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To think lots of men must believe in Santa? It’s the only explanation

(295 Posts)
NurseryTrouble123 Mon 16-Dec-19 10:10:41

DH and I have a pretty equal relationship in most respects - parenting, cooking, etc. I wish he’d clean more, but no one is perfect.

But when it comes to Christmas he does nothing. This morning he bought his first present and Christmas card while at the supermarket (for his niece - that gift, something for me and something for his mum are the only things he’ll buy). I used to love Christmas but now I just dread it. I’m lucky the kids aren’t aware that it’s Christmas so have no expectations - this is probably the last year I can get away with it being like this.

He seems to think Christmas just happens - he hasn’t spent a second thinking about what to get the kids, what food we need, ordering the food, arranging plans with family, decorating, properly cleaning the house, etc. When I speak to my friends, even those with very equal partners are doing the vast majority of the extra Christmas-related work.

I’m now wondering if he thinks that presents just magically arrive fully wrapped, food just arrives, decorations just exist in the loft ready to be put up... does he still think santa is real? It’s the only possible explanation for so many men being so completely shit at this time of year.

I’m sure some will tell us lovely stories of their partners doing the bulk of Christmas, cooking Christmas dinner; wrapping and buying all the gifts etc. I’m sure men like that exist but AIBU to think this is not the case for the vast majority of couples? Considering a strike for next year TBH. I just don’t understand how men who don’t usually practice this level of strategic incompetence, and who are usually not oblivious to what needs doing, are suddenly completely blind to these things because it’s christmas-related.

(And yes, I have spoken to him about it but he says deeply annoying things like “I don’t know what to buy”, as if I haven’t had to spend ages figuring out what to get, or “you should just ask for help” as if he doesn’t know that people need gifts, Christmas means a Christmas dinner, or that the tree needs to go up. It’s not “helping” me because it shouldn’t just be my job!)

dontcallmeduck Mon 16-Dec-19 10:12:40

I’ve bought every single present this year. He hasn’t even bothered writing cards for his family or friends so they’re not getting any. I am sending him with a list for the food though as he works from home.

roisinagusniamh Mon 16-Dec-19 10:15:21

Why did you marry achild?

CosmoK Mon 16-Dec-19 10:16:32

You need to sit down together and make a list then assign jobs. If things he is responsible for don't get done then it's his problem to solve.

Stop doing everything.

PuppyMonkey Mon 16-Dec-19 10:18:00

OP, how about correcting your thread title to say “My own useless DH” rather than “lots of men”?smile

Rainallnight Mon 16-Dec-19 10:20:23

CosmoK’S advice is spot on. Massive list, some time early November (or whenever you like to start) and then divvy up the tasks.

cheesydoesit Mon 16-Dec-19 10:22:03

Men behave like this when they know someone else will pick up the slack. You said your kids are too young to realise it's Christmas so use this year to do nothing. Draw your line in the sand, you have already spoken to him and he has given pathetic excuses that I'm sure he wouldn't give to his boss so just do nothing.

PerfectPretender Mon 16-Dec-19 10:22:08

I'm dating a single father and he has managed to arrange everything for his FC, although he doesn't out any pressure on himself to make it perfect or deep clean the house or anything like that. He has no emotional attachment to making Christmas super special, he just goes through the motions and makes it nice for his DC. I'm taking a leaf from his book, tbh. No need to make life harder than it is, no need for frantic preparations. I've bought frozen, ready made food for the roast dinner and presents for my own DC. That's it. No cards, no excursions, no rushing around. It's good.

cheesydoesit Mon 16-Dec-19 10:22:59

Sorry, my grammar was appalling but I think you get the gist.

DappledThings Mon 16-Dec-19 10:24:40

Is he bothered about that much of Christmas? Does he know how much it means to you?

I'm playing devil's advocate a bit here but people have very different expectations of Christmas. I do very little because I'm not that bothered about it but join in with what DH organises. I make more of an effort now because of the DC but getting a tree and decorations up is still down to DH because he cares more.

When we host he does all of it but he enjoys it. I do all the clearing up because I prefer that to cooking/planning but if he ever said he wanted more help I would happily do it.

My family only do presents for children so it's only his side that need buying for adults so I help with ideas if asked but it wouldn't occur to me to instigate buying for his side.

If he's expecting it all to happen and doesn't help that's shit. But if he thinks it's a bit OTT and maybe you should scale back together that's something to discuss.

Hyggemama Mon 16-Dec-19 10:25:20

Omg your DH organises his mum a gift?! Mine doesn't even do that grin i dont think it helps that we've been together since we were teens so i feel obligated to organise his families pressies. I think the list idea is good though.

Cookit Mon 16-Dec-19 10:29:36

It is DH’s job to do presents for his side and cards. If he doesn’t buy those people he wants presents, they will get nothing.
I must admit however that I do all the DC’s presents. Actually I think if I didn’t do it he’d do it but it would all be a big last minute trip round the shops (when he does his family presents) and I think I’d be too stressed to leave it so late. I like to research which thing and order online and source second hand where I can etc and this all takes time. So I guess he’d just do a different kind of Christmas than me. I am happy to stay in charge of DC’s presents.
In terms of food, actually it’s all his job.

ArchieStar Mon 16-Dec-19 10:30:15

What @PuppyMonkey said.

FoamingAtTheUterus Mon 16-Dec-19 10:31:07

Maybe men have the right idea and we're the real idiots ? 🤔

roisinagusniamh Mon 16-Dec-19 10:31:17

Just buy for your own family and stop making such a fuss and 'woe is me'!

ActualHornist Mon 16-Dec-19 10:31:58

Oh OP, don’t you know that Not All Men Are Like That, and you must ensure that you don’t hurt their feelings by policing your language better than you have?!

My DH is pretty ok but YANBU. My dad was the same when we were children, he’s ok now but only because he lives alone. He forgets our birthdays every single year hmm

Cookit Mon 16-Dec-19 10:32:19

I have a friend who used to argue that she had double the amount of presents to buy because she also had DH (when I was single) hmm and therefore two sets of parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts etc...
That still pisses me off many years later! She just made a mistake the first year they were together of sorting his parent’s presents and I have no idea why she did that.

OverByYer Mon 16-Dec-19 10:35:22

@FoamingAtTheUterus I think you are right.

OP my children are grown up now but Christmas for me has always been something that I sort out. Husband does not have a clue. My presents normally consist of whatever he spots in the supermarket. One year I had plates and cutlery. Because’you like sporty things’
I tell him now I don’t want anything and buy myself something nice.

BeanTownNancy Mon 16-Dec-19 10:36:27

We buy gifts together, so some time in November we will make a list of everyone on both sides of the family, and close friends, discuss and decide what we are each going to buy. This is largely instigated and organised by me, but that's because I'm naturally a planner and my husband is a last-minute person. He would buy all of the presents on the 20th December if left to himself, but he would get them... They just wouldn't be as good as if he'd put the effort in earlier.

PersephoneOP Mon 16-Dec-19 10:36:45

If you want things to change you need to be firm and take control of the situation.

If he is not helping during a very stressful, child-related time, it is not an equal workload and it will only change if you address this.

Your idea of a strike next year sounds good, honestly go for it, I think you're right most people still just expect that women will always do more for the kids, it doesn't have to be this way, everyone including men benefit from men taking equal responsibility for the child rearing. (and Christmas is a big event in 'parenting'!).

Bubblysqueak Mon 16-Dec-19 10:37:51

I've bought the majority (all online) DH bought the big present (as he was passing the shop) but he does all of the wrapping (accept his own present) . I think I've got the better end of the deal!

avocadotofu Mon 16-Dec-19 10:38:41

My husband is the same so I think you must be right grin

WobblyAllOver Mon 16-Dec-19 10:39:12

I refuse to do everything. I made it very clear at the beginning of our relationship that he takes care of his side of the family and I do my side. His side also know he's in charge of that so if things don't arrive in time for birthdays and Xmas then blame him not me.

I think people only get away with things that you allow them to get away with.

Bellasblankexpression Mon 16-Dec-19 10:40:25

My dad was always like this and still is - if I don’t organise him and my brother, my poor mum won’t get anything!
I swore I wouldn’t be the same with a husband, but I do tend to get a lot of the presents but that’s generally because I am at home more as I have more of a flexible job.
He does do all the decorating with me, buys all the Christmas food and cooks breakfast and dinner on Christmas Day though so I don’t mind it so much.
It must be infuriating to have to do EVERYTHING yourself, can you not sit them down and ensure they help with dinner and food at least?!

lazylinguist Mon 16-Dec-19 10:42:58

I buy the presents for the dc and for my side of the family. He buys for me and for his side. He always gets me good presents. We've only ever hosted Christmas once and he did all the cooking (I did the food shopping). He's not a fan of Christmas but loves cooking and also sees it as a good excuse to hide in peace and quiet in the kitchen!

There is no excuse for men being so shit at Christmas and at general present buying. They get away with it because they are allowed to get away with it. And no, it's not just a few men. MN is awash with this kind of complaint, and in almost every couple I know, the woman does pretty much all the Christmas prep.

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