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AIBU to think it's not a break...

(106 Posts)
MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:30:58

I work full time and I'm doing a full time Masters' degree. My Masters' dissertation was due last week and my exams start on Monday. I have a son who is approaching one year old. My husband usually works full time but, as a teacher, he's been told to stay at home and do no work on full pay. I just lost it with him - I want to know if I'm being unreasonable.
About a ten days ago, I had been working on my dissertation and then needed to express breastmilk. I stopped doing my dissertation to express, my husband had been watching our son. He came in and said he needed to go to the Post Office and did I want to go to get some time out of the house (as he's been doing our weekly food shop). I said I was busy and he responded "ok, well, can you watch DS if you want to continue taking a break?". I explained rather bluntly that expressing breastmilk is not "taking a break".
Today, I've been trying to study all day but my husband has been doing everything except what needs to happen. I've had to be jumping up every three seconds to stop the dog stealing things or stop our son putting his hands in the dog bowls, or to "just help him for a second" or "just check this link" or "just help me write this email". Just now, he was supposed to be watching our son whilst I studied for my exam on Monday. My son kept coming over to me and rubbing his dirty hands on my textbook just being a toddler - he ripped a page in my textbook. I stopped studying and started to express milk. Then my son kept coming up and tugging on all the tubes and turning it off (it's a touch screen so easy to turn off or change settings). I then snapped at my husband why he isn't watching our son and he responds that he "needed" to check his email. He doesn't NEED to check his email - he has literally no commitments outside of this house at the moment. So I told him that what he needs to be doing is watching our son and I can't understand why he thinks that everything needs to happen more than me needing to study and why my Masters' is less important than literally everything he can think of to do. He responds with "you're not even studying right now, you're taking a break". I then shouted at him, which I know I shouldn't have done, and told him to stop thinking expressing milk is "a break" and to not ask for my help for the rest of the day. His job right now is to look after our son whilst I'm working and that should be his focus.

OP’s posts: |
Dishwashersaurous Fri 29-May-20 16:35:36

Ok. Clearly he needs to step up

But why are you expressing for a one year old?

MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:37:18

@Dishwashersaurous I don't understand - why wouldn't I express for a one year old?

OP’s posts: |
KKSlider Fri 29-May-20 16:40:22

Would it not be easier to feed your DS directly and then you could carry on reading while he's feeding? I studied for exams this way when my own were that age.

Pipandmum Fri 29-May-20 16:44:32

Yes I was wondering the same thing - why arent you just feeding your baby?
But yes your husband is not getting it. Can you go in your bedroom and shut the door (lock it if you can) and just basically tell him and your toddler that you are working for the next X hours?

Rockchick1984 Fri 29-May-20 16:45:54

Stopping to express is taking a break from studying though, so not sure why you're getting so pissed about that part?

While you are studying, you need to be in a separate room, not around your toddler or the dog.

MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:46:02

@KKSlider Without going into too much detail, when I was in my early teens I was raped and suffered a stab wound to my left breast. As a result, my breast a bit disfigured and I'm not able to feed directly on that side. I obviously produce just as much milk in that breast and so needed to express and feed my son by bottle. As is very common, once he'd used a bottle he refused to go back on the breast so I was left only being able to express and bottle feed.
I'd never considered whether it was due to the disfigurement but I need to lean very far forward in order to express milk with the bottle between my legs - there's no way I could read the same time but I never thought it was particularly unusual (I've never watching anyone else express...)

OP’s posts: |
pinguwings Fri 29-May-20 16:48:00

You sound stressed with it all.

How often are you expressing? Will your DS feed from you or take another sort of milk?

Can you not go in a different room, away from sight and sound and shut the door to work?
You need to set clear boundaries with your husband that you are working from x time- x time and he needs to keep ds occupied and safe during that. You need to do your part during that and not interfere/interrupt/hover/correct him.
Set a clear time in the day where you get a break and your Dh gets a break. It's tough for everyone but you need to communicate between each other.

KKSlider Fri 29-May-20 16:49:43

In that case then I'd agree with PP about very firmly stating "I am working" and then locking the door and leaving them to get on with it.

cardibach Fri 29-May-20 16:52:53

Why has he been asked to do nothing as a teacher? Every teacher I know (a lot, in both Wales and England as I’ve been a teacher for 30 years and in 6 different counties) are setting work and manning school for key workers. I know this isn’t the point of your thread, but it’s really odd.

MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:54:33

Thank you everyone for your suggestions.
To clarify a few points:
- My son is exclusively breastfed and I express 4 to 5 times per day
- I don't have an issue per se with helping when my husbands needs or asks me to. I understand that looking after a child that age is stressful and I don't expect him to do everything on his own. I just have an issue that he repeatedly asks me for help and knows that I need to express in order for our child to have milk and yet criticises me for not studying when I'm doing those things. I also have an issue with me having to look after our son so he can check his emails for no reason or busy himself absent-mindedly - it makes me feel as if the things I need to be doing are a lower priority to him than things that he doesn't need to be doing.

OP’s posts: |
cardibach Fri 29-May-20 16:55:33

Sorry OP, your second post wasn’t up when I asked my question. It’s totally irrelevant and I don’t want to look like an arse asking it when you have had such a bad time. Please ignore.

cardibach Fri 29-May-20 16:56:12

Not second, third...

MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:56:20

@cardibach At his school it's just the senior leadership team who are still working. I think because the class powerpoints and materials are created centrally in the school, he doesn't have any lessons to plan. He was told to stop working on March 13th and since then he's had three Zoom calls with updates and one form to fill out and nothing else - we're very lucky in that respect.

OP’s posts: |
LaurieFairyCake Fri 29-May-20 16:56:25

Is your DH shielding? Is he primary?

crispysausagerolls Fri 29-May-20 16:56:57

People who don’t understand that expressing isn’t taking a break, have never expressed before.

It’s horrible. I hated doing it, it’s impossible to do anything once you’re settled in position with the equipment on - certainly you aren’t able to manage a toddler! Your husband needs to help. Maybe put the machine on him so he understands how it feels!

YANBU, and I’m sorry to hear about what happened to you. Big well done for expressing to make sure your baby has the best, despite the difficulties.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 29-May-20 16:57:03

Cross posts. That is so unusual.

crispysausagerolls Fri 29-May-20 16:58:19

My son is exclusively breastfed and I express 4 to 5 times per day

I assume he isn’t exclusively breastfed as he also has food though?

MadLad Fri 29-May-20 16:59:36

@crispysausagerolls You're correct, he does have food. I mean that he doesn't have formula and we're slowly introducing cows milk but he can only have very small amounts as the doctor thinks he may be mildly lactose intolerant so we were told to introduce it very slowly and monitor him to see.

OP’s posts: |
raspberryk Fri 29-May-20 16:59:40

No it isn't a break and your husband is a knob.
I would also stop expressing now and switch to cows milk at over 12 months, or only once or max twice per day. It sounds more hassle than it's worth with everything else you have going on.

OtterBe4 Fri 29-May-20 16:59:42

Do you have space that you can work in a separate room with the door shut?

Nottherealslimshady Fri 29-May-20 17:00:37

Well this has got naff all to do with OPs decision or need to express.
Expressing breastmilk is not a break. Nor is time away from uni to write essays or study for exams.
Furlough on the other hand, is a long break!
I dont have any solutions for you but YANBU .

crispysausagerolls Fri 29-May-20 17:01:49

Sorry - I just really hate that expression! My DS didn’t touch other milk than breast until after 1 either. I just find the terminology annoying because it implies they aren’t also on food!

HoneyWheeler Fri 29-May-20 17:02:17

I'm sorry people are completely missing the point here OP - I don't think you're being unreasonable and you didn't ask for comments on how your son is fed. I think your OH needs a firm talking to - expressing isn't a break!!

Having said that, it is the other way around in my household and it is really useful when I get a five/ten minute break from watching my son. Are you able to have some kind of schedule like that?

BeingATwatItsABingThing Fri 29-May-20 17:02:49

I don’t know why people are focusing on your choice to continue giving breast milk. hmm

Your husband is not being helpful and you are most definitely not taking a break! Agree you need to be firm and move somewhere in the house where you’ll have peace.

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