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Not coping well today, how to talk to DH (long)

(10 Posts)
DizzyKipper Sat 01-Nov-14 20:10:34

Ok so I'm having a bad day, I get them sometimes. Brief history of being depressed/suicidal in childhood, I'm now as a result "a bit fucked up." I have issues and I'm trying to deal with them, but some days not always so well.
DH has been on a work jolly for the weekend, he's back late tomorrow afternoon. I don't want to lambaste him as soon as he walks through the door, but I do want to talk to him. I'm not coping so well.

I think one of my biggest issues is the housework/tidying, which probably sounds very trivial - but I think the extent to which I get stressed/upset about it is beyond the realm of normal. That and childhood issues that I don't want to pass onto my children. I just feel like I need to keep on top of it, the house needs to be tidy. I get so stressed when it's not, I find it hard to be the mum I want to be - that calm, rational person who always puts the kids first and can speak with such empathy and behave as she should be. Tonight I just had a complete empathy fail for my daughter, she was in pieces and screaming away (overtired) and I was just repeatedly telling her to stop crying, granted that's better than having snapped at her, but still not good or what I want to do.

Things running through my mind tonight have included questioning my whole marriage to DH, thinking about what a shit mum I am, the merits of SH (not that I will do that), and of course the housework. I just feel that I really need to get through to DH how important it is that he steps up to the plate and gets on with things - our arrangement is that whoever's not getting DD to bed has to do the nightly chores, but he doesn't really do this - he does some and then leaves it to get on with his programming.
I know ultimately I need to learn to cope with my stress levels and being able to not always get everything done without internally freaking out, but I don't know how I can - often it seems I should just be staying up 'til 1, ensuring I get everything done just to make sure I'll be alright (I don't, but it seems like I should).

Gah, I'm feeling particularly like a mess tonight, but FWIW I do sometimes have it a bit more together. And now, off to get my house sorted...

Quitelikely Sat 01-Nov-14 20:57:15

Y'know life is much easier when you lower your personal standards!

I had such high standards for my home and parenting that I kept failing to reach them which resulted in me feeling terrible about myself!

Sooo I decided to lower my standards with home and parenting.

My parenting standards are making sure kids are clean, fed and happy. Now I used to think they needed bathing each night, not true and not always necessary, plus I would be tired at that time myself anyway so I reduced that. I also thought I should be taking the kids out everyday to do exciting things.

I dropped that too.

Just little things like that really. It took the pressure off me. I told my dh that while the kids were young things were going to be a bit lacking compared to the previous standards.

He accepted that, I've accepted that (sort of) and I'm more relaxed for it!

DizzyKipper Sat 01-Nov-14 22:52:45

Thankyou. Honestly I'm not sure how/if I can lower my standards though (I'd hesitate to say they're not set stupidly high anyway, just normal everyday housework that you need to get done). I know I somehow need to learn to relax and let it go, I'm just really not sure how to - telling myself that I need to so far hasn't been enough.

carriewintermeadow Sat 01-Nov-14 23:14:34

Dizzy I have a similar problem. I am unable to discuss any problems with dh.

My standards with regard to housework are already low, but I agree that it helps to stop worrying about the state of the house. As long as it's not unhygienic and your children are clean and fed and clothed, they will be fine.

There is a lot of pressure to constantly take our children on educational/entertaining/stimulating outings all the time, but I believe it is very important that they learn to keep themselves occupied, instead of being constantly entertained. Otherwise they will struggle later in life.

I know it's easy to say these things though, but not easy to put into action when you're feeling down or anxious.

Hope someone will be along with better advice.

FruitBasedDrinkForALady Sun 02-Nov-14 09:45:57

Dizzy, I hope you're feeling better after a night's sleep. I completely understand your post. DH is utterly useless around the house, he simply isn't aware of what needs to be done (even though the sink might be overflowing) and I'm fed up of telling him. He is also far to keen to turn on the TV for the children, which I feel takes that option away from me when I need some down time. He has been working for the last 3 weekends and at this stage I'm flattened. I have to have the conversation again, but I am really angry that 7 years later, it's the same bloody argument.

His solution is always to drop standards but like you, I know mine are adequately low, and I need him to step up instead. He has absolutely no understanding of how much the mess and chaos gets me down.

Sorry, my ranting isn't very helpful, but I fully understand your position

DizzyKipper Sun 02-Nov-14 10:35:20

Thankyou Fruit, it means a lot having some one respond who's in a similar position. Although I do feel mean about DH were I to complain, because he's certainly not as bad as he could be. He'll do some stuff at night if it's me who's gotten DD to bed, but he won't do all the stuff that I'd do and I inevitably have to finish things off when I come down or else suffer the next day. 'Stuff' means doing any washing up and cleaning kitchen sides, picking rubbish up from the rooms, putting away toys. It's not things like dusting, hoovering etc. - just chores that if done the night before allow me to wake up to a relatively tidy house and feel like I'm coping. If it's not done then the cumulative mess becomes unbearable - think small house with nowhere for it to - and even he starts to make remarks (though insists he's just venting because he hates a messy house too, he says it's not aimed at me. Doesn't stop it upsetting me though).

I could stress and stress to him about how important it is to me that he gets the washing up done (not sort it into dirty piles and leave it neatly on the side for me!) but I already have done and it's not gotten me anywhere, and I just don't think he gets that I really mean it. I really do need for this house to be tidy. I know it's unhealthy but the state of the house seems irrevocably entwined with my mental well being. The messier it is the worse I feel and less able I become. At its worst I just end up sitting there in a depressive funk, feeling unable to do anything, hating myself, thinking about how awful I am, may end up crying throughout the day and thinking about what an awful mum I am (I also have less patience with the kids and aren't parenting how I want to). Conversely if the day is going well (ie. the house is tidy and I feel like I'm doing well as a mum) then I feel good, I get more done, I just feel so competent and that everything is going so well. So it seems like my whole self worth/esteem is wrapped up in my ability to look after the house and I feel put into the position where I have to keep it up or else I'm completely going to crumble. I know that I really do need to just not stress out about it, but tbh I don't know if I can - even writing this it's stupid but I have a list of all the things I need to do running through my mind like a soundtrack, and although I'e given up on 1 of the ideals today (getting to the shops) it doesn't stop me feeling like need to do it.

I don't think stressing at DH will help though, and I worry about the effect on our marriage. It's not his fault I'm screwed up, and I should be able to handle a little bit of washing up and mess without going into a meltdown.

Thankyou everyone for responding to me. Tbh still not feeling great today, going to do the best I can though.

ginhag Sun 02-Nov-14 19:33:42

Hey dizzy how has your day been? Is DH home yet?

RandomMess Sun 02-Nov-14 19:42:35

Would it work better for you if your DH did the putting to bed everynight so you could do the tidying to the level you need it?

DizzyKipper Mon 03-Nov-14 09:28:43

Hi ginhag, it started off not that well but got better when DH was home.

It is/was normally DH who got DD to bed Random. I have a 6 week old baby and DD is getting jealous so I'd started getting DD to bed myself recently so she could have guaranteed 1:1 cuddle time with me.

ginhag Mon 03-Nov-14 10:14:14

A six week old baby is DEFINITELY a reason not to have a tidy house. And to be feeling low and anxious, especially when your DH is away. I hope today is nice to you thanks

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