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to think that if we were'nt so flippin' knackered all the time then we would be better parents?

(7 Posts)
shootfromthehip Tue 25-Aug-09 10:09:08

DH works very long hours. When he gets home from work he wants to either fob the kids off and put them straight to bed as he is shattered, or he wants to use them as relaxation, winding them up eventually getting them into trouble. That is if he sees them at all.

As a result of him working so much (7.30- 7.45am to 7pm at work and then EVERY evening on the lap top 'til 11pm +), I do everything around the house. I organise everything and I am a SAHM/ WAHM trying to balance my own workload and all the housekeeping etc. As a result I am knackered.

We are both short tempered and wrung out and I really believe that it is affecting our parenting.

I love DH very much and know how hard he works but he is not very good at managing his workload (my observations and that of his Boss) and over the past couple of years his work has taken over our lives. We never go out together and the weekends are usually spent trying to catch up with our sleep.

I moved our DS back into his own room this week (he was sharing with DD) and he has been getting up at 5am ever since. I cannot ask DH to get up with him as he gets such little sleep anyway and I am tired, grumpy and miserable as a result. And I know that it's not fair on the kids as I am getting really angry with them for silly things because I'm so tired.

Is this just life?

AIBU to think that if he didn't work everynight then it would be better?

TheProfiteroleThief Tue 25-Aug-09 10:12:23

It does sound unsustainable, but I accept everyone is scared for their jobs atm.

My Dh also works long hours. I find we get the most progress when I talk to him about 'our situation' rather than moaning that he works too many hours.

I find establishing small changes is the way to influence my Dh behaviour (for his own good as well as mine).

Also trying to accept that some stuff does not get done is part of it.

violethill Tue 25-Aug-09 10:17:28

Agree with profiterolethief. You're not going to be able to make massive changes if this is how your DH is, so you need to keep communicating with him and try to make small adjustments to make things as workable as possible.

Also keep in mind that life if he didn't have a job would be infinitely more stressful -sometimes helps to think that way.

TBH I think life with a young family is knackering, and you'll never totally change that.

Is there any way you can work towards a better balance so that he's not working such ridiculously long hours? It sounds as though you work P/T - is there any chance of working towards upping your hours and reducing his? As a long term plan that is the best arrangement for many people these days. It means that the work and household responsibilities are more evenly shared, rather than one partner shouldering it all.

Sympathies though - it's not easy.

shootfromthehip Tue 25-Aug-09 10:21:22

It's so hard knowing what can give and what can't- I tutor from home so I have to have the house at a certain level so I'm not doing as many crafty things with the kids as I was before. I feel like I'm letting them down in a way because we are both struggling so hard to keep things afloat that we are not the fun parents that we want to be. I'm fed-up going it alone and he's fed-up being a robot.

But I can't make the work go away. He's got a job interview today and I was hoping to go back to work part-time so that he could get a job that wouldn't pay as much but would have less responsibility and would be closer to home. Unfortunately there is no work for me at the moment and so that means things can't improve.

I just don't want to be a crabbit Mum forever.

Am I being naive and every is like this at the moment?

violethill Tue 25-Aug-09 10:28:58

The fact that you're thinking about it and determined that you don't want to be a stroppy and tired parents is evidence that in all likelihood you're not!!

I think as parents we tend to beat ourselves up and feel guilt - I'm sure your being a perfectly good mum to your kids.

Another thing is that although obviously you don't want to be knackered and stressed all the time, I really don't think it's helpful for children to grow up thinking life is all a bed of roses for adults. It's hardly a realistic preparation for life is it - especially as our children may grow up to have even more pressurised work lives - graduate debt, lack of jobs, expensive housing etc etc

Without wanting to burden my kids with adult worries, I;ve always felt it's quite useful that they see me and DH when we're stressed sometimes. They need to know that work can be interesting and enjoyable but also hard and tiring.

the important thing is that they feel loved and secure - children are resilient and can deal with the fact that sometimes the house is a mess, or mum's worn out.

OrmIrian Tue 25-Aug-09 10:33:08

Ok, well assuming that your Dh isn't going to miraculously change overnight, what can you off-load onto others. Pay a cleaner twice a week - is that feasible? Get your shopping delivered? Farm out ironing? If you take some of the burden off your shoulders it might ease the immediate pressure.

Re your DH, I can see your POV and it sounds to me as if he's using his work to run away a bit. I do that too sometimes blush. It's the perfect excuse to disengage when things are stressful. It's a subject that needs tackling, but preferably at a time when you are both less knackered.

shootfromthehip Tue 25-Aug-09 11:19:20

Thanks all- just needed a perspective check and you wise people always provide that.

Just want to be the best parent I can be or what's the point of being here with them?

I teach and locally there are no jobs and not even supply at the moment- have the childcare sorted, just not the work.

Would love something in our lives to be different and for it not all to be hard all the time. But then I'm sure I'm not alone there either wink

Thanks again.

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