Advanced search

Is DH doing too much/ am I a lazy mother?

(122 Posts)
MindMyOwnB Tue 19-Nov-19 10:38:46

This question is triggered by what other mothers have commented in passing, not DH, although it's made me worry I'm not coping and not doing enough.

DD is 10 months old. I found the transition hard when she was born. She was a colicky baby, terrible sleeper and it was very intense. I do absolutely adore being her mum, just life is understandably very different to before.

DH is self employed and works sporadic hours, sometimes at home and sometimes in an office so there will be weeks when he is around most of the time and works evenings or weekends.

DD still isn't a brilliant sleeper, can wake up anywhere between one and four times a night. The arrangement we have is that I do the night wakings and he gets up with her in the mornings - this can be anytime from 5am although usually 6am. I then stay in bed and get up between 8.30am and 9am. Sometimes I won't have slept much at all in the night, other times I have had an ok nights sleep but still take advantage of the lie in.

Once I'm up I'm with DD all day unless DH takes her to soft play or something like that which is probably once or twice a week to give me a couple of hours' break. About 50% of the time DH is around as well helping so it's not like I'm doing everything alone- he will help with bedtime whilst I cook etc.

A couple of comments from mothers in my NCT group have made me a bit worried about if I'm doing enough, about how their DH is out of the house all day at work etc and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing.

I know if it works for us it shouldn't matter, but it does matter to me because it plays into my insecurities that I couldn't cope properly, and most women do way more than me. I also feel guilty for going to back to bed when I could get up. AIBU?

Disfordarkchocolate Tue 19-Nov-19 10:41:50

If you are both happy it is fine, what is wrong with a father being very involved with his baby?

In a few years time, I bet some of these Mums will be moaning that they have husbands who do nothing and how unfair it is.

daisypond Tue 19-Nov-19 10:42:39

You are doing just fine. My DH did loads too, and I was glad of it.

Elbeagle Tue 19-Nov-19 10:42:42

God no you’re not lazy. Sounds like you have a good balance. If your DH is around, why wouldn’t he do some of the childcare? I assume he enjoys spending time with his child too?
My DH works full time from home, but if he ever had a spare hour he takes the baby (also 10 months) while I have a break, or does the school run for the older two, or takes them all out for a hot chocolate or something. He also does the early morning get up probably 70% of the time. He enjoys spending time with his children, that’s why he had them!
If it works for you, it matters not what others think!

Boom45 Tue 19-Nov-19 10:43:11

I had 2 babies that just didn't sleep so when my DH was around I went to bed and he just got on with it. We're both parents, of course we share the load - just because other couples don't has no influence on our arrangements at all.

CosmoK Tue 19-Nov-19 10:43:35

It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship.

If you're lazy then i am too! I bet they're just jealous that they have lazy husbands.

justsotiredallthetime Tue 19-Nov-19 10:43:34

Fuck what others think. If you're a happy unit then it works! Why is it questioned if the man takes an active role?! Sounds like a great dad and partner, and someone who actually WANTS to be a father through the good and bad. My other half is exactly the same as yours. I think we're with the good ones!

HugoSpritz Tue 19-Nov-19 10:44:23

It aounds very much like the set up we had. We are a partnership and DH still does the majority of cooking. It is about what works for you as a couple. Ignore other people's comments.

Tun55 Tue 19-Nov-19 10:44:50

What works for you works for you! I bet they all want as much support as you have from your DH. Also, the circumstances around his job that are working in your favour.
As long as you and DH are happy with the arrangement, it’s no ones business. Your “friends” get up every single morning because they have to get their kids to school, partners to work etc. I bet no one would want to do it to “not be lazy”.
With privileges, I usually never tell others about them. Jealous leads to all kinds of headaches!

KatharinaRosalie Tue 19-Nov-19 10:44:51

If the roles were reversed, would anybody say you are doing too much, if you did just as much as DH does at the moment? No, thought not.

ActualHornist Tue 19-Nov-19 10:45:04

So your baby’s father interacts with her when he is around?

Why would you feel this is a problem? It’s good he’s not working out of home. It’s good that he spends time alone with her when he is able.

Take with a pinch of salt the whole ‘I couldn’t bear to have time away from my baby’. She’s with her father not going down a mine.

PeopleWhoRun Tue 19-Nov-19 10:45:07

No you are not being unreasonable.

As you said, if it works for you that's all that matters.

I definitely think if you feel this way, you should talk to your husband. Ask him if he's fine, if he needs you to do more. You just need to make sure you're checking on each others feelings to make sure each other are happy and coping.

Seems a nice balance to me

AnotherEmma Tue 19-Nov-19 10:47:57

"A couple of comments from mothers in my NCT group have made me a bit worried about if I'm doing enough, about how their DH is out of the house all day at work etc and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing."

Fuck them.

There is no right and wrong but if there was, you and your DH would be doing it right and they would be doing it wrong.

They sound jealous or competitive or both. I bet they wish their DH did half as much as yours so they are saying those stupid things about not wanting to be apart from their DC to make themselves feel better.

It's pathetic.

Oh and FWIW my DH is more like yours, we have always shared the night wakings and mornings, and he works from home and does loads of childcare and housework. I think everyone should share the load but clearly some people are stuck in the 1950s and didn't get the memo!

You don't have to be friends with these women just because you all had babies in the same month.

tigerbear Tue 19-Nov-19 10:49:25

Sounds like you have a great family life, don’t change things based on the comments of others!
Also, take into account that you had the toll of pregnancy and giving birth, and all the stress that puts on the body. People think women should just spring back and have normal’ energy levels afterwards, but you may need the extra time to sleep and recover. Yes, I know you’re 10 months into it, but in my case I found that energy levels were def low, after the high Adrenalin levels of the first 6 months wore off.

Minai Tue 19-Nov-19 10:52:00

If you are happy and dh is happy with how you are doing who cares what anyone else thinks. It sounds like you have a great arrangement and it doesn’t sound lazy at all. People making comments are probably jealous. Since having a baby I’ve met a lot of mums whose partners are absolutely useless dads who do next to nothing with their own child and it is just accepted that that’s the way it is and if a dad is actually involved with looking after their own child the mum should consider herself lucky. It’s depressing.

Cheeseandwin5 Tue 19-Nov-19 10:56:20

Your only mistake is to compare your relationship to others.
We all have different dynamics in play.
If it works for you both and the DC, than happy days.
You may see it as him working hard- he may see it as quality time with his child. You may see it as you not doing enough, he may see as you both working as a team to get things done.
You are all part of a whole now and things will ebb and flow.

lumity Tue 19-Nov-19 10:57:42

These women at your NCT sound odd, tbh. Ok, it’s true that some fathers can’t be around as much as yours is, but so what? It is what it is. Some women are single mums. Some women have full-time nannies. There are no prizes for who had it “hardest” confused. People just adapt to their personal circumstances.

mrsbyers Tue 19-Nov-19 10:59:10

Bunch of jealous judgemental bitches - ignore them

Thebookswereherfriends Tue 19-Nov-19 11:00:25

That’s very similar to what my partner did when dd was small and it was great because it meant I wasn’t completely on my knees with tiredness and my partner got valuable bonding time. He also did bath every night when he got home. I’m sure that because if this we never had that period where children only want mum to do everything. It is a very good balance and the other Mum’s are most probably jealous that your husband is so involved and that you get a bit of time to yourself. Ignore other people just do you.

OhWellThatsJustGreat Tue 19-Nov-19 11:02:39

I think as long as you're all happy and it works for you then the set up you've got is perfect! Ignore the jealous judge people

Mishfit0819 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:08:38

It sounds like they enjoy playing martyr. That will wear off in a few years and they'll be posting on here for advice on how to get their DH to help more etc.

If your family are happy then change nothing smile

Honeybee85 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:15:02

My DH is also very hands on and I notice people are surprised when I tell them. And others mums tell me I am so lucky and they wish their DH was like that.

I think people are just envious of you.

Louloulovesyou Tue 19-Nov-19 11:16:02

It sounds like you have a lovely, happy balance. Your baby will be benefiting from having two happy (rested) parents who both involved. You'll find as you progress through your parenting journey there will always be other parents who make digs, basically because of jealousy and insecurity, rise above it!

SarahAndQuack Tue 19-Nov-19 11:16:03

It sounds like a nice balance to me. TBH, I wouldn't have thought you were being unreasonable if you'd posted this scenario and asked if maybe your DH should be doing more at night, or more during the day, either. I'm not at all saying he should - you both seem perfectly happy with this - but just pointing out that it's actually not at all weird for him to be doing what he's doing, and certainly not saintly levels of self-denial or anything. Just ordinary 'nice'.

FWIW I found my NCT group eye-opening in this respect too. Nice people, whom I like, but I was really shocked how little some people's partners did. And then, they did tend to normalise it. I think it's probably a self-preservation technique, in a way. If you know deep down that your husband isn't going to get his finger out and parent his own child, it is probably better for your short-term mental health to persuade yourself you love things this way and couldn't imagine not being with your baby 24/7.

Havaina Tue 19-Nov-19 11:16:38

how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing.

This sounds awful.

tillytrotter1 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:21:23

and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC.

They must have terrible headaches from those haloes!
They're doing their children no favours being so ostentatiously clingy, there'll come a time when they have to let go or will they stalk them through university?
It's no wonder that 'seperation anxiety' is now a thing, poor chiildren.

TheOrigFV45 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:26:50

about how their DH is out of the house all day at work etc and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing.

I can't even be bothered to think up a good response to this.
Maybe "fuck off"?

Orangecake123 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:31:13

Your not lazy. If it works for the both of you that's all that matters.

GrumpyHoonMain Tue 19-Nov-19 11:32:46

Ignore the competitive parenting. You need to do whatever is right for your family. If your DH is home based then it’s only right he should be more involved than another father who might be employed / long commute / desperately trying to keep things financially afloat while their wives take maternity.

Celebelly Tue 19-Nov-19 11:33:40

Sounds exactly like us! DP takes DD every morning before work and keeps her from 6 or 7am depending on when she gets to up any time between 8.30-10 depending on what his work schedule is like. If it's been a bad night, he sometimes rearranges stuff so he can start at 10 (and as he does a lot of work from home, that means he brings her back to me at 9.59). At weekends he takes her until I get up, which can be 10 or 11am some days if I have sleep to catch up on. He also does more than 50% of the housework, but I do more cooking, so it kind of balances out I suppose.

I suspect the comments you are getting are from people who are jealous and don't want to admit their partners do bog all, tbh .

happytoday73 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:33:47

Sounds fine to me. People might be jealous their partners are less involved.

I'm not really into babies but my husband is so probably did more than many dad's. Now they are at primary I take far more of the mental load and spend more time with them than my husband does.

As long as you are working as a team and not major resentment on either side its whatever works!

Considermesometimes Tue 19-Nov-19 11:34:42

Totally jealous of all the help you are getting. It is impossible to be lazy with a ten month old baby!!

OrangeZog Tue 19-Nov-19 11:34:58

YANBU. I’m pretty sure it’s in everyone’s best interest for your baby and father to have their own quality one on one time or bonding time and it’s definitely always good for all of us to get some sleep.

Simkin Tue 19-Nov-19 11:35:44

Honestly if I could go back and have my (now 8&10) babies all over again - which I wouldn't tbh - I would just tell myself to give myself a break.

The chances are those NCT mums are not even thinking about your set up, they're just frantically justifying their own way of doing things and adjusting to having babies too.

You are doing well. You are OK. The baby is fine. You are all happy (as one can be in the first stages of having kids). It is a shock having children and feeling like you are back in the 'public' sphere after having been allowed some privacy on young adulthood but really most people are not judging and those who are can just fuck off.

I bet you're a lovely mum flowers

Bluntness100 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:35:53

We split fifty fifty as well. I honesrly don't know why women get involved in these nct groups to this extent. Always seems so bloody judgey.

Celebelly Tue 19-Nov-19 11:35:58

Also why do they see it as a badge of honour that their DH does nothing? I'd be bloody embarrassed and sad for my DC that their father wasn't involved. As it is, DD and DP have a lovely relationship and it means I can happily leave them together for whatever length of time needed, he can do bedtime, etc. Dads who don't get involved don't learn how to parent their own child and it's a crying shame. She's 50% his, damn right he should know how to look after her!

Frozenfan2019 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:36:19

My DH got up every morning with our first DS. What the hell is wrong with him taking his own child out twice a week?

Sometimes these mums groups can turn into a competition for who has it harder. Just remember he is the father he has as much right to spend time with his child as you. If these mums dont "let" their partners do anything they are doing a disservice to their child and partner and if it's the dads who won't help they are rubbish parents.

You sound like you have a great balance.

user1493413286 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:38:01

I would love how you and your DH work it; I think most people would and they probably say they wouldn’t to hide their unhappiness or insecurities about their own situation.
I’ve also not come across many mums who don’t admit to loving a break when someone else takes the baby out.

SquishySquirmy Tue 19-Nov-19 11:41:27

You don't sound lazy at all, it sounds like you do plenty but your dh is also involved.
What a lucky baby, to have two parents both investing time and effort into looking after her.

Your child and husband will have a closer bond than many other dads do with their babies, because he is pulling his weight. Having the occasional break and a rest in the mornings will make you a happier mum, which is also better for the baby.
Win-win all round!

Starlight39 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:42:05

Well, you're probably already doing far more than someone who has a baby who sleeps 7-7 plus a 3 hour nap anyway! I was a single mum with a non-sleeping baby but I'd never bedrudge someone else having some help. It's not a race to the bottom and the NCT mothers are being ridiculous and very rude to comment. It's lovely that your DD has a good bond with her Dad.

EL8888 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:42:06

Not at all. I think it’s great he is so involved and supporting you. Small children are tough and sleep deprivation is a form of torture after all

@Mishfit0819 yeah l get a whiff of martyr in the airs from the others of NCT. Not quite sure why women do this to themselves but anyway

CatteStreet Tue 19-Nov-19 11:42:43

I think some women who feel powerless to change their husbands' or partners' refusal to pull their weight redefine it into a badge of honour for themselves, aided by the profound social conditioning that suggests to women that their worth lies in running around after other people all the time. My dh is a very active parent (I won't say 'hands-on dad' because nobody ever used the phrase 'hands-on mum') and pulls his weight house-wise despite working conventional and quite long hours, and I get that nagging sense of not 'doing' enough even though I work and parent and do everything else that entails.

Cuppachino Tue 19-Nov-19 11:42:59

YANBU - take all the rest/time you get.

how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing

Yeah, they've convinced themselves that this is true...they're not ready to admit their husbands are useless.

CatteStreet Tue 19-Nov-19 11:43:58

(I should add that none of this sense of not 'doing' enough comes from dh. It's all internalised)

user1374384 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:44:30

They sound jealous. When DH was self employed our set up was very similar. He also did most of the school runs later if he wasn't on a job. There are many ups and downs to each life style though. Our income was very low until I started working evenings once I'd stopped having babies and nursing, and household income was very up and down and unreliable. It meant he could bond well with the littles, and be very involved but we couldn't afford to buy a house and have more stability until he took a more traditional full time job so we couldn't do it forever. I do think having both parents hands due to a shorter working day week and better pay is the lifestyle we should all be campaigning for, rathe than passing comments at others out of snobbiness or jealousy.

gingersausage Tue 19-Nov-19 11:44:50

Oh god the “they’re just jealous bitches” brigade are out in force as usual 🙄.

@MindMyOwnB I felt very much like you with my first baby. My husband was very much like yours sounds and I felt like you; that I wouldn’t be able to cope at all if he wasn’t around or I had to do some of the stuff he did. I had pretty severe PND though, so I’m wondering if you have/had/might have too?

TheTrollFairy Tue 19-Nov-19 11:45:07

Your DH isn’t doing too much. He is also your DDs parent.
I have friends who didn’t like to be away from their kids, it made the transition to school awful for the kids

blackteasplease Tue 19-Nov-19 11:49:00

No it sounds like it’s working well!

EL8888 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:49:01

@gingersausage but let’s be honest women are quite jealous creatures aren’t they? Men don’t seem as afflicted with the jealously and endless comparisons. I’m still trying to get my head around the friend who make it clear she was jealous of me lying in bed later than her, as l felt unwell from fertility drugs and was exhausted. Whereas she had to get up with her 2 children. Hmm ok 🤔

messolini9 Tue 19-Nov-19 11:50:03

A couple of comments from mothers in my NCT group have made me a bit worried about if I'm doing enough, about how their DH is out of the house all day at work etc and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing.

OP, these "couple of comments" mothers are undermining you.
They are either parading their holier-than-thou mothering credentials ("wouldn't ever want a break from mt DC", my arse!), or are jealous of your co-parenting, or insecure about their own.

It's a refreshing change to read a post about a DH who is properly engaged as a parent. Keep enjoying it, & as for the NCT commenters - just Grey Rock any more sniping.

peachesforfree Tue 19-Nov-19 11:53:43

Ignore them! I had a friend like this, she’s getting divorced. After a couple of years of doing everything she started complaining that her friend’s husbands did more. By that time her husband didn’t know how to parent his children. Meanwhile my other pal has a fab career and a husband who does 50%.

Simkin Tue 19-Nov-19 11:54:27

I don't think it's envy. I think it's internalised women-as-martyr image. You see it on here all the time - you know, when people gave birth to their third child and then that afternoon did the keynote speech at an international conference followed by their 5 year old's nativity play, breastfeeding and teaching the 3 year old to read throughout.

The image of woman as Mother Earth is very difficult to rid yourself of, especially when you're vulnerable having just given birth and taking on this unfamiliar role. Sometimes it feels like you have to be Everything or your nothing. Not true of course.

Pomley Tue 19-Nov-19 11:55:34

I think it sounds amazing to be honest, and if it's working for both of you then I really wouldn't worry what some jealous women with outdated views on women's work and men's roles think.

TryingToBeBold Tue 19-Nov-19 11:55:59

I agree with some of the comments. It does sound like a bit of jealousy.
My OH is out the door before DD gets up and that's 5 days a week so I have her from the moment she's awake to when he gets home. Then he takes over a little.
Soft play twice a week..I could only dream of that kind of break grin sometimes I escape just to do the shopping at the weekend but breaks are few and far between and I can guarantee it's the same for them.
People are shocked when I say my OH changes a nappy. And how lucky I am? Its basic parenting so nothing surprises me in how people parent anymore.

peachesforfree Tue 19-Nov-19 11:56:11

My mother also has a good line in these comments - according to her my db does far too much parenting. Even though my df didn’t do enough which ruined her career. You can’t win so just carry on doing what works for you guys and ignore other people. Be thankful you have a husband like this <3

Inebriati Tue 19-Nov-19 11:58:28

You both need a good balance. You need to sleep, and he needs to bond with his child.
If he isn't happy he's an adult and he can say so.

GinAndTings Tue 19-Nov-19 11:59:46

Ignore them. What works in your home is what works for you both!

Enjoy catching up on your sleep smile

Chocolate1984 Tue 19-Nov-19 12:02:34

It’s not a race to the bottom. Why would you want a husband that didn’t help and left all the childcare to you? A father that doesn’t help isn’t really something to boast about.

BykerBykerWooooo Tue 19-Nov-19 12:03:13

You sound like you and dh have a great arrangement that works for both of you and your child. That’s actually all that matters. Enjoy.

GoodGriefSunshine Tue 19-Nov-19 12:04:05

and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC well bully for them. I have never met these people as I have never met anyone who doesn't want a break from their DC. Find new friends.

Justaboy Tue 19-Nov-19 12:24:27

You've got a good man there, rather rare on these boards;!

Damntheman Tue 19-Nov-19 12:27:50

Grief OP, You're doing amazing! You two sound like a great team. if it makes you feel better, my DH does even more than yours and I don't consider myself a lazy mother :D Keep on keeping on! True partnership in parenting seems like such a rare thing in some circles, enjoy it.

neonglow Tue 19-Nov-19 12:29:48

Your set up sounds MUCH healthier and better than having a DH who ‘does nothing’ for his own child and feeling constantly sleep-deprived.

Polydactyly Tue 19-Nov-19 12:35:52

It sounds perfectly normal to me. He’s not “helping” you he’s doing his duty as a dad. This is his responsibility too and it sounds like you guys have a pretty good routine worked out so that both of you get enough sleep.
People who act like you’re not doing enough are either jealous or stupid. Often I find the “I would never want a break from my baby” comments come from insecure women who are trying to justify the fact that their partners do sod all.
I hope that the nights improve for you soon but remember this is all normal and if you need have a rant, you’re still allowed even though your husband is “helpful” because you are both still allowed to be tired Without being labelled ungrateful parents.

treepolitics Tue 19-Nov-19 12:36:14

you need a new baby group though don't you, they've caused you to wonder if you are the one in the wrong. Find nicer mum friends - I know it's hard but you shouldn't keep seeing people who've already made you feel bad about yourself and are probably going to take advantage as a next stage because you're 'so lucky'. Whereas they should be kicking their DH's into gear and not prattling about not wanting a break at all.

KickingItSince1966 Tue 19-Nov-19 12:36:28

You sound a lot like me. Eldest now 5, and friends’ partners have never put kids to bed. Not even when we have dinner and drinks.

DH and I both value free time to go to gym, housework or just chill and recharge. Friends turn up at birthday parties with partners. Makes no sense why both should suffer 2 hours of soft play.

Give and take, teamwork, and self care. These things make life enjoyable. Being a martyr does not.

treepolitics Tue 19-Nov-19 12:37:31

fwiw when I worked ft my dc was often up 430/5 and I used to love seeing her for those extra hours. Yes it was knackering, but it's a short, short window and in a few years you'll be wondering where all the time went (whilst being pleased you both can actually get some sleep)

nocluewhattodoo Tue 19-Nov-19 12:40:55

I was one of the women whose male partner did sweet fuck all when DD was a baby, and I did used to say I wouldn't want a minute away from DD blah blah blah, but actually that was just me trying to justify the shitty hand I was dealt. Martyring yourself does no one any good, and that is exactly what your NCT 'friends' are doing. But when people are new parents they don't want to advertise the negatives that have become apparent in their relationships because it is supposed to be the ultimate time of happy families, so a 'brave face' is put on.

You keep doing what you are doing OP, you will be a better parent for having rest and time for yourself, DD is 3 and I still feel utterly drained every single day due to the 2 years of sleep deprivation shouldered entirely by me.

ladycarlotta Tue 19-Nov-19 12:42:42

You should not be ashamed that you don't have to do everything yourself! I know being solo all day can seem like a badge of honour, but I reckon managing to share parenting deserves one too! I know so many mums whose relationships are suffering and who are really unhappy with how remote and peripheral their partners are. It doesn't do anyone any favours - your baby has two parents and they deserve a relationship with both. This will be incredible beneficial to all three of you.

Frankly, although I think the parental leave situation in this country is improving, it still gives fathers a very raw deal - which gives mothers a raw deal too. The cultural dialogue is still 'I see you mama!' type posts celebrating women's total martyrdom, or 'lol men what are they like eh?' when dads don't have a fucking clue how to look after their own children day-to-day. It's not good. Men and their kids deserve to get proper time together; women should not STILL be cast as default caregiver. It doesn't have to be like this, and it's great that for you it is not. You should never ever be ashamed of that.

Ihatecbeebies79 Tue 19-Nov-19 12:43:47

You're not lazy. You're fortunate to have a proper partner in parenting. If anyone says otherwise, they're probably jealous. My ex is a bit of a knob now, but he was pretty awesome in the early days, parenting f/t during my awful PND.

bubs80 Tue 19-Nov-19 12:44:38

You are not lazy. Raising a baby is a partnership you sound like you have the perfect combination

MoonlightBonnet Tue 19-Nov-19 12:45:33

There’s no need for posters to be putting the NCT women mentioned in the OP down to justify either the OP or their own way of doing things. Every family works differently and as long as it is working for your family it’s fine. With my first he’d sleep until 9 and I’d just sleep with him! So DP got up earlier than me but didn’t do the childcare. When my 2nd was a baby he’d get up earlier than me and take the older one to school. But I was doing the night wakings (breastfeeding), with both. We just did what worked. There are no rules.

(And at ten months I didn’t want to be away from my first either. We’d tried for a long time and I was just happy being with him. Didn’t cause any problems for either of us as he got older, we both grew out of it!)

1300cakes Tue 19-Nov-19 12:47:09

and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC

Good for them. Personally I also enjoy taking care of my dc, thing is I want to keep enjoying it, so I take breaks all the time and don't matyr myself.

I feel a bit embarrassed for them, having a shit husband is nothing to boast about.

ladycarlotta Tue 19-Nov-19 12:50:26

^ I say all this as the partner of a dad who is currently on parental leave looking after our daughter. I am your partner in this situation - freelance and working from home (in theory) while partner cares for the baby. It doesn't always work that way as the baby apparently isn't as woke as we are and really just wants my boobs, but I think it has saved my bacon sanity-wise.

We do the same as you: I do night wake ups and then partner takes her for a few hours while I get some sleep. I'm sure I could survive without that window of sleep but I really would be only just surviving. I think if he wasn't around I would be much less mentally healthy, much less available to my child, much less of a mother than I am. I really enjoy her and I believe that's because I'm not forced to take all the domestic load; my partner knows exactly what being home with a baby entails and we work together as a team to get shit done rather than spending all week wondering what the hell the other's been up to for 10 hours every day.

We're really lucky to be able to do this, and I do also feel self-conscious that my experience of early motherhood isn't like that of some of my peers. But I am really trying not to be sorry about it. More people should have this opportunity; that's what needs to change.

I do try to use my extra energy to help out when other mums are in a bit of a crisis, eg bringing them lunch or looking after their baby for an hour or two. That's the best way I can see to pay it forward right now, besides advocating for this model to be more available.

Whatsnewpussyhat Tue 19-Nov-19 12:51:12

how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing

Jealousy because their husbands opt out of bloody parenting.

What you do is perfectly normal to me.

Notodontidae Tue 19-Nov-19 12:53:00

Dont put any pressure on yourself, an unstressful mum is more benificial to DD than one that is trying to maintain the same standards as before DD was born. So long as the house is clean, a few toys on the floor, or a pile of washing in the corner, and an occasional ready meal is not going to hurt. Be kind to yourself and give yourself a leisure break even if it only 10mins while DD naps. Do exercises every day, and you may find you have even more energy, but as said earlier, if DH is happy, you've no need to feel guilty. YANBU. enjoy your new job.

Lovemenorca Tue 19-Nov-19 12:54:56

* and most women do way more than me. *

They do. But that’s nothing to feel guilty about.

Icanflyhigh Tue 19-Nov-19 12:55:02

I think it sounds like you have a near as damn it perfect relationship where you take an equal share, respect that each other gets knackered and give each other time to recuperate.
You share housework,chores and cooking, and you both have an equal interaction with your DD - long may it continue OP, it sounds lovely x

LOALM Tue 19-Nov-19 12:55:32

A couple of things spring to mind reading this.

Firstly, it sounds like you have a wonderful balance and a wonderfully supportive partner. If he is able to support, and give you some space to yourself, then absolutely take it - it does not make you less able as a mother, lazy, or anything else. It just means he doesn't fall into the category of men who feel like looking after their DC is babysitting smile

Secondly, those NCT mothers sound a bit awful. I tend to never believe anyone who says they "wouldn't ever want a break from their DC" - because we're all human and need a bloody break from time to time FFS - without it meaning that we love our DC any less, I must add. I would guess some, if not all, are in denial about that.

Thirdly, since when was having a DH who did "nothing" something to be boastful or score mum points about?! I would put money on them actually being a little jealous of the fact that you are able to adore your DD like they do, while having a healthy relationship, a good familial balance and a bit of time to yourself, so instead they're making out that what they have (i.e. little to none of that) is better.

Don't change a thing, OP.

Chathamhouserules Tue 19-Nov-19 13:19:29

They are probably jealous. Yes you probably do do less than most mums but that's because you can. I'm sure you would be able to cope with more if you needed to. But you don't! And I think it's great your dh gets to spend more time with his baby. He's lucky too!

Magnificentbeast Tue 19-Nov-19 13:22:07

It sounds as if you have a really good balance. When I had my first dc I know women who were really territorial about anything to do with the baby. As time went on they wondered why their DH didn't help out more.

I've only ever thought of parenting as a team effort wherever possible. I don't think my dh and I have achieved that exactly but I'll keep working on it. Life does get in the way sometimes.

userxx Tue 19-Nov-19 13:22:23

Those women sound like martyrs.

Drabarni Tue 19-Nov-19 13:24:56

You lost me at NCT friends.
You've had baby now, and these groups stink, honestly.
I think it must be a mc thing as I've known nobody get involved with the stepford wives grin

Anyway, ignore them your dh is doing what should be expected as a parent.
Perhaps suggest their dh's are a bit useless and crap parents.

Alwayscheerful Tue 19-Nov-19 13:27:09


Drum2018 Tue 19-Nov-19 13:33:32

A couple of comments from mothers in my NCT group have made me a bit worried about if I'm doing enough, about how their DH is out of the house all day at work etc and how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC. About how they've got up every single morning with their DC and their DHs do nothing

I know the Dh I'd prefer to have - yours! I bet these martyr mammies/wives settle their dhs down on the sofa for a blow job as soon as they have spoon fed them their steak dinner hmm.

AnotherEmma Tue 19-Nov-19 13:34:17


Moreisnnogedag Tue 19-Nov-19 13:46:15

It sounds like you have a partnership - honestly i hated baby groups for this very reason. People just wanted to make other people feel bad to make themselves feel better. Me and another mom had loads of snidely comments because we were returning to work -“Oh I love my child too much to go to work so soon”. Their husbands are lazy shits and they are justifying their behaviour by implying that their husbands crappiness is actually allowing them to show maternal love.

dottiedodah Tue 19-Nov-19 13:49:22

DH sounds lovely and there is a great balance .I think you are very lucky Only a few days ago on this site, a lady complained of leaving her baby with her DH, who couldnt cope with any crying ,and was being rough throwing baby around and spinning her then shouting ! Enjoy this lovely time together and ignore the comments .Some women can be really competetive and always want to feel they have the better set up!

Jackiebrambles Tue 19-Nov-19 13:52:22

It sounds to me like you have an excellent balance! I would have loved this when I was on my maternity leave(s).

But my husband had to leave for the office at 7.30am and wasn't back until gone 7pm most nights. So enjoy it! I found those long days of maternity leave pretty hard, so I was glad to go back to work to get some balance back.

Don't worry about everyone elses set up, yes yours might be 'uncommon' but I would say it's the better set up than the usual one for sure!

GettingABitDesperateNow Tue 19-Nov-19 13:55:21

Your NCat 'friends' are jealous and actually being quite nasty - wanting a couple of hours break from anything in life is normal and healthy, and implying that they are better than you because they want to literally spend all their time with their baby is insane. What normal person doesn't want to spend an extra hour in bed when they know they're going to see their baby all day anyway? What kind of mother actually boasts that their kids other equal parent never gets up in the morning with their baby and never spends any alone time with them? They are totally going to be the type of couples where if the woman wants a day out she has to write instructions for the man to follow around eating and sleeping, spends her time constantly checking up on them and then has to leave early because she has got a panicked phone call from the dad because the baby is missing its mum.

I think you will have a much happier marriage, have a better life balance, and see a better bond between your baby and her dad than the other families. Also if you ever have another you will find it a lot easier when the eldest is equally happy with your husband, as newborns are so dependent on their mums usually, so you'll have a lot less jealousy issues.

I still cant get over their horrible judgey comments! NCT is meant to be about support, but somehow sometimes seems to turn into a competition as to who's the biggest martyr

DangerClose Tue 19-Nov-19 14:03:52

Your setup sounds similar to ours. My DH works from home so would take the kids early evening and first thing in the morning, allowing me to get at least a few hours solid of sleep every day. I'd do all the wakeups overnight so he could sleep and be capable of working the next day. But since he worked from home, he'd always be around to help with meals, take them out for a couple of hours once or twice a week to give me a break, etc.

He was happy to do all that because he knew that I was spending 90% of my waking hours with babies/toddlers and that's exhausting!

And they got to see their dad much more than most kids see working parents. We were all happy... why change anything??

tympanic Tue 19-Nov-19 14:04:29

I know many new mums who had a very similar setup to yours, OP. Some whose DHs did even more than that. You are not a lazy mum AT ALL. You sound like a great mum.

My son has always been a terrible sleeper and woke up countless times a night up until only very recently (he's almost 3YO) and still wakes almost every night at least once. My husband did nothing to help. I was wrecked. Still am.

THAT situation is abnormal. Sadly though, I think it's more common than it should be. Which is probably why those other mums are snipping at you. They're jealous. Well done for choosing a good man to father your child. smile

CobaltLoafer Tue 19-Nov-19 14:04:56

I always find the “I’d never want a break from my baby!” comments come from:

a) first time mums with a baby who naps really well during the day and sleeps through at night - so they ARE getting a break!

b) mums for which everything is a competition.

By second child most people are either totally done in by the toddler phase, or get a shit sleeper next time, realising that they were dicks with their first 😂

I would have been envious of all the help you are getting, sure, but I had a rubbish sleeper for DC1 and would totally have high fived you for being able to actually get some sleep! And for having a decent man as a father to your child!

egontoste Tue 19-Nov-19 14:08:35

Just be thankful that your dc has two parents who are both involved hands-on in her upbringing smile

CharityConundrum Tue 19-Nov-19 14:15:39

I'm not sure why there are so many vitriolic comments aimed at the other mums. The OP doesn't say that they are directing these comments at her particularly - she says they are comments made in passing, so presumably just in the way that these conversations go at baby groups.

While I agree that the OP seems to have found a balance that works for her family, it is really disappointing that some posters seem to be gleefully tearing down these other women accusing them of jealousy, martyrdom, being pathetic and competitive and accusing them of not being good friends when there is no suggestion that they are doing anything other than describing their situation. The assumption that they must be being deliberately awful is really sad - they are all new mums too, finding their way through the experience of trying to balance a new baby too.

I hope that anyone who is in the situation of one of those other mothers doesn't feel as though they aren't allowed to describe their family set-up without being accused of any of those things. In reality, everyone has a different setup and does what works for them.

StandUpStraight Tue 19-Nov-19 14:16:17

You have an unusually balanced relationship with your DH. Unfortunately it excites remark because it is still so unusual to see that degree of balance, particularly when it has evolved naturally from mutual respect rather than finally being established after constant reminders, complaints, arguments etc. Don’t worry about it - it should be celebrated. Also, my SIL once said that she never wants to be apart from her daughters, and I can tell you that she is a loon and her daughters have not benefited from being suffocated by their mother.

Saxifraga Tue 19-Nov-19 14:23:48

You're not unreasonable at all. Your set up sounds lovely and well balanced!

Interestedwoman Tue 19-Nov-19 14:26:22

'how they wouldn't ever want a break from their DC'

IDK who would say this, maybe they feel they should say that, but IMO, most people need a bit of a break sometimes.

'I also feel guilty for going to back to bed when I could get up.'

Sleep is good for you, and there's no point making your life more grueling or miserable if you can avoid it.

It sounds like you still do plenty, and don't unduly skive off anything.

It's good that you feel a need to care for your health and well being- this can only be a help to your family. xxx

Obligatorync Tue 19-Nov-19 14:47:12

Sounds very like our set up when our children were small. It sounds perfectly fair. Now they're all at school we both work full time but we share all the other work. It's good.

BlingLoving Tue 19-Nov-19 14:48:34

You are my hero. What you are doing is the advice I give eery woman when they have a baby - if he has to work and therefore really does need that chunk of sleep, fine, but that doesn't mean he gets to enjoy a perfect 9 h ours every night while you're barely surviving on 3. I always tell women that if they're' up all night, their husbands absolutely should be doing the early morning stint (going to bed a bit earlier if necessary) so that at least you get a few solid hours.

DS was also a terrible sleeper. I used to go to bed around 9. He'd stay up and feed ds at around 11:00 then go to bed. I'd do the rest of the night (unless things got totally out of hand) and usually I'd manage to get DS back down around 4 am. But he'd be niggling by 5/5:30 at which point DH would get up. Sometimes they'd then both be up until Dh went to work, sometimes he'd get DS down and he'd be able to shower/breakfast in peace. And then I'd take over when he left at about 8 am. Without those guaranteed 3 hours consecutive sleep every night I would probably have died. And my mild PND would undoubtedly have been significantly worse.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »