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I'm sure this time I'm not

(22 Posts)
randomtask Thu 16-Jul-09 15:14:18

DH is a newly qualified teacher and has had the last two weeks off (and won't start work til September). I'm working full time whilst he does the school run for DS then they will have the holidays. I've got one week off with them then a couple of days with DS when he has staff inset days and DH is working.

We're buying a house and I've been doing all the phone calls and stuff from my desk at work and then doing the organisation at home. DH (I think) felt bad and (under a little pressure) decided I should write him a list of what needs doing whilst he's off work and I'm not. So, we're on the second list and still some of the first hasn't been done. I've been amazingly understanding (whilst wanting to scream) as I know he's not very good at organisation. He's met workman at the new house and forgotten to ask important questions (one is now on their fourth phone call), he's tried twice to measure the kitchen so we can plan it (I'm having to go to the new house after work tomorrow to do it myself as it apparently needs my 'wise eye' as he's unable to measure perimeters) but he has missed out measurements and forgotten about doors and windows. For the last three weeks I've literally gone home, read paperwork that's arrived, done spreadsheets etc. To be fair, he's been doing the cooking and washing up. I've been getting more and more stressed which he realises. I've also had to cancel a couple of days off with DH as I need them kept just in case I need to see workman as DH doesn't think he can give them the right info (even when I've written it down for him).

Tomorrow is DS's last day at school and DH will be 'doing house stuff' in the afternoon. He hasn't done any preparation for the new school year apart from starting to read a poetry book he's teaching. Today, he said he'd help his Dad move something and then do school work, as well as phoning this workman for the fourth conversation of what he hadn't checked. I was pleased although I'd been hoping he'd come and meet me for lunch (thought I wouldn't mention that as didn't want him to feel bad for getting on with work).

So, I've texted him a couple of times and he was obviously in bad reception land as they took ages to be received. I texted asking him if he was 'somewhere funny' or was my phone being odd and he's been in a local village for a walk, looked at a few churches and went to see an old friend for a chat.

Normally, I'd probably be fine with that but, I'm now going to be doing more, he's gonna be doing school work whilst DS is off and (probably more importantly) I'm furious he's doing nothing whilst I'm at work and then doing all the brain work in the evenings. I've had one half day to myself since last summer so I understand the need for a bit of piece, but I just feel angry and that he's selfish!

Incidentally, his first wife (who died) apparently didn't do anything around the house or organisation wise so not only do I know he could once do these simple tasks but also, he's told me how much he hated being the one 'doing everything'.

PorridgeBrain Thu 16-Jul-09 17:20:13

I think the fact that you have posted 2 'Am I Being Unreasonable' threads in the space of 24 hours about DH is a little concerning to be honest and maybe suggests that you have some issues about how the dynamics of your relationship are working which need to be addressed.

With regards to the house moving/buying, it seems to me that this is not your where DH's natural skills lie so is it not just easier to accept this and for you to manage the house move? In the meantime, ask your DH to take over all the household chores so that you can focus on it when you get home and if you do need him to make phone calls for you in the day, then why not write down the key things he needs to ask to avoid him missing things and you getting upset. What do you think?

junglist1 Thu 16-Jul-09 17:31:20

I can pick up BAD stress vibes through your words. I agree with writing all questions down (as long as he doesn't lose the paper argh!!), and I think he needs to start taking your stress levels seriously before you get ill over it.

bedjumper Thu 16-Jul-09 17:59:00

it does sound a little bit like perhaps you feel a need to be 'in control' and that your DH is trying to do certain things but they turn out to be not to your liking or things you wanted to do yourself.
You posted earlier that you were cross he had bought DS's birthday card to save you time as you wanted to do it yourself.
Could he be doing less because he's not confident he will do the right thing to your standards?

mumeeee Thu 16-Jul-09 18:10:13

You sound that you are in control of your DH. He is not a child back off and let him do things his way. I often write my self lists of things to do during the day but don't get them all done.

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 09:30:09

I have written him lists of what we need to know but somehow he doesn't ask all the questions. Last week he got quotes for a combi boiler and forgot to ask about putting the fire place in too and whether the quotes included VAT. I was very happy for him to take over as (I'm pretty sure) he's capable and I know I'm getting stressed by it all, but unfortunately, currently he seems willing but not able.

I do have control issues but more about me. I don't mind him doing things at his speed if it doesn't affect me, but it frustrates me to have to redo what he's done (he knows these things need redoing, it's not 'in my mind').

The real issue is, I worry if things aren't done immediately (I'd rather do things and know they're done and off my mind) and he's a leave it to the last minute person. He's also not quite on the planet generally (something that apart from when it involves house buying makes me love him more) and I know he's worrying he's not any good at it. I have explained that he can do these things (just needs to think more) and that when it comes to doing the house up, he'll be amazing and I'll be rubbish as I'm impatient. He says that's not now when I'm stressed though... I think I'll try to complement him on the little things and if able, over look the bits he gets wrong.

We've agreed I need some 'me time' but unfortunately, as a working Mum, I feel constant guilt doing stuff on my own when DH and DS are off as I don't get much time with them anyway. Plus, if I haven't done something, I don't seem to be able to make my brain stop. Think we'll try to have a 'family day' tomorrow and on Sunday, I might go off for an hour on my own just to get more calm.

MovingOutOfBlighty Fri 17-Jul-09 09:34:56

I think you sound very stressed. You need time off. Your DH upsets you when he buys a card, which at the time I could understand a bit as you feel pushed out from his and DS relationship. But I couldn't cope with my DH micromanaging everything as you seem to be (and well done for trying hard not to be).

He has managed this far in life not to mess up so you have to trust him a bit more. And working full time and looking after LOs is bloody hard work. My heart goes out to you.#

But imagine if what you wrote at the top was a man writing from his office about his slacker wife. There woudl be howls of outrage about how controlling he is!

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Fri 17-Jul-09 09:39:22

I think you do dound stressed, perhaps don't do anything extra for a few day, give him a chance to 'make good'- very little implodes if left for a few days.

I would be a little concerned though about his lack of organisation in his chosen ptrofession, and may mildly suggest that just perhaps, as he has maanged to qualify fine, he might be taking the 'if I do it really badly then she'll take over' route often beloeved of men.

ReneRusso Fri 17-Jul-09 09:56:13

I don't know if yabu or not but I do know moving house is very stressful. This in combination with being a working mum sounds like its pushing you to the limit. Try to let go a bit. Your DH will not take responsibility for things if you are there to pick up the pieces, so just tell him you can't cope and he must sort out ordering the boiler or whatever. And trust him to deal with it. He might not do it as quickly or effectively as you, but it will not be the end of the world.

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 09:59:20

He admitted last night that he managed his last house move 'because I had to' and that part of his lack of help is because he knows I'll do it and thinks I'll do it better anyway. I pointed out that I'd still rather he did things and took a little longer, than I had to do it all. It's the same with me managing things. I'd rather it was equal but I think of things weeks in advance, he thinks of them hours in advance. He's also got used to not doing as much as after his first wife died, he moved back with his parents and his Mum took over everything.

He says he bought the card as he'd seen it and had forgotten we'd said we'd do it together. I knew (as I'd told him) he was trying to be helpful and lighten my load, he just didn't think it through.

At the beginning of teacher training everything was done in advance and a month in, he was back to last minute. Annoyingly, he's good so gets away with it. I was hoping he might realise he couldn't leave things to the last minute.... blush.

He's just been and done the food shopping and bought me my favourite cake to eat after our house measuring/Ikea visiting later. What my colleague calls 'dog house behaviour' hmm

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 11:15:23

DH has just texted and said our contract for the house has come through (less than 20 days after we put the offer in). We can't move til 1st Sept (when his contract starts) but it's one less thing to worry about! He's also suggested we do Ikea in the morning with DS. Reckon if we lose him in the children's room area he'll be happy....

Less stress!!

fluffyanimal Fri 17-Jul-09 11:34:06

"I'd still rather he did things and took a little longer, than I had to do it all"

That's not the case though, is it, because if you read back over your posts you keep saying how impatient you get: "I worry if things aren't done immediately (I'd rather do things and know they're done and off my mind)".

Sounds like the poor bloke can't win. You need to relax and try to adopt a 'what's the worst that can happen' mindset. So what if things don't get done to your preferred timetable or your preferred standard? Is anyone's life at stake? Wonder if you might benefit from talking to someone about anxiety and control issues.

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 11:56:35

I do get impatient but when it's a choice of me getting stressed or DH doing things slower, I'd rather the latter. I know I'm impatient but I also make allowances for that as I know it's not his fault he's not. The whole point is, that I'm trying to relax more and am improving(so DH tells me), but it doesn't seem equal/fair to do all of the work because DH doesn't want to help or if he does he doesn't do things properly as he knows I'll sort it out. That (to me) is just lazy behaviour and unfair.

Incidentally, after me explaining to him last night how stressed I'm getting and how I'm trying to be understanding/more relaxed but finding it difficult, he's currently reading our contract (he hasn't read any of our paperwork legal or otherwise yet) and writing a list of issues to discuss with the solicitor. So, as I already knew, he can be on the ball when he needs to be. Just frustrating it takes him seeing me stressed to do something.

Surfermum Fri 17-Jul-09 12:09:42

You do seem to be giving him mixed messages. On the one hand you want him to do more, but when he helps you moan that it isn't done properly or quickly enough, or some other reason.

Take the buying the card thing. He did it sooner than you'd planned, he saved you a job but you were annoyed as he hadn't thought it through. If I were him I'd be really confused by that one and feel like whatever I did I was in the wrong.

And this ...

"He's just been and done the food shopping and bought me my favourite cake to eat after our house measuring/Ikea visiting later. What my colleague calls 'dog house behaviour'"

He's done the shopping, you don't have to and he's bought your favourite cake. That's a lovely gesture. But still you're not pleased.

I wonder whether you're inadvertently making him feel a bit disempowered to do anything, as he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.

And this bit ...

"At the beginning of teacher training everything was done in advance and a month in, he was back to last minute. Annoyingly, he's good so gets away with it. I was hoping he might realise he couldn't leave things to the last minute".

It sounds like you're trying to change him when you say he was "back to" last minute. Ok, so you plan ahead, he's a last minute person. I know you may be doing it with the best of intentions but if he's a last minute person, he's a last minute person. It's his work, his responsibility, his worry. Leave him to it.

Helen31 Fri 17-Jul-09 12:19:05

Golly, I can feel your stress from here! But it honestly sounds like you had a really good chat with him about how stressed you are and what you would like him to do differently, and hey presto, he's doing something different. I know it might seem like he should be able to know some of this stuff without you telling him, but I suspect from the "doghouse behaviour" that he knew you were upset with him, but didn't know what you wanted him to do different. So you can MN about it (which is probably good for the soul anyway), but also do seem to need to talk to him about what you need too.

I know it probably seems a long way off, but am envy that you are going to have what sounds like a lovely new home very soon. Hope it works out for you.

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 12:38:04

The card buying thing-no problem with him buying it, just a little upset that as we'd discussed choosing it together, he didn't think about it as he thought he was being helpful. Very much appreciated the gesture though and did tell him that.

I'm pleased he's done the food shopping (although once again since I'm working and he's not, surely he should) and I'm also touched he made a gesture to let me know he wanted to look after me. Just frustrated it takes me telling him how stressed I am for him to make gestures I guess.

I don't have an issue with him being last minute with work (TBH, it works in my favour as it gives us more time together), I just don't like him being last minute when it's my life being left to last minute too. But, as I've already said, I need to learn to expect things slower and he needs to speed up a bit. Then hopefully we'll meet in the middle.

We have quite a good agreement of telling each other what we're annoyed about. It may mean sometimes I hold my tongue at first (normally thinking it's just me being impatient and I should just relax more), but then I always explain why I'm stressed/wound up and so does he. Yes it means we have 'big talks' but I figure in your first year of marriage you need those anyway to sort out the next 20 years!

And yes we will have a lovely home. And, I'll have a frustrated DH because his wife will be sanding skirting boards whilst he's painting whole walls!

Helen31 Fri 17-Jul-09 13:16:53

Big talks are definitely a good thing - and I think keeping having them when needed is the secret to still being together in 20 years. I hate sanding too, but DH hates gloss painting, so we kind of balance each other out.

FWIW, I'm a SAHM and my DH would be horrified at any suggestion that food shopping/housework was my sole responsibility for that reason - although I normally do most of it during the week. Is he terribly hen-pecked? blush

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 14:42:47

No I think that if you're a SAHM or SAHD you are working during the day.

I don't really have an issue with DH not getting anything 'house/domestic' done when it's school holidays as he's being a Dad and keeping DS happy. What I find difficult is if he's off work doing nothing and I'm running around like a nutter as he isn't pulling his weight.

As we both work, we tend to share the cooking (although DH does more than I do as he finishes work before I do and we want to get DS to bed on time), we both do housework (although he does lots of little bits and I do less big bits) so normally, we share. I normally do the food shopping but sometimes he comes too!! School holiday it's his turn.

Helen31 Fri 17-Jul-09 14:48:17

Oh good! I'm still getting used to this SAHM lark, and sometimes suspect I'm a bit of a slummy mummy, as DH seems to do a lot more with DS and home stuff than many of the other dads I come across. Must be the fruit born of all those big talks!

randomtask Fri 17-Jul-09 14:54:19

I'm pretty sure it is! Most people I hear about that aren't happy with what their DH is doing don't seem to tell them (or didn't at the beginning and the DH got used to it). My colleagues regularly tell me 'oh you'll just have to do his unpacking, I do with my DH' then admit I'm right when I say I'm starting as I mean to go on. Admittedly sometimes it means I have to try to be more patient or pretend to be calm, but at least it means he's (generally) not taking advantage of me or vice versa. Saying all that, apart from organisation and planning wise, DH is normally amazing and TBH, I know when I'm a SAHM he will think nothing of having to iron his own shirts etc. Marriage is a partnership. It's when it's unbalanced that it goes wrong (and I get stressed/rant at him)....

ABetaDad Fri 17-Jul-09 14:59:54

randomtask - I am right in the middle of a house move right now. DW has been doing exactly what you are doing. Making lists, getting very tense and so on.

However, I am sat in the new house now with the broadband on and the phone on and the locksmiths have just been and the carpet fitter is here. I left DW at home with nothing to do and the kids in holiday camp back at the old house and we are getting most of our furniture delivered at the end of the month. I organised and executed the whole lot - despite DW having 4 lists going which I have ignored as I just want to do it in a different way. I have consulted with her closely on the objectives (but not the method) and we have everything written down but it is happening at my pace in my way and I have told her to leave me alone and let me get on with it.

Can I suggest you do the same. Just hand the whole thing over to DH, tear up your lists and look forward to moving in on 1 September 2009.

DH is probably in a panic most of the time that he has forgotten something on the list or not quite done it the way you want, then you get impatient and it is awful and unproductive for both of you.

Just say to DH "I am leaving it all to you and you have complete control over the move." He will do things in a different way to you but that is his way - as you admitted he has done this before.

Then just let go yourself. That will be the hardest part though for you. Try not to check up on him either. You have your full time job to worry about and need to concentrate on that.grin

Helen31 Fri 17-Jul-09 15:06:26

LOL at "pretend to be calm" - I think I'm getting better at it!

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