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DH's gym session: No.1 household priority

(73 Posts)
MollFlounders Wed 24-Jun-09 08:07:38

Since we had DD 8 months ago my life has changed completely, as you'd expect, but DH's life just sails along as it always has. I'm back at work full time and work longer hours than DH and am the main breadwinner by a distance, but everything to do with DD is still my responsibility. As much as I love DD and love doing things with/for her, this imbalance is really starting to piss me off.

There are lots of examples of this but today's has just really made me cross and I want to know: AIBU. So the scenario is: I get up at 7am and get myself ready for work and make DD's breakfast, DD usually wakes up around 8am (she goes to bed around 8pm so I can feed her when I get home from work and then put her to bed), I give her breakfast and play with her, our nanny then arrives at 8.30am and I then rush out to work. DH, on the other hand, just does whatever he likes. He usually gets up around 7.30am or 8am and goes to the gym.

I found out last night that I need to be in a work meeting at 9am, something I normally try and avoid as I can't be at work for 9am if I leave home at 8.30am. So I asked DH last night if he could please be around at 8.20am as I needed to be at work at bit earlier. His response: I'm going to the gym, I'll be back around 8.45am. I asked him if he would please go a little earlier than usual to allow me to leave for work, and he said I should have asked him earlier in the day and he was sick of changing his timetables around my work. He NEVER changes his timetables. He said, just text the nanny and tell her to come early (which I refused to do, as I don't think that's fair on her). It does not even occur to DH that really we should be sharing the responsibility of getting DD up in the morning. We have had numerous discussions in the past. He says he doesn't do as much for DD as I do such a good job he "feels stifled". That just seems very convenient to me. So AIBU or is my DH as selfish as it seems to me?

SarahL2 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:10:42

YANBU, he's being very selfish. It's only a session at the gym!! He should want to miss it to spend time with his DD!

PM73 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:13:18

I think your dh is being an arse tbh,thats just a convenient excuse to leave you to do all the childcare,household duties etc.

I would question why he feels stifled,do you take over if he is feeding your dd or playing with her?Maybe he is just scared of the responsiblity,no excuse granted but ask him.

You are NBU,he is selfish & has to learn that when you have dc some aspects of your life have to change whether you like it or not.

lucyellensmumisgreat Wed 24-Jun-09 08:21:48

i don't think its appropriate to call the OPs DH an arse.

I think selfishfuckwitcunt is the most appropriate word here.

Tell him to grow the fuck up. wanker.

thats my considered response

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Wed 24-Jun-09 08:24:50

He's being an arse

You shouldn't tell the Nanny but there's no reason you couldn't ask her- if I could make it i'd have no issues with going in to workearly ocasionally.

This pattern will set for your whole relationship if you don't pull back. Assuming you both work FT then main breadwinner shouldn't matter tto much (though I understand your salary is essential and needs protecting) in the balance of negotiations, FT should mean equally divided work.

If you're doing the balance of childcare is he holding hiw own with housework? I tend to do most things (NOT all) with ds4 and all nights etc but dh does the balance of housework in 'exchange'.

It may be that you need to mae a point- get a calendar schedule in his gym time etc and schedule the same amount of away-time for yourself (not on work, on you-focussed stuff, even if just reading a papaer in the library). Look for opportunities to find things for your DD that can become his thing- so becuase I was (and am) bf DH felt a bit surlus, so once we weaned he took over the bulk of feedng solids.

Don't let it rest though- it will only get worse.

FWIW I might seem to have a perfect balance but DH is off tonight for the seciond time in a week (all day Saturday) and I can't even find an hour for a haircut hmm- do as I say not as I do etc

BonsoirAnna Wed 24-Jun-09 08:24:51

Your DH is being immensely selfish, yes.

PM73 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:25:22

Ok i will amend my post,

I think your dh is an arse a selfishfuckwitcunt

lucyellensmumisgreat Wed 24-Jun-09 08:28:30

"said I should have asked him earlier in the day and he was sick of changing his timetables around my work"

I read a book once where the woman was told by her husband that yes, of course in this modern age she could get a job, so long as it didn't affect her family duties. I was gobsmacked - but quite as gobsmacked as i am by your DHs behaviour!

Tambajam Wed 24-Jun-09 08:28:33

You both work fulltime. His behaviour is completely and utterly unreasonable/ disgusting/ selfish. But we get what we settle for so don't settle. If you don't pluck up the courage now then you will be stuck in this situation for years. Make sure he sees your POV.

Cadmum Wed 24-Jun-09 08:29:09

Surely the gym session is much more important than a meeting at work? You must learn to be more flexible--NOT!

Perhaps you should concede defeat and offer to resign so that you can be home with your dd whenever he wants to go to they gym? Would he be able to afford the membership on one income?

In my opinion, You most certainly ANBY!

WowOoo Wed 24-Jun-09 08:30:33

I would be having a 'We need to talk' moment, which will piss him off perhaps and cause some aggro but he needs to get a grip on things...

(have just had one myself, didn't go that badly after the blow out! Hope it goes OK for you)

sarah293 Wed 24-Jun-09 08:32:45

Message withdrawn

BirdyArms Wed 24-Jun-09 08:33:59

He is being very unreasonable. I think that his unwillingness to be in so that you can leave for work is extremely selfish. When dh and I both worked, at similarly paid similarly pressured jobs, we used to take it in turns to wait for the nanny in the morning and to be back in time in the evening. I did more than my share of turns, mostly because I was desperate to see the kids (hence why I'm no longer working!) but he would always do his best to rearrange his schedule so that I could make meetings etc. My dh is generally not great at doing his share at home and with the children but this was one area where it seemed easy to see what was 'fair'.

You need to get him to understand how important this is to you. I think this is going to cause serious problems in your relationship if not. I would tell him that you need to see a relationship counsellor if he's not prepared to have a sensible discussion. Maybe sounds a bit OTT but I definitely wouldn't be able to put up with your situation and imagine that I would build up masses of resentment.

spicemonster Wed 24-Jun-09 08:35:16

You know what, if you don't sort this out right now, you're going to be back here in a few years (at the outside) talking about how to manage your separation.

"Feels stifled" - pah! What a convenient excuse.

You need to sit down and give him a good talking to - you both had a child and he needs to step up to the plate. And what a great position he's in - you're the main breadwinner and provide the childcare too. Did you mean to have two children? Because that's what you've got. How about splitting some of the childcare formally? ie he does mornings, you do evenings or something.

blinder Wed 24-Jun-09 08:39:51

I would go away for the weekend with the girls to a spa so that he can catch up on his parental duties grin.

YANBU AT ALL! He is getting away with blue murder.

Lucyellen may have come up with the new abbreviation SFC to describe the behaviour of some men.

I have to say that balance needs to be restored ASAP. Maybe you could sit down with all the financial information, detailing FOR HIM how much each of you contributes to the practicalities of the relationship. Given that you are the main breadwinner, perhaps your DH could start pulling his weight in other ways i.e. caring for his child, or doing all the housework? He will probably need telling straight about this, and may even claim to be overworked himself. Don't stand for it.

Schoolgirl Wed 24-Jun-09 08:43:08

I'm going to go against the grain here - although I've no doubt that your DH is being unreasonable I think I would try and find a solution which would work for both of you.

I noticed that he made a comment that he felt "stifled" because you do such a good job. Is there any way you could get past your first reaction which is (understandably) to think he's being an arse? Is there any truth in that you are a little controlling of DD's routine and he finds that you tell him what to do rather than figure it out himself?

8 months is still relatively early in terms of getting used to a baby and if you've done the bulk of the childcare (I presume you've only recently gone back to work) then it seems natural that he may still feel like a newbie at this childcare stuff.

I have some experience in that my DH sounds like yours - his excuse is that he's "rubbish at babies". I think the best thing to do is leave him to it. Tell him you're leaving at a certain time and then stick to it. Leave early (before he goes to the gym) if necessary and just let him get on with it.

I agree with the other posters that asking the nanny to come in early sets a dangerous precedent and will mean that you have to do all the sorting out in the future.

If it's any consolation, I did exactly that when I returned to work with DD at 15 months. He didn't do things my way to be sure but they got done because I wasn't there to do them! Now he's fab with her and just gets on with it. I just have to train him again with DS (6 months) grin

crokky Wed 24-Jun-09 08:52:25

Do you love him? Does he love you? His behaviour is lazy and selfish - he can't go to the gym half an hour earlier or miss a session?!

He sounds like a spare part/a hinderance - he is doing nothing for your DD, not loving you, not doing much around the house and you are earning the vast majority of the income. I'd be having a serious talk to him about pulling his weight.

SarahL2 Wed 24-Jun-09 09:00:31

I think one of the best things I ever did for my DH was to go away for a weekend when DS was about 7 months old.

I planned meticulously - left detailed lists blu-tacked to the kitchen cabinets - one to say what time to do breakfast, bottle, dinner etc, one to suggest what to give for breakfast, dinner etc. I filled the cupboards, fridge and freezer with plenty of milk, snacks and homemade frozen meals (joked that I'd left enough baby food that if it came to it, DH could eat it too!), made sure he wouldn't run out of nappies, wipes or clean clothes - and left.

DH went from being nervous looking after DS to a very confident Daddy. They have a fabulous relationship now and I think that's at least partially based in DH's confidence in his ability to look after DS.

The only downer is - it's really hard to leave and I missed my baby desperately. But it's only 1 weekend.

peppapighastakenovermylife Wed 24-Jun-09 09:14:45

Selfishfuckwitcunt!

I think that is the first time I have possibly said that exact combination of words grin

Seriously though - gym = luxury, work = necessity. Him = being selfishfuckwitcunt.

VeryAnnieGertie Wed 24-Jun-09 09:28:29

Hey Moll are you my sister? - actually you can't be as her DD is 3 now but the situation sounds so similar. She's 6mths preg, last week had gastro thing and was throwing up all night and still had to get up and make DD breakfast cos her "D"H "didn't know how to". SFWC. This is the same guy who prides himself on being cleverer than his wife and who has in fact not changed an iota of his lifestyle since having a DD.

Please do stop this behaviour now, don't end up 3 years down the line in the same position.

Stigaloid Wed 24-Jun-09 09:47:43

YANBU - but sadly i hear this story so often from my other mum friends. My DH has his moments but has really adapted his life around DC but i know so many other mums who are really down at the moment because their DH's still act like they are single and don't have the responsibilty of a child. He needs a big wake up call.

Am sorry you are being stressed by this situation.

MollFlounders Wed 24-Jun-09 10:07:56

Thanks everyone, I just got back to my desk from the 9am "meeting of controversy". Ok I'm starting to feel that at least I'm not losing my marbles to be hacked off about this. I agree with Peachy that as we both work FT the main breadwinner thing isn't that much of a big deal- it just adds insult to injury from my perspective. DH does do stuff around the house, but there's not mountains to do. We live in a flat and have a regular cleaner so he puts on a couple of loads of washing, unstacks the dishwasher a few times during the week etc. All that's great, but it doesn't really make that much of a difference in the general scheme of things.

I've been back at work 2 months and in that time I can't think of more than one or two occasions where DH has prepared a feed or fed DD (I'm not BF anymore and she's well onto solids). I would say he has changed her nappy perhaps 5 times at the most in 2 months. While I was on MatL he did nothing really.

There probably is an element of me telling DH what to do with DD on the rare occasions he has done anything, but he has made no effort to find out how it all works. He wouldn't have a clue what she eats or when really and it's not like he's ever offered to help out with this on the weekend.

I guess that "useless with babies" aspect of things doesn't bother me as much as the lack of flexibility - i.e. him seeing the gym as being equivalent to my need to get to a work meeting. I would love to just be so unthinking as to get up whenever I feel like in the morning and do whatever struck me as being a good start to the day and not even consider DD in all of this because I knew that someone else would just be taking care of it all. <bitter rant over>

I feel a talk coming up. We've only recently had one but it obviously didn't work very well.

lucyellensmumisgreat Wed 24-Jun-09 10:15:20

At the moment, i am definately doing the lions share of the housework, cooking etc - i think i did the lionshare of the baby stuff too. I think what tends to happen is that if one person happily does something, then a routine sets in and the other person doesn't include it in the "stuff they do" thingy! We have periods in our house when I do all the cooking and DP gets lazy about it, then it goes the other way and i am VERY lazy about it. So yes, you could be taking over a little with regards to the baby stuff and need to make a concious effort to step back, unless of course it works for you and hey, thats great.

But the gym thing, thats outrageous. I'm glad you got to the meeting ok. Did he come home? Did he sulk? He is acting like a child.

Show the selfishfuckwitcunt him, this thread, i think he'll get it.

strawberryplanter Wed 24-Jun-09 10:18:37

Your dh has not adjusted to being a dad and is not 'gelling' as a dad as he leaves it all up to you. He finds the gym an escape route from duties and will continue to do so.

He feels emasculated in that you are the main breadwinner and is bolstering his male pride by being unflexible and not wanting to do baby stuff.

This will not change. In my opinion if he resents the baby messing up his gym session then it would be very dangerous indeed to leave them together (especially if he's a gym bunny and on steroids as it makes men aggressive and explosive)

If he resents you or your work for messing his relaxed life pattern up then you are going to be in for even nastier shocks the older the baby gets and more demanding s/he comes.

You also cannot rely 100% on a nanny, they often change jobs, go off sick etc and so you need your dh to pull their weight.

You need to make it serious now because you know this situation is completely unsustainable and unfair.

Better to have it out with him earlier rather than later. You cannot live in this way and you must let him do more if you can trust him. If you cannot trust him to do anything for the baby you would be mad to have him in the house. Your baby's safety has to come first.

He probably feels pushed out and could be jealous of the baby's demands on his time. You need to deal with this together now or it could get very very ugly.

MollFlounders Wed 24-Jun-09 10:21:43

thanks LEMIG, I probably do need to step back.

Re the gym thing, which is the real issue- DH got up at 7.30 and went off to the gym without saying goodbye. I was in the kitchen having breakfast and just heard the front door shut as he left. Being an extraordinary optimist I did wonder whether he would come home for 8.20 but nope: our nanny came at 8.25 and I flew out the door and just scraped in for the meeting. No sign of DH.

I'm liking this SFWC abbreviation.

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