not fall apart if you don't maintain it every weekend, but you might if you don't get some rest.
Honestly, you can live with dirty windows for a bit! We have literally never cleared our gutters in 15 years of living in our house and the windows only get cleaned every four weeks when the window cleaners come. Our car gets cleaned when it goes in for its service!
Your husband needs to prioritise you over the house - and to step up as your child's other parent.
Is it just me who read the part where he called @Flutist a nasty bitch
Sorry OP you've got yourself a abusive prick there. He doesn't care that you are exhausted. He bullies you. He insults you. This will only escalate.
Please tell me you have a job to return to and some financial independence?
Well none of those jobs are urgent and he knows it. He's creating 'busy' work. Imho if these jobs are so pressing the his priorities should be work, family, house, hobby. Looks like the hobby is the one that needs to go for a bit if he can't manage his time any other way.
Have you tried asking him directly why he's avoiding looking after his baby? Shine a light directly onto the fact he is basically refusing. Is he scared? Is he clueless? Does he just not want to? None of these paint him as a good guy but that's tough.
Babies are babies for short time (although it does drag I grant you). We all have to make sacrifices for a short time so what's his?
Switch to bottles and book him an afternoon at nursery per week.
Doesn't the baby sleep? It is OK to leave a sleeping baby in its cot to have a shower or do other things.
I missed the nasty bitch but too. That's completely unacceptable. I must be off the scale then cos when I was mat leave when my DH came home on a Friday he was handed DS until Saturday morning so I got a break and some sleep.
I echo PPs who say he's just finding jobs to do instead of stepping up to his responsibilities
I have no idea why there are some men who seem to want a family but don’t want to participate in it.
OP - your husband is being massively selfish. Unless there’s water pouring into your loft, your cars are so dirty they’re unroadworthy etc none of those jobs are can’t wait. Hes utterly unreasonable.
I’m not blaming you, just trying to understand, but did you discuss how this would all work before you had the baby? Has he always done this much DIY etc? I’m trying to work out if he’s always been this uninvolved or if he’s avoiding his responsibilities.
What the money situation like? Can you buy in help? Can you afford to go? Have you got family you could go and stay with for a while?
I’m at a similar post partum point (9 weeks) and I have a 5 year old. It’s exhausting and my DH is fully involved. Your DH would be gone if I were you. That may sound melodramatic but it would be easier alone the way he currently is now.
If the extra thing is a job he needs to be able to show he's making a decent wage. Otherwise, like you say, it's a hobby and he needs to scale it back.
My DD is bf but I pump so that I can have one evening off a week. Makes a huge difference.
DH and I have been having counseling to try and figure out how to incorporate minding the baby into our lives. Like you I do nights because he has work, and when he gets home he likes to think he's working still, or deserves a break because he's been working, and that's so unfair it was making me v depressed. The counseling is helping.
Why does he need to wash the car every weekend & wash the house windows every weekend? That sounds totally unnecessary OP. The name calling is not on either, who does he think he is speaking to you like that? Those first months are a hard slog & you deserve better OP.
I felt like this too. I CRAVED me time and still do to some extent, though it does get easier. I think I grieved the loss of freedom at some point and stopped fighting it.
A top tip is to think of some thing you want to do and carve out the time by telling DH "I'll be out on a Thursday 17:00-19:30".
Do whatever it will be to make you feel human again. For me it is bliss to have time to wash and dry my hair so that I look half decent, or take a trip to get my nails done. For my friend it's making sure they go to netball once a week. Basically go out of the house and leave daddy with his child for 2 hours. He will see how hard it is and appreciate you need a break.
I went back to work at 5 months and work with lots of men who similarly have small children. When I ask how their weekend was often they are out cycling or training for some run! Often the psychological expectation is that they have contributed by being the breadwinner and the traditional gender stereotypes of women doing the childcare remain.
For my female friends who are breadwinners they all acknowledge that working full time is far easier than full time parenting. I think that some men just don't believe that this is the case.
Expressing and leaving a bottle is smart.
He’s being a dick
You have a tiny baby, the guttering and windows and car washing can all wait, he’s using them as an excuse
You absolutely deserve time off. And to not be called nasty names by the one person who should be supporting you the most
This has engraged me reading it. None of the tasks you have listed your DH is doing at the weekend are necessary.
Do you trust him to adequately look after your child? If you do, simply give him the baby and leave the house for a walk, a haircut, a trip to the pub, whatever. Dont even think about doing his 'chores'. I would not put up with this in a million years. YANBU.
I also think his behaviour towards you is disgusting, and actually, I would be taking steps to separate if my DH called me names when I was exhausted from looking after a tiny baby.
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