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To want a break from my 3 little ones?!

(78 Posts)
ShuffleShuffleSpin Sat 16-Mar-19 11:40:20

Please help me figure out how to get some kind of break as I am at the point where I have no energy left to think!!! I have three children, a 3 year old, 2 year old, and 3 month old, and am a SAHM. I am self employed and currently taking a few months of maternity leave but will return to working soon. I am with the kids all day every day, with the exception of my 3 year old being in nursery 15 hours per week. When I work, I work from home in evenings after my husband comes home from work. Right now literally every day consists of dishes, laundry, taking the children on child centred outings like the park or toddler groups, cleaning up their messes, and cooking. My husband wants me to make him a big hot dinner every night as well as one to take to work for his lunch in a leftovers box, so I do lots of cooking as well. I love my kids so much, but when I have all three of them on my own, I can just “manage them” — I can’t really get quality time with them. My 3 y o is a high energy boy who sometimes plays nicely with his little sister, but often pushes and hits her and needs lots of supervision. The toddlers love the baby but I can never turn my back when they are with him. If he is in the same room as they are, intensive supervision is needed. The 2 yesr old is clueless and she shakes his bouncer, tries to touch his eye, tries to sit on him, etc. The children love to make messes and dump out boxes of toys, empty kitchen cupboards, toss folded laundry around, open drawers and throw out the folded clothes etc. Just normal children but it is exhausting when I don’t have a break at all. On weekends my husband wants family time and makes me feel guilty if I ask him if I could have 2-3 hours to please just stare at the wall in peace and be “off duty”. I am so burnt out mentally and physically. When we had baby number three I told my husband I wasn’t ready to try for a third mentally or physically as having just one baby and toddler was a lot — I said I would only do it if we agreed I could have about 8 child free hours per week to re charge and remain human. Now that we are here, with three kids, he wants to save money and doesn’t want me to get regular childcare. I feel my mental health is failing apart. I am starting to snap at the kids. It doesn’t help that my MIL says things like “a mother must be selfless”. And he repeats this. Any suggestions for how to get a break in this situation?

Floralhousecoat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:46:09

You must demand childfree time and make arrangements for this with dh. Otherwise you will burn out. Also he needs to take turns cooking and do his own packup. He is being selfish by guilt tripping you, as is his dm. Ask him who laid down the law that a mother must be selfless?

Mouse510 Sat 16-Mar-19 11:48:21

You have all my sympathy OP. I have 2 and I feel like my hands are full.
Your MIL can f right off with her “selfless” crap and your husband needs to open his eyes are realise you need some support.
It definitely sounds like you need a day a week to yourself - whether that is your husband having all 3 himself (and seeing what it is like for you!) or paying for childcare something needs to change for your health and the good of your family.

Floralhousecoat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:49:31

I feel so angry on your behalf, op. You're only human. Of course you need some childfree time on both evenings and weekends to recharge for the sake of your physical and mental health. I'd stop cooking and making his pack lunch for a start. He's not a child.

Tell him you're taking childfree time on the weekends and it's not up for discussion. He needs to parent his own children and pull his weight at home.

Clutterbugsmum Sat 16-Mar-19 11:52:08

Time for a big talk with your DH, his expectation of you a way to high. You have no where near enough time or yourself doing everything.

You need to stop being super women. If you don't have time or the energy to make him dinner well tough he can cook for the both of you.

Make a list of all the jobs which need doing daily and weekly and get him to do his share.

Oh and make sure no babies happen for a good few years if at all. You have enough on plate with the 3 you have.

redexpat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:52:44

Yanbu. DHs perfect life must not come at the cost of your mh.

Chutneygloss Sat 16-Mar-19 11:56:18

The first thing to stop should be the hot dinners. Batch buy frozen nuggets fish pizza etc and meal plan meals you throw in the oven. Throw a loaf a bread and some ham at your husband do he can make his own sandwiches.

Tell him you are going out for 3 hours either sat or sun every week. This will be your me time. I would also put 2 yr old in nursery when 3 yr old goes.

Maybe your husband helps with bed time or morning time but it sounds to me like he hasn’t a clue and family time is his excuse not manage 3 kids at the same time on his own.

fedupandlookingforchange Sat 16-Mar-19 11:57:14

You have my sympathies, I’ve only got 1 but he’s always welded to me.
I’d knock the big dinners on the head immediately, frozen veg and easy meals, if it takes more than 10 mins to prepare it doesn’t happen.
Your DH could have all of them to himself on Sunday mornings, he could take them round to his mothers.
Could the eldest two go to playgroup ( without you) for a few mornings a week? Playgroups are much cheaper than nursery.

Floralhousecoat Sat 16-Mar-19 11:57:32

He agreed to pay for childcare one day a week before you had the third child. He cannot go back on this. He CANNOT save money at the expense of your health. You need to ring around and make arrangements for the dc to go into nursery one day week. Don't wait for him to do this. He won't because he sees childcare as your job because his mother brought him up to believe that mothers are not entitled to a life of their own.

Readytogogogo Sat 16-Mar-19 11:58:18

If your DH agreed to the 8 hours of childcare then he must keep up that end of the bargain - otherwise he duped you into having another child. If he won't allow you to pay for it then he can look after the children himself one day a week.

SushiGo Sat 16-Mar-19 11:58:37

I've been there with 3 small ones it's really tough. Utterly relentless. Give yourself massive praise for managing as well as you clearly are.

This is how it worked for us:

My DH regularly took all 3 out at the weekend to give me a few hours with quiet alone at home. If the weather was good they'd go to the park, if it was bad they went to soft play.

I'd also go to the supermarket by myself at the weekend while he had the kids at home.

We also shared night waking, I did up at about 1am and he did the rest of the night. In the mornings he would take the younger ones downstairs so I had time feeding the baby alone.

It makes a huge difference.

Does your DH ever have the kids alone? Being generous he may be scared about handling them solo - but he needs to buck up if so. You handle them solo all the time, and unless he wants your relationship to break down because you are exhausted and the respect is gone then he needs to follow through with his promises and ensure that he is a competent Dad of 3 and that you get time out.

haverhill Sat 16-Mar-19 12:02:35

Blimey OP, you need to get very firm with DH. He seems to be a big part of the problem. TELL him that you are arranging the agreed childcare. If your MH deteriorates he’ll have far bigger problems to sort.

Kokeshi123 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:06:44

Three kids that close together is a LOT of work. I will be honest, I think you were a bit naive to be talked into this, but that is now water under the bridge. You need to arrange the childcare in question straight away--he agreed to this, so he has no right to pull the carpet out from under your feet now! Very very wrong of him. Don't ask his permission, just do it and make him pay for it out of his wages.

candycane222 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:07:58

How come your husband isn't doing any cooking? If he gets home to late to cook a meal for that night then he can eat the one he cooked last night and you only had to put in the oven, then cook tomorrow's after he's eaten.

No no no to making a packed lunch for a grown man.

You must get time to yourself.

Are you planning to get more paid-for childcare cover and go back to work soon? Because it sounds like you should. But mainly, fathers need to be exactly as selfless as mothers do, and if he can't see that, he needs it spelling out until he does.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 16-Mar-19 12:08:07

Your husband wants a hot meal and a meal for lunch. Then he should darn well sort it himself. Yes hes going out to work. However, there's no harder job than being a stay at home mum to 3 very young children. At least he gets a tea break, and . I assume the 3 month old is still waking for night feeds. Just the thought is making me dizzy.

candycane222 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:09:37

family time is his excuse not manage 3 kids at the same time on his own Sounds like it!

Chancewouldbeafinethlng Sat 16-Mar-19 12:09:51

Bloody hell you must be knackered!

I found myself in a similar position before. I found telling DH I would be going out rather than asking him made a big difference. I also wouldn’t hesitate in telling your H that you don’t want to cook a big meal every night.

Make things more of a statement rather than a suggestion/question, you’d be surprised the difference it can make b

Smoggle Sat 16-Mar-19 12:12:27

Your DH can have the children from 6am/whenever they wake up on a Saturday until lunch is on the table which he makes for you all.
You can let him have a lie in on Sunday in return.

Do whatever is easiest for tea in the week. Your DH can do his own batch cooking or sandwiches for his lunch.

Get your 2 year old into preschool on a couple of the same days as the 3 year old. Tell your DH that the money is an investment and it will cost him a lot more if you have a breakdown and he needs loads of unpaid time off work to look after the kids/house!

Once you go back to work, he'll either need to pay for the baby to go to nursery/childminder on two 9-3 days when the older two are at preschool, or you work your 8 hours on a Saturday. That way you can have a lie in 6-9am, and you work 9-6 with an hour lunch break.
You can help him do the kids bath and bed routine and enjoy the lovely hot dinner he's cooked.
On Sunday you can give him a lie in til 9am then you still have the whole day as family time together.

HardofCleaning Sat 16-Mar-19 12:12:29

Well firstly DH can live without a big hot meal every night unless he makes it himself. With three little ones I would just be making something as simple as possible and DH can make himself a sandwich for lunch.

The way we did it when the DC were tiny was that when DH got home he took over the kids. I would then do a bit of cooking and clearing up on my own in the kitchen. I also got a lie in every Saturday to regroup.

DisplayPurposesOnly Sat 16-Mar-19 12:14:22

Divorce, then he can have them every other weekend and you can relax.

Hopefully it won't come to that. More seriously he's a git, and can shape the fuck up.

Tell him you're taking childfree time on the weekends and it's not up for discussion. He needs to parent his own children and pull his weight at home.

is absolutely right. And during the week decide what you want (more chilcldcare, a cleaner) and tell him that's what's happening.

gamerchick Sat 16-Mar-19 12:16:01

Maybe the words 'oi, fuckhead... You promised me 8 hours time off if I agreed to a third baby and now you want to go back on that? Make your own fucking tea' need to be said and delegate a load of stuff to him he can do during 'family time.'

Seems like he had a nice picture in his head about his life and didn't care about yours.

Designerenvy Sat 16-Mar-19 12:17:01

You need head space and time out regularly! You are not selfish to want / need this . Your babies are very young , so it's a full time job.
Your DH gets out to work and gets to come home in the evenings. What he expects is unnatural, one person can not do everything in the home.
I was a SAHM for a few years and its can tough ! It's lonely and some times just plain head wrecking.
I insisted on time out on my own, be it for a coffee with friends, a walk on my own, a drive on my own , a gym class....just anything once I got some head space.
If you're happy, your kids will be happy.
DH needs to step up and give u a break. Ignore MIL, she's old fashioned and bitter by the sounds of things !
Have a good, long heart to heart with DH and explain what u need.
Also, try to meet other mum's during the day, with kids of similar ages.....venting can be great . Maybe join some play groups egg, but make sure you're getting out of the house some days and doing something .

SirVixofVixHall Sat 16-Mar-19 12:18:02

I think you need to leave them with your DH for a weekend while you have a city break with a friend. I imagine he might stop demanding his “hot dinners” when you return ...

Boysey45 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:19:29

I'd just run off for a week and book in somewhere and let him get on with it seriously.

MammaMia19 Sat 16-Mar-19 12:26:50

I really don't think some men realise that being at home with the kids can actually be harder than working and it can be very lonely and soul destroying. Also your mil saying mother's must be selfless is ridiculous, she probably doesn't remember the realities of parenting small children.
I'd say to him that he needs to have them a full day completely on his own then tell you again to be selfless or not have childcare once a week.
I'm a single mum of 2, there's a 6 year gap between mine and I find that hard at times so I can imagine 3 under 3 is very hard work, especially if you are expected to do all the cooking as well.

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