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Please help - DH working loooong hours, basically doing this alone

(11 Posts)
Poppyjen Wed 20-Jul-11 08:03:31

Hi everyone

I hope that someone out there has some words of friendly advice for me. I have a DS who is 16 months. He is a normal spirited happy little chap but like all little ones now he is walking etc and the tantrums are beginning it is a whole new world of frustration and tears (his and mine!)

My problem is this, my DH is working crazy hours, he's out of the house by 6.30am and home typically somewhere between 9.30pm and 11pm most nights. He comes in, eats the dinner I have made for him, watches TV then we go to bed. It seems like we barely have a conversation (except about how much work is stressing him out).

Because he is back so late to be in with any hope of talking to him from one day to the next I go to bed far too late then he wakes DS up when he gets ready the next morning so its a pre-6am wake up for me too and the whole cycle starts again.

I feel like I am doing this alone and its really getting to me. DH is not the problem, I have talked to him about it and I understand that his work is pretty demanding at the mo. I would really appreciate any tips for keeping sane when I am on my own with DS during the day and then alone all evening too.

Thanks all, so sorry for epic post....

tegan Wed 20-Jul-11 08:14:14

I know how you feel. I have 3 dc's dd1 13 yrs dd2 7yrs and ds 2.7 yrs and dh is never here even when he could be. He works permanent nights from 4:30pm til 1am then is in bed when i have to get kids sorted for school he then gets up at around 11am and is out the door for the gym by 12pm (ds is napping so doesn't see dh) he then returns home at 2:45 as i go on the school run, by the time i am back at 3:30 he is getting ready for work. I class myself as a single parent and as such cope so much better when he isn't around. My sympathies are with you x

HoneyPablo Wed 20-Jul-11 08:26:47

It is hard but it doesn't last forever. Dh has worked abroad when the DC were small, and I have too felt like a single parent at times , as he was away for months at a time. He has also worked long hours when at home, which was especially hard when DD was just a baby and he worked weird continental shifts.
The way I got through it was to just concentrate on getting through each day, and dealing with stuff as it cropped up. I also had a routine, going to mother and toddlers and the library, the park, shopping etc.
The daytime was for the DC and the evening was for me, long soak in the bath and tv or reading and a chocolate bar. Just little treats to keep me going.
The tantrums will get easier to deal with, they are quite scary at first. Just enjoy your DS while he is small. They soon grow up. DS is 22 and DD is now 14
[gulp-where did the time go?]

MovingAndScared Wed 20-Jul-11 08:29:59

Hi - do you have anyone who could have little one in the day sometimes - or babysit -if not maybe look for someone - I think having a bit of a break might help
also a routine has to be the thing

onionlove Wed 20-Jul-11 08:33:05

Hi poppy,
My DH also works long hours and has his daughter with us every other weekend which means our quality time when we are not knackered is nil! DH is away for a week at the moment and I'm getting really upset most days as DS has just started tantruming. I think honeypablos advice is good, make sure you get out and about, meet some other mums and keep DS busy x

Poppyjen Wed 20-Jul-11 19:34:33

Thanks everyone for your advice and kind words, so nice of you all to take the time to post smile

Things seem a bit brighter this side of bedtime (may be because I have a large cup of tea and a blueberry muffin beside me!). I have put a routine in place and this works pretty well and I do manage to see other mums and usually have plenty to do with DS.

I think the main problem is that DS has been unwell for the past week or so and he had been exposed to chickenpox so I kept him in expecting the spots any minute and not wanting to infect of of his little friends before their holidays! Spots didn't turn up and his illness was put down to a virus so now I am finally free to go forth into polite society again wink The 2 weeks or so of "quarantine" just brought it home to me how alone I am (and how truly exhausting it is!)

My parents live abroad and PIL are aren't close by either so its just me and DH at the moment. I think its probably just my mind set that needs to change to make me feel better, if I just segment my day as Honey suggests so that I make sure that evenings are "me-time" with treats and all smile then I think that will make the days feel easier.

And to think we are ttc number 2 shock ............. Am I mad?

Thanks again ladies, really appreciate it smile

wearymum200 Wed 20-Jul-11 20:14:10

It is tough. I am in similar ish situation. Dh out from 0630 to 2130 every day, bar the days 1 to 3 a week) he stays away.
Times of illness ( you or dc) are almost impossibly tough (dh was in moscow when I and ds1 had swine flu, dd2 was 8m old and I had no idea what to do)
So, get out as much as possible, cultivate libraries, other mums in the park, toddler groups, swimming pools, anything. Try and remember what you did for yourself pre dc (hobby etc) and do it as much as possible. Phone a friend regularly.
Oh and don't wait up for dh. You need sleep and the world will look brighter....
Good luck
And yes, of course you're mad ttc dc2, but we're all mad already.....

Poppyjen Wed 20-Jul-11 20:25:25

I really do know what you mean wearymum the first time I was properly ill after having DS I felt like I grew up then and there. It was the moment I realised there was no emergency panic button - it was down to me and nobody but me. Scary stuff - not sure DH really grasps this. He is great with DS but not sure he recognises the enormity of the task of full time childcare!

Totally going to follow your advice re not waiting up for DH - feel like I have jetlag at the moment from late nights/early starts. Although could make the whole ttc thing a wee bit difficult (hey a girl's got to sleep....) wink

How did you manage in the end when you had swine flu? You sound like a bit of a hero to me smile

Caddie08 Wed 20-Jul-11 21:04:44

Hello, I could have written your post except that my son is only 10 months. I just find that getting out every day and meeting friends and going to baby activities keeps me relatively sane - it is hard going some days though and I get envious if people with a 9-5 partner! Hang on in there - I'm told it gets better as they get older :-) x

dinkystinky Wed 20-Jul-11 21:14:03

It does get easier I promise - DH often works long hours - and I work too but am back to put DS1 and DS2 to bed. Getting out and spending time with friends during the day helps time pass I found while I was on maternity leave. And make sure you rest - I know you want to stay up to see DH but you cant cope with late nights and early starts every day so if you are really exhausted, go to bed. If you're anything like me you'll wake up when your DH comes in anyway and have a sleepy chat.

happytree Wed 20-Jul-11 21:52:13

I too know how you feel. DS is 16 mo and I'm expecting DC2 in Dec. DH works 230 miles away and we only get to see him at the weekends.
I work 3 days a week and am soooo tired (pregnancy hormones don't help).
What I can say for it though, is that it has really focused my mind on routine and bed times etc so that I can make sure I have some sit down and relax time. DS used to scream the house down at bed time, now he's asleep within 10 mins - I think he knows I haven't got the energy and so wont be running in and out for hours trying to get him to sleep (of course I would but he doesn't need to know that wink )

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